September 15, 2021

How to Choose a Backpacking Pack

by Jullie

Making a trip to any part of the world is now easy, and some credit for the convenience should also go to the modern and featured backpacking packs. 

However, it is also important to choose the right pack for your next trip. You will wear the backpack for most of your waking moments of the trip. 

When you disconnect from the world, you must carry the essentials and more. There is a variety of backpacking backpack options available. 

If you are looking for an answer to how to choose a backpacking pack, the article below and the information will help you make the best decision and choice.

Table of Contents
How to Choose a Backpacking Backpack

Choosing a Backpack with an Appropriate Volume

The volume (often denoted in liters) reveals the space available inside a backpack. The full-size backpack models can carry your essential items for a full six-month trip on an Appalachian trail! 

The smaller and daypack varieties are also available. You can choose a backpacking pack by considering the information given below.

Related Article: What Is the Common Link between Rappelling and Backpacking?

Less than 35 liters

The overnight backpacks may have a volume and capacity of around 35 liters or less. 

These backpacks can carry your essentials gear and food for 1 or 2 nights. You can carry your hiking gear, including tents, sleeping bags, and pads among others easily.

35 to 50 liters

When you are looking for a weekend trip, you may need a backpack having a capacity of somewhere between 35 to 50 liters backpacks

Apart from the usual gear including the small tents and sleeping bags, the backpacks can also carry extra clothing. 

The large capacity of the backpack ensures that you can also carry basic cookware, food, a small stove, a first aid kit, a water purifier, and some navigation tools as well. 

If you are skilled enough at packing, you can also pack items including a lightweight chair, coffee press, and a small lantern.

Choose the right backpacking pack

50 to 75 liters

With up to 75-liter storage capacity available, a light packer may plan a trip up to five nights with these large backpacks. Varieties including winter camping or expedition varieties are also available at this site. 

Apart from the other items listed above, these backpacks may also carry your survival gear, mountaineering equipment, and warm sleeping setups.

The backpacks available today include adjustable hip belts. The latest and best ones may also offer you interchangeable belts for an even better fit. 

Some of the backpacks may also offer the feature of suspension adjustment. With the feature, you can better adjust the shoulder harness system of the backpack to the size of your back. 

Because the size of the backpack may vary with the manufacturers, you should read the description carefully in the backdrop of the size of your back to make the best purchase.

Features of the Backpacking Backpack

The backpacking backpacks are today equipped with a variety of features that may provide for a more hassle-free, convenient, and exciting hiking and trip experience. 

Once you have picked the right side for your backpack, you need to have a look at the features as well.

How to Choose a Backpacking Pack for a Backpacking Trip

Related Article: Difference Between Hiking and Backpacking

Internal/External frames

Backpacks with external frames are the original designs. They offer benefits including an option to strap more hiking and other gear on the outside, a capacity to carry heavier loads, higher durability, and better affordability. 

Backpacks with internal frames are made of lightweight materials and hence are lighter to carry. These backpacks may have a lower and more optimized profile and provide a convenient walking experience even in tight quarters. 

When you are looking for better mobility, you should look for backpacks with internal frames.


When you are planning to visit a location that has warm weather, you should look for backpacks with ventilation features, including perforated foam, lightweight mesh, and special framing systems.

Rain cover

Depending on the place you want to visit, or the season of your trip, you may like to have a backpack with an integrated rain cover. Rain covers are available separately with some backpack models.

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The presence of compartments in a bag, including the sleeping bag compartment, can be important for you.

For longer trips, you should go for backpacks with large and multiple compartments that may be accessible through the side, back, front, or top.


When you aim to carry large loads of gear and for a long duration, you may need a backpack with padding on the shoulder and a hip belt.


A backpacking pack is usually designed to carry loads of up to 50 pounds and may have a capacity of somewhere air around 60 to 80 liters.

Ensure that you are picking a backpack following the duration of your trip and the features and capabilities you want your backpack to include and carry.

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About the author 


Jullie is a professional indoor climber. She loves speed climbing competitions. This style makes her feel like she's flying. Maybe because her other passion is flying airplanes. Obviously, high speeds are her thing.

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