The difference between the rucksack and a backpack

While going on a trip be it a family vacation or with friends, first and the foremost thing we think is which bag we should carry. It is important to choose something that can easily carry all the essentials. Often we say the word “backpack” to keep all our clothes in. Yes, it is the best and easiest option to have. Everyone loves to have a bag that they can easily carry at their back keeping hands free. Have you ever heard the word “rucksack”? Well, it doesn’t matter, we will let you know. It is also a type of backpack but not actually a backpack. Understanding these two terms are quite confusing. In this article, we will try to clear out the confusion between them. Let us see one by one what a backpack and a rucksack are.


It is a term coined for a bag that is designed to be carried at the back with some load in it. The load could be anything important including clothes, books, and much more. It features two shoulder straps to carry it comfortably on both the shoulders. The backpack also comes with a third strap that wraps around your hips. The reason for this extra strap is to transfer the weight of the backpack throughout the body so that it can easily be carried. Cushioning on the belts is a key factor that decides its comfort level. Some backpacks come up with cushioning on the backside of the bag as well.

There are many fabrics of which backpacks are made and that decides the quality of the backpack. The bags made of premium leather or waxed canvas are of better quality. Some designs have technical fabric as the main material. These kinds of backpacks are also suitable to be carried on adventure trips.


It is a German-derived term that is coined for a large & rugged backpack. A rucksack is designed to tackle harsh conditions with ease that is the reason it is ideal for camping, hiking, & trekking purpose. It is made to carry a heavy load. The design of rucksack is larger to backpack if we compare both. In terms of physical configuration, the rucksack features more pockets with stronger belts. The shoulder straps & support belts provided in a rucksack can hold a great amount of weight. Most of the rucksacks also come up with chest straps so that the load is distributed along the body. This load distribution system makes it easier for the user to hold the bag. Waterproof rucksack bags are also available in the market and are suitable to be used for adventurous trips. Rucksacks often have cinch-up closure rather than zip closure. The reason behind this is that they are more secure.

Having the ability to carry a good amount of weight, rucksacks are also well suited for military applications. The size of the rucksack will depend on the amount of weight you want to carry. There are lots of options available in terms of design, color, canvas material, and size. You can choose according to the budget and need.

This is the basic difference between backpack & rucksack. After reading this post you must have got an idea that what you need to buy a backpack or a rucksack. It won’t be wrong if we say that “they both are similar” but it will be if it changes to “they are same.” Both are used for the same purpose carrying the load but how much and for which purpose will depend upon the type.

One another difference between both the bags is that you can carry bigger items like tents & blankets in a rucksack while going to trek or hiking. But, if we talk about a backpack then it is quite difficult. There is another term known as “knapsack”. The knapsack is similar to a backpack as it features shoulder straps plus is not big. It is ideal to be used by the military or hikers. The knapsack is made of durable material which is waterproof & weatherproof. It can be a suitable substitute for backpacks and can be availed in a variety of stylish designs and colors. It is best for daily use as well.

We hope this article has somewhat cleared a dilemma about backpack and rucksack. So be precise whenever you go out to purchase a bag for you. Clear your purpose and future use before finalizing one.


What do you think?


Written by Jone Smith

Years Of Membership

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