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How Big Is A 20L Backpack


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Joycelin Hewett



A 20L backpack is a versatile and practical travel essential that offers ample space for storing your essentials while keeping your hands free. Whether you’re a frequent traveler, a student, or an outdoor enthusiast, having a reliable 20L backpack can make a significant difference in your daily routine. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of a 20L backpack, including its size, features, and recommended uses.


When it comes to backpacks, size matters. The capacity of a backpack is typically measured in liters, with 20L being a popular choice for many travelers. But what does 20L really mean? Essentially, a 20L backpack has a volume of 20 liters, which is equivalent to approximately 5.3 gallons or 1,220 cubic inches. While it may not seem like a large capacity at first glance, a well-designed 20L backpack can surprise you with its ability to accommodate a surprising amount of belongings.


One of the key advantages of a 20L backpack is its compact and lightweight nature. It strikes a perfect balance between functionality and portability, making it an excellent choice for various occasions. Whether you’re embarking on a day trip, attending classes, or navigating through crowded streets, a 20L backpack offers the convenience of carrying your essentials without weighing you down.


Moreover, a 20L backpack is highly versatile and can be utilized for a wide range of purposes. From carrying your laptop and books to organizing your travel essentials, a well-structured 20L backpack can accommodate your needs. Its multiple compartments, pockets, and specialized features provide convenient storage options and easy access to your belongings.


In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the size comparison, features and design, capacity, weight, dimensions, suitable uses, and recommended brands for 20L backpacks. Whether you’re looking for a compact backpack for your daily commute or an efficient companion for your adventures, this guide will help you make an informed decision.


Size Comparison

When choosing a 20L backpack, it’s important to have a clear idea of its size and how it compares to other backpack sizes. A 20L backpack falls on the smaller side of the spectrum, making it ideal for those who prefer a compact and lightweight option.


Compared to larger backpacks like 30L or 40L, a 20L backpack offers a reduced carrying capacity. This can be both a blessing and a limitation, depending on your needs. While it may not fit larger items or bulkier gear, a 20L backpack encourages you to pack efficiently and prioritize essential items.


On the other hand, when compared to smaller backpacks like 10L or 15L, a 20L backpack provides a significant increase in storage space. With its additional capacity, you can comfortably carry more items without feeling overloaded. This makes a 20L backpack an excellent choice for day trips, short outdoor excursions, or as an everyday commuter bag.


It’s crucial to consider your specific requirements and intended use when comparing backpack sizes. If you need to carry a laptop, textbooks, or extra layers of clothing, a 20L backpack will likely be a better option compared to smaller sizes. However, if you’re planning a multi-day hiking trip or need to pack camping gear, a larger backpack size may be more suitable.


Ultimately, the size comparison of a 20L backpack provides the right balance between storage capacity and portability. It offers enough space for your essentials without compromising on comfort or convenience. Whether you’re exploring a new city, attending classes, or embarking on outdoor adventures, a 20L backpack gives you the freedom to carry what you need while keeping your load manageable.


Features and Design

A 20L backpack comes in a variety of designs and features to cater to different needs and preferences. Here are some common features and design elements to consider when choosing a 20L backpack:

  • Durable Materials: Look for a backpack made from high-quality and durable materials such as nylon or polyester. These materials are water-resistant, lightweight, and can withstand the rigors of daily use.
  • Multiple Compartments: A 20L backpack often has multiple compartments, including a main compartment, front pockets, and side pockets. This allows for better organization and easy access to your belongings.
  • Laptop Sleeve: Many 20L backpacks come with a dedicated padded laptop sleeve that can accommodate laptops up to a certain size. This helps protect your laptop from bumps and scratches while on the go.
  • Comfortable Straps: Look for backpacks with padded shoulder straps and a breathable back panel. This provides comfort and helps distribute the weight evenly, reducing strain on your shoulders and back.
  • Compression Straps: Some 20L backpacks have compression straps on the sides. These straps allow you to compress the backpack and make it more compact when it’s partially empty.
  • Water Bottle Holder: Look for a backpack that has an external mesh pocket or holder for water bottles. This ensures that you can stay hydrated throughout your journeys.
  • Security Features: Consider backpacks with security features such as hidden pockets, lockable zippers, or RFID-blocking pockets to keep your belongings safe from theft.

The design of a 20L backpack is also an important aspect to consider. Some backpacks have a sleek and minimalist design, while others offer a more rugged and outdoor-inspired look. Choose a design that aligns with your personal style and the environments you’ll be using the backpack in.


Ultimately, the features and design of a 20L backpack should complement your needs and preferences. Take into account the specific functionality you require, whether it’s for daily commuting, travel, or outdoor activities. By considering these factors, you can find a 20L backpack that not only looks great but also meets your practical needs.



The capacity of a 20L backpack refers to the amount of volume it can hold, which is approximately 20 liters or 1,220 cubic inches. While it may not seem like a large capacity, a well-designed 20L backpack can surprise you with its ability to accommodate a variety of items.


A 20L backpack is ideal for carrying a range of essentials, making it well-suited for day trips, commuting, and short outdoor adventures. Here’s a breakdown of what you can typically fit in a 20L backpack:

  • Electronics: A 20L backpack can easily accommodate a laptop up to 15 inches, a tablet, smartphone, charging cables, and other electronic essentials.
  • Books and Notebooks: If you’re a student or need to carry reading materials, a 20L backpack can comfortably fit a few textbooks, notebooks, and pens.
  • Clothing: For short trips or gym sessions, a 20L backpack can hold a change of clothes, including a t-shirt, shorts or pants, and underwear.
  • Water and Snacks: With external mesh pockets or dedicated compartments, a 20L backpack can easily accommodate a water bottle, snacks, and a small lunch box.
  • Travel Essentials: When traveling, a 20L backpack allows space for travel documents, a small toiletry bag, a compact camera, and other essentials.
  • Outdoor Gear: If you’re embarking on outdoor adventures like hiking or biking, a 20L backpack can carry a lightweight jacket, sunscreen, a hat, and other small gear items.

While a 20L backpack may not be suitable for carrying larger items or bulkier gear, it offers enough space to carry your everyday essentials and more. Its compact size encourages you to pack efficiently and only bring along the items you truly need, helping you stay organized and avoid unnecessary clutter.


It’s worth noting that the capacity of a backpack can vary slightly depending on its design and organization features. Some backpacks may have additional pockets or compartments that can further maximize the available space. Additionally, compression straps on the sides of the backpack allow you to compress the bag and make it more compact when it’s partially empty.


Overall, a 20L backpack provides a practical and functional capacity for various activities and purposes. It strikes a balance between offering enough space to carry your essentials while remaining compact and lightweight for easy portability.



The weight of a 20L backpack is an important consideration, especially if you’ll be carrying it for extended periods or if you have weight restrictions. The weight of a 20L backpack can vary depending on its design, materials used, and additional features.


Generally, a well-constructed 20L backpack will weigh between 1 to 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram). However, it’s essential to note that some backpacks may be lighter or heavier, depending on factors such as the durability of the materials, additional padding, or specialized features.


When looking for a 20L backpack, it’s recommended to find a balance between durability and weight. You want a backpack that can withstand daily use and potential rough handling while still being lightweight and comfortable to carry.


In addition to considering the weight of the backpack itself, it’s also important to factor in the weight of the items you plan to carry in it. Remember that excess weight can strain your shoulders and back, especially if you’ll be wearing the backpack for extended periods. It’s advisable to pack only the essentials and distribute the weight evenly to ensure optimal comfort and balance.


Some 20L backpacks may also come with additional features to help alleviate the weight strain. Look for backpacks that have padded shoulder straps and a breathable back panel. These features can provide extra comfort and reduce the pressure on your shoulders and back.


Ultimately, the weight of a 20L backpack should be carefully considered to ensure that it meets your specific needs and comfort levels. By choosing a lightweight yet durable backpack and packing thoughtfully, you can enjoy the convenience and functionality of a 20L backpack without unnecessary strain or discomfort.



The dimensions of a 20L backpack can vary depending on the specific design and brand. While there is no standard measurement for a 20L backpack, there are typically some common dimensions that you can expect to encounter.


In general, a 20L backpack will have a height ranging from 16 to 18 inches (40 to 46 centimeters), a width ranging from 9 to 12 inches (23 to 30 centimeters), and a depth ranging from 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters). These measurements give you an idea of the overall size and shape of the backpack.


It’s important to note that the dimensions may vary slightly depending on the specific features and compartments of the backpack. Some backpacks may have a more rectangular or slim profile, while others may have a more rounded or expandable shape.


When considering the dimensions of a 20L backpack, it’s crucial to think about the items you plan to carry and how they will fit inside the bag. Pay attention to the interior dimensions and organization features, such as laptop sleeves, pockets, and compartments, as these will affect how you can pack and organize your belongings.


Additionally, keep in mind that the dimensions of the backpack should be suitable for your body size and frame. It’s important to try on the backpack and see how it feels when worn. The shoulder straps and hip belt (if applicable) should be adjustable and comfortable, ensuring a proper fit and weight distribution.


Understanding the dimensions of a 20L backpack will help you determine if it meets your specific needs in terms of storage capacity and physical comfort. By considering both the overall dimensions and the internal organization features, you can choose a backpack that suits your lifestyle and provides a practical and comfortable carrying experience.


Suitable Uses

A 20L backpack is versatile and well-suited for a variety of uses. Its compact size and ample storage capacity make it a practical choice for various activities and occasions. Here are some examples of suitable uses for a 20L backpack:

  1. Day Trips: A 20L backpack is perfect for day trips, whether you’re exploring a new city or heading out for a hike. It can hold essentials like water, snacks, a camera, a light jacket, and other personal items.
  2. Commute: If you’re a student or professional commuting to work or school, a 20L backpack is an ideal companion. It can comfortably fit a laptop, notebooks, pens, and other daily essentials.
  3. Travel: For short trips or as a carry-on bag for longer journeys, a 20L backpack offers enough space to store travel documents, a change of clothes, toiletries, and electronic devices.
  4. Gym or Fitness: When heading to the gym or engaging in fitness activities, a 20L backpack can hold your workout clothes, a towel, shoes, a water bottle, and other small fitness accessories.
  5. Everyday Use: A 20L backpack is suitable for everyday use, providing a convenient way to carry your belongings, such as a wallet, keys, a phone, a water bottle, and other essentials.

Whether you’re a student, a traveler, an outdoor enthusiast, or someone who needs a compact and versatile bag for daily activities, a 20L backpack offers a range of suitable uses.


It’s important to consider the specific features and design elements of the backpack to ensure it meets your requirements. For example, if you plan to carry a laptop, choose a backpack with a padded laptop sleeve. If you anticipate needing quick access to certain items, look for backpacks with multiple compartments and easy-access pockets.


Ultimately, the versatility and practicality of a 20L backpack make it a popular choice among individuals who value convenience and portability. It allows you to carry your essentials comfortably while keeping your hands free for whatever adventures or tasks await.


Recommended Brands

When it comes to choosing a 20L backpack, there are several trusted brands that consistently deliver quality and functionality. Here are some recommended brands that offer reliable options:

  1. Osprey: Osprey is known for its durable and well-designed backpacks. They offer a range of 20L backpacks with various features, including comfortable straps, ventilation systems, and ample storage compartments.
  2. Patagonia: Patagonia is a brand renowned for its outdoor gear and sustainable practices. They offer 20L backpacks that are both functional and environmentally-friendly, with features such as recycled materials and water-resistant coatings.
  3. The North Face: The North Face is a popular brand for outdoor enthusiasts, and they have a selection of 20L backpacks suitable for different activities. Their backpacks often feature ergonomic designs, weather-resistant materials, and thoughtful organization options.
  4. Deuter: Deuter is a German brand that specializes in backpacks for outdoor adventures. They offer 20L backpacks with comfortable suspension systems, adjustable straps, and durable materials, making them a reliable choice for hiking and other outdoor activities.
  5. REI Co-op: REI Co-op is known for offering high-quality outdoor gear, including 20L backpacks. They focus on creating backpacks with excellent fit and comfort, as well as practical features for various pursuits.

These brands have established their reputation through years of experience and customer satisfaction. However, it’s always a good idea to read reviews and compare different models within each brand to find the one that best fits your needs and preferences.


When choosing a brand, consider factors such as durability, comfort, design, and the specific features that are important to you. Additionally, keep in mind that pricing may vary depending on the brand and the materials used in the backpack construction.


It’s worth mentioning that there are many other reputable brands beyond this list. Researching and comparing different brands will give you a better understanding of the options available and help you make an informed decision.


Remember, the right backpack brand is one that aligns with your needs, offers high-quality construction, and provides the features necessary for your intended use. By choosing from recommended brands, you can have confidence in the reliability and functionality of your 20L backpack.



A 20L backpack is a versatile and practical travel essential that offers the perfect balance between size, functionality, and portability. Whether you’re a frequent traveler, a student, or an outdoor enthusiast, a well-designed 20L backpack can meet your daily needs with ease.


In this article, we explored the various aspects of a 20L backpack, including its size, features, capacity, weight, dimensions, suitable uses, and recommended brands. We discussed how a 20L backpack provides enough space to carry essentials such as electronics, books, clothing, water, and travel gear while remaining compact and lightweight.


When selecting a 20L backpack, consider important features like durable materials, multiple compartments, laptop sleeves, comfortable straps, compression straps, and security features. These factors can greatly enhance your carrying experience and ensure the safe storage of your belongings.


Recommended brands like Osprey, Patagonia, The North Face, Deuter, and REI Co-op offer reliable options with a proven track record of quality and functionality. However, it’s always a good idea to research and compare different models within each brand to find the perfect fit for your specific needs.


In conclusion, a 20L backpack is an excellent choice for day trips, commuting, travel, gym sessions, and everyday use. Its versatility, ample storage capacity, and compact size make it an indispensable companion for various activities and adventures.


By considering the factors discussed in this article and finding the right 20L backpack that meets your requirements, you can enjoy the convenience, organization, and comfort that comes with having a reliable and well-designed backpack by your side.