Best Ultralight Backpack

Ultralight backpacks are a compromise. They’re designed to be as light and packable as possible, which means that they often have fewer features than heavier packs. However, ultralight backpackers will sacrifice a few extra ounces for all of the benefits: an increased sense of freedom on the trail, less fatigue from carrying a heavy load up steep terrain, and reduced risk of injury due to lighter weight.

What is the Best Ultralight Backpack?

We could say that we traveled the world to find for you the Best Ultralight Backpack and it’s partially true – we’ve been on the road since 2011 after all.

More importantly, we have done a very thorough research online and have gone through most of the available backpacks that are ultralight that you can buy today. We read the comments left by people who bought and used these ultralight backpacks.

We also wrote a brief ultralight backpacks Buying Guide and FAQ sections to address most questions you may have.

Without further ado, here’s the list of top 6 backpacks that are ultralight based on their pricing, specs and ratings by real users.

1. Venture Pal Hiking Backpack

Specs
Price: πŸ’²πŸ’² (fewer πŸ’² = cheaper)
Capacity: 40 Liters
Weight: 0.7 Pounds (0.3 kg)
Size: 19 x 12 x 6 Inches (48.3 x 30.5 x 15.2 cm)
Material: Nylon
Wheels: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Waterproof: No

See it in your local store:

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This budget backpack for hiking stands out for its convenient wet pocket that helps to separate damp or soiled clothes from your other personal things. The backpack features a 40L capacity, which makes it one of the larger hiking backpacks on this list. It has a generous main compartment with a zippered front pocket and two side pockets. Despite its large size, the pack has an ergonomic design for comfort and easily folds into a pouch for storage. It also boasts heavy-duty zippers that provide long-lasting durability and has a chest clip with a buckle that helps distribute weight evenly.

Pros

  • It cleans and dries up pretty fast,
  • Available in a variety of colors,
  • Generous sponge padding on shoulder straps to relieve stress,
  • Double-layer bottom piece for extra strength,
  • Beautifully designed fabric for durability

Cons

  • Slick material makes it unsuitable for one-shoulder carry

2. TARION TB-02 Light Camera Backpack

Specs
Price: πŸ’²πŸ’²πŸ’²πŸ’²πŸ’² (fewer πŸ’² = cheaper)
Capacity: 18.5 Liters
Weight: 1.9 Pounds (0.8 kg)
Size: 17 x 11.8 x 6 Inches (43.2 x 30 x 15.2 cm)
Material: High Density Waterproof Nylon
Wheels: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Waterproof: No

See it in your local store:

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If you are looking for a cheap backpack for hiking that will help you carry your laptop and camera, you should consider getting this hiking camera bag by Tarion. The backpack features eight padded and removable dividers that can be reorganized to offer better protection for your equipment, including drones.

The bag is ultra-lightweight and compact and comes with a rain cover that makes it entirely waterproof in wet weather. It features a dedicated 15-inch laptop compartment and the main compartment dividers are also removable to create a spacious compartment. The ventilated shoulder straps are adjustable for flexibility, while the back panel features an air mesh design for breathability and comfort.

Pros

  • Easy to convert to a day-pack by removing the compartment dividers,
  • Has thickened protective pads that are shockproof,
  • Convenient for use on short trips,
  • Ultra lightweight and compact design,
  • Features a tripod holder strap at the bottom for convenience

Cons

  • Stitching on the straps is not up to standard for durability

3. Sinotron Packable Lightweight Backpack

Specs
Price: πŸ’² (fewer πŸ’² = cheaper)
Capacity: 22 Liters
Weight: 0.7 Pounds (0.3 kg)
Size: 16.5 x 11 x 7 Inches (41.9 x 27.9 x 17.8 cm)
Material: Nylon
Wheels: No
Water Resistant: Yes
Waterproof: No

See it in your local store:

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United Kingdom
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Australia

Sinotron Lightweight Backpack makes an excellent buy for hikers looking for a budget hiking backpack for short hikes. It is also a lightweight pack that only weighs 0.7 pounds, which is also a good size for teenagers and kids to use. The pack is also easy to store when not in use as it can fold into the size of a booklet.

The Sinotron features a 22L capacity with a main section, two side pockets, and an internal pocket for valuables. The main compartment can accommodate a 14-inch laptop, which gives you versatility for use. It features an ergonomic design with adjustable mesh shoulder straps for comfort and breathability.

Pros

  • Folds up into a small size when not used,
  • Lightweight with 22L capacity,
  • Added pockets on front and side,
  • Breathable mesh shoulder straps for comfort,
  • Water-resistant nylon fabric construction,
  • Durable and reliable metal zippers,
  • Machine washable, easy to open and use

Cons

  • The front pocket lacks a zipper closure; hence easy to pickpocket

4. Outlander Ultra Lightweight Water Resistant Daypack

Specs
Price: πŸ’² (fewer πŸ’² = cheaper)
Capacity: 33 Liters
Weight: 0.5 Pounds (0.2 kg)
Size: 19 x 13 x 8.2 Inches (48.3 x 33 x 20.8 cm)
Material: Nylon
Water Resistant: No

See it in your local store:

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The Outlander Ultra Lightweight Water Resistant Daypack features a highly rip and water-resistant nylon fabric that makes it strong and long-lasting. This pack is lightweight at only 0.5 pounds and it can fold into its inner pocket for portability. This daypack features a 30L capacity with multiple compartments to keep all your items organized. It also comes with two side pockets for water bottles or umbrellas and is available in a variety of colors for both men and women.

The Outlander Ultra Lightweight Water Resistant Daypack also stands out as the best option if you are on a budget.

Pros

  • The bag can be folded into its own inner pocket,
  • It has 2-way Abrasion Resistant SBS Metal Zippers across the bag,
  • Features an internal zippered security pocket for valuables

Cons

  • The fabric wears out quicklyThe bottom of the daypack is not reinforced in any way,The inner lining of the pack wears out quickly

5. HIKPRO Hiking Backpack

Specs
Price: πŸ’²πŸ’²πŸ’² (fewer πŸ’² = cheaper)
Capacity: 20 Liters
Weight: 0.4 Pounds (0.2 kg)
Size: 18 x 12 x 5.5 Inches (45.7 x 30.5 x 14 cm)
Material: Nylon
Wheels: No
Water Resistant: Yes

See it in your local store:

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Australia

A nice small hiking backpack with water-resistant and high-quality nylon material construction to guarantee its durability. Made with durable shoulder straps, you can customize the length for a comfortable body fit.

The backpack weighs 7.5oz when empty which reduces the overall weight when loaded and it folds easily for convenient storage. Although it is a compact pack, it features a 20L internal space with an internal pocket for your cash and cards. The external pocket is convenient for quick access items like energy bars and a book. It has a large main pocket for daily needs with an outer pocket for a camera, guidebooks, and your tickets. The side pockets are also convenient for your water bottle and umbrella. I like that it is easy to adjust the weight distribution on the go as it comes with adjustable shoulder straps, and it’s also highly ergonomic for back support.

Pros

  • Keeps things organized with the zippered compartments,
  • Made with tear-resistant nylon and waterproof,
  • Easily adjustable shoulder straps,
  • Versatile to use biking and hiking and other outdoor activities,
  • Washes and dries fast,
  • Strong mesh pockets to hold your water bottles,
  • Lightweight and easy to fold when traveling,
  • Reinforced at more than 14 places for extra strength

Cons

  • Design of backpack doesn’t allow for sufficient ventilation on the back whole carrying
  • Little to no padding on the back and shoulder straps

6. G4Free Daypack

Specs
Price: πŸ’²πŸ’²πŸ’²πŸ’² (fewer πŸ’² = cheaper)
Capacity: 40 Liters
Weight: 0.9 Pounds (0.4 kg)
Size: 22.8 x 13.4 x 7.9 Inches (57.9 x 34 x 20.1 cm)
Material: Nylon
Water Resistant: No

See it in your local store:

United States
United Kingdom
European Union
Canada
Australia

The G4 Free Daypack travel daypack has a capacity of 40L that is big enough to store survival kits and other gears. It is made from high-quality wear and tear resistant material to give you long-lasting performance. It is lightweight for a large capacity daypack at only 0.79 pounds, and can be folded into a pouch for easy storage.The G4 Free Daypack has a top double sided pouch to store smaller items, and it features a top-loading design with a drawstring closure that allows you to fit more into the daypack. Although it does provide you with more space to pack for longer trips, this design does not allow much flexibility in organizing your contents in the main compartment for easy access. For comfort, this daypack features padded breathable shoulder straps, and a chest strap with a lifeguard whistle, to secure the backpack on your back. It has a versatile design for both men and women and is suitable for longer trips of between 3-5 days.

Pros

  • Features a top-loading drawstring closure,
  • Large side mesh water bottle holder for big bottles,
  • Bungee elastic ropes for hanging sleeping bags, hammock,
  • Features padded straps with adjustable chest clip

Cons

  • Arm straps are a bit weak

Verdict

TLDR: Quick summary of our findings as to what can be considered the best ultralight backpack is below:

Overall best ultralight backpack out there: Venture Pal Hiking Backpack

Premium Pick if money is not much of an issue: TARION TB-02 Light Camera Backpack

Budget Choice – there’s no shame in spending prudently: Sinotron Packable Lightweight Backpack

Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:

What You Should Know Before Buying Ultralight Backpacks

Balance And Weight

You might have a lot of stuff to carry in your backpack, so you don’t need the extra weight from the bag itself. However, it is not all about the fabric and frame. How well the backpack is balanced and comfortable plays a massive part in how heavy it will feel.

Other than that, women sizes backpacks tend to be lighter than men’s, so take advantage of this and go for ladies rucksacks to save some pounds. Lightweight backpacks will typically weigh less than four pounds.

Backpack Materials

Backpacks come in a wide range of materials and some are better than others. The following are the most common type that you’ll find when it comes to backpacks:

Cloth – One of the oldest types of backpack material still in use today, cloth is usually made out of either nylon or polyester. This material is lighter than most other options, but it’s not as durable.

Leather – This type of backpack has been in use for thousands of years. It’s made from a single piece of cowhide leather and stitched together. They’re often very heavy and expensive, but they’re usually the most durable type of backpack.

Canvas – This material is one that was developed for use in army tents during World War II. It’s made from cotton and linen fibers interwoven to create a heavy duty fabric that’s still popular today. In addition to backpacks, canvas is also used for things like sails because of its strength.

Plastic – Also one of the newest types of backpack materials, plastic is cheap to manufacture and fairly strong in some cases. However, it’s known for tearing easily if you overload your pack.

Metal – Metal framed backpacks are becoming more popular these days. This is due to how strong they are and the lightweight design that allows them to be an ideal choice for long hikes. They’re usually made out of aluminum, but titanium can also be found sometimes.

Synthetic leather – This is a blend of leather and other synthetic fibers that makes for an inexpensive backpack material. It’s usually coated with plastic on the inside to protect it from water and add to its strength.

Nylon – Nylon is made out of a combination of vinyl, rayon, or nylon and is often found in backpacks designed for outdoor use. It has many benefits such as being waterproof and lightweight.

In addition, most modern backpacks are made with nylon.

Polyester – This is a material that was developed for use in parachutes during World War II and started to be used by backpack manufacturers soon after it was made available on the market. It’s as waterproof as nylon, but not quite as strong.

Vinyl – When this material is used in the manufacturing of backpacks, it’s typically blended with other fibers to provide additional strength. It’s very cheap to manufacture and is waterproof, but it’s not as strong as some of the other materials that are available.

Backpack Frame

If you want an ultralight backpack, then the frame needs to be simple and adequate to carry what you need. There are different types made from polypropylene, and some are metallic made from aluminum. Ultra Lightweight backpacks usually have the option of removing the frame to make your load even lighter to carry.

Back Panel Design

An important thing when determining the back panel design is lumbar support. This is a feature that provides a frame that helps improve your posture. It ensures that your back is comfortable by ensuring that it doesn’t strain through features such as padding. Many bags in this list have padding, which helps to keep your back upright and prevent friction.

How To Choose The Right Style Of A Backpack

Backpack styles have changed over the years but these days, most backpacks are either horizontal or vertical.

Horizontal – Most backpacks nowadays fall into this category. These packs have the main compartment on the bottom and then a smaller top pocket with shoulder straps for anyone who wants to use it as a briefcase. Some horizontal backpacks also have side pockets on both sides to hold water bottles or other small items.

Vertical – The vertical backpack styles are designed with the main compartment on top and then smaller front pockets that can either be zippered or open. This type of backpack is more common among hikers and is especially popular because it allows the wearer to carry water bottles on the outside of the bag.

Questions and Answers About Ultralight Backpacks

What is considered a lightweight backpack?

A lightweight backpack is determined by the material used in its construction. They use lighter fabrics such as polypropylene and nylon which are durable. These bags also have a lower denier count of no more than 420D which is not too thick hence not heavy.

Is ultralight backpack good for running?

Ultralight backpacks are good for casual runners because they are lightweight. They also don’t have a lot of extra compartments which means there is less weight to carry and it’s not too complicated to get into the main compartment while on the move.If you plan on running with an ultralight backpack, I would recommend a backpack with a chest strap to help tighten the load when running. The backpack should also have thick shoulder straps to help distribute the weight evenly.

Are ultra lightweight backpacks worth it?

Yes, they are. They ensure that you only carry what you need, so you don’t overburden yourself with extra weight. They are easier on both your shoulders and back, especially when walking or hiking long distances.

What is the best base weight for a lightweight backpack?

The best base weight for a lightweight backpack is about 15 pounds. This ensures that you have all the necessary items. Anything lower than this and you may end up missing one or two important things such as a sleeping bag. At this capacity, you will still have enough space for foodstuff and still manage to keep the overall weight under 25 pounds.

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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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