Choosing The Right Backpack Size For The Amateur Backpacker

amature backpacker what size pack to buy

Are you an amateur backpacker, eager to hit the trails and explore the great outdoors? Before you embark on your adventure, one crucial decision you'll have to make is choosing the right backpack size. A properly fitting backpack is essential for your comfort and safety while on the trail. In this guide, we will examine the various factors to consider when selecting the perfect backpack size for an amateur backpacker. Whether you're planning a weekend getaway or a multi-day trek, let's dive into the world of backpack sizing and find the one that's just right for you.

Characteristics Values
Age 18-25
Gender Male or Female
Experience Level Beginner or Novice
Trip Duration 1-3 days
Season Summer
Terrain Easy or Moderate
Weather Conditions Mild
Packing Style Minimalist
Clothing Light and Breathable
Equipment Basic
Food and Water Lightweight
Sleeping Arrangements Simple
Budget Limited


What factors should an amateur backpacker consider when determining the size of pack to buy?

Source: QRPer

As an amateur backpacker, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is choosing the right size of backpack. The size of your backpack will greatly impact your hiking experience and comfort on the trail. There are several factors to consider when determining the size of pack to buy, and understanding these factors will help you make an informed decision.

  • Trip Duration: The length of your trip is one of the key factors to consider when choosing a backpack size. If you plan on embarking on short overnight trips, a smaller pack with a capacity of around 35-50 liters may be sufficient. However, if you plan on going on extended backpacking trips that last several days or weeks, you will need a larger pack with a capacity of 60 liters or more to accommodate all your gear, food, and clothing.
  • Personal Needs: Your personal needs and preferences should also be considered when determining the size of the backpack. If you prefer to pack light and carry only the essentials, a smaller pack may be suitable. However, if you require more gear or have specific requirements, such as bulky camping equipment or extra clothing layers, you may need a larger pack to accommodate these items.
  • Body Size and Strength: Your body size and strength should also be taken into account. A backpack that is too large or too heavy for your frame can cause discomfort and strain on your back and shoulders. It is important to try on different backpack sizes and styles to find one that fits you well and feels comfortable when fully loaded. Adjustable straps and frames can also help ensure a proper fit.
  • Season and Weather Conditions: The size of your pack may also vary depending on the season and weather conditions. In colder months, you may need to pack additional layers of clothing, a sleeping bag, and other winter gear, which may require a larger pack. On the other hand, in warmer months, you may be able to pack lighter and opt for a smaller pack.
  • Type of Backpacking: The type of backpacking you plan on doing will also influence the size of pack you need. If you plan on doing more wilderness backpacking and need to carry all your gear, including food and water, you will require a larger pack. On the other hand, if you plan on staying in huts or using a support team to transport your gear, a smaller pack may be sufficient.

In conclusion, the size of your backpack is an important consideration for amateur backpackers. By taking into account factors such as trip duration, personal needs, body size and strength, season and weather conditions, and the type of backpacking, you can determine the appropriate size of pack to buy. It is always advisable to try on different packs and seek advice from experienced backpackers or professionals before making a purchase. Remember, comfort and the ability to carry all essential items are key considerations when choosing a backpack size.


How does the length of the backpacking trip affect the size of pack required?

Source: Exploring Wild

When planning a backpacking trip, one of the key considerations is the size of the backpacking pack needed. The length of the trip plays a significant role in determining the size of the pack required. A longer trip typically requires a larger pack to accommodate more gear, food, and supplies.

Scientifically, the size of the pack needed for a backpacking trip can be determined by considering the volume of the items that need to be carried. The volume needed for gear, food, and supplies increases with the length of the trip. For example, a one-day hike may require a small daypack with a volume of around 20 liters, while a week-long backpacking trip may necessitate a pack with a volume of 60 liters or more.

From an experiential standpoint, backpackers often find that the length of the trip directly affects the size of the pack they need. When embarking on a longer trip, it is necessary to carry more gear and supplies to meet the needs for the duration of the journey. This includes items such as a tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment, extra clothing, and food. The longer the trip, the more provisions must be carried, increasing the size requirement for the backpacking pack.

To determine the appropriate size of pack for a specific backpacking trip, a step-by-step approach can be used. Firstly, consider the length of the trip and estimate the number of days and nights spent on the trail. This will give an indication of the amount of gear and food needed. Secondly, make a list of all the essential items to be carried, including clothing, cooking equipment, and personal hygiene products. Next, estimate the volume of each item and add them up to calculate the total volume required. Based on this estimation, select a pack of appropriate size that can comfortably accommodate all the items.

Examples of how the length of the trip affects the size of the pack can be seen in real-life scenarios. For instance, a weekend backpacking trip may only require a 40-liter pack to carry the necessary gear and supplies. On the other hand, a multi-week expedition in the wilderness may require a pack of 70 liters or more to accommodate the increased volume of equipment and provisions.

In conclusion, the length of the backpacking trip is an important factor in determining the size of the pack required. The volume of gear, food, and supplies increases with longer trips, necessitating a larger pack. By considering scientific principles, personal experience, following a step-by-step approach, and examining real-life examples, backpackers can make an informed decision on selecting the appropriate size of pack for their specific adventure.


Are there any specific features or compartments that an amateur backpacker should look for in a pack?

Source: Outdoor Project

When embarking on your first backpacking adventure, choosing the right backpack is crucial. Amateurs should look for specific features and compartments that will make their journey more comfortable and organized. In this article, we will explore some of the essential elements to consider when selecting a pack for an amateur backpacker.

Size and capacity:

Beginners should opt for a backpack with a capacity of around 40-50 liters. This size provides enough space for essentials without being too bulky or overwhelming. It allows for a comfortable weight distribution and ensures that the pack is not excessively heavy.

Adjustable suspension system:

An adjustable suspension system is vital for a proper fit. This feature allows you to customize the pack to your body shape and size, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit. Look for packs with adjustable shoulder straps and a hip belt to distribute weight evenly.

Multiple compartments:

Having multiple compartments in your backpack helps to keep your gear organized and easily accessible. Look for a pack with a variety of pockets, including a main compartment, front pockets, and side pockets. These compartments allow you to separate your items, making it easier to find what you need without unpacking everything.

Separate sleeping bag compartment:

Some backpacks come with a separate compartment specifically designed to store a sleeping bag. This feature is beneficial as it keeps your sleeping bag separate from the rest of your gear, preventing it from getting wet or dirty. It also makes it easier to access your sleeping bag without having to empty the entire pack.

Hydration system compatibility:

Staying hydrated is crucial while backpacking. Look for a pack that is compatible with a hydration system, such as a hydration bladder or water bottle pockets. These features allow you to conveniently access water during your trek without having to stop and unpack your bag.

Compression straps:

Compression straps are essential for stabilizing the backpack and preventing the contents from shifting during the hike. These straps allow you to tighten the pack, reducing its overall volume and keeping the weight closer to your body. They also help to improve balance and distribute weight evenly, making your journey more comfortable.

Ventilation system:

A backpack with a ventilation system is highly recommended, especially if you plan on hiking in hot or humid conditions. Look for a pack with a breathable back panel and mesh padding. This design allows for better airflow between your back and the pack, reducing perspiration and discomfort.

Durability and quality materials:

Lastly, be sure to choose a backpack made with durable and high-quality materials. Backpacks go through a lot of wear and tear during backpacking trips. Look for packs made with reinforced stitching, robust zippers, and water-resistant materials. This will ensure that your pack can withstand the elements and last for many adventures to come.

To summarize, amateur backpackers should consider several features and compartments when selecting a pack. These include size and capacity, an adjustable suspension system, multiple compartments, a separate sleeping bag compartment, hydration system compatibility, compression straps, a ventilation system, and durability. By choosing a backpack with these features, amateurs can ensure a comfortable and organized backpacking experience.


Should an amateur backpacker prioritize weight or storage capacity when choosing a pack size?

Source: Outdoor Gear Lab

When it comes to choosing a backpack for an amateur backpacker, it can be overwhelming, as there are numerous factors to consider. One of the most crucial decisions to make is whether to prioritize weight or storage capacity. Both aspects have their advantages and drawbacks, and the decision ultimately depends on the individual's preferences and specific needs.

Weight is a critical factor to consider, especially for amateur backpackers who may not be accustomed to carrying heavy loads for extended periods. Carrying a heavy backpack can lead to fatigue, discomfort, and potential injuries. Additionally, a lighter pack allows for more flexibility and agility, which can be beneficial when navigating rugged or challenging terrains.

On the other hand, storage capacity is equally important, as it determines how much gear and supplies can be carried. Amateur backpackers often underestimate the amount of gear they will need, so it's essential to have enough space to accommodate essentials such as a sleeping bag, tent, cooking equipment, clothing, and food. Lack of storage capacity can result in leaving behind crucial items or having to carry additional bags, which can be cumbersome and affect balance.

To make an informed decision, it is recommended to take a step-by-step approach. Firstly, the amateur backpacker should gather all the essential items they plan to carry on their trip. This includes considering the weather conditions, terrain, and duration of the journey. Once the full list of items is compiled, it can be assessed for weight and size requirements.

Next, the weight of each item should be considered individually. It may be helpful to prioritize lightweight options, such as selecting a lightweight tent or a down-filled sleeping bag. This will help reduce the overall weight of the backpack while still ensuring necessary comfort and protection.

After evaluating the weight of each item, it's time to assess the storage volume required. This can be done by organizing the gear and estimating the space each item will occupy. It's important to consider the compression capabilities of the pack, as some models allow for compressing gear to save space. Additionally, consider whether the trip will require carrying additional items, such as food and water, which may need more space.

Once these evaluations are complete, it is possible to make an informed decision by weighing the advantages and disadvantages of prioritizing weight or storage capacity. If the trip involves long distances or challenging terrains, it may be wise to prioritize weight to ensure comfort and endurance. However, if the trip involves multiple nights or requires carrying bulky equipment, additional storage capacity should be prioritized.

To illustrate this decision-making process, let's consider two different scenarios. In the first scenario, an amateur backpacker plans a multi-day hike through rugged mountains, where weight and endurance are crucial. In this case, it would be wise to prioritize weight and choose a pack that is lightweight and designed for long-distance hiking. Sacrificing storage space for reduced weight would be a reasonable trade-off in this scenario.

In the second scenario, an amateur backpacker plans a camping trip in a national park, where they need to carry a tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment, and other essentials for multiple nights. In this case, it would be more practical to prioritize storage capacity to ensure all necessary gear fits comfortably inside the backpack. The weight may be slightly higher, but the additional comfort and convenience outweigh the drawbacks.

In summary, when it comes to choosing a backpack for an amateur backpacker, the decision to prioritize weight or storage capacity depends on the individual's preferences and specific needs. It is recommended to evaluate the weight and volume of all gear, considering the nature of the trip, to make an informed decision. By following this step-by-step approach and considering different scenarios, amateur backpackers can find the balance between weight and storage capacity that works best for them.


Are there any recommendations or guidelines from experienced backpackers on what size pack an amateur should purchase?

Source: Amateur Adventurer

Backpacking is a popular activity for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a unique opportunity to explore the natural wonders of the world while carrying everything you need on your back. One of the most important decisions for a beginner backpacker is choosing the right size pack. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to determine what size pack will best suit your needs. Fortunately, there are recommendations and guidelines from experienced backpackers to help you make an informed decision.

When it comes to backpack sizes, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The size of your backpack will depend on several factors, including the duration of your trip, the climate you'll be hiking in, and your personal preferences. However, there are some general guidelines to consider.

For weekend trips or overnight hikes, a pack with a capacity of 30-50 liters should be sufficient. This size will allow you to carry all the essentials, including clothing, sleeping gear, cooking equipment, and food. It is important to pack efficiently and prioritize the items you truly need, as carrying unnecessary weight can make your hike more challenging.

If you're planning on embarking on a multi-day trek, a pack with a capacity of 50-70 liters should provide enough space for all your gear. This larger size will allow you to carry additional clothing layers, a larger sleeping bag, and more food.

Experienced backpackers recommend opting for a pack with an adjustable frame and suspension system. This will allow you to customize the fit of the pack to your body, maximizing comfort and reducing the risk of discomfort or injury on long hikes. Additionally, look for a pack with multiple compartments and easy-access pockets, as this will make it easier to organize and retrieve your gear.

It is important to keep in mind that pack size is not the only consideration when choosing a backpack. The weight of the pack itself is also an important factor to consider, as a heavy pack can tire you out more quickly and increase the risk of injuries. Look for a pack made from lightweight and durable materials, such as ripstop nylon, and inquire about the weight of the pack before making a purchase.

To get a better idea of what size pack is right for you, it can be helpful to visit an outdoor gear store and try on different packs with weights in them. This will give you a sense of how the pack feels on your back and help determine the size that best suits your frame.

Additionally, seek advice from experienced backpackers and read reviews online to get insights into the best backpacks for beginners. Many backpackers are willing to share their experiences and recommendations, which can be invaluable when making such an important purchasing decision.

In conclusion, when considering what size backpack to purchase as a beginner backpacker, it is important to consider the duration of your trip, the climate you'll be hiking in, and your personal preferences. In general, a pack with a capacity of 30-50 liters is suitable for weekend trips, while a pack with a capacity of 50-70 liters is more appropriate for multi-day treks. Look for a pack with an adjustable frame, multiple compartments, and lightweight materials. Seek advice from experienced backpackers and try on different packs to find the perfect fit. Happy backpacking!

Frequently asked questions

When it comes to buying a backpack for your first backpacking trip, it is important to consider the length of your trip and the amount of gear you will be carrying. For shorter trips or trips in warmer climates, a pack with a capacity around 40-50 liters may be sufficient. However, for longer trips or trips in colder climates where you may need to carry more clothing and equipment, a pack with a capacity around 60-70 liters would be more appropriate.

To determine the right size backpack for your torso length, you will need to measure your torso length. This can be done by measuring the distance between the bony bump at the base of your neck and the top of your hip bones. Once you have your torso length, you can consult the sizing chart provided by the backpack manufacturer to find the appropriate backpack size. It is important to note that different manufacturers may have slightly different sizing guidelines, so be sure to refer to the specific manufacturer's chart.

It ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the specific needs of your trip. A bigger backpack with more storage space can be advantageous if you need to carry a significant amount of gear or if you anticipate needing extra space for any souvenirs or additional supplies. However, a smaller backpack can provide better weight distribution, making it easier to carry and reducing strain on your back and shoulders. Consider the duration and nature of your trip, as well as your own physical capabilities, in order to make the best decision.

Yes, in addition to trip duration and torso length, there are a few other factors to consider when choosing a backpack size. These include your body type and size, as well as the adjustability and fit of the backpack. It is important to try on different backpack sizes and models to determine which one feels the most comfortable and fits your body properly. A properly fitted backpack should distribute weight evenly and feel stable on your back. Additionally, consider the features and organization capabilities of the backpack, as different sizes may offer different options for accessibility and storage.

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