The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) announced a new way to measure the volume of backpacks, daypacks, and hydration packs in a way that is universally understandable by the American and Canadian public.
“Consumers have long struggled with trying to understand backpack volume in terms of liters or cubic inches. The problem is that they can’t visualize how big a 60 liter or 3000 cubic inch backpack is in terms of what it can hold,” says OIA CEO Hiram Walker. “On top of that, backpack makers use several different ways to measure the volume of their packs making it impossible to compare packs from different manufacturers.”
The new unit of measure is a 12 oz can of beer because it’s very easy for people to visualize the size of one can, a six-pack, a case of 24 cans, or a 30-pack, for example. These are all volumes that American and Canadian youths and adults are very familiar with. Pabst Blue Ribbon is the reference 12 oz can of beer we’ve standardized on since it is so widely available in North America. Other brands of beer can also be used as long as they have the same dimensions as a 12 oz can of Pabst.
“Since many of our member companies are smaller companies, it was important to develop a test methodology that was inexpensive to implement and didn’t require the purchase of specialized test equipment. In order to accelerate industry and consumer adoption, it was also important to develop a test methodology that anyone could use to measure the volume of packs made anywhere in the world, even if they aren’t members of the OIA,” explained Evan Williams, OIA’s Chief Marketing Officer.
“Having a new backpack volume measurement standard that anyone can use was a brilliant strategy to accelerate consumer and industry adoption. Just brilliant, especially when coupled with the explosion of social media and video. I expect that backpackers, retailers, and bloggers will quickly publish the number of beer cans that can fit into the packs they use, sell, or review”, said Williams.
Backpack makers around the world have also been quick to embrace the new backpack volume measurement standard.
“I can’t wait to see the thru-hiker videos measuring the volumes of our packs. This will be a riot!” says “Eric Northman, CMO of Six Goons Designs.
“We think this new backpack volume metric is much more intuitive for all ages to understand,” says Rick Grimes CEO of Ostrich Packs.
“We really appreciate this new backpack volume standard because it’s so low cost to implement”, says Andy Taylor, President of Mysterious Backpacks.
The New Backpack Volume Measurement Standard
To measure the volume of a backpack, daypack, or hydration pack, all you need do is fill it with as many 12 oz beer cans as can possibly fit. If a pocket closes with a zipper, velcro, or a drawstring, you need to be able to close it. For open pockets, such as side water bottle pockets or stretch front pockets, fill the pocket with as many cans as it can hold as long as they won’t fall when carried. Note: For ultralight backpacks, we recommend doing this after the cans have been emptied or the cans might rip through the bottom of the pack.
“If there’s a pocket on the backpack that is too small to hold a can of beer, it’s volume is left out of the final total. Let’s face it, what good is a backpack pocket that is too small to hold a can of beer,” says OIA CEO Walker.
Popular Backpack Volumes: Re-Measured
|Make / Model||Number of 12 oz Cans||Old Volume Metric|
|Osprey Atmos 65||187 cans||65 liters|
|Osprey Aura 65||184 cans||65 liters|
|Osprey Exos 58||167 cans||58 liters|
|Osprey Talon 22||63 cans||22 liters|
|Osprey Daylite||32 cans||13 liters|
|Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 2400||122 cans||2400 cubic inches|
|Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest 3400||159 cans||3400 cubic inches|
|REI TrailBreak 60||168 cans||60 liters|
|REI Flash 55||155 cans||55 liters|
|REI Flash 45||130 cans||45 liters|
|REI Trail 40||110 cans||40 liters|
|REI Trail 25||62 cans||25 liters|
|REI Ruckpack 18||45 cans||18 liters|
|Granite Gear Crown2 60||172 cans||60 liters|
|Granite Gear Crown2 38||112 cans||38 liters|
|Granite Gear Blaze 60||180 cans||60 liters|
|Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60||163 cans||60 liters|
|Gossamer Gear Gorilla 40||120 cans||40 liters|
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