One of the “Big 3” in terms of weight (and importance) for lightweight backpacking.
I have purchased an Osprey Exos 58 (Small). This pack is very light (~1kg) for such a large, framed backpack. You can get much lighter with rucksack style pack, but I think I’d rather stick with something slightly more robust and structured for my first big hike, rather than going fully ultralight-crazy. I have a smaller Osprey pack (Mira 24?) which I use for rogaining and it is fantastic.
I’m a little concerned that maybe I should’ve gone for a smaller pack given that I’m aiming to pack so light (e.g 38 or 48L), but 58 seemed to be the size people took for multi-day hikes. The weight difference isn’t huge and the external size (height) difference doesn’t look that great either so hopefully it’s not too much of a bad decision. For reference the 38L small is 66 x 33 x 28 (cm HxWxD) and 1.01kg and the 58L small is 71 x 35 x 35cm and 1.15kg. Probably not a noticeable difference and may be worthwhile for not having to pack too carefully and future use for other trips/purposes.
I couldn’t find a 58L small in Australia at the moment (possible supply or manufacturing issues) but did manage to find a reasonably priced one from the US which I think is last year’s model. Even better – colour scheme is grey and orange!! Which I like much more than the blue or black/green for 2014 models.
Here is a photo.
After my first test hike, the pack was definitely NOT too large! However, this was using a lot of borrowed gear which was bigger than my stuff will be, so I expect I will have heaps of capacity spare still. The pack does cinch down nicely though to keep a tight fit even if it is significantly under-loaded.