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Backpack Sizes

Travel Forums Travel Gear Backpack Sizes

1. Posted by jon_b (Budding Member 20 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I have never tried measuring anything in Litres beyond a 2L bottle of coke, so am totally lost when I try to imagine what backpack size I will need. Could someone give me the low-down on what each size will typically hold? I'm going away for a month, but plan to use the same bag for a RTW trip in 2 years time.

Also, does anyone know any good retailers that are in the UK or online that ship to the UK?


2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

It depends on what type of traveller you are, and how good your packing skills are; I myself can live out of a 55-litres backpack no matter what, and even squish all my camping gear inside /on the outside if I really have to. But I guess it may be better to buy a slightly larger one. But then, if you plan to do a lot of hiking, that would increase your burden...

What about this rule of thumb: 55 ltr without camping gear, 65 with. That makes sense to the others, too?

3. Posted by Seany (Respected Member 268 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

i use a 45l and travel as light as possible, jus depends how much u wana carry

4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

School bookbags tend to have between 15 and 30 liters, so you can also use two of them to get at the 40-60 liter range.

5. Posted by clarife (Respected Member 294 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


I am backpacking to south east asia for three months and will be travelling quite a bit as we will be seeing 4 countries. I am only 5 2" and my boyfriend has warned he wont be carrying anything for me so I am wondering how many litres is enough for a 3 month trip?

I want to travel as lightly as possible and more importantly as comfortable as possible. I heard a 45 litre was more than enough but when looking for a backpack a shop girl told me she used an 80 litre for her backpacking and could never do without any less. - was I being given a sales pitch?

Any help would be great!


6. Posted by Eleniki (Full Member 125 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

You'd be crazy, especially at your height, to consider anything as big as an 80 litre pack. For only 3 months, if you're not camping (and even if you are, as your boyfriend can carry the tent!) think more in terms of 45 + 15 (back pack with detachable day-pack for those days you can leave your big pack wherever you're staying and just take the smaller day-pack). Best thing to do is to read all the other threads in this forum - you should find all the advice you need. Have a great trip.

7. Posted by S_Paradise (Full Member 65 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

The size of your pack should firstly depend on fitting properly and comfortably to your height. For me, I could travel a year in a 45L bag with camping gear. But that being said, because I am 6'4", I cannot find a bag that fits properly under 55L. In my 55L bag I always have extra room.

I would suggest to always go to a reputable retailer and have them load the pack for you and then walk around a bit to make sure it is okay, even if you still intend to purchase the bag online.

Claire: An 80L bag is way too big for you. A 45L will do you just fine, probably even a bit smaller. I think you were given a sales pitch just to buy a bigger bag. A fully loaded 80L bag will almost be as tall as you! I have an 80L bag that I do use on occasion for extended wilderness winter camping trips of several weeks or so where I need to carry everything I need (bulky warm clothes, food, snowshoes, skis, etc.). My wife is 5'1" and there is no way she could carry it comfortably.

8. Posted by clarife (Respected Member 294 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thats great, thanks guys. The thoughts of carrying something so heavy is giving me nightmares - but maybe its the woman in me afraid to leave anything at home. I bring a large suitcase for a weekend away!!!

I'm going to have to be seriously ruthless when packing!

Thanks again