The Exped lightning 60 Backpack is designed as a pared down, lightweight pack. Despite this, the materials are robust and durable looking. The fabrics also scores well on eco credentials.  One of the materials is Oeko-Tex® 100 certified, which means it is tested for environmentally harmful substances, while the other is recycled, bluesign certified and PFC-free.

Fiona Russell’s Verdict

One benefit of this pack is superb compression possibilities, which provides good versatility for use on different lengths of hikes.
  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable Length
  • Compression Straps
  • Eco Details
  • Uncomfortable
  • Few Pockets
  • No Lids
Quick specs
Price: £185
Weight: 1170g
Capacity: 60 litres  
Materials: 210D HMPE ripstop nylon, recycled 600D Oxford Cordura polyester
Closure:  roll-top and buckle   
Back: suspension back system with external aluminium stay, upper and lower back foam padding
Hipbelt: dual density foam, adjustable    
Pockets: zipped lid, 2 drawcord-closed side, stretch mesh front, 2 zipped hip belt
Features: adjustable torso height (36 to 53cm), front and side compression straps, ice axe/trekking pole loops, loops on the base for attaching cord
Sizes: one
Women’s/Men’s Version: yes

Exped state that the pack is also customised to suit the female physique and this is true, with narrower shoulders and a shorter hip-belt. The pack is slim and neat and this is a bonus when you are a smaller or lighter female carrying lots of gear.

The back height is adjustable and this was fairly easy to do. I found I need the adjustment to be almost to the upper end of the extension. At first, the padding looked and felt agreeable but with a full load, the pack is uncomfortable. The rear pads are meant to fit into the shoulders and lower back but, sadly, they jutted out and felt lumpy. The shoulder straps feel too narrow and the hip-belt was stiff against my hips.

I did find that the pack softened a little out on the trails but I think it will take a lot of wear and use to create a satisfactorily comfortable pack. I advise you try this pack for fit and size before buying.

Packing is limited to the large main compartment, which is accessed by a roll-top closure, as well as two fairly large side stretch pockets and a slim zipped pocket a the top of the pack. I prefer a few more pockets for stashing kit so that it is easier to find rather than having rummage about in one big area and from the top only.

There are a couple of zipped hip pockets on the Exped Lightning 60 that offer just enough room to fit in a large iPhone. One benefit of this pack is superb compression possibilities, which provides good versatility for use on different lengths of hikes.

Written and tested by Fiona Russell

Fiona is 5ft 8in and a slim build. She has tested the packs on trails and hills when filled with enough kit for a couple of days of walking and an overnight wild camp. The packs were weighed on digital scales.