Embarking on a multi-day trek is an exhilarating adventure that requires meticulous preparation, particularly when it comes to gear. One of the most crucial pieces of equipment is, undoubtedly, your backpack. It must be sturdy enough to withstand the harshest environments, spacious enough to hold necessary supplies, yet light enough to not put excessive strain on your back. In this guide, we present five of the best lightweight backpacks available in the market, perfect for those long, fulfilling journeys into the wild.

Criteria for Selecting Lightweight Backpacks

When selecting a lightweight backpack, there are several criteria to consider:

  1. Weight: The primary factor to consider when choosing a lightweight backpack is its weight. Look for backpacks that are made from lightweight materials like Dyneema or ripstop nylon, and have minimal added features that contribute to unnecessary weight.
  2. Capacity: Determine the capacity you need based on the duration of your trips and the amount of gear you typically carry. Lightweight backpacks generally have capacities ranging from 30-60 liters. Consider the number of compartments and pockets, as well as the overall layout, to ensure your gear can be organized efficiently.
  3. Comfort and Fit: A properly fitting backpack is crucial for comfort, especially during long hikes. Look for adjustable shoulder straps, hip belts, and back panel systems that provide adequate support and distribute weight evenly. Some backpacks offer customizable suspension systems for a more personalized fit.
  4. Durability: While lightweight backpacks are designed to prioritize weight reduction, it’s important to choose one that is still durable enough to withstand the demands of outdoor activities. Look for reinforced stitching, robust materials, and high-quality hardware to ensure the backpack can withstand the rigors of the trail.
  5. Features: Consider the additional features that may enhance your backpacking experience. These can include hydration bladder compatibility, external attachment points for gear, compression straps, removable rain covers, and easy access to essentials like water bottles or a sleeping bag compartment.
  6. Price: Set a budget and consider the price range of lightweight backpacks that meet your requirements. Remember that investing in a higher-quality backpack may offer better durability and long-term value.

By considering these criteria, you can find a lightweight backpack that meets your needs while providing comfort and functionality on your outdoor adventures.

Top 5 Lightweight Backpacks

Based on my search on the web, here are the top 5 lightweight backpacks for multi-day treks:

  1. REI Co-op Flash 55: This backpack weighs 2 lbs and 13 oz and has a capacity of 55 liters. It is known for its budget-friendly price and durability.
  2. Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60: With a lightweight construction and a capacity of 60 liters, this backpack is a popular choice for thru-hiking. It offers plenty of external storage options and a durable design.
  3. Osprey Exos Pro 55: This backpack has a capacity of 55 liters and is praised for its comfortable fit and lightweight design. It is suitable for both thru-hiking and long-distance trips.
  4. Zpacks Arc Haul Ultra 60L: Known for its frame design and ultralight construction, this backpack offers a capacity of 60 liters. It is a popular choice among ultralight backpackers.
  5. Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 55: This backpack has a capacity of 55 liters and is designed for thru-hiking and long-distance trips. It offers a high maximum load capacity while still being lightweight.

Remember to choose a backpack that suits your individual needs, preferences, and budget.


In conclusion, selecting the right backpack for multi-day treks is a balance of functionality, durability, comfort, and weight. Although the ultimate choice will depend on individual needs and preferences, the five lightweight backpacks mentioned here have been tested and proven to deliver on these aspects. Remember that investing in a high-quality backpack can significantly enhance your backpacking experience, making your outdoor adventures more comfortable and enjoyable. Happy trails!

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