Exped Lightning 45 Rucksack

45 Litres / Internal Frame / Hydration Compatible
Weighs 1164g
Code: SS20197
  • £154.99
  • (FREE Delivery on orders over £15)
  • RRP £169.99
+ In Stock Now | Usually dispatched within 24 hours

The hugely popular Lightning Pack from Exped has seen a significant update with new materials resulting in a lighter, tougher and more comfortable design. The adjustable nature and minimalist design make this a perfect option for fast and light adventures.

Exped says:

The Lightning is made for fast and light trips with its superb volume to weight ratio. A roll-top closure combined with full pack bag compression offer variable capacity. The unique T-Rex suspension system with a single central aluminum stay and direct attachment to the hip belt ensures mobility in every axis for hips and torso. Numerous functional details round off the feature set of the Lightning while respecting its clean design. Stepless height adjustable for torso length tuning.

Exped's 2020 Lightning 45 Rucksack has received a serious update. The updates to this version of the Lightning look to be really successful with many of the original features that made it popular kept and improvements to weight, durability and comfort. The look of the pack has changed with a slick, modern style now evident. The fabrics used are more environmentally friendly, more waterproof and more durable so there's not much else they could improve in this regard!

The classic roll-top is still there and this is where the Lightning is able to save weight and keep the minimalist feel of the design.  This weight saving is sacrifices ease of access in my opinion making it slightly harder to get in and out of it than other packs. Without a lid (and the usual range of pockets on it) its not as easy keeping organised, but by using different dry bags and pouches this is easily overcome. The compression straps are great for varied loads and versatility where other packs can feel too big when heading out for shorter trips where less gear is required.

One issue with both the Lightning and Thunder packs was often the comfort around the lumbar support. It simply didn't suit many people but the additional padding and improved, stronger aluminium frame are much more comfortable under heavy loads and for extended trips. Personally, this is the most important change as I always steered away from the old versions due to the comfort but I'm now using this pack regularly.

- Reviewed by Ultralight Outdoor Gear

Help and advice: Choosing a rucksack at Ultralight Outdoor Gear
  • Updated version made even lighter, tougher and more comfortable
  • Lighter: narrower webbing and improved construction
  • Tougher: abrasion resistant 630 D nylon fabric base
  • More comfort: more padding and stronger aluminium stay
  • Very light top-loader with roll-top closure
  • Sophisticated suspension system with easy length adjustment
  • Minimal back contact points for good venting
  • Excellent load transfer over central aluminium stay anchored to the hipbelt
  • Stretch pockets on sides and hipbelt
  • Full pack body compression system
  • Weight: 1164g
  • Capacity: 45 Liters
  • Dimensions: 72 x 32 x 25cm
  • Load limit: 24kg
  • Back length range: 41-58cm


  • 210 D HMPE ripstop nylon, PU coated, 1500 mm water column, Oeko-Tex 100 certified, DWR C6
  • Frame: 6061-T6 series aluminium stay
Showing our 2 Exped Lightning 45 Rucksack reviews with an average rating of Excellent. Would you like to write a review?
Review Summary - 5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings.
June 24, 2021 | JonnyG
Good backpack

Very light and comfortable. Decent enough organisation considering the weight. Good position for hydro pack and pockets. Really waterproof, kept everything inside dry despite the British weather

Ultralight Outdoor Gear Limited
April 28, 2021 | Keith Lambeth
Mostly good

First of all, very comfortable, used for successive days and overnight trips. Compression straps are fine material and roll up in use which pulls the rectangular plastic retainers length-ways rather than sideways, this makes them jam and hard to tension quickly. Excessive strap length on everything becomes a hassle to manage. Hip pockets are small compared to say my OMM classic 32 and limited. Odd vertical pocket is very hard to access when pack is full and compressed, its just too deep to reach into. Mesh compartment on inner of pocket is also hard to see the bottom of. For all that I like the simplicity and above all the comfort. I aim to use OMM go pods and the flash pocket to make it a bit more practical.

Ultralight Outdoor Gear Limited