GEAR | Hill Walking With The Osprey Hikelite 26 Backpack

Camping with Style Camping Blog | Activities • Glamping • Travel • Adventure

Osprey Hikelite 26 BackpackOsprey Hikelite backpack In Shitake grey

What is it?

Osprey Hikelite 26litre Backpack RRP £80


Technical features

  • AirSpeed™ suspended mesh backpanel.
  • Two PowerMesh™ pockets on the side
  • A removable webbing hipbelt
  • Adjustable sternum strap
  • Large front shove-it pocket
  • Internal hydration sleeve
  • Integrated & detachable raincover
  • Light weight peripheral frame
  • Trekking pole attachment
  • 5 different colour options available

Osprey Hikelite 26 Backpack

What I thought

I have always used my either my 35 or 30 litre backpack for day hikes, but had come to the realisation that actually, it was probably a bit too large for my needs, so at 26litrs, the new Osprey Hikelite backpack sounded ideal and I was keen to head for the hills to test it out.

Osprey Hikelite 26 Backpack

Although I usually go for bright colours, I really liked the muted grey colour of the backpack and especially like the vibrant yellow accent colour used for the straps.

I always look for sturdy, easy-pull zips and clips that are easy to do up and undo, and Just like all of the Osprey backpacks I’ve owned, the Hikelike 26 performs well.

The verdict

I’ve been using this pack for over a month now, and in that time I’ve gone hill walking several times in the Peak District and in Scotland so I’ve already got a decent amount of use from this backpack.

I find the backpack really comfortable to wear and found it easy to adjust the straps to give me a good fit. I also found that the suspended mesh backpanel worked really well, stopping my back from getting too hot. The only thing I don’t like about the pack are the shallow, rather wollowy side pockets. My usual water flask kept falling out until I devised a way of attaching it to the top straps of the bag to keep it in place.

Osprey Hikelite 26 BackpackI found the side pockets too large to hold my water bottle, so secured it using the top clips

I also haven’t decided what I think about the large front pocket. Designed for easy access, in theory it’s a good idea, but in practice I find I’m too worried to keep anything inside it incase it falls out. To be fair, with the top straps done up, it keeps the front pocket closed, but each time I take out my water bottle, I have to un-clip the top straps, and unless the backpack is upright, anything in the front pocket would likely fall out without the straps in place.

Osprey Hikelite 26 BackpackThe front pocket that allows for quick access

I felt the backpack held my walking poles well thanks to the two sets of straps straps including the ones right at the top that also keep the large front pocket closed (and my water bottle in place).

Osprey Hikelite 26 BackpackZip pull detailing

With Osprey, you are paying a premium, but you are paying for quality. There aren’t many manufacturers that are confident enough to offer a ‘reasonable lifetime‘ guarantee and from my experience of Osprey, their gear really is built to last – giving you many years of great perfromance.

If you’re looking for something a bit bigger, check out our review of the Osprey Tempest 30litre backpack.


  • Good air flow from the mesh back to keep your back from getting sweaty
  • Comfortable to wear padded and adjustable straps
  • Nice neutral colour
  • Great 26litre size that’s perfect for day hikes
  • Usual excellent Osprey quality
  • Sturdy zips and clip fastners

Thank you to Osprey who gave us the backpack to test.