Quick Recommendations:

  • Osprey Sirrus Hiking Pack
  • Zpacks Arc Blast 55l
  • hyperlite-mountain-gear-2400-southwest hiking pack
  • Osprey Exos 48l backpacking pack
  • Osprey Lumina/Levity 45l

If you are short on time, check out this list of recommended lightweight hiking packs below or scroll down to see a broader overview of each pack.

Below is an overview of each lightweight hiking pack with the pros and cons. When it comes to choosing the right hiking pack for you, you will need to consider a few additional things. These things are weight, comfort level, price, features, and yes size does matter too. More on that some other time.

First, let’s have a look at my pack and what I like and don’t like about it.

My Hiking Pack – The Osprey Sirrus 50l

Lightweight hiking packs: Osprey Sirrus Hiking Pack

In 2019, I purchased the Osprey Sirrus 50 Women’s Pack (black). Why? I actually wanted to buy the Osprey Exos 48L, but stock and time constraints needed me to choose a different pack. Looking back, I am very happy with my choice. It is one of the top lightweight hiking packs available worldwide and offers some additional comfort that many ultralight packs don’t have. Plus the price wasn’t all too bad either.

The Osprey Sirrus 50 has some additional features and weighs a reasonable 1.63kg,  a little more than the Osprey Exos 48 at 1.15kg. The alternative for men is the Osprey Stratos 50.

Before this pack, I carried a Jack Wolfskin that weighed 2.3kg on its own. That was my first ever backpack and travelled with me around the world. When hiking became a more serious hobby, I decided it was time for a decent upgrade in comfort. You don’t always have to start with the lightest or best pack, but if you are serious about hiking, spending a little more at the beginning can save you lots in the end.

What I like:

  • The hip pockets. The new Exos doesn’t have them anymore.
  • Ventilated back support system.
  • Super comfortable.
  • Good size brain.
  • Plenty of pockets.
  • Just the right amount of packing space.

What I don’t like:

  • At 1.63kg, it is still a bit too heavy for my liking

Now, let’s have a look at some of the popular alternative lightweight hiking packs.

Osprey Exos and Osprey Eja 48l

Lightweight hiking packs: Osprey Exos 48l backpacking pack

The Osprey Exos is by far one of the most popular lightweight hiking packs around the world. One of the reasons is because it is widely accessible, the brand has a good reputation and is one of the lightest backpacks in the Osprey range. Of course, there are lighter hiking packs on the market, but the Exos offers a great mix between comfort and weight. The female equivalent of the Exos is the Osprey Eja.

Both these backpacks are available in a 39L, 48L and 58L. Depending on how long your hiking adventure is, you might want to consider a smaller or larger version. However, I would recommend the 48L because this will give you a wide window of hiking adventures to plan for. EXTRA TIP: if you buy a backpack that has a larger capacity than needed, chances are you will end up packing more than you need. This means unnecessary extra weight.

What I like:

  • Perfect mix between weight and comfort.
  • The back support system.
  • Very comfortable on the hips and the shoulders.
  • Stretchable front pocket.
  • Just the right amount of packing space.

What I don’t like:

  • No hip pockets on the latest model
  • Would be nice if the material was waterproof

Zpacks Arc Blast 55l – Ultralight

Lightweight hiking packs: Zpacks Arc Blast 55l

Zpacks is a specialised brand, designing ultra-light alternatives that offer good quality as well. They are becoming well known around the world for their custom made products and high-quality materials.

The Zpacks Arc Blast 50l is one of their best selling lightweight hiking packs, at just under US$300. It weighs less than 600g. For a 50l pack that is about as light as you will find them.

What I like:

  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Rolltop system
  • Durable and quality material
  • Side pockets
  • Add-ons available

What I don’t like:

  • Only available in the US

Osprey Lumina and Osprey Levity 45l

Lightweight hiking packs: Osprey Lumina/Levity 45l

Another Osprey backpack, the Lumina/Levity is a lightweight hiking pack for lighter loads. Ideally, this backpack is for loads with a maximum of 10kg. In other words, this pack is good if you have a base weight of around 5kg. If you are planning to pack more or unsure, I would recommend opting for the Osprey Exos/Eja.

The pack weighs only 800g and offers you to size up to a 60l if 45l is a bit too small. The Levity is designed for men, while the Lumina is specifically designed for women. I always recommend professional fitting in store, because no pack fits all. It is important to find the right fit for you!

The difference between the Lumina/Levity packs and the Exos/Eja is how much it is designed to carry. As mentioned above, the Lumina/Levity can only carry up to 10kg. The Exos/Eja can carry up to 20kg.

What I like:

  • The front stretchable pocket.
  • Top lid has attachment points.
  • Lightweight @800g.

What I don’t like:

  • The heavier the load, the less comfortable it wears.
  • I wish there was a size in between the 45l and 60l.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 40l or 55l

hyperlite-mountain-gear-2400-southwest-Lightweight hiking packs

Hyperlite Mountain Gear designs ultra-lightweight hiking and backpacking equipment. Based in the US they are a specialised brand. The Hyperlite Southwest is specifically designed to be ultra-lightweight and waterproof. They are frequently sighted in the US on long-distance trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail.

This pack carries light loads comfortably and weighs on its own only 910g (55l) or 852g (40l). For the best experience, you can purchase add-on pods and stuff sacks. They make it easier to organise your packing. This is my preferred backpack for future long-distance hikes.

Product details:
40L – 2400 Southwest
50L – 3400 Southwest

What I like:

  • Ultra-lightweight and durable.
  • Waterproof pack.
  • Add-ons are available.
  • Rolldown top.

What I don’t like:

  • Only available in the US.
  • No load-lifter adjustments.
  • On the expensive side.

Cheap Lightweight Hiking Packs: Quechua Adult Mountain Hiking Backpack 40l

Lightweight hiking packs: Quechua Mountain 40l

Quechua offers a very cheap alternative for beginner hikers. Designed by their mountain team, this lightweight hiking pack offers comfort and ventilation. The simple design ensures the weight stays low at only 1.1kg.

The Quechua Adult Mountain Hiking pack might be for you if you are exploring if backpacking is something you will love doing, or if it is only a one-time experience. Without the cost, this backpack offers great value for first-time hikers. Of course, an alternative for beginners is to rent your equipment, but more on that in another post.

It is available in a 40l capacity, which is good for an overnight hike. You might want to consider a larger pack if you want to go on a longer hike. Unfortunately, there is only one size for this backpack. Other trekking backpacks are available at Decathlon, but this is their lightest and cheapest option.

What I like:

  • Hip pocket.
  • Cheap alternative for beginners.
  • Lightweight @1.1kg.
  • Simple design.
  • Water bladder pocket and hose connection.
  • 10-year abrasion resistance guarantee.

What I don’t like:

  • Material is not very stretchable.
  • Only available in 40l.
  • Not adjustable in size.

Do you know any other lightweight hiking pack that is highly recommended? I would love to find out. Please let me know in the comments below :D.

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