Product Reviews

Top 5 Best Budget Hiking Backpacks for Ultralight and Lightweight Backpacking

ParagonTrails presents the best ultralight and lightweight backpacks for hiking and backpacking

Ultralight and lightweight backpacking have blossomed into a wonderful new market over the last few years, and although the cost of materials for constructing ultralight backpacks is quite high, the durability, quality, and longevity of these packs have increased by a great deal, and they’re some of the best bags you can own.

Whether you looking to day-hike a trail to your favorite scenic spot, spend the weekend with your friends cooking out in the wilderness, or you’re resolved to thru-hike across the entire breadth of the country, we’ve created a comprehensive and detailed list here at Paragon Trails, from dozens of hours of research, to help you find the most durable, highly rated, and fantastic ultralight and lightweight backpacks that are available on the market for your upcoming backpacking trip. Happy trails!

Table of Contents

5. TETON Sports Scout 3400 Lightweight 55 Liter Internal-Frame Hiking Backpack

  • Price: ~$79.99 USD (~€72.99 Euros)
  • Weight: ~4.50 lbs ( ~2.04 kg)
  • Volume: 3400 cubic inches (55 Liters)
  • Load Range: Up to a maximum 30% of body weight, or a maximum carrying capacity of 75 lbs (34 kg).
  • Materials: 600D Heavy Duty Abrasion Resistant Ripstop Polyester and 600D Oxford Polyester Canvas
  • Waist Belt Length: 26 – 60 inches (66 – 152.4 cm)
  • Torso Length: 15 – 19.5 inches (38 – 49.5 cm)
  • Sleeping Bag Compartment Size: 14” x 8” x 8” (35.5 x 20 x 20 cm)
  • Hydration Bladder: Supports a three liter (~100 fl. oz.) universal hydration bladder which is sold separately, and can be found here at Amazon.com
  • Color Options: (4) Coyote Tan, Hunter Green, Mecca Orange, Black
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty for defects in materials or workmanship. Manufacturer Warranty does not cover wear and tear from use. An additional three year ($7.99 USD) or four year warranty ($9.99) are available from Amazon to cover any and all damage up to and including full replacement.
  • Conclusion: While Teton’s Scout 3400 is on the heavier side of hiking backpacks, it’s still a fantastic all around feature rich pack that’s comfortable to wear, and comes in at a great low price. This is one of the best budget backpacks available on the market, and a fantastic option for entry level hiking.

4. Deuter AirContact Lite 50+10 Liter Lightweight Hiking Backpack

  • Price: ~$190 – $200 USD (~€170 – €185 Euros)
  • Weight: ~3.5 – 4.2 lbs (~1.6 – 1.9 kg)
  • Volume: ~3050 – 3660 cubic inches (50 – 60 Liters)
  • Load Range: Up to a maximum 30% of body weight, or between 20 – 75 lbs (~10 – 35 kg)
  • Materials: A combination of 600D heavy duty abrasion resistant ripstop polyester with a polyurethane coating for waterproofing, and 100D polyamide high-tenacity lightweight nylon. These high-quality synthetic materials make the AirContact Lite an exceptionally lightweight and durable pack capable of withstanding very rough handling, and off-trail conditions.
  • Waist Belt: Comfortable and easy to use adjustable pull forward hip belt with highly breathable and comfortable moisture wicking padding. The AirContact Lite’s waist belt is one of the most comfortable belts on the market.
  • Torso Length: 15 – 21 inches (~38 – 53 cm)
  • Sleeping Bag Compartment: Internally unzippable which allows for the entire pack to be used, and adds an additional 10 liters to the total volume of the bag.
  • Hydration Bladder: Supports up to a three liter (~100 fl. oz.) universal hydration bladder which is sold separately. Otherwise, Deuter produces their own hydration sleeve that also comes with a sleek ripstop nylon and thermally insulated carrying case which can be found here at Amazon.com.
  • Color Options: (3) Alpine-Green/Forest, Black/Graphite, Navy/Arctic
  • Warranty: The Deuter AirContact Lite comes with a limited lifetime warranty for defects in materials or workmanship, but the manufacturer warranty does not cover wear and tear from use. An additional, Three Year ($21.99 USD/€19.98 Euro), or Four Year ($29.99 USD/€27.25 Euro) warranty is available from Amazon to cover any and all damage up to and including full replacement. While the Amazon warranty is a bit expensive, since this pack does not come with an unlimited lifetime warranty, it’s not a bad idea pick up the additional warranty from Amazon in case of any major damage that requires full replacement.
  • Conclusion: The Deuter AirContact Lite is crafted with high quality synthetic nylon and has one of the most comfortable and breathable moisture wicking carrying systems available on the market today. In addition, the bag’s internally unzippable sleeping bag section is very handy for adding extra space to the main compartment, and adds an additional carrying capacity of ten liters, if you simply tie your sleeping bag to the outside of the pack on one of the many loops.
  • If you’re looking for a beautifully crafted and great hiking backpack that is very comfortable and can easily handle loads of gear, then Deuter’s AirContact Lite is an absolute top tier choice to carry all your equipment out on the trail.

3. Osprey Packs Atmos/Aura AG 65L Ultralight Hiking Backpack

  • Price: ~$200.00 USD (~€ 185 Euros)
  • Weight: ~4.34 – 4.56 lbs (~1.97 – 2.07 kg)
  • Volume: ~3970 cubic inches (65 Liters)
  • Load Range: ~30 – 50 lbs (~14 – 23 kg)
  • Materials:
  • 210D High Tenacity Nylon (Accent)
  • 420HD Nylon Packcloth (Bottom)
  • Hydration Bladder: Supports up to a three liter (~100 fl. oz.) universal hydration bladder which is sold separately. If you’re looking for a super high quality water bladder made by Osprey, you can find their 3 Liter Hydraulics Reservoir here.
  • Color Options:
  • Men’s Atmos: Unity Blue, Rigby Red, Abyss Grey
  • Women’s Aura: Challenger Blue, Gamma Red, Vestal Grey
  • Warranty: Osprey Packs provides an incredible Unlimited Lifetime Warranty for any defects in materials or workmanship, and this includes any wear and tear from use! This is a huge selling point for Osprey products and difficult to find on the market.
  • Conclusion: Another couple of top of the line bags made by Osprey Packs are the 65 liter Atmos and Aura made for men and women respectively. These packs are among the most comfortable and durable lightweight backpacks available on the market, and they’ve been used by thru-hikers on some of longest and most difficult backpacking trips the world has to offer.
  • If you’re looking for a super high quality and sleek looking comfortable backpack that will last you for thousands of miles, is large and lightweight enough to carry a ton of gear effortlessly, and is backed by a great company, then you won’t be disappointed choosing either of the world renowned Osprey Atmos and Aura hiking backpacks.

2. Granite Gear Crown II 60L Hiking and Camping Ultralight Backpack

  • Price: ~$ 195.99 – $200.00 USD (~€ 180 – 185 Euros)
  • Weight: ~1.7 – 2.25 lbs (~0.77 – 1.02 kg) – Ultralight!
  • Volume: ~3660 cubic inches (60 Liters)
  • Load Range: Rated for up to 35 lbs (15 kg)
  • Materials:
  • 100D High-Tenacity Nylon
  • 210D High-Tenacity Ripstop Nylon
  • Waist Belt Length: 28 – 40 inches (~71 – 102 cm)
  • Torso Length:
  • Short Torso Length = 15″ to 18″ (~38 – 46 cm)
  • Regular Torso Length = 18″ – 21″ (~46 – 53 cm)
  • Long Torso Length = 21″ – 25″ (~53 – 63.5 cm)
  • Hydration Bladder: Supports a three liter (~100 fl. oz.) universal hydration bladder which is sold separately, and can be found here at Amazon.com
  • Color Options: (6) Black/Red Rock, Fatigue/Dried Sage, Highland Peat/Black, Black/Grey, Black/Dark Green, Flint/Dark Blue
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty for defects in materials or workmanship. Manufacturer Warranty does not cover wear and tear from use.
  • Conclusion: While Granite Gear doesn’t have the brand recognition of companies like Osprey, Granite Gear’s Crown 2 is one of the best ultralight hiking backpacks available on the market today, and has been carried by expert backpackers on most major trails around the world.
  • The Crown 2’s a super lightweight backpack, coming in at around 2 lbs (~1 kg), or even less if you strip it down to the bare essentials, plus it has just about every feature available that a backpack could need, sans a sleeping bag compartment, but the Crown 2 makes up for this by having tons of extra loops for attaching gear.
  • At its price range, there are very few bags that exist on the market that even compare to the Crown 2 in terms of how much it weighs compared to its volume, so if you want a fantastic backpack pick up Granite Gear’s Crown II.

1. Osprey Packs Exos/Eja 58L Ultralight Hiking Backpack

  • Price: ~$ 219.99 USD (~€ 200 Euros)
  • Weight: ~2.33 – 2.65 lbs (~1.06 – 1.2 kg) – Lightweight!
  • Volume: ~3540 cubic inches (58 Liters)
  • Load Range: ~20 – 40 lbs (~10 – 20 kg)
  • Hydration Bladder: Supports up to a three liter (~100 fl. oz.) universal hydration bladder which is sold separately. If you’re looking for a super high quality water bladder made by Osprey, you can find their 3L Hydraulics Reservoir here.
  • Color Options:
  • (2) Men’s Exos: Blaze Black, Tunnel Green
  • (2) Women’s Eja: Equinox Blue, Moonglade Grey
  • Warranty: Osprey Packs provides an incredible Unlimited Lifetime Warranty for any defects in materials or workmanship, and this includes any wear and tear from use! This is a huge selling point for Osprey products and difficult to find on the market.
  • Conclusion: Crafted by a fantastic company, and easily one of the most lightweight and iconic backpacks available on the market is the Men’s Exos, and its counterpart designed specifically for female anatomy, the Eja.
  • Both of these bags are of exceptional quality and are capable of enduring long hiking adventures for many thousands of miles. These packs are also among the highest volume and lowest weight bags available on the market, so if you’re looking for a top of the line bag that will last you a lifetime, the Exos or Eja are world class options.

Introduction

How to Choose A Hiking Backpack

Selecting the best hiking backpack is an important decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. A backpack will ultimately carry all of your most essential survival gear across long distances, so it needs to be durable and strong and made of high quality materials, but also lightweight enough not to drain all your energy with each step you take.

As a general rule of thumb, a person should carry up to a maximum of thirty percent of their body-weight in gear. This is the cumulative weight of your backpack and all of its stored gear, with attached trekking poles or ice pick, and if you want to be a true purist, even the added weight of your shoes. If you’re more muscular and you’ve trained your body through strength training and long distance cardio, you can probably handle more than the thirty percent rule, but that would be something for a more seasoned backpacker to consider.

Ultimately though, pack size is up to you and what you feel most comfortable with. If you want to use a smaller pack and go super-lightweight that’s also an option. Each person has different abilities and you really won’t know what you’re capable of until you set off on a trail with all your gear and stretch your endurance to the limits.

One important note to mention is that trekking poles can redistribute the weight of your backpack by up to thirty percent into your legs and arms which reduces the strain your back is under while carrying a heavy load. If you’re looking for a pair of high quality trekking poles we’ve written an article detailing the best budget trekking poles for backpacking.

Hiking Backpack Sizes

With the thirty percent rule in mind, and the benefits of trekking poles, let’s talk about backpack size. In general, a pack that’s 30 liters or fewer is often considered a day-pack, but these sized bags can also be used for weekend, or week-long trips, by using their storage volume strategically. Then, we have packs that are between 30 to 45 liters, and these are a favorite of ultralight or super-lightweight backpackers with streamlined and optimized gear lists.

Backpacks in this range also have the ability to be used for almost any three season hiking adventure if the pack has enough features such as loops and pockets, and its volume is used to its full potential. The ability for a pack to store trekking poles, and have dedicated storage for a sleeping bag or a hydration pack, or allowing for gear to be cinched down and compressed to compact the load for better weight distribution, are all great features that allow a backpack to be more versatile, and carry more gear.

The optimal backpack range for most beginner hikers, or anyone that needs to carry more gear and a heavier load, are packs between 45 to 75 liters. Some of the most renowned manufacturers have produced packs in this range which have been carried by the most extreme adventurers of the world to every continent, and this article showcases five of these backpacks.

With all that information in mind, ParagonTrails presents our curated list of the top five best ultralight and lightweight hiking backpacks available on the market today! We hope that you find this article useful and if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to leave a message down below. Thanks, and of course, Happy Paragon Trails!

5. TETON Sports Scout 3400 Lightweight 55 Liter Internal-Frame Hiking Backpack

  • Price: ~$79.99 USD (~€72.99 Euros)
  • Weight: ~4.50 lbs ( ~2.04 kg)
  • Volume: 3400 cubic inches (55 Liters)
  • Load Range: Up to a maximum 30% of body weight, or a maximum carrying capacity of 75 lbs (34 kg).
  • Materials: 600D Heavy Duty Abrasion Resistant Ripstop Polyester and 600D Oxford Polyester Canvas
  • Waist Belt Length: 26 – 60 inches (66 – 152.4 cm)
  • Torso Length: 15 – 19.5 inches (38 – 49.5 cm)
  • Sleeping Bag Compartment Size: 14” x 8” x 8” (35.5 x 20 x 20 cm)
  • Hydration Bladder: Supports a three liter (~100 fl. oz.) universal hydration bladder which is sold separately, and can be found here at Amazon.com
  • Color Options: (4) Coyote Tan, Hunter Green, Mecca Orange, Black
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty for defects in materials or workmanship. Manufacturer Warranty does not cover wear and tear from use. An additional three year ($7.99 USD) or four year warranty ($9.99) are available from Amazon to cover any and all damage up to and including full replacement.

At number five is the highly rated and popular Teton Sport’s Scout 3400, which is an internal framed hiking backpack which provides additional support for heavier loads, and is one of the most affordable feature rich backpacks available on the market.

While this traditional backpack isn’t considered ultralight, due to its internal frame, it’s still a great lightweight bag that has a ton of room for internal and external storage, and compares feature wise with some of the renowned hiking backpacks found further along in this list.

The Teton Scout 3400 has many loops and straps which are great for storing trekking poles or an ice pick, and on either side of the pack are a pair of convenient zippered pockets large enough to hold easy to reach snacks, bug spray, batteries, a flashlight, and much more.

In addition, for more storage, the Scout 3800 has a pretty spacious sleeping bag compartment which can double as another convenient storage space by simply tying your sleeping bag to one of the provided external loops. This is probably only be a good option though if your sleeping bag comes with its own protective waterproof covering.

The Scout 3400 also has room for a three liter water hydration sleeve which is sold separately, an integrated rain cover to protect your supplies from moisture, and a well-padded and comfortable waist belt. If you’d prefer to not use the hydration sleeve slot that space could also serve as an additional storage pocket as well, and there are side pocket water bottle holders which could be used for water storage instead.

The greatest advantage of Teton Sport’s Scout 3400 is that this affordable bag decreases the cost of entry into backpacking opening up the great outdoors to a lot more people who may not be able to spend a few hundred dollars on a pack.

In conclusion, if you’re still debating about which pack to buy and you’re just starting to hike, the Teton Sport’s Scout 3400 is an affordable feature rich hiking backpack, with just about everything you could possibly need without breaking the bank, plus it looks great in all black.

4. Deuter AirContact Lite 50+10 Liter Lightweight Hiking Backpack

  • Price: ~$150 – $200 USD (€140 – 185 Euros)
  • Weight: ~3.5 – 4.2 lbs (~1.6 – 1.9 kg)
  • Volume: ~3050 – 3660 cubic inches (50 – 60 Liters)
  • Load Range: Up to a maximum 30% of body weight, or between 20 – 75 lbs (~10 – 34 kg).
  • Torso Length: 15 – 20 inches (~38 – 51 cm)
  • Materials: A combination of 600D heavy duty abrasion resistant ripstop polyester with a polyurethane coating for waterproofing, and 100D polyamide high-tenacity lightweight nylon.
  • These high-quality synthetic materials make the AirContact Lite an exceptionally lightweight and durable pack capable of withstanding very rough handling, and off-trail conditions.
  • Waist Belt: Comfortable and easy to use adjustable pull forward hip belt with highly breathable and comfortable moisture wicking padding. The AirContact Lite’s waist belt is one of the most comfortable belts on the market.
  • Sleeping Bag Compartment: Internally unzippable which allows for the entire pack to be used, and adds an additional 10 liters to the total volume of the bag.
  • Hydration Bladder: Supports up to a three liter (~100 fl. oz.) universal hydration bladder which is sold separately. Otherwise, Deuter also produces their own hydration sleeve that comes with a sleek ripstop nylon and thermally insulated carrying case which can be found here at Amazon.com.
  • Color Options: (3) Alpine-Green/Forest, Black/Graphite, Navy/Arctic
  • Warranty: The Deuter AirContact Lite comes with a limited lifetime warranty for defects in materials or workmanship, and the manufacturer warranty does not cover wear and tear from use. An additional, Three Year ($21.99 USD/€19.98 Euro), or Four Year ($29.99 USD/€27.25 Euro) warranty is available from Amazon to cover any and all damage up to and including full replacement.
  • While the Amazon warranty is a bit pricey, since Deuter doesn’t provide an unlimited lifetime warranty, it’s not a bad idea pick up the additional warranty from Amazon in the unlikely event the pack suffers any major damage requiring full replacement.

Deuter is a well-known and popular brand from Europe based in Germany, and they produce top of the line hiking backpacks such as the fantastic AirContact Lite. As you can see from the craftsmanship in the video and the images below, Deuter’s bags are beautifully designed, and come in three colors: Alpine Green/Forest, Black/Graphite, or Navy/Arctic.

The AirContact Lite is crafted from synthetic ripstop nylon and polyester which reduces the weight of the backpack by a great deal, plus these man-made materials are the best for moisture wicking and water dispersion allowing the pack to fully dry in just a couple hours of direct sunlight.

One of the best features of the AirContact is its ten liter removable top lid which can be detached to lighten the weight of the pack, or filled with easy to reach items. In addition, the top lid brain serves as a water resistant protector to keep everything nice and dry inside the bag during heavy rain.

A unique feature of the AirContact is where it gets its name sake, and that’s in the design of the bag’s shoulder strap materials and back construction. The way that the back is crafted forms and x-shaped pattern which allows for cool air to flow into the shoulder area of the bag, while simultaneously expelling warm air out.

With a combination of high quality and comfortable synthetic materials, and a design that allows for greater airflow, Deuter’s AirContact Lite reduces moisture and perspiration by up to fifteen percent making it much more comfortable to carry in humid conditions or hot conditions.

In addition, the same synthetic materials that cover the shoulder straps and back are also along the waist straps, and they provide a comfortable carrying experience which wicks away moisture very well.

With several loops and straps along the pack allowing for an ice pick, trekking poles, or a sleeping bag or pad, there’s a lot of versatility to affix essential items to outside of the pack leaving lots of room for food, hygiene supplies, and other gear in its spacious interior.

When it comes to how to pack is shaped, it’s designed to be more tall than wide, so it has a snug fit on your back distributing the weight closer to your center of gravity which improves stability making it a bit easier to carry.

If you want to further enhance the carrying efficiency of the bag you can use the cinch straps, displayed in the picture above, to tighten all the gear down and move it closer to your back improving your stability and decreasing the strain on your body carrying the load.

In conclusion, Deuter’s AirContact Lite is a top of the line bag crafted from high quality materials, and with its handy removable ten liter top lid brain for easy access to supplies, an adjustable and comfortable back and shoulder design, and a fantastic airflow and drying time, it’s a great bag to pick up and take out on the trail whether you’re a beginner or an expert backpacker.

3. Osprey Atmos/Aura AG 65L Hiking Backpack

Produced in the United States by Osprey Packs, the Atmos and Aura internal framed hiking backpacks are a pair of wonderful bags that have numerous loops and straps and tons of space for gear.

In addition, they come with an unrivaled unlimited lifetime warranty covering even normal wear and tear. This is a great selling point for any bag made by Osprey Packs because what this means is they’ll repair your backpack at any time for any reason should it suffer damage out on the trail.

These bags weigh in at around 4.5 lbs (2.1 kg), and while they’re a bit on the heavier side of hiking bags, they make up for it with their durability and anti-gravity system which alleviates back pain, and makes for a much more comfortable and convenient carrying experience.

With the anti-gravity system, and the mesh backpacking, the bag disperses moisture very well, and even in the hottest conditions when you’re sweating the most, you’ll still only be slightly damp as opposed to drenched in sweat like some other bags on the market.

When you need to inevitably reclaim any lost liquids, the Atmos and Aura also have space for a universal three liter hydration bladder which can be found here, or you can pick up one of Osprey’s fantastically engineered three liter hydration sleeves with a slide top fill, and magnetic clipping dispersion nozzle. While this hydration pack is a bit on the expensive side for a hydration pack, they’re very well-designed and have a great fit inside the dedicated hydration pack sleeve.

One note of mention, and not to dissuade you from selecting either of these fantastic bags, but it’s important to understand a bit of perspective on the weight of these bags. For a super-light backpacker, these packs weigh the entire base weight that they would carry, since a lot of super-light hikers will aim for base weights less than 5 lbs.

However, the advantage of these packs is that with their aluminum internal frame they can handle a lot more weight than an ultralight, or super-lightweight bag, and the Atmos and Aura have good deal of versatility too with their optional top-lid brain which can be detached to save weight.

On the bottom of the Atmos and Aura, and scattered all around in various positions, are straps to hang your sleeping pad and bag, and additional loops adorn the bag for carrying an ice pick or trekking poles allowing for easy and quick access. If you need additional quick access storage, there are zipper waist belt pockets on either side of the bag has as well, and zippered waist belt pockets to provide a comfy place for nesting snacks.

There’s also a sleeping bag compartment on the bottom of the pack with a removable divider which will allow you to access the main compartment from the top and bottom without ripping all of your gear out for one item. This is an awesome feature that we wish more packs had.

In conclusion, the Osprey Atmos and Aura packs are top of the line hiking backpacks with a fantastic unlimited lifetime warranty, and they’re able to carry much heavier loads than other more lightweight bags, but at the cost of being a bit heavier. While they aren’t considered lightweight, they’re still a couple of fantastic bags that had to make it onto our list due to their comfortable anti-gravity system, large carrying capacity, high quality materials, and stellar warranty.

If you’re looking for one of the sturdiest packs on the market that you can buy, and that’s also enjoyed by hardcore outdoor enthusiasts, then the Atmos and Aura are a great choice. We love the style of these packs, and they have a really sturdy and great carrying feel, and while they a bit on the expensive side, they’re wonderful bags.

2. Granite Gear Crown II 60L Hiking and Camping Backpack

The Granite Gear Crown II Backpack is a 60 liter powerhouse that can carrying anything you throw at it, and it’s well-suited for four season backpacking due to its versatility and large size, but its weight’s also very reasonable at only 1.7 – 2.2 lbs (0.8 – 1.0 kg), making it fantastic for ultralight backpacking.

As for the construction of the Crown II, it’s made from light weight ripstop nylon which improves its durability by a great deal and keeps it nice and light. One wonderful feature of the pack is its removable top lid brain which can be removed to save weight, or left on for some extra storage.

The Crown II’s top lid brain can also be removed and used as a separate small bag, and functions as a water protector to keep rain out of the main compartment. When you’re ready to access your items you can remove the top lid and unroll the roll-top system to easily reach the main compartment.

If you’re looking to lighten the pack even more you can remove the adjustable hip belt, which has two convenient pockets, for an additional 6.6 ounces (187 grams), but the hip belt pockets are pretty useful.

The sternum strap, and cinch straps can also be removed as well if needed to decrease the overall weight of the bag, which is wonderful as it increases the versatility of this bag for even super lightweight backpacking.

As with almost all the packs on this list of ultralight packs, the Granite Gear Crown II has a hydration sleeve which can accommodate a 3 liter hydration bladder which can be found here. The bag also has sports two large water bottle holders on either side for you to store a few more liters of water.

If you’re going to be hiking through more rugged terrain in the winter you can use the exterior loops on the pack to bring along an ice pick, or if you’re done using your trekking poles, you can hang them on the loops as well.

In conclusion, Granite Gear’s Crown II is a highly customizable bag that has every feature of the most elite packs on this list, like the Deuter AirLite, or Osprey Exos and Atmos, with a slightly more affordable price. This pack is a champion and you can’t go wrong with it for any sized adventure you may want to embark on.

1. Osprey Exos/Eja 58L Ultralight Hiking Backpack

  • Price: ~$ 219.99 USD (~€ 200 Euros)
  • Weight: ~2.33 – 2.65 lbs (~1.06 – 1.2 kg) – Ultralight!
  • Volume: ~3540 cubic inches (58 Liters)
  • Load Range: ~20 – 40 lbs (~10 – 20 kg)
  • Hydration Bladder: Supports up to a three liter (~100 fl. oz.) universal hydration bladder which is sold separately. If you’re looking for a super high quality water bladder made by Osprey, you can find their Three Liter Hydraulic Reservoir here.
  • Color Options:
    • Men’s Exos: (2) Blaze Black, Tunnel Green
    • Women’s Eja: (2) Equinox Blue, Moonglade Grey
  • Warranty: Osprey provides an incredible Unlimited Lifetime Warranty for any defects in materials or workmanship, and this includes any wear and tear from use! This is a huge selling point for Osprey products and very difficult to find on the market.

Osprey is one of the most renowned backpack manufacturers located in the United States and they’re well-known across the world, they also produce two of the most popular bags that are a true favorite of ultralight thru-hikers, the Osprey Exos and Eja.

The Exos and Eja are among the highest quality and most durable ultralight backpacks on the market and can carry around 20 to 40 lbs (9-18 kg), and despite their durability, Osprey offers an unlimited lifetime warranty, which is an absolutely incredible value added to the purchase of either of these great bags.

As for the construction materials of the Exos and Eja, they’re made from lightweight and high-quality synthetic ripstop nylon and polyester which allows the bags to weigh in at just 1 kg, or around 2.5 lbs.

This places them in the ultralight category of backpacks which is fantastic for an almost sixty liter backpack. There are very few bags that are so lightweight and yet have such a high volume.

Also, due to the Exos and Eja being constructed from synthetic materials, they have an exceptionally quick drying time and moisture wicking ability, and within just a couple hours of direct sunlight, a completely soaked backpack, will be completely dry.

The absolute best feature of the Exos and Eja though is the tensioned backpanel, sometimes call the anti-gravity system, which elevates the bag off your back reducing back pain, and allows for better air circulation to keep you nice and dry.

In addition, the materials that the mesh netting and foam padding are made from, which cover the shoulder straps and back panel, are designed to allow for enhanced aeration and improve your ability to stay dry in even the most extreme hot, humid, or rainy conditions.

Cinch straps on either side of the bag allow for optimal gear compaction which moves everything closer to your center of gravity improving stability. If you do not plan to use the cinch straps they could also be removed to save a tiny bit of weight.

In addition, Osprey produces their own super high quality water bladder with a slide sealing top fill, quarter turn magnetic clipped dispersion nozzle, and completely BPA free construction. While this hydration pack is a bit expensive, it’s definitely a top of the line product that works well with either the Exos or Eja.

Another wonderful feature of the Exos and Eja are the numerous loops on the outside of the bag which are great for tying up trekking poles or an ice pick and can also be used to hold any standard tools outside of your bag, and a sleeping bag or pad.

These loops free up a lot of internal space for items that need to stay dry and well-protected, and this is accomplished with the help of the water resistant removable top lid displayed in the image below.

If you’re not planning on hiking during rainy conditions, a great feature of the Exos and Eja is that they’re modular and the top lid or cinch straps can also be removed to reduce the weight of the bag.

If you do decide to remove the top lid to save weight, you can still use the integrated flap jacket that’s built into the pack to keep your gear dry and safe from any rain or dirt.

In conclusion, the Osprey Exos and Eja 58 Liter bags are exceptionally well manufactured and come with an unrivaled unlimited lifetime warranty. They’re also constructed with high quality synthetic materials which wick away moisture very quickly, and have the added benefit of reducing this bag’s weight by a great deal.

Finally, the Osprey Exos and Eja are being carried by some of the most seasoned ultralight backpackers out on trails all across the world, and they’re a personal favorite of ours here at ParagonTrails, so if you’re looking for an advanced ultralight hiking backpack the Exos and Eja are a fantastic choice, even for beginner backpackers.

Conclusion

There are so many hiking backpacks, and a lot of them are great, but if you’re looking for a top of the line hiking backpack we’ve showcased some of the best that are available on the market today.

We hope that you’ve learned some useful information in your search to find the best hiking backpack for your upcoming backpacking journey, and while ultralight and lightweight packs are a bit on the expensive side, there’s nothing quite like carrying a premium backpack out on the trail.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions to improve this article, or you would like to see one of your favorite backpacks added to this list, we would love to hear back from you, so leave a comment down below! As always, thank you so much for being here, and we hope you have a wonderful day. Happy Paragon Trails!

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