10 Different Types of Backpacks [For Different Activities]

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There was a time when a backpack was just that—without many styles. Today, there are many different types of backpacks, all made for different uses. There are backpacks for everyday use, hiking backpacks, cycling backpacks, etc.

So, which type of backpack do you need?

Well, it all depends on what you will be using it for. For instance, if you are using a backpack to carry everyday items to school or work, you aren’t need something made for extreme hikers. But, on the other hand, if you are going on a long hike, you will need something more durable than one for everyday use.

Today we will look at some of the most commonly used backpack types. This will give you a better idea of the type of backpack you will need for hiking, commuting, and more. Let’s get started.

Different Types of Backpacks

Backpacks for Everyday Use

The most common types of backpacks are those used on an everyday basis. For instance, you may choose a basic daypack. This has a standard backpack design with a main compartment on the front.

In addition, there are shoulder straps and a carrying handle. These bags usually don’t have a lot of features and generally come in a standard size. The weight capacity can range from 20 to 40 liters, depending on its size and the number of pockets.

Here are some more options to consider.


Unlike a traditional backpack with a zipper on the main compartment, a rucksack covers this area with a flap. It can have a drawstring or magnetic snap closure or be totally open. In many cases, these backpacks are made from canvas. The flap is attached to the body, and there is a magnet or buckle to keep it closed.

Rucksacks tend to be smaller than most other types of backpacks, basically because of the way they are designed. Some have external pockets; nowadays, it is not uncommon to find rucksacks with a laptop sleeve. The capacity generally ranges from 15 to 30 liters.

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Anti-Theft Backpack

Most anti-theft backpacks look like any type of daypack, but there is a significant difference—the zippers and zipper pulls aren’t visible. This design feature is essential because it helps eliminate theft of your personal items.

In addition to the near-invisible zippers and pulls, there are many other anti-theft features. These can include cut-proof fabric, locks on the zipper pulls, compression straps located over the zippers, and other belts that hold the zipper pulls in place.

You can even get anti-theft backpacks that have RFID-blocking pockets. This will help to protect you from electronic theft.

Laptop Backpack

Many people carry their laptops around these days. After all, we need them for work, school, gaming, and more. So, having a backpack for this purpose is a good idea. It will help lighten your load and ensure you can carry your laptop everywhere.

There are many different types of laptop backpacks available. They can have sleeves that are internal, external, and removable. They will fit most laptops, up to 17”. The capacity can range from 20 to 50 liters, depending on the type of backpack and its size.

Drawstring Backpack

A drawstring backpack is a great option if you just need something small and lightweight. These bags have drawstring closures, along with shoulder straps. They aren’t ideal for extended hiking trips but are suitable for everyday usage.

These bags usually have a capacity of 10 to 25 liters, ideal for everyday use, such as carrying gear to and from the gym. In addition, they are lightweight and small, making them easy to carry. In fact, they can be placed inside other larger bags in case you need both types.

Cycling Backpacks

Next, we are going to take a look at backpacks for cycling. There are backpacks for biking gear and hydration packs, which can be just as important. Let’s take a look at each type of cycling backpack.

Hydration Backpack

When cycling, you must stay hydrated at all times. So, it is a good idea to use a hydration backpack. These are small and lightweight and can hold 3 to 10 liters. These bags are designed specifically for hydration. In fact, most don’t even have enough storage space for other items.

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The idea behind this type of backpack is to hydrate yourself without having to stop cycling; you can enjoy a hands-free drink whenever you need it. The main section holds a hydration bladder that allows you to drink while riding.

Cycling Gear Backpack

This type of backpack tends to be much larger than a hydration backpack. This is because they have compartments where you can store various items and cycling gear. In addition, there is usually a main compartment and an organizational panel holding tools and equipment.

Many cycling gear backpacks will have an attachment point for a helmet. Some even have LED lights on the front section. These backpacks are designed for cyclists who need to carry more than just water to drink.

Different Types of Backpacks

Hiking Backpacks

Hikers need specific types of backpacks, and there are many types to choose from, depending on the hiker’s needs. These backpacks have many attachment points for various pieces of gear, a large main compartment, and a back panel that is comfortable and offers ventilation to stay cool while hiking.

When choosing a hiking backpack, select one for the type of hiking you do. For example, a day hike will require a different backpack than one for overnight hikes.

Here are some of the most popular types of hiking backpacks.

Small Hiking Backpacks

If you are going on shorter day trips, a small hiking backpack may be what you need. It has a capacity of 30 to 40 liters and is ideal if you don’t need to carry a lot of gear around. In addition, these backpacks are usually lightweight and have ventilated back panels.

When it comes to size, you will find that most “small” hiking backpacks are pretty much the same size as a regular day backpack.

However, they have a few more features than the average day pack, making them a better option for hiking than packs designed for everyday usage. Some backpacks even have a hydration sleeve and attachment points for gear.

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Large Hiking Backpacks

Large hiking backpacks are designed for those taking multi-day hikes or traveling more challenging trails. They can carry a lot of gear, including anything you might need for camping overnight.

These are very large and can hold 40 to 85 liters. There are two types of large hiking backpacks, framed and frameless.

Framed Hiking Backpacks

If you want a backpack that helps to keep everything organized and will always stand upright, a framed hiking backpack is the best option. While you may think these might be too heavy, think again. The frames tend to be made with aluminum, which is very lightweight.

These backpacks allow for better organization than frameless backpacks. In addition, they are easier to pack, and the frame helps to keep the backpack more stabilized. The only drawback is that even though they are made with lightweight materials, they are still much heavier than frameless backpacks.

Frameless Hiking Backpacks

If you are looking for something very lightweight, a frameless hiking backpack may be just what you need. These backpacks usually weigh less than 2 pounds and are ideal for those who don’t need to carry a lot of gear while hiking. You can use one of these packs for an additional change of clothing, snacks, water, and some of your hiking gear.

This type of backpack is easy to store when not in use. They have no frames, so they are collapsible and don’t take up a lot of storage space.


These are just a few of the different types of backpacks.

Choosing the right backpack can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to hiking and backpacks. The best way to choose the right backpack is to look at your needs.

Decide how much gear you need to carry, and find a bag to accommodate everything. Make sure it will not be too heavy and will be comfortable to carry around. As with anything, researching before you buy is essential to ensure you get what you need.

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