A good daypack can do a lot of things. I own a super-technical pack for serious hiking, but I also find that I need a pack I can take to work, use as my carry-on when I fly, and use comfortably on the trail. I recently put Gregory’s new Tarifa pack through all of those paces, and it performed admirably.

Technical Gregory packs don’t typically fit my body type or torso length (they seem to be designed for thinner, taller folks), but the one-size-fits-all design of this pack fit my body fine, with no weird chafing or oddly-placed straps. The main pack compartment consists of two thin pockets. In spite of that feature (i.e., designed more for carrying flat commuter items), I was able to comfortably carry all of my dayhike essentials within, including a jacket and extra water.

As a work bag, I stayed organized with the Tarifa’s three main compartments: laptops and tablets in back, tools in the center, and small items up front. The outside stretch pocket worked perfectly for carrying my hardhat. On the trail, the system worked equally well, with the rear pocket doubling as a hydration sleeve. (However, the pack lacks a port for a drinking tube; that would be a nice addition.)

The Tarifa is a panel-loader style pack, which means it has long zippers that open the pack up very wide. This style makes it easy to get stuff in and out, and it also makes it easy for me to drop the contents of my bag if I’m not careful. The Tarifa gets extra credit for an oversized sunglass pocket (soft fabric means I don’t need to carry a case) that has room for small essentials like lip balm and an energy bar.

Available in: Crimson Red, Harbor Blue, Juniper Green, and Black.

Bottom Line: This thoughtfully-designed pack has enough features to be a trail warrior without sacrificing streamlined, compact usability as a commuter pack.

Manufacturer’s site: gregorypacks.com
 $119.95