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What size rucksack for two weeks on Frances

Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Hi . I need to buy a new rucksack and am leaning towards Osprey but am unsure about what litre size to buy .
I intend starting in St Jean Pied A Port and walking for two weeks .
Any advice would be great thanks
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
What you need for 3 days is what you need for 2 weeks or 6 weeks.
So -- male or female? because size matters for weight a bit. And do you have any considerations like medications you have to take that are going to require some bulk?
I never carry anything larger than my 36L Kite (women's Osprey). Spouse has the 40L Kestrel from Osprey.
I *can* fit my things in a smaller pack, but it explodes on opening. I could take my 55L Osprey, but that would be overkill.
5 caminos and the Kyte has not let me down. I did upgrade from the early top-loader to the newer side-zip model at some point...
I like the adjustable back length on the Kyte. And I find the structure is better than the ultralight Lumina that I have.
Best wishes for your walk.
 
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As @Perambulating Griffin said you'll need the same gear for two weeks as you would for a longer Camino. Most people do well with a 30-40 liter backpack. I would suggest that you choose your gear first, then take it to a store with a range of backpacks and buy a pack that fits you and what you need to carry.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Both my wife and I have 36L Ospreys. We have never needed anything larger whether we are on the Camino for 10 days or 30. For us, the key has always been to travel light. Our pack weights are always between 6-7 kgs. On the Camino, one doesn’t need all that much. To walk far; carry less.
 
The biggest single item that most people carry is their sleeping bag, followed by their rain gear, and whatever the second pair of footwear is. These will affect the size of back pack that they need.

For example, a small person who is walking in July or August (maybe minimal rain gear, maybe only a sleeping bag liner), who is staying in private-room accommodation (no sleeping bag needed at all), and who is happy with only flip-flops as spare footwear, can get by with a 20 L backpack. However, I agree that 30-40L is a likely estimate for most people. I use a 31 L pack for walking in spring and fall, with sleeping bag, rain gear, and layers for cold weather, but it is fairly full.
 
The biggest single item that most people carry is their sleeping bag, followed by their rain gear, and whatever the second pair of footwear is. These will affect the size of back pack that they need.
Yes! a reasonable way around that is to use the bed-roll straps to secure the sleeping bag (if one has one) under the pack, and to use carabiners to attach footwear outside pack.
That way, one can stay pretty small. But this method assumes a rain cover for light showers, and poncho system added for the pouring rain.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Yes! a reasonable way around that is to use the bed-roll straps to secure the sleeping bag (if one has one) under the pack, and to use carabiners to attach footwear outside pack.
I can see how this might be a solution if you already have a smaller backpack that you like and don't want to buy a new one, but if I'm starting from scratch I'd rather have all my gear fit inside my backpack rather than have bits hanging off and bouncing around. That's why I suggested buying the gear first and finding a pack that fits the gear.
 
I can see how this might be a solution if you already have a smaller backpack that you like and don't want to buy a new one, but if I'm starting from scratch I'd rather have all my gear fit inside my backpack rather than have bits hanging off and bouncing around. That's why I suggested buying the gear first and finding a pack that fits the gear.
Me too!
But I've seen this solution work for lots of people.
(Oh... and I just don't put my shoes in my pack... cuz: ew). 3 incredible washes later, my Altras from this past rip still smell of stale eucalyptus dust and cow slurry (it was *that* season!)... Even wrapped in a bag I would not put my 2nd pair *inside* -- but that's because I hike in both pairs that I take with me (Keen Rose hiking sandals, and whatever all-terrain shoe/boot for the season).
 
Hi . I need to buy a new rucksack and am leaning towards Osprey but am unsure about what litre size to buy .
I intend starting in St Jean Pied A Port and walking for two weeks .
Any advice would be great thanks
What time of year? 40L max should cover most things. Modern bags all have compression straps so you can always cinch a 40 smaller to suit your load. Harder to stretch a 35l bigger😁.
3 x 3m/9ft pieces of paracord weigh nothing but can be used to tie shoes etc. to the outside of your bag. Also doubles as spare boot laces, washing line etc.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
Alternatively, my choice (I have done a few walks) is a 45 L pack - quite light and only a little heavier than the smaller ones mentioned above.

I choose not to develop the skill of "pack-origami". I prefer light enough and useful.

On one walk I had a small very light pack. I did not enjoy that pack.
 
36 to 40 L has worked for me. May I suggest you don't just go for an Osprey because everyone else has one. Go to a store and try on a number of different packs on. I'm slight across the shoulders and a bit short waisted and so often the shoulder straps are too high and slide off.

I ended up getting an llbean pack, and while not as stylish as an Osprey fits me great. -- Unlike others who posted above, I like having a few loops and straps on the outside of my pack. Loops to hang wet socks etc. and a strap to hold onto a baguette or leeks...
 
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36 to 40 L has worked for me. May I suggest you don't just go for an Osprey because everyone else has one. So to a store and try on a number of them. I'm slight across the shoulders and a bit short waisted and so often the shoulder straps are too high and slide off. I ended up getting an llbean pack, and while not as stylish as an Osprey fits me great. -- Unlike others above, I like having a few loops and straps on the outside of my pack. Loops to hang wet socks etc. and a strap to hold onto a baguette or leeks...
I have a 48” chest and find that Osprey are too narrow for me. Your advice is great, go to a shop and try various brands.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Hi . I need to buy a new rucksack and am leaning towards Osprey but am unsure about what litre size to buy .
I intend starting in St Jean Pied A Port and walking for two weeks .
Any advice would be great thanks
What time of year?
Will you be staying in albergues where you'll need a sleeping bag or in privates where linens are furnished?
 
Hi . I need to buy a new rucksack and am leaning towards Osprey but am unsure about what litre size to buy .
I intend starting in St Jean Pied A Port and walking for two weeks .
Any advice would be great thanks
If you used your current backpack on the camino before, is there some reason not to find one of similar size? If not, and you are going to start from scratch, I recommend the following process:

For a summer camino:
  1. If you aren't overweight or obese, take half your weight in kg, call it litres, and that is a good initial estimate of the pack size you might need.
  2. Take everything you think you will need and take it to wherever you are thinking of purchasing your pack.
  3. Find a pack about the size you worked out in step 1, and see if everything fits.
  4. If it does, make sure the pack fits, is comfortable, etc. Lots of advice here and elsewhere on this. Go to step 7, otherwise try other packs, or other retailers. Go to step 7.
  5. If it doesn't fit, you might want to try something a little larger. But if you find you need something much larger, say more than 10% larger, come back here and get some advice on your packing list.
  6. repeat steps 2 to 4 (or 5) with a revised packing list
  7. Buy it.
If you are walking in spring or autumn, you might need to size up by as much as 50%, although I have found I only need about 25% more volume for my spring caminos in Spain.

If you are an average sized Irishwoman (1.64 m/73.1 kg/ BMI 27) a pack size around 37 litres would be my recommended starting point for a summer camino.
 
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.
Thank you everyone for all the good advice . Loads of food for thought.
I use a mixture of private and municipal accommodation so carry sleeping bag liner and pillow case (walking in May so hopefully I will be warm enough) I layer up on clothes if cold .
My last pack was so old I didn't know what size it was but it served me well and I will probably go for Osprey again though will also try out the other brands recommended.
I'm planning like mad and have been learning Spanish as I really enjoy it and will love being able to put it to use
Muchas gracias a todos🥰
 
I have a 40L pack that I chose because my trekking poles fit inside for flights. There was lots of room for all my gear and it was easy to rummage through when I needed something. There was also room for whatever junk I bought after I finished Camino.
 
You can choose your gear before buying the pack to make sure you get one that holds it all. However, there is danger in this approach as most first-timers begin their planning with way more gear than they need which could lead to a pack that's far larger/heavier than necessary. I prefer making the decision of the max weight I will ever carry and buy for that max weight. In my case, I bought a 36 liter pack as I knew it would carry a max of 20 pounds which I would not go over. 30-40 liters capacity works for most. Size relates to your torso length which is why professional fitting and adjustment help is very important.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
There's no substitute for trying out several packs loaded with what you will be carrying . Pack selection is a very individual process, many people love Osprey while I think have good quality and features but can't get comfortable with their suspension system, however Deuter and Kelty packs fit me well - the pack needs to be right for you. I also feel 20% too large vs. 5% too small carries more comfortably.
 
Just a quick thought. Not all pack brands measure capacity in the same way. Some include the pockets and holsters. My wife likes lots of separate compartments. I prefer one large main section. We both use a 24L pack for our 4-6 week summer walks throughout Europe.
 
Make sure the one you choose will qualify as hand luggage and can be carried in the plane. Being able to carry it with you through airports makes the journey less stressful and quicker and you do not have to worry about it being left behind somewhere.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
What you need for 3 days is what you need for 2 weeks or 6 weeks.
So -- male or female? because size matters for weight a bit. And do you have any considerations like medications you have to take that are going to require some bulk?
I never carry anything larger than my 36L Kite (women's Osprey). Spouse has the 40L Kestrel from Osprey.
I *can* fit my things in a smaller pack, but it explodes on opening. I could take my 55L Osprey, but that would be overkill.
5 caminos and the Kyte has not let me down. I did upgrade from the early top-loader to the newer side-zip model at some point...
I like the adjustable back length on the Kyte. And I find the structure is better than the ultralight Lumina that I have.
Best wishes for your walk.
I see the length of the Kite is over 25". Have you had a problem with airlines ... as their max length is 22"?
 
Make sure the one you choose will qualify as hand luggage and can be carried in the plane. Being able to carry it with you through airports makes the journey less stressful and quicker and you do not have to worry about it being left behind somewhere.
This is certainly a desirable characteristic if your needs don't dictate otherwise. I have never had this luxury on any of my caminos for a number of reasons, and have always checked my backpack. Thus far, it has always arrived with me.

I note, unfortunately, that lost baggage statistics seem to be going up, even for airlines that were once excellent performers in keeping bags and passengers together. This may become a more important consideration while the industry players get their acts together again if you can get your gear into a suitable sized pack. I cannot see that for me, but others clearly can.
 
I see the length of the Kite is over 25". Have you had a problem with airlines ... as their max length is 22"?
I use an Osprey Talon, which similarly lists a length of over 25". However, that includes a fully packed top pocket. If I leave that top pocket empty for the check-in check, the effective length of my pack is only 19 inches. I expect that the Kyte is similar, and the inflexible part is within the 22" requirement. You just need to be able to fit the pack into a box of the stated dimensions. Wear a few extra items during check-in (or be prepared to do so), and then, once at your destination you can pack it differently.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I use an Osprey Talon, which similarly lists a length of over 25". However, that includes a fully packed top pocket. If I leave that top pocket empty for the check-in check, the effective length of my pack is only 19 inches. I expect that the Kyte is similar, and the inflexible part is within the 22" requirement. You just need to be able to fit the pack into a box of the stated dimensions. Wear a few extra items during check-in (or be prepared to do so), and then, once at your destination you can pack it differently.
This reminds me of arriving at the bus station in Santiago on my way to Ferrol, where there was a British gentleman who bore a striking resemblance to the Michelin Man. He was wearing several more layers than the conditions demanded so that he could carry his pack on as cabin baggage on one of the budget airlines. He was never going to get it all back into the backpack. I still have visions of him walking with all his wet and warm gear draped over the top of his backpack, exposed to the elements and unbalancing his load.
 
I am about to begin a winter Camino. Because many albergues will be closed I may not have the option to choose stages of the length I would personally prefer. So I am travelling prepared to bivvy overnight outdoors in temperatures which may be sub-zero. That includes a sleeping mat, bivvy bag and winter weight sleeping bag. Obviously my pack must therefore be larger than I would carry for a summer albergue-based Camino. The size and style of pack you choose should depend on the journey you are planning and what you personally decide is vital to carry. There is no one-size-fits-all answer.
 
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Don't overthink it and no need to spend too much. I would say any backpack between 30-40 litres should work just fine. Mind you a lot depends upon you. What physical condition are you in? Your weight and height? What time of year you are going?
Looks like you have done multiple trips to the Frances before. What did you carry then? If it worked out, don't change or as they say, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
I see the length of the Kite is over 25". Have you had a problem with airlines ... as their max length is 22"?
Mine is the SM/M rather than the M/L, and my torso length is 17" from the cervical vertebra that sticks out to the lower lumbar point (have you measured your own back length for these purposes?) so I think I just have mine set quite small when it goes on-board. I've only done that once for camino though as I prefer to take my own poles, grab a direct flight and check my bag through (and to do that I wrap it in an Ikea bag, duck tape it up etc. And I use an airbag to track it.
I do still toss the pack in overhead bins on commuter flights both at home and abroad and had no problem on my recent RyanAir flying bus from Santiago to Madrid.
 
Hi . I need to buy a new rucksack and am leaning towards Osprey but am unsure about what litre size to buy .
I intend starting in St Jean Pied A Port and walking for two weeks .
Any advice would be great thanks
I carry an 40 Osprey, which is roomy enough that I take it backpacking and carry food, etc. So I could probably get by with something a bit smaller, but it is a reasonable weight, is comfortable, has the mesh ventilation panel, and a roomy, waterproof compartment on top, which is great for keeping raingear handy. The only thing I have dangling off it is any laundry that I am drying--such as socks or any other underwear that didn't get quite dry enough overnight.
 
I used a 30L on my two Caminos and had plenty of space for snacks/water and for post Camino clothes shopping.

My next Camino I will go down to a 24L - but I don't recommend starting that small if you haven't already successfully paired down your packing list.
 
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,-
I went to REI to select a backpack and tried on several different brands, Gregory and Osprey included. But, for a feature-laden pack at a reasonable price point, I ended up getting a 32L REI Traverse (men's). I wanted to get something that would force me to pack light, and it did, but it easily carried everything I needed for my Camino, and nothing I didn't. It came with a rain cover that worked well. Another feature I really appreciated was the side-loading zipper. I could load either from the top or the side, and it made it really easy to pull out some needed item that was hiding in the bottom or middle of the pack. For me, it was a brilliant design and I was extremely happy with it. Properly fitted and worn, I had no trouble at all carrying the 16 - 18 pounds, excluding water, I had on my back. It should be more than adequate for the two-week walk you're taking, and I believe it most worthy of your consideration.
 
I use an Osprey Talon, which similarly lists a length of over 25". However, that includes a fully packed top pocket. If I leave that top pocket empty for the check-in check, the effective length of my pack is only 19 inches. I expect that the Kyte is similar, and the inflexible part is within the 22" requirement. You just need to be able to fit the pack into a box of the stated dimensions. Wear a few extra items during check-in (or be prepared to do so), and then, once at your destination you can pack it differently.
I put my clothes in a pillow case in my pack. Then when I check it, I take the pillowcase out (it becomes my purse), allowing the pack to be squashed down and short enough to fit in the dreaded box. The pillow case with clothes also acts as a pillow on the plane.
 
Hi . I need to buy a new rucksack and am leaning towards Osprey but am unsure about what litre size to buy .
I intend starting in St Jean Pied A Port and walking for two weeks .
Any advice would be great thank
I had broken my back in the past. On my first 2 Caminos, I would get severe back pain, requiring ibuprofen, Tylenol, and narcotics. On my 3rd Camino, after buying an Osprey Aura, which really helps transfer your weight to your hips, I rarely needed anything for back pain. Unfortunately the smaller bag is only 50L. But it is worth it.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery

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