Marc H.

Marc H.

Blogger. Adventurer. Status Quo Challenger.

Top 5 Things To Look For In An Ultralight Backpack

With so many options out there for consumers, it can be challenging to know where to begin when choosing an ultralight backpack. Commonly considered one of the “big three,” your pack is arguably one of the most important pieces of gear you’ll carry. Let’s take a look at the top things to consider when purchasing a new ultralight backpack. By the way, we consider ‘fit and comfort’ to be obvious, so we’re not including them in this list.

  1. Weight: Since we’re focusing on ultralight backpacking, the weight of the backpack itself is crucial. Many people don’t realize that the weight of the pack also factors into your overall pack weight (duh!). Look for a backpack that strikes a balance between weight and durability, aiming for models that are under 2 pounds (900 grams) for most ultralight options.
  1. Frame Type: Decide between internal frame and frameless backpacks. Internal frames provide structure and load support, while frameless packs are lighter but require careful packing to prevent discomfort from the load. I remember one of my first ultralight backpacks lacked a frame. It was great but had to be packed just right, and not over packed of it will lose its stability and rigidity.
  1. Materials: Ultralight backpacks often use lightweight yet durable materials, like Dyneema (DCF), Silnylon, or Cuben Fiber. DCF is very durable when it comes to tension forces (which makes it a great material for shelters) but tends to be less durable when it comes to abrasion and which can make it a less ideal option for a backpack. Consider the durability and weather resistance of the materials used in the pack’s construction. While ultralight backpacks use lightweight materials, it’s important to ensure they are still durable enough to withstand the rigors of the trail. Check reviews and manufacturer specifications for insights into the backpack’s long-term durability.
  1. Design and Features: Ultralight backpacks tend to have minimalist designs. Look for features that you consider essential, such as multiple pockets, hydration compatibility, and gear attachment points. Avoid unnecessary features that add weight.
  1. Capacity: Determine the backpack’s capacity based on the length of your trips and the amount of gear you need to carry. Ultralight backpacks often range from 30 to 60 liters, so choose a size that accommodates your needs without being excessively large

Remember that your choice of an ultralight backpack should align with your specific preferences, trip requirements, and gear. Take the time to try on different models, read reviews, and consider your individual needs to find the perfect ultralight backpack for your adventures.

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