These hiking backpacks are less than 1.5 kilo.  Some are mass-market available – others such as the Gossamer Gear Mariposa are cutting edge ultra-lightweight kit that the through walk hiker lusts after. My first backpack is the Kathmandu Altai below.  I was initially contemplating a 70 litre back till a friendly shop assistant suggested that I should be looking at around 50 Litres max and reducing my load.  This made a lot of sense.  Suggestions are buying the smallest pack to avoid overloading.  Buy waterproof so you don’t need to carry a separate waterproof liner.  With the gift of hindsight, I should have bought the Equinox Katahdin or the Six Moons Starlite.  For a smaller load, the GoLite Breeze must be worth considering.

But go figure, my most recent pack is the One Planet WBA (medium) at 60 Litres and around 2 kilos.  I purchased this pack for the Overland Track as I needed a bit of extra space for a cold-weather walk.  The harness sold it for me.

Of course if you are looking to support Australian manufacturers One Planet continue to make their bushwalking packs in Melbourne.

Aarn Natural Balanceaarn_natural_balanceThe Aarn range includes a range of ultralite packs – while not quite making it under 1.5 Kg I thought it was worth including.
2 sizes * Expedition Balance Pockets * U, Free and Multi-Flow Motion systems * 4 Waterproof Dri-liners * Full U-lite frame * Clip Torso-adjust; 10cm range * Custom-fit hipbelt (M) * Cord-loc compression * Ice axe and trekking pole attachments * Snow shovel handle slot
Approx Volume S: 60+15 L  L:65+18 L
Weight (Bodypack) S:2.09 kg L:2.19 kg
Min. Weight (Bodypack) S:1.9 kg L:2.1 kg
Min. Weight (Backpack) S:1.5 kg  L:1.6 kg
ARC’TERYX Cierzo 35 Backpackarcteryx_cierzo_35Lightweight and highly compressible
Stows in top lid
Removable Hypalon front compression sling with four straps
Removable foam back-pad
Hydration bladder sleeve
40mm webbing hipbelt
Ultra-light shoulder straps
Removable sternum strap
One ice axe loop
Two removable ice axe keepers
Front and back clip-in loopsSpecifications
One Size – 0.58 kg / 20 oz; 35 L; 40 L max
210D Ripstorm
100D Invista HT Mini Ripstop with Silicone and Polyurethane coatings
420D Invista HT Plain Weave
Caribee Trekkercarribee_trekker_40L40 litre
Top loading backpack with a heavy duty draw cord throat
Contoured internal aluminium stay for increased comfort and back support
Padded hip belt with lumbar support
Hip belt utility pockets
Daisy chain for attaching accessories to the backpack
Large capacity hood with rear zip pocket
Bungee system on hood
External compression system
Walking stick / shovel clip and loop (stick not included)
Lower webbing accessory attachment point
Compatible with 2L hydration bladder (not included)
Dimension: 58 x 30 x 24 CM
Equinox Katahdinequinox_katahdin55 litres
738 grams
GoLite Pinnaclegolite_pinnacle2lb | 930 g
Volume: 4392 in3 | 72 litre
Review | Review | Review
GoLite Breeze Ultralight Backpackgolite_breezeWEIGHT: MED 14 oz / 400 g
VOLUME: Medium: 2900 in3 + 850 in3 47 liters + 14 liters
Review | Review | Review
Gossamer Gear Mariposa™ Plus Ultralight BackpackMariposa_Plus59 Litres,
S: 21.3 oz. (604 g.)
M: 22.3 oz. (632 g.)
L: 23.8 oz. (675 g.)The Mariposa™ Plus continues building on the popular features of the stalwart G4™ backpack, effectively incorporating the “dual use” technique of ultralight backpacking. Your sleeping pad (NightLight™, Z-Lite™/Z-Rest™, Thermarest® 3/4 length, or other 20″-wide pad) becomes part of the pack frame by inserting into the back of the pack. This way it can be extracted during rest stops to sit/lay on without unpacking your pack. The shoulder straps and hip belt are designed to accept unused articles of clothing as padding. Foam inserts are included if you don’t want to use sleeping socks, gloves, etc as your padding.Review
Granite Gear Virgagranite_gear_virgaThe nylon shell gains support and rigidity from your sleeping pad—simply drop in a rolled pad and let it uncoil to push against the bag, and pack your gear inside the roll. The Virga has fixed (not interchangeable), nicely padded shoulder straps and a 1.5” webbing hip belt that adjusts to fit most hips. The Virga had the highest score in BACKPACKER’S “Superlight Smackdown,” August 2003.

Torso Sizes: short | regular | long
Weight: .54kg | 1lbs 3oz
Capacity: 52 liters | 3200 cubic inches
Suspension: Frameless
Load Capacity: 20lbs | 9kg


Karrimor Xlite 45+10karrimor_xliteWeight: 1,345g


Kathmandu Altaikathmandu_altai40L 1.2kg
50L 1.35kgPadded air mesh harness with adjustable sternum strap. Padded, stiffened removable hipbelt. Hydration loops on shoulder straps. Internal hydration pocket with exit ports. Compatible with a 3L hydration bladder (sold separately). Rear carry handle.Side compression straps and wand pockets. Front stretch pocket with drain hole. Lid pocket with water resistant zip. Removable bungy loops on lid. Top internal compression strap. Internal pack extension gusset. Internal zip mesh pocket with keyclip. PU water resistant coating. Foam and plastic composite framing to give support and structure. 50L also features pole attachment loops.420D Nylon Oxford
420D Nylon Diamond Ripstop
840D Ballistic Nylon baseLitekamper review I have had the Kathmandu Altai pack for a few years now and have used it a few times. It is a single sack with a separate compartment in the lid where I keep my headlamp, kettle, stove and small items.  I have the first version of this pack which has a more substantial padding system than version 2 but I cannot comment on the comfort difference.  The longest single walk with this pack was on an overnight through walk and we walked about 17 km on the second day.  I can honestly say that I find the pack comfortable to wear.  I found that I could adjust most settings with the pack on my back.  It does not have an integrated rain hood in the base like many other packs.  I cannot comment on the waterproof nature of the pack but my approach to waterproofing is to use drypacks for my spare clothes and sleeping gear.The side pockets are relatively small. On one side I sit my poop scoop with a packet of tissues tucked on the inner side.  On the other side I sit my Camp Specialties Mini Hiking Stool
Kiskil Mithrilkiskil_mithrilAn older frameless pack

Review | Review

Lowe Alpine Nanon 50:60lowe_alpine_nanonVolume: 50lt+10lt extension=60lt (4000+600cu.ins)
Load Zone: 10-15kg / 22-33lb
Weight: 1,360 gReview | Review
Lowe Alpine Zeptonkarrimor_zeptonWeight 1 Kg

Volume: 50lt / 3000cu.ins
Back Length: 20” – 51cm
Load Zone: 10-15kg / 22-33lb

Review | Review

Osprey Talon 44osprey_talon_4444 Litre light weight back.

Load handling: Up to 35 lbs (recommended)
Weight: 2 lbs 7 oz

Quechua Forclaz 37 Ultralightquechua_forclaz37 

37 litre

900 g

Six Moons Starlitesix_mooons_starlite25 ounces (710 grams) ,

67 Litres


Z packsz+packs_exoThe “Exo” is an ultralight external frame backpack made from a new 2.92 oz/sqyd Hybrid Cuben-Nylon fabric. The material is the same tough Cuben Fiber as our Blast backpacks below, except with a protective layer of nylon on the outside which gives it more strength, prevents fraying, and gives it a nice solid color.

This pack is available with a super light adjustable carbon fiber frame, or as a frameless pack. Even more popular options are included on this pack than the Blast packs.

Exo – 3,000 cu in (50 Liters)

With Carbon Fiber Frame – 12.6 ounces (357 grams)
Frameless – 10.2 ounces (289 grams)