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Top Large backpacks Reviews and Buyer's Guide

Last updated July 2, 2019

Sometimes you just need to carry more stuff. In those cases, you probably need a backpack that is larger than what most other people are carrying.

Luckily there are quite a few large backpack models available, but you need to watch out. Not all of the models are great quality, so it really pays to spend some time comparing the different brands and models.

The Best Large Backpack

Having checked thousands of large backpack reviews, we can say that the Kipling Seoul is the best choice for most people.

Kipling Seoul
This is the best reviewed large backpack.
How we rate the bags

We have checked 8,396 large backpack reviews, so we can show you the weighted average rating of all the bags.

Using the average ratings, you can check what all the reviewers think instead of just viewing the subjective opinion of one specific reviewer.

It's much simplier to find the best bags that way.

Also Great

If the Kipling Seoul isn't your style, you might also consider the Samsonite Tectonic.

The Tectonic is a close runner-up with a rating of 3.45 out of 5.

Samsonite Tectonic
The second-best reviewed large backpack.
Below is the list of all top 2 best large backpacks. Great if the two bags above aren't your style.

The 2 Best Large Backpacks

PS: We have checked 8,396 reviews to make this top 2 list!

RankLarge BackpackRating
1Kipling SeoulKipling Seoul
Available on Amazon
Check Deals
6,314 reviews
2Samsonite TectonicSamsonite Tectonic
Available on Amazon
Check Deals
2,082 reviews

Buyers Guide to Large Backpacks

Woman carrying a large backpack [toc] If you need to go an extended camping trip or are looking to backpack across Europe, you are going to need a pretty big backpack to accompany you. While there are a lot of large backpacks available, there is a lot to consider before getting such a big pack. This is because even the smallest details begin to matter at this size.

How to Choose the Best Large Backpack

So, you are probably quite confused about just how to go about getting that backpack that can accommodate all of your clothes and supplies. Well, the good news for you is that we have taken this burden off of your shoulders. Here we discuss everything that you need to know about choosing large backpacks.

Looking for a Large Backpack? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you have ever even considered a large backpack, you know just how awkward these packs can be. This is why you have to be careful about precisely which one you choose. Making the wrong decision could result in you having a backpack that is just not suited to your needs. If you want to prevent this from happening, just look at all of the information available to you here:

What Constitutes a Large Backpack?

The first subject that we need to tackle is what do you mean by a large backpack? This term doesn’t actually refer to the size of the pack. Instead, it is just how much a particular pack can carry – in other words, a large backpack is all about the capacity.

Backpack capacity is referred to as volume which is why the internal and external capacities are measured in either liters or cubic centimeters. Different manufacturers will use varying units to define their pack volumes and this is where it can get a little tricky. Now, volumes mentioned in cubic centimeters tend to have the greatest accuracy but they can be a little difficult to visualize for the average person. This is why many brands prefer to use liters instead as they are a unit that most people are familiar with. However, these liter measurements are often rounded up to the nearest number. As a result, it can be difficult to know precisely how much these packs can contain. This is why there is such an issue which trying to convert cubic inches to liters or vice versa to compare bags. Since the conversions aren’t exact, you can’t always accurately compare two or more packs.

Still, there shouldn’t be too much lost in translation. So, having a rough idea of how much your large bag should be able to carry is more than enough. On that note, a large backpack would be one that would have a volume of 50 liters or more.

Types of Large Backpacks

There are two main types of large backpacks that you can choose from. They are as follows:

  • Multi-day backpacks (50 – 80 liters): multi-day packs are those that are suitable for camping trips or excursions that last longer than a weekend. With this capacity, you can carry clothes, food, supplies, and even smaller tools or equipment as well. These are typically the packs that are used for shorter backpacking trips as well.

  • Expedition backpacks (80 – 110 liters): expedition backpacks aren’t just used for long trips. Due to the size and the design of these type of backpacks, they used in colder weather. They are capable of carrying the additional clothing and equipment required.

Choosing Your Backpack Size

When trying to decide which backpack size is right for you, you will always need to take a few things into consideration. First things first, you should never choose a backpack larger than you need. If you are only going to be camping or backpacking for a few days, choose a multi-day backpack over an expedition one, whenever possible.

There are a couple of reasons for choosing the smallest possible bag. For one, the weight is an issue. The larger that the backpack is, the heavier it will be. So, if you get a really big bag for a camping trip that will only last a day or two, you are going to be quite uncomfortable.

Fortunately, there are a few exceptions to this rule. There are lightweight options for multi-day packs. These backpacks are made from incredibly light yet strong materials, which makes them weigh less. Of course, the downside is that you will have to pay more for such packs.

The other reason that a too large bag is unnecessary is due to the way that the things will be packed inside. All of your belongings should be closely packed together to prevent them from moving about while you are walking or climbing. Otherwise, there will not be an even distribution of weight.

Internal and External Frame Design

If you want a large backpack, you are going to need to determine whether you want one with an internal frame or an external frame.

Lately, there has been a shift towards the internal frame designs. As the name suggests, this is where the rigid frame is incorporated within the backpack. One of the reasons that this type of backpack is so popular is due to the stability that it offers. This means even when your weight and balance are shifting, it will be easier to walk. These backpacks are particularly useful on rough terrain. The other advantage is the increased capacity available with such designs.

While the external frame backpack is not as popular, it certainly does have its benefits. With this type of backpack, the frame is on the outside and is visible. What’s truly great about these backpacks is that they are able to carry immense weight without assigning that weight to you. Also, because of the external structures, you can carry a greater number of supplies as well. Why they aren’t used as much as they used is because of the weight and the stability. These types of bags are quite heavy, even when they are empty. Also, they don’t offer the same stability as the internal frame design.

In the end, it is up to you to decide which type of frame is best suited to your excursion or adventure.

The Suspension System

With larger bags, you will presumably be carrying heavier loads. Therefore, the suspension system becomes incredibly important with these bags. The suspension system refers to the various elements that allow you to carry the bag on your back.

The most important of them all is the shoulder straps. Since they will need to withstand a considerable amount of weight, it is best if the straps are wider and a little padded. This way, when placed on your shoulders, the weight will be evenly displaced, preventing the straps from sinking into your skin.

With these larger backpacks, it is also quite common to find sternum straps. This is the strap that buckles at your chest. This strap really helps to keep the backpack bound to your back, particularly when the pack is quite long. You will need to check that the strap sits a few inches below your collarbone for optimal placement.

Then, there is the hip belt which is arguably one of the most important straps. This is because we naturally carry the majority of our weight on our hips. A hip belt can help to enhance this when you are wearing a backpack and prevent undue pressure on your back. The hip belt should be adequately padded and rest just above your hip bones.

The Fit

The other thing that you must ensure is that the backpack fits you properly. This means that once the straps have been adjusted, the backpack can rest between your neck and your waist, without being any longer than your hips. When shopping for backpacks, it is a good idea to measure your torso – the length between the base of your neck and the top of your waist. This way, you can compare your torso height with the length of the pack.

Now, with expedition backpacks, it is going to be quite difficult to ensure this. Particularly if you are equipped with an external frame, there is a good chance that the pack will be higher than your head. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be more than a few inches taller than your torso.

If you are a smaller woman, it may be helpful for you to look at women’s specific backpacks. These are built for petite individuals. The dimensions of the backpack are also made to accommodate the curves of women’s bodies.

External Features

Most large backpacks rely on top loading access. While this can be useful, it also means that it can be difficult to retrieve your belongings, supplies, or equipment on a whim. This is why the external features on a large backpack are so important.

The first, of course, would be hydration features. You should look for a pack that will let you store a hydration bladder in an external pocket or that has mesh pockets for water bottles. The easier that they are to access, the better.

If you are camping, it is also a good idea to have a place where you can attach your sleeping bag to the outside of your pack. This way, you can save on space on the inside. In the same vein, you should look for loops and chains that will let you attach ice axes, trekking poles, and other equipment that you may need. These are features that you should pay special attention to if you are planning on hiking or camping in the winter.

For those walking or traveling in heavy traffic areas, reflective strips or panels can come in handy as well. These will warn motorists of your presence, particularly when it is dark out.

If you are looking for a large backpack, these are all of the factors that you need to be informed about. You will then be able to choose one that is just right for you.

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Last updated on July 02, 2019