Lighter gear means you can go farther and longer on your hiking adventures.
Backpacks are no exception, but there needs to be a balance between weight and comfort. The absolute lightest pack may give your legs a break, but it could also chafe your shoulders and dig into your back. Heavier bags weigh a ton, but all that padding makes them feel like a La-Z-Boy recliner.
What you need is a lightweight backpack that doesn’t sacrifice comfort or space for ounces. Below are a few suggestions that have enough room for your next adventure, whether it’s a weekend trip or a week-long thru-hike. These packs are nice and light, but won’t test your patience with sharp objects stabbing your kidneys.
Matador Beast28 – $90
Matador’s bestselling pack, the Beast28, doesn’t feel like much at just 20 oz. It packs down into a compression sack the size of a water bottle for storage and travel, but has all the features of a full backpack with a frame. With 28 liters of space, you have plenty of room to pack for a long day or a even a weekend if you skip the third pair of socks.
If you need something even smaller and lighter, Matador’s 10-liter Hydrolite is only 18 oz and comes with a water reservoir and inline filter.
Osprey Levity 45 – $310
Osprey’s latest creation, the 45-liter Levity, is the brand’s lightest. Super-thin NanoFly fabric covers and protects the pack without weighing it down. The suspended Airspeed back panel keeps the gear away from your body and your back well-ventilated. Comfortable mesh shoulder straps and small hip belts strap the load in place. Although you have the room to pack sufficient backpacking gear for a week, the Levity only weighs 29 oz.
Gregory Optic 58 – $210
For those that want a few more features in a lightweight pack, the Optic 58 from Gregory is best. Stow smaller gear in deep side pockets, the stretchy mesh front pocket, or the removable top pocket. Tuck your sunglasses in the Quickstow loop on the shoulder strap and grab the nifty rain cover when the shower starts. A thick hip belt holds everything in place comfortably. The best part? This pack is only 40 oz.
Mountainsmith Scream 55 – $160
To create the Scream 55 — which clocks in at 36 oz — Mountainsmith took an ultralight pack and added layers of durability (high tenacity Robic fabric) and comfort (padded hip belts and shoulder straps). A touch heavier than some options at 36 oz, the Scream The backpack has for durability and big . Access all your gear quickly with the big U-zip and dual accessory pouches on the front, both of which are conveniently the exact same size as of one of the brand’s Mountain Shelter LT Tarps. Simple hip belt adjustments make it easy to get the right fit.