What Is the Difference between a Backpack & Rucksack

A backpack is a bag worn on your back and typically has two straps over the shoulders. A rucksack is a specific backpack most often used for hiking or camping. It is larger than a backpack and usually has a frame to support the bag's weight.

A backpack and a rucksack are great for carrying many items and distributing the weight evenly on your back, which can help reduce back pain. However, there are some critical differences between the two. Keep reading to learn more about backpacks and rucksacks.

A Closer Look at the Backpack

Backpacks typically carry school supplies like textbooks and notebooks or work supplies like laptops and other electronics. Many people also use them for travel, as they can be used to carry all of the necessary belongings in one bag. Some backpacks even have special compartments or features explicitly designed for specific items, like hiking gear or a change of clothes.

So, technically speaking, any bag that fits that description can be considered a backpack. That means your everyday laptop bag could technically be classified as a backpack. 

Of course, most people usually think of a backpack as a bit more rugged and functional - something you might take camping or travelling. And while there are certainly some stylish backpacks out there, most of them are designed with utility in mind. 

So, the next time you notice someone wearing a backpack, do not assume they are headed off to school or the great outdoors. They could just be running errands or going to work. Or maybe they're just really into backpacks!

Let Us Focus on Rucksacks

A rucksack is a lower and broader backpack than a traditional one. Rucksacks are designed to sit closer to the wearer's back and waist and typically have more capacity than backpacks.

A rucksack is a bag worn on the back, often interchangeably with the knapsack. A knapsack is a similar bag but with a flap over the top that acts as the opening. Another difference is the frame; rucksacks are worn without support, while knapsacks are worn with a frame.

Noteworthy Differences

Some significant differences between backpacks and rucksacks are beyond their dimensions and straps. Here are some:

Support and Build

Rucksacks are designed to have the weight evenly distributed throughout the bag, while backpacks typically have more weight in the back. Backpacks also usually have a smaller opening, making it more difficult to fit large objects inside. However, backpacks are more mobile and easier to carry around.

Backpacks are typically used for carrying smaller loads, while rucksacks are used for carrying larger, heavier loads. Backpacks are more flexible and easier to carry since they only need to support a single stress point, while rucksacks have to be designed to be more stiff, thick, and strong to support the weight of their contents.


A backpack is a bag worn on the back and typically has two straps over the shoulders. A rucksack is a bag worn on the back but typically only has one strap over one shoulder.


In conclusion, backpacks and rucksacks are both types of bags that can be used for carrying things, but they have some key differences. Backpacks are typically smaller and have just one compartment, while rucksacks are larger and have multiple compartments. Rucksacks also usually have a frame, which helps distribute the weight more evenly and makes them more comfortable to carry.

Whether in the market for a rucksack or backpack in London, you should see what Troop London offers. We have all types of bags – from canvas daypacks to backpacks. We have it all, so check our collection now!