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30 Liter Backpack

30 Liter Backpack

Why the 30 Liter Backpack is the only bag you'll ever need for work, play, and travel.

We’re total bag nerds here at Ethnotek and of course a little biased, but we feel that you should never need multiple backpacks for separate areas of life, like work commutes, weekend travels, and vacations. Not when there’s one bag that can do it all.

Here are the important things you need to know about how a 30 liter backpack can tick all those demanding bag carrier boxes and be the perfect bag to support and enhance your life on the move.

The good stuff you’ll learn from this article

There are a few reasons why folks will buy a backpack - to carry their things to work or for a trip away. Many settle on a bag that’s the right size with a style that feels cool, but often overlook important details that can make the difference between carrying an annoying burden, versus carrying a fun and comfy one that’s not going to break your back. In this article, we’ll touch upon why a 30 liter backpack is an ideal size, what it can be used for, how big is a 30 liter backpack (really), the intricate details that matter when choosing a 30 liter backpack, and how to get the most out of this bag.

what is a 30 liter backpack for

What Is a 30 Liter Backpack For?

30 liter travel backpacks are mostly made for long trips. Even though these backpacks are usually marketed toward hikers and trekkers, I bet you didn’t know that there are also 30 liter backpacks - created for normal activities like carrying laptops and day trips. 

Believe it or not, there are hikers out there who travel around the world with just a 30 liter hiking backpack. These people tend to be light packers who can get by with a few items of clothing - crazy or smart?

30 liter travel backpacks can also be ideal for short business trips, serving as carry-on luggage or even as the only piece of luggage needed.

So, when deciding which capacity and size to choose, a 30 liter backpack is seen to be a winner when looking for a bag to take on weekend vacations or even longer trips.

How big is a 30 Liter Backpack?

The size and shape of a 30 liter backpack depend on several factors, including their internal and external dimensions, materials, and overall shape and design. The bag is ideal for traveling to a business function, getting off the airplane, and then using it as a daily backpack as you go about your daily business. We will show you step by step what a 30 liter backpack looks like with real-life examples.


30 Liter Backpack Size and Dimensions

In most backpacks, the volume of a 30 liter travel backpack is determined by the size of the main compartment or the combination of several compartments. Typically, most of your belongings will be stored in the main compartment.

But for those who like to keep things organized, each primary compartment has different inside dimensions compared to the backpack's overall size. According to the outer pockets, additional compartments, and overall design of the backpack, the overall size might differ substantially.

What is the Weight of a 30 Liter Backpack?

A 30 liter travel backpack containing 30 liters weighs between 1.5 and 3 pounds depending upon the chosen materials, the padding on the back panel and shoulder straps, as well as any additional pockets. Because of this, no two backpacks are the same. Each is an original in its own right.

Below are the weights of several different 30 liter backpacks:

  • The North Face Recon 30 liter hiking backpack weighs 2.37 lbs
  • The Osprey Porter Carry-On 30 liter travel backpack weighs 2.82 pounds
  • The Patagonia Chacabuco 30 liter hiking backpack weighs 1.48 lbs
  • Ethnotek Raja 30 liter backpack weighs 2.0 lbs

Although they are all 30 liter backpacks, the examples above all have different weights - with the average being between 2 to 3 pounds. Again, it depends on the materials used, but most fall into this range.

what to carry in a 30 liter backpack

What can you carry in a 30 liter backpack?

Okay, we covered how big is a 30 liter backpack, now let’s talk about how much you can actually fit into a 30 liter backpack and how large it is exactly. First of all, we’re all different and we pack differently, so keep that in mind. 

Depending on where you're going and what you do for work, you may have to take into consideration those bulky winter clothes or mass amounts of tech.

You can pack the following into a 30-liter backpack to get a sense of how much you can pack:

  • A light jacket
  • Shoes: 1 pair
  • Flip flops: 1 pair
  • Socks: 2-3 pairs
  • T-shirts: 4-5
  • Pants: 2 pairs
  • Shirts: 1-2
  • Underwear (enough for a week)
  • 15-inch laptop and charger
  • Apple's iPad Pro or another tablet of similar size
  • Light towel
  • Pen and a small notebook
  • A small bag for toiletries
  • 1 water bottle 
  • Other essentials like moisturizers, razors, and mosquito spray.

That's just a small example of what a 30 liter backpack could hold; the full list really would vary based on your needs. Items we didn't include are those obvious things you would bring with you such as your smartphone, headphones, wallet, ID or passport, and charger.

The backpack's straps can be also used to attach a tent, sleeping bag, or yoga mat if you're going hiking. You can start hanging all sorts of things from your 30 liter backpack with clips and tags - the opportunities are endless!

30 liter backpack don't overpack

Wear less, wash more: The importance of being a resourceful traveler

Don’t be that guy.

You know the guy, the one who holds up the line by having to check every pocket and bag he has because he can’t remember where he put his things. The dude with a sore and achy body because he insists on carrying a giant bag so he can carry everything and the kitchen sink with him. The guy who’s sweating buckets and stressed out to the max because he packed in a hurry after a few too many beers the previous night! 

Bring fewer clothes than the days of your trip: reduce bulk/weight and support local businesses by washing your clothes while traveling. You say you need 1-2 outfits per day? Why? Aren’t you going on a trip to have experiences and make memories? If so, ditch the idea of being a fashionista and become a trending minimalist instead.

30 liter backpack straps

Straps: a bag for everyBODY

In case you plan on trekking with a 30 liter hiking backpack, consider the straps to be the most important part. Weight should be evenly distributed over your shoulders and these should be well padded.

It is beneficial to wear a waist- or hip-belt because it transfers weight to your core. You may not be able to carry over 20 pounds alone on your shoulders - and trust me, you don’t want to! 

Whether you wear your 30 liter hiking backpack on your back or your chest, the adjustable backpack straps and the adjustable sternum strap ensure that the backpack stays in place comfortably and securely at all times. Several carrying options exist, including a top grab handle and a side strap similar to a briefcase. 

If you don't want to move your luggage around on long days of traveling, you can secure your 30 liter backpack on your rolling suitcase with a pass-through luggage strap.

Pockets: Access & protection can make or break the carrying experience

It’s necessary for you to reference the backpack's pattern to determine its true capacity. It would be best to measure the dimensions of each compartment using the patterns first and then add them up together in order to determine the exact capacity. 

This can be a challenging task for most of us who aren’t bag manufacturers, but by compartmentalizing, hiding pockets, and adding side mesh pockets to a 30 liter backpack, capacity is magically increased. 

30 liter backpack pockets

The Raja 30 Liter Travel Backpack is a great example of a versatile commuter bag that is also ideal for weekend trips or adventures abroad. There is a right-side zip pocket that can be used for storing electronics and sunglasses, and a left-side pocket that reveals the main area of the bag when zipped up. 

You can remove the laptop from the padded back compartment without having to remove the backpack completely - making airport security a breeze!

The Raja 30 liter travel backpack has a lot of additional features such as a roll-top opening makes accessing the main compartment simple. The fabric lining of the compartment provides water and tear resistance and weather protection as well, and it holds most 15-16" PC laptops.


Why is the Raja 30 liter travel backpack so special? 

Our Thread products are made from handmade textiles that are purchased directly from artisans and craft villages where they were made. As a company, we are constantly looking for textiles with a vibrant and beautiful image of the people who create them and the traditions they represent. Regularly, we release new Threads to allow you to upgrade the look of your 30 liter backpack without having to buy a whole new one. 

Changing your threads is more than just changing the look of the bag. It can give it a whole new purpose and meaning by adding something unique and special that has been handcrafted with love - something you won’t get from those regular and plain 30 liter backpacks out there!

customizable backpack

But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what one customer had to say about the Raja 30 liter backpack: “It is simply the best 30 liter hiking backpack I ever bought. It is beautiful, very well made, one can feel the quality of the work at the tips of one’s fingers. It is very well designed, perfect for a one or two-day hiking trip, which is what I used it for. The Raja 30 liter backpack is very comfortable to hike with.”

Material Matters: what your backpack is made of is important, don’t be cheap!

When you buy a 30 liter backpack, one of the most important things to consider is what it is made of. Materials that are used to make the pack are referred to as primary materials. There are four major materials used in modern 30 liter backpacks, which are divided as follows:

Nylon vs Polyester

Today's 30 liter backpacks are made mostly of nylon, which is one of the most commonly used materials. A Polyamide is any of a number of plastics (Polyamides) that are capable of melting down and being transformed into a variety of products, including fibers. Backpacks are constructed from these strands.

Several factors contribute to nylon's popularity as a backpack material, including its weaving capabilities. Furthermore, it is resilient, sturdy, and can withstand extreme temperatures and abrasion. The fact that it can withstand an array of insects, along with other common backpack problems such as mold, explains why you see it everywhere.

Nylon is UV resistant, but it has one disadvantage compared to Polyester (below). Nylon is significantly less resistant to UV damage than polyester. Plastic-based polyester is also extremely strong and wear-free, in addition to being chemically inert and quick-drying. Besides being lightweight and durable, it won't wrinkle easily. That's a lot of fantastic properties!

30 liter backpack materials

Canvas vs Polymer 

They are long-lasting and available in a wide variety of colors and styles, which is their most important feature. As a general rule, canvas bags are popular among women because they have a more natural, softer apparel-like feel over polymer fabrics, which are more weatherproof and durable with a sporty vibe. Fabrics made of polyester are difficult to dye despite their colorfastness and ability to resist fading.

Canvas also feels less plasticy and has a softer feel than polymer but will absorb water if not treated with wax or polymer coating whereas polymer was more naturally water-resistant.


Air mesh is often used because its woven in a way that allows air to easily pass through - thanks to its large open cells. It’s often used in areas that come into contact with the body to prevent overheating and sweating. High-quality 30 liter hiking backpacks will have this material on areas such as the back panel and straps - allowing for consistent airflow.

Best Backpack Material

And the winner of the best 30 liter backpack material is - NYLON. It’s not that much of a surprise actually. Most backpacks are made from nylon because it’s considered to be the strongest material. With its water resistance and rugged terrain tolerance, it can withstand rough conditions. As a result, nylon is an excellent choice for outdoor activities, particularly camping and trekking.

The point is not to imply that other materials can't have the same effect. What you need in the first place will determine what type of backpack is best for you.

Some rules were meant to be broken…

For those of us who can’t live without our luxuries and want to carry more, the Raja 46 Liter Backpack is an excellent, larger alternative option.

Raja's 46-liter backpack can be customized with the Thread removable front panel. The Thread™ collection is the masterpieces that have come from the hearts and hands of incredibly talented artisans and craftsmen around the world. We carefully select fabrics and textiles that are personal expressions and representations of the vibrant traditions and beautiful cultures of those who make them.  

artisan made fair trade backpack

Okay, this large 46-liter backpack sounds great but you need your smaller items to be organized within the inside of your bag. Don’t worry, we've got you covered with the Padu Zipper Pouch.

An ultralight zip pouch designed for pens, pencils, cosmetics, sunglasses, and mid-sized devices such as hard drives, cords, and cables; the Padu Zipper Pouch is the perfect tool to organize all your small essentials in one place.

Here’s what one customer had to say about the Raja 46 liter backpack: “Awesome bag. Used it primarily for bike commuting and grocery shopping. Love hauling my groceries while feeling like I'm carrying nothing at all. Versatility is perfect for storing U-lock, attaching lights, and creatively carrying a ton of stuff. Also, if you have a light load you can cinch things in and make it fairly compact.”

That's a wrap!

In general, a 30 liter backpack is mostly used for short trips that will not extend beyond two weeks. However, if you’re resourceful, pack light, and adopt that minimal mindset, you could use it for long-term traveling as well. All it depends on is how you utilize it.

This size is ideal because it's neither too big nor too small, can be used as a regular backpack, and most importantly, is super comfortable. This means you don’t need to be packing bags upon bags within your backpack for every occasion. 

If you have any questions or want to find out more about 30 liter backpack designs, how to use them efficiently or what you can fit inside, feel free to message us directly. Our bag experts would love to help you out.

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