The more you hike, the more you notice your pack weight, and Saphira hikes a lot. She’s taken the new “superultralight” Osprey Lumina 60 for a spin in South East Queensland’s rugged mountains to find out if saving weight on the pack itself is worth it.
This new range of bags may be THE lightest hiking packs on the market. The spicy question is: what’s the trade-off? Does the pack sacrifice comfort, functionality, and durability too much?
I was sent the Osprey Lumina 60 to review, part of Osprey’s new superultralightweight (their word) Lumina and Levity range. My 60L pack weighs just 800g! For comparison, a hiking pack of this size with all the trimmings is usually around 1.7kg+.
Usually, I hike with a 45L Mountain Wolf pack (up to 100km, meaning I end up strapping heaps to the outside) or a decade old Kathmandu travel pack. This is therefore a SERIOUS upgrade into the high-tech hiking pack realm, and I’m curious to see if I’ll think it’s worth it.
I took my pack to the Green Mountains in Lamington NP, South East Queensland to test it out.
Almost everything else you take with you will be heavier than this backpack, which is a strange concept to wrap your head around. The pack is less than half the weight of standard packs in this size class. Osprey advertises this range as specialist. Their website literally tells you “it’s probably not for you.” Why? You’ll probably not appreciate the trade-offs unless you’re an Ultralight hiker, which is a fanatical, extreme hiking sect of sorts.
Summary: It is SO light. This is its main feature. It succeeds! Osprey has saved every gram possible while retaining functionality.
The grey and turquoise colours are pretty – I liked it especially because it matched my favourite sweatband! However, the light colours will quickly be muddied with use. It also lacks convenience by minimising pockets (zippers = weight). I loved the integrated water bladder pouch, clips, drawstrings, straps, loops, and built-in emergency whistle though, which added versatility to the bag.
There’s also a super neat easy-access opening for your side pockets so you can keep hydrated easily, even while solo hiking! That’s handy, because the lack of a sturdy base means your bag will literally always fall over when you put it on the ground.
The main issue for me was that it seemed quite frumpy unless it was packed full. I took the pack on a day hike (~15km), and at times, it felt like walking around with an oversized preschooler’s pack. It’s not shaped like some of the sleeker top-end packs on the market unless it’s packed carefully, and all the way to the top.
The Osprey Lumina 60 is a women’s-specific bag which has a shorter back frame and nicer padding for the adventuresses. I did not expect it to be so comfortable. It felt like wearing a cloud. The Superultralight Airspeed™ Backpanel is incredible. A very pleasant surprise! There’s also super cushiony ExoForm shoulder straps, and great structural design to ensure the pack weight is carried comfortably.
There are several sizes to pick from in both the Lumina and Levity versions to get a close-to-custom fit for you! The chest strap is customisable, and the waist and shoulder straps were super comfortable for my day hike, with no chafing or other issues. The only minus for comfort is that your head will perpetually be knocking against the back frame.
It was raining on the trail so I got to test the fabric in wet conditions – it was obviously water repellent which is great, since it doesn’t come with an integrated raincover. The recommended load is only up to 14kg (for the Lumina 60; less for a 45L and more for a Levity or larger women’s fit) – so keep that in mind. That being said, I packed a Hubba Hubba MSR 2-person tent, NeoAir Thermarest sleeping mat, Cat’s Meow The North Face sleeping bag, and full Camelpak comfortably in the main compartment with room for food; I also fit a jacket in the Stuff-it outer pocket, and a first aid kit, torch, LifeStraw, and Swiss Army Knife in the brain with no problems.
The main body of the pack is very lightweight, at a trade-off of durability. The material seems very thin and was scary at first sight!. However, Osprey reinforced the main parts of the pack with the more robust panelling to protect against shrubbery and wear and tear. A manufacturing error means I had a tear in one of the pockets – but my bag was replaced within a week. Take comfort in knowing that all Osprey packs are backed by a solid lifetime repair or replacement warranty.
This 60L pack will set you back $290. This is pretty standard pricing for a top-of-the-range pack, and typical of Osprey packs. You’re getting some pretty high-tech features for the same price as more standard packs!
So, Is The Osprey Lumina 60 Worth It?
The Osprey Lumina 60 is a seriously cool, high-tech, ULTRA lightweight bag. It’s super comfortable, but lacks some features us ‘standard’ hikers might miss – extra pockets, zippers, style, and durability.
If weight isn’t at the top of your list of priorities in a hiking pack, the Levity or Lumina pack is probably not the lifelong partner for you. However, if you’re part of the Super Ultralightweight hiking breed – look no further.
This review was not paid for but Saphira was allowed to keep the Osprey Lumina 60 after the review.
All photos thanks to Mitchell Quinn | @trexntrax
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