A huge debate has erupted to differentiate between a yoga backpack and a rucksack. To begin, it is always wise to understand the origin of the terms and how they evolved. Most people have used this interchangeably, swapping the idea between a rucksack for a backpack, when in fact they actually mean a rucksack. A backpack from the English dictionary is called book bag, kitbag, knapsack, rucksack, pack, or sack pack. It a cloth sack carried on one's back and secured with two straps that go over the shoulder. Some have also added that it is a bag with shoulder straps which allow it to be carried on one's back, typically made of a strong, waterproof material and widely used by hikers. This also varies, considering the weight of the backpack. The rucksack on the other hand is also a backpack, meaning it is carried on the back. However, the word Ruck come from the German word “ Rucken”, which means back and ‘Sack' (meaning bag) obviously means a sack. .
Taking a closer look at backpack, its definition suggests that it is used to carry heavy to lightweight items. It was made for student and hiker, who would prefer to use the backpack other than a bag. There are larger backpacks, which are used to carry larger and much heavier items. This comes with padded hip belts, which transfers a lot of the weight from the shoulder to the hip, making it convenient to carry heavier weight. It is bigger in size compared to the rucksack and It is preferably used for long trips and long treks, which can last for weeks.
The rucksack on the other hand, seems to be a much rugged bag, used by the military or for hiking. It is specifically designed to carry heavier items and made from materials that can be used in harsh weather conditions. It is a medium sized backpack used for camping or hiking, which can last for may days.
The term backpack originates from the US. This can also be seen in what they refer to as a back pack, like the new wave of back pack being introduced into the market. Today you have the yoga backpack , yoga mat backpack ,school backpack etc. What makes the yoga mat backpack somewhat different from the other types of backpack is that, the yoga mat holder is attached to the backpack. The idea of backpack also dates back to ancient times, used especially by hunters, who after cutting their prey into small pieces, wrap it into a bag and hang it on their back. The UK is also known to use the word backpack rather than rucksack. In some case, they do refer to hiking gears as rucksack.
There is really no difference between the backpack and the rucksack, it largely depends on the amount of things you are carrying. In conclusion, the term backpack or rucksack is based on the individual.