15 Types Of Backpacks. Choose the right one!

​A backpack is a form of bag that is used to carry different kinds of possessions. There are different types of backpacks and they can be used for different purposes. 

Different types of backpacksThey are designed for camping, for walking among other uses. They have belts and shoulder straps that make it easy for them to be transported from one place to another without a huge effect on the body’s shape and health.

​Backpacks sizes are measured in liters which measures the capacity of its main compartments when they are full. But some backpacks also have external spaces that can also carry additional items. Deciding the standard size of a backpack is therefore a little bit difficult. Backpacks sizes can range from 15 to 85 liters. A particular backpack size can be used for a particular adventure or outing perfectly but do not fit well into another adventure.

​Therefore, it is important to consider all types of backpacks name before considering the best backpack for your particular needs. In this article we take a look at all types of backpacks and look at their features and who they are best fitted for

Types of Backpacks

​15. Hiking or trekking day packs

There are different types of hiking backpacks.

Day packs are small capacity backpacks that are meant to accompany you for a whole day. The hiking day packs are types of hiking backpacks that can be taken for a hiking adventure. Hiking day packs can be used to carry food and water supplies as well as other necessaries during a day hiking. A good daypack will have a capacity to hold between 10-40 liters. In addition, it will contain shoulder straps, water reservoir, a ventilated back panel and a rain jacket.

​14. ​Hiking or trekking overnight packs

Overnight packs are slightly bigger and more spacious than the day packs. They are larger sized types of hiking backpacks. Hiking overnight packs are designed to last for an overnight hiking adventure. These backpacks can contain more possessions, food and drink as they have extra slots and pockets. They are expected to serve for more than a day and even up to a week.

A good hiking overnight pack will contain a minimum of 50 liters and up to 80 liters. A good hiking overnight backpack will also contain rain cover, an external storage pocket in addition to the necessary features of a hiking daypack.

​13. ​​Hiking or trekking light weighted overnight backpacks

​These are overnight backpacks that have enough capacity for overnight hiking or long distance trekking and yet have a lightweight and can be easily and comfortably carried about. Light weighted overnight backpacks are the types of hiking backpacks that have the simple frame and padded waist belts.

​1​2. ​​​Cycling or commuting daypack

​This is the backpack that is most suitable for a cycling that will take lots of hours. When cycling for a long period of time, a daypack will be suitable to accompany on the trip. A cycling daypack will hold about 10-4o liters just like other daypacks.

However, it must have additional features to make it easy for the cyclist. Apart from a water reservoir pocket, it must have a tools pocket, attachment loop and a helmet holder. These extra layers will ensure that all you need for the cycling are available.

​1​1. ​​​​Cycling or commuting Hydration

The hydration backpack is suitable when the cycling is meant to last for just some few hours. They have less capacity than the daypack. They are made specially to hold a hydration reservoir. When cycling, a hydration backpack will not just store your tools and stuff; it will give you more than enough space for enough water.

A good cycling hydration backpack can contain anywhere between 3 and 10 liters while between 1-3 liters of those are meant for water. A good hydration backpack will be light weighted and ensure easy breath ability.

​1​0. ​​​​​Climbing or mountaineering daypack

When going for a climbing or mountaineering event, a daypack is a useful product to have. A climbing daypack will be large enough to carry loads and light weighted to prevent adding to the difficulty of movement.

A good climbing daypack will contain ice axe and external gear loop as well as helmet holder and compression straps. For easy climbing or mountaineering, a daypack must be able to hold items like helmet, shoes, racks and ropes and hold up to 25 and 40 liters.

​9. ​​​​​​Work daypack

​This is a daypack that can be easily taken along to work. A work daypack will contain stuffs like documents, books, a laptop, a water bottle and other items that are necessary for work. A good work daypack must be convenient, comfortable and good looking. It must have between 20-30 liters with a water bottle holder and a compartment for a laptop.

​​8. ​​​​​​​Travelling overnight backpacks

The travel backpacks are another types of backpacks. They are meant to be used when travelling for a long period of time. They are like a suitcase which is opened by the side before they are packed with loads rather than from the top.

Travelling backpacks must have lots of space for loads and a carry handle as another option for them to be carried.

​A good travelling backpack will have between 40 and 80 liters, zippered compartments and a back panel. They are somewhat similar to the hiking backpacks but there are still some noticeable differences.

​​​7. ​​​​​​​​Running backpacks

The running backpacks are generally hydration backpacks. Hydration backpacks as discussed above are light weighted backpacks that are mainly made to get easy and all-around access to water. The running backpacks are made for the runner. The runner has assured a continuous supply of water during the expedition.

A good running backpack will have 3-5 liters. It will be comfortable, light weighted and help ensure easy breathability through appropriate ventilation.

​​​6. ​​​​​​​​​Waterproof backpacks

Waterproof backpacks are another category of backpacks. They are especially useful for those in rainy and wet climates. Waterproof backpacks are very durable and they can survive against all kinds of harsh weather environment. They are resistant to water.

Also, waterproof backpacks are light weighted and can be a good option for hiking and other outdoor avenues while providing more comfort and convenience.

A good waterproof backpack will have a watertight opening, quality waist belt and shoulder straps. The material must be a strong material like PVC or a TPU. External gear loops and mesh pockets are also great features.

​​​5. ​​​​​​​​​​Snow sports or skiing day backpacks

This is one of the different types of backpacks that are day backpacks. They are made especially for snow sports like skiing. As a result, a good snow sports backpack must provide sufficient support for the major snow sports equipment- the skis and the snowboard. This support comes in the form of attachment straps. They should also have compression straps and airbags.

A good snow sports day pack will also be light weighted well fitted so as to make the movement of the body easy. A good snow sports day pack will have between 20-30 liters.

 As a result of the snowy environment, the fabric should be snow proof and there must be a space for safety tools.

​​​4. ​​​​​​​​​​​Sight-seeing daypacks

​A sightseeing daypack should be less complex compared to a hiking daypack. It should have enough space to house a water bottle and sunglasses. They should also be comfortable and light weighted. A capacity of 10-25 liters is good to go for a sight-seeing daypack.

​​​3. ​​​​​​​​​​​​Types of Military or tactical backpacks

These are the backpack that is especially noticeable with the military. They are made from the dense material. As a result, they are very strong and resistant to water and all kinds of environmental factors. They are made to be very rugged and easy going in all kinds of environment. It provides an additional assurance of safety for items inside the pack.

 The military backpacks have enough storage and can carry a lot of items. They can be a good option even for non-military usages like camping and travelling.

​​​​2. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​Drawstring backpack

The drawstring backpack is a unique kind of backpack. It has only one storage space. It is well designed with good shoulder straps that can be easily worn and removed. The drawstring backpack is a great backpack for students and is most common among them. It can be used to easily pack books, clothes or extra items when travelling. It is used by people as an extra package rather than as a sole backpack.

​They are light weighted and comfortable.

​1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Sling bag backpack

​This is one of the different types of backpacks that offer a unique design. Sling bags are designed with a single strap that is worn over the shoulder. They are very comfortable and fashionable. They can be used by students to pack books to school and can serve as a good option when going to work. They are light weighted and convenient.

​How to choose a backpacks?

​Choosing a backpack will depend on many factors that the buyer will need to consider.


Different backpacks are designed to serve different purposes. A hiking backpack might not be good for cycling and a travelling backpack might not be convenient to be used as a work backpack or a laptop backpack. When choosing a backpack, it is important to consider the major purpose for which the backpack will be used and choose a backpack that has all the features that are important for that particular usage.

If there is no unique purpose but a variety of purposes and you are not buoyant enough to buy a backpack for each usage, it is important to consider a backpack that has enough features to serve you on a range of purposes. For example, a hiking backpack can also be used for travelling.

​​Weight and size

​Larger sized backpacks will come with extra weight while the small sized will have lesser weight. For example, overnight backpacks will be heavier than day backpacks. It is therefore essential to make a compromise between weight and size. Do you want a large sized backpack and can endure the weight or do you want a light weighted one and can endure the smaller space.

However, there are some good backpacks that are being made now that offer a good compromise between size and weight. That is, they offer a large space with lightweight at the same time.


​Consider how comfortable the backpack will be. Every backpack is actually comfortable for the purpose they are made for. Evaluate your needs and consider if a particular backpack will be comfortable for that needs. Does it contain the features that will make it easier for you to use. For example, if you will be going on skiing, does it have attachment straps for the ski and the snowboard?

​Well fitted

 All types of backpack brands also have a way to help you adjust the backpack to fit into your particular torso length and hip size.


​When choosing a backpack, it is also important to consider a specific brand that will be perfect for you. Different brands have different unique features, shipping price, delivery date, customer relations, return policies and warranties. Such important factors should also be weighed when buying a backpack. A good backpack must also have a good brand behind it for maximum customer experience.


Backpacks are important accompaniment for your outdoor adventures. There are different backpacks that have been made to fit different circumstances and uses. There are daypacks and travelling packs, hiking backpacks, climbing backpacks and a whole range of others.

We have looked at all types of backpacks as at 2018. In addition, we have looked at how to choose a backpack. It is essential for you to look at these factors and highlight the kind of backpack that will be best for your needs.

Ensure that you choose a backpack that will match your preferred outdoor adventure and serve your purpose.

15 Types Of Backpacks. Choose the right one!
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  • Updated October 13, 2018
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