Osprey Hikelite 26

“Why the hell are you wearing another bag?” beckoned one of the guys in the office as I wandered in one morning. “You love bags!” he finished, before heading off with his Pret white filter and chocolate chunk cookie (9.30 am… seriously). And you know what? It’s true, I do love a good bag. Finding the right bag for your lifestyle is like finding the right house to live in. Get it right and you’re going to be carrying stuff around with an efficiency that’ll makes your life seem considerably easier.

You’ve seen those people rummaging around their bags trying to find their keys/wallet/phone. Or the one’s that lump it around like a bin bag full of coal, huffing and puffing as they swing it over their shoulder on the bus. You don’t want to be one of those people. Get a good carrying device.

But what makes a good carrier? Well, it’s basically whatever your lifestyle needs. If you walk for about 3 minutes every day and only carry a book and your keys, get yourself a nice tote bag. If you’re active and live the life of a chameleon; dipping between the gym, office, meeting room and pounding the streets in your trainers, you’re going to need something a bit more adaptable.

I’ve been testing out the Hikelite 26 for a few weeks now for everything from work and shopping, to run commuting and hiking. Here’s what I think of it.

Storage

The Hikelite 26, as the name would suggest, is a light hiking rucksack by design. Essentially it’s a day rucksack, although 26 litres could probably cover you for a bit more.

The main compartment is pretty spacious, definitely enough room for a fair few bits of kit. Probably enough to fit in an extra outfit, some trainers, various accessories and some food. There’s also an internal back slip which is perfect for a smaller laptop (for day-to-day use) or anything else you need quicker access to (I forgot to actually put it in the slip in the photo).

On the front is a smaller zipped compartment that’s big enough to stick a fair few bits in like a phone, headphones, wallet, keys etc. Either side has mesh side pockets that’ll hold medium-sized water bottles and on the front is a rather cool “shove-it” pocket, which is basically a covering that’ll hold a jacket or something without having to open the main compartment. It’s pretty cool for something so simple.

Design

It’s a very nice looking bag and straight away it seems ridiculously light. For hiking it’s pretty much exactly what you want, as the majority of stuff you’d be carrying is likely to be light as well. For day-to-day use I actually like a bag that’s a bit more weighty so I know it’s on there. I tend to carry a lot of heavy stuff about as well and I like knowing it’s all held in a thick, snug exterior. That’s personal preference though. My usual day bags have a hell of a lot more compartments for the various paraphernalia I like to lug around with me. I tend to use the Hikelite 26 (when I’m not hiking) as a sort of weekend day bag, when I don’t need too much stuff on me.

As colour options go there’s five currently on the site. The blue is the nice, classic option, however there are a couple that stand out. I’d say my favourite is the Shiitake grey option.

As a hiking bag, it’s probably one the best I’ve tried out for quite some time. Works well as a run commute bag also, with the straps pulling together quite tightly so it doesn’t jump about.

Other features

One of the most notable features is the rain cover, which, although a fairly standard option on this level of bag, can be overlooked. It’s easy to access via the underside and pops on very easily. Nice colour as well.

There’s also a very pleasing ventilated mesh that sits under the back that allow a nice gap between you and the bag (that’s been a life saver over the past few weeks), a hydration pack slip, a key attachment clip and, something I only realised just now, a little whistle on the chest strap for emergencies. Cool huh?

Price

At £80, it’s a fairly standard price for what it is. I wouldn’t say it’s a cheap option, but it’s also not too expensive either. If you’re looking for a good bag, it’s worth the money.

Conclusion

A brilliant option for hikers/walkers who want a good all-round bag that won’t weigh them down during a walk. It’s comfortable, has a lot of nice features and feels light and breezy. I really like it as a secondary option to my 35l day bag.

Who’s it for?

General hikers and walkers who mainly want a nice, affordable day bag that’ll carry the bare essentials.

For more info on the Hikelite 26, head over to the Osprey website.