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Packing is a necessary evil: it’s essential for any trip, but it can be challenging. If you’re ready to travel lighter and easier, keep reading to discover the best ultralight backpacks and add one to your shopping list!


Best Ultralight Backpacks

Written By: Haddie Vawter



Table Of Contents



Whether you’re a hiker, backpacker, or just a traveler, you’ve probably tried to find ways to be more efficient with your packing. If you’re tired of carrying around rolling luggage and want a better way to pack, you’re in the right place.

Ultralight backpacks are the best use of space and are so much easier to carry than luggage or a regular backpack.



Top Picks for the Best Ultralight Backpack


Without further ado, let’s dig into the list of the 11 best ultralight packs! These are in no particular order, but they do range in price, weight, security, and style.




Shop Osprey Farpoint 55 Backpack: Amazon | REI | Osprey


Osprey Farpoint Is One of the Top Ultralight Backpacks


The Farpoint 55 offers a unique two-in-one style. The main compartment is a 40L backpack and it attaches to a 15L detachable day pack for a total space of 55L. When using the two items separately, the two pieces work perfectly for carry-on air travel and make for lighter-weight travel.

Osprey is built to last, which is exactly what you need when you depend on a travel bag to act as a home for all your belongings on a long backpacking trip. Farpoint Osprey packs only weigh 4 pounds which makes them very lightweight bags and speaks to their quality materials.


Read our review on Osprey Farpoint 55 for more details!




Shop Osprey Transporter 36L/22″: Amazon | Osprey


An Ultra Light Bag Like Osprey Transporter Is Perfect for Carry-On


The Osprey Transporter wheeled carry on has 36L of volume and weighs 6.5 lbs, making it one of the top ultralight bags. It’s compact yet super packable, with great organizational features and handy spinner wheels, so it’s ideal for when you want to travel carry on only and keep things light yet practical.  

The benefits of this bag are endless! It features a 16” laptop sleeve, internal pockets and dividers, and can expand up to 5L for extra space. It has a cute, contemporary look, and it’s durable enough to handle the tough wear and tear of traveling for long periods!

The backpack version of this bag – the Osprey Transporter Global – is another top pick that’s also 36L, is super comfy to carry, and features a 16” laptop sleeve and a trolley sleeve!


We’ve compiled a list of the best osprey backpacks so you can pick your favorite one!




Shop Osprey Tempest 20: Amazon | Osprey | REI


Best Lightweight Backpack for Adventure Travel Is Osprey Tempest


Osprey ultralight backpacks are known for their excellent quality, and the Tempest backpack is one of the most popular choices for those who embark on adventurous travels and want reliable durability! 

This backpack is a solid investment, offering 20 liters of space, plenty of pockets, and tons of security for your belongings! And it’s only 1.98 lbs! However, because of the smaller size than some other options, it might be best for a light packer or a shorter trip.


Read this ultralight backpacking gear guide for your next adventure!




High Sierra Loop Backpack


High Sierra Loop Is a Solid Pick for Travel 


High Sierra isn’t always a name you see when talking about hiking gear, but they do have a great ultralight backpack. At a little over 2 pounds it’s a bit on the heavy side, but the Loop is definitely the best High Sierra backpack for travel.

It holds up to 33 liters without looking like a backpacking bag. What makes it a great choice is the tablet sleeve on the inside, perfect for a trip that’s not very tech heavy, but heavy on enjoyment. The price comes in around $39.


Here’s the best hiking gear list for female trekkers!




Venture Pal Hiking Backpack


Venture Pal Is the Best Light Backpack for Budget Seekers


Another tried and trusted brand with TFG readers is Venture Pal. Going for under $40, this ultra light backpack is one to consider if you’re a budget traveler. 

It’s a super easy bag to carry, has a deep and spacious main compartment for packing, and can stow away in its own handy pocket when not in use! This durable nylon pack is just under 0.7 lbs, and the size makes it a great option for light packers or shorter trips.


Take one of the best packing organizers to help you pack lighter!




Shop Eddie Bauer Adventurer Trail: Amazon | Eddie Bauer


Eddie Bauer Ultra Light Backpacks Are Some of the Most Compact


This Eddie Bauer backpack is a compact and straightforward option that’s quite budget-friendly, too! Cute and sporty in style and logical in size, it’s smaller but still highly useful.

It has a spacious main compartment that holds 30 liters, so for an ultra-lightweight backpack, it has more space than you might think! It boasts a low profile design equipped with a FreeCool trampoline airflow back panel, two water bottle pockets, and great organizational features. At only 1.7 lbs, this bag won’t slow you down as you explore!


I’d recommend you also use a backpack cover or a suitcase cover to prevent your bag from getting wet or dirty!




Osprey Kyte 36 Backpack


The Osprey Kyte 36 Pack Is Absolute Comfort


With 36 liters of storage space and the durability Osprey products are known for, the Kyte 36 can handle some serious adventures! 

Comfortable to carry, this bag has a breathable foam backpanel, a hipbelt with pockets, and a comfy, women’s-specific fit. This backpack is incredible for hiking, with attachments for gear, a raincover, two water bottle pockets, and an external reservoir sleeve!


Find out our favorite cute backpacks for travel!




REI Co-op Flash 55 Pack


This REI Pack Hits the Right Travel Notes


REI is a well-known name and this model is one of their top lightweight backpacks. When it comes to ultralight, this bag is a tad bit heavy at just under 3 pounds. But, the style is sleek and practical and it comes in a few neat colors like Castle Rock and Olive Oil.

This pack is around $200. It’s an investment, for sure, but has the makings to completely replace your other luggage or backpacks. Breathable mesh, adjustable straps, and layered compartments make this bag a worthy option.


Check out our tutorial on how to clean a travel backpack!




HMG 2400 Windrider 40 Pack


Go Hardcore With the Windrider 40 Pack


Another pricey option, the sleek and durable Windrider nudges the wallet around $290. It’s not a budget buy, but it’s a force to be reckoned with. They don’t call it the Windrider for nothing!

Completely waterproof and one of the most durable bags out there, this 1-pound, 12-ounce bag is one of the best backpacks under 2 pounds. It’s made for those traveling to a variety of climates: hot, cold, wet, and dry, and it will keep your contents together through it all.

Though it has a lot of strengths, it lacks security with the mesh around the outside. Easy access for you means easy access for others, so take precautions.


We round up the best backpacks for business travel!




Patagonia Ascensionist 35L


Reach New Heights With the Patagonia Ascensionist 35


Coming in at only 1 pound, 15 ounces, this Patagonia ultralight travel backpack could not stay off this list! It holds 35 liters of gear and clothes and is bound tightly by smooth and durable straps to keep everything together.

It has a simple design and style and the fully adjustable straps help this bag become part of you for a week or just a few days. The price is around $189.


It won’t matter if you have straps if your bag is too heavy. Read this guide to learn how to pack light on each and every trip!




Osprey Renn 65 Backpack


One of the Best Ultralight Pack Choices Is the Renn 65


The Renn 65 by Osprey is a bit on the pricier side, at $190, but has outstanding features to justify the price! It’s highly durable and functional while being crazy lightweight at 3.44 lbs! With tons of internal and external pockets, there are plenty of options to store essentials without losing out on space. 

With adjustable straps and breathable mesh on the back, it’s a super comfortable choice. This one is well worth the investment for a backpack that’ll last years of adventures!


If you want more packing help, here’s even one specific suitcase and backpack organizer that allows you to unpack in seconds!




Cotopaxi Allpa Travel Pack 28L


Explore the Outdoors With the Cotopaxi Allpa 28L Lightweight Travel Pack


For your outdoorsy adventures, this Cotopaxi Allpa 28L backpack boasts all the rugged features you’ll need. It’s lightweight, waterproof, and durable as can be, plus a breathable mesh back panel and an adjustable sternum strap offer supreme comfort. Readers also rave about how well-designed this bag is, with a suitcase-style opening, multiple compartments, and plenty of zippered pockets for seamless packing.

This 28L size is perfect if you want to keep it extra light for a quick trip or use it as a carry-on.




Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack


Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Ultralight Backpack for Any Outdoor Adventure


The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L backpack is the ultimate option for the adventurous traveler, with rugged features that’ll keep your gear organized and protected. It’s lightweight, waterproof, highly durable, and comfortable to carry due to its breathable mesh back panel and adjustable sternum strap. Readers say it’s spacious and makes for efficient packing, with a suitcase-style opening, multiple compartments, and plenty of zippered pockets.

It’s sized to easily fit up to 4 days of outfits, and makes an excellent backpacking option or larger carry-on!

Cotopaxi also makes the Allpa 42L backpack. Readers say it’s roomy, and the highlight is its suitcase-style opening, multiple compartments, and plenty of zippered pockets that all make for easy and efficient packing. This 42L size will easily fit 5+ days of clothing, and it works perfectly with packing cubes!



Best Ultralight Backpacks Comparison Chart


[wpsm_comparison_table id=”1″ class=”center-table-align”]



TFG Editor Loves Osprey Ozone Backpack!




Watch this video on choosing the best daypack!



Things to Consider When Shopping for Ultralight Packs


Here are some factors to take into consideration before purchasing.



How to Determine the Best Weight?


Though we all want our belongings to be light as we’re rushing through the airport, we often don’t think about how much the bag itself weighs! 

Did you know that most regular packs weigh up to 5 pounds? That’s 5 pounds–empty! However, ultralight backpacks can weigh just over 1 pound. 

The difference between a few pounds can be astonishing when you start walking for miles. When looking for the best light backpack for travel make sure it’s a comfortable weight—trust me, you’ll notice the difference.


The secret to traveling light is to create a functional but minimalist capsule wardrobe. Learn more in my guide!



What Should You Pay for a Lightweight Pack? 


You should never sacrifice quality for price, but how much is too much? That’s a difficult question to answer, and it’s different for everyone. 

Take into consideration all the factors that are vital such as your travel needs and how many uses you want out of the backpack. Then, make an informed decision before spending more money than you’re comfortable with.



What Security Features Should You Look For?


Safety is, of course, important. The world is a lovely place, but some people take advantage of travelers. Given this reality, there are a few safety features to look for in a bag.

The best ultralight backpacks should have well-built zippers, fully-closed pockets, and secret compartments. Take these into consideration in your search for the right backpack for you. 


Use these anti-theft travel accessories to protect your belongings!



How to Choose an Overall Style?


As logical and as practical as an ultralight backpack might be, it still needs to fit your individual style. There’s no use in spending money on a high-quality item that you’ll never use, right?

The best light travel backpack is one that you like the look of. If you love the style and design of your bag, you’ll enjoy using it more!


Need some more specifics? Here are the most important features to consider when choosing a travel backpack!




Left: Compass Rose Medium Packing Cubes (13″ x 8.5″ x 2.8″) | Right: Compass Rose Slim Packing Cubes (13″ x 5″ x 2.8″)


Packing Your Ultralight Backpack


It’s time to pack your clothing to prepare for your big trip! Many readers use our packing cubes for this task.

The Compass Rose Packing Cubes are now offered in two sizes: slim and medium. The slim size cubes measure 13 x 5 x 2.8, and the medium size cubes measure 2.8 x 13 x 8.5. Both fit an international carry-on suitcase and can help you organize and compress clothing items. The medium sizes is great for bulkier items.

If you’d like more help on learning how to use packing cubes, see the video below.



Watch this video to start learning how to organize with packing cubes!


We also put together a five-part YouTube series showing the different methods to use packing cubes for travel. If you use this specific packing strategy, packing cubes can also compress your belongings. This method has helped many women travel carry-on only!



What do you think are the best ultralight backpacks for travel? Share in the comments!


Read more about travel backpacks:






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Author Bio: Haddie’s a risk taker. She’s living a frugal life, planning to retire early, and plans to be lost in a national park someday for good. She has traveled to 6 countries and has been lost in each of them. Read more about her at her blog: To Dare Greatly.