Best Light Hiking Backpack — Osprey Hikelite 26 Daypack Review

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By: Sonia Zannoni

When going on a day hike, a light hiking backpack is a must. Since finding the right backpack for hiking can almost guarantee an enjoyable experience, and conversely, finding the wrong pack can spoil what could have been an otherwise memorable experience. The Osprey Hikelite Backpack offers an equal number of features well keeping to its lightweight.

There is nothing more cumbersome than carrying a heavy load unnecessarily when on a short hike. Furthermore, the excess weight can bog you down and ruin the experience, constantly distracting you from the path ahead. At the same time, some short hikes require a substantial amount of material.

That is why it is crucial to choose a backpack that will serve your needs, offering just as much as is needed as well as avoiding overloading you with an excess of features, and more importantly, excess weight that you will not need.

The Osprey Hikelite finds a way to address these two issues, without sacrificing any of the essentials to be found in a hiking backpack.

Here is an overview of the Osprey Hikelite Backpack:


The Hikelite daypack has a capacity of 26L (1587 cu in) and weighs in at 26 oz. 

This Osprey pack falls into the category of a small handy backpack with dimensions of 19 inches in height, 11 inches in width, and depth.

The Hikelite backpack is made of durable nylon fabric (100D for the main compartment and 500D for the bottom). This high-quality daypack is available in 5 different colors and can withstand anything you put it through.

The suspended-mesh AirSpeed back panel provides a cushion and ventilation, thus wicking the moisture away, so there is no clammy backpack on your back.

The Osprey bag also has an integrated rain cover keeping your gears inside dry in adverse weather.

It comes with an internal hydration sleeve that can fit a reservoir up to 3L.

The daypack is fitted with three pockets and a trekking pole attachment to help you keep your stuff organized. A scratch-resistant zippered top pocket is enabling quick access to your essentials such as electronics and sunglasses. Also, there are two stretch mesh-side pockets to stow smaller items.

Although most users tend not to carry the heftiest loads, there is enough space in the hiking bag to invite material heavy enough to warrant concern for comfort, and that proves to be no issue either.

The adjustable padded shoulder straps along with the webbing waist belt ensure that the backpack is as comfortable as it is convenient. Add a sternum strap with a whistle to that, and you have a complete hiking backpack.

The Osprey Hikelite is the ideal pack for all hikers looking to carry all their essentials for a day hike or everyday use while leaving plenty of room to spare for a comfortable adventure. However, the Osprey daypack is not suited for long-distance treks.

Now, the Hikelite 26 backpack is a bit expensive compared to others within its category of small daypacks. However, Osprey is a reputable and well-known brand, making high-quality products since 1974. 

One awesome feature that Osprey offers is the ‘’All-mighty guarantee’’, which is a lifetime guarantee where Osprey will repair any damage or defect, free of charge for as long as you have the backpack! Pretty neat, wouldn’t you say?

Here is a short video to highlight all the great features the Osprey Hikelite has to offer you:


The AirSpeed Suspension system makes the Hikelite 26 pack comfortable to carry on day hikes as it keeps your back dry!

Durable, lightweight high-quality material as well as waterproof due to its integrated rain cover.

The shove-it main compartment makes the Osprey daypack easy to load all your essentials.


Only one size is available for all the different torso lengths.

Some users complained of the lack of organization options, namely lack of pockets to keep their hiking gears organized.

The Osprey Hikelite 26 hiking backpack’s ability to balance between being a lightweight backpack that can carry heavy loads is what makes it an easy pick for the best lightweight bag to be found. Packs with slightly lower volume capacities often weigh three to five times as much, making it a no-brainer.


The overall quality of the Hikelite daypack is no surprise as Osprey is a reputable brand offering high-quality products to its customers for over 46 years. This statement is further affirmed by its forever, all-mighty guarantee, making the Osprey backpack a recommended buy for everyday use and day hikes.

It may not have every single feature you can find in a hiking backpack. Still, with all the essentials so well covered, you have yourself a complete pack for the outdoors and the best lightweight bag on the market.

Last update on 2024-06-17 at 01:29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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6 thoughts on “Best Light Hiking Backpack — Osprey Hikelite 26 Daypack Review”

  1. Thanks for recommending Osprey Hikelite 26 backpack. Back then, I use the Eiger backpack when I went hiking. The bag is a bit rusty now, so I think the Osprey pack will be a suitable replacement, and I love that waterproof design.

    Oh, I have one question. Does this backpack have a space for storing a laptop? Thank you for your information.

    • You have the main compartment, which is big enough to stow a laptop if you want. The Hikelite is the perfect backpack for everyday use, as well as a day hike.

      Thanks for your question. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a line below and I will gladly assist you further.

  2. A very promising bag for my extending dog walks. Don’t tell the dog we will be out longer.

    A few questions – Is the drinking bladder included? And what other colors does it come in? Blue is not really the best when out with doggo.

    I’ve heard of the Osprey brand before but not the Hikelite 26, and I do feel I will not be disappointed as long as I can find a better color and a bladder.

    • Concerning the drinking bladder, the answer is no. It’s not included with the Osprey Hikelite backpack. There is a sleeve to put one in, but it has to be bought separately, unfortunately.

      As for the colors, the Hikelite 26 comes in 5 different colors so that you won’t be stuck with a blue color backpack! The Osprey pack is also available in Grey, Black, Green, and Orange.

      Thanks for your questions. I hope that I have answered them to your satisfaction.

  3. Your information about the Osprey Lightweight pack was very helpful as we are searching for a good birthday gift for a nephew. He loves getting out and hiking and camping.

    This backpack seems to have the best of both worlds. The larger section to allow you to easily stow away the larger items you need in your hiking adventure is a good idea. The ones that have all the pouches and dividers limit how you can use the pack and how versatile it is. The Hikelite backpack is also an attractive pack, and we all know how vital appearance is at specific points in your life.

    The fabric sounds very strong and easy to clean when needed. I also like the mesh places that help control moisture in your pack and its pockets. I know that when you layer your clothes and take off layers throughout the day, moisture can cause some odors that are best avoided.

    The adjustable straps will help adjust to where he needs to carry the pack on his back. We look forward to hearing about his trips and adventures and hope that this backpack can be among them.

    • Giving the Osprey Hikelite hiking backpack as a gift to your nephew is a great idea. Hopefully, he will enjoy carrying his new daypack on his numerous adventures for years to come.


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