Osprey Levity 45 Backpack | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Osprey Levity 45 Backpack | Review

The Osprey Levity 45 is one seriously lightweight pack, but is that at the expense of features or comfort?

When trying to cut back on the gram-count of your load for a backpacking trip, most of us will consider the weight of our tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat or stove. But what can easily be overlooked is the weight of your pack itself.

Those who take their backpack weight seriously have, for plenty of years now, relied upon small-scale handmade-in-someone’s-garage style packs from the cottage gear making industry. It’s been a bit niche.

Enter the Osprey Levity (and Lumina for women), a 45-litre mass-produced pack that weighs a stonkingly light 830g. To put this into perspective the Osprey Stratos 36 weighs 1,490g despite being 9 litres smaller in capacity.

Yes, we’ve all seen ultralight packs before, but none that have a back system like this one. It features Osprey’s AirSpeed system, seen on many of their packs, where the bulk of it is suspended about 3 inches off your back by an aluminium frame and trampoline-like mesh to allow a high amount of ventilation and less sweat build up. We’ve found it works great on Osprey’s other packs and it certainly works on this too.

“We’ve all seen ultralight packs before, but none that have a back system like this…”

The pack itself is best-suited to carrying loads of under 12kg. It’s not the largest of load-bearing capacities, but then again, anyone who chooses an ultralight pack like this is probably going to be packed quite light anyway. To help you manage the weight there’s reasonable padding on the harness and a little on the hipbelt – it’s a minimal amount in comparison to most of Osprey’s other packs though.

A number of interesting materials have been utilised by Osprey to keep that overall weight so unbelievably light. At high abrasion points like the base there’s a 210-denier nylon reinforced with a 200-denier polyethylene, whereas the main material elsewhere is a 30-denier ripstop silnylon which is commonly seen on many ultralight tents.

 

The weight is incredible for a backpack with such a technical back system. Photo: Chris Johnson.
Plenty of padding on the shoulder straps. Photo: Chris Johnson.
The trampoline mesh on show. Photo: Chris Johnson.

A 30-denier fabric isn’t one to rough up too much so you definitely need to be careful not to let this catch on branches or tear on a rock when you throw it down too nonchalantly.

As well as the spacious main compartment and the pocket in the top lid, there’s also loads and loads of stuff space between the main body of the pack and the external reinforced fabric that wraps around the body of the pack. This is ideal for stashing all of your wet weather gear, or your down jacket, maps, water bottle etc.

Other useful features include the key chain clip in the top pocket, the internal bladder sleeve and the daisy chain loops for hanging kit off your pack. And if you’re carrying smaller loads, it’s possible to reduce the pack’s volume via zig zagging compression straps on the side.

The Levity and Lumina are available in different back sizes, so it’s worth trying this on before you buy it if you can, or at least trying on another Osprey pack in the same size. For big trips it’s worth also bearing in mind that there’s a 60-litre version also.

What would we use this for then? If we had the time, this would be the first thing we’d grab if we had the spare time to go and hike the whole Appalachian Trail. That said, it’s certainly a very useful pack for simple weekend overnights as well, because light loads, whatever the distance you’re covering, are always welcome, right?

Tester’s Verdict

“This is miraculously light. It defies logic. It looks like any standard backpack, then you pick it up and it just feels weightless. As for its carrying comfort, I wore it with a load of around 10kg for a big two-day hike in the North Downs and it was impressive, providing good ventilation and load distribution. One thing I will say though is that it looks a bit strange when fully loaded. That’s because it’s very bottom heavy – pear-shaped if you like. But hey, that’s just aesthetics. Who cares when it balances weight and comfort so well.” – Will Renwick, Outdoors Magic Editor.

Price: £220

Weight: 760g

More info: ospreyeurope.com

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