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Backpackshopping is fun and pretty easy. But if you’re a newbie with your eyes set on a 20L bag, some things might seem unclear at first. For example, why do we measure backpack capacities in liters, and how big is a 20L backpack?
Is the size of a 20L backpack the same as its capacity?
In this article, we’ll explain how big a 20liter backpack is and give you examples of things these backpacks can hold. Then, we’ll things off with answers to frequently asked questions about 20liter bags.
Dive in to find out more.
What type of backpacks have 20l capacities?
Here’s a list of backpack sizes, their capacities, and suggested uses.
Size  Capacity  Suggested Uses 
Small packs  510 liters  Kids bags, sports, picnics 
Daypacks  10 to 30 liters  Commuting, hiking, school work 
Medium backpacks  30 to 50 liters  Hiking, camping 
Large backpacks  50 liters or more  Traveling, hiking 
Generally, 20liter backpacks are best suited for light packers and short trips. With this in mind, how can you tell how big a 20L bag is?
What can a 20liter backpack hold?
One of the top ways to understand the size of a backpack is to estimate the things it can contain. Therefore, here are a couple of things that a 20liter bag can conveniently hold:
 One 15inch laptop or less
 One averagesized water bottle
 Two hoodies
 Two averagesized binders
 One small notebook
 One large headphone
In practice, objects with similar volumes to those we’ve listed above will also fit a 20liter backpack.
Understanding how to determine the measurement of a 20liter backpack
With the knowledge of things that will fit a 20liter backpack, let’s examine how manufacturers determine the capacity of these bags.
Generally, most backpacks have more than one pocket and compartment. Therefore, all manufacturers have to determine the volume of each pocket and compartment and then sum these volumes to get the overall volume of a backpack.
For example, picture water being poured in all the pockets and compartments of a backpack. The quantity of water that can fill a bag is its capacity and how big it is.
Volumes are generally calculated in cubic inches. However, since this isn’t the easiest metric to understand or the universally acceptable one, this capacity needs to be represented in liters.
While representing volumes in liters, measurements are rounded up for accuracy. This means that a 20liter backpack has a dimension of 12220.47 cubic inches.
Volume calculations answer the question of how big a 20l backpack is, which implies what it can hold. On the other hand, its dimensions show the length, breadth, and width of the items that’ll fit in the backpack.
Who is a 20liter backpack ideal for?
A 20liter backpack is undoubtedly one of the best capacities for daily use. In determining whether a 20liter bag is right for you, you’ll need to consider the following factors:
 Your torso measurement
 The number of things you intend to pack at a time
 Your intended trip length
1. Torso measurement: In determining the length of your torso, you’ll need to follow these steps:

 Tilt your head until you touch the lump that’s midway between your shoulder. This bone is called the C7 vertebra. It is the top of your torso length.
 Move your hand to your hips. You should feel two hip bones on both sides. The distance between both bones is the bottom of the torso measurement. While measuring your hip size, you should ensure that you find the widest part of your hips.
 Have a friend measure the length of your torso while standing erect.
Generally, you’ll want your torso length to match or be a few inches from the length of the backpack. If the length of a 20liter bag is far larger than your torso length, then that 20liter backpack isn’t the best fit.
2. The number of things to pack: With this factor, consider the things you can’t do without in your trip and whether the 20liter backpack would suffice. There’s no need to get a bag a bigger capacity than what you need to get by.
3. Your intended trip length: As a corollary to the point we’ve mentioned earlier, longer trips will require you to pack heavy. 20liter backpacks might not be the best fit for such. However, ultimately, your packing style is the most essential factor to consider.
FAQs
Q1. How many liters is a regular backpack size?
Normal daypacks usually hold 20 to 35 liters and can take a sleeping bag, clothes for a few days, and a threeday worth of food. Any bag that’s bigger than 35 liters is considered medium.
Q2. Is the volume of a backpack the same as the backpack’s dimensions?
The volume and dimensions are closely related measurements of a backpack. The dimensions refer to the size of items that can fit the bag. However, the volume is the capacity that a backpack can hold without tearing.
Q3. Is the capacity of small and hidden pockets included when calculating the volume of a 20l backpack?
Yes. The summation of all sides, inner and hidden pockets, and main compartments gives the total capacity of a backpack and your answer to how big a 20l backpack is.
In conclusion
Understanding what manufacturers mean by the backpack capacities they give can be tricky, especially if you’re backpackshopping for the first time. If you see yourself muddling up these measurements for a 20liter backpack, then not to worry. Everything you need to know about the actual capacity of a bag is included in this article.
To give you a clearer picture, we’ve provided examples of things it can hold. With these, you should now have a great idea of how big a 20l backpack is.
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