The Osprey Hikelite 18 Backpack is what is indicated in the title, an incredibly lightweight pack from a new 2018 series, with tensioned trampoline-style back mesh and an internal frame.
Key features & benefits
- Ultra lightweight pack yet with a metal frame.
- Rain cover included.
- Very versatile.
- High quality.
What type pack is this
You may be surprised to realize that this tiny 18 liters daypack has an internal frame, a peripheral wire which gives it the shape and also provides tension to its back trampoline mesh.
Now, it may look similar to yet another popular pack by Osprey, the Daylite pack, but those are very different tools, see more below.
The Hikelite 18 is the part if a completely new series that includes also a bigger pack, the Hikelite 26 which has a bit more features.
Who is it for
♦ This is a tiny pack with an excellent back ventilation system, and it has many features suitable for ultra-light and fast day hiking tours. Those features include the following:
- The attachment loops on the front for trekking poles. You can see in the picture below how they are attached.
- The hydration reservoir sleeve. The Hikelite 18 is compatible with all Hydraulics reservoirs.
- Compression straps, one on each side of the pack. You can use them to cinch the pack and stabilize the items inside, but you can also use them to fix in place any elongated item carried in the side stretch pockets.
- The rain cover. Yes, you are reading correctly, you have it stored in a separate pocket on the bottom.
- A tiny hip belt which you can use if you are moving fast on a rough terrain.
- The pack is with a sliding sternum strap and an emergency whistle.
♦ But this pack is also very much suitable for city use and for commuting. This is because it does not look like a hiking pack, it is a panel-loading type with a long zipper, which looks like an ordinary city pack.
The hip belt is removable, so without it, the pack looks really like an ordinary daypack for city use. The internal sleeve you can use for a tablet or a notebook computer.
More about construction & materials
The materials are very good here, and you have 6 great colors to choose. The main fabric is 100D nylon Mini Diamond Shadow and on the bottom you have 500D nylon.
They call it AirSpeed system, which is a suspended mesh back panel supported by a peripheral wire which gives it its tension. So the pack is always away from the body and air can circulate freely. I have been using such packs for almost two decades now and I know there is no better ventilation.
This is a small pack, yet shoulder harness is with some light and breathable padding, while the hip belt is just a narrow strap. This is not a big issue for such a small pack. Both the hip belt as it is, and the sternum strap help stabilize the pack if you have to move fast or even to run.
The pockets & compartments
You have the usual side mesh pockets, quite large and with a very stretchy material. You can store water bottles there or a tripod, or anything similar. The strap on the side will help to keep this in place.
One top scratch-free pocket is available for glasses and electronics, and the rest is just the main compartment with its internal sleeve.
Osprey Hikelite 18 vs Osprey Daylite 13
See some differences between these two packs, please follow the link to see more about the second pack. Both have some good features, but the ventilation and suspension are far better in the Hikelite 18 pack; the question is of course if you need such a suspension in a back of this size.
|Osprey Hikelite 18||Osprey Daylite 13|
*This means that it can be attached to some bigger Osprey’s packs.
Please see a bit more about the Hikelite series in this short video by Osprey:
Good and less good features & rating
Here is my short summary:
- Great ventilation system.
- Very lightweight.
- Rain cover included.
- Very versatile pack.
- Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee.
- No torso adjustment.
The price & rating
The current price for this pack on Amazon is $85 (note there are differences for various colors). In view of the included rain cover, I find this reasonable.
The rating by customers is exceptional. The pack has been on the market a few weeks only but it has collected a number of reports and they are exceptionally positive, with 4.8/5 average rating. See how I rate it:
- Gender: unisex.
- Weight: 0.67 kg.
- Volume: 18 l (1098 in³).
- Dimensions (L x W x D): 46 x 24 x 28 cm.
- Rain cover.
- Waist belt webbing removable.
- Guarantee: Osprey’s All Mighty.
- Colors: 6.
Osprey Hikelite 18 vs Competitors
In the table below I give the Hikelite 18 side by side with some other packs from top brands. See some features and how they compare. Please follow the links to see more.
COMPARE PACKAGE FEATURES
Padded hip belt
Pole attachment loops
Hip belt pockets
Payable Every Month
Payable Every Year
Payable Every Year
*Note, here you have 2 shoulder strap pockets instead.
In the summary of this Osprey Hikelite 18 Backpack review, to say that what you have here is a great combination of high-performance features, versatility, and excellent value for money. This tiny pack comes with features that you would not expect in view of its size, and it has everything that you need for a day’s hiking, and at home, you will use it in your daily life as an ordinary pack.
If you need something different, bigger or smaller, please check my page with packs below 35 liters. But see also its bigger cousin from the same series, the Hikelite 26 pack. If you want something ultra-lightweight, check this hydration Gregory Swift 20 Women’s Hydration Pack that comes with a reservoir included.
Thank you for reading. Please use the comment box below if you have any question or comment. Have a nice day.