10 Greatest Ultralight Frameless Backpacks of 2023

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As ultralight backpacking gear has gotten lighter weight, so have ultralight backpacks. A lot so, that many thru-hikers, section-hikers, and long-distance backpackers are turning to frameless ultralight backpacks for his or her adventures. Designed for a great deal of 20-25 kilos or much less (together with meals, water, and gas), these backpacks and their producers have confirmed to be wildly progressive of their use of cutting-edge supplies, colours, and options.  Whereas backpacking this gentle isn’t for everybody, the elevated availability of ultralight backpacking gear and entry to know-how by social media has made it extra achievable than ever.

In case your goal is to scale back the burden of your backpack to shut to a pound or much less, listed below are some methods of attaining that aim.

  1. Use a frameless backpack, because you don’t want the added help or weight of a body or perhaps a hip belt for masses underneath 20-25 kilos.
  2. Cut back the quantity of your pack to 40L or much less. which forces you to make use of lighter-weight and extra compact gear.
  3. Choose backpacks made with ultralight materials like Dyneema DCF, Extremely, or EcoPak that are waterproof and extremely sturdy.

Listed here are the ten frameless ultralight backpacks that we suggest that embody these qualities.

Make sure you learn our Frameless Ultralight Backpack Choice Information under which explains these tradeoffs in better element.

Word: If you’d like an ultralight backpack that has a body or body stays, a fully-featured hip belt, can comfortably carry 25-40+ kilos, however nonetheless weighs between 2 – 3 lbs, see our article, The ten Greatest Ultralight Backpacks (with frames).

1. Nashville Packs Cutaway (42L)

Nashville Cutaway

The Nashville Packs Cutaway is likely one of the most progressive frameless ultralight backpacks we’ve encountered in a very long time. It’s a 42L (complete quantity) roll-top with aspect and entrance pockets, in addition to a backside sleeve for trash or hats, buffs, and snacks, and is designed in order that all the exterior pockets might be accessed on the transfer whereas carrying the pack. Whereas it’s out there in quite a lot of ultralight materials, the factor that units this pack aside is the non-obligatory vest-style shoulder strap system which is hands-down probably the most comfy, best-fitting, and practical vest-style shoulder strap system we’ve ever used. It is because Nashville has a singular approach of measuring your measurement for the very best match. It’s also possible to get the Cutaway with common shoulder straps as a result of the pack is modular and you’ll change between them. Learn the SectionHiker evaluate.

Accessible from:
Nashville Packs

2. Pa’lante Packs V2 (31-37L)

Palante Packs V2
Pa’lante Packs is likely one of the authentic movers amongst second-generation frameless backpack producers and lots of different of their improvements have been copied now by others. Their V2 backpack contains the unique backside pocket for stowing snacks, layers, and trash, shoulder strap pockets, a stashable hipbelt, adjustable aspect pockets, and a chosen stake pocket. The V2 is offered off-the-shelf in two torso lengths: 16″ and 19″ and two colours: sand and black.

Accessible from:
Pa’lante Packs | Storage Grown Gear

3. LiteAF Extremely Curve 30L (45L)

Ultra-Lime-Green
The LiteAF Extremely Curve 30L has a important physique with 30L of substances storage, with an extra 15L in exterior pockets, totaling 45L. Made with Extremely 200 material and seam-sealed, it’s a roll-top backpack made with giant aspect pockets and the entrance mesh pocket discovered on ultralight-style packs. However the factor that basically units LiteAF aside from different ultralight pack makers is the big selection of garish colours, patterns, and materials they provide. Should you’re sick of white, black, or grey-colored backpacks and desire a pack that lets your freak flag fly, try their shade palette. The max really helpful load is 20 kilos.

Accessible from:
LiteAF

4. Waymark EVLV Extremely (35L)

Waymark EVLV Ultra 38
The Waymark EVLV Extremely is a minimalist frameless pack with a roll-top closure, aspect water bottle pockets, a entrance stretch pocket, and daisy chains on the shoulder straps.  It’s made with Extremely, which is waterproof and extra abrasion resistant than Dyneema DCF. The EVLV ranges in volumes from 35-38 liters relying in your torso measurement and is greatest suited to base weights (minus water, gas, and meals) of 10 lbs. The EVLV is offered in a number of colours and torso sizes. We predict the development and a spotlight to element on Waymark’s packs are top-notch.

Accessible from:
Waymark Gear Firm | Storage Grown Gear

5. Dandee Pack’s The Customary Pack (35L)

Dandee The Standard
Dandee Pack’s “The Customary Pack” is a sleek-looking 35L frameless roll-top backpack out there with J or S-shaped shoulder straps or Vest-style straps with built-in shoulder pockets on each side, a big stretch entrance pocket, backside pocket with a trash port, ice axe/trekking pole attachment system, aspect compression straps, non-obligatory hip belt attachment factors, a g-hook prime strap and sit pad attachment straps. It’s out there in three torso lengths: 17″, 19″, and 21″ both as a customized pack from Dandee or off-the-shelf from Storage Grown Gear.

Accessible from:
Dandee Packs | Storage Grown Gear

6. Superior Wilderness Designs Ultralight Superior (40L)

Ultralight Superior Frameless SWD
The Superior Wilderness Designs Ultralight Superior is an 18.2 ozframeless ultralight backpack with 45 liters of capability: 35 liters in the principle compartment and 10 liters on the outside. The pack made is with Extremely, which is a brand new ultralight waterproof materials that’s extra abrasion resistant than Dyneema DCF and XPac. The Ultralight Superior comes with a lycra pad sleeve on the again panel, a foam sit pad that can be utilized as a seat whereas taking breaks, and a 1″ webbing belt. The pack is designed for masses as much as 20 lbs. A number of low-priced customizations are additionally out there.

Accessible from:
Superior Wilderness Designs

7. Mountain Laurel Designs Burn (38L)

Mountain Laurel Designs Burn 38L Backpack
The Mountain Laurel Designs Burn is a 38 liter frameless rolltop backpack that weighs 16.5 oz. Made with 210D Dyneema Gridstop Nylon, it has a padded hipbelt, S-shaped shoulder straps, deep aspect pockets, and a strong stretch entrance pocket for improved sturdiness (not proven right here). With a really helpful load vary of 18-25 kilos, the factor that units the Burn aside from different ultralight backpacks is the standard of its building and bomber sturdiness. The pack has over 50 heavy-duty stitching bartacks and might face up to a number of thru-hikes. Minor customizations are additionally out there.

Accessible from:
Mountain Laurel Designs

8. Gossamer Gear G4-20 (42L)

Gossamer Gear G4-20 Backpack
The Gossamer Gear G4-20 is a 42L frameless ultralight backpack that weighs 25 ozand might carry as much as 25 lbs comfortably. The G4-20 has a entrance stretch mesh pocket, two aspect pockets together with one which’s giant sufficient to hold a shelter, an exterior map pocket, and a roll-top closure. Its inner storage capability is 30L with 12L in its mesh and aspect pockets. The well-padded hip belt, which incorporates pockets, just isn’t detachable, however you’ll be able to ditch the molded foam sit pad protecting the pack’s again panel and cut back the pack weight to 21.7 oz. Learn the SectionHiker G4-20 Assessment. 

Accessible from:
Gossamer Gear 

9. Mountainsmith Zerk (40L)

Mountainsmith Zerk 40
The Mountainsmith Zerk 40 has vest-style shoulder straps impressed by Extremely-running backpacks. It has a roll-top closure, detachable, hip belt strap, a working vest-style shoulder strap system. Quite a few open mesh pockets make it simple to retailer often accessed gear and meals on the outside of the pack so that you don’t should open it through the day. The pack comes with bear can straps so you’ll be able to lash a canister on prime and contains quite a few exterior gear loops so you’ll be able to connect further gear to its exterior. Whereas there’s a foam pad in a pad pocket behind the Zerk’s shoulder straps, its major function is to guard your again from being poked by the pack’s contents. Learn the SectionHiker Assessment.

Accessible from:
REI | Backcountry 

10. Atom Packs – The Atom (35L)

Atom EP40

The Atom EP40 is made by Atom Packs, a small backpack producer from the UK that has rapidly established a world popularity. The Atom EP40 is frameless, doesn’t have a hip belt, and has a max really helpful load of 20 lbs. The primary physique holds 35L and the exterior pockets can maintain as much as 10L extra.  It has a roll-top w/prime webbing strap, twin shoulder pockets, two aspect pockets, a from mesh pocket, and a backside pocket with a trash port for stuff snack wrappers or hats, buffs, and many others.

Accessible from:
Atom Packs 

Frameless Ultralight Backpack Choice Information

Early model of the Gossamer Gear Frameless G4 Backpack - 2011
Early mannequin of the Gossamer Gear Frameless G4 Backpack – Frameless packs have come a good distance since 2011.

Customized vs. Off-the-Shelf Backpacks

Many frameless ultralight backpacks are made by hand by cottage producers and might be custom-made when it comes to colours, material, or options. A few of the extra established backpack producers or retailers listed above solely supply “inventory” backpacks with a set set of options. The benefit of buying a inventory backpack is that it’s normally out there instantly and not using a lengthy wait time. Should you determined to go the customized route, make sure you contact the producer when you have any questions earlier than you order. Most customized backpacks are non-returnable.

Frameless Ultralight Backpack Quantity

How a lot quantity do you really want in an ultralight backpack, once you’re actually making an attempt to get your TOTAL pack weight under 20 kilos? It’s laborious to make a blanket advice as a result of it finally comes all the way down to the local weather you intend to hike in and what your clothes, sleep insulation, shelter, vitamin, and water wants shall be. For normal three-season situations, most UL backpackers discover {that a} 40L pack gives greater than sufficient quantity for a 3-5 day journey, together with gear, meals, gas, and water. It will get rather more tough to suit every part you want right into a 30L backpack, nonetheless, except you’ll be able to resupply extra often, you go stoveless, otherwise you don’t want to hold a lot water. Nevertheless, given the listing of packs above, there’s not an enormous weight penalty for carrying the next quantity pack than you want, since they’re all so light-weight and you’ll compress them utilizing a roll-top closure or aspect compression.

Huge Exterior Storage

Frameless ultralight backpacks are likely to have loads of exterior storage which is accessible when you’re nonetheless carrying the backpack. That is as a lot a mantra as a design philosophy with the underlying aim of climbing as many miles as doable (like all day) with out ever having to cease and take your backpack off. Many frameless ultralight packs include pockets sewn onto their shoulder straps, backside stretch pockets so you’ll be able to attain beneath a pack when worn to drag out snacks or deposit used wrappers, and accessible aspect pockets.

Ultralight Backpack Materials

Most ultralight backpacks are made with Dyneema Composite Materials (DCF), XPac, Nylon (Robic, Cordura, Dyneema X, and many others.) By way of sturdiness, Extremely is normally probably the most sturdy when it comes to abrasion resistance, then EcoPak, XPac and LiteSkin, then DCF, and at last Nylon, though it relies on the denier or weight of the fabric used. DCF and XPac revolutionized UL backpack manufacturing as a result of they’re so light-weight, however are being rapidly overtaken by newer waterproof materials like EcoPak and Extremely that are much more sturdy and ecologically sustainable merchandise.

The largest areas of wear and tear and tear on a backpack is the bottom, the place you place it down on the bottom, and the aspect pockets, particularly in the event that they’re made with mesh. Most UL pack makers have switched to extra sturdy mesh, use extra sturdy stretch mesh that has finer holes and is much less liable to snagging, or have switched to creating exterior pockets with strong materials for higher sturdiness.

DCF, XPac, ECOPAK, Extremely, and LiteSkin are all waterproof supplies so that they received’t soak up water when it rains. DCF has the benefit that it may be seam-taped which tremendously will increase the waterproofing of a backpack. Whereas XPac, ECOPAK, and Liteskin might be seam-sealed, most individuals don’t trouble and line their packs with trash compactor luggage or use waterproof stuff sacks. Little or no water will get in anyway. It’s a lot the identical with Robic Nylon and different high-tenacity nylons though they are going to soak via, could make your gear moist, and take some time to dry out. See the next FAQs for extra recommendation and reader dialogue:

Hip Belts on Frameless Backpacks

The hip belts discovered on frameless backpacks usually are not load-bearing as a result of there’s no body to switch to load to the hips. This explains why many ultralight packs don’t have them, they’re detachable, or stowable, and solely made with webbing in the event that they’re included in any respect. Their solely actual function is to supply an anchorage for hip belt pockets or to stop the pack from bouncing towards your torso if you happen to stroll quick.

Because the hip belts usually are not load-bearing, all the burden will relaxation in your shoulders. When selecting packs, you need to take into account how a lot shoulder strap padding you like and the strap width that you simply discover most comfy.

Shoulder Straps

An rising variety of frameless pack makers are together with S-shaped backpack straps on their packs, that are extra comfy for ladies as a result of they accommodate breasts extra comfortably.  Many males additionally discover them extra comfy than the J-shaped shoulder straps that have been used beforehand.

There’s additionally an rising use of vest-style shoulder straps on many backpacks which might take some getting used to if you happen to have been born and bred on extra standard shoulder straps. The added width and pocket storage on vest-style packs makes them a gorgeous characteristic and may also help distribute the load throughout your shoulders, particularly in case your pack lacks a hip belt.

Torso Size

Shorter torso lengths are additionally more and more out there to accommodate ladies, who on common, aren’t as tall as males. Nevertheless, matching your precise torso size is much less vital on a frameless backpack as a result of the hip belt just isn’t load-bearing. The becoming course of is definitely extra just like becoming a daypack (and not using a hip belt) than a daily framed backpack, though matching your torso size continues to be a superb benchmark to goal for.

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