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Osprey Hikelite 26

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Osprey Hikelite 26 daypack (under 35l)

Best daypack I have ever owned. Lightweight, roomy, durable, and comfortable.

Pros

  • Super comfortable
  • Super durable
  • Lightweight
  • Roomy but still international cabin baggage size
  • Convenient external pockets
  • Built-in rain cover
  • Showing no sign of wear after 3 years (except for waterproof coating on inside)
  • Can be used with standard hydration bladders

Cons

  • Losing waterproof coating after 3 years
  • Smal zippered top pocket intrudes into interior if you put too much into it.

I have been using the Osprey Hikelite 26 every day for about three years (about 6000 km) and it is definitely the best all-round daypack I have ever owned (and I have owned lots).

I have used it for commutes, hiking, and international travel and it is has been great for all of these.

Fit and Comfort

This pack is super comfortable even with a resonable load (say 8 kg). Put it on and the load disappears.

It has a minimalist internal frame and mesh back that keeps the main part of the pack off your back reducing sweating in hot conditions. The frame also means it sits comfortably on my back.

Some people may not like the narrow waist strap, but as the pack is only 26 L, the waist strap is not a problem for me.

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Ospret Hikelite 26 carrying 7 kg
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Osprey Hikelite fits well on the back

Size

Osprey rate this as 26 L. I measure it as 28 L which is pretty close. (Other Osprey backpacks I have owned have been much bigger than the rated volume e.g. 60 L actual for the nominal 44 L Osprey Talon 44).

The weight is also acurate. I got 750 g, Osprey claim 740 g which is well within manufacturing tolerances. At 750 g this is very light for a pack with a metal frame.

I measured it as 104 cm total dimensions, which is within the limit of 115 cm for international airline carry-on cabin baggage (but check with your airline!).

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The built-in rain cover covers the pack well
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Rain cover stowage in base of pack

Organization & Accessibility

The pack has two mesh side pockets, an expanding front panel and a small zippered top pocket as well as a roomy double zippered main compartment. All but the main and zippered one are reachable without removing the pack. 

The two side pockets are quite large. I found mine a bit too large for my water bottle but fixed this by decreasing the size with a safety pin.

The only inconvenience is that the small zippered pocket actually hangs inside the main compartment. If you stuff too much into the small one it gets in the way of the main compartment. Not really a problem if you don't overdo things.

Durability

This is a big one. I have used this backpack every day for around three years in all sorts of conditions and on my estimate for at least 6000 km. All other backpacks I have owned were showing wear well before this but the Osprey Hikelite shows none. No wear, no punctures, no tears, no broken zippers etc. The only issue is that the coating on the inside is coming off which is about par for this type of fabric. This is not really a problem as the pack comes with a built-in rain cover. 

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Side view shows the way the frame hold the mesh back away from the main part. Notice also how the parts that normally wear look as-new.

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Waterproof coating wearing off after 3 years. Typical for this kind of fabric.

In Summary
A fantastic daypack. In fact, everything I could want. The few minor issues are far outweighed by its good points. 

Background

I have used this pack for around 3 years. I have used daypacks every day for decades and worn out many.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: AUD 126

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Specs

Price MSRP: $130.00
Current Retail: $115.00-$130.00
Historic Range: $76.50-$130.00
Load Range 5-20 lbs
Volume 1587 cu in / 26 L
Dimensions 20H x 12.2W x 10.04D in
Weight 1.74 lbs
Main Fabric bluesign® approved 100% recycled 100D high-tenacity bird eye nylon, DWR treatments made without PFAS
Accent Fabric bluesign® approved 100% recycled 420D nylon, DWR treatments made without PFAS
Product Details from Osprey »

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