What Size Bag Do I Need for Backpacking?

By Alice Nichols

When it comes to backpacking, one of the most important decisions is the size of the bag. The size of the bag can make or break your trip, from how comfortable you are carrying it to how much you can pack inside. It’s important to choose a bag that fits your needs and body type for the best possible experience.

When choosing a bag for backpacking, the most important factor is how much capacity you need. This depends on what type of trip you’re taking and how long it will be.

Will you be out for a few days or weeks? Do you need enough room for lots of gear or just basic supplies? It’s important to consider all aspects of your trip when selecting a size.

In general, there are three main sizes of backpacking bags: small, medium, and large. Small bags are typically 20-35 liters in capacity and are great for short trips or those who don’t need to bring lots of gear.

Medium bags range from 35-55 liters and provide more space for longer trips. Lastly, large bags can range up to 80 liters or more and are beneficial for extended trips with lots of gear.

Another important factor when selecting a bag size is comfort. It’s important to find a bag that fits your body type so that it is comfortable to carry when hiking long distances.

If the bag is too big or too small, it won’t fit properly on your shoulders and hips which could cause discomfort over time. Be sure to try on different sizes before purchasing a backpack.


Choosing the right size backpack for backpacking is essential in order to have an enjoyable experience. Consider factors such as what type of trip you’re taking and how long it will be as well as your body type when selecting a size. Generally speaking, small bags are better suited for short trips while medium and large sizes provide more capacity and comfort over longer distances.