Best Lightweight Backpacks

7 Best Lightweight Backpacks for Women & Men

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Osprey 24/Seven Daylite Lightweight Backpack

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Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack

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MrPlum 25L Foldable Rucksack

Are you planning a leisurely ramble through the woods or a more strenuous day walk across meadows and fields?

If so, the best lightweight backpack your money can buy will be essential in keeping  weight to a minimum without having to compromise your kit.

No doubt you’ll have a list of favourite items to take with you so picking a lite weight backpack that can be slung over your shoulder and worn comfortably all day is a priority.

Your walks should not be hindered by your walking gear.

A well designed and practical lightweight shoulder pack is one of the key items of equipment to invest in along with a decent pair of walking shoes and boots.

The outdoor life should be enjoyed so whatever your walking goals are, we are here to help guide you on getting the right equipment.

For more ways to enjoy your walks check out some of our other WalkingNinja guides:

The Osprey 24/Seven Daylite Backpack

  • Weight: 0.45kg
  • Volume: 13L
  • Max Dimensions: 46cm(L)x24cm(W)x22cm(D)
  • Pros: Internal padded pockets, removable hip belt, expandable outer pocket, waterproof material.
  • Cons: Small water bottle holsters on each side.

Soarpop Ultralight Backpack

  • Weight: Approx. 1kg
  • Volume: 40L
  • Max Dimensions: 30cm(L)x20cm(W)x47cm(D)
  • Pros: Water resistant, unfold to expand storage, plenty of storage pockets and clips, descent lumbar support.
  • Cons: Not completely waterproof.

Camel 40L Lightweight Backpack

  • Weight: 1.2kg
  • Volume: 40L
  • Max Dimensions: 34cm(L)x20cm(W)x58cm(D)
  • Pros: Plenty of storage pockets, hanging and clip straps, water resistant, breathable honeycomb back panel for comfort.
  • Cons: Can’t find any!

Trespass Neroli Backpack

  • Weight: Approx 0.6kg
  • Volume: 28L
  • Pros: Mesh front and side pockets, internal organiser pocket, headphone access point, zippered main compartment, padded shoulder straps.
  • Cons: Basic storage.

Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack

  • Weight: 0.09kg
  • Volume: 18L
  • Max Dimensions:
  • Pros: Zippered stash pocket, internal security pocket, mesh side pocket for water bottle, folds down into its own carry bag.
  • Cons: Small shoulder straps for bigger people.

G4Free 40L Ultra Lightweight Backpack

  • Weight: 450g
  • Volume: 40L
  • Max Dimensions: 34cm(L)x20cm(W)x58cm(D)
  • Pros: Tear & water resistant fabric, folds down to a small carry bag, padded back strap, main plus 2 zipped compartments, 2 bottles pouches.
  • Cons: Not waterproof, no back support when full.

MrPlum 25L Foldable Rucksack

  • Weight: 270g
  • Volume: 25L
  • Max Dimensions: 43cm(L)x30cm(W)x20cm(D)
  • Pros:Foldable to carry bag, water & tear resistant material, 2 bottle pockets, 2 zippered pockets, 2 inner pockets plus main compartment.
  • Cons: Not built for everyday use.

Important Lightweight Backpack Considerations

Your Activities

These lightweight backpacks for women and men are recommended for you based on their design and popularity. As with all backpacks, there are compromises to be made when choosing lightweight over sturdy, heavy gage materials. Decide what sort of backpack you need to buy by looking at your regular routes and consider how the backpack needs to work for you on those walks. Do you need capacity or simply a smaller lightweight backpack that can carry your basic essentials? Maybe you need a lightweight daypack that can clip to a larger rucksack for your more adventurous journeys later in your hiking calendar.

What Price Should You Pay?

Nobody likes to pay over the odds for a backpack, especially if you are only looking for one for the occasional weekend walk. Whenever you invest in something like this it is important to review your needs and pay what you should as opposed to paying what you can. Shop around and read reviews of backpacks like this to help guide your purchase.

Weight

It is with you all day so choosing the right lightweight backpack is critical. Our recommendations allow you to choose a backpack that gives the right amount of balance and comfort whilst enabling you to carry all your gear.

Capacity

Is there enough internal storage space with protective pockets for your valuables? What equipment do you usually carry and can you cut down on your equipment at all to help make your journeys more enjoyable? What size capacity do you really need for your most popular walks? These are the questions you need to ask yourself before buying a backpack.

Organisation

What do you need storage pockets for and once everything is slotted into place is it easy to access them without having to pull everything else out of your rucksack?

Frame

If you are only looking for a sling on your back and go backpack then frame doesn’t really enter into the equation but if you need to carry a lot of gear choosing a sturdy upright frame will be important.

Back Panel & Ventilation

Wearing a backpack all day on any walk will executable lead to aeration problems so look at the back and shoulder mesh or aeration system that is designed into the bag.

Hip Belt

These are important as they should hold most of the weight of the backpack on your hips whilst walking. A good hip belt will help support your pack over your hips and not leave all the weight on your shoulders or back. Sometimes they will come with clever little pockets for important things like change or keys so consider what else you will need your hip belt to do.

Water Bottle Holsters

Are they easy to access on the move and can they hold large water bottles? There is nothing worse they discovering your favourite water bottle doesn’t fit or you have to keep struggling to slot the bottle back in once you have had a sip. Also what material are the made of? Will it stretch with use and leave your bottle vulnerable to slipping out unnoticed whilst your trekking along?

Access Points

How do you access your top compartment or side pockets? Do you need to take the bag off your back in order to retrieve smaller items whilst your on the move? Are the pockets and compartments protected from rain or will the zippered compartments allow rain to drip in and ruin your contents?

Waterproofing

Do you need to buy an extra waterproof rain cover or is the backpack capable of keeping your equipment dry during little downpours or showers? Most backpacks are made from water resistant materials allowing protection from showers and splashes but make sure you read the notes to see what best suits your needs.

How to Buy Your Lightweight Backpack

Always take a look at the retailers returns policy and product guarantee just to cover yourself in case of damage, delivery problems or product faults. This is the case with all purchases whether online or in brick and mortar shops. Also, make sure the product is in stock and make a note of delivery times as they may vary from one day to several days. The retailer will let you know when you are on their website.

For more information take a look at our other guides:

How to choose the best hiking boots

Best walking shoes guide

Best Osprey Backpacks

How to plan a walking route

No more heel pain

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