When looking for a new hiking backpack, the first thing to take into account is how long you're going to be away for. A few hours? A day? A weekend? This will determine how much gear you need to pack.
The second thing you need to factor in is the time of year and what the weather is like. Research the local climate and check the weather forecast before you travel so you know whether you're likely to need sunscreen or your waterproof gear, and therefore, the size of backpack you need.
20L HIKING BACKPACK
A 20L hiking backpack is super versatile - not too small and not too large. It can be great for school or work, or a 1/2 day hike, with a good size internal compartment and a few small pockets for your essentials.
HOW BIG IS A 20L BACKPACK?
Deciding if a 20L backpack is the right size for you can be difficult when browsing online.
The litres of a backpack refers to the internal capacity which is made up of either the main (largest) compartment or a combination of multiple internal compartments. The number of litres normally excludes smaller external pockets and side pockets, which is why 20L backpacks can vary in size. The dimensions of our NH500 20L hiking backpack, for example, is 45 x 28 x 23 cm, and it weighs 810 g.
30L HIKING BACKPACK
Backpacks of 30L or more tend to be a little large for those who just need a daily-use backpack for essential items, but they are great for weekends away and 1-2 day hikes.
This larger 30L backpack is great for students who have a lot of books, a laptop, and other items to carry. And it makes an excellent work bag for those who also want to carry their gym kit, running shoes, and a change of clothes.
HOW BIG IS A 30L BACKPACK?
30L backpacks can vary in size depending on the features and pockets, but as an example, ourNH500 30L hiking backpack is 48 x 29 x 26 cm and it weighs 1kg.
One thing to note is that backpacks over 30 litres are quite large so smaller people may find it more difficult to find one that fits properly. Poorly fitting shoulder straps and back panels can cause backache, so it might be worth considering a backpack designed with a women's fit.