Lightweight Backpacks – Jason Klass’ Top 5

There’s probably no official definition for a lightweight or ultralight backpack. If there was, it would likely change as backpacking gear get lighter. What used to be lightweight 10 years ago might be too heavy for today’s standard.

Until recently, I thought the lightest internal frame backpack you can find today was Lowe Alpine’s Zepton 50XL at just 2 lbs 10 oz but it looks like Jason Klass, a backpacking gear fanatic, knew others that are much lighter. Three of the Top 5 are internal frame bacpacks (Catalyst, Mariposa Plus, Mountainsmith Ghost).

It’s not just about weight though. Features play a big role in getting these lightweight backpacks into the Top 5.

Backpacks Featured in the Video:

  1. Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus. 21.3 oz (small), 22.3 oz (medium), 23.8 oz (large).- Sleeve at back allows you to insert your camping mat so that it doubles as your pack frame and padding. Two big mesh pockets at one side and front and two small mesh pockets at the other side are extremely useful. Fabric – lightweight urethane-coated ripstop nylon. Capacity: 3,600 cubic inches
  2. Golite Jam. 21 oz. – Super durable and lightweight Dyneema fabric. Compact yet has a large capacity. Convenient pockets. Simple design. Very comfortable. Capacity: 3100 cubic inches
  3. Mountainsmith Ghost. 35 oz. – Panel loading makes it easy to pack and unpack. Waterproof zippers. Unique frame design. Comfortable hip belts and staps. Huge side pockets. External straps for sleeping bag or tent. DISCONTINUED.
  4. Mountain Laurel Designs Exodus. 15 oz. – Jason’s favourite pack. Tough Dyneema fabric. Smartly designed mesh pockets (front and sides). Convenient hipbelt pockets. Optional shoulder pocket. Customizable. Very comfortable. Well padded straps. Compressible.
  5. ULA P-2/Catalyst. 47 oz. – Huge pack. Very comfortable. Angled side pocket for easy access. Dyneema fabric. External straps. Adjustable hipbelt. Capacity: 4,600 cubic inches

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July 27, 2010