Is a 40L Backpack Big Enough for Backpacking?

40L Backpack

A 40L Backpack Is a Good Size for Backpacking of 2-3 days. if You Are Packing Light. It Can Hold a Variety of Gear and Supplies, but It Will Be Heavier Once It’s Loaded Up. if You’re Looking to Cut Down on Weight, Try Downsizing to A Smaller Backpack.

When choosing a backpack there are many factors to take into consideration including but not limited to weight, size of the pack, material, design, features, and how it fits on your body. Once you have decided on these factors it is time to narrow your search and determine which backpack will fit your needs the best.

The amount of gear you plan on carrying and the length and type of trip you are planning will help you determine what size pack is ideal for your next backpacking adventure.

Fits Your Trip Needs

When deciding what size backpack to purchase, it is important to consider what you plan on taking with you during your trip. The size of the pack will determine how much gear you can carry and for how long your trip will last. Some backpacks are built small to fit only the essentials while others are large enough to hold everything but the kitchen sink.

If You are Taking a Short Trip If you are taking a short trip, you may not need or want to bring everything with you. This means that there probably won’t be much reason for you to purchase a large pack, but it’s important to still get one that will fit all the essentials. For shorter trips, you might want to take along water and food, personal hygiene supplies, extra clothing, camping gear, rain gear, and safety equipment. No matter what you take with you on your trip, make sure that it all fits in the backpack comfortably. If not, either the pack is too big or you’ve packed too much stuff!

What to Look for When Choosing a Backpack

When choosing a backpack, there are several things you should look for:

Weight: This is an important factor to consider. You are going to be carrying the pack on your back for extended periods so you want it to be as light as possible. Look for a backpack that is lightweight but still durable and sturdy enough to hold all of your gear.

Material: The material that the backpack is made out of will play a big role in how comfortable the pack is to wear. Look for a backpack that has padded shoulder straps and hip belts that are adjustable to ensure that your backpacking gear is as comfortable as possible.

Design: The design of the backpack affects how easy it is to carry all of your supplies, so you want it to be designed ergonomically. Look for a backpack with an internal frame and plenty of support straps to make sure you can comfortably carry your heavy backpacking gear.

Features: Packing and unpacking are easy with the right features. Look for a backpack with zippered or drawstring closures, haul loops, compression straps, and side pockets which will come in handy when carrying your gear.

Size: There are a few things to consider when deciding on the size of your backpack, including how long you want to be able to carry it and whether or not you will be camping overnight. A good starting point is a three-day trip, which requires about 50 liters of space in your pack. If you plan on camping overnight on your trip, you’ll need a pack with room for all of your gear and supplies.

Pack Capacity: Your pack’s capacity is measured in liters (L). The higher the number of L, the more space there will be inside your backpack. A good starting point would be about 40 L this will give you enough space for a 3-day trip.

Comfortable: The backpack should have padded shoulder straps and a padded hip belt which will make it more comfortable to wear for extended periods. Also, the waist belt (if there is one) needs to be adjustable so that you can distribute the weight evenly on your hips and lower back.

Adjustable: The backpack must be adjustable so you can carry it as long as necessary, whether you are 5 feet or 6 foot 5 inches tall. Also, if your pack doesn’t feature load lifters (straps on the front of the shoulder straps), then make sure that the pack has some kind of a sternum strap. This will make the shoulder straps more comfortable and distribute the weight better on your body.

Water Resistant/Waterproof: A water-resistant or waterproof backpack is important in case you get caught in the rain, sleet, snow, etc. The fabric should not absorb moisture and everything inside of your pack needs to be protected.

What You Can Put in A 40 L Backpack?

A 40 L backpack is big enough for most weekend trips. You can carry anything you need for a day or two on the trail. Some of the things that you can put in your new pack are listed below.

  • Water Bottle(s)
  • Food/Snacks
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Tent
  • Tire Repair Kit
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Sun Protection (sunscreen, hat)
  • Bug Repellent
  • Pocket Knife/Multi-Tool*
  • Toiletries (soap, toothbrush & toothpaste, etc.) *You will need to purchase a sheath or holder for your multi-tool so that you can attach it to the outside of your pack for easy access.

What Else Can Go in My Backpack?

There are lots of other things that you can comfortably fit into a 40 L backpack. You just have to be creative and versatile with what you carry with you on your trip. Below is a list of some other items that you might want to consider bringing on your trip.

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Rain Gear
  • First Aid Kit
  • Binoculars/Scope
  • Flashlight & Batteries
  • Lantern & Fuel/Battery Pack

What are the Benefits of Having a 40L Backpack?

If you are new to backpacking, it can be somewhat intimidating when you start comparing different types of packs at the store. The important thing is that you get your pack for whatever purpose or activity you have in mind. You’ll want one that fits your body type and fits the gear that you plan on carrying inside of it.

A 40L backpack is perfect for most weekend trips. It’s big enough to carry everything you need, but not so large that it becomes uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. If you are new to backpacking, this size pack will be a great place to start before moving on to larger capacity packs.

My 40 L Backpack for Backpacking Is Too Heavy. What Do I Do?

One of the challenges that many new backpackers face is packing too much weight into their pack. In the beginning, it can be hard to determine what you need and what you don’t need, so there can be some trial and error involved in figuring out what kind of gear works for you.

There are a couple of things you can do to make your load feel lighter and more manageable:

Divide and Conquer: Pack your gear into several smaller stuff sacks instead of one larger one. This will reduce the weight of your backpack and help you manage the items inside a lot easier than if everything is just thrown in there haphazardly.

Add or Remove Clothing: If you have a large coat or sweater that you never wear, leave it behind. Take out an extra pair of socks and underwear so you can lighten your load without sacrificing anything important to you.

Create Compartments: Some backpacks feature different compartments for organizing your gear and keeping everything well-maintained and dry. This may also help in reducing the weight of your pack by ensuring that you only carry necessary items.


A 40L backpack is a good choice for two or three-day outings and can also be used as a daypack. It can carry everything you need for a weekend but isn’t large enough to use as an overnight pack. If you are new to backpacking and aren’t sure how long your trips will be or what kind of gear to start out with, this is a good size pack for just about any occasion.

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