Best Lightweight Hiking Backpack of 2020: Top 5 Recommendations

Best Lightweight Hiking Backpack - triptothewild.com
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Usually, when people think about hiking backpacks, they think about huge and bulky bags that strap to frames. Fortunately, those days are gone, and it is possible to backpack through forests and hike over mountains with much smaller bags.

There are many lightweight hiking backpacks to choose from, and we’ve gathered information about the most popular choices on the market. Each of them is unique and has reasons why people like them so much.

Let’s take a closer look at what they have to offer to help you make the best choice.

Comparison Chart

4Monster Hiking Daypack

Outlander 35L Hiking Backpack

G4Free 40L Hiking Backpack

FENGDONG 40L Hiking Backpack

ZOMAKE 25L Hiking Backpack

Best Lightweight Hiking Backpack Reviews

4Monster Hiking Daypack

At only 4 ounces, this is truly a lightweight backpack that is made for travel, day hikes, trips, and camping. If you like, you can even use it for shopping as you get some surprising storage space out of the 4Monster.

Review

The pack is made from a material that is both water-resistant and rip-resistant to give you a durable end result. However, it is lightweight, so despite being so hardy, the backpack won’t weigh you down.

The metal zippers used across the backpack are also made with durability in mind and are abrasion-resistant. They will not break as quickly as the zippers do on many other backpacks.

Thanks to the breathable mesh, the shoulder straps are not only comfortable, but you won’t likely sweat underneath them. The length is adjustable, which makes the straps that much more comfortable.

One unique feature of this backpack is that it is actually super small until you open it. It folds into a small pocket about the size of a sandwich. That makes it easy to store the backpack anywhere you want until you use it. With that said, it will feel impossible to get the backpack folded into that small size again, no matter how hard you try.

The manufacturer has doubled the sewing of the backpack and made use of 30D Nylon. This means the material is less likely to tear loose and become damaged. It was made to be used outdoors and will endure Mother Nature. However, it is not fire-resistant, so keep that in mind.

Because of the design of the zippers, there is added protection against water. While the material is waterproof, the zippers help lock out water even more effectively. The backpack is available in either 16 liters or 24 liters, depending on your specific needs.

The front pocket allows for the storage of many small items such as a phone, bubble gum, and a wallet. The backpack is available in different colors so you can match your pack to your personality.

However, there is one drawback. The backpack is so lightweight that when it has only a few hard items inside, it can become uncomfortable to use. You can add a towel or jacket to prevent the bottles or other items from banging against your back.

PROS

  • Made from durable material
  • Unique zippers help keep contents dry
  • Very lightweight
  • Able to carry 16 or 20-liter loads
  • Shoulder straps are comfortable

CONS

  • Hard items in backpack could hurt your back

Outlander Packable Lightweight Travel Backpack

The Outlander Backpack is a durable and waterproof option made from strong nylon fabric. It offers many seasons of use while also being lightweight, comfortable, and convenient. Just because a backpack can last long doesn’t mean it has to be heavy and bulky.

Review

The stress points of the backpack are reinforced with tacking that allows it to be much hardier and less likely to give in. The zippers used in the backpack are also made from metal that is abrasion-resistant.

Outlander’s design of this product allows it to go from a folded pocket to a backpack in a jiffy. It can handle a load of up to 35 liters, which is more than many similar backpacks can boast of. You will get away with loading all your gear into one backpack, as long as you pack them neatly to make the most of your space.

You have access to many pockets with this backpack as it has several on offer. There is a roomy main compartment as well as zipper pockets in the front and side pockets for water bottles. The pockets are great for storing things that shouldn’t be too far away, such as a flashlight and your map and GPS.

There is also a whistle buckle and aluminum carabiner included in the purchase, with which you can attach extra things to your backpack more conveniently. This helps you keep all your smaller items closer at hand rather than buried somewhere inside your backpack.

An added chest strap adds to the overall comfort of the backpack and keeps it secure. You won’t have to struggle with the bag swinging around as you hike or travel.

The inner waterproof lining is on the flimsy side, though. It might not last very long and could cause the waterproof feature to become less of a bonus.

PROS

  • Lightweight and durable design
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods
  • Offers up to 35 liters of storage space
  • Chest strap promotes a secure fit
  • Zippers are of high quality

CONS

  • Waterproof lining could be improved upon

G4Free Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack

This is a light but very spacious backpack, ideal for long times spent hiking or traveling. The pack can handle up to 40 liters, which means you can store your food, clothes, and even a hammock if you wanted to.

Review

There is a main compartment, two top pouches, a front pouch, and two bottle holders so you can store all your things neatly. The padded strap makes sure that you are comfortable at all times. Inside the main compartment is a fabric divider that is great for storing your laptop, should you need to take it with you.

Thanks to the chest strap, you can secure the backpack and won’t have to worry about it swinging around as you walk or hike.

This backpack was designed with hiking in mind - there are elastic bungee ropes and straps that are perfect for hanging your trekking poles. You can attach your fishing rods and a sleeping bag as well. All the extra camping accessories that are usually a bother to store can also be put away easily.

The high-quality materials used to make the backpack means it will last very long. The nylon fabric is tear-resistant as well as waterproof, so you can plan your trips even if there’s a chance of rain.

You can easily adjust the breathable padded shoulder (with which you won’t sweat as easily under it) to fit you comfortably. The adjustments mean both women and men can use the backpack with no comfort issues.

You can pack up the backpack into a small pocket when you’re not using it, so it won’t get in the way. This means you can throw it in your suitcase and whip it out again, should you need extra storage space.

Because the backpack is so light, it doesn’t feel like it can handle a heavy load. This will make many people very unsure of what to expect.

Most people find that the backpack can endure their camping and hiking trips with no issues, though.

PROS

  • Very lightweight and convenient design
  • Made from high-quality and durable material
  • Padded shoulder is breathable and adjustable
  • Can take up to 40 liters in loads
  • Able to fold into a small pocket

CONS

  • Doesn’t feel very sturdy

FENGDONG Waterproof Lightweight Backpack

The FENGDONG backpack is made from superior quality materials, and you will immediately notice that when you hold it. The extra-thick polyester fiber is waterproof and tear-resistant to help the backpack last many seasons. All the stress points of the backpack have been reinforced for even better durability.

Review

The backpack does not only look attractive but is also very comfortable. You will be able to wear it for hours and not feel any strain. The shoulder straps and backside are padded to keep you comfortable. 

The breathable mesh allows for proper airflow and prevents you from getting sweaty. The mesh also makes it is easy to clean.  The pack has been ergonomically designed to give you the best experience while wearing it. Even when it is loaded to capacity - which is an impressive 40 liters - you won’t be uncomfortable.

With a multi-compartment design, the backpack is ideal for hiking, camping, traveling, sports, and general use. There is a zippered main compartment, a front pocket, and a set of side pockets. The main compartment is divided and has a small pocket to store all your things neatly.

At only 1.9 pounds, this backpack is light and easy to carry. It can also fold into a little pocket for easy and convenient storage when you’re not using it. Your water bottle will be held securely with zig-zag straps.

It should be noted that this backpack’s zippers are not made from very strong or high-quality materials. That means they could break at some point, and replacing zippers is a hassle no one likes to deal with. You should be okay with the backpack as long as you handle the zippers with care.

PROS

  • Lightweight at less than 2 pounds
  • Made from tear-resistant material
  • Backpack is waterproof
  • Can take loads of up to 40 liters
  • Breathable mesh allows for cool use

CONS

  • The zippers are not of the highest quality

ZOMAKE Small Hiking Backpack

The Nylon material that ZOMAKE used to make its small hiking backpack is of outstanding quality. It will last many seasons and survive many camping and hiking trips. The material is also waterproof and tear-resistant to ensure durability and hardy survival.

Review

The zippers on backpacks are often neglected, which leads to them breaking much sooner than expected. When the zippers have broken, they are difficult to replace and often results in the backpack not being used anymore. Fortunately, this backpack’s zippers are made from heavy-duty SBS metal. They will not break as easily.

You can easily fold this lightweight backpack into an inner zipper pocket that will have it as small as a sandwich. Storing it away until you use it is a breeze.

The backpack only weighs a featherlight 0.6 pounds but can handle up to 25 liters of load. That is a very impressive load-to-weight ratio. You will be able to store away all your accessories. If you invest in two of these, you may not need any other packs at all.

Unfortunately, the seaming of this backpack is not as good as it should be. This means prolonged and heavy use could result in the seams coming apart buy backpack zippers are easy to fix.

You should be able to get the most out of this attractive backpack if you don’t expect miracles from it. The pack is made to lighten your load and keep you comfortable, but it is a lightweight backpack, after all. It won’t be able to handle the heavy loads that bigger backpacks can. Be realistic in your expectations.

When everything is considered, this backpack will be a good companion if you don’t overload it.

PROS

  • Very lightweight at only 0.6 pounds
  • Can take loads up to 25 liters
  • Zippers are made from SBS steel
  • Fabric is waterproof and tear-resistant
  • Can fold into a small sandwich-size pocket

CONS

  • Seams could be improved upon

FINAL VERDICT

Finding the right backpack for your unique needs can be tricky, with so many options to choose from. There are thousands of brands that promise the best bags at the most affordable prices.

You should keep an eye on the materials used for the backpack you want to buy. It should be made from durable fabric, or you won’t be able to use it for very long.

Also, remember to check the load capacity of the backpack. If you want something to keep all your gear and accessories, a 10-liter capacity will not do. However, lightweight backpacks are usually not made to take super-heavy loads.

Instead, they are there to keep you comfortable during your hiking or camping trips. All in all, the 4Monster Hiking Daypack seems like the best of the bunch. It is made from high-quality material and is available in two sizes for your convenience.

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