Setout Backpack Size Guide: 45L vs 35L

A perfect fit is the difference between a travel backpack that feels light on your back and one that weighs you down.

This guide will help you decide which size Setout Backpack is right for you, teach you how to measure your torso to determine whether the bag is the proper size for your body, and show you how to test for a proper fit once you receive your new travel backpack.

Setout 45L


The Setout 45 is a maximum-sized carry on backpack that will fit on most airlines.

Torso Length

17-19” Torso length


Who Should Choose the 45L

Long-term travelers

If you’re packing for a long-haul trip, the Setout 45 is probably for you. You’ll have enough room to bring everything you need for months (or years) on the road without checking a bag.

Max Packers

If you’re new to carry-on only travel, or like to bring a little more rather than just the bare essentials, the 45 is the right bag for your packing style.

Souvenir buyers

If you typically pack light, but buy things on the road, the 45 is for you. You’ll have plenty of room in your bag for art and souvenirs. Compress the bag with the straps when it isn’t full to stabilize the load.

Setout 35L


The Setout 35 is slightly smaller than the 45 and fits the strictest airline carry on limits.

Torso Length

Men's: 17-19” Torso length

Women's: 15.5-18” Torso length

Who Should Choose the 35L

Budget airline flyers

If you frequently fly on budget airlines (like RyanAir), consider the Setout 35. We’ve flown on budget airlines with the 45 without issue, but it’s technically breaking their rules. If you mostly fly on budget airlines, take shorter trips, and want peace of mind at the gate, the 35 is the way to go.

Minimalist packers

If you’re a minimalist packer, the 35 is probably for you, no matter the duration of your trip.

What Fits Inside

Both the 35L and 45L Setout Backpacks are designed to fit enough clothes, accessories, and toiletries for one week of travel or more. In the 45L Setout Backpack, you’ll also have room for an extra pair of shoes, an extra outfit, or souvenirs.

For more information on what fits inside the Setout Backpack, read our sample packing list.

How to Fit

The Setout Backpack is designed to fit a majority of people. Here's how to measure your torso to see if a travel backpack will fit before you order, and how to test fit once you receive your new bag.

Before ordering a travel backpack, measure your torso to see if you fall within the range each bag is designed to fit.>/p>

Once you know your torso length, compare it to the bags' specs. The Setout Backpack fits 17-19" torsos.

How to Test Fit When Your Bag Arrives

The first thing you do when you order a new pair of shoes online: try them on and walk around for a little while to test comfort and fit. Since no two pairs of shoes feel or fit the same, despite being the same size, it's important to test if they'll work for you.

The same concept applies to travel backpacks. Before traveling with a new bag, make sure to do a test run.

Step One: Pack the Bag

It's impossible to tell if your new travel backpack will be comfortable if you test it when it's empty. In order to do a meaningful test fit, pack clothing in the main compartment and your laptop in the computer sleeve before putting on the bag. You don't have to pack exactly what you would on a trip, but make sure to pack approximately the same amount of stuff so the weight is as close to a real-world situation as possible.

Step Two: Put it On

Put the shoulder straps on first, then clip the hip belt around your torso.

Step Three: Adjust

Adjust the height of the shoulder straps but pulling on the webbing at the base of the foam sections.

Move the sternum strap up or down so that it's just below your collarbone, then tighten until the bag is taught against your body. Tighten the hip belt until it's snug, but not suffocating. The base of the hip belt should rest right on top of your hip bones. If it's too high or too low, it won't successfully transfer weight from your shoulders.

Step Four: Walk Around

In order to tell if your bag will be comfortable enough for a long walk through a city to your Airbnb (or a sprint through an airport terminal), walk around for a little while. Pay attention to whether or not the hip belt is transferring weight from your shoulders, and see if anything is gaping or tugging.

The shoulder straps will be a bit stiff at first - that's normal. They're made from a custom injection-molded foam that will conform to your body and get more comfortable over time.

If you have questions about the Setout Backpack that aren't answered on this page or the product pages, don't hesitate to contact us. We'd love to help you have a great trip.