When buying a backpack, you have to look at numerous factors. One of the most important is the size and the capacity of the backpack. Choosing the right size will give you enough space while keeping your backpack compact and comfortable enough.
So, what are the most important sizing considerations? Here’s how to choose.
The capacity is one of the most important characteristics of a backpack. This number refers to the amount of stuff you can put inside the bag. Based on capacity, backpacks vary from daypacks to larger items that are suitable for at least several days of traveling or hiking.
The capacity is usually measured in liters. Pack capacity in the range from 20 to 50 liters is considered sufficient for a single day of hiking or traveling. If you’re about to go away for a weekend of adventures, choose a backpack that has capacity of 50 to 60 liters. Backpacks in the 60 to 80 liters range are considered sufficient for use over a period of two to four days. Adventures, hikes and trips that will continue for more than five days necessitate a backpack that has a capacity of about 80 liters.
This capacity is usually included in the product specs. Manufacturers use standard measures to determine the capacity of backpacks. You can rest assured that the number you’re reading in the technical specs will correspond to the actual capacity of the backpack.
If you’re a person that enjoys trips of varying lengths, you should consider investing in at least two different backpacks – one for a day trip and one for a longer experience. Taking a large backpack on a short trip will reduce your comfort. Though they are lightweight, large backpacks are unnecessarily bulky.
Alternatively, this information could be provided in cubic inches. Usually, manufacturers provide a table that you can use to determine which capacity is the right one for your needs.
Backpack Sizing and Buying Suggestions
Now that you’ve been introduced to backpack capacity, it’s time to take a look at how to properly size such pieces.
Remember that the size of the backpack is different from its capacity. The dimensions of a backpack are heavily dependent on its design and the way in which the frame is set up. A backpack that’s bulky and huge isn’t necessarily one that has sufficiently big capacity. This is why you have to take a look both at the item’s dimensions and at the capacity to make the best choice.
Usually, the sizes of backpacks are standard. You can choose from small to medium and large backpacks. The number corresponds to torso length. A taller person will need a larger backpack when it comes to size, not to capacity. It can get a bit confusing distinguishing between the two parameters but once you examine a couple of backpacks and try them on, you’ll understand the difference.
Usually, a small backpack covers 16 to 19 inches of torso length. The medium is typically in the length range of 18 to 21 inches. Large backpacks have a length in the range from 20 to 23 inches.
There is no standard that sets these numbers. Variations from one manufacturer to the next are possible. Always take a look at the sizing chart to see what length in inches corresponds to the specific size. You should also look at the width and the height of the backpack to get a better idea about its overall size.
If you aren’t visiting a store, you should measure yourself. Use these measurements to shop for a backpack online. The manufacturer should provide a table that will feature the most important measurements and the backpack size these correspond to. The most important measurement is the length of your back (from the iliac crest to the C7 vertebrae). A tape measure will give you an adequate number. Since the procedure could be difficult to complete on your own, you may want to request assistance from a friend.
One final thing to remember is that when the backpack arrives, you should have it tested. To get a good feel of how it fits your body, put some weight inside. Keeping a loaded backpack on your back and shoulders for at least 10 to 15 minutes will give you a good idea about the adequacy of the size and the comfort of the piece that you’ve just purchased.