45 Liter Backpacks: The Perfect Size for Your Adventure!

Are you wondering if a 45-liter backpack is the right size for your hiking needs? Well, let me tell you, it can be! The versatility and convenience of a 45-liter pack make it an excellent...

Are you wondering if a 45-liter backpack is the right size for your hiking needs? Well, let me tell you, it can be! The versatility and convenience of a 45-liter pack make it an excellent choice for a variety of hiking trips. Whether you're planning a complex day hike, a weekend backpacking trip, or even a fast-and-light thru hike, a 45-liter pack can meet your needs and keep experienced backpackers on their toes with lightweight gear challenges.

However, if you're new to backpacking and unsure about your gear list and size requirements, a 45-liter pack may not be the best choice. Unless you have a well-dialed gear list, you might struggle to fit even a single night's worth of gear into a 45-liter backpack. Additionally, your multiday food capacity will be limited. On the other hand, as a day pack, 45 liters is more space than most people need.

So, who should choose a 45-liter pack, how much gear can it hold, and which models are worth considering? Let's dive in and find out!

Is 45 liters the perfect pack size?

If you're unsure whether 45 liters of backpack space is too much or too little for your needs, here are a few things to consider.

How big is a 45-liter backpack?

Backpack sizes are usually measured in liters. A 45-liter backpack can hold approximately 45 liters of water if filled to capacity. In terms of dimensions, a typical 45-liter pack measures around 28" x 12" x 12". This size is convenient, allowing you to carry essential items without feeling overwhelmed.

Is 45 liters enough for backpacking?

The answer depends on the weight and compactness of your gear. If you have a lightweight sleeping bag or quilt, a tent under three pounds, and a lightweight sleeping pad, a 45-liter pack should be sufficient. However, food is another crucial factor. Choosing calorie-dense food and packing it carefully can help you maximize the space. Dedicated ultralight backpackers can even fit a full 3-season gear list and five days' worth of food into a 45-liter pack with some optimization.

If your gear is a bit bulkier, you can still make a 45-liter pack work by strapping larger items, like your tent or sleeping bag, to the outside. Some packs also have generous mesh pockets that provide extra space.

Is 45 liters too big for a day hiking pack?

While 45 liters may be more space than most people need for a day hike, it can still be a suitable choice. The sweet spot for day packs is usually around 15-30 liters, but if you have a comfortable 45-liter pack, especially a lightweight minimalist style, there's no reason you can't use it for day hiking. The extra space can come in handy for longer day hikes or when preparing for unpredictable weather conditions. Compression straps on some packs allow you to cinch down a smaller load, ensuring comfort and stability.

Can a 45-liter hiking pack be carry-on luggage?

If you frequently travel for hiking adventures, you might wonder whether a 45-liter pack can be your carry-on. It's right on the border of being carry-on-friendly. The standard carry-on dimensions for most U.S. airlines are around 22" x 14" x 9". A fully stuffed 45-liter pack may not fit within these dimensions, but if it's packed loosely and compressible, it could work. However, be sure to check the pack dimensions and carry-on requirements of the airline you're flying with. If carry-on ability is a priority for you, choosing a 35-40 liter pack is a safer bet.

It's important to note that certain backpacking gear, such as knives, stove fuel, and pepper spray, may not be allowed in carry-on luggage, regardless of pack size. Other items like tent stakes, hiking poles, and stoves can be hit or miss depending on the airline's regulations.

Styles of Backpacking Packs

When choosing a 45-liter pack, it's essential to consider the style that suits your gear weight and organizational preferences. Backpacking packs can be categorized into traditional, lightweight, and ultralight styles.

  • Traditional: Packs in the 3-5 pound range offer more pockets, compartments, and features. They're designed to carry heavier loads comfortably but may add unnecessary weight if you're aiming for a lightweight setup.

  • Lightweight: Weighing around 2-3 pounds, these packs are more minimalist and work best for lightweight gear. If your base weight is under 20 pounds, a lightweight pack is worth considering.

  • Ultralight: Weighing under 2 pounds, these packs are made from lightweight fabrics and feature a basic design. They're suitable for base weights under 15 pounds and are popular among ultralight backpackers.

Popular 45 Liter Hiking Backpacks

If you've decided that 45 liters is the right size for your adventures, here are some fantastic 45-liter hiking backpacks to consider:

  • [Image of backpack 1] [Caption: Backpack 1]

  • [Image of backpack 2] [Caption: Backpack 2]

  • [Image of backpack 3] [Caption: Backpack 3]

Whether you're an ultralight thru-hiker, a lightweight weekend warrior, or an ambitious day hiker, a 45-liter pack can be the perfect size. If you're new to backpacking, starting with a larger pack will give you more flexibility. However, a 45-liter backpack will encourage you to pack light, which is always a good thing.

More Hiking Resources

If you're hungry for more hiking tips and advice, be sure to check out our other hiking resources. Happy hiking!