Budget Ultralight backpack has modified the hiking and traveling game considerably. Backpackers can now travel way lighter with the help of some brilliantly amazing designed ultralight backpacks.
But with an influx of fantastic backpacks has also come an influx of bad backpacks, and knowing which one to consume your money on can be tough. So to help, I’ve put together this perfect guide to the best ultralight packs for backpackers.
As a former Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, I can attest to the significance of having a truly badass ultralight backpack. And by the end of this guide, you will be able to crush your travels and outdoor backpacking journey like never before.
To select the budget ultralight backpack for yourself even easier, I have broken down my top picks into different categories. That way, you can base your next ultralight backpack purchase on your own unique needs.
As I cover each ultralight backpack’s significance on my list, I break down all important things like weight, price, specs, carrying capacity, comfort, fit, and much more. These articles offer up near-complete pictures of the absolute top ultralight backpacks on the market today. So, here are my top picks for the top budget ultralight backpacks in 2021
Table of Contents
Top 10 budget ultralight backpack
- Granite Gear CrownC2 60
- Osprey Farpoint 40
- Osprey Eja 58
- Osprey Daylite Plus
- Sea to Summit Hydraulic 35
- Gregory Optic 48
- Gossamer Gear Gorilla 40
- Nomatic Travel Bag
- Gregory Miwok 24L
- Salomon XA 25 Hydration Pack
1. Granite Gear CrownC2 60
The Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 is my overall Amazing pick for the best ultralight backpack. Some amazing ultralight backpackers might cringe at the size of my top pick for ultralight backpacks. The Granite Gear CrownC2 60 is a 60-liter backpack. Ultralight backpacks tend to have smaller volumes (to reduce weight). That said, the Crown V.C. had won my top honours for various reasons.
Being weight conscious is my top priority when assessing an ultralight backpack; in the end, it has to be enjoyable. The Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 kills it in that section. The hip belt and shoulder straps attribute dual-density padding and narrow webbing straps to help you achieve the perfect fit.
Now its maximum load capacity of 35 lbs is a guideline, not a base weight you should be striving for. The good news is you have the majority of space for all of your important backpacking gear and food. For arrangement and pack access, the top-loading design attributes a secure roll-top closure that gives easy access to the main compartment.
The pack outer sports light and effective LineLoc compression, a massive stretch-mesh front pocket, as well as stretch-mesh side pockets for keeping all your exterior gear secure. By design, ultralight backpacks are not famous for being super tough or durable (you will hear this repeatedly).
The Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 does make a try in that regard. It is made with a 100-denier silk-nylon hybrid body and 210-denier Cordura reinforcements for extra force in key areas. Keep in mind, though, that ultralight backpacks are required to be treated with a little care. If you abuse this in surplus, they will break or tear it eventually.
- It’s Affordable
- It’s Durable
- My top priority
- Top-loading design
- Plenty of space
- Massive stretch-mesh front pocket
- Large for an ultralight backpack.
- Not as light as some of its competitors
2. Osprey Farpoint 40
When you visit warm, tropical regions like Southeast Asia or South or Central America, having an amazing lightweight backpack for travel is key for backpackers. Enter the Osprey Farpoint 40. The Farpoint 40 is the ideal backpack for those travelers searching to travel light.
If you are the type of minimalist traveler who doesn’t require to bring a ton of stuff along for a tour, the Osprey Farpoint 40 will serve you very well indeed. The Farpoint attributes a large zippered panel that gives access to the main chamber. The zippers have lockable sliders, too, for added safety.
There are three various ways you can carry the Osprey Farpoint 40. its standard padded shoulder straps, the padded top and side handles for hand carrying, and detachable messenger-design shoulder strap. The main point to make is that the Osprey Farpoint 40 can be carried on planes as 99% of airlines will let you use this bag as a carry-on, which over your travels will secure you a ton of time and money.
By going with an amazing travel-light bag like the Osprey Farpoint 40, you’ll be able to keep all of your valuables things with you and secure a ton of money (which pays for the bag ten times over!).
- Its high Quality
- It’s Durable
- It’s lightweight
- Large zippered panel
- Easily carried on planes
- standard padded shoulder
- It’s not for a hiking backpack.
- Lacks the space for various travelers with lots of gear needs.
3. Osprey Eja 58
The Osprey Eja 58 is an ultralight budget backpack specifically designed with ladies in mind. From all reports, the Eja 48 wins out as the best ultralight bag for women because it is light, very comfortable, and super practical. The Osprey Eja 48 is walking the line of being ultralight in weight, but I dig its toughness. Also, I love it because it delivers a super comfy fit in an ultralight frame. It allows backpackers to carry everything they need without sacrificing comfort.
The Eja 48 attributes an ExoFoam harness and AirSpeed ventilated suspension system that distributes load weight and offers a supportive fit for those long days on the train. For storage, the Eja 48 has dual-access fabric side pockets with a detachable compression cord for water bottles or smaller materials. The inner main compartment has a compression strap that aids you to maximize the pack’s volume and keeps anything locked into place.
For even more depository solutions, the (removable) top lid cord loop attachment provides various options for affixing gear to the exterior of your pack. The Osprey Eja 48 is the complete package and certainly one of the finest ultralight backpacks I have come across.
- High Quality
- Especially for women
- Finest ultralight backpacks
- It’s Heavier and Bulkier than its competition.
- I wouldn’t say I like the lack of hip belt pockets.
4. Osprey Daylite Plus
I know I am veering off the ultralight path a bit but stay with me here. Every backpacker requires a best-day hiking backpack. Those quick weekend missions to the mountains or a big city require that you pack a few essentials along for the tour. The Osprey Daylite Plus is the best day hiking backpack on my list. The large main compartment attributes a padded interior sleeve for safely packing a tablet or other electronics.
A zippered mesh systematic pocket has a key fob in the smaller main compartment, which is handy. Everyone has keys! Onto ventilation. The amazing mesh-covered back panel has slotted foam for super ventilation and breathability. The dreaded swamp-back blues can be a very inconvenient reality as compared to other daypacks. Backpacks that feature only fabric where your back meets the backpack serve as a recipe for a super sweaty back.
A great addition to the Daylite Plus is the open-topped stash pocket for a jacket or other quick-use things. A small front zip pocket permits you to store items you frequently use in their zone to top it off. The point being, the Osprey Daylite Plus is a perfect value day backpack for the money ($65). Osprey Daylite Plus for the win
- High Quality
- Best day hiking daypack
- Opentoped stash pocket
- Small front zip pocket
- Quick weekend mission
- It’s not an overnight backpacking backpack.
- Limited gear storage for big things.
5. Sea to Summit Hydraulic 35
Sea to Summit is not super popular for their backpacks. In recent years though, they are making an obvious and concerted effort to better their reputation in that regard (they do, however, make awesome dry bags among many other fine products). They have certainly searched their niche here with the Sea to Summit Hydraulic 35 Drypack.
The Summit Hydraulic 35 is not a full-sized hiking backpack. It is used as the best ultralight waterproof backpack at the most. Ideally, it is an amazing bag for river guides, kayakers, travelers, or city folks who live or travel in wet regions. The Summit Hydraulic 35 is fantastic at what it does. It is 100% waterproof, surprisingly lightweight, and packs plenty of gear storage to easily hold your laptop, snacks, water bottle, and a few other items.
This backpack attributes a fully adjustable, low-profile padded shoulder harness and a removable waistbelt for maximizing carrying comfort. I’m a big fan of the deep stretchy mesh outer side pockets. Also, if you consume a lot of time in the water (kayaking, river guide, fisherman, scuba divers, etc.), the Sea to Summit Summit Hydraulic 35 is entirely submersible.
Not many backpacks out there can do it (I mean not get wet inside) a full-on river plunge. The Summit Hydraulic 35 ultralight waterproof backpack is a great piece of amazing gear!
- Fully adjustable
- Full-sized hiking backpack
- 100% waterproof
- It Sea to Summit includes a lifetime warranty
- It’s not a proper hiking backpack.
6. Gregory Optic 48
Ultralight gear, in general, can get costly. Once you throw in an ultralight tent, sleeping bag, and backpack, you just quickly spent a ton of money. Now they aren’t giving away the Gregory Optic 48. But for $189.95, I feel like it is the budget ultralight backpack for the money.
The Optic 48 is an amazing budget selection for thru-hikers too. The backpack attributes a well-ventilated, dual-density FocusForm shoulder harness and supportive hipbelt that targets enjoy zones and helps carry comfort.
I like all of the little details of this pack. The designers at Gregory should get the best Christmas bonus this year, from the convenient water bottle pockets to the rain fly position to the sunglasses storage zone. All of your little bits and pieces have their home somewhere inside the Optic 48.
For even more capacity, the Optic 48 attributes dual-zippered hip belt pockets that give secure, easy-to-access zones for snacks or your phone. The Optic 48 bests the Eja 48 for storage selection, simply because Gregory has included hip belt pockets
- well ventilated
- Dual-zippered hip belt pockets
- Budget selection for thru-hikers too
- It’s Affordable
- It’s a High quality
- I have questions about the exterior mesh pockets’ durability.
- The damn water bottle pockets don’t make it convenient to get your bottle in or out.
7. Gossamer Gear Gorilla 40
For serious ultralight thru-hikers searching to crush big miles with the fewest weight restrictions possible, the Gossamer Gear Gorilla 40 is where it’s at. This budget ultralight backpack was designed specifically with thru-hikers in mind.
All of the adjustable hip belts and shoulder straps come together to bring you an enjoyable fit. One special feature of the Gorilla 40 is the SitLight pad. The spotlight is a removable back pad that doubles as a seat when you reached camp. So, Who doesn’t want to rest a tired bum on something other than a pointy rock?
The aluminum frame is at the core of what makes this backpack so lightweight, yet it gets the job done to give support. If you want to go with the Gossamer Gear Gorilla 40, keep in mind that you will fully embrace the ultralight program. What I mean is, 40 liters isn’t an eternity of place to work with. You’ll required ultralight, ultra-small, minimalist anything to make it work.
That said, going entirely ultralight is great. You can cover some serious miles day in and day out when your backpack doesn’t weigh 30 pounds.
- Adjustable hip belts
- Contain unique feature
- Its high quality
- It’s Durable
- Some issues about the mesh pockets’ durability.
- They make you pay some extra for hip pockets! Damn them!
8. Nomatic Travel Bag
The Nomatic Travel Bag is, although not an ultralight backpack or a hiking backpack of any kind. It is a whole other species of backpack entirely. For travelers on the move, a new travel bag is taking the internet (and the travel world) by storm. Nomatic Travel Bag is one perfect unit. It is such a badass travel bag that it found its way onto my ultralight backpacks list. Particularly, if ever there was a travel bag to cover ALL of your short-term travel needs, the Nomatic Travel Bag would be at the very top of the list.
The Nomatic Travel Bag comes with an insane amount of brilliantly thought-out pockets, compartments, and gear storage selection. It even comes with a mesh laundry bag. No more cramming those dirty socks in the front pocket of your backpack. From start to finish, the Nomatic best lightweight Travel Bag attributes one sleek design after another.
My favorite attributes include the fleece-lined valuables pocket, the laptop pocket, the high-quality water-resistant materials they used, and the unique compartment for your shoes (there is one for socks/underwear. Remember one thing: Nomatic Travel Bag is one of the best carry-on bags for travelers. Well done, Nomatic, well done.
- The very top of the list
- Cover all of your short term travel
- Output compartments
- High quality
- It’s compact
- Slick aesthetics
- Amazing design
- You’ll be required to pay extra if you want the travel bag plus all of the accessories.
9. Gregory Miwok 24L
One of Gregory’s longest-standing is the budget ultralight backpack lines: Miwok (and women s-specific Maya). We’ve searched the latest model through a full season of use does a great job balancing weight, comfort, and features. At under 2 pounds for the 24-liter version, you get everything you required for a full day out: The hipbelt is lightly padded and supportive. The back panel is fairly flexible but just thick enough to separate you from what’s inside.
There’s a total of eight exterior pockets. Competitively cost at $120 and built to last with reinforced panels along the bottom, the Miwok 24 is a standard choice for day hiking and travel.
How do we compare Gregory with Osprey’s Talon 22 above?
The two cost around the same (the Gregory is $10 cheaper) and share several features, including the amount of padding on their back panels and hip belts, mesh pockets along the front, and premium touches like dedicated hydration reservoir sleeves.
The Osprey is a little more various-sport-friendly with its LidLock bike helmet system. Still, Gregory gets the edge in capacity by 2 liters and organization with a slightly more functional layout. What pushes the Osprey to the lead for us, in the end, is its two available sizes, which permit more people to get a closer and better fit. Additionally, we had a zipper fail on our Miwok, while our Talon is still going strong after many years of consistent use.
- A great mix of storage,
- Balancing weight
- Eight exterior pockets
- Two available size
- One size doesn’t truly fit all; the zipper failed on our pack.
10. Salomon XA 25 Hydration Pack
For fastpacking and longer technical missions in the mountains, a budget ultralight backpack pack like Salomon’s XA 25 makes a lot of sense. We’ll start with the significance: the XA checks in at under a pound but comes nicely appointed with a generous 25 liters of capacity, front water bottle storage (two soft flasks are included) and reservoir compatibility, multi-functional exterior storage containing two stretch pockets and well-designed compression straps, and a roll-top closure that makes it easy to snug things down.
Finally, we like that Salomon made the main compartment highly water-resistant (including taped seams). Combined with the YKK zippers, the XA 25 stands out as one of the most well-creat and weather-ready designs on our list.
- Water resistance
- Most casual day hikers
- Supportive Balance
- Well executed
- Its size create an issue
Welcome to the budget ultralight backpack cult: the most comfortable group of backpackers you will ever meet. Good luck! Alas, you have made it to the end of my article. Well done! You are now ready to think of the ultralight cool-aid and join in all of the lightweight fun. Choosing the budget ultralight backpack for yourself is a challenge. The last thing you want is to be amazed at a backpack you were so excited about.
After reading this article, you are now armed with all of the important information required to buy a truly budget ultralight backpack for your adventures.
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