Much as we're fans of Osprey packs they can often be overkill for the everyday hiker, with a lot of features thrown at them. The Hikelite is the antidote to this with a refreshing, pared down simplicity.
The 26 litre capacity hits the sweet spot in size for low-level easy day hiking, having said that it can be a squeeze when you're carrying food, water and winter gear.
The soft top pocket can be used for keys and sunglasses but in the colder months we prefer to use it for a hat, scarf and gloves, this gives us easy access without having to dig around in the main compartment.
The two stretch side pockets can easily swallow a litre of water each or you could opt to use a reservoir and free up the pockets for further segregation of gear.
The front pocket is secured using the top compression straps, we use this pocket for storing a map and notepad when it isn't raining. Talking of rain, it's great to see an integrated rain cover on the Hikelite, the British weather is so unpredictable that it's always wise to carry some form of protection for your pack and an integrated raincover is by far the easiest option.
A lightweight wire frame surrounds the Airspeed back panel, this combo is tried and tested and works well, it's comfortable, supportive and gives great airflow to your back.
The shoulder straps are comfortable, and the hip belt does its job well enough although it's just a webbing strap so it can rub when the pack is fully loaded and you're only wearing a t-shirt. It also lacks pockets, we definitely miss this feature. It is, however removeable, which adds an element of versatility, removing it makes the pack more streamlined for use around town.
Osprey have decided to forego their excellent Stow-On-The-Go trekking pole attachments on the Hikelite, being a trekking pole user I do miss this feature, especially when following routes where regular navigation and therefore use of your hands is essential. Having said that for longer term storage of poles the side pockets and upper compression straps do a good enough job.
As a simple, lightweight daypack the Hikelite ticks a lot of boxes, it's also good value at £80. If you regularly find yourself filling the pack to the brim with gear, then you might want for a few more pockets dotted around which would allow for easier organisation.