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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.

 

 

best-ultralight-backpacks

Farpoint Jasper Red Travel Backpack

 

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 2 pounds which makes them very lightweight bags and speaks to their quality materials.

 

Read our review on Osprey Farpoint 55 for more details!

 

 

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Osprey Transporter Carry-On 36L/22″

 

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!

 

 

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Osprey Sirrus 24

 

Best Lightweight Backpack for Adventure Travel Is Osprey Sirrus

 

Osprey ultralight backpacks are known for their excellent quality, and the Sirrus 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 24 liters of space, plenty of pockets, and tons of security for your belongings! And it’s only 2.5 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!

 

 

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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. Price comes in around $35.

 

Here’s the best hiking gear list for female trekkers

 

 

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Marmot Kompressor Comet Backpack

 

Marmot Kompressor Comet Is the Best Light Backpack for Budget Seekers

 

Another tried and trusted brand with TFG readers is Marmot. Going for $45, this Kompressor Comet 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 6 ounces, 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!

 

 

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Burton Day Hiker Backpack

 

Burton Ultra Light Backpacks Are Some of the Most Compact

 

This Burton 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 25 liters, so for an ultra lightweight backpack, it has more space than you might think! It boasts a low profile design with an ergonomic shoulder harness, two water bottle pockets, and great organizational features. At only 1.6 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!

 

 

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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!

 

 

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REI Co-op Flash 55 Pack

 

This REI Pack Hits the Right Travel Notes

 

REI is a well-known name and this is 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!

 

 

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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 in 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 40L

 

Reach New Heights With the Patagonia Ascensionist 40

 

Coming in at only 2 pounds, 5 ounces, this Patagonia ultralight travel backpack could not stay off this list! It holds 40 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 $179.

 

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!

 

 

best-ultralight-backpacks

Osprey Lumina 60

 

One of the Best Ultralight Pack Choices Is the Lumina 60

 

The Lumina 60 by Osprey is a bit on the pricier side, at $270, but has outstanding features to justify the price! It’s highly durable and functional, while being crazy lightweight at 1.9 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 throughout 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!

 

 

Best Ultralight Backpacks Comparison Chart

 

BRAND | MODEL WEIGHT FEATURES | REVIEWS RATING | PRICE
Osprey Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack 2 pounds Farpoint Osprey packs only weigh 2 pounds which makes them very lightweight bags and speaks to their quality materials. Check Price
Osprey Transporter Carry-On 36L/22″ 6.5 pounds 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! Check Price
Osprey Sirrus 24 2.04 pounds This backpack is a solid investment, offering 24 liters of space, plenty of pockets, and tons of security for your belongings! And it’s only 2.5 lbs! However, because of the smaller size than some other options, it might be best for a light packer or a shorter trip. Check Price
High Sierra Loop Backpack 2.04 pounds This backpack has a capacity of 33L, weighs 2.04 pounds and is also an ultralight laptop backpack. Check Price
Marmot Kompressor Comet Backpack 6 ounces 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 6 ounces, and the size makes it a great option for light packers or shorter trips. Check Price
Burton Day Hiker Backpack 1.6 pounds It has a spacious main compartment that holds 25 liters, so for an ultra lightweight backpack, it has more space than you might think! It boasts a low profile design with an ergonomic shoulder harness, two water bottle pockets, and great organizational features. At only 1.6 lbs, this bag won’t slow you down as you explore! Check Price
Osprey Kyte 36 Backpack 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! Check Price
REI Co-op Flash 55 Pack 3 pounds Breathable mesh, adjustable straps, and layered compartments make this bag a worthy option. Check Price
HMG 2400 Windrider 40 Pack 1-pound, 12-ounces Completely waterproof and one of the most durable bags out there. Check Price
Patagonia Ascensionist 45 2 pounds, 3 ounces This pack 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. Check Price
Osprey Lumina 60 1.9 pounds 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 throughout years of adventures! Check Price

 

 

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!

 

 

best-ultralight-backpacks

Compass Rose Packing Cubes

 

Packing Your Ultralight Backpack

 

Once you’ve chosen from the list of top lightweight backpacks, use packing cubes and other luggage organizers to organize and compress your clothing tightly to make the most of less space!

It’s easy to organize—you can slide your packing cubes in vertically to save a ton of space packing. Packing cubes not only organize stuff well, but they’re also easy-to-clean, which is perfect for your backpacking trip.

There are a variety of packing organizers ranging from compression sacks to packing cubes to ziplock bags. Personally, we like using these packing cubes and our readers agree. They’ve helped millions of our readers travel carry-on only!

 

Watch the packing tutorial on Youtube!

 

We put together a five-part YouTube series showing you the different methods to use packing cubes. If you use this specific packing strategy, they can help compress your belongings. This is the secret to traveling carry-on only!

 

Buy Compass Rose Packing Cubes here!

 

 


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


 

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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.