How to Select the Right Volume for You


Choosing your pack is an important process. It’s going to be your closest companion for many of your outdoor activities and often needs to be versatile to suit your specific needs. A big part of this choice is the volume your pack can hold.


The first consideration for volume selection is an obvious one; “How much stuff am I going to be carrying?” Your ‘stuff’ is often the vital equipment you carry for your chosen activity, be that sun cream or a 2 man tent. Let’s take a look at three example activities.


The key question you need to ask yourself when looking at our travel packs is quite simple, how much gear do you want to take with you on your trip?

30 – 65L

If you’re looking at a potential short break you may wish to just take hand luggage with you. These packs will be between 30 – 45 litres. You can head over to our EU carry on guide where we’ve listed our best carry on packs and a helpful airline sizing guide.

If you plan on doing a lot of exploring and wish to take with you more than just hand luggage then one of our travel packs with a removable day pack would be useful. The Farpoint 55, for example, is a 55-litre pack but it has a 13-litre daypack that can be used as hand luggage and for excursions away from your accommodation. The main pack itself is 42 litres bringing the total up to 55.

65L +

When it comes to the difference between larger and medium sized travel packs personal preference plays a key role; whether you just want to take the basics with you or if you want to be able to take a few luxuries with you. Some people would be comfortable using the Farpoint 55 for a 6-month travelling trip while others might prefer a Farpoint 70 for a 2 week holiday.


30 – 65L

  • Volcanic Grey

    Farpoint 55

  • Rainforest Green

    Fairview 55


  • 65L +

  • Buoyant Blue

    Ozone 75

  • Kingfisher Blue

    Rolling Transporter 120

  • Hiking

    The volume you will need for your hiking trips is determined by the type of trip you’re planning on taking.

    Hiking: 6 – 25L

    This is your classic single day hiking category for those who need a compact pack that will carry all of your essentials. The upper end of this volume could also be used for an overnight stay (or two) in a hostel but, for a comfortable amount of space, the next category may be a better fit.

    Short-duration, lightweight backpacking and winter hiking: 25 – 50L

    For the multi-day hikers and the short-duration backpackers, this is probably your volume range. On these trips, you will likely to be carrying additional clothing, water, food and all the important equipment that’s going to assist you in your extended journey. Lay your kit out, make some difficult decisions about whether that second power bank is really required, and then pick a volume that feels right for your journey.



  • Yerba Green

    Talon 22

  • Chloroblast Green

    Tempest 20



  • Gator Green

    Stratos 36

  • Sirrus 36

    Sirrus 36

  • Backpacking

    As with hiking, the volume size you will want to take with you depends on the kind of adventure and where it will be.

    Backpacking: 50 – 75L

    Planning an extended backpacking trip? Then this is likely to be your volume category. These packs will be roomy enough to carry your additional equipment while also having the load carrying ability, and comfort, to support you.

    Expeditions: 75L+

    In the upper end of our backpacking volumes are our expedition packs. The high capacity packs have significant load carry ability and are perfect for long distance, long duration expeditions that require significant amounts of gear.



  • Abyss Grey

    Atmos AG 65

  • Challenger Blue

    Aura AG 65



  • Discovery Blue

    Xenith 88

  • Canopy Green

    Xena 85

  • Weather

    Another important consideration is climate. Colder, more adverse weather will require a different set of clothing and equipment. On the other hand, in hotter climes you will need less layers and less equipment and therefore will have more room available for your essentials. Research your location and your activity to decide what is seasonally appropriate to your trip.


    Today may be a day hike but what are your plans for your next adventure? Osprey packs are extremely durable and long lasting, these packs are likely to stick with you for years. It’s for this reason that you should consider which pack will be right for you in the years to come. Will you be trying out longer overnight backpacking trips in the future? A compromise on the short term usage may be useful for your long term plans.

    related blogs

    4 responses to “How to Select the Right Volume for You

    • John Wade

      15 January 2019

      Hi – I’m going on a Camino walk this summer, and am trying to work out which pack I need. It’s a six day trip, and I’ll be staying in auberges on the way. I’m a 180cm male.

      It’s obviously a multi-day trip, although it’s not clear whether it’s a hiking or backpacking expedition. I want comfort and a rain cover. It’s unlikely I’ll take a sleeping bag, although I might. I’ll want somewhere to store water and a camera.

      The Atmos AG 65 sounds good – almost more than I need; the Kestrel range is probably more suitable, although the differences between the 38 and 58 seem small (by the way, the ability to compare products would be a boost – many sites have them…); the Stratos range sounds good, too.

      What would you recommend?

      Many thanks

      • Osprey Europe

        16 January 2019

        Hi John,

        Based on height alone we are unable to confirm the size of the pack that you need as, although connected, height doesn’t define your torso length which we need to determine your Pack Size. We recommend that you use our PackSizer™ 2.0 App as this will allow you to size yourself digitally or if you prefer, it also has manual pack sizing instructions.

        From the information you have provided, I would recommend between 30 and 50 litres, depending on what you think you will be doing with the pack and what you are looking to take. As you have said you will be staying in auberges along the way but might need a sleeping bag, would you also need camping equipment? If so, then you may need to look a little larger, maybe up to 65 litres? Assuming that you are not taking camping equipment, I would recommend that you first determine which Backsystem is best suited for your requirements. You can find all the information you need about Backsystems here.

        Within Series, the main difference with packs is the volume. However, there are some feature differences on some, but not all. In this case, the main difference with the Kestrel 38 and 58 is 20 litres. However, the 58 also has a front U-Zip opening, meaning that you can pack it like a suitcase. For specific pack recommendations, I would suggest that you have a look at the Kestrel 38/48, Atmos AG 50 and the Talon 44, as all of these packs will be suitable for what you are looking to do.

        With regards to a website compare functionality, we are looking into this and will hopefully have this on our website in the coming future. For now, if you have any questions, please feel free to email us or start a LiveChat conversation with one of our Pack Experts.

        Enjoy your Camino walk this Summer!

    • Chris

      23 March 2019


      I am looking for a pack that can hold 30kg+ weight to help me with training for long expeditions. Do you have any Packs that can hold that weight?



    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This is not a valid name.

    A comment is required.