The Osprey Exos 58 continues to secure the Top Pick award for the best lightweight competitor. It is close to half the weight of many tradition backpacking packs and creeps closer to the weight of many ultralight and frameless models. Despite its low weight, what sets it apart is it still features pleasant features and a surprisingly supportive frame. This is what makes this pack unique; it truly blurs the line between traditional backpacking packs and ultralight packs. Though the Exos is slightly heavier than most lid-less, frameless, possibly pocketless ultralight packs, it isn't MUCH heavier. It's several pounds lighter than most traditional models out there, giving up little when it comes to performance and comfort.
The Exos offers many of the same features that a traditional backpacking pack does, including a relatively supportive frame. It isn't as supportive or as feature-rich as several models in our review, but it was relatively comfortable when carrying weights up to 35-40 pounds. When used at 30 pounds or below, we could hardly feel a difference between it and some of the much heavier models we tested. However, for loads upwards of more than about 40 pounds, we certainly wished we had something more robust.
Osprey's Exos line has a few options to suit all your pack needs. The popular Osprey Exos 38 has many of the same features, and its small size makes it a great daypack. For $160, it is 5oz lighter than the 58 we tested. The similar Exos 48 is an interesting in-between size, ideal for superlight backpacking or thru-hiking. For $190, the 48 shaves 2oz off the weight of the 58. We loved the Exos for its blend of lightweight and comfortable and believe you'll find the same in either of these alternative sizes.