Aarn Featherlite Freedom 50-55L Backpack - Light Hiking Gear

$ 259.95 $ 324.95( / )
The Aarn Featherlite backpacks are designed for lightweight backpacking and hiking, and they come with several features that make them popular among outdoor enthusiasts. Here are five of the best features commonly associated with Aarn Featherlite backpacks: Dual-Compartment Design: Aarn Featherlite backpacks typically feature a dual-compartment design, which separates the...
  • 50 L - Short
  • 55 L - Medium
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • 10 L - Sport/Small
  • 12 L - Sport/Regular
  • 15L - Expedition/Regular
  • 18 L - Expedition/Large

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Customer Reviews

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Aarn Featherlite Freedom 50-55L Backpack - Light Hiking Gear - Light Hiking GearLight Hiking Gear

Aarn Featherlite Freedom 50-55L Backpack - Light Hiking Gear

$ 259.95 $ 324.95( / )

The Aarn Featherlite backpacks are designed for lightweight backpacking and hiking, and they come with several features that make them popular among outdoor enthusiasts. Here are five of the best features commonly associated with Aarn Featherlite backpacks:

  1. Dual-Compartment Design: Aarn Featherlite backpacks typically feature a dual-compartment design, which separates the main compartment from the front pocket. This design allows for efficient organization of your gear, making it easier to access specific items without needing to unpack everything.

  2. Balance Pockets: Aarn backpacks are known for their innovative balance pockets. These are detachable pockets that can be worn on the front of the backpack, providing convenient access to essentials like snacks, maps, and small gear items without having to remove the pack. This feature enhances weight distribution and comfort while on the trail.

  3. Lightweight Construction: Featherlite backpacks live up to their name by offering a lightweight design. Aarn is committed to producing backpacks that minimize weight without sacrificing durability, making them suitable for ultralight backpacking and long-distance hiking.

  4. Adjustable Harness: Aarn Featherlite backpacks often feature adjustable harness systems, allowing you to fine-tune the fit to your body for maximum comfort and load distribution. This feature is especially important for long hikes and backpacking trips.

  5. Hydration Compatibility: Many Aarn Featherlite backpacks come with hydration reservoir sleeves and hose routing, enabling you to stay hydrated while on the go. This feature ensures you have easy access to water without needing to stop and unpack your gear.


    The Featherlite Freedom feels like the lightest backpack, even when it’s loaded with heavy items. The pelvic-form hipbelt, true-fit shoulder straps, and flow through stabilizers make the pack feel like virtually nothing. The two backlengths that adjust at the torso allow it to comfortably fit people of all sizes.

    Material: 00D Kodura, 210D, 100D x 70D & 40D ripstop nylon

    Color: Green/Grey

      Add Balance Gear Racks (see Options tab) to this comfortable backpack to take the weight of climbing hardware off your shoulders when climbing. The new generation 4 model has a revised frame which is lighter & stronger and an improved Multi-Flow pivot position for an easier-to-use hipbelt.


      Short Pack 50
      Sport Balance Pockets (pair) 12
      Medium Pack 55
      Sport Balance Pockets (pair) 12


      Height: 21.7 Width: 14.6

      Depth (front-back): 9.8

      Height: 55 Width: 37

      Depth (front-back): 25


      Height: 25.6 Width: 16.5

      Depth (front-back): 9.8

      Height: 65 Width: 37

      Depth (front-back): 25

      Pounds (without/with Dri-Liner)
      Kilograms (without/with Dri-Liner)
      Short Backpack 2.87 / 3.11 1.14 / 1.25
      Medium Backpack 3.1 / 3.28 1.25 / 1.33

      Maximum Recommended Load: 39.7 lbs. (18 kg)

      Front Balance Pockets allow for high weights without feeling intrusive

      Add Front Balance Pockets which attach easily to Aarn’s comfortable backpacks and convert easily into a daypack after clipping on the shoulder and sternum straps. Hiking, backpacking, and exploring the outdoors has never been easier!

        • Either 10 or 12 liter front Sport-Regular Balance Pockets, or 15 liter or 18 liter Expedition Balance Pockets can be used with this pack. Pockets provide greater stability and balance, and a more upright posture. This translates to much less fatigue and strain.
        • Shoulder and sternum straps are included for converting the pockets into a daypack, which is carried on the front of the body for maximum security and easy gear access.
        • Front pockets have waterproof Dri-liners, accessible zip flaps to protect items from the rain, and four mesh exterior pockets with compression cords.
        • The design of the Front Balance Pockets, which includes four mesh exterior pockets with compression chords, is to provide maximum comfort, organization, and accessibility. Attach to the Aarn balance pack for an unmatched outdoors experience.
          • Material: 00D Kodura, 210D, 100D x 70D & 40D ripstop nylon
          • Color: Green/Grey

        Sport Balance Pockets - Mid-volume balances unobtrusiveness and weight carrying ability

          Front Balance Packs for Featherlite Freedom Backpack

          (Click on Buttons to Evaluate and Purchase)

          These allow you to clip climbing hardware on the larger models with Pelvic Form Hipbelts.

          Alternative to sternum straps when Balance Pockets are not used.

          Hold tent, poles, foam pad, etc. on pack sides.

          Allow skis to be attached to the pack sides and locked to prevent movement

          Featherlite Freedom Backpack Design Featherlite Freedom Backpack Shoulder Strap Design Featherlite Freedom Backpack Hipbelt Design

          " Just before Xmas my partner and I had a fantastic trip to the Garden of Eden Ice Plateau with skis. It was a great test for the Featherlite Freedom pack as I skinned, skied, climbed, bush-bashed and tramped over 5 days.

          The 2 day exit from the Gardens is definitely thorough testing country and we had full camping kit with us. I was more than happy with how it performed when it was loaded up, and how good it was to ski with all my gear in it and the Balance Pockets in front.

          We were bush bashing in alpine scrub and bush and this was no problem with the Balance Pockets. There was also no issue with not seeing the ground because of the Pockets - and a lot of the terrain we were on was quite technical. This included a steep climbing ascent of The Great Unknown and a steep descent down a creek bed on our route out.

          During the long 14 hour tramp out down the Perth/ Whataroa, I never got the expected/normal sore shoulders/neck and bruised hips.

          Jo Haines, Alpine Guide, Wanaka , NZ

          Just completed a 22 hour continuous training mission in thick west coast bush. Featherlite Freedom was awesome. No sore shoulders or back first time ever that I have carried a load for that long without a hint of discomfort. Amazing comfort and stability.

          Andrew McLeod, Wanaka, NZ

          The Aarn Featherlite Freedom Balance Pack gets an "A" for innovation. I achieved a superb fit with this pack and comfortably carried 30-pound loads over a variety of terrains. Featherlite Freedom has one of the most sophisticated and adjustable suspension systems to be found anywhere, and I had no trouble dialing in a perfect fit. The pack's articulated hipbelt and sliding shoulder straps allowed excellent freedom of movement while the pack "stuck" to my back.

          Will Rietveld. Read the entire backpackinglight.com review of Featherlite Freedom

          I've come off a 5-day tramp in the Tararuas with Featherlite Freedom, packing around 9kg. Like many older trampers I too have suffered & been damaged by inadequate packs, little realising how they were hurting us.

          This trip my partner carried my last "good" pack, a 55 litre design from one of the big players that until now seemed better than most. Because we have very similar body sizes we were able to swap from one to the other for direct comparisons. The Featherlite was the clear favourite.

          Perhaps the most noticeable effect was the ability to just "stroll" in a relaxed normal gait on the flat sections. To my mind the unbalanced lean forward pose of the older designs means that you are constantly "walking uphill", expending extra effort even on the flat. All up we estimate your design trims anything up to 15-20% of the effort off a typical day's tramp.

          Phillip Wilkie, Wellington, NZ

          "I would like to thank you for your excellent packs. I have recently walking the Kokoda track. I am a 52 years old woman and short - 156cm.

          When I arrived in PNG I was concerned that I had made the wrong decision not to organise a porter as most of the walkers in my group had and were just carrying a day-pack. Most of them where much younger than me and all of them much taller! I carried all my own gear plus 4 litres of water.

          I found my Featherlite Freedom fantastic. It felt like a pack only half the weight - the balance was perfect - which was a real advantage in the areas of the track that were very steep and slippery. I had no trouble keeping up and no discomfort. Thanks - its a fantastic pack".

          Suzanne Deed, Warragul, Australia

          " I started hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, from the Southern Terminus, starting April 25th, and finished the trail at the Northern Terminus on September 15th. In the desert sections I took the waterproof bags out of the pockets and pack.

          Through the Sierras and Washington I put the waterproof sacks back in. In the desert section I was carrying on average up to 4-6 liters of water per day, along with the rest of my gear, which weighed about 8 to 9 pounds. The rest of the way I carried 1-2 liters on average during the day.

          Waterproof sacks: The sacks worked great. They did what they were designed to do. When I encountered rain or wet conditions all my stuff remained dry. I really loved having those sacks.

          Front Pockets: Got some weird looks and comments, but it was a great way to introduce the pack. I highly doubt I would ever go back to a traditional backpack, because the Aarn is just too good. The pockets performed as expected and then some. I had all my essentials up front, including water, food, camera, map, and water treatment. I really enjoyed the pockets up front, and didn't get overheated or tired of them up front.

          Backpack: The pack worked great and I really like the roll top closure and the 3 buckles for the pack. The zip divider at first took some getting use too, but then became second nature. The two side pockets of the pack worked great too, I was able to stow water bottles with no problem. I can't say enough about how great the backpack performed. The only recommendation I would make would be to experiment with a large mesh pocket on the front of the pack.

          Overall: In the beginning I was really nervous and anxious about this pack, and wondering if it was a "sham" or if it would last, and how would it perform, and I hope I make it through all the way with this pack. But now, all my questions have been answered, I am excited about this pack and really enjoyed the Featherlite Freedom. The pack did not put any pressure on my shoulders or back, and the pack I think actually helped my back in some weird way.

          Scott USA

          The Aarn Featherlite Freedom Balance Pack created by Aarn Designs in New Zealand gets an "A" for innovation. The bodypack concept is deployed through a combination of innovative design features. At 50 liters, the Featherlite Freedom is a medium sized pack suitable for a lightweight weekend trip or an extended trip using ultralight gear and food. I achieved a superb fit with this pack and comfortably carried 30-pound loads over a variety of terrains.
          Will Rietveld Backpackinglight.com review. USA.

          Instructions also apply to attaching Balance Pockets to Featherlight Freedom





          Sore Shoulders

          Pull back force on shoulders from weight behind

          Add Balance Pockets, or if using them, put more weight in them and loosen front shoulder strap webs

          Too much weight on shoulders

          Loosen front shoulder strap webs

          Hipbelt has slipped down

          Raise hipbelt & retighten &/or shorten

          Balance Pockets are pulling down on bottom of shoulder pads

          Increase back length: Pull up on navy top back panel web

          Bodypack is too hard to put on

          Incorrect technique used

          1. Loosen hipbelt webs before putting the bodypack on for the first time.

          2. Follow this sequence: Place hands underneath Balance Pockets; grab hold of hipbelt center buckles, lift both Pockets & hipbelt up to the right height; clip center buckle together & tighten the tension web loop at top and bottom to get an even pressure at the top and bottom of the hipbelt

          3. When taking the pack off, before releasing the hipbelt center buckle, loosen the side buckles. With familiarity, you can release the 2 tensionlock buckles on each side with each hand simultaneously, by pulling the buckle ends up. Now you have set the pack up to be easy and quick to put on next time

          I do not have the coordination anymore to master this simple sequence

          Substitute Universal Balance Bags for Balance Pockets. These quickly and easily attach after you have put the pack on

          My pack leans to one side

          Your pack will lean to one side, like any brand of pack, if you have the shoulder straps and/or hipbelt adjusted unequally on both sides, or you have loaded the pack unevenly.

          First check that the top stabilizer straps are equal length and the front shoulder strap webs are also equal length. Now check that the hipbelt parts are adjusted to equal length and angle on both sides of the center base plate and the side tension adjustors (cord or web) are of equal length both sides. Now with all these adjustments made, check that the hipbelt ends are sitting at a similar position on each side of your pelvis with the pack on. Finally, check that your U-Flow movement (the movement when you lift one shoulder), is equal on both sides. With everything centered, including the load, there should be no reason for your pack to lean to one side.