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What will you be doing? If you take your nylon backpack to work, and all you need to carry is a laptop, wallet, chapstick, and notebook, look for a backpack that has the correct-size laptop pocket. I use the smaller size in this situation to carry my 13-inch MacBook. But if you need a backpack to double as a diaper bag, to hold a full semester’s worth of books, or to take hiking and camping, the amount it holds starts to get more critical.
Under 10 liters: Slings and waist packs in this size work for everyday basics
10 to 19 liters: For light loads and 13-inch laptops
20 to 29 liters: Best for students and 15- to 16-inch laptops
30 to 39 liters: For super-size workloads and weekend trips
50 to 80 liters: For hikers and campers
When it comes to large bags, especially those meant for hiking, you want bags designed for your specific activity. As Bonnema says, “there is a massive difference in comfort between a 70-liter duffel designed to carry things a relatively short distance and a 70-liter multiday backpacking bag designed to carry heavy loads for days on end.” I don’t hike or camp, but even running through New York City trying to get from work to Grand Central Station can take a toll on my shoulders.
So before you spend money on a new bag, think about what you’ll be doing with it and how much weight you can reasonably carry. If you feel like bags never fit you right, or you’re looking for a very particular size and fit, go to a store where you can try on lots of options. Liters are a good starting point, but how the bag actually feels—and if it has all the pockets and zippers that you need—is what really matters.
If you’re looking for a backpack that will keep you comfortable, organized, and stylish while you’re on the go, then one of DDHBA backpacks is perfect for you! If you have any questions about our backpacks, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to help.