Travel Backpack Volume : Which Size Backpack Should I Get?

Travel Backpack Volume Video

Travel Backpack Volume

Which Size Backpack Should I Get?

Which Size Backpack Should I Get?

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Backpack capacity is terribly confusing. How do you answer, “what size backpack should I get?” Contrary to common thinking… the smallest one possible! Whether you’re off to travel the world or walk backwoods trails, your vertebrae and brain will sing your praises. I promise. The video shows exactly what all those Liter and Cubic Inch numbers mean.
Regarding bags used here, basically we just took what we could get (borrow) while staying within a single brand.

You saw claimed capacity isn’t the most reliable indicator of how much stuff will fit in it. E.g. here the 40L and 55L both fit more than larger bags. Read more (and why) below.

Bag capacity has nothing to do with how a bag fits on your body. Read below to understand sizing.

P A C K I N G _ L I S T S –

If you’re headed off on a round-the-world adventure, this is the most thorough RTW packing list on the internet:

Most Thorough RTW Packing List EVER Written – (minimalist friendly!)

If you want to hit backcountry trails, try this:

P A C K _ R E V I E W S –

Here are what most people think of bags popular in 2017:

The Secret About the Best Travel Backpack

B A G S U S E D + T – S H I R T C A P A C I T Y

15L = 27 shirts: Osprey Farpoint 55 small bag
20L = 35 shirts: Osprey Tempest
30L = 55 shirts: Osprey Porter 30
40L = 63 shirts: Osprey Farpoint 55 main bag
46L = 60 shirts: Osprey Porter 46
55L = 90 shirts: Osprey Farpoint
70L = 88 shirts: Osprey Aether 70

L I T E R _ T O _ C U B I C _ I N C H _ C O N V E R S I O N S

15L = 915
20L = 1220
30L = 1830
40L = 2440
46L = 2807
55L = 3356
70L = 4272

M O R E _ A B O U T _ B A G _ C A P A C I T Y –

Stated capacity isn’t always a reliable metric of the actual bag size. E.g. one reviewer fit as much in an the Osprey Porter 30 as he did in a Farpoint 40. I pitted an REI Men’s Trail 40 against an Osprey Porter 30. I crammed more t-shirts into the 30L than the 40L!


There is no gold standard or regulating authority for how companies measure capacity. Some companies use ping pong balls, some companies use bags of rice, others use another thing entirely. (No method is free of inconsistencies, but I’m pretty sure we’re the only people using something that one might actually pack.) Most companies count things like exterior water bottle pockets, which – in my experience – are sometimes un-useable when a bag is crammed full.

M O R E _ A B O U T _ B A G S _ U S E D –

No Osprey didn’t pay us to use their bags (we wish!). They wouldn’t even agree to be our friends, actually.

Summit Hut, an amazing gear store in Tucson, Arizona (and online!) run and owned by lovely people, generously agreed to lend us bags for all our shoots and even space to capture the foundation scenes. They are amazing. And just might carry the backpack you decide is right for you.

Summit Hut stocks many brands of packs, but we attempted to eliminate a variability factor by sticking with a single brand.

At shooting times, they didn’t have in stock the Porter 30 or Farpoint 70 – the Osprey bags in those capacities specifically designed for travel. Since the Porter 30 is wildly popular with travelers, we obtained one elsewhere. We subbed in the Aether 70 – designed with backcountry hiking in mind, rather than travel – since the only point of having a 70L bag in the video is to show you it’s too damn big!

B A G _ C A P A C I T Y _ V S . _ B A G _ F I T _ S I Z I N G –

People mistakenly correlate bag capacity to their own personal body size. The amount of stuff you can fit in a bag has nothing to do with how a bag feels on your body. Wait. Yes it does. An enormous pack that fits perfectly will be so heavy that a small pack that fits poorly might actually feel better to carry. But I digress.

Now that you know what backpack capacity you want, you have to dial in fit-sizing. It’s not the size of your body, but the size of your *torso* that determines your personal backpack sizing. (Your torso is what you’d have leftover if you got rid of your head and limbs.) Measure where the backpack touches your body, and you’ll know your backpack size. (From the bump at the base of your neck to your hip bones.)

Don’t worry. Backpacks aren’t like shoes. They come with adjustable features to accommodate torsos within a small range (see below). You’d be very silly not to learn about these features once you own a bag. Having them dialed in is downright luxurious.

Torso ranges can be something like:
XS: 0-39cm (0-15in)
S: 40-45cm (16-17.5in)
M: 46-50cm (18-19.5in)
L: 51cm+ (20in+)

There are all sorts of articles out there. Go have a read!

H A P P Y _ T R A V E L S ! ♣

This video on this page is automatically generated content related to “travel backpack volume”. Therefore, the accuracy of this video on this webpage can not be guaranteed.


  1. I use my 70L backpack for world travel.

    Fits enough of my tees, shirts, extra underwear and socks, jeans (I bring at least 3 pairs), cargo shorts, shoes (dress shoes – you never know when you get invited to a fancy dinner or opera, slippers, sneakers), a couple of blazers, jackets, and more importantly, leaves enough space for the shopping I will do.

    And this is me packing light. This is enough for about two weeks. Anything less than this, I’m going to have pictures with the same clothes on. Oh no! 😂😂😂

  2. Nobody wants to see traveling videos I’m looking for backpacking vids, why would you use a backpacking pack for travel, you could just us a 10$ pack.

  3. A good reference point for me is that my carry-on suitcase is 38 l (40×55×20 cm should give 44 l capacity, but those are the external measurements including the wheels etc). I also don't look at the listed liter capacity for more than a general idea – as you mention, there's no standardized way to measure bag volumes anyway, so it's often not a very useful metric. I go by the stated dimensions of the bag, because it'll let me know if the bag is around the same size as a carry-on suitcase which in turn gives me a decent enough estimate of the actual capacity of the bag.

  4. I'm a fan of Osprey Hikelite 26 so much so I bought 2 of them. It's made of great lightweight but durable materials, and the fact it has a frame and the mesh backing is leaps and bounds awesome for a pack this size. Let's not forget it comes with load lifters. I use one for my day hike bag holds my essentials and for those just in case moments of ''inconvenient'' Camping (Survival situations for the unprepared) And use the other as my GHB(Get home Bag)

  5. I'm going out for a 13days trip that's a cool place as well I'll have to pack some warm cloths how many liters backpack should I buy 😑 can anyone suggest me ?? and I'm not an over packer but not a minimalist either

  6. Adds a outdoor clip with bag but all she shows is her front profile. I thought we were here for the bag.

  7. Can anyone tell me roughly what size I need for a single sleeping bag, single air bed with pump and a medium towel?

    Thanks in advance.

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