But with so many to choose from, you can often feel as though you’re swimming in a sea of backpacks. Knowing which one is best can be confusing, especially when there are so many things to consider.
But don’t let that put you off. We’ve got everything covered in this guide to the best 50l backpacks. We’ll show you some of our favourite products and give you some helpful advice on choosing the right backpack for you.
Do You Really Need A 50l Backpack?
Backpacks come in a range of sizes and 50l is a popular choice especially for things like outdoor pursuits and travel. However, they might not be suitable for every need so it’s worth looking at the other options just to make sure.
The problem with using a 50 litre backpack is that it’s quite large. If you’re looking for something you can use as hand luggage on a flight, this will normally be way outside the permitted size. While you might be able to get the bag in the overhead locker, the airline might say the dimensions are too big.
If you’re choosing a 50 litre backpack to go on a hike or a trek then you’ll probably only need something this large if you’re going on a multi day adventure. Anything less than around three days and you’ll probably get away with something smaller. That said, you’ll need to think about the weather as this will affect how much gear you have to take so consider each trip on its own before deciding on the right size bag.
Something between 30 and 45 litres will usually be best for a multi day hike especially if you’re hiking in warmer weather when you don’t need to take as many layers. These bags are also ideal for use as carry-on luggage.
If you’re only going on a day hike or perhaps a weekend away then even 30 litres might be too big and you’ll likely get away with something even smaller.
Top 5 50l Backpacks For Hiking, Camping and Travel
Take a look online or in stores and you will find a huge range of 50l backpacks. Most of these will provide you with everything you need but there are some that are substandard. The last thing you want is a dodgy backpack when you’re in the middle of nowhere. But that won’t happen if you choose one of the best 50l backpacks, like the ones we have listed here.
How To Choose The Best 50l Backpack
You may have seen a backpack in our list that really takes your fancy, and that’s great. But before you settle on one, it’s worth looking a little more closely at the features. This will help you determine whether the backpack is right for you and how easily it will meet your needs. Here are some things you’ll want to look at.
Materials – Are They Durable And Waterproof?
How you use your backpack will determine how resistant it needs to be. If you’re using it outdoors then you’ll want to choose something that can stand up to the elements. The last thing you want is for your belongings to get soaked in a rain shower. What’s more, if you’re hiking through an area with a lot of water crossings, waterproof material is a must!
You’ll also want to consider the quality of the materials in terms of durability. They should resist rips and tears and be strong enough to cope with whatever you throw at the backpack.
But it isn’t just the main backpack material you’ll want to think about. Things like zipper quality are really important. Nobody wants a zip that gets stuck easily or breaks if you accidentally yank it a bit too hard.
How Many Compartments Does The Backpack Have?
Large backpacks are designed for more demanding needs but you probably won’t want to shove everything into one large compartment. That’s why it’s really important to look at how many pockets and compartments the backpack has.
Most of the time, they’ll come with one large main compartment and several others in different sizes. There might be a lunchbox compartment that is insulated for keeping food or you may find pockets for smaller items like your phone and wallet.
What you choose will depend on your needs but take the time to figure this out otherwise you may find yourself rummaging around a cavernous main compartment for a small item and that’s nothing but annoying!
Is The Backpack Comfortable?
It’s a good idea to choose a backpack that’s as lightweight as possible. However you don’t want this to compromise quality but having something light means that, one it is full, you won’t feel weighed down.
In terms of comfort, you will also want to look for something that features padding. This should be in the shoulder straps to minimise pressure on your shoulders as you carry the backpack. If you are carrying a heavier load then you might also want to look for additional support such as a lumbar pad and a hip belt.
Whether you are hiking in warm weather or working up a sweat in cooler weather then you need a backpack that’s going to let you breathe. Most good backpacks will have a mesh panel at the back to improve ventilation and breathability and this is something we would highly recommend looking for.
What Type Of Frame Does The Backpack Have?
Some backpacks come with frames to make them more stable and this is ideal if you’ll be using the backpack on uneven ground. An internal frame backpack has a stable structure on the inside so it’s totally hidden. The frame contours to your body so it won’t feel uncomfortable.
There are also backpacks that have an external frame which is outside the backpack. These are normally made from lightweight aluminium and the design makes them more suitable for heavy loads such as if you are carrying a tent or kayak, for example.
Of course, you might not need the extra stability that a framed backpack has and there are those without frames which are perfect for fast-paced hiking and those who want something ultimately lightweight. However, you should note that, when you are carrying a heavier load, a frameless backpack won’t be anywhere near as comfortable.
Do You Have Easy Access To Your Belongings?
As we mentioned earlier, you don’t want a backpack that requires you to dig around for the smallest of your belongings. But even where there are lots of compartments, you’ll want to make sure that you have easy access to everything you need.
A lot of backpacks have their opening at the top and this allows you to get into the bag with ease. However, if there are items that you need at the bottom then this can be tricky so you might want to look for a backpack that opens from a panel at the front.
Does The Backpack Have Attachment Points?
As well as a good amount of storage and various pockets, some backpacks come with attachment points. These are perfect if you need to add anything to the outside of the backpack such as a sleeping bag or large gear that won’t fit inside.
Daisy chains are lengths of webbing that are sewn to the outer part of the backpack. They have several different loops for attaching gear such as tools, helmets and anything else that doesn’t fit in the main part of the bag.
You might choose a backpack with a reinforced crampon patch which is a thick piece of fabric designed to stop crampons from creating holes in your backpack.
There are a number of different gear loops for a backpack that allow you to attach everything from wet clothing to larger items like skis. It’s important to take a good look at what’s available and choose something that will most conveniently help you to transport your gear.
A good backpack is one of the most important items that a hiker or camper can have. They’re also perfect for when you’re travelling by air or train and are even excellent for your daily commute. However, if you have more things to carry or are going on an extended trip then you’ll need something bigger which is why 50 litre backpacks are really popular.
There are lots on the market to choose from but always make sure to look over the features in order to choose something that’ll work for you. Remember that not all situations call for a large 50 litre backpack so if you need something smaller, keep in mind that there are plenty of options including best 30 litre backpacks.