It’s a given that athletes such as runners and cyclists need to keep the weight of their clothing and equipment to a minimum, but nobody likes to lug around a heavy backpack. There’s plenty of lightweight tech out there to make all of our lives easier, so we’ve picked out 5 great lightweight packs that cover a range of activities.
1. A Great All-Rounder: Osprey Talon 22
This is one of Osprey’s most popular designs with good reason. It’s extremely light, well ventilated and equipped to accompany you on pretty much any done-in-a-day activity, from mountain biking to hiking. You can adjust the back panel for a comfortable fit, there’s loads of storage for those essential items and it can accommodate a host of equipment including a hydration reservoir, bike helmet, walking poles and even an ice axe. Osprey have also introduced a women’s specific version for this season called the Tempest 20, which is proving to be just as popular.
2. A Great Running Pack: Camelback Octane Scudo
This super-light pack will keep you hydrated and energised for hours of trail running. It holds up to 3L of water and has enough capacity to comfortably hold your nutrition, maps and extra layers. The last thing you want is something hot and heavy on your back during a long run, so the back panel and independent suspension harness are constructed from AirMesh to allow the air to circulate freely.
3. A Great Urban Pack: Arc’teryx Mantis 26
People often underestimate the physical demands of getting from A to B, not to mention the amount of stuff that we have to carry with us, which is why a lightweight pack is as important in an urban environment as it is in the great outdoors. The Mantis manages to be both compact and spacious all at once thanks to its clever design. It’s durable enough to stand up to the rigors of the toughest commutes yet comes equipped with everything you need for an enjoyable day hike, giving it the versatility you need to go from hill to high street.
4. A Great Trekking Pack: Osprey Aether 70
The Aether has been designed to cater for every aspect of your trek. The hip-belt and harness make light work of your load, while an Airscape back panel provides plenty of ventilation to prevent you from overheating, even in the most challenging environments. There are loads of handy exterior pockets, giving you quick and easy access to water bottles and other essentials, and the top lid can be removed and converted into a lumbar pack that is the perfect size if you fancy setting out on a day hike without taking all your worldly belongings with you.
5. A Great Hiking Pack: Deuter AC Lite 22
In all honesty, this pack lends itself to a wide range of activities, including the daily commute. Despite offering a decent amount of storage, the bag’s clever design is sleek and compact, with a body hugging fit that is ideal for movement. The straps and back panel are lightweight and well ventilated to prevent you from overheating when you’re working hard and there are lots of exterior storage points, giving you easy access to equipment and essentials when you’re on the move.
Of course, this is just a tiny selection of the backpacks that are out there, and the right pack for you will be dictated by your activity, the amount of stuff that you want to carry and personal preference. Once you have decided on the type of pack that you’re looking for, it’s essential that you concentrate on getting the right fit. No matter how good the features are on a pack, if you get the wrong fit, it can make life pretty uncomfortable. We highly recommend that before investing in a pack you visit a store for a bit of advice on finding the right pack, the right fit and the right features for you.