• Remove ads on the forum by becoming a donating member. More here.

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Backpack size

frank john

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2016
October-November 2024
I’m walking the Frances in late Oct thru November. Is a 55L osprey too large in your opinion?
Thx is for suggestions. Frank
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Personally mine is only 32 liters however I predominantly walk a little earlier than you. Walking in October to November I would probably need a 40 litre to allow for extra warm weather Gear.
At the end of the day it's far more important that it's comfortable. So if it's comfortable - then just go for it.
 
Try filling it with the things you want to carry. As long as it can be packed and strapped to fit comfortably when you walk, without things flopping around, then the extra capacity doesn't matter. The commonly cited "too large" reason is the assumption that if you have extra room, you will be compelled to fill it. That is for you to manage!
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Mine is 42 liters. I have used it in winter and I also carry a travel CPAP. Unless you already have a big backpack and don't want to buy a new one, you don't need a 55 liter in most cases. In the winter you are often wearing your clothes to keep warm so you are not carrying them in your backpack.
 
I’m walking the Frances in late Oct thru November. Is a 55L osprey too large in your opinion?
Thx is for suggestions. Frank
Have you already brought it?
If not, I'd get everything together that you are taking first. This way you'll get a good idea on the size of the pack you need. 55ltr sounds a bit big to me and may temp you to fill it with things you don't need.
 
I have used a 24L Osprey for two previous caminos and will be using it again starting next week.
On the two previous Caminos before the 24L, I had a Gregory 36. I have only walked in May-September. So, no sleeping bag. In each of the two Caminos with the 24L, I carried 12-13 lbs. And will do so this year. And the 24L is not packed to the gills in a way that is troublesome to dig through, although I have pretty much arranged things, that I never have to dig through the pack during the walking hours. Over the years (since 2016) I have watched pack sizes seemingly getting smaller on the Camino. Every once in a while I'll still see a big 50-60L pack, and I wonder what the heck is in it. Other than medical needs (e.g. a CPAC), seems to me summer walking would easily fit into a 30L or less. I noticed last year, that most of the Spaniards I saw had 30L's, usually the 30L Quechua.
 
Last edited:
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Well I did bring some university students last winter who brought huge packs (60 liter plus) and way too many clothes. I tried to provide guidance, but they weren't good at self-editing. In the end, you either carry the material or you start culling along the way.
 
These are great suggestions. I plan on taking a sleeping bag but nothing else unusual except several bottles of medications. I’d like to bring a pair of very light weight gym shoes to walk around in. My other concern. Is the rain. It’s probably going to rain a lot but I’m not taking rain pants or those articles you wrap around keg and ankles to protect from rain. Just ankle boots and good merino socks.
 
Personally mine is only 32 liters however I predominantly walk a little earlier than you. Walking in October to November I would probably need a 40 litre to allow for extra warm weather Gear.
At the end of the day it's far more important that it's comfortable. So if it's comfortable - then just go for it.
Thanks for the suggestion Peter. I like the last line “just go for it.” I’ll go back to REI and see if they will exchange mine for a 40L That seems like great advice. The lighter the better especially since I turn 68 on day one of Camino!!! My last CF was almost 10 years ago.
Frank
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Thanks for the suggestion Peter. I like the last line “just go for it.” I’ll go back to REI and see if they will exchange mine for a 40L That seems like great advice. The lighter the better especially since I turn 68 on day one of Camino!!! My last CF was almost 10 years ago.
Frank
You're welcome. The advice from @C clearly is also important - basically you just need to make sure that you can comfortably carry whatever you plan to take.

As REI has such an incredible returns policy you'll probably be fine.

What I often suggest to people is that they put together everything they intend to take with them in a sports bag or rubbish bag and take it to the shop. Spend a few minutes doing a quick pack. If everything fits, and the pack is comfortable - job done.

PS: we often get too hung up on weight: comfort is far more important
 
Thanks for the suggestion Peter. I like the last line “just go for it.” I’ll go back to REI and see if they will exchange mine for a 40L That seems like great advice. The lighter the better especially since I turn 68 on day one of Camino!!! My last CF was almost 10 years ago.
Rather than settling on a specific size, you might try doing a couple of quick checks.

First, do an initial estimate of the pack volume needed to support someone of your weight and height. My quick rule of thumb is to confirm your 'healthy' weight for your height. A BMI of 25 is a good measure, but I haven't been that light for far too many years. Take that weight (in kg), halve that and that is the volume that I would recommend you start with when shopping for a summer camino. Add 25% to that for the extra volume of warmer clothing you might need.

Second, follow the advice from @Peterexpatkiwi, collect everything you plan to take, and take that with you when you shop. How you pack it at this stage is unimportant. What is important is that you take everything, even the small items that one regularly sees people suggesting 'this weighs nothing'!

At this point, if what you are trying to pack is significantly more than can be contained in the pack volume suggested at step one, it might be time to seek advice from the forum about what you are packing. There are plenty of people here that will help you with that. You need to figure out who the ultralight-weight extremists are, and whether you are willing to follow their advice. Otherwise, there are plenty of quite ordinary people who offer good advice on this.

Once you have everything in a suitably sized pack and it as been fitted properly, test for comfort. Wear it around they store, bounce up and down, twist around, do laps, whatever it takes within the boundaries of doing this in a store to check that it is comfortable. If you are new to this, I recommend doing this with several similar sized packs from different manufacturers, even if it means going to several outfitters. You might choose the first pack you tried, but you will have a better understanding that this was the best choice once you have compared it to others.

Going back to your 55li pack. Reverse engineering my rule of thumb, for an autumn camino, these would be the starting points for someone about 1.87m tall or weighing about 88kg. So I think it would be too big for most people on the camino. However, if it is a comfortable pack and doesn't weigh too much, you might choose not to buy another pack. What you will need is the discipline to not carry more than you really need. Packs have an almost magical ability to have their load expand to the load they can carry, and that would not be a good outcome!
 
For a winter camino I hae a 65L bag. For a summer camino I use a 48L bag. A large proportion of the volume is occupied by my synthetic sleeping bag which is loosely packed at the top of bag. Repeated and excessive compressions of synthetic sleeping bags is a good way to reduce the thermal performance and useful lifetime of your sleeping bag.
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Thanks for the suggestion Peter. I like the last line “just go for it.” I’ll go back to REI and see if they will exchange mine for a 40L That seems like great advice. The lighter the better especially since I turn 68 on day one of Camino!!! My last CF was almost 10 years ago.
Frank
40L will do the trick! I walked many caminos with a 48L (Osprey Exos) but only half-filled. Just make sure it is comfortable.
 
I started with a 48 liter Osprey Kestrel rucksack in 2013. After my first two Camino Frances, I went down to a 38 liter Osprey Kestrel. Been using that ever since - four Caminos. It works very well for me.

The apparent “sweet spot” for rucksack volume is about 35 - 40 liters. BUT, petite persons or obsessive ultralight folks can get away with 30 - 32 liters. I am a big guy, and all my clothes are XXL sized and require extra volume.

But do not tote extra volume unnecessarily. It will mysteriously gather stuff and weight as you continue along your Camino.

Empty volumes suck! They figuratively vacuum in extra things you don’t need, including souvenirs. Mail all this extraneous stuff down the road to Casa Ivar, to be waiting for your arrival.

Hope this helps,

Tom
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Yes. I have used an Osprey Kestrel 48L and though it fits very well, it also allows one to pack far too much weight. "If you have room, you will fill it."

Forget you ever heard of the 10% rule, unless you are around 100 lb. Honestly, the less carried, the greater chance that day to day stress will be reduced, not increased.

Also, the smaller the pack, the lower the weight of just the pack...usually. When I acquired a used Osprey 35L pack, I found that its weight was far too close to the 40L pack. So, I wish I could recommend a smaller pack but the one I have acquired before the Pandemic was the Hobo Roll Freedom pack, 30L and less than 1 lb in pack weight. This means that total pack weight packed will be less than what it would be using either of my two other packs.

The maker, Gobi Gear, does have a website but only a couple of products seem to be available at this time.

Alternately, go to Walmart. Look over what packs they have in the 30L to 40L range with the features you wish to have. At least there, you know that cost will not be astronomical and quality should be good. Aliexpress is also a good source though they do not seem to have a 35L option.
 
40L will do the trick! I walked many caminos with a 48L (Osprey Exos) but only half-filled. Just make sure it is comfortable.
I will 2nd that! I love my Exos 48. COMFORTABLE at 12 kilos on AT or 6.5 kilos on Camino. You don't have to fill it 😉
 

Attachments

  • 17152627705891142549336915462334.jpg
    17152627705891142549336915462334.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 26
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I’m walking the Frances in late Oct thru November. Is a 55L osprey too large in your opinion?
Thx is for suggestions. Frank
IMO, yes. I used a 45l on two previous Caminos and had loads of room. I have a 35l that I am taking next week. Still a lot of room. I could easily add a sweatshirt or other cold weather gear. My rec is go small; a big pack invites inclusion of things you really don't need.
 
These are great suggestions. I plan on taking a sleeping bag but nothing else unusual except several bottles of medications. I’d like to bring a pair of very light weight gym shoes to walk around in. My other concern. Is the rain. It’s probably going to rain a lot but I’m not taking rain pants or those articles you wrap around keg and ankles to protect from rain. Just ankle boots and good merino socks.
I have walked many times in late October through December. I would highly recommend, in fact I think it is a must that you carry a very light weight pair of rain pants, I have a really inexpensive pair I got online and it works just fine. You can never predict the weather but if it is a wet October/November you will be very happy you have them. In fact I never wear boots, let alone ankle boots. Unless you need them because of structural foot/ankle issues they are not needed. I have walked in Trail runners even in snow. But of course shoes are so personal that you should ignore my advice if you love your boots. Make sure they are well broken in before you begin. Last November I walked my final leg of my 3 camino camino haha from Porto. The weather was absolutely intense. Hard rain and wind every day. It was no different in all of Galicia as well as the northern part of Portugal. I had my poncho out and stuffed in the straps of my backpack if it wasn't raining when I began, but I put on my rain pants every morning over my pants. It can be a little bit of a hassle especially when things are so wet. You don't even know they are on and if it is cold they provide great insulation.
One final note. I have a light sleeping bag and I actually carry a light, small throw pillow that I sleep on. I can fit everything in my REI 45 liter pack.
 
I currently use a Zpacks 38L Nero. I have to carry a liter sized bag of pills so the pack is stuffed. I have to carry my albergue sandals in the outside mesh pocket. I have used two different 45 L backpacks. I walk in spring and fall and would prefer to stick with 45L. But the superlight 38 L Nero is "good enough". Buen Camino
 
Learn proper bathroom protocol on the Camino and share this info with other pilgrims.
Mine is 42 liters. I have used it in winter and I also carry a travel CPAP. Unless you already have a big backpack and don't want to buy a new one, you don't need a 55 liter in most cases. In the winter you are often wearing your clothes to keep warm so you are not carrying them in your backpack.
What brand of travel CPAP do you use? Do you like it? Does it work for you? (it must if you travel with it).
Thanks
 
For my set-up....peak summer with very little cold weather = 24 liter Pack...shoulder seasons Spring and Fall = 33 Liter....and winter time where more bulky cold weather gear is desired = 42 Liters....

Expect cool and rainy weather in November in Galicia...I would take a 42 Liter for northern Espana...but I could see doing it with the 33 Liter. In my opinion...anything BIGGER than 42 liters means you are likely packing superfluous things-even in winter.
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Yes, my husband and I both use a Breas Z2 for travel and for camping trips. I carry it and all the associated cords, etc. in a regular 13 liter stuff sack. It is small enough that I can put it in the bed with me at an albergue.

For camping we have larger EXP brand batteries and his will last 7 days and mine 3 days before recharging. On the Camino we don't bring a battery and so we don't stay at the few non-electric albergues. We are gone from home usually 90 days or more per year (next year more since I am retiring) so these have been a good investment.

In Spain I carry an extension cord so both of us can stay in one set of bunkbeds and just use one plugin. He must send in his "data" to the VA regularly and can download and send that in in lieu of the VA downloading his data from his big machine. The VA supplied his big machine, but we purchased our travel machines out of pocket a few years ago from SecondWind CPAP. They sometimes have refurbished machines and his first travel machine was refurbished. After 5 years of camping and Camino travel his old machine was held together with duct tape so we both invested in new machines three years ago.
 

Attachments

  • 20230619_171751.jpg
    20230619_171751.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 19
  • 20230619_171746 (1).jpg
    20230619_171746 (1).jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 20
For what it's worth, I have carried a Osprey 65 and two different style Osprey 50's The 65 was when I carried a tent and bulky a sleeping.
The 50 offers room so I am not jamming and cramming, but the most important for me is how the harness rides on my body. The first 50 was never comfortable so I swapped it out for my current 50. This harness is so comfortable because it is adjustable. I use it for three day backing trips! The harness and features on the smaller packs never worked for me. The 50 also has the features I like such as an outside pouch for wet gear, side access into the main storage plus a separate sleeping bag access.

With the larger pack you just need to be discipled on what you carry and weight. If comfort is your thing like it is for me you will just need to deal with pack weight.
My base weight (less food and water) is about 7 kg /16 lbs with 1.5kg /3 lbs being the pack. I am currently working to reduce that by a kg but will be happy with half that for my walk this September up the la Plata to a link up to the Norte before turning to Santiago.
Good luck
 
Provided you’ve the self-discipline not to fill the bag, it doesn’t matter. The fit is all that’s important. I use an Osprey 35l and it’s about 75% full. I’d struggle to get a smaller sack with the back-length and height to fit me.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
In my opinion...anything BIGGER than 42 liters means you are likely packing superfluous things-even in winter.
Really, in my opinion, then, you have no idea what you are talking about. I have walked my caminos starting from early to mid autumn, and used packs ranging from 45 li to 65 li. Walking with two sleep conditions and carrying a CPAP, and carrying pain medication for osteoarthritis, increases the volume requirements. Without any information on what individuals are carrying and why, I think it is really unhelpful to make statements like this.
 
I’m walking the Frances in late Oct thru November. Is a 55L osprey too large in your opinion?
Thx is for suggestions. Frank
I carried a 28L in March. Like one person mentioned you will be wearing your cold weather gear. There were a couple of days that were warm so I just stuffed my jacket in the my back. Buen Camino🥾
 
Learn proper bathroom protocol on the Camino and share this info with other pilgrims.
Just for grins, I looked up the data for Osprey packs. In the range from 26L (956g) to 58L(1334g) the pack weight varied 377 grams. (13oz.)
The packs can be adjusted to contain/control minimum to maximum FILL (up to FULL)
At around 200 euros per pack, if you buy the most you "could need", then your self control has value! 😉
The picture I posted earlier is my slightly over half filled 48L, in Sarria TODAY.
It weighed 7.2kg in SJP, a month ago
It weighs 6.3kg now. (consumed items)
That same pack was 13.2kg on AT last year and carries great at either weight.
OR, you could buy 600-800 euros worth of packs to handle all the possible extremes.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
I bought a bigger pack some years ago - the 60l pack itself isn't much heavier, and I don't have to take everything out to get an item at the bottom. And I can buy loads of cheese, chorizo and olives to take home after each camino...

I carry around 6 kilos plus water, occasionally a bit extra if the fruit shop is too tempting.
 
I’m walking the Frances in late Oct thru November. Is a 55L osprey too large in your opinion?
Thx is for suggestions. Frank
Decide what you want to take, how heavy you want it to be, and go from there. It all depends on you.

As for me:
Normally I'd take a 33l Osprey for winter trekking in mountains, so more than adequate for a Camino (for me). It also fits most budget airlines' cabin bag sizes which is a consideration (for me).

I'm using a 22l running pack next week for the vdlp, going minimalist and light and that includes gear for sleeping rough if needed. I've had to invest in expensive lightweight equipment but this time, I want to jog, so this is the maximum pack size I can take.
 
Really, in my opinion, then, you have no idea what you are talking about.
I think this clarifies the issue perfectly.

PS: my 48 L pack is quite light and only a small amount heavier than the 40L version. I can carry everything I need and the 48 is much more usable than the 40L would have been, for the way I like to enjoy my Caminos.

@frank john I have a memory of the discussion of this thread being said before in a few previous threads.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I think this clarifies the issue perfectly.

PS: my 48 L pack is quite light and only a small amount heavier than the 40L version. I can carry everything I need and the 48 is much more usable than the 40L would have been, for the way I like to enjoy my Caminos.

@frank john I have a memory of the discussion of this thread being said before in a few previous threads.
I smile at the willingness of the many contributors here who have not actually provided what I think of as very useful information, although it is good to see that others have a more nuanced approach to balancing the size and weight issues than just suggest everyone can do this in 40li or less. Very few people have revealed how big they are and what season they walked in. The OP can be forgiven for not revealing this, but when he doesn't know whether those posting are of somewhat similar height and weight there is no way he can make a reasonable assessment of how relevant these response are for him.

In the spirit of openness, I am about 174cm tall, and a little short for my weight, at around 90kg. I use 80 kg as my planning figure for any weight based calculations. I have walked with packs varying from 45 li to 65 li, normally starting from early to mid spring. When I have considered packing for a summer camino, I have been able to pack that, a little tightly, in a 42 li pack, but could not get that into my 38 li pack without having stuff hanging around the outside and looking like some form of Xmas tree.

Edit: when I walked with my wife, I carried a CPAP, and have done so since. Up to a couple of years ago, I wasn't able to get one of my medications in the EC, and would bring what I needed. Together, these things have resulted in needing somewhat larger packs than on my earlier pilgrimages. Last year, I was able to reduce the volume of my medications significantly, and walked with a 50 li pack, starting shortly after Easter and again in early May. I think I would be able to walk with a 45 li pack if I didn't bring a CPAP, and accept that doing without it for a few weeks wouldn't be overly deleterious, except perhaps, for those who might share a room with me.
 
Last edited:

Most read last week in this forum

I'd like to know about people who has flown drones on the Camino. I'm planning on doing the Camino, only in Spain. Thinking about taking with me a drone with camera that weights less than 250g...
Firstly, Hello and thank you for welcoming me to the group; I will be travelling to St Jean Pied De Port on July 2nd with view to starting my own journey to Santiago de Compostella throughout...
I had plans to get my walking stick to the Camino. I'm having problems getting a shipping tube or container for it. The walking stick is 60" tall. If I can get it there and ditch the long tube do...
Hello beautiful people! I am planning to walk my first Camino (French way) this September and have a question. After reading threads about walking in sandals, I decided to walk the Camino in my...
Is there a shop to buy trekking poles in St. Jean Pied de Port and if so, estimate of cost?

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top