The Best Lightweight Backpacks

The Best Lightweight Backpacks
For most hikers and backpackers, performance and weight can be mutually exclusive; those who are looking for more features generally have to accept a heavier pack. Luckily for people who enjoy the outdoors, lighter materials and continuing innovations of design have allowed packs to get lighter without diminishing features. Whether you hike, adventure race, or simply want to enjoy the outdoors without spending a lot of money, there are plenty of options for people looking for lightweight backpacks.

The Racer

Adventure racers and ultra marathoners have to fill their packs with nutrition and hydration without adding on excess weight to slow them down; and Nathan Human Propulsion Labs has designed a hydration pack to suit their needs. Nathan's Synergy racing pack is an adventure vest weighing just over 1 pound (19.3 ounces), and features a dual-bladder system that carries water separate from electrolytes, with a potency dial that allows wearers to control the water/electrolyte ratio. Zippered mesh pockets on the sides and back of the Synergy allow racers to carry additional sport gels as well as store jackets, gloves and other necessities while they on the run.

2009 Elmwood Avenue
Sharon Hill, PA 19079
(800) 523-2844


The Innovator

One of the lightest internal-frame backpacks available, Osprey's Exos 34 backpack is a great example of lightweight utility. At just under 2 pounds, the Exos 34 provides comfort when bearing a load. The Exos 34 uses an aluminum-framed Airspeed Suspension System and copious amounts of mesh ventilation to keep wearers comfortable, and the die-cut foam straps stretch and move with you
instead of restricting movement.

115 Progress Circle
Cortez, CO 81321
(970) 564-5900

The Bargain

Many hikers want to be able to gear up for a minimal investment, and High Sierra Sporting Company's Summit 45L pack allows them to use a premium pack at a discount price. The Summit 45L features an aluminum internal frame, sleeping bag compartment, hydration bladder compatibility, and 2.750 cubic inches of space in a pack that weighs less than 5 pounds.

High Sierra Sports Company
880 Corporate Woods Parkway
Vernon Hills, IL 60061
(800) 323-9590


Article Written By Billy Brown

Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California. An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight,", and, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.