The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack Review

An ultralight solution that doesn't cut out all the features.
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $35 List | $34.95 at Amazon
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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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 15
  • Comfort - 25% 3
  • Versatility - 25% 8
  • Weight - 25% 10
  • Ease of Use - 15% 4
  • 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 literally anywhere, this 3.8 ounce, three-pocket wonder with padded shoulder straps is a great contender, making it our Top Pick for an Ultralight Pack. There are a lot of packable packs out there, but we enjoy the Osprey's combination of pockets and features it kept 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.

For a lightweight option that's got a little more structure and functionality, the REI Flash 18 is a great 9 ounce pack with a few extra features and a bit more comfortable options.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack is a 3.8 ounce pack made of ripstop 40D 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.

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 plane 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 pack we tested, the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil, has no padding in the shoulder straps whatsoever.


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 few 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 like the 19 ounce Mammut Lithia Speed 15. And an ultralight pack like this one also needs a bit more thought behind the packing strategy, as you'll feel every corner and hard surface through its paper-thin fabric. The 9 ounce REI Flash 18 offers a bit more protection from feeling your contents in a bag that's still reasonably packable.

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

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 the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil.


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.

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

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.

Ease of Use


We greatly appreciate the organizational utility of the pockets the Stuff Pack has that the Ultra-Sil did away with. However, with such an overall light 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. The Ultra-Sil has longer straps, making it a better choice for taller and larger folks. Even our 5'4" size 4 main tester felt that she was on the taller side of comfortable for this pack. If you're much taller than that and not into a small-fitting bag, the Ultra-Sil is a slightly larger fit.

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.
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.

Durability


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 40D ripstop nylon that looks paper-thin but is still thicker than the 30D ripstop nylon of the Ultra-Sil. The ripstop fabric will prevent any tears you do get from continuing down the length of the bag, but they won't stop the tears from happening in the first place.


As with all their packs, Osprey backs this ultralight model with their lifetime guarantee and warranty - a nice backing if the damage isn't your fault. And if it is, this bag's low cost means you can easily snag another one and still have spent less than you would on most 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 like the REI Flash 18 or the Cotopaxi Luzon 24 instead.

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

Best Applications


As an ultralight, packable pack, the options for using the Stuff Pack are as limitless as your imagination. Though it's not a great bag for heavy loads or technical expeditions, this handy little option is a great companion for daily excursions and unexpected adventures. If you like the packability but want a little more comfort and space (for you and your gear), you might consider the Cotopaxi Luzon 24, which we think is a great all-around and travel bag.

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

Value


Ringing up for just $35, the Stuff Pack brings a lot to the table. It still has some handy features that the Ultra-Sil did away with and is only marginally larger. We think the portability and versatility of having a useful ultralight pack on us at all times is definitely worth the asking price. The Ultra-Sil costs the same but has just one single pocket and no shoulder padding, which we really appreciate in the Osprey.

Conclusion


This ultralight pack from Osprey 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 pull-overs when you see something awesome.
The Stuff Pack comes in handy for those spontaneous road trip pull-overs when you see something awesome.


Maggie Brandenburg