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Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack Review

An ultralight solution that doesn't cut out all the comfort and features
Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack
Photo: Osprey
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $35 List | Check Price at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Shockingly lightweight, padded shoulder straps, useful features, packs into own pocket
Cons:  No hip belt, small overall size, no back padding - can feel contents
Manufacturer:   Osprey
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 14, 2019
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59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 3
  • Versatility - 25% 6
  • Weight - 25% 10
  • Ease of Use - 15% 5
  • Durability - 10% 4

Our Verdict

In the world of high-tech, fancy framed daypacks, the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack may seem a bit underwhelming. But for a pack you can easily bring with you anywhere, this 3.8 ounce, three-pocket wonder with padded shoulder straps is a great contender and remains our Top Pick for an Ultralight Pack. There are a lot of teeny tiny, packable packs out there, but we enjoy the Osprey's combination of pockets and features it keeps while still cutting the weight to nearly nothing. We do think its straps are a bit on the short side for taller and larger folks, and you also have to be careful how you pack this bag, so you don't feel every corner inside.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Best Buy Award    
Price Check Price at Backcountry
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Check Price at REI
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Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$40 List
Check Price at REI
$39.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Shockingly lightweight, padded shoulder straps, useful features, packs into own pocketAdjustable torso length, very durable, great features and pocketsLightweight, easy to access contents, internal organization, fun colorsLightweight, useful features, flap to cover cinch top, inexpensiveInsanely light, packs up super tiny, fits slightly larger people
Cons No hip belt, small overall size, no back padding - can feel contentsRuns a bit small, front stow pocket a bit smallNo hip belt, no padding or support, small side pocketsSmall fit, hip belt not load-bearingNearly no features, only one big pocket, super thin fabric, can feel contents
Bottom Line An ultralight solution that doesn't cut out all the comfort and featuresA versatile, durable, and comfortable pack that works just as well on the trail as in townTons of fun colors and just the right amount of convenience and functionality for casual useA good, grab-and-go bag for smaller users, but not ideal for long hikes or heavy loadsA bare-bones ultralight pack for those really dedicated to cutting out ounces
Rating Categories Osprey Ultralight S... Osprey Tempest 20 Cotopaxi Batac 16L REI Co-op Flash 18 Sea to Summit Ultra...
Comfort (25%)
3.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
3.0
Versatility (25%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
4.0
5.0
Weight (25%)
10.0
6.0
8.0
9.0
10.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
5.0
8.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
Durability (10%)
4.0
8.0
5.0
5.0
3.0
Specs Osprey Ultralight S... Osprey Tempest 20 Cotopaxi Batac 16L REI Co-op Flash 18 Sea to Summit Ultra...
Weight (oz) 4 oz 31 oz 11 oz 9 oz 3 oz
Volume/Capacity (liters) 18L 20L 16L 18L 20L
Back Construction Lightweight nylon AirScape backpanel; large spaced horizontal padding bars covered by large-holed mesh Lightweight nylon Lightly padded back panel Lightweight nylon
Hydration None External hydration sleeve Internal hydration sleeve Internal hydration sleeve None
Hipbelt No Yes No Yes, webbing and removable No
Compartments 1 1 1 1 1
Rain Cover No No No No No
Additional pockets 2 8 3 1 0
Outside Carry Options Side pocket Lidlock helmet attachment, trekking pole quick-stow, large stretch front pocket, ice tool loop with bungee tie-off, side pockets, hip belt pockets, sunglasses shoulder stow, bike light loop Daisy chain, 2 side pockets Daisy chain, various small loops Short daisy chain
Whistle No Yes No Yes No
Key Clip Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Materials 40D Nylon ripstop 70D x 100D nylon body, accent and bottom 420HD nylon packcloth 75D-210D nylon (sometimes ripstop; individual pieces may vary) Ripstop nylon 30D ripstop nylon
Notable Features Packs into its own pocket Helmet attachment, trekking pole quick-stow, sunglasses quick-stow, bike light loop, shoulder strap pocket, stowable ice axe loops Side-opening small pocket, internal organizational pockets Internal storage pockets, removable back padding, cinch closure cover, removable sternum strap Packs into its own pocket, carabiner included

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack is a 3.8-ounce pack made of ripstop 40-Denier nylon, that packs into its own pocket for ultimate portability. With more features than we expected on a pack so teensy and light, we have happily awarded it our Top Pick for an Ultralight Pack.

Performance Comparison


We love the versatility of our Top Pick for an Ultralight Pack.
We love the versatility of our Top Pick for an Ultralight Pack.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


For a pack with absolutely no back ventilation or padding or even a hip belt of any kind, we don't hate the Ultralight Stuff Pack, but it's definitely on a different playing field than most the other packs we tested. To keep this bag easily packable, Osprey ditched all structural support in the body of this bag but managed to keep a small amount of padding in the shoulder straps. This is key, as all the weight of the bag's contents will be resting directly on your shoulders. The other ultralight model we tested has no padding in the shoulder straps whatsoever. It also obviously has no specific back ventilation system. If you're heading out for a long hot day in the sun, this probably isn't your best option.


In order to make this bag reasonable to carry, you really can't load it with too much stuff. Though it has an 18 liter capacity, we think it's best for just a small handful of items, like an extra layer, a water bottle, and a couple of snacks. If you're hoping to carry heavier loads, you might consider a pack with a load-bearing hip belt. And an ultralight pack like this one also needs a bit more thought behind your packing strategy, as you'll feel every corner and hard surface through its paper-thin fabric. There are several other low-weight options that offer a bit more protection from feeling your contents while still being reasonably packable. But among ultralight models, this one is pretty reasonably comfortable.

The Stuff Pack manages to save some comfort in lightly padded, mesh...
The Stuff Pack manages to save some comfort in lightly padded, mesh shoulder straps.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Versatility


Though this ultralight bag doesn't have all the same bells and whistles you'd expect from a more traditional daypack, it's not totally lacking in this department either. It has a top pocket with a key clip to help keep you organized as well as a side pocket for a water bottle or your smartphone. The Stuff Pack also still has regular Osprey zipper pulls, which we greatly appreciate. All these features are done away with in other models to help cut weight, but we like still having a few niceties to make the experience more pleasant.


One of this bag's most valuable features toward its versatility is the simple fact of how small and light it can become. The Ultralight packs down into its own teeny little pocket and can then easily be tossed in your purse, kept in your glove compartment, jammed in your carry-on, or even clipped to your full backpack to broaden the scope of possible adventures no matter where you go. Its bright, nearly fluorescent, shades might not be your ideal colors for certain travel, but the ability to take it with you literally anywhere is still worth a lot, no matter it's hue.

We love that the Stuff Pack still has a top pocket and key clip for...
We love that the Stuff Pack still has a top pocket and key clip for keeping your stuff organized while you're out.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Weight


A clear winner in this category, the Osprey Ultralight weighs a mere 3.8 ounces while still boasting an 18 liter capacity.


While it is bested by the 2.7-ounce Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil, compared to the multi-pound competition, this ultralight bag blows them out of the water. The obvious trade-off for weight can be felt in this bag's comfort and seen in its durability. But for ultralight lovers out there, the trade-off just may be worth it.

This ultralight pack can be taken just about anywhere.
This ultralight pack can be taken just about anywhere.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Ease of Use


We greatly appreciate the organizational utility of the pockets the Stuff Pack has that other ultralight models have done away with. However, with such an overall low weight, this bag is a bit floppy and challenging to pack in any specific way, which is important for easy access later as well as your comfort while carrying the bag.


The Stuff Pack also only comes in one, unisex size, and that size is rather small. It also has surprisingly short shoulder straps (the only straps) that make it difficult for taller and larger folks to comfortably wear. Even our 5 foot, 4-inch, size 4 main tester felt that she was on the taller side of comfortable for this pack. If you're much taller than that this pack will ride fairly high on your back. In general, this bag is one of the least adjustable options we tested.

A large side pocket for your water bottle makes staying hydrated...
A large side pocket for your water bottle makes staying hydrated easy, though the relatively short straps might be a bit small for taller folks.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Durability


This is another metric in which we aren't blown away by the Stuff Pack. But when you cut down on fabric weight, you're bound to lose out a little on durability. This bag is made of 40-Denier ripstop nylon that looks paper-thin but is still thicker than some of the other ultralight models out there. The ripstop fabric will prevent any tears you do get from continuing unimpeded all the way down the length of the bag, but they won't stop the tears from happening in the first place.


On the other hand, this bag's low cost means if you rip it, you can pretty easily snag another one and still have spent less than you would on most of the other packs in this review. However, if you want something that's thick enough you can't see right through it, you might consider a lightweight bag rather than an ultralight option.

40D nylon means this bag is super thin and ultra packable - but also...
40D nylon means this bag is super thin and ultra packable - but also easier to accidentally poke a stick or scrape a rock through.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


With some of the least amount of materials going into it, the Stuff Pack is one of the least expensive models we tested but still brings a lot to the table. It still has some handy features that the others have done away with and is only marginally heavier. We think the portability and versatility of having a useful ultralight pack on us at all times are definitely worth the asking price. For comparison, the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil costs the same but has just one single pocket and no shoulder padding, which we really appreciate in the Osprey.

A simple design that's great for unanticipated adventures and...
A simple design that's great for unanticipated adventures and space-limited travel.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Conclusion


As an ultralight, packable pack, the options for using the Stuff Pack are as limitless as your imagination. This itty bitty pack has all the features we want in a super lightweight, packable bag and is our Top Pick for an Ultralight Pack. It combines lightly padded shoulder straps with a few handy organizing pockets and still scrunches down into a ball smaller than our fist. It runs a bit small for some taller folks, but if you're a small person looking for an even smaller pack that can literally go anywhere in your pocket, this is a great choice.

The Stuff Pack comes in handy for those spontaneous road trip...
The Stuff Pack comes in handy for those spontaneous road trip pull-overs when you see something awesome.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg