Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our large 20 litre backpack test 2021. Here we present all the 20 litre backpacks we have tested. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best 20-litre backpack for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying a 20 litre backpack.




Summary

  • A 20 litre backpack allows you to carry all your necessary equipment and gear on your back.
  • Basically, you should decide for what purpose you need your 20 litre backpack and choose a carrying and/or hydration system.
  • When choosing your 20 litre backpack, also look for a suitable backpack for your gender that is specifically made for your stature.

The Best 20 Litre Backpack: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a 20 litre backpack

Who is a 20 litre backpack for?

A 20 litre backpack is suitable for anyone who wants to have a practical piece of luggage on their trip in which a lot can be stowed. Whether you need the backpack for your next trip, for hiking, a day trip or for climbing is entirely up to you.

A 20-litre backpack is suitable for anyone who wants to have everything they need with them on their trip or day out, with the weight equally distributed on their back. (Image source: unsplash.com/ Felix Rostig)

Due to the 20 litre volume, you can take a lot of necessary and sometimes not so necessary stuff with you on your way.

The advantage of a backpack is that you wear it on your back and thus the weight to be carried is evenly distributed. This is clearly the advantage over a carrier bag, where you carry the entire weight on one arm.

Which 20 litre backpack is suitable for whom?

If you are a backpacker, a large backpack is suitable for you because you can then store everything in your 20 litre backpack. Everything you need for your trip fits in your backpack, which you carry on your back during your trip and thus distribute the weight evenly, so that it is also possible for you to carry your luggage during the trip.

Also, for you as a backpacker, a foldable backpack would be a good solution. You can fold this backpack completely when you don't need it and save a lot of space in your accommodation.

With a built-in hydration system in your backpack, you automatically drink more. (Image source: unsplash.com/ Bit Cloud)

If you are planning a hike for your next trip, you should get a 20-litre backpack with a built-in hydration system. With this hydration system, you don't have to take your bottle out of your backpack every time, but always have the tube ready to drink.

How much does a 20 litre backpack cost?

As a rule, your 20 litre backpack will cost between €70 and €130. However, if you go for quality and certain features, the price will rise accordingly.

The price of a 20 litre backpack also depends on the brand, certain brands have a higher price range. You should make sure that you pay for good quality and not just for the brand. You can also buy very good 20-litre backpacks at good prices in supermarkets.

Before you choose one, check the buying criteria below to make sure you get good value for money.

What are the alternatives to a 20 litre backpack?

The obvious alternative would be a backpack with a different volume than a 20 litre backpack. Depending on your needs, you may also need more than 20 litres of capacity and therefore have to resort to a larger backpack. Of course, the reverse is also true, if your 20-litre backpack is a bit too big for your regular day trips or everyday life and you don't really need this space.

In this case, a slightly smaller version would be more suitable for you. However, not only backpacks are a practical solution for transporting your things, but also suitcases. Suitcases are a practical option that you can use on your holiday if you don't want to carry your luggage but prefer to roll it.

A suitcase definitely has the advantage that it is much easier to transport, because you don't carry it but roll it. Note, however, that you cannot use a suitcase in the countryside, but can only roll it on flat surfaces. In addition to the suitcase, there is of course the carrier bag as another alternative. In some cases you can pack more in a carrier bag than in a backpack, but this always depends on the size.

The carrier bag is also not suitable for hiking, as you always have the weight of the carrier bag on one arm. The following table briefly summarises the alternatives.

Alternative advantages disadvantages
Suitcase easier to carry because you roll it not suitable in nature
Carrycot more volume heavier because the weight is shifted to one arm

Decision: What types of 20-litre backpacks are there and which one is right for you?

There are many types of backpacks that have a capacity of 20 litres. It's not so easy to choose. In this section, we would like to introduce you to different types and help you find the right backpack for you. We have identified the following types:

  • 20 litre running backpack
  • 20 litre trekking backpack
  • 20 litre foldable daypack
  • 20 litre bike backpack

What distinguishes a 20 litre running backpack and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A 20 litre running backpack is suitable for all those who run or jog longer distances. The 20-litre volume allows you to carry drinks, rain jackets, food and other items. Most running backpacks are equipped with a built-in hydration system so that you don't have to take out your water bottle when you run, but you have your drinking tube ready to drink while running.

Another advantage of a 20 litre running backpack is that it is particularly light, ergonomic and fixed in such a way that it does not wobble or slip while running. This means that the 20-litre backpack is not too much of a burden.

However, a 20-litre running backpack is only recommended for longer distances or marathon runners, as their large volume means they weigh more and are only suitable for longer distances.

Advantages
  • Built-in hydration system
  • Very light
  • Ergonomic
  • Does not wobble or slide
Disadvantages
  • Heavy
  • Only pays off for long distances
  • No back ventilation

What distinguishes a 20 litre trekking backpack and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

You use a 20-litre trekking rucksack when you go on long hikes. On long hikes, it is important that your backpack is equipped with a lot of luggage and equipment.

For this reason, your trekking backpack must be comfortable for your back so that you can hike with your backpack for several days without complaining of back pain.

When hiking, it is necessary that your equipment and supplies have room in your backpack. (Image source: unsplash.com/ S&B Vonlanthen)

A 20-litre trekking backpack needs to have a good carrying system, with a hip belt, shoulder straps and padding for the back. This combination makes it possible for you to carry 20 litres of volume without pain.

Your 20-litre trekking backpack is usually equipped with a practical compartment layout, external and internal pockets, so you don't have to empty the entire contents before you find something.

Advantages
  • Carrying system
  • padding for the back
  • compartment division
Disadvantages
  • Heavy
  • Only pays off for long distances
  • No back ventilation

What distinguishes a foldable 20 litre daypack and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The clear advantage of a foldable 20 litre daypack is that you can fold it and easily store it anywhere, so it doesn't take up much space. It fits into any piece of luggage and doesn't take up much weight, so you can take it everywhere without worrying too much.

Its light weight has the advantage that it won't give you any pain from too much weight on your day trip. Despite its low weight, however, it can hold a lot, so that you don't have to do without your most necessary equipment on your day trip. A clear drawback of the foldable system is that the backpack lacks a carrying system and is therefore not suitable for longer and more demanding routes.

Although 20-litre foldable backpacks are also available in ultra-lightweight versions, without certain supports and padding, they can lead to severe back pain.

Advantages
  • Foldable
  • Lightweight
  • Plenty of space in the backpack
Disadvantages
  • No carrying system
  • Not suitable for long and demanding routes
  • No padding

What distinguishes a 20 litre bike backpack and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

If you are planning a cycling tour in the near future or need a backpack for cycling, it is advisable to buy a 20-litre bike backpack. When cycling, it is important to have your air pump and certain tools for possible repairs to your bike with you.

So that everything is not lying around in one big compartment, there is a special compartment system here so that everything is stowed away in an organised way. In addition, special fastening options are important for a bike backpack so that you can attach your flashing light or your bike helmet, for example. Especially for cycling, the 20-litre bike backpack is equipped with a comfortable back system so that cycling does not become a burden on your back.

They are also equipped with a ventilated mesh back, which ensures a certain distance between the backpack and the upper body. This creates air circulation and you sweat less. However, this ventilated mesh back system also has a disadvantage: as the backpack does not lie directly against your back, it can start to wobble.

This can be annoying when cycling, which is why some manufacturers use classic padding for the back.

Advantages
  • Compartment system
  • Special fastening options
  • Ventilated mesh back for air circulation
Disadvantages
  • Mesh back - wobbly
  • External padding necessary

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and rate 20-litre backpacks

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate 20-litre backpacks. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular 20-litre backpack is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Material
  • Weight
  • Gender

Material

Before you decide on your ideal material, you should be aware of your requirements for your 20 litre backpack, because everyone needs it for a different purpose.

Most 20 litre backpacks are made of either fabric, nylon, polyamide or polyester.

In the table below you will find a table with the advantages and disadvantages of the different materials and for which activities they are suitable.

Material Advantages Disadvantages Suitable for
Fabric Light weight, inexpensive Dirt-prone, not high quality Day trip
Nylon Ultra-light, very high quality Not durable Sports activities
Polyamide tear and abrasion resistant, moisture resistant not environmentally friendly, susceptible to UV radiation outdoor activities and everyday backpack
Polyester tear and abrasion resistant, UV resistant, more environmentally friendly none outdoor activities and everyday backpack

Weight

The weight of your 20 litre backpack should be as low as possible in all cases, because you need to keep in mind that you will still be filling it. The longer your route, the lighter your backpack should be so that you can carry it for more than 15 minutes.

As a rule, a person can carry 20% of their body weight without any problems, even though the German army believes that we can carry 33% of our body weight, you should limit yourself to 20% so that you can enjoy your trip.

For this reason, you should not just buy your 20 litre backpack from someone else, but choose it according to your weight.

Gender

Women and men have different requirements for a 20 litre backpack. As they have different statures, it is always advisable to choose a backpack for your gender.

Length:

As already mentioned, women have a different stature than men. They have longer legs and a shorter torso compared to men.

That's why there are shorter 20-litre backpacks especially for women, which are not too long when carried and thus provide better comfort. Likewise, men should choose a slightly longer version that is designed for a man's back.

Carrying system:

The carrying system of women's backpacks is the most noticeable difference to the men's model. A carrying system specially adapted to a woman's physique eliminates rubbing and pressure on the shoulder and hip straps. The straps are narrower, more flexible and padded, giving women a better carrying experience.

Of course, women can also carry men's backpacks, but backpacks made especially for women offer better comfort and in many cases are also recognisable by their design.

Facts worth knowing about 20 litre backpacks

How can I clean my 20 litre backpack?

You should clean your 20 litre backpack after every use. If you are on the road, you can do this with a microfibre cloth for the time being and clean it thoroughly when you get home. Here you will find a step-by-step guide on how to clean your backpack:

  1. Before you wash your backpack, remove everything from your backpack and vacuum it with a hoover so that no coarse debris clogs up your bathtub or shower.
  2. Fill your bathtub or a larger bowl with lukewarm water, add suitable detergent and let your backpack soak in it.
  3. After a short soaking time, you can clean your backpack with a brush from the outside and a microfibre cloth from the inside.
  4. You can squeeze all foam parts in the water with your hands to rinse out the fibre-deep dirt.
  5. Seams and zips should be treated with care, best cleaned here with a toothbrush.
  6. Finally, rinse your rucksack thoroughly, squeeze it out and leave it to dry.

Dry your backpack upside down and outdoors or in a well-ventilated room.

How do I adjust my 20 litre backpack correctly?

  • First of all, loosen all the straps on your rucksack.
  • Then place the rucksack on your back, centred over your hip bones.
  • The shoulder straps should be centred on your shoulder blades.
  • Tighten the position adjustment strap.
  • Finally, close the chest strap.

Image source: pixabay.com / Pexels

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