I am looking to buy a rucksack. I want to move quickly and pack minimally on a week-10 day long trip so I"m tempted by packs around the 45-55L range. However, I want to get a pack that is also versatile and there will be times in the future where I will want to go for longer trips. Packs are expensive so I want to make sure that I buy one that covers what I want to do. What is the extra affordance of packs with greater capacity that round the 55L mark.

In the 55L pack I am planning to fit Sleeping bag , Mat, Cotton shirt, Hiking trousers, socks, Underwear, Sunglasses, Suncream, Swim trunk, micro Towel, Sandals, Buff hat, Multi fuel, Mess tin, Utensils, Food, Water, Water carrier , Camelback / hydration pack, Bivvy bag , Camera , Backup battery , iPhone, iPhone rugged case, backup , walking poles, Solar charger , Backup battery: , Maps, Notebook?, GPS, batteries, Pens / pencils, Multi tool.

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    To me it is a bit unclear what exactly your question is about. On the one hand it looks like "Is a 55L pack appropriate in size for the stuff I plan to carry?", on the other hand it comes like "I come along with the 55L now but might need a bigger one in the future, is is worth investing more money into a bigger pack now?" and then the question title jumps in and causes a lot of confusion as I can't figure out how it fits to the rest. Could you please clarify? Mar 13, 2014 at 15:33
  • If you're trying to go light, you could go down in weight of the pack itself, rather than going down in volume. Ultralight packs in the 65 l range are extremely light, and also work well with smaller-volume loads. Packs are expensive Ultralight packs are cheap. Conventional packs are expensive.
    – user2169
    Mar 14, 2014 at 3:33

2 Answers 2


From my experience, I would recommend getting a larger pack, especially if you're planning to do longer trips. Also, if you ever go on a trip in the winter, it will usually require more clothing and possibly larger sleeping bags/mats.

For reference, I have a 48L pack and that is enough room (for me) for about a weekend trip. If I'm sharing gear with others, I can extend that. To me, a 55L pack sounds pretty small for a 10 day long trip, so I would recommend something at least 65L.

  • thanks for that answer. I'm heading in that direction. To me, it seems that a 55L rucksack is best for people who only instead on using it in the summer. Its quite difficult to disambiguate information from its context talking about this kind of things, because people talk about one thing that has worked for them in one context being appropriate for multiple contexts when in fact it isn't. So its better if someone who has experience gives advice - e.g. someone who has used backpack/s multiple times over a long duration of time. Mar 14, 2014 at 10:11

I have a smaller ~60L that I bought first, but ended up buying an expedition-size ~110L pack that I now use all the time. In the winter it is a necessity because you can plan on taking about twice the gear and supplies as you might in the summer. It's also useful for extended hikes in the summer, as well as afternoon climbing outings when I have a rope and other gear to haul. And when I go on shorter overnight outings, I still use it, but cinch all the straps down until it is compact. If you think you might use a bigger pack, get a bigger pack! It's better to get a small daypack (~20ish) and a second pack that's as large as you think you'll ever need, IMO.

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