Ultralight backpacks are always on the hunt for the next top lightweight gear. The lower the weight, the less calories burned, and the less cramps you feel along the way. It’s also a great way to see how capable you are of handling an intense scenario with less and less belongings. What better way to start off your equipment than with the best ultralight backpack?
Since your pack is the base foundation of all of your backpacking gear, it’s important to start light. That doesn’t mean you should sacrifice durability though. We’ve gone over as many review blogs, YouTube videos, and social media posts to find the best ultralight backpacks in the world. If you’re in the market for a new set of equipment, you’ll love what’s in store throughout the list below!
This list is compiled of the best lightweight packs around, but that doesn’t mean that they’re in any particular order. Pick out whichever one suits your needs the best and have a blast on the trails ahead!
Prefer two-wheels? Check out our Cycling Backpack review.
View The Best Ultralight Backpack Below
1. Outlander Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack
The Outlander Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack takes a new spin on a classic style. It’s a great daypack for short trips, whether you’re hiking for the full day or just a small morning walk. The breathable material prevents your back from sweating while also keeping the rain out in case the weather turns ugly.
You’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of different colors such as Orange, Dark Red, Pink, Purple, and all sorts of other options. Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll get a free carabiner included with the purchase. This always you to hang dry clothes or carry extra gear strapped to your new backpack.
Durability is a key point, and honestly many of us backpackers get worried when it comes to lightweight gear because of it. That being said, Outlander has done a wonderful job at producing a waterproof, rip-resistant pack that you can carry with you wherever you go, in whatever weather you experience.
+ Comes in a wide variety of colors and designs
+ Includes a free carabiner for extra gear or drying clothes
+ Rip-resistant and waterproof throughout the bag
Why We Like It – We like this Outlander ultra-lightweight backpack because it can carry loads of gear without weighing more than half a pound. It’s perfect for day hikes and afternoon strolls.
Related: Hiking Gear for Rain.
2. Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack
Osprey is a fairly well-known brand in the outdoor industry, so it should be no surprise that their Ultralight Stuff hiking pack comes in at #2 on the list. It’s got all of the essentials we could ask for in a daypack, including a low-profile design, snug shoulder straps, and 18 liters of storage to place all of your gear.
While it doesn’t have as many different color combinations to choose from, you can still have your own unique feeling with this one. Electric Lime, Poppy Orange, Shadow Grey, and Tropic Teal offer you the perfect look to match your hiking style. When you’re all done using it, you can pack it up into the provided carrying case.
The nylon material used throughout the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack is rip-resistant, which is rare when it comes to backpacks weighing only 4 ounces. Store your water bottle in the side pouch and you’ll be left with more than enough space to pack everything else you need for a nice day trip.
+ Comes in an assortment of unique colors
+ Super lightweight at only 4 ounces
+ Includes a carrying pouch to store the backpack when it’s not in use
Why We Like It – We like this Osprey pack because you can keep in stored without using much space at all. The fact that it’s just under 4 ounces is absolutely mind-boggling!
3. TETON Sports Ultralight Backpacks
Another huge brand in the backpacking world is Teton Sports. The new Teton Sports Ultralight Backpacks have taken the industry by storm with a 60-liter pack that weight just over 2 pounds! While most competitors struggle to keep their products down to 5 pounds, Teton Sports has set the standard to be nearly unmatchable.
There are four different setups to choose from when you’re ready to pick out your new backpack. These options include Escape 4300 (70 liters), Hiker 3700 (60 liters), Hiker 3700 R (60 liters), and Outfitter 4600 (65 liters). The colors come out to the lime green, navy blue, red, and light navy blue, respectively.
These backpacks are internal frames, which means the support all comes from within the backpack instead of a frame on the outside. A chest strap helps distribute the weight evenly across your whole torso instead of constantly tugging down on your shoulders. Several exterior pouches give you tons of room for extra accessories.
+ Made by one of the best brands in the industry
+ Several different styles and sizes to choose from
+ Internal frame backpack to evenly distribute weight
Why We Like It – We like this ultralight backpack from Teton Sports because it breaks all expectations of the toughness that lightweight gear can have. At just over two pounds, you’ll have much more room for extra resources.
4. TETON Sports Ultralight Plus Backpacks
For those who want a lot more comfort and support, the Teton Sports Ultralight Plus Backpacks are worth looking into. They come with a fully-padded back section to keep your muscles feeling fresh and cushioned throughout your adventure. The foam is breathable to prevent sweat and moisture buildup as well.
As we all know, style is definitely an important feature with backpacking gear. The four style options with this backpack are Grand 5500 (90 liters), Mountain Adventurer 4000 (66 liters), Rock 1800 (30 liters), and Talus 2700 (44 liters). Each backpack has its own unique style and storage pouch combination.
A chest and a waist strap provide additional support to create less stress from the shoulder straps. With the aforementioned back pad, you’ll feel like you’re barely wearing anything on your back at all! Several gear straps on the outside, as well as interior pockets, give you unlimited storage options to set everything up as you wish.
+ Choose from one of four different sizes and styles
+ Comes with extra foam back padding and support straps
+ Includes loads of additional storage pockets and other areas
Why We Like It – These backpacks are the definition of tough. They’re exactly what any lightweight backpacker would love to bring along on one of the great long-distance backpacking trails
5. G4Free Lightweight Packable Water Resistant Large 40L
If you often find yourself being cut short by the lack of storage from traditional daypacks, read out what we’ve discovered about the G4Free Lightweight Packable Water Resistant backpack. As the name states, it boasts a 40-liter capacity, which is far more than pretty much any other normal daypack on the internet.
Colors range dramatically, including selections like Gray & Blue, Orange & Red, Purple & Red, and Yellow & Green. Each color scheme has corresponding zippers and straps to further increase the visual appeal. They all pack down into a small zippered pouch for easy storage whenever you’re done with the trip.
Much like some of the other backpacks on the list, this one is rip-resistant and waterproof from top to bottom. You won’t have to worry about snags on tree branches or tearing after natural wear and tear. Even the additional gear straps throughout the pack are made out of durable material to keep them intact.
+ Choose from one of the many different color options
+ Packs down into a compact little pouch for easy storage
+ Made out of durable, long-lasting, ultra-lightweight materials
Why We Like It – We like this backpack because it gives you so much more room than most other daypacks. The lack of weight doesn’t sacrifice durability, which is a must these days.
6. HIKPRO 20L Packable Backpack
One of the new lightweight backpacks that have been taking the industry by storm is the HIKPRO 20L Packable Backpack. The simplistic design is almost more appealing than some of the other flashy options, depending on your personal style. A single zipper on the front has enough room for snacks and extra gear you might need.
Navy Blue, Black, and Purple are the three solid-color choices available should you choose this backpack. They all come with a water bottle pouch on either side on the product, as well as a couple of gear straps for external storage. A couple of bungee cords, zip ties, paracord, or a carabiner would all do the trick.
The bottom of the bag is supported by a double layer of fabric to prevent rips and tears that usually seem to happen a few months in. It’s also water-resistant, which is a fantastic addition to prevent all of your belongings from taking a swim if the weather turns bad. The backpack is supported in 14 different locations to prevent any possible accidents down the road.
+ Simplistic design that includes three solid-color options
+ Reinforced throughout the backpack, including the double layered bottom
+ 20 liters of internal storage capacity, as well as two exterior water bottle pouches
Why We Like It – We like these backpacks because they’re just about as sturdy as lightweight packs can be. With the sleek design, you’ll maintain a low profile while storing everything you need.
7. Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG Backpacks
Another Osprey on the list is their Men’s Atmos 65 AG Backpacks. This pack might honestly be the most breathable option on the list. With a special support system that’s dotted with holes to prevent sweat, heat buildup, and discomfort, it’s truly one of the most comfortable lightweight backpacks that we could find.
Choose between Graphite Grey and Cinnabar Red, with sizes ranging from 62 liters, 65 liters, and 68 liters. The shoulder straps are supported by a chest buckle and a waist buckle. The waist buckle also has a small pocket for a camera, tripod, phone, or other compact supplies on both sides of the backpack.
The massive interior storage area has a hydration reservoir, so you can carry loads of water along with you. Unbuckle the top pouch that doubles as storage covering to prevent water from dampening its contents. The drawstring keeps it all tightened up, further stopping anything from falling out.
+ Comes with tons of storage options
+ Includes a built-in hydration reservoir to store extra water
+ Several buckles and support straps to distribute weight
Why We Like It – We like this Osprey lightweight backpack because it’s super durable and comes with enough storage capacity for any adventurer.
8. Osprey Packs Daylite Daypack
Heading back to daypacks, the final Osprey on the list is the Osprey Packs Daylite Daypack. It’s designed as a super durable version of other daypacks that compact down into a small pouch. However, this one doesn’t condense as much due to the supportive back and shoulder pads. The compromise is well worth it for many hikers looking for an additional cushion to reduce the chance of back pain.
The color spectrum is huge with the Osprey Daylite backpack. These colors include Dark Blue Orange, Tahoe Blue, Stone Grey & Sage, and Magma Orange & Red. There are a plethora of other choices as well, so take your time figuring out which color combination best fits with the rest of your gear.
Mesh and nylon combine to make a durable, flexible backpack that won’t build up all that nearly inevitable back sweat from a long hike. Mesh compartments on the side let you store water bottles of pretty much any size, as well as other hiking essentials you might find that you need before you head out.
+ Comes in a wide variety of different color combinations
+ Designed to last long and keep you comfortable the whole time
+ Includes side mesh pockets, a front mesh pocket, and a key organizer
Why We Like It – We love this Osprey backpack because it takes all of the features that us backpackers look for in ultralight gear and puts it together for a perfect daypack.
9. Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Backpack
Have you been on the hunt for a budget-friendly ultralight backpack lately? If so, the Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Backpack is something you should definitely consider. It’s designed with all of the best features in its price range, without sacrificing durability or convenience like some of the other brands around seem to.
Keeping your appearance looking unique on the trail not only makes you feel like you stand out, but it also helps if you lose your backpack in an airport or any other public location. The bright color styles that this daypack comes in include White Leaf, Fuchsia, Purple Leaf, Navy Blue, and a few other options.
Two-way zippers make this pack easy to open and great for preventing those dreaded zipper snags we’ve all had to deal with. This backpack is also water and rip-resistant since it’s made out of nylon. When you’re all done for the day, it condenses down to a much smaller size that you can store away in the provided pouch.
+ All sorts of color combinations for you to choose
+ Perfect for last-minute day hikes and lightweight backpackers
+ Includes a storage pouch to take up less space in the closet
Why We Like It – We like these backpacks so much because it can be challenging to find high-quality, budget-friendly daypacks these days. Luckily, we knew we had to include this one on the list the minute we saw it!
10. TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack
The Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack marks the final addition to this list. Although it’s all the way at the end, it’s certainly not something you should pass over. In fact, many backpackers use this classic model as their go-to pack for any and all occasions. The overall comfort is welcomed after hours or days on the trail.
The cushioned shoulder straps are made even better thanks to the addition of a chest strap and an ultra-tough waist strap. Every single bit of material that you deal with on the Scout 3400 backpack has breathable padding to allow for maximum airflow. You can even adjust the internal frame itself depending on your height.
Three colors, Coyote Tan, Mecca Orange, and Hunter Green are available for you to choose from. This 55-liter backpack can store any and all extra gear you might need during your multi-day backpacking trip. It’s great for both men and women since the height and width of every strap can be adjusted to suit the wearer’s needs.
+ Three different colors are available for you to choose
+ Several adjustable straps and buckles to fit you perfectly
+ Comes with 55 liters of storage capacity for all of your backpacking needs
Why We Like It – We love pretty much everything that Teton Sports puts out, including the Scout 3400. It’s perfect for anyone on any backpacking occasion, which is why it’s more than deserving of this spot on the list.
Ultralight Backpack Buyer’s Guide
After checking out all of the best ultralight backpacks on the list, you can almost feel your new backpack right now! However, we wanted to supply you with a little bit more knowledge before you make your move. After all, you should be 100% satisfied with what you get! To help you along the way, we’ve created a buyer’s guide with the most commonly asked questions about ultralight backpacks.
How many liters should an ultralight backpack be?
The constant debate that lightweight backpackers have is how many liters do you actually need? Well, the truth is that it varies depending on the situation. If you’re really persistent and dedicated to lightening things up, a daypack can be about 20 liters or less. This’ll be enough for snacks, a few accessories, and maybe a shirt if you need an extra change of clothes. Water is, of course, going to fit as well.
However, multi-day backpacking trips can vary dramatically. If you’re going through three or more days on a trail, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get a 90-liter backpack. The most important thing you should do is to check the overall weight of the pack before you buy it. If you’re getting a 7-pound backpack, that’s a serious dent in your overall limit. All of the products on this list use well under 7 pounds though, so you should be fine with whichever choice you make.
Do brands matter in the backpacking industry?
Yes and no. There’s a reason that companies like Osprey and Teton Sports have shot to the top of nearly every outdoorsman’s list of valuable, high-quality products. That being said, it’s always important to give the underdog a chance. Many of our list’s brands are too well-known, which means they have similar quality but much lower prices. If you want to stick to what’s proven, try out the aforementioned brands. If you want to give something new a try, why not go for it?
Set an overall weight limit for your supplies before you buy anything at all. A backpack should be the first piece of gear you purchase so you know what you’ll have left.
Did You Know?
Many of the backpacks you see on the list can double as daypacks or multiday backpacks. If you want a budget-friendly option, a pack meant just for a single day is great. On the other hand, if you want to do both day backpacking and multiday trips, bigger packs like the Scout 3400 and the Ultralight Backpacks from Teton Sports are perfect for the job.
A lot of these bigger backpacks can condense down to smaller daypacks thanks to the multiple straps and buckles that they have. Whatever you choose, make sure you’re comfortable with your pick and ready to plan your first trip with your new ultralight backpack!