Size Of Rucksack for SE Asia

Travel Forums Travel Gear Size Of Rucksack for SE Asia

1. Posted by mike19uk (Budding Member 15 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Guys,

im going too se asia for 4 - 5 months ...

thai, laos, cambodia, vietnam ..

i am going to go bare essentials ... i think a 25lt pack would be ok ... what are your thoughts on this ?


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

Hmm, even our resident "packing-light" guru has a 30 l pack. 25 l is really small, I already need this space just taking some cosmetics and a change of clothes for a weekend trip. If you only take 2 shorts, 3 t-shirts and sandals/flip-flops it might work. Nevertheless I think that a slightly larger pack would be better to be on the safe side.

3. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I use a trusty 26l, which got me through a 15mth travel and included a few months in SEA, with no problems, and it had some spare capacity. Having said that, it does have a couple of good pockets and front bungey on the outside (which meant my fleece and walking shoes were outside the main bag). I also have a foldable daysack (which fits inside my main pack) which i can use if i happen to need short term extra capacity. I also know exactly how to pack it and got used to repacking it almost entirely on a daily basis (if i don't do it properly, I randomly end up with half the stuff not fitting and i still can't work out how that is even vaguely possible!!), which can annoy allot of people.

Having said that, 26 is small, and if you aren't used to using something that sized, i would suggest considering a 30 or 35, and taking it with spare space, or packing something like a big old jumper in it (then trashing it when you get to SEA) as a way of not filling it with extra stuff. it is VERY rare to meet backpacker (regardless of if they have a 20l or 120l bag) who has a bag not stuffed to the max.

Also, bear in mind that pure capacity isn't everything unless you are simply filling it with fluids. Design of the bag and how the space is arranged can be more important. and oddly proportioned/pocketed bags can lead to you having a much smaller useful space (or bigger than you might think)

4. Posted by bradshaw (Budding Member 19 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Good advice. Also keep in mind that different companies measure capacity in different ways. I recently purchased a 22L daypack for hiking that swallows way more gear than my older 30 L pack. So the 25 L pack might work for you but you really do have to try it out first.
Gelli is exactly right about knowing how to pack your bag also. I also found that some days, my stuff fit with room to spare and other days, not so much - so repacking was necessary.

I make a concerted efforted to include "empty space" on my packing list, and aim for about 20-30% empty capacity. It makes it so much easier to find stuff in your pack and to pack it up quickly if you're running late for the bus or train.

I like your idea of taking only the bare essentials though - to me that is 1 or 2 extra outfits in your pack, minimal toiletries, maybe a book. I haven't gone that minimal yet but would love to. When my son gets old enough I'd like to show him how to travel like that.