Whether you are heading off on an outdoor adventure or need something to carry your laptop and other essentials on your daily commute, a backpack is a great option. Not only are there many stylish choices that keep you looking bang on trend but there are backpacks that offer extreme durability and plenty of space for everything you’ll take on your trip.
However, since there is such a vast choice, it can be a little overwhelming when you’re trying to decide on the best option. As always, we have done a lot of the hard work for you and have curated a collection of some of the best 30 litre backpacks currently on the market.
So, grab a cuppa, sit back and relax and take a look at our top picks as well as some handy buying hints to help you choose the best backpack for your needs.
Latest update: September 2021
All our reviews at Campfire Magazine are independent and honest.
In a hurry? If you don’t have much time using the links below to quickly find our favourite backpacks for you on Amazon and beyond. You can be assured we only choose the best products…
Why Might I Need A 30 Litre Backpack?
Backpacks come in a huge range of sizes. There are some that are much smaller than 30 litres whereas others can get as large as 80 litres. Of course, the size you need will depend on what you are planning to do with the backpack and we will go into this in a little more detail later on. For the time being, let’s explore situations where a 30 litre backpack really comes into its own.
Air travel is one of the most convenient ways to get around but there are some tight restrictions on what you can take with you. If you are heading somewhere warm and travelling by plane then a 30 litre backpack might be just what you are looking for. It’ll be within the cabin baggage allowance but will still provide you with more than enough room for light layers and a bottle of suncream.
If you are going on a day hike then a 30 litre backpack is a great choice. You might get away with something smaller but it really depends on what you will be taking. In this larger capacity bag, you will be able to fit all of your most essential items like clothing, food and water but you’ll probably also have enough room for a few extras. If you want to take things like a camera, your power bank or even things for the kids, then this is an excellent size.
A 30 litre pack might also be suitable for a multi day hike but there could be times that you might need a few extra litres to fit everything you need. Again, this will depend on what you need to take. If you really are only going to take essentials and like to travel light then 30 litres should be more than enough.For some people, the daily commute requires a lot of packing. If your job involves lots of extra equipment then a 30 litre backpack will give you ample space to transport all of this. While it would be considered the largest size for commuting, it still easily falls within this category. It’s also a great choice if you plan to go elsewhere after work, perhaps to the gym.
Top 30 Litre Backpacks
30 litre backpacks are very popular for a lot of reasons and this means you will find an excellent choice when shopping for your pack. We have checked out and reviewed several backpacks and while not all of them met our expectations, the following products stood out from the crowd and we know you’ll be as impressed as we were!
OUR TOP PICK
Going into the great outdoors is fraught with trials and your backpack may have to withstand a lot. That’s why you need something incredibly heavy duty that isn’t going to let you down and we have to say that we were blown away by the LHI military backpack and its immense durability. It is constructed from 900D Oxford fabric which offers superior waterproofing as well as a robustness that won’t easily be snagged or torn.
What’s more, the backpack benefits from solid metal zips which won’t easily break and offer some of the best security we have seen on this type of backpack. What’s more, the zips are super smooth and don’t jam easily. The main compartment is spacious enough for your essential items but there are several internal and external pockets for additional items, you really won’t run out of space!
One of the biggest advantages of this backpack is how comfortable it is. While it is heavy duty, it is very lightweight and easy to carry. This lightweight design is supported by adjustable straps and a breathable mesh to keep you cool and comfortable, even over long distances.
Lots of pockets
We couldn’t find any negative points about this backpack
BEST FOR TRAVEL
If you are boarding an aircraft, you need to feel ultra confident that your backpack is going to meet the strict requirements for hand luggage. Unless you want to run the risk of being charged for cargo, which can get pretty expensive. This backpack will give you all the confidence you need since it is already approved by many popular airlines including EasyJet.
This is an incredibly stylish looking backpack that comes in a choice of colours. But more than just looking great, it boasts fantastic practicality. The bag opens fully to reveal a spacious interior; no more digging around for those important items. But it also features a handy front panel that can be used for your travel documents.
If you’re travelling long distances then the Cabin Metz is a great choice since it comes with adjustable padded straps that offer an excellent fit and superior comfort. No matter where you are travelling, the waterproof 600D fabric will ensure your belongings stay dry. What’s more, the high quality fastenings offer excellent security.
Stitching comes loose easily
Various pockets and panels
Comfortable to carry
Great value for money
EDITORS CHOICE - OUTDOOR ADVENTURERS
If you’re off for a day hike or weekend adventure then you need a backpack that is going to stand up to the conditions. Whether it's wet and windy or humid and sunny, this backpack will cover every eventuality. For starters, the SKYPSER travel backpack features high quality water resistant fabric but it is also beautifully breathable thanks to the mesh back panel.
What’s more, this backpack is hydration compatible, ideal for longer hikes. You’ll also benefit from space to attach trekking poles and plenty of pockets and panels for your essential items.
We really love the durability of this backpack. It is made from incredibly strong polyester and yet remains wonderfully lightweight. The robust buckles and fastenings won’t let you down and everything can be adjusted to ensure the perfect fit.
Some issues with stitching
Lots of pockets
Suitable for all weather
Choice of colours
BEST LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACK
For anyone who doesn’t want a hefty backpack weighing them down, there are a few things you’ll need to think about; one of the most important being that the backpack is durable. This one is made from a tear resistant nylon fabric that is designed to stand up to the challenges of outdoor use but remains lightweight and will even fold away when not in use.
It’s great for a weekend camping trip regardless of the weather as the fabric is water resistant and with several additional pockets, you’ll have easy access to your most important bits of kit. But whatever you’re planning to use it for, the LOOCOWER is a versatile backpack that won’t get in the way.
It also comes in a nice choice of colours including bright pink and bright blue which we think, coupled with the lightweight design, makes this an excellent option for children and younger hikers.
No chest or waist strap
Lots of pockets
Great for kids
If you’re a serious outdoors person and want a backpack that is going to stand up to even the most demanding situations then you’re going to need something on a more professional level. While this backpack does come with a much higher price tag than some of the others on our list, it also boasts a wealth of features and amazing durability.
The FZYE backpack is an expandable pack that is designed to carry all of your outdoor essentials conveniently and safely. It comes with some nice added extras including a whistle which is perfect for emergencies and not something you see on all packs.
The backpack features 900D fabric that is waterproof and resistant to tears and snags. The zippers are made from high quality metal and the buckles are just as strong. What’s more, this backpack is designed for comfort with a ventilation system that cannot be beaten and adjustable straps and weight bearing that makes it ideal for all-day wear.
Lots of space for essentials
Waterproof - ideal for all weather
Best For Commuting. Many people assume that it isn’t possible to find a high quality backpack for an affordable price, but the Berghaus backpack tells a different story. This is not only incredibly strong and fit for purpose but it has a modern design that keeps you looking stylish no matter what you are doing.
The backpack is perfect for your daily commute and has a range of compartments and pockets including enough room for a standard laptop. It is made from high quality materials and features secure zippers and fastenings to keep your items safe.
What’s more, this is a great on-the-go backpack since it has a hydration system and is one of the most breathable we have looked at. The portion that rests on your back is made from vented foam that not only keeps you cool but provides amazing comfort.
Great for city life
Lack of padding for protection of electrical items
VALUE FOR MONEY
Coming in a very generous range of colours and having several compartments, this is an incredibly affordable backpack that still offers great convenience. In addition, you have to consider the quality of the zips and buckles in comparison to the price and our verdict on this is excellent.
The ZOMAKE backpack features a chest strap which is ideal for evenly distributing weight and avoiding pain in the shoulders. You’ll also notice the inclusion of a whistle making this ideal for outdoor adventures where there may be a risk of an emergency.
The backpack is made from very durable material and has a dual layer at the base for additional support of your bits and pieces. It’s also waterproof so ideal for all weather situations and you don’t need to worry about it tearing or weakening, even on more demanding outings.
Good weight distribution
Foldable and lightweight
Good quality zips for security
What To Consider When Choosing A 30 Litre Backpack
While the backpacks that we have featured in our top picks are among the very best on offer today, not all of them will be suitable for everyone. Before you commit to buying a backpack, you should take the time to look at its features and ensure that it will meet your needs.
Attempting to carry a backpack that doesn’t fit properly will mean that you feel uncomfortable and may find it difficult to manage the weight of the bag. To avoid this problem, you should look for a backpack that has fully adjustable straps. This will allow you to fit the pack correctly to your body and make the experience of carrying it much easier.
You might also wish to source a backpack that has padding on the straps as this will prevent them from cutting into your skin and chafing.
Using a 30 litre backpack means that you will be carrying a decent amount of things and so you need to be sure that the backpack isn’t going to buckle under the weight. This means looking for something that is made from high quality materials but also whose stitching is secure and tight.
You might also wish to look for a backpack that is waterproof or resistant at the very least. The main difference between the two is that a waterproof pack will repel water and will not let it in. On the other hand, a water resistant pack will repel water to a certain degree but over exposure will mean that it eventually gets inside. You might think of this like wearing a lightweight mac; you’ll stay dry in a shower but if you stand out for a long time in torrential rain, your clothes underneath will get wet.
If you are hiking in hot weather, you certainly will not want a backpack on your person that is not breathable. This will cause you to sweat and will be incredibly uncomfortable. However, the good news is that there are plenty of excellent backpacks made from breathable materials. These typical feature mesh panels that improve air flow and prevent you from building up a sweat underneath the pack.
There are also some backpacks that have a design that means they do not sit totally flush to your back giving a little extra room for air to pass through, therefore, keeping you cool.
When you are carrying your backpack, the last thing you want is to feel as though you are weighed down. This means looking for a pack that features various straps to help better distribute the weight of the contents.
Usually, the best 30 litre backpacks come with waist straps or chest straps which will take a lot of the strain out of your shoulders.
Zips And Opening
Depending on the type of backpack you go for, it might open from either the front or the top. Front opening backpacks tend to be easier to pack large items without having to squash them. What’s more, you’ll get a better view of the contents rather than having to poke around the bottom of a top loading bag to find small items that have fallen down.
You must also think about the quality of any zips and fastenings. This is especially true if you are carrying valuable items as you will want to make sure that they are fully secure. You can also find some backpacks that have fixtures that allow you to secure them with a small lock which is ideal if you’re commuting to work and have an expensive phone, tablet, laptop or other tech in your bag. Check out our article on best rolltop backpacks if you need more ideas
Is 30 Litres Enough?
Earlier, we discussed situations that might warrant the need for a 30 litre backpack. But for some situations, you might need something larger. If you’ve been impressed by any of the backpacks on our list, you will often find that brands make the same pack in different sizes, so this is worth checking out.
If you are heading out on a trip that will last longer than one week then a 50 to 75 litre backpack might be more suitable. This will allow you to carry more essential items. These backpacks are also excellent for when you are hiking in colder weather as they give you more space to carry additional layers.
There are also very large backpacks that can go up to 80 litres and these are ideal for extra long adventures. However, you might also take them on shorter trips if you need to carry additional items such as cameras, laptops, medical equipment or if you will be camping.
On the other extreme, a 30 litre backpack might be too large for your needs and there’s nothing worse than having to lug around a bag that is too big! There are plenty of backpacks that are less than 30 litres and these are great accessories for a simple day hike (check out our hiking daypacks article) or even day to day use for things like going to the gym or commuting when you don’t have as much to carry.
Practicality and functionality are the most important things to look for when you are buying a 30 litre backpack but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise your style. There are many amazing looking backpacks out there that offer the perfect balance between fashion and being practical.
Whether you want something vibrant and eye-catching or a simple, chic black backpack that will work with any outfit, you’ll find something that you fall in love with.
Having something to carry your essential items in is imperative when you are out and about. Some people need a 30 litre backpack for day to day use whereas others favour them on a day hike or short excursion. But whatever you will be using the backpack for, it is vital that you make sure it has all of the most important features; things like adjustable straps, secure zips and durable materials are among some of the things you should be looking for.
We have found an amazing selection of some of the best 30 litre bags out there and we are delighted to share them with you.