Standard Backpack Size: Finding the Perfect Backpack Size

Finding the correct backpack sizes can be quite confusing. Backpack sizes vary more than anything else, and you have lots of options to choose the backpack’s size.

Hence, in this quick guide, I will help you answer the common question, “what size is a standard backpack.” After reading this guide you will understand what is a standard backpack size.

I will divide our guide into sub-categories wise. You will understand different backpack sizes in each category and eventually find the perfect size for you.

Standard backpack size according to your body

Before we go deep down in looking for finding the standard backpack size category wise, I will give you another vital list. Here I will teach you how to measure backpack dimensions according to your body length.

Hip Size:

Measure your hip size by wrapping the measuring tape around the widest part of your hip. However, do not forget to include the top point of the Iliac crest.

Torso Length:

Measuring Torso length is tricky; here, you need to measure the distance between your Iliac crest and the C7 Vertebra. It is common to find these terms tricky, do not worry, I will explain them in detail.

The iliac crest is at the base of your hips, and the C7 Vertebra is the connecting point of your neck to the back.


Backpack size chart according to body measurement

The connection between Hip size and Torso length with backpack size.

Extra Large:

If your torso length is greater than 53 cm and hip measurement is more than 101cm. It would be best if you chose an extra-large backpack.


If your torso length is in a range of 50-52cm and hip measurement is in a range of 88-100cm. You should choose a large backpack.


If your torso length is in a range of 45-49cm and hip measurement is in a range of 77–87cm. You can go for a medium backpack.


If your height is on the smaller side with torso length is between 40-44cm and hip measurement of 55-69cm. Then you need a small backpack size.

Extra Small:

This category is mostly applicable for kids or very thin individuals. Suppose you have Hip size of less than 55cm and a torso length of less than 45cm. Then it would help if you had an extra small backpack.

Backpack size chart according to body measurement

Size Hip width (cm) Torso Length (cm)
Extra Large <101 >53
Large 88-100 50-52
Medium 77-87 45-49
Small 55-69 40-44
Extra Small >55 >45


How to choose the best backpack for your trip and what you should be looking for in your Backpack

You need to understand the rules to find a good backpack for your trips. You need to look for certain things in a backpack for a tour other than the backpack size.

Down below, I will be stating a few of those important things that you need to look for in your backpack for your trip.


Zippers are very important while looking for the best backpack for your trip. The safety of your inside contents of the backpack depends on the zipper. While choosing a backpack, make sure that all your compartments got at least two zippers that you can lock together.

Also, look at the zippers’ quality; they must be made up of metal and sturdy enough not to break in the middle of trips.

Shoulder Straps and Hip Belt:

You need padded shoulder straps for travel backpacks since you will be carrying a lot of weight on your back. These types of shoulder straps will make your carrying of heavy loads more comfortable.

Padded hip belts add to the comfort of travel backpacks. While carrying heavy loads, it is common that the weight will try to come down on the hips. To avoid this pushing down, you need padded hip belts.

Hip belts will evenly distribute the weight on your back and make sure that the backpack stays in the correct position.


Water resistivity should not be a deal-breaker while choosing the best backpack for your trip. However, buying a backpack with water resistivity adds to the advantage.

Waterproof backpacks are very useful for multi-day hikes and will protect your contents inside the backpack. Look for a durable material but make sure that the material is also lightweight.


It is helpful to choose a backpack that comes with multiple compartments and different pockets. No matter how long your trip is, it is always beneficial to organize all your things properly inside a backpack.

And you can use the smaller pockets to keep all your smaller things. These small pockets are useful to keep the items that you need easy access to easily.


Different Types of Backpack:

For your trips, you will need different types of backpacks. Each of these backpack sizes varies from one another and has a different purpose. Here I will be discussing different types of backpacks for different types of tours.

Carry on Backpacks:

Carry on backpacks and multi-day rucksacks vary in many different ways, mostly by size. Your backpacking size will define which one you need for trips.

Carry on backpacks are suitable for small air trips. While you select to carry on backpacks, make sure to read your airline’s guidance; different airlines have different size needs.

In general, you can get along quickly with a backpack size of linear 45 inches,14 inches wide along with 9 inches deep. The length of the carry-on backpack should be around 22 inches.

Multi-Day Rucksacks:

You need multi-day rucksacks for more extensive trips, and they are bigger than the carry-on backpacks. These types of backpacks are also useful for long multi-day hikes and camping trips.

The backpack size of a multi-day rucksack is measured in terms of liters, and they, on average, come in a range of 50-80L.


Daypacks are smaller than a multi-day rucksack, and you can carry them along with your rucksack as an additional bag. You can use a daypack to carry all your spare clothes, food, etc.

They come in a range of 10-30 liters and can easily squeeze through the larger backpacks.


Which size backpack you should be looking to take with you on a particular trip.

The size of the backpack for a particular trip will depend actually on the duration of the trips. You need a bigger size of a backpack for a bigger trip and on the other hand a smaller size for shorter trips.

If you do not find the perfect backpack size, the weight won’t stay balanced, and you can’t carry it. You can also topple down due to this imbalance of weight.

Generally, a backpack size within a range of 40-60 liters is sufficient for most types of trips. To have a more precise idea about standard backpack size for a trip, you can look at our list down below.

But regardless of the backpack size you choose, do not choose a backpack that doesn’t match your body size.

Backpack Size chart liters according to trip duration (can vary by +/-10 liters according to season)

Length of trip Capacity in liters
Day trip 35-55
1- 2 nights 40-80
3-5 nights 50-90
Six or more night 65-90


The perfect size of a backpack for schools:

This school size backpack guide is for all school and college-going kids. If you are in school, you need to carry a huge amount of heavy books and gadgets like laptops and tabs. Hence, you will need a good backpack with comfort as well as a separate laptop compartment.

A good school backpack needs to be sturdy, and it must contain two/three separate compartments. On average, 21-30 liters is sufficient for a school and college backpack.

Perfect size backpack for offices:

Unlike school backpacks, you do not need to carry a bulkier bag for the office. However, it always helps to have a separate padded laptop compartment.

Officer backpacks come in various shapes, designs, and sizes. But, an office backpack size of 10-20 liters is more than sufficient for your day to day usage.

Perfect Size backpack for the gym:

For all those fitness freaks and workout enthusiasts out there, this category is for you. You do not need to carry a heap of clothes or other accessories to the gym. It is more than adequate for a gym backpack to hold an extra pair of clothes, shoes, and water bottles. And one or two extra pockets for your protein bars and towels.

Having said all that, a backpack with a capacity of 5-8 liters is more than enough for a gym backpack.



Choosing the standard backpack size can be quite challenging and troublesome. You will often find difficulties in searching for the perfect backpack sizes.

This guide was aimed at those individuals who were searching for the perfect backpack sizes. You now should have no more problems to search for the perfect size backpack for schools, offices, or trips.

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