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which size backpack?!

Travel Forums Travel Gear which size backpack?!

1. Posted by natalie1989 (Budding Member 66 posts) 3y

Hello guys

My boyfriend and I are going on a RTW trip next September for between 12 - 18 months.

I am just wondering which soze backpack to buy?

I have tried to research instead of posting independently but have seen a lot of conflicting information.

I was originally thinking of buying a 65L backpack and my bf will probsbly get the same. However, i saw people saying that 45 or 55 is the best size.

I have also seen people saying there arw men and womens backpacks?

I am 5 feet 9 inches tall would i be better off buying a mans one? I am not very strong so do u think that 65l will be too big?

I am just worried about not having enough room. On our trip we will be visiting germany finland russia and china in the winter and canada in the spring so will need winter clothes, which obvioisly take up more room.

We will be doing a few treks also..

I like the idea of having a smaller sized backpack so that you can keep it with you on boats and buses etc.

Any advice would be welcome :)

Thank you in advance

Also, a quick unrelated question; helsinki to st petersburg: ferry or flight?



2. Posted by natalie1989 (Budding Member 66 posts) 3y

This is our itinery (by countries rather than cities... Will take too long!)

Russia (trans siberian railway)

Also.. Can u give me a rough idea if u can of how much in stones and pounds a full up 65L backpack will weigh?

3. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 542 posts) 3y

IMO 65L is plenty big enough and, if you fill it, it'll be difficult to carry. 55L woukd be better packed with clothes that can be washed and dried easily. Carrying more than about 12 kg can get to be too much after an hour or so - and use the waist belt adjusted properly so the main weight is on your hips.

The harnesses (carrying straps) are designed differently for men and women. I suggest you go to a reputable outdoor equipment shop and ask to try a few travel packs (even without the intention of buying) just to see what they've got. They'll then tell you about the male/female harness and the different sizes in each. I use a Macpac with a Male 3 harness. My wife uses a similar pack but with a female 2 harness - each one comes in three sizes. Enjoy your travels.:)

4. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 542 posts) 3y

Sorry - forgot to mention - getting a travel pack with a zip-away harness helps with checking the pack in on a flight - no loose straps!

5. Posted by natalie1989 (Budding Member 66 posts) 3y

Thank you so much for all your information.

I think we will go into a shop and try them out! :)


6. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 712 posts) 3y

Yep try them on - decent stores will have things to load them with so you can try them fully loaded.

Personally I think 65L is way too big. It's one thing to fit winter gear in, it's another to lug it around for a year. Myself I'd want about 40L.

7. Posted by natalie1989 (Budding Member 66 posts) 3y

I think realistically 65l is probably too big.

Maybe a 55l will better..

I will go and try them on in a shop..
Can anyone recommend some shops please?

Thank you


8. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 542 posts) 3y

Cotswold Outdoor have shops throughout the UK and sell Berhaus, Osprey, Jack Wolfskin and Deuter amongst others. Millets stock a few. I'm not sure Famous Army Stores are still going but they used to stock travel equipment too.

9. Posted by natalie1989 (Budding Member 66 posts) 3y

Thank you :) xx

10. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2488 posts) 3y

I travel independently for indefinite periods (several months at a time) via hotels/hostels through 3 climates with a 46 litre carry-on size backpack with LOTS of room left over - all the cinch straps are yanked to their tightest dimensions so the backpack is really only about 35 litres.

That's including a set of nice clothes to crash an Embassy party or high-end club, normal day-to-day casual and hiking wear, beach clothes, personal hygiene products and everything else you need to be safe/comfortable plus a laptop, digital still/video package and all the peripherals.

I have a separate daypack that fits inside the backpack, or stays with me with all the essentials when the backpack is in an overhead bin, etc.

It's easily doable and you'll see LOTS of experienced backpackers doing the same - or even lighter. Seeing other travellers - especially smaller women - struggle with 60 - 70+ litre backpacks (plus daypacks!) is insane.

Going light makes sense to me because it allows me to keep my backpack with me (almost) all the time - it's carry-on size for aircraft, it doesn't need to be checked into the baggage space under the bus where it's out of my sight and out of my control - and it's obviously way easier/faster to navigate a crowded train aisle, keep with me inside the taxi, stow in a small boat, fit into a tuk-tuk, onto the back of a motorcycle and a million other situations.

Good luck with your research and have fun shopping.