Out of all the new, ultralight packs that have finally made it to the women's specific arena, the Osprey Lumina 45 was hands down our favorite model. This pack combines the comfort and suspension that is typical of Osprey packs with an incredibly light, streamlined design. For the ultimate lightweight adventure, look no further than the Lumina to carry all your high tech, ultralight camping gear. The minimal design is a bit overwhelming at first, but we ended up enjoying the simplicity of the few pockets and features this pack offers.
Osprey Lumina 45 Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Super lightweight, large stow pockets, compression straps, lightweight material
Cons: Small overall capacity, very specialized, lacks versatility, expensive for size
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Our Analysis and Test Results
As the lightest pack in this review, we were surprised to see that the Osprey Lumina 45 was also able to hold its own across the board in our performance comparisons. The feature set on this pack is simple, but all you need to travel light, while the suspension system provides support and comfort, even with heavy loads.
Comfort and Suspension
The beauty of the Osprey Lumina 45 is the fact that the pack is incredibly lightweight while still providing support and comfort. The shoulder straps and hip belt, while not excessively padded, are wide and made of soft mesh.
This construction makes them both breathable and relatively comfortable as the width disperses the load and reduces the potential for hot spots. We enjoyed the shoulder straps on the Lumina more than those of the Osprey Eja 58, even though the latter had more padding. The Thule Versant 60, while being a much heavier pack and made for an entirely different purpose also had comfortable shoulder straps.
The 3D-tensioned breathable back panel on the Lumina 45 feels like a trampoline against your back. Adding a bit of weight to the pack makes the suspension system more comfortable.
The idea behind this pack is that the suspension will still provide support via the aluminum frame while allowing airflow and ventilation through the mesh paneling. All of this makes for a comfortable carry, with very little additional weight. The Lumina is much like a very streamlined version of the Osprey Ariel AG or the Osprey Aura AG. Both of these packs provide plenty of comfort and support due to the Anti-Gravity suspension system, that somewhat resembles the suspension of the Lumina.
As far as weight goes, the Lumina soars above (or below) its contenders. This pack weighs a total of 1.86 pounds, which is 2-3 pounds lighter than the majority of the packs in this review.
The only two packs that come close to the Lumina are the REI Flash 45, which weighs 2.31 pounds, and the Gregory Octal 55, which weighs 2.58 pounds. This additional weight may be worth it for the versatility that both of these packs have over the very specific Lumina. The lightweight nature of this pack means that storage and extra padding are the two features that are lacking. As far as volume goes, this pack is minimalist. The body is very narrow, so it's tough to fit much into it. Unlike models with broad bottoms, like the Osprey Aura AG, the Lumina does not have much room in the bottom of the pack for sleeping bags or bear cans.
This pack is one of the simplest regarding features among all the packs in this review. That means that the Lumina also gets a relatively high score in the ease-of-use metric.
The most significant downside to the Lumina is that it is almost too small. As far as storage goes, this pack is minimalist. The body is very narrow, so it's tough to fit much into it. Unlike models with broad bottoms, like the Osprey Aura AG, the Lumina does not have much room in the bottom of the pack for sleeping bags or bear cans.
The Osprey Eja 58 is a better option for an ultralight pack that can fit a bear can. This narrow shape also makes it a bit tough to pack — we found that even a sleeping bag is hard to shove into the bottom of this pack without taking up too much space. For those who have pared down their kit to the essentials, the Lumina will feel like a dream, whereas those who want to bring more may look toward a pack like the Osprey Aura AG.
Compared to packs like the Gregory Deva or the Osprey Aura AG, this pack is as complicated as a canvas sack. But of course, it is more advanced than that! The Lumina has a few large, external stow pockets, similar to the Gregory Octal 55. It also has a full-size lid with two zip pockets for small, essential items. Another feature we should note is the incredibly lightweight material that composes this pack. The nylon that makes up this pack feels as thin as a plastic bag and is what allows this pack to retain a frame and simple suspension system with low overall weight.
Most lightweight packs don't offer much in the way of adjustability, and the Lumina is no exception. The hip belt is attached to the pack, so features such as the Fit-on-the-Fly adjustable hip belt, as you see on the Osprey Aura is, unsurprisingly, nowhere to be found.The top lid is not removable, and the compression straps (more like bungees) can be adjusted somewhat. Lastly, like the REI FLASH this pack either fits or it doesn't; there is no option to adjust the shoulder straps.
This pack suits a specific use. It is small, streamlined, and incredibly lightweight, and probably too specific for the majority of backpackers out there. The Lumina 45 is designed for the thru-hiker, for the folks who carry very little and travel very fast. We were excited to see a women's specific pack for the ultralight hiker, but also realize that this is a niche market. If you are not concerned with keeping your base weight low or do not find yourself weighing the extra straps on your pack, debating whether or not to remove them, then this pack is not for you. The Osprey Eja 58 is a slightly larger, heavier option that is better suited for those who still want to go light but want to carry a bit more.
Because it is for such a specific use, the Lumina 45 comes at a fairly high price for a pack with a relatively small capacity. This pack goes for $250, which is on the more expensive end of the spectrum. It is made of the lightest material on the market, while still maintaining a full frame and supportive suspension, so it makes sense that this specialized design comes with a high price tag. If you are certain you need a pack that is this light and streamlined, then the cost of the Lumina should not be too much of a deterrent.=
In the end, we liked the Osprey Lumina because of its specificity. We were happy to see that Osprey came out with an ultralight pack designed specifically with women in mind. The Lumina also has comfortable, breathable shoulder straps and hip belt, along with an innovative suspension system that is both light and functional. Though it comes at a cost, this pack is a great investment for women who are after long thru-hikes where ounces matter.
— Meg Atteberry and Jane Jackson