Osprey bursts into the ultralight pack arena with the high performing, ultra-comfortable Lumina 60 that wins Top Pick for Ultralight Design. It combines the comfort and suspension that is typical of Osprey packs with an incredibly light frame. Large pockets make it easy to stash all your gear. The minimal design may not make it the best pick for new backpackers who aren't already equipped with ultralight gear that is necessary to comfortably wear the Lumina. But for those gram counting women who are ready to shed even more weight, the Lumina performs beyond expectations for such a light pack.
Osprey Lumina 60 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Ultralight, large stow pockets, comfortable even when fully loaded
Cons: Minimal padding, fixed torso length, side pockets hard to load
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Our Analysis and Test Results
At a mere 1.81 pounds, the Lumina is one of the very lightest women's packs on the market. The Lumina uses a combination of very thin, see-through fabric for much of the pack body and a tougher material on the high abrasion zones allowing it to be so light, yet durable at the same time. We expected it to slouch under its max-load like other lightweight models. However, were shocked to find that we could comfortably overload it. This is a worthy contender in the ultralight pack arena and might be your dream pack if you are committed to going light and fast.
Comfort & Suspension
The beauty of the Osprey Lumina is its ability to not only be super lightweight but still offer a supportive suspension that makes loads feel lighter than they actually are. Based on our experience with most other light packs, we certainly weren't expecting the level of comfort we got from this model.
Perimeter hoop suspension isn't typically the best at transferring weight to the hips but in a pack designed for ultralight use, as long as you carry within the weight recommendation the frame offers more than enough support. Even when fully loaded at 25 pounds, we felt the pack would comfortably support more.
Osprey's well-known airy suspension still performs admirably even in this trimmed down version. The Lumina's perimeter frame has one of the best shapes we tested; at the bottom, it curves away from your spine, avoiding any interference with your bum. Also, there are no raised sections on the backpanel to rub or create pressure points. The integration of the trampoline mesh to the hip belt and shoulder strap attachments is remarkably smooth, partially because there is less padding to work around than in traditional packs.
The load lifters are attached to the rigid frame plenty high above the shoulders to offer excellent lift and stabilizing tension. When climbing over downed trees and scrambling over boulders, the pack feels stable even when loaded and shifts minimally from side to side.
Most ultralight packs don't offer a lot in the way of padding, and the Lumina is no different. The padding on the hip belt is some of the thinner padding we have encountered, and the padded section is a mere 6 inches long. However, a bag like this isn't designed to carry loads over 25 pounds so the pressure put on the hips is significantly less. Our testers found the hip belt to be plenty comfortable. It is well-shaped and stays in place even when hiking terrain that requires bending and climbing.
The shoulder straps retain a decent amount of padding, although certainly nothing like Osprey's heavier-duty bags, but the padded section is fairly short and won't wrap under the arms of most users. Our tester, at 5'8" and 140 pounds, found a good fit with the padding ending just at the top of her armpits but women with broader shoulders or thicker torsos might find the padding to end a bit early.
But even after all that raving about the performance of the Lumina's frame, don't be fooled. This is an ultralight pack and if you regularly overload it, your shoulders and back are not going to be pleased. Osprey even warns its customer off, saying this pack isn't for you because it's for people who "pack lighter, go further, think smarter". The message is clear: this pack is for people who know they've got their base weights dialed.
As is common in lighter weight packs, the pockets are cut down to a minimum, but our testers felt Osprey did a decent job of keeping the features that matter most for organization.
Large side pockets can fit a ton of gear but access is a bit tough. Even though both pockets offer both top and side access, the openings are tight, and we found that it is all but impossible to get a Nalgene bottle inside. Narrower bottles are a bit easier to put in but still not something we were able to do while wearing the pack. The side entry to these pockets with the elastic holding it shut does make an excellent snack stash though!
We mourned the absence of hip belt pockets, but with minimalist hip belts, there really isn't room to incorporate them. A fanny pack or aftermarket pockets that slip onto the webbing will have to do for your phone and other small on-the-go items.
The size and accessibility of the back stash pocket falls in the middle of the road for models we tested. It's plenty large for stashing rain gear and a layer or two. Pair this mid-sized stash pocket with the lid pocket, which is uncommon for ultralight packs to include, and you've got large enough capacity for all of your rain gear, shed layers, lunch, snacks, and any other items you know you'll want during the day.
Finally, the light-colored fabric makes looking into your bag a much different experience than peering into a dark cave on a bright day. Most packs can't say that and we found it to be a breath of fresh air to open a pocket and actually be able to see what was inside.
At only 1.8 pounds, the Lumina tops the charts as one of the very lightest packs we tested. While cutting around 2-3 pounds from your load seems like a no-brainer, this ultralight model may not have quite the load-carrying capabilities or features you want. Make sure that you are ready with an arsenal of ultralight equipment to put in the Lumina before you make the leap to this featherweight pack.
One issue with the Lumina is that its capacity isn't necessarily in line with its ability to carry 60 liters of gear. It would be hard to fill this pack with equipment and keep your load under 25 pounds unless the gear you are carrying is particularly bulky but light, such as a winter sleeping bag and an extra down jacket.
Osprey does an admirable job of retaining features and comfort in the Lumina but one are that is pared down to the bare minimum is the adjustability of the pack to fit varying body shapes and sizes.
The hip belt padding is long enough to wrap the iliac crest on women with small to average-sized hips (up to 34" circumference around the iliac crest). For any ladies rocking the curves, the padding will not extend far enough to soften the load on your pelvic bones. Because a pack like this is only designed for ultralight loads, this padding may not matter much but is certainly a feature to be aware of.
Fixed shoulder straps don't allow any fine-tuning of the torso length so you'll want to be certain you get the right size. If you find yourself in between sizes, take a good amount of time at your local outfitter wearing each size around with weight to determine which is the best for you.
How often have you seen ultralight gear that is less expensive than its heavy counterparts? Rarely, if ever, is probably your answer. The Lumina is no exception, ranking in top third of the price range in our test. However, when compared with ultralight packs on the market boasting similar weights, the Lumina is a steal. Add to that the comfort it offers and the fact that it keeps company with almost no other ultralight packs designed specifically for women, and you've found yourself something special in the Lumina.
If 25 pounds of gear sounds lightweight to you, the Lumina is not the pack for you. The Lumina is for toothbrush cutters and tarp campers, for base weight braggers and FKT dreamers. But if all that sounds good to you, we think the Lumina is an excellent specimen. The comfort and support offered by a pack under 2 pounds are shocking and since that's what matters most, it alone makes the Lumina worth your investigation. The large pockets for gear stashing add to its appeal even though the side pockets are incredibly tough to get a bottle back into if wearing the pack. If, on the other hand, you aren't committed to the investment in all the lightest gear to make the Lumina a viable option, there are plenty of other packs in our review that we love and are more forgiving in the load-carrying department.
— Elizabeth Paashaus