|Guest - Not logged in|
Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > Osprey Lumina and Levity Backpacks > Test Report by Andrea Murland
I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, Europe, and Nepal. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, and prefer to be hut-based for overnight trips. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.
Description & Initial ImpressionsThe Osprey Lumina 60 is a women’s-specific ultralight backpacking pack, and it sure is light! The pack is relatively basic in features while still having the essentials. Osprey specifies that the pack has a load range of 10-25 lb (4.5-11.3 kg)
Osprey specifies the fabric to be 30D Cordura Silnylon Ripstop on the main part of the pack, and NanoFly 210D Nylon X 200D UHMWPE on the bottom and accent pieces of the pack. I don’t know much about the details of those fabrics, but the main fabric, the darker grey in the pictures, is very light and thin to touch, and see-through. The heavier 210D fabric is the lighter-coloured, checked fabric in the pictures and covers the bottom of the pack, the side pockets, the front bellows, and the top of the lid.
As far as features go, let’s just start at the top. The pack has a fixed lid, with elastic along the edges. The lid has a single pocket on the top with a plastic key-clip inside. Under the lid is the main compartment, which is top-loading. There is a compression strap which goes across the top of the main compartment from front to back with a clip buckle to fasten it. The top of the compartment can be cinched closed with a drawstring and cord-lock. Inside the main compartment, against the back panel, is a sleeve for a hydration reservoir, which can be suspended from a small strap with a clip lock. There is also a zipper which accesses the pack frame. On the front of the pack is a bellows pocket, which has a small drain hole at the bottom and which closes with a single clip buckle at the top. Each side of the pack has a water bottle pocket which is quite large, and also has a drain hole in the bottom. The side pockets can be accessed from the top or from the side facing the back panel. Along each side of the pack is a compression cord made of thin static cord. This cord can be removed or routed on the outside of the side pockets by untying it from the bottom end. As far as other attachment points, the front of the pack has a narrow daisy chain running down each side, and the top of the lid has four loops of cord that could be used to strap gear on.
The Lumina’s suspension is an aluminum external frame. The backpanel is mesh, and there’s a big curve between mesh against my back and the true backpanel of the main compartment (I tried to capture this in the pictures below, though it’s not very clear). This is supposed to allow for good ventilation on my back, and also means that there isn’t any padding on the back panel for bulk and weight. The shoulder straps are covered in mesh as well and the padding inside them looks like a rubber mesh that’s squishy. The pack has a sternum strap with a whistle on the buckle, but in order to adjust the height of the sternum strap I’ll have to wiggle the buckles out from behind some cord loops. The top of the harness has load lifters as well. The hipbelt is quite minimal in terms of padding, with a light layer of the rubbery mesh inside of a mesh cover. The hipbelt has cutouts on the side and the webbing itself is 2.5 cm (1 in) wide. The hipbelt fastens with a standard clip buckle. I can tighten the hipbelt by pulling forwards, which is nice. There are no pockets on the hipbelts.
Trying It OutAfter getting over my initial shock at how little this pack weighs, I stuffed it full of most of the gear that I’d typically carry, minus food. Looks like volume shouldn’t be a problem! I will have to fiddle a bit with how I distribute things, as I often have a lot of things in my pack lid, but this one seems to be a bit smaller than my usual pack. I will also need to fine-tune how I pack my gear into the main compartment, as the curve of the back panel carves out space in that compartment. I will need to figure out the best way to distribute the various shapes of gear that I’m carrying around that curve, as I am used to packing into a perfect tube. I am a hydration reservoir user, so I am happy to see that feature built in. I also will need to experiment with what I put in the side pockets. I usually carry only a 500 mL (17 oz) water bottle, which I use for gathering water but rarely for drinking on the trail. The other thing I have yet to figure out is the best way to attach my camera case and my bear spray to the hipbelt. Stay tuned.
The pack was comfortable for the short walk that I took it on, but it wasn’t too heavy as I hadn’t loaded it with food or water. Adjustments were easy. It seemed that the hipbelt sat a bit high on me, though my 16 in (40.6 cm) long torso actually falls on the lower end of the 16-19 in (40.6-48.3 cm) torso length range of the WS size. I’ll have to keep an eye on that as I fully load up the pack and carry it for days.
SummaryI am really looking forward to getting this pack on the trail! The Osprey Lumina 60 pack is very lightweight yet still quite full-featured as a backpacking pack. Initial indications are that it will be comfortable and easily hold all of my gear. Experimentation with gear distribution is yet to come, and so far the only feature that I might be missing are hipbelt pockets or a good place for my camera & bear spray. It remains to be seen what I’ll come up with!
Field ConditionsI’ve had the opportunity so far to take the Osprey Lumina 60 on an overnight trip and a three-day trip. The overnight was very short, only 4 km (2.5 mi). The walk in was dry but the next morning dawned wet and foggy, so our plans to go scrambling turned into a simple return to the car in the rain. It was about 10 C (50 F) during the walk out. The trail conditions were mixed dirt (or mud) and rock, and the elevation of camp was 1980 m (6500 ft). On my three-day trip, the walk in and out of camp was 6.7 km (4.2 mi) and I did approximately 28 km (17.4 mi) of day hiking from camp. On this trip it was the walk in that was wet, but the last two days were dry with a mix of sun and cloud, and temperatures from about 5 to 20 C (41 to 68 F). The elevation on this trip ranged from 1640 m (5380 ft) at the trailhead to a bit over 2400 m (7875 ft) at the highest point, with trail conditions that varied from dirt and forest floor to limestone and alpine mosses to snow.
A summary of the function of this pack is that it has done very well!
For water, I have been using my 3 L Camelbak water reservoir (reviewed elsewhere on this site) inside the hydration sleeve. It slides in comfortably, and the hook on the top of the reservoir sits nicely on the strap to keep it suspended. The hose is easily routed through the hydration port, and I have it running between the top of the shoulder harness and the load lifters (just ignore the picture above where I hadn’t noticed that it was behind my shoulder!). I just tuck the hose behind my sternum strap to keep it in place and handy.
To pack the Lumina, I start with my sleeping bag, as the bulkiest item. I have historically packed it vertically, but due to the curve of the pack’s back panel as well as the hydration pouch I found that I was wasting the bottom corner of space. On the second trip I transitioned to packing it horizontally and it seems to fit better with the back panel that way. There’s still space for my tent to go next to it at the bottom, as well as some empty space to stuff in my first aid kit or camp shoes. The second layer in my pack then becomes everything else: sleeping pad, food bag, clothing compression sack, and maybe rain gear. How this second layer fits together depends on the size of my food bag.
In the side pockets, I’ve had space to put my sunscreen, empty 500 mL water bottle, tent poles, and maybe some rain gear or space to take off layers. The front bellows pouch has so far been either empty, or had some rain gear in it. It was a convenient place to put a bulky, awkward geocache that I was taking into one camp as well. The lid pocket is full of odds and ends like bugspray, my SPOT, phone, keys, water purifier, knife, toilet paper, and headlamp. I have found the lid pocket to be quite roomy.
One thing that I do miss is a hip pocket or gear loops on the hip belt (my preference is one of each!). I’ve had to resort to trying to find a pocket to put lip balm in. More critically, on one of the days on my longer trip, I was navigating off-trail, and I had nowhere to put my GPS or map that didn’t require me to take my pack off to look at them. A small pocket, or even a gear loop to tie the GPS to, would have solved that problem. Related to hip belt storage, I’ve struggled to find a good way to carry my camera and bearspray. I have them both just hanging on the webbing of the hipbelt, but it’s not very secure and the carry is quite far forward, where it interferes with my stride on uphill terrain. The camera is manageable, as it’s relatively short and I seem to have gotten it to mostly stay on the belt (it only went rolling down the mountain once when I took my pack off), but the bearspray comes off the belt every time I undo it and seems to end up sitting almost horizontally at my waist as I walk. Again, gear loops would solve this problem because then I’d have something to clip it to.
So far, up to three days, I haven’t been constrained on space in the Lumina. I have a five-day trip coming up in July, so my food bag will expand for that trip and I’ll see how things pack! My total weights so far were 10.3 kg (22.6 lb) for the overnight and 12.7 kg (28.0 lb) for the three-day trip. This pack has a listed load range up to 11.3 kg (25 lb), so I’m carrying at the upper end, and a bit above, the range. Time to lighten my kit…
When carrying the Lumina for day hiking, I have thrown in my layers and lunch in the morning and off I went. The side compression cord is easy to cinch down and works quite well, though it leaves a big loop of cord that I had to tuck away into the pockets to avoid it getting caught on anything. I found that the pack carried very well when mostly empty, with no noticeable flopping.
I was able to find a way to attach poles to the Lumina. I tucked the handles under the compression cord and the tips into the bottom of the cord where it ties into the loop on the pack. That seemed to work fine.
Comfort & Fit:
Comfort is where the Lumina has been wonderful so far. I’ve never had a pack with a back panel that wasn’t against my back, but I love it. I can still feel the weight on my shoulders and waist, but it feels like there’s nothing against my back at all. I can flex and move and don’t feel like I’m pushing against the pack. The hip belt is comfortable, and I don’t have any pressure points on my hips. I haven’t found the narrow webbing to be uncomfortable at all. The shoulder straps also seem to be sufficiently padded. I think I’ve noticed a bit of chafing of one shoulder strap against my neck, but I’m not sure. I haven’t had warm enough weather to wear the pack with a tank top yet, but that will come, so I’ll report more on how comfortable the fabric of the straps is in my Long Term Report.
The pack is quite short, just coming up to the top of my shoulders, and it hadn’t occurred to me earlier how much I would like that. I have free range to tilt my head back as far as I wish. As well, since the pack is below my head, if I’m ducking under deadfall I know that I won’t hit my pack behind me. In the Initial Report I indicated that the back of the pack felt short despite my short torso, but it feels great loaded. I would probably have been fine in one size bigger too, but I have no concerns about how it fits.
Durability & Water Resistance:
So far I have no concerns about the durability of the Lumina. I was a bit careful when putting it down on sharp limestone rocks but otherwise haven’t been too worried about setting it down on normal terrain. There are no tears or nicks in the fabric.
The pack fabric appears to be water resistant, and water beads on the outside. I haven’t had it out in an extended downpour yet, only a few hours, so I’m not quite ready to trust my gear exclusively to the pack’s waterproofing yet, but I like that it didn’t soak through immediately.
SummarySo far, the The Osprey Lumina 60 has been a great pack so far on the trips I’ve taken it on. It’s comfortable, sufficiently roomy, compresses well for day hiking, and carries loads at the upper end of its load range well. The only thing I could wish for is a hip belt pocket or gear loop.
Field ConditionsThe Osprey Lumina has come with me on two additional backpacking trips over the past two months, both in the Canadian Rockies, a five-day hike and a three-day hike.
Five-day hike (The Rockwall): This hike totalled 55 km (34 mi) of backpacking, plus about 12 km (7.5 mi) of day hiking. The trailhead elevation was 1340 m (4400 ft) and the camps ranged in elevation from 1700 m to 2050 m (5580-6725 ft). Overnight temperatures got as low as freezing and weather conditions varied between hot sun, rain, and hail, with hiking temperatures up to 25 C (77 F). My starting pack weight was 12.9 kg (28.5 lb) including water.
Three-day hike (The Skyline): This hike was a 44.1 km (27.4 mi) backpack, with days 12.2 km (7.6 mi), 17.4 km (10.8 mi), and 14.5 km (9.0 mi) long. We started at 1700 m (5580 ft) and finished at 1150 m (3770 ft), with camps around 2050 m (6725 ft). It froze both nights and weather was partially cloudy with lots of smoke, with hiking temperatures up to just below 25 C (77 F). My starting pack weight was 11.3 kg (25 lb), plus my camera hanging from my waistbelt.
The Osprey Lumina 60 has continued to be a great functioning pack.
I have continued to carry my 3 L reservoir with this pack and have the hose arranged in the same way. It still works great. The reservoir is easy to get in and out of the pack when the pack is empty, and not too hard when the pack is full.
I have continued to pack the Lumina in a similar manner to what I described in the Field Report. Although I’d certainly still like a pocket on one hip belt and a gear loop on the other, I’ve gotten used to the fiddling with bearspray and camera. On my trip on the Skyline, I had a bigger camera lens and case, and I was still able to have it on the waistbelt, though it was a bit annoying against the side/front of my leg when climbing hills.
I am finding the Lumina quite roomy. On my five-day trip, I was still able to fully cinch tight the top of the pack and felt that I had some extra space. Admittedly, I was carrying the less bulky of the group gear (pots vs. tent), but had enough extra room that I have no doubt I could have done it with my solo gear (smaller pot and smaller tent). I also think that I have enough space to be able to move into autumn backpacking, with poofier coats and additional layers.
One interesting thing that I observed on my last trip: it is possible to put my trekking poles through the space between the back panel and the mesh that sits against my back. It’s a bit awkward to get them through there, but once there I can barely feel them, which makes it a great place to stash them for a few minutes while needing both hands for photography or something else where I can’t just put them down and be stationary.
As a side effect to testing an ultralight pack, I have made some adjustments to my backpacking style this summer. I haven’t been carrying some luxury items (like wine) that I normally might have. I also made some purchases to lighten my loads, though they didn’t all arrive in time to be incorporated into reducing my carried weight during this test. I’m far from an ultralight hiker, but maybe it’s time to update my biography to say that I’m a lightweight hiker!
Comfort & Fit:
The Lumina has continued to be extremely comfortable. On my five-day hike I had some sore spots at the outer edge of the shoulder straps, where they dig in above my armpits a bit, but it wasn’t too bad and it’s something I get with all of my overnight packs, so it wasn’t unexpected. One thing that I did discover during these past two trips is that the covering of the shoulder straps is not very comfortable with a tank top. It’s both an extremely coarse pattern, digging into my skin, and also quite rough, causing abrasion as I move. I managed to capture the imprint of the shoulder strap quite clearly in the photo at right.
Durability & Water Resistance:
The Lumina has no rips, tears, or abraded spots. It does have some stains, though! I washed the pack after my five-day hike, and although it must have been cleaner when I was finished (from the colour of the water), many of the marks and dirt stains on the grey fabric didn’t come out. I can’t say it looks as good as new!
SummaryThe Osprey Lumina 60 has been a wonderful pack to test. It is comfortable to carry, holds everything I need with space to spare, and seems to be durable enough to handle the rocks I drop it on. It has challenged how I think about backpacking weight, while easily handling everything that I stuff in it.
Very comfortable suspension (back panel & hip belt)
Not tall, so my head is free to tilt back
Compresses well for day hiking
No hip belt pockets or gear loops
Shoulder strap covering is uncomfortable against skin
Thanks to Osprey Packs and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test this ultralight pack. It has really been a game-changing test for me, and I hope to continue to use it for years to come.
Read more reviews of Osprey gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland
Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > Osprey Lumina and Levity Backpacks > Test Report by Andrea Murland
If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.