Best Lightweight Hiking Backpacks For Seniors

A good quality backpack is the staple of every hiker.

While younger people may not appreciate the benefits of premium hiking backpacks, the seniors exactly know what the features of a hiking backpack are must-haves, such as its comfort and being lightweight.

Therefore, here are the best hiking backpacks for seniors that will surely make them feel like there is nothing seated on their backs.

The most recommended lightweight hiking backpacks for seniors are the following: Osprey Daylite, Osprey Talon 22, and the Deuter Speedlite 20. These backpacks are so light, which weigh only around 1lb but not greater than 2lb, and can more than 20 liters of a load.

On the other hand, there are hundreds of backpacks that serve different purposes. However, we must be very specific with this lightweight feature since we are looking for backpacks that must be convenient for older people.

To help you make the right pick, here are some things you must look for when buying a backpack.

What To Look For In Your Backpack

For boomers and seniors, “Pack light” is one of the most common luggage tips you often hear whenever you are out for a hike, hop on a flight, and even you go biking to your workplace.

That is why looking for a great backpack is essential to support your needs. Therefore, grab a piece of paper and a pen and list down these things to consider when choosing a backpack.

  • Capacity
  • Type of Activity
  • Weight
  • Padding
  • Waterproof
  • Ease of Access


To know the capacity of a backpack, it is measured in terms of how many liters it can carry.

In general, most backpacks can carry loads ranging from 10L (2.5 gal) to 35L (9 gal), but for the popular brands of backpacks, they usually can hold up to 20-30L (5-8 gal) of a load.

Well, these types of backpacks are more preferred because their compartments are spacious enough to carry stuff for varieties of outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. Thus it can accommodate things for at least ten days.

Type of Activity

Ask yourself, where will I use this backpack?

Assessing your primary activity will tell what features and functions your backpack must-have.

For short day hikes, I recommend looking for backpacks that are ultra-lightweight with minimalist compartment since you will just use it for a shorter period of time.

On the other hand, if you will be spending long days on the trail, make sure to buy the pack that offers excellent support and has a greater capacity to hold your gears.


Weight is an important factor to look for when choosing backpacks, especially for baby boomers and seniors.

For a short day hike, your load should be lighter, therefore choose backpacks that weigh only around 1 lb to 2 lb so that it will not add up to the load you are carrying.

It is not necessary to buy a 5 lb backpack and then bring lesser things more than it can hold. When hiking, set aside the thought “The heavier, the better” because IT IS NOT!

When looking for a perfect pack, consider first which packs deliver the utmost comfort and offer the best function, and then the weight comes next.

Back panel design

Well, here, I am referring to the rear panel of the backpack since most of the packs you can find nowadays have this kind of mesh that is suspended at the back panel of your bag.

Not to mention, this is responsible for the airflow and ventilation while you are hiking on the trail. To be honest, you will still sweat, but just minimal; that is why many hikers find this type of pack to be more comfortable.

On the other hand, for backpackers with simple back panel design, what they do is that they incorporate some padding for extra comfort and helps well in ventilation.


Due to unexpected downpour, your backpack must be waterproof to avoid the water seeping down to your backpack seams and then wet your gears. Some backpacks come with covers.

Unfortunately, these pack covers will not provide full protection for heavy rains. That is why it is highly recommended to pack your gears in a ziplock before placing it to your packs for extra protection.

As an alternative, you can line the inside of your bag with a trash bag to secure your gears from wetness.

Ease of access

Most backpacks you can see today have that common top-loading compartment, which is used for housing the majority of your gears.

Moreover, look for packs that have multiple compartments for organizing your stuff easily and can access your gear quickly.

Lastly, make sure to consider the add on front mesh pocket, which you will find handy for storing on-the-go gears such as water filter, cap, gloves, and raincoat.

Extra features:

Water bottle holder

To survive long hikes, you must have the proper hydration to keep you going. If you do not have hydration bladder along with you, your water bottle must be placed in quick and easy access to keep you hydrated all the time.

Most of the water bottle holster is placed on the side pockets of your backpack. However, some ultralight packs do not have this water bottle holster, which seems to be inconvenient, in my opinion.

Hip belt

The function of this hip belt is to distribute the weight of your load to your hips so that it can alleviate the strain and pressure on your shoulder.

What is good about these hip belts is that they have easy access pockets wherein you can store some items such as sunscreen, lip balm, smartphone, snacks, etc., which you may need along the way.

Unfortunately, most minimalist backpacks skip hip belts; but provide nylon straps for additional stability, balance, and weight transfer.

Tip: For long day hikes, it is advisable to look for backpacks with more hip belts to avoid neck and shoulder strain from too much pressure.

Sternum strap

The buckle that can be connected across your chest is now a trend in most of the backpacks you can see nowadays. These straps allow you to connect the straps on your shoulder to your chest for extra security.

Best lightweight hiking backpacks for seniors

Whether you will be out for business trips, for travels, or for outdoor activities like hiking and camping, having the great backpack will save you from these occasions.

The following are the reviews of the best backpacks you can find on the market.

Osprey Daylite Daypack

Osprey Daylite Daypack

This backpack is both simple and sleek, which is appropriate for older people who carry light loads only.

Though this pack is applicable for short trips, it can carry loads around 13L, which can carry enough items for a one-day trip.

Moreover, this pack is made from Nylon (known to be durable) and is water-resistant for an unexpected downpour.

Overall, Osprey Daylite serves you with the comfort and purpose you are looking for a backpack!

Weight: 1 lb

Capacity: 13 L


  • Versatility in use
  • Ventilated back panel and harness design
  • Comes with a variety of colors
  • Good price


  • Limited capacity
  • Mesh pockets are not great for water bottles

Osprey Talon 22

Osprey Talon 22 Men’s Hiking Backpack

Given the lightweight and durable feature, this backpack surely knows how to impress the backpackers with its ability to form around the user’s body.

Well, thanks to its padded shoulder straps, breathable back panels, and its hip belts that can easily form around your body for convenient hikes.

Though this backpack is lightweight, it offers convenient storage and multiple compartments to keep your things organized and for quick and easy access to stuff.

If you are looking for lightweight backpacks that can store more gears than the previous one, Osprey Talon 22 is a great pick.

Weight: 1 lb 9 oz – 1 lb 10 oz

Capacity: 20 L to 22 L


  • Multiple compartments
  • Durable and comfortable
  • Has hydration compartment


  • Some pockets are quite small
  • The back panel is not as breathable as other might like

Deuter Speed Lite 20 Unisex

Deuter Unisex Speed Lite 20

This pack is simple and lightweight we often need for short day hikes. It represents the balance between simplicity and comfort, perfect for a variety of outdoor adventures.

Just like other backpacks, this Speed Lite comes with a simple and removable hip belt to distribute loads from your shoulder down to your hips to ease back pain.

Moreover, it boasts four exterior pockets for organizing your stuff properly.

It also comes with a well-ventilated back panel so that air can flow between your back and the bag to keep you cool and wicks away sweat.

Weight: 1 lb 2 oz

Capacity: 20 L


  • Perfect choice for day hikes
  • Super lightweight
  • Comes with athletic design
  • Fully adjustable


  • No good for longer hikes
  • The front pocket is difficult to get into

Not So Light, But Spacious

senior with backpack

If you noticed the lightweight backpacks have something else in common: they do not offer too much space for the things you carry.

So, I decided less light, but more spacious options here as well. It is possible that for short and long hikes you may need different backpacks.

Osprey Farpoint 40

Osprey Farpoint 40

Osprey Farpoint 40 is the most well-known brand of carry-on travel backpack nowadays.

With its front-loading design that is spacious, easy to use, and can carry, a lot of stuff makes it convenient for backpackers.

What I love about this pack is that it is very comfortable to carry on your back because of the good-quality straps and suspension system.

Well, this backpack can transform into a travel bag with a padded handle by stowing away the straps, making them invisible. Because of the hip-belt this bag can also be used both for day-hikes and for non-travel purposes.

Weight: 3.17 lbs

Capacity: 40 L

Load: 20 to 40 lbs


  • Stow-away straps
  • Can be used both for hiking and traveling
  • Lockable zippers
  • Spacious front-loading compartmentIt has a padded laptop and tablet sleeve


  • The laptop compartment is not located against your back

NOMATIC Travel Pack Water Resistant Anti-Theft

NOMATIC Travel Pack Water Resistant Anti-Theft

This travel backpack is ideal for people who work while they travel.

The design of Nomatic Travel Bag features a well-thought and organized compartment such as an underwear pocket, dedicated laptop sleeve, and can be converted into a duffel bag if you got tired carrying it on your back.

This bag is made from durable materials, which is perfect for long distances travel. Otherwise, you can easily attach this bag on a rolling suitcase for ease of handling.

Weight: 4 lbs

Capacity: 40 L

Load: 20 to 40 lbs.


  • Made from durable and water-resistant material
  • It has a detachable hip belt
  • Carry-on size
  • Brimming with excellent features


  • Water bottle pocket is placed inside the backpack
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Limited color choices

SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

One of the recommended among the best cheap travel backpacks is the SwissGear 1900. It is an average-sized travel backpack perfect for backpackers traveling with a laptop and for everyday use.

To keep your things organized as possible, it has a spacious main compartment perfect for housing your laptop and iPad.

It also features two breathable side compartments for holding your water bottle and multiple compartments for organizing stuff properly.

In addition, this backpack is made from durable and water-resistant ballistic polyester material.

The back panel features breathable and Airflow technology padding that can wick away moisture and sweat. For the shoulder straps, they are well-contoured with great padding, which is perfect for daily use.

PS. For the laptop compartment, it can fit laptop up to 17”

Weight: 3.3 lbs

Capacity: 37 L


  • TSA approved laptop and device pockets
  • It consists of multiple quick-access pockets and large interior storage
  • Comes with a variety of styles and designs


  • It is larger compared to other standard backpacks
  • It is heavy

Osprey Porter 30 Travel Backpack

Osprey Porter 30 Travel Backpack

Perfect both for traveling and hiking, Osprey is a popular choice for backpackers because of the wonderful features this bag offers.

Well, this bag approves with the TSA carry-on regulations because of its dimension of 20 X 13 X 12 inches and weighs only around 2.8 pounds. To distribute the load, it has a harness hip belt attached and locked on the front panel to keep your valuables more secure.

In addition, the harness can be stowed away so that you will not look like climbing a mountain wherein you are just lining up for your espresso at Starbucks. LOL!

This carry-on backpack is made from durable and lightweight fabrics, perfect for packing stuff good up to two weeks.

Tip: Buy some packing cubes to save space on your backpack


  • It has spacious room compartment
  • It’s compression straps can diminish the bulkiness when not fully-packed


  • Broad shape (not perfect for people with narrow shoulders)
  • Very little organization

Tips For Backpacking

When it comes to trips, am I the only one who is stressing out on how to pack perfectly my gears?

Well, to reduce your stress and enjoy the trip instead, here are some backpacking tips, which will come handy when packing things for your next trip.

Never ever get the bag too big

Remember when going on a trip, the lighter the better. Though it may be tempting to buy large backpacks and then fill it with things you don’t actually need during the trip, you will just end up straining your back, so PLEASE DON’T.

Pack things by halves

Do a packing trial when you are preparing for your trip. What you need to do is to pack your backpack in full, carrying those items you think you will need during the trip, and then unpack it in half. Thank me, later!

Consider rolling your clothes

One of the basics every backpacker must know is to roll clothes to save up more space in the bag.

Make sure to pack plastic bags

This is to make sure you keep away dirty shoes, wet clothes, and leaky shower caps from the rest of your things. Bringing plastic bags will help you become organize on top of your clothes by grouping them.

For example, spare plastic bags for shorts and a t-shirt, for dirty clothes. This will also help you find things and can make your things waterproof

Don’t forget your waterproof bag cover

When you are hitting the road, you will be uncertain of the weather, whether it will rain or the sun will shine brightly. Therefore, to keep your backpack wet-free, do not forget to bring your bag cover to protect your stuff.

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay
Image by Hermann Traub from Pixabay

Reed Harris

Reed is a traveler and blogger. He's planning to visit all states in the USA. He's been in 31 states so far.

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