Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Osprey Hikelite 18 Litre Backpack Review

One of the biggest (and yet smallest) things on my Christmas list this year was a new daypack for my shorter adventure days. Lucky for me, I got my new backpack well before December (and I've already been able to use it for hiking + biking.)

Osprey Hikelite 18 Litre Backpack Review

Why a New Backpack 

I have a couple of larger backpacks that I absolutely love, but I was missing a small lightweight daypack I could use for solo adventures with my girlfriends (when I'm not carrying family gear and a thousand pounds of candy and motivational treats!) - and while I exaggerate on the candy, still, I take family hiking seriously, and I bring a lot of stuff to ensure we stay safe, happy, and warm.

I see my new Osprey Hikelite 18 Litre daypack carrying my water, a few extra layers of clothing, my lunch, and snacks when I head out with my friends for a short evening hike, a cross-country ski day, or even a trail riding day with my bike.

I'm also excited that I now have a nice little pack for urban adventures (geocaching, city walks and rambles, short bike rides, or even a trip to the zoo.)

The perfect pack for any light adventure day

The Top Features I love about the Osprey Hikelite 18 Litre Backpack

1. The Hikelite 18 is Small but Mighty

The pack stretches to carry more than I would ever have believed possible for something of its size. We went biking as a family and I was carrying more layers of clothing for my son and I than I've ever packed in my life. When we started our ride, it was in the low single digits (with rain in the forecast.) We were prepared for four seasons of weather (and I fit everything in this small pack.)

The Hikelite 18 is very stretchy and so it just keeps expanding with each new item you squish into it. Just make sure you put your lunch on top (sandwiches not really liking to be squished after all.)

Fall biking means carrying a LOT of clothing options

2. It is a Fabulous Hydration Daypack! 

I have a true "hydration pack" but I can barely carry enough in it to go for a short walk around the city. With the Hikelite 18 pack, I can carry two water bottles in the stretchy mesh side pockets (and they do not fall out even if you bend over or throw your pack down on the ground.)

For a longer outing (or if I wanted to carry more water,) the pack has a dedicated hydration sleeve inside for your water bladder (it will hold a 3L reservoir.) There's also a hole at the top of the pack for the water hose to come out, and there are small loops on the pack straps where you can secure the hose while hiking. 

Dual water bottle pockets for short hikes

3. The Pack is Great for Wet Conditions 

The Hikelite 18 has a built in rain cover (that I haven't had to use yet.) I love this feature though because I dislike having to bring a separate pack cover (that you can never find when you suddenly need it.) 

The pack cover is also the same cool color as the backpack (important for photos you know.)

The hikelite 18 pack is great for rainy or snowy adventures

4. The Pack is Very Comfortable! 

The pack has a comfortable waist strap and a good chest strap. I actually found that I didn't even have to use the chest strap though because the pack cinched so well to my body just by tightening the shoulder straps. 

I wouldn't say that the waist strap is as robust (or padded) as the one on my overnight pack, but I don't need it to be for a light daypack. For what this is (a lightweight pack for short adventures) the straps are perfect.

I spent 5 hours wearing this pack on a recent hike and my shoulders were never sore. I consider that a good sign of comfort.

The Hikelite pack is comfortable with or without the chest and waist straps on

5. The Hikelite 18 is an "Unassuming" Technical Pack in a Small Package 

Don't let the 18L size fool you. You'll get the following features with the Hikelite pack:

  • Ventilated AirSpeed™ backpanel to take care of the "sweaty pack" problem. I know personally, I can't stand putting a wet pack on my back.

  • Trekking pole attachments (perfect for hikes where you need your hands free for scrambling)

  • There is a scratch resistant organization pocket for sunglasses and electronics at the top of the pack.

  • Upper compression straps to cinch the sides of the pack in

An 18 Litre pack for all your day trips

And Bonus number 6 : Osprey packs come with the "almighty  guarantee."

"Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday. If we are unable to perform a functional repair on your pack, we will happily replace it. We proudly stand behind this guarantee, so much so that it bears the signature of company founder and head designer, Mike Pfotenhauer." - Website 

My Overall Opinion and Recommendation for the Hikelite 18 Pack 

I would definitely recommend this pack to anybody looking for a light daypack for short adventures, solo outings without the kids, or urban rambles around the city. The pack meets every need I had in a lightweight daypack.

The only thing I'd change to future designs of this pack would be to add more pockets. I normally like having a front pocket where I can store granola bars, band-aids, and other small items I want to find quickly. I'm finding with this Osprey pack that I have to put smaller items together in a big ziplock bag so I can find them in the main compartment.

The Small but Mighty Hikelite 18 Litre Daypack

Read More about Osprey Gear and Equipment

I received  my Hikelite pack from Altitude Sports, Canadian online outdoor store.

Read more about Osprey's best selling backpacks and travel luggage here.

See Altitude Sport's full collection of Osprey gear and equipment here.

And as always with Altitude Sports, there is free shipping on orders over $49 in Canada, along with a fast and simple return policy should you need it.

Disclaimer: I received my Hikelite day pack in exchange for this review. As always, all opinions and words are my own and I wasn't compensated in any other way.

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