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 intimidating 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
Our Analysis and Test Results
As one of the very lightest packs 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. The Lumina 45 is designed for the thru-hiker, for the folks who carry very little and travel very fast.
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.
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 Aura AG which provides 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 additional weight that comes with other packs may be worth it for the versatility that they offer over the very specific Lumina. The lightweight nature of this pack means that storage and extra padding are the two features that are lacking.
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, the Lumina does not have much room in the bottom of the pack for sleeping bags.
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 some of the other similarly light models in our review.
Compared to many popular packs, this model is as complicated as a canvas (or more appropriately, very lightweight nylon) sack. But of course, it is more advanced than that! The Lumina has a few large, external stow pockets. 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 it lacks the ability to lengthen the padding like more fully-featured models.
The top lid is not removable, and the compression straps (more like bungees) can be adjusted somewhat. Lastly, this pack either fits or it doesn't; there is no option to adjust the shoulder straps.
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 is a bit toward 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