Litres aren't the best metric for measuring how much a bag or backpack fits.

The official capacity of the Minaal Carry-on 3.0 is 35L, and the official capacity of the Minaal Daily 3.0 is 21L. You can see more detail here.

When you're on a mission to find your ideal backpack, you'll notice that most companies list the volume of their products just like the statement above. At first glance, this seems pretty useful. Presumably, a 40L bag holds half as much as an 80L bag. And that same 40L backpack must fit a lot (say, 10L, perhaps) more gear than a 30L one, surely?

Because it seems like a logical indicator of capacity, most people pay a lot of attention to litre volume when they're trying to find the right bag for their travels or daily life.

Unfortunately, comparing bags by litre ratings is far less useful than it seems. This is because many bag and backpack makers don't use the ASTM F2153 standard for measuring their capacity (heads up: we do.) As a result, companies can sometimes misstate or exaggerate the volume of their products – meaning that in reality, one company's 35L bag can have the same volume as another company's 50L bag.

You can trust that a 1L milk carton really contains 1L of milk, but you can't trust that a 50L bag fits 50L of water. So unfortunately, we've reached the point where that number is almost meaningless for comparing bags from different companies.

What's the solution?

1) The best way to get a true sense of a backpack's capacity is by checking it out in person. That's why we offer 90-day, no-stress, Change-of-Mind returns within the U.S. (As a small business, we just ask for a $15 contribution towards the cost of return shipping and handling).

2) The next best option is to look at photos and videos of people packing the bag. This'll give you a better idea of its overall shape, the way its internal compartments are organised, and how much “real stuff” it actually fits. This does mean a little extra research – but it also means you end up with a much clearer understanding of how different bags will hold your gear.

Because we sell exclusively through our website, we've put a ton of info online to help you figure out whether a Minaal will fit your plans – and your life! You can check the Carry-on 3.0 dimensions and the Daily 3.0 dimensions on their respective product pages. We've also uploaded user videos of the bags being packed, so check out the Carry-on packing playlist and the Daily bag packing playlist on Youtube. These should help visualise what you'll be able to fit. And you can find a description of the bags, including the way they're organised internally, on the Carry-on 3.0 and Daily 3.0 bag product pages.

If you have any questions about capacity (or anything else!) we're always happy to chat. Our FAQ also answers some common questions, like “What kind of devices fit inside the device compartment?”

We painstakingly designed our bags for people who – like us – want gear that makes their daily commute and long-haul journey smoother and more enjoyable. A bag shouldn't be a burden. What's more, every bit of feedback we get from Minaal users informs the design process, so our gear's been polished over time by the super passionate people who use it every. single. day.

There are a ton of considerations far more important than “official volume” when you're choosing a backpack. We want you to find the bag that's right for you. If you need any help with that whatsoever, contact our support team and we'll help you find the best option for your specific situation. Even if that means pointing you to a different company.