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The Lightweight Backpack Progression and Reviews

Updated: Jul 9

Hiking is a great way to explore the outdoors and stay active, but it's important to have the right gear to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. One essential piece of equipment is a lightweight backpack, which can make all the difference when it comes to your hiking experience.

Lightweight Backpacks

Osprey Exos 58

Zpacks Arch Haul

SPECS:

58L

2 Lbs 10 oz

Load Capacity: 35 Lbs

Material: Denier

SPECS:

57L

1 Lb. 7 oz

Load Capacity: 35 Lbs

Material: Dyneema 3.1 oz/sqyd

SPECS:

55L

2 Lbs 15 oz

Load capacity: 40 Lbs

Material: Dyneema 5.0 oz/sqyd

INTRO:

My first pack in the Lightweight quest. Got 1200+ miles out of it until I needed to explore a new fix for ultralightous disease. There was nothing wrong with it. Just wanted to try and go lighter. It’s a great pack.

INTRO:

My attempt to lighten my load for the JMT. Did a few other hikes after the JMT and decided to upgrade after 400+ miles.

INTRO:

Decided to go with another Dyneema pack, but went with a HMG model. Its twice the weight as the Zpacks, but more durable and able to carry more gear if need be. The Black Junction is a thicker Dyneema. I figured I was going to use this pack for a long time and wanted more durability.

Still using this pack after 500+ miles

PROS:

  • Good back ventilation

  • Good capacity

  • Comfortable belt and arm straps

  • You can take the top Lid off to make it lighter

  • Water Bladder Compatible

PROS:

  • Very Light

  • Good back ventilation

  • Repels water well

  • Side pockets are easy to access as you go

PROS:

  • Repels water well

  • High Quality

  • Adjustable capacity

  • Large Hip Pockets

  • Well balanced when you put your pack down it stays standing up

  • Water Bladder Compatible

  • Large mesh pocket on the outside. Great for keeping wet gear

CONS:

  • Needs a rain cover

  • Osprey stop making this model

CONS:

  • Very noisy. As you get close to the comfortable weight compacity the carbon fiber support rods start to squeak. And after miles of this it drives you nuts.

  • Limited capacity due to the Arch in the back.

  • You need to plan out your gear location in the pack, items tend to dig into your lower back.

  • Hip Pockets are an add-on

  • No way to use a water bladder system with this pack


CONS:

  • No back ventilation

  • Side pockets are difficult to get water bottles in and out on the go.

In conclusion, a lightweight backpack is an essential piece of gear for any hiker. It can help reduce strain on your back and shoulders. When planning your next hike, make sure to prioritize a lightweight backpack and enjoy a more comfortable and enjoyable hiking experience.

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