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You often see large rucksacks everywhere, but the small ones are just as important. After all, you don’t want to be lugging around a massive pack. If you are out running, on a day trip, or just want to spend a long afternoon walking, a 10L backpack is exactly what you need.
It’s big enough for the essentials, but it won’t weigh you down. Of course, with so many on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.
However, that's where I appear, ready and willing to give you a hand. In order to help you find the best small rucksack, I have put this guide together, gathering up all of the relevant small rucksack reviews in one place, so you can find the perfect one to keep you company on your next adventure.
In a hurry? Here are our top picks for the best small 10 litre rucksack
Best Waterproof Rucksack for Travel - SALOMON Trail 10 Running/Hiking
Best Small Rucksack for Hiking - One Nice 10L Bike Backpack
Best Waterproof Rucksack for Travel
1. SALOMON Trail 10 Running/Hiking Backpack
Whether you are travelling to work or going out for the day in a new country, you need a bag that you can rely on and that will carry the essentials. This pack from Salomon could be just right, so have a read of the reviews below and see for yourself.
This 10L rucksack comes in black, but there is a whole range of other colours for you to choose from if you want something that stands out a little more or better suits your style.
The shoulder straps are adjustable as well as comfortable, thanks to the soft padding, which prevents soreness and rubbing. There is also a waist strap to help keep everything secure and in place.
The main compartment is easy to access when you are on the move, ensuring that you can reach important items when they are needed most.
There are also some handy outer pockets where you can place things like a hydration system or your sunglasses. The backpack is also breathable, ensuring that you don’t end up soaked with sweat when you are walking.
A great little backpack that works perfectly for any travel, whether it's the commute to work or miles of hiking. Plenty of space to fit all the essentials and spare clothes etc. The bag is light and fits snug to your back when running thanks to the adjustment in shoulder, waist and chest straps.
The Not So Good
Some customers felt that it would have been even better if it had come with a bladder in addition to the space for one.
This rucksack is affordable and well-priced, slotting nicely into most budgets. It has a great 10L capacity, which is just enough room for all of your essential items when you are travelling.
While some felt that it would have been better with a bladder (hydration pack), it does come with the space for one, and they are inexpensive to buy. It has some brilliant outer pockets, as well as a main compartment that is easy to access. Wherever you are, this pack will come in handy.
Q: Is this waterproof enough for skiing / snowboarding in deep powder ?
A: The backpack is designed for running and tourism. We do not recommend a backpack for skiing or snowboarding.
Best Small Rucksack for Skiing
2. Ultrashang Lightweight Ski Rucksack
Whether you are speeding down the slopes or getting ready for a cross-country workout, you can’ go to the slopes without being properly prepared.
This small rucksack from Ultrashang could be just what you need to pack all of the essentials for a day in the snow and sliding down slopes. Have a look and see for yourself.
This rucksack has a 10L capacity and comes in black, although there is a grey option with black detailing if that is something you would prefer.
It has been designed for sports like skiing, as well as trekking and cycling, so you know you are getting something that is durable and ready to handle the outdoors. Plus, the shoulder straps are padded for comfort, and there is a waist belt for security.
The ergonomic design on the back has been made for breathability and comfort, allowing you to ski without ending up covered in sweat. It has a special compartment for you to place a bladder (hydration pack), as well as secure outer pockets for your phone and other accessories. It’s lightweight, and also made from waterproof material to keep your belongings safe.
The first impression of this bag is very positive. The length is perfect for the contents you would want to carry with plenty of pockets for small items. The velcro tab is designed to hold a water bladder is ideal for keeping the bulk of the gimbal at the top for easy access and leaves lots of space for another kit at the bottom. There are plenty of small pockets for items such as phone and wallet; I think the design is perfect.
The Not So Good
There have been no complaints about this product so far.
This rucksack comes at a really affordable price, which is great for those who don’t want to spend massive amounts on a 10L bag. It has been perfectly designed for use while skiing or cycling, sticking to your body securely without all the sweat.
With customer approval ratings through the roof, and only a few minor issues with one-off faulty bags, you know that you are investing in a winning piece of gear. Ergonomically designed and easy to access, it’s worth every penny.
Q: Does this have a chest and waist strap as I intend to use for skiing
A: Yes. The 6L Small Backpack is Perfect size for skiing.
Best Small Rucksack for Day Trips
3. Mountain Warehouse Dash 10L Backpack
Mountain Warehouse is one of the biggest names when it comes to outdoor gear and accessories, so you know you are getting something good when you go with them. If you are looking for a small rucksack to take with you on day trips, this could be just what you need.
This rucksack has a 10L capacity, and it comes in black and grey with bright yellow detailing that is sure to help it stand out. Plus, there are other colours to choose from if this doesn’t quite suit your style.
The shoulder straps are comfortable thanks to the padding, and they won’t rub or cause soreness when you are wearing the pack.
The shoulder straps are also adjustable, allowing you to get more comfortable. It has a bungee cord attached to hold walking poles and other such accessories that might aid you when you are off adventuring.
The bag itself is made from polyester fabric, which makes it a very durable option. It also has elastic outer pockets for water bottles and other essential items. With two spacious compartments inside, it is sure to hold everything you need.
The Not So Good
A couple of customers found this rucksack to be smaller than they had expected, which disappointed them.
This rucksack has a great capacity and is also incredibly cheap, making it suitable for those who have a really low budget and want something that is reliable. While there were some customers who found them to be smaller than expected, it still does a great job of holding all of your essentials and will keep them safe.
It has a great range of pockets on the outside, as well as two internal compartments for storage. It’s a brilliant model, and it comes at a fantastic price.
Further Models of Small Rucksacks
Here are some further models of small rucksacks, just in case the ones above do not quite meet your requirements
Best Small Rucksack for Running
4. Osprey Raptor 10 Bike Backpack
This backpack comes from trusted and well-known brand Osprey, and it is available at a reasonable price. It comes in blue, but you can choose from red and black as well if blue isn’t quite your colour.
It has a 10L capacity, which is a great size for taking with you when you go running, and the straps that go over your shoulders and around your waist ensure that it stays in place throughout your exercise experience.
There reflective graphics for when you go running at night, and there is a hydration pack to ensure that you are never without water. The back panel is ventilated to prevent sweating, and there is a sunglasses/electronics pocket where they can be stored away without getting scratched.
Best Small Rucksack for Hiking
5. One Nice 10L Bike Backpack
If you are looking for a small rucksack to take with you when you go hiking, this could be the one for you. It has a 10L capacity, which makes it perfect for short trips as it can carry all of the essentials you need for a day of hiking.
You can even use it for running or cycling as the waist, and shoulder straps keep it comfortably in place. It comes in a range of colours, allowing you to choose the one that suits your style best.
It is waterproof and resistant to tears, with a convenient section for a hydration system to be installed – ensuring you always have access to water. The reflective strip design also helps to keep you safe when it starts to get dark, so you can walk without worry. It’s a great choice and comes at a really low price.
Why Use a Small Rucksack?
Why might you need to use a small rucksack though? Well, the most common use is for day trips that aren’t going to require a lot of gear or supplies. Examples of this would be a day of sightseeing while you are on holiday, or going on walks with your dog in warm weather so that you can carry things like water, treats, and toys. Day trips and long strolls alike are ideal for small rucksacks, and they also tend to be quite light as well as easy to pack away when you don’t need them anymore.
Things to Consider
Before you scroll down and look through the backpack selection, I have gathered for you; it would be useful to take a moment and scroll through some of the things you should consider first. From small features to absolutely vital ones, it’s time to prepare your mental checklist so that you know exactly what you want before you buy.
This is probably the top feature you should be looking at, as well as one of the most useful. Do you want a waterproof rucksack or a regular one? Waterproofing means that it has better protection if the weather takes a turn for the worst, and you are always prepared. It can come in useful throughout the entire year, and there isn’t much of a difference in price compared to regular bags.
You do have to watch out for the terminology, however. There is a distinct difference between waterproof and water resistant. The latter of these can cope with light rain, but a heavy downpour or being submerged in water will result in the contents of your rucksack getting soaked. Waterproof bags can handle pretty much anything, and they have an extra coating to ensure this.
The final thing to watch out for with waterproofing is how waterproof a bag is. There are some that are only proofed in key areas, and the rest of the bag will be prone to water seeping through. If you want a bag that is 100% waterproof, you need to do your research and check it out thoroughly first to avoid any disappointment when you sling it on and take it out for a spin.
What are you going to be using the bag for? Are you taking it on a trip around the city while you are on holiday? Will you be using it for long walks with the dog, or so that you have somewhere to store water and poo bags on hot summer days? Maybe it will just be for getting to and from work every day; the possibilities really are endless. The function of the bag is an important aspect to think about because there are so many different designs out there, all of which serve different purposes.
How much can the rucksack store? Think about the functionality first, and the capacity second. Once you have determined what the bag is being used for the capacity that you are going to need becomes more apparent. Of course, it is a small rucksack, so it isn’t going to have a massive amount of space anyway, but there is still a good variety of them out there.
This refers to things like internal and external pockets. Personally, I love to have my interior space nicely organised at all times, so this has always been appealing to me. Similarly, I find that outside pockets are fantastic for storing the items you need quickly; phone, wallet, keys, snacks, and water. Even small rucksacks tend to come with the option for inside and outside additional storage. It’s something you should take into serious consideration if you want to make the most of your space.
It has to be comfortable to wear and carry, especially if you are off on a day trip or a long walk. The straps should be padded so that it doesn’t make your shoulders sore while you are walking. Some even have ventilation in the straps so that when you sweat the air can still circulate to prevent a sweaty back. Comfort is key if you want to enjoy your outing and still be able to carry the essentials.
Most bags are actually pretty light nowadays, especially when they are small, but it is still a consideration you need to make. How light do you want the bag to be while empty? What will you be doing all day, and how will the overall weight impact you? Will your small rucksack have a frame, and if so, is it made from a lightweight material? Questions like these that relate to the weight of your rucksack are essential to ask before you buy so that you have a clear idea of what it is you are searching for.
We all have different budgets, and that’s part of why I have included a good range of prices in the rucksack selection. Not all of us can afford to fork out £100 on a small bag, and we might be looking at something closer to £20. While a higher price does often indicate better quality, there are plenty of budget options that are just as good as the higher end ones. You have to go for the bag that suits your budget, taste, and intended purpose. Below, there is sure to be something perfect for you.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you to find the best small rucksack for your next trip, and that the small rucksack reviews have ensured you make the best choice. We have gathered together a great range of rucksacks for you to choose from, and at a brilliant variety of prices, ensuring that every budget is catered to so that everyone can benefit from a nifty little pack.
We also have a brilliant selection of brands, allowing you to find the one you trust. However, if you find yourself in need of something bigger, you might want to try a 25L rucksack, and we have just the guide for that.
What did you think of our small rucksack guide? Are there any that you would have liked to see or recommended? We love hearing from you, so make sure to leave us a message in the comments below.