How Big Is A 20 Liter Backpack (Helpful Guide)

When you are about to purchase a backpack for yourself then you must want to know how big is a 20L backpack.

This size of the backpack matter a lot because it is going to determine how you will be using the backpack in the future. For example, it will not be easy to use a 50-liter backpack as a carry-on sized backpack in airlines.

So, this is why in this article we are going to talk about the 20-liter backpack and will answer the most asked question about the 20 Liter backpack on the Internet.

So, let’s dive into the topic.

Why Backpack is Measured in Liters?

First, you must understand why backpacks are measured in liters.

Basically, the volume of the backpack is measured in cubic inches, but this is not the easiest metric and it is not universally accepted

This is why cubic inches are converted into liters which is a standard unit and can be universally accepted. 

You know, the volume of the backpack tells what the backpack can hold.

On the other side, the dimensions of the backpacks tell about the size of the things that can be in them.

What You Can Put In a 20 Liter Backpack?

backpacking gears

The best way to understand the capacity of a backpack is to put things in it.

I have mentioned the list of the items that you can put in a 20 Liter backpack, this will help you to have clarity in your mind whether a 20l backpack is good for you.

You can put the below-mentioned things in 20 Liter backpack:

  1. Two T-shirts.
  2. One Hoodie
  3. One Shirt.
  4. Large Sized Hoodie.
  5. One Average-Sized Water Bottle.
  6. One Diary/ Notebook
  7. A pen.

Gears that have a similar volume to the items which I have mentioned above easily fit in a 20L backpack.

How Big Is A 20 Liter Backpack: 20L Backpack Size

19 x 13 x 1.5 inches is the size of the 20-liter backpack that has a storage capacity which is equal to 1220.47 cubic inches. The 20l backpack is a small-sized backpack where the weight of the backpack ranges between 1 pound to 1.5 pounds.

Generally, a 20 liter backpack is a small sized backpack that can be used as a regular backpack which you can use to walk with your essentials.

For example, you can keep your notebooks and other study material if you are going for tuition classes or you can keep your laptop in it so that you can work at the cafeteria you visit every evening.

Now, as you know not every backpack has the same number of pockets and compartments. 

This is why manufacturers have to measure the capacity/volume of each compartment including the pockets and then sum them together, to get the precise volume of the backpack.

To calculate the volume of the backpack, some manufacturers pour water into the backpack. 

The volume of the water required to fill the backpack is the volume of the backpack.

The volume of Water Required = Volume of Backpack

The volume is basically measured in cubic inches but because cubic inches can not be universally accepted, this is why it is necessary to convert the cubic inches into Litres.

Understanding Backpack Dimensions: 20 Liter Backpack Size

A 20 Liter backpack will weigh around 810g.

Moving ahead for its size, the size of the 20 Liter backpack is somewhere around 43cm*28cm*48cm or 17*11*19 inches (L*W*D)

So, now I have an idea about the backpack dimensions and the 20l backpack size.

As told you earlier, the cubic inches are converted into liters.

So, while converting the column in liters, the measurement is rounded up to get an accurate value. 

This means that a 20L backpack has a dimension of 12220.47 cubic inches, if you want to see the chart of the backpack then you should see it here.

What Type Of Backpack Can Have 20 Liter Capacity?

20 liter backpack

There is a wide range of backpacks and almost all of them can have a 20-liter backpack capacity.

Here is a list mentioned which will help you understand the type of backpack and what they are best for.

Small pack Kid bags, Sports
Day PacksSchool Work and commuting
Medium backpacksCamping and Hiking
Large backpackTraveling

20-liter backpacks are best for short trips and light packers. 

If you like to carry a few items with you to give you the freedom and relax your shoulders then you should have a 20-liter backpack.

Backpack Size Comparison (20 Liter Vs. 30 Liter)

You must have seen a 30-liter backpack size in the market, this size of the backpack is good for trips and travels.

But which one you should choose a 20 liter or 30 Liter backpack.

To clear your confusion about the 20-liter backpack, here is the comparison between both backpack sizes.

20 Liter Backpack30 Liter Backpack
It can carry up to 10 different items easily (with a suitable size neither too big nor too small). It can easily carry 16 different items. (with suitable size neither too big nor too small)
Best for short trips.Best for traveling and hiking.
You should have it if you want to carry fewer items with you.You should have it if you want to carry enough items with you.

For What Purpose a 20 Liter Backpack is Ideal For?

A 20-liter backpack is best for daily use for sure. There is no doubt about it.

But, you must consider the following things before choosing the 20-liter backpack;

  1. Number of Items you want to pack.
  2. Your trip Length.
  3. Torso measurement.

1.)Number of Items you want to pack: 

You must first check whether you are comfortable with a 20-liter backpack or you need a bigger capacity volume backpack.

Think of the things that you need to put in your backpack and if they fit in a 20-liter backpack then go for it. 

As there are no benefits of carrying a bigger backpack, then your need.

2.)Trip Length

The 20-liter backpack is great for short trips, so you can not carry these backpacks with you on long trips.

For long trips, you need to carry many items and things for which you will need 30 to 40-liter capacity backpacks. 

Also, your packing styles matter a lot to consider this factor.

Frequently Asked Question

How many liters is a standard school backpack?

Standard school backpacks are usually 8 to 21 liters in size. These backpacks are spacious are designed to carry several books, notebooks, and sometimes laptops too.

Is a 20l backpack big enough?

Yes, a 20-liter backpack is big enough for short trips, but you will need a bigger backpack for middle school

What is the normal size of a backpack?

The normal size of the backpack is 15 to 20 liter. This size is so common and backpacks with 20 liters are for daily use.

What is a good size backpack for college?

20 Liter to 30 Liter is a good size of a backpack for college students.


A 20 Liter backpack is perfect good for short trips and daily use but I will not suggest you to buy a 20-liter backpack for trips more than 2 days because it will be really difficult to manage and carry every important belonging in it.

If you want a backpack that can help you to carry essentials for daily routine work then you should purchase a 20-liter backpack. 

I hope that you have got your answer about “how big is a 20-liter backpack”.

So, if this article helped you and you enjoyed reading this article then please share it with your friends.

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