Help With Buying An Ultralight Backpack

An ultralight backpack is an important part of backpacking lightweight. As mentioned on our ultralight page, the backpack is one of the “Three Heavies” of backpacking. So, finding the right lightweight backpack will make a big difference in your ultralight load.

Watch that weight. While there are no official weight standards for an ultralight pack, you will want to look for something less than three pounds. This is a standard that is very easy to meet, as lightweight backpacks are very common.

Go for a smaller pack. One of the best recommendations for reducing weight is to reduce the size of your backpack. While there are obvious size requirements depending on the length of your trip and the gear that is essential to bring, remember that bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to backpacks. With more space comes the tendency to fill that space with stuff you might not actually need.

NOTE: A smaller space does bring the challenge of fitting all your gear in the backpack. It is important to learn to utilize every space you have. For example, using a pot that can hold your stove and eating utensils inside. It takes some practice and dedication, but it’s not something that can’t be overcome. If you’re interested in a backpack size guide, visit our backpacking backpacks page.

Go for a framless pack. Many ultralight backpacks come without a frame. While you loose some rigidity to your pack, you do reduce the weight that comes from a frame. Many backpackers with a frameless backpack use their sleeping mat to create a frame. In this case, make sure to put the sleeping pad in first, followed by the rest of your gear.

Remember comfort! The most important thing to remember when purchasing a backpack, ultralight or not, is comfort! It’s vital to test out a pack and make sure it fits you well and feels good on your body. It doesn’t matter if you get the lightest backpack out there; if it is uncomfortable, you’ll be miserable. This might require a little heavier backpack because you need some extra padding or better suspension. That’s okay. Remember, backpacking ultralight is about an attitude. Don’t get too caught up in trying to meet some standards.

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