[Daypacks] Ultralight packable daypacks (zippers & <150g)

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[Daypacks] Ultralight packable daypacks (zippers & <150g)

Postby keithy » Fri 15 Dec, 2017 2:49 am

Keithy reviews Lightweight Packable Daypacks with zippered closures <150g

Following my earlier review of the roll top style packable daypacks I have (viewtopic.php?f=63&t=26889), these are the zippered packable daypacks I have that are under 150g.

Again, I will start with the Sea to Summit ultrasil daypack - which is the first of these types of packs I ever bought.

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack
Sea to Summit Ultrasil Daypack

This was my first bag of this type. At the time there were no comparable bags around 70g and tiny when folded but having such a good carrying capacity. It as extremely pocketable and easy to carry in pants or jacket pocket (more so than the rolltop "S2S Dry daypack"). While I had reservations on the weight it could handle, it proved capable carrying heavy loads around 10kgs - although I wouldn't really recommend this for long carries as the straps cut in to your shoulders. It is splash proof, but the zips and seams are not waterproof.

My original one is about 5 years old now, and lasted some 4 years before I punctured a small hole in the fabric. Mine had been used as a light daypack when hiking, as a carry on airline pack when my main pack was in the cargo hold and a shopping/grocery bag when traveling.

The newest iteration appears to have some minor improvements. They now quote the weight at 72g and have reinforced stitching at the strap to stop bunching and webbing daisy-chain on front for a bike light. I think there is still some room to improve this design by incorporating part mesh shoulder straps for more comfortable carry.

Karrimor xlite 20 packable rucksack
Karrimor xlite 20 Foldable Backpack

Karrimor is a UK brand and I bought this at a SportDirect store in Hungary last year. Close to the Sea to Summit Ultrasil daypack in size and weight, however the carry pouch is separate and not attached to the bag. The material is ripstop and seems tougher than the ultrasil, but does not have a waterproof coating, and the quality of construction is inferior. The stitching and finish on mine is all over the shop, with many loose threads on the interior. I considered it an OK bag, but for the same price, I would opt for the Sea to Summit Ultrasil Day Pack.

Hasky Ultralight 20L
A3Hasky backpack.jpg
Hasky 20L packable backpack

This bag appears to be an almost identical copy of the Sea to Summit daypack. I picked it up at a non-descript sports shop in Singapore. I can't find any other details about the manufacturer. It was SGD$25, so at the time around $22. It uses a sil nylon ripstop fabric, and is virtually identical to the S2S bag, albeit marginally lighter. I can't fault the contruction, and the zippers were actually nicer than on my S2S pack. I was hesitant to put this on the list as I'm not sure you can get it anywhere anymore.

Naturehike 18L Folding backpack
  • Weight 114g
  • Style zip
  • External pockets Yes two side and one zip
  • Capacity 18L
  • Packed Size 12 x 7cm
  • Open Size 42cm x 23cm x 17cm
A4Naturehike 18L packable.jpg
Naturehike 18L packable backpack
A4Naturehike 18L packable.jpg (53.97 KiB) Viewed 8338 times

I've been checking out some of the Naturehike gear recently, having picked up a Naturehike tent early this year after reading reviews on Bushwalk and been happy with their kit. I couldn't find this on the Naturehike website, but it is available from the usual Chinese online stores for around $20 or less. Naturehike have a few other styles of packable backpacks but they are >150g - a 22L pack at about 190g and a 15L pack at about 250g.

This Naturehike 18L folding backpack is a bit of a standout for me. The construction quality is very good, from the use of good quality, water resistant ripstop fabric, to the zippers - see the closeups of the waterproof zippers (on the main opening, and the front zip pocket), and the mesh straps and stretch mesh pockets. It does weigh around 45g more than the Sea to Summit (and other packs above) and it is marginally smaller with a lower carrying capacity of 18L. The bag however does include what I consider improvements - the mesh shoulder straps make for more comfortable carry, the two external side mesh pockets are handy for bottles/stash, and the external zip pocket (with waterproof zipper) is also handy. When packed, it is larger than the other packs, but it is about the same size as the Sea to Summit 22L Dry rolltop daypack. The stuff bag is attached to the inside of the backpack via a nylon strap sewn to the inside of the backpack. I reckon this bag is a winner, but if size and weight are the issue, the original S2S ultralight daypack is still hard to beat.
Closeup of the Naturehike material and waterproof zips (top), and mesh shoulder strap and stretchy mesh side pockets

Some comparison pics
Size when packed
L-R Sea to Summit / Karrimor / Hasky / Naturehike

Size when opened
L-R Sea to Summit / Karrimor / Hasky / Naturehike

Finally I will give a quick mention to some others I looked at but did not buy.

Quechua Ultra Compact 10L
Saw this when I bought the rolltop 20L version. It was remarkably small and cheap, but the construction was a bit lacking, and to me the 10L was a bit small and ultimately for the lack of quality and the small carrying capacity it didn't make the list.

Osprey Ultralight stuff pack
This one is the usual Osprey quality, but the pack folds into a small squarish pouch rather than a can shaped roll. It has mesh shoulder straps, and a single mesh external pocket. Slightly smaller capacity, it was at the upper end of the price range of all the bags I've looked at, but comes with Osprey's awesome warranty. I would call this similar to the Naturehike bag as a compromise between comfort and features over weight/carrying capacity. A good pack, but I did not buy one.

Lifeventure Ultralite Packable
Saw this one in the UK, but didn't pick it up as the advertised carrying capacity was a lot lower and weight double the Sea to Summit daypack.

L-R Quechua Ultracompact 10 / Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack / Lifeventure Ultralight Packable
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Re: [Daypacks] Ultralight packable daypacks (zippers & <150g

Postby keithy » Mon 18 Dec, 2017 7:09 pm

This is another picture of comparing the Naturehike 18L backpack to the Sea to Summit pack when both bags filled.

It is clearer here than in the pictures above the difference in size between the two:

NaturehikeSeatoSummitComparison (Medium).JPG
Naturehike 18L (left) Sea to Summit (right)
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Re: [Daypacks] Ultralight packable daypacks (zippers & <150g

Postby Lindsay » Sat 13 Jan, 2018 8:26 pm

I have had ans S2S Ultra Sil for several years now and an very pleased with it. Like you keithy, I have used it as airline carry on, for shopping and as an impromptu day pack when overseas. I would like to see a couple of small pockets incorporated though. I would take a small weight penalty to save rooting around for wallet, keys etc. Note : I don't use this as a bushwalking day pack as a general rule (although I have done sometimes) as I don't think it is really suited to a tough day in the Australian bush.
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