Daypack: Osprey Daylite Plus

I wanted an Osprey daypack to compliment my suitcase/backpack: the Osprey Farpoint 40. This would give me a total of 60 liters of carrying capacity.

I chose a 20 liter all-rounder, a pack suitable for travel as well as hiking and trekking. This pack needed to be versatile and able to be small enough to slide under an airplane seat but roomy enough to to carry my binoculars, camera, sketching kit, and a water bottle. This is the Osprey Daylite Plus.

When I got the pack home, I loaded it up when above said items and was happy to see that they all fit with room to spare.

I decided to take the pack out on a test hike on the Old Cove Landing Trail at Wilder Ranch State Park on the Santa Cruz County Coast. This is one of my favorite coastal hikes and it is also a great place to bird.

The Daylite Plus in Wave Blue at Wilder Ranch.

The Daylite Plus, loaded up, felt good on my back. I used the sternum straps but I didn’t need to use the waist belt. This pack will do nicely for my Icelandic rambles.

Spring was in the air on the Old Cove Landing Trail. Here are a few highlights.

An unexpected surprise was a singing male lazuli bunting. This is one of the most beautiful songbirds of spring.
This sign has seen better days but it provides a perfect singing stage for the verbose Bewick’s wren.
Two pigeon guillemots greeting each other. I assume this is a mated pair. Another sign of spring.

Backpacking Iceland: The Osprey Farpoint 40

In 1990, right after high school graduation, I headed over to Europe with my best friend Erik and his older brother Pete on a backpacking, hitchhiking, Eurorail adventure.

I was kitted out with a Eurorail Pass, a youth hostel card, and an REI black and red external framed backpack. This was the type of old school backpack you never see anymore. The pack where you would attach your sleeping bag to the bottom with bungee cords. The type of backpack that makes you look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, especially when you are wear a poncho to fend off the English rain.

I remember at SFO watching my checked pack get stuck on the roller belt and seeing the buckle of my hip belt rip off. This is the worst part of the pack to lose because you carry the weight of a pack not on your shoulders but your waist. (My dad had to send a replacement buckle to me in England).

Times have changed and materials have improved becoming lighter yet stronger. While I have used a backpack for, well, backpacking, I have favored a carry-on roller bag for airplane travel.

As the European travel guru Rick Steves notes, no one ever returns from a European trip and wishes they brought more. The same applies to my past travel experiences. I always wonder why I brought that shirt or sweater I never ended up using. I’m always fine tuning my travel kit to find the right balance.

Iceland was a time to return to backpacking. Could I do it after 30 years? I was not 18 anymore. But the packs, clothing, and packing accessories are so much better than when I first backpacked Europe three decades ago.

After some research, I decided on an Osprey pack. I have an Osprey daypack and it is one of the most comfortable packs I own. Osprey was founded in 1974 in Santa Cruz (nice local connection) and well, the osprey is a cool bird! The original business was called Santa Cruz Recreational Packs on River Street. The building now is Down Works.

The Osprey pack that I chose was the Farpoint 40 which is the company’s most popular travel backpack. This tics all the specs to fit in an overhead compartment while providing a large main compartment to hold together your life on the road. How is this done?

The Osprey Farpoint 40.

Because the main compartment has no dividers, compression packing cube are essential for organizing items and compressing them to fit. In one medium cube I can fit one pair of pants and six shirts. In a small cube I could fit one pair of thermal underwear, five pairs of socks, and five pairs of underwear.

The main compartment of the Farpoint 40 with two Thule compression packing cubes and an REI dopp kit. The large mesh pocket to the left holds a rain jacket and pants (average rainfall in Iceland ranges from 50 to 100 inches per year).

Now how does this work on a 15 day trip? Most of my clothing is made of synthetic material which means they are quick drying. So every few days I wash clothes in the sink or bathtub and then dry them on my Sea to Summit travel clothesline and they’re dry in the morning. This saves a lot of space in my bag.

And it sure feels great to travel lightly and not be encumbered by a heavy, unwieldy roller bag.

Iceland here I come!