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The 7 Best Ultralight Packs

Hike long, not heavy, with these weight-saving haulers.

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Going light doesn’t have to mean skimping on comfort. The best ultralight packs on the market are big enough for a multiday trek, but provide ample support and organization so you won’t miss the extra pounds. Our seven favorites all weigh under three pounds, and while they might have different design elements—from full-featured load-haulers to frameless rucksacks—they’re all great options for going long.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Porter

None

If wet conditions are in the forecast, the Porter is your pack. Its Dyneema Composite fabric is waterproof and kept our gear dry during downpours (the pack is not submersible, though) and is also iron-tough against rocks and grabby branches. Two removable stays provide adequate load transfer, although there isn’t much padding. The minimalist exterior also might not be for the organizers among us. Buy Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 Porter now for $310

1 lb. 15 oz.; 40 liters

Gregory Optic 48/Octal 45 (women’s)

None

The Optic’s main selling point is its suspension. It has a full-perimeter frame and an aluminum stay, resulting in superior load-carrying ability for a pack of this weight. We’ve carried 40 pounds in the Optic in total comfort. Thin compression straps and not a ton of pockets help save weight, and you can strip off the toplid. Buy Gregory Optic 48 now for $190 / Buy Gregory Octal 45 now for $190

$190; 2 lbs. 8 oz. (m’s M); 48 liters/45 liters

Mountainsmith Scream 55/Scream 50 WSD (women’s)

None

Most ultralight packs are still pretty heavy on the wallet, but not the Scream. It’s a great buy that performs like a premium model: A plush hipbelt along with an EVA framesheet and single aluminum stay handle loads up to 40 pounds, and two torpedo pockets on the back hold a ton of gear. The PU-coated, 210-denier nylon is also supertough. Downside: There’s no toplid, only a rolltop closure. Buy Mountainsmith Scream 55 now for $160 / Buy Mountainsmith Scream 50 WSD now for $160

2 lbs. 13 oz. (m’s); 55 liters/50 liters

Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus 55L

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For true ounce-counters that have their kit pared down to the bare minimum, the frameless Exodus can fit a long trip’s-worth of gear but doesn’t feel like a glorified knapsack. We especially like the well-padded hipbelt and shoulder straps for carrying loads up to 30 pounds, the Dyneema fabric for withstanding abrasion, and the customization options you get when ordering. Buy Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus 55L now for $235

1 lb. 2 oz.; 58 liters

Zpacks Arc Blast 55L

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The Arc Blast ranks among the lightest packs available, but it also has a carbon frame that provides solid lumbar support for loads up to 35 pounds. An enormous mesh front pocket and cavernous side pockets are great for quick access to gear. Ding: It’s the most expensive pack here and requires bit more TLC than most other ultralight models. Buy Zpacks Arc Blast 55L now for $325

1 lb. 4 oz.; 55 liters

Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60

None

The Mariposa is made to help you cover a lot of miles. It can hold six days’ worth of gear and food, and the exterior pockets allow hikers to easily reach water bottles, tarps, and layers without slowing down. We also love the closed-cell foam backpanel, which you can remove and use as a sit pad. The backpanel, along with a removable aluminum stay, let us schlep 35-pound loads. Buy Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 now for $225 ($270 with hipbelt)

$225 ($270 with hipbelt); 2 lbs. 1 oz. with hipbelt; 60 liters

Granite Gear Blaze 60

Granite Gear Blaze 60

For the best comfort-to-weight ratio in the category, look no further. The Blaze might weigh just a little more than other packs here, but it carries like a porter: We shoved in upwards of 40 pounds without getting sore shoulders. A plastic framesheet provides support, and hipbelt is plush without feeling unsctructured. The ability to adjust torso size is also rare in an ultralight pack. Buy Granite Gear Blaze 60 now for $270

3 lbs.; 60 liters

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