What Size Backpacking Pack Do I Need?

Choosing the right size backpacking pack is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor adventure. Whether you are embarking on a weekend trip or an extended expedition, finding the perfect pack can make all the difference in your overall experience. In this blog post, we will discuss how to determine the ideal size for your backpacking needs.

Evaluating Your Trip Length

The duration of your backpacking trip plays a significant role in determining the appropriate size of your pack. You’ll need to consider factors such as how many days you’ll be out, how much food and water you plan to carry, and whether you’ll have access to resupply points along your route.

Weekend Getaways

For short weekend getaways where you only need essentials like clothing, sleeping gear, and some food supplies, a small-sized pack between 30-40 liters should suffice. These packs are lightweight and provide enough space for shorter journeys without unnecessary bulkiness.

Multi-Day Trips

If you’re planning on spending several days outdoors with limited opportunities for resupplying provisions, opt for medium-sized packs ranging from 45-65 liters. This capacity allows room for extra clothing layers, cooking equipment, larger amounts of food and water storage options without sacrificing comfort.

Extended Expeditions

For those undertaking longer expeditions lasting more than a week or traveling through remote areas with limited resources available along the way (such as thru-hiking), larger backpacks in the range of 60-90 liters become essential. These packs offer ample space to carry additional gear needed to sustain yourself during extended periods away from civilization.

Fitting Your Gear Properly

While considering volume is important when choosing a backpacking pack size, ensuring a proper fit is equally crucial. Ill-fitting packs can cause discomfort, fatigue, and even potential injuries. Here are some key factors to consider when fitting your backpack properly:

Measure Your Torso Length

To determine the correct torso length for your backpack, measure from the base of your neck along the spine to where your hips begin. Different manufacturers offer packs in various sizes (e.g., small, medium, large), so consult their sizing charts or speak with an expert who can help you identify the right match.

Consider Hip Size and Shoulder Width

In addition to torso length, it’s important to also consider hip size and shoulder width when selecting a pack. These measurements will ensure that weight distribution is balanced across your body and provide optimal support during long treks.

Pack Features That Enhance Comfort

When choosing a backpacking pack, consider additional features that contribute to overall comfort during your trip:

Suspension System

Look for packs with adjustable suspension systems that allow you to fine-tune the fit according to your body shape. These systems typically include padded shoulder straps and hip belts designed for maximum support while reducing strain on pressure points.


Backpacks featuring mesh panels or airflow channels on their back panels promote better ventilation by increasing air circulation between you and the pack itself. This helps reduce sweating and keeps you cooler throughout strenuous hikes.


Selecting the right-sized backpacking pack is essential for an enjoyable outdoor experience devoid of unnecessary stress or discomfort. By evaluating factors such as trip length, properly fitting gear based on measurements like torso length or hip size shoulder width, as well as considering additional comfort-enhancing features like adjustable suspension systems or ventilation options – finding a suitable pack becomes easier than ever before! So, pack up wisely and enjoy your backpacking journey to the fullest!