Osprey Packs: Hikelite 18 Daypack, For Smaller Frames

The new Hikelite 18 from Osprey Packs has served me well on my hikes in muggy Virginia. With it's airspeed ventilation system and frame sweaty backs will be gone and breathability will ensure with the added wire frame for weight support. The additional pockets made for a hydration reservoir and included raincover make this a great purchase for your day hikes.

Osprey is known for their well made outdoor gear and comfortable packs. From luggage, to kids packs, even storage packing cubes, Osprey is a company high on the list for anything outdoorsy or on the go. The Hikelite 18 Daypack is no different. Just to be transparent, I paid for this pack with my own money and for my own reasoning. That reason being day hikes with the dogs in the Shenandoahs.

Being a smaller framed female a pack that is small but still comfortable is hard to find because companies simply don’t put as much engineering into smaller day packs as they often don’t hold as much weight. However, in the heat and on tougher hikes the comfort is needed. The Hikelite 18 (18 for 18 litre as there are different sizes of packs) is a day pack that still has all of the added benefits of larger engineered hikings bags such as Airspeed ventilation in the back, included raincover, non bulky chest and removable hip belt, comfortable shoulder straps, and even trekking pole loops.

hiking with the hikelite
This pack is perfect for a day hike and throwing onto a smaller sized frame such as a smaller female. All of the engineering still allows for comfort and breathability on the hike. The small red loops on the bottom

The Pack

Hikelite 18 Daypack
Price: $120.00
Color Options: Pine Leaf Green, Atlas Blue Heather, Silver Lining, Escapade Green, Sangria Red, Black


  • Load Range: 5-20lbs
  • VOLUME :1098 IN3 / 18 L
  • DIMENSIONS 20H X 10.63W X 9.06D IN.
  • WEIGHT: 1.544 lbs
  • FABRIC MAIN: bluesign® approved 100% recycled 100D high-tenacity bird eye nylon, DWR treatments made without PFAS
  • ACCENT: bluesign® approved 100% recycled 420D nylon, DWR treatments made without PFAS


  • Traditional panel loader design with convenient zip access to main compartment
  • Included raincover made with bluesign® approved fabrics and DWR treatments made without PFAS, stored in zippered pocket at base of pack
  • Extra-tall stretch mesh side pockets keep contents secure
  • External access zip pocket with key clip keeps small, essential items handy
  • Dual upper side compression straps with trekking pole capture
  • Dual trekking pole loops
  • Internal reservoir sleeve with hose port in backpanel and Osprey Hydraclip for easily hanging a reservoir
  • Adjustable sternum strap with rescue whistle
  • Removable webbing hipbelt

Main Features

AirSpeed Ventilation System

This was the most appreciated thing about this pack. Even though the pack is a smaller day pack Osprey still felt the need to make a proper suspension frame for it. Meaning, the pack doesn’t just flop down your back but has a lightwire alloy frame to create a framed weight distrubution and space from your back and the pack. This along with the airspeed mesh panel allows for ventilation.

It was noticed in the first hike. Virginia can get muggy and nasty however my back never felt that it didn’t have room to breath nor did the weight of the waters, food, and other hiking stuff feel heavy on my shoulders.

airspeed suspension system on the pack
Notice the mesh panel that is about an inch off of the back of the pack. This is part of the frame and airspeed ventilation system allowing your back to breathe on the hike and for the pack to keep its shape on your back no matter what is in it.

Pocket Placement and Rain Cover

The top pocket was an appreciated addition for throwing your keys and cellphone in for easy access. There are also a long pocket on each side of the pack for water bottles without worry that they will fall out.

cellphone in top pocket
The top pocket of the pack allows for easy to access storage such as keys or a cellphone.

The coolest thing though? The raincover pocket at the bottom. There is nothing worse than having to find a place for a folded up rain cover, especially after it’s being used making all of your other gear wet and nasty. The pocket on the bottom of the bag stays out of sight and out of mind and is made for the included Osprey rain cover. This rain cover is also fitted for that specific pack meaning you won’t have a gigantic one for no reason. Well done Osprey.

rain cover in the bottom of the hikelite pack
This raincover is fitted for the Hikelite specifically meaning it will be a tight fit around the pack when used. When done using, put it back in it’s specifically made pocket on the bottom of the back. Having a pocket made specifically for it on the bottom of the pack ensures that you will never be hiking without a rain cover.

Hydration Resevoir Sleeve

Before I bought this pack I didn’t realize how inexpensive hydration reservoirs actually were nor how to even place them in your pack. This hikelite will be the first time that I’ve owned an engineered pack for a hydration resevoir and I’m pumped. Osprey put a sleeve into the pack with hole for the hose and a clip to hang the hose for easy drinking. Use this with their $30 dollar Osprey Hydraulics LT Resevoir and you won’t need to worry about those million water bottles again.

reservoir system in the hikelite
Notice the inside of the pack with the included clip that holds onto the reservoir and hole for the hose. This included pocket and reservoir system ensures that no accidents are going to happen with your hydration reservoir. $30 bucks and you can buy the reservoir and have your entire system ready for a hike. Photo: Osprey

Other Options to Purchase

The Hikelite comes in four different sizes. An 18 litre (the one I’m using), 26 litre, 28 litre, and 32 litre.

Note: When shopping you may notice that there are multiple hikelite packs, ensure that you click the packs that say “new” on top and not “close out”. These packs have been redesigned so the close out ones are the older kind. However they are cheaper so if you want to try them out I say go for it!

Anna Martinez
Anna is a Federal Weapons Gunsmith with 8 years of previous experience within the US Army Ordnance Corps (91F). She has taken multiple armorer and weapons proficiency classes to include FN, Knights Armament, and Small Arms Weapons Expert course. She also writes for American Gunsmith, AR Build Junkie, and is active in Precision Rifle sports around the nation.