Have you been wondering what the best backpack for European travel is? Perhaps you’re finally ready to make that trip to Europe, but you’ve been having a hard time selecting a backpack.

Well, you are in the right place!

We have carefully reviewed a wide range of travel backpacks appropriate for European trips based on the most appropriate size, convenience, and overall performance. I’m talking about a backpack that will hold everything you need for your trip without being too big or bulky. 

Ready? Great. Let’s dive in!  

What are the best backpacks for European travel?

Best backpacks for European Travel: travel backpack
Credit: Amazon

In my view, the best backpack for European travel is comfortable, durable, and of course, spacious enough to fit your travel essentials. But how much space you need depends on how long your travel is. If you’re going for a short trip, say 3-5 days, then you need a small and lightweight bag like the North Face Recon backpack.

If you’ll be traveling for over a week, or more, then you need something larger (preferably not beyond 40L), while still being carry-on sized for airline travel, I’d recommend the Osprey Fairview/Farpoint pack, which has a 40L storage capacity and can fit a few weeks’ worth of travel gear.

But for those looking for a pack spacious enough for an extended period say three weeks or more, a large backpacking backpack like 45L+ that can fit even more travel gear is your best bet. In my estimate, the Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L pack is a good consideration.

However, if you do not like the idea of hauling a heavy backpack on your back for hours, I suggest you look into a backpack with wheels. Using a rolling backpack like the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler XT Wheeled Duffel will allow you to wander freely without feeling weighed down by your belongings.

Read on for more details…   

The best backpacks for European travel in this category are minimalist options for quick trips or weekend getaways. They are spacious enough to fit your needed travel essentials and much easier to maneuver in crowded places.

You won’t have to worry about your backpack getting caught on anything or knocking people over. Not to mention, it’s much easier to carry around in trains and buses without taking too much space on storage racks. 

Best backpacks for European Travel: EVERKI Atlas Travel-Friendly Backpack
Credit: Amazon

Summary: The Everki Atlas laptop Backpack is loaded with handy features and is great for digital nomads who travel with lots of techs.

The EVERKI Atlas Travel-Friendly Laptop Backpack is a great choice for European travel. It’s comfortable and practical, with features that help make your trip streamlined and efficient.

This backpack was designed with the active traveler in mind and is equipped with four spacious compartments, and organizational pockets for storing all of your travel essentials, from maps and guidebooks to your passport and tickets.

The external pockets include a quick access top pocket, zippered flap pocket, an innovative magazine sleeve, two water bottle pockets, and an organizer compartment. As a result, your water bottle, passport, pens, keys, cables, and more all have a designated spot to avoid you scrambling to find what you need in the security line.

There is even a dedicated technology compartment for a 17.3-inch laptop and tablet, while the main compartment is large enough to carry whatever you need both on planes and in hotels.

The Atlas is great for train, bus, and airplane travel.

It allows you to go through checkpoints without any hassle, thanks to the laptop compartment that unzips and lies flat, effectively making it one of the best backpacks for European travel. And since this is a moderately sized pack, you’ll find it easier to maneuver in crowded places, especially on trains and buses without being in the faces of other passengers.

Best backpacks for European Travel: EVERKI Atlas Travel-Friendly Backpack
Credit: Amazon

What we also love

The Atlas is well-constructed and includes a padded back panel and padded shoulder straps for added comfort. The five-point ergonomic strap system on the Atlas helps evenly distributes weight to avoid exhaustion while the strap management system prevents dangling or wayward straps.

The Everski has a padded grab handle that allows you carry it in your hand when you’re on a bus or train so you can avoid smacking somebody else with it when navigating tight quarters.

What’s more?

The bag comes with a lifetime warranty and includes a trolley strap that makes it easy to attach to your luggage when you’re traveling by plane. Plus, it’s stylish enough to be used as your everyday backpack, even when you’re not traveling.

What’s not great

The EVERKI Atlas Backpack is not great for extended travel.

While it may be fine for a quick weekend getaway, the central compartment is quite small and cannot pack more than a few days worth of clothing. Additionally, the bag which weighs 4 lbs when empty can be heavy when packed full and the water bottle pockets are a tight fit for larger bottles. 

Fjallraven Travel Pack

Best backpacks for European Travel: Fjallraven Travel Pack

Summary: The Fjallraven Travel Pack is stylish, functional, and comfortable.

The Travel Pack from Fjallraven is a fantastic backpack designed for travelers. It’s the perfect size for a carry-on and will fit everything you need without being too bulky.

It also looks comfortable and lightweight, which is great for carrying around European cities. The best part is that it’s made from durable G-1000 fabric, which can be treated with Greenland Wax for extra protection against the elements. This fabric is also eco-friendly and has the Fjallraven’s quality stamp, so you are sure it can withstand some wear and tear.

Also, this is one of the best backpacks for European travel that is spacious enough to fit most of your essentials.

You can pack a lot into this 35L bag.

The main compartment features a clamshell-style opening with several compartments and pockets to help you keep everything organized.

Also, there’s a separated and padded tech compartment with pockets that can fit a 15” laptop, tablet, documents, etc. so you can keep your devices safe from scratches. I like that this compartment makes it easy to go through TSA checkpoints because it opens for easy access.

Even better, the harness system of the Fjallraven Travel Pack is thoughtfully designed to provide optimum comfort and support. The shoulder straps are padded and adjustable so you can customize the fit, while the back panel is breathable, which is great for ventilation.

Credit: fjallraven.com

What we also love

The bag is streamlined, and it comes in a variety of stylish colors to choose from. Plus, the stylish design means you’ll look great when you arrive at your destination! Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, the Fjallraven Travel Pack is a great option for travels of all types. 

What’s not great

There are a few potential downsides to the Fjallraven Travel Pack for women. Firstly, it’s not suitable for carrying large or heavy loads – so if you’re planning on packing a lot of gear, you might want to look at another option. Secondly, the fabric shows marks and scuffs fairly easily, so it won’t look great after a lot of use.

And finally, there’s no side water bottle pocket, which can be a pain if you’re trying to stay hydrated on the go. Overall, though, it’s a well-made and stylish backpack that could be ideal for lighter loads and shorter trips.

North Face Recon Backpack

Best backpacks for European Travel: North Face Recon Backpack

Summary: The Recon backpack provides both functionality and style, making it a reliable and versatile option for European travel.

Coming in with a 30L carrying capacity and a weight of 2.5 lbs, the Recon is just the right size for carrying all of your essential items without being too bulky or cumbersome. It features three separate compartments, a big stretch pocket, and several interior pockets where you can easily fit gadgets, water bottles, and a change of clothes in the backpack, with room to spare for other items.

Additionally, there is a dedicated, highly protective 15” laptop compartment, an extra padded tablet sleeve, and fleece-lined pockets for sunglasses or electronics– very convenient features for both travel and everyday use. Also, the front of the bag features a bungee cord system meant for lashing external gear on.

This is also one of the best backpacks for European travel with the best ergonomic support for the wearer.

It features a hip belt and removable chest strap for added stability and load control. Compression straps help bring the weight closer to your body for a more compact effect. And on top of that, the harness system includes a heavily padded back panel and mesh shoulder straps with custom injection molded foam for extra comfort and ventilation.

All of these mean this bag would be easy to carry whether you plan to take it around 24/7 or just for a few hours.

And guess what? 

If there’s no designated place to put your luggage, you can easily carry the Recon on your lap or fit it under the seat in front of you, whether you’ll be traveling on a train, plane, or on bus.

Best backpacks for European Travel: North Face Recon Backpack

What we also love

Like most North Face bags, the Recon is made of a combination of high-quality 210D recycled nylon ripstop and polyester materials that will hold up well in a bunch. On top of that, it’s decently water-resistant and more than up to the challenge of exploring the outdoors around Europe.

What’s not great

There are a few aspects of the Recon that I find less appealing. The first is that it lacks structure and tends to fall over when you try to load and unload it. Also, a few buyers did not like that this bag does not perform well in the rain.

Without a rain cover or when in a heavy downpour, the content of your bag would be soaked through. Since this backpack is not waterproof, you may need an extra backpack rain cover to keep your gear dry in rain.

All in all, I recommend the North Face Recon backpack to anyone looking for a versatile and reliable option ideal for European travel.

AER Travel Pack 3 Small

Best backpacks for European Travel: AER Travel Pack 3 Small
Credit: aersf.com

Summary: The Aer Travel Pack 3 is sleek and well-organized for both daily use and travel. 

If you’re looking for a sleek backpack that will make traveling through Europe a breeze, consider the Aer Travel Pack 3 Small. This backpack is streamlined and well-organized, making it easy to keep your belongings neatly sorted and within easy reach.

Despite its minimal design, the organization is well thought out. 

And if you’re a tech enthusiast who wants the best protection for your devices, the Pack 3 delivers with a well-padded and suspended 16-inch laptop compartment that’ll protect your tech from the effects of accidental drops.  

Also, the bag features an expandable water bottle pocket, a hidden smart tracker pocket as well as quick-access top and side pockets that are perfect for holding your passport, boarding pass, sunglasses, or other small valuables that you don’t want to lose track of.

Its lay-flat main compartment allows for spacious storage and easy packing. Additionally, it comes with compression straps with magnetic fasteners to keep your belongings securely in place, which is important when trying to pack everything into a small bag.

And thanks to its lightweight design, you’ll barely notice the weight of this pack on your shoulders.

Made with durable 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon, YKK zippers, and Duraflex hardware, this is one of the most durable backpacks for European travel. Plus, the fabric is water resistant and durable, so you can rest assured your belongings will be safe even in the event of a sudden rainstorm.

Best backpacks for European Travel: AER Travel Pack 3 Small
Credit: aersf.com

What we also love

The AER Travel Pack 3 is one of the best backpacks for European travel that can also be used for business travels, weekend jaunts, and even as a daypack on trains and buses when compressed.

Why, it weighs 3.9 lbs, with a carrying capacity of 28L, which fits a few days’ clothes and your tech. And since it’s not so big, it’s easier to fit in the overhead bins of airplanes or trains.

You will also find it comfortable to wear.

The harness system features padded straps, a breathable back panel, a nice sternum strap, and load lifters for support and comfort. There are also handles on all sides, so you have lots of options for handling the pack in a crowd. Additionally, it features a lockable zipper design, a luggage pass-through as well a lifetime warranty to seal the deal. 

What’s not so great

A downside of the Aer Travel Pack 3 Small is that some users find it to feel a bit heavy and bulky when empty, so make sure to pack light. Additionally, the hip belt and rain cover need to be bought separately, which can be a bit of an inconvenience.  

Minaal Carry-on 3.0

Best backpacks for European Travel: Minaal Carry-on 3.0 backpack
Credit: minaal.com

Summary: The Minaal Carry-on 3.0 is a sleek and innovative travel bag that’s perfect for European travel.

The Minaal Carry-on 3.0, which is an improved version of the popular 2.0 bag, is one of the best bags for European travel, especially for the one-bag traveler or digital nomad.

This 35L bag is even sleeker and features more innovative features and tech-savvy organization. It features a shock-proof, dedicated tech compartment that lays flat and fits 16″ laptops & 11″ devices. This makes it easy to keep your electronics and other essentials neatly arranged and within reach.

It also comes with plenty of other compartments and pockets, so you can easily stash all of your essentials including an elasticated water bottle pocket, and a hidden valuable pocket for your passport.

Plus, the bag has a compression strap system that helps you keep everything organized and in place. And best of all, the easy clamshell packing makes packing a cinch!

You can easily access everything you need while on the go, making it a great choice for shorter trips or trips that involve a lot of packing and unpacking. And the external access to the bag’s main compartment makes it easy to grab what you need without having to unpack the entire bag.

Best backpacks for European Travel: Minaal Carry-on 3.0 backpack
Credit: minaal.com

Also, this is one of the best backpacks for European travel on the market, due to its 4-point harness adjustment system that makes it comfortable to wear around European cities. It has an adjustable chest strap and a sturdy grab handle that make it perfect for carrying on your back or in your hand.

The bag is also a carry-on complaint, so you can take it with you on any flight.

This is a bag that you can use for many years.

It is sustainably made with recycled yarn and a 600D Picton material that is very resistant to tears, abrasions, and water, so you can rest assured that your belongings are well protected while you’re on the road. Plus, the Carry-on 3.0 comes with a built-in warranty! 

What we also love

I like that this bag has minimal exterior branding and details while still being sleek enough to not appear flashy such that everyone knows you’re a tourist. The backpack/briefcase conversion feature is really handy, as this allows you to easily switch to the mode of carrying that’s most convenient for you.

Additionally, the lockable zipper prevents others from gaining unauthorized access to your belongings, and the free rain cover ensures your belongings stay dry even in inclement weather. All of these features make it the perfect travel companion for long trips or even just quick weekend getaways.

What’s not great

There are a few cons to the Minaal Carry-on 3.0 bag that I think could be problematic for some travelers. When the bag is loaded full, it can be quite heavy to carry around, especially if you’re planning to explore multiple destinations or do a lot of walking/carrying your belongings with you throughout the day.

Additionally, because it’s so big and floppy, it’s not the best choice for a daily carry bag – you might want something smaller and more structured.

The backpacks in this section are medium-sized and are under 40L. These are the best backpacks for European Travel that can count as carry-on luggage that fits into the overhead bin compartments of major airlines.

Osprey Fairview and Farpoint Pack

Best backpacks for European Travel: Osprey Fairview and Farpoint
Credit: osprey.com

Summary: A sturdy and spacious travel pack you can trust to carry your belongings to various continents, countries, and cities.

The highly rated Osprey’s Fairview & Farpoint backpacks are both great considerations for the best backpacks for European travel. This is because, with either of these babies, you get the organization of carry-on luggage with the ergonomic design of a hiking backpack.

Not to mention, they are one of the most popular travel backpacks on the market because they are very comfortable and versatile, with plenty of organizational features to help you stay organized while on the road.

Each bag can fit a 15” laptop, a tablet, two water bottles, and sunglasses, and comes with a capacity of 40L so you can pack as light as possible without the temptation to haul excess weight. 

They are both carry-on sizes with a dimension of 21 x 14 x 9 inches! And I have read reviews of actual people who have traveled with it on a bus, train, and even on airplanes.

Worried about comfort? Well, don’t be.

With the Farpoint/Fairview pack, you get the organization of a carry-on with the ergonomic design of a hiking backpack.

Each pack features a LightWire frame suspension and comfortable waist strap that takes the weight off your shoulders and transfers it to your pelvis so your back doesn’t feel the pressure. They both have a sternum strap to help spread the weight more evenly.

There is also a ventilated mesh back panel that helps keep your shirt dry in hot or humid conditions. Both packs come with a stowaway harness and hip belt that can be tucked away when not in use. And it goes without saying, you can’t go wrong with an Osprey bag. The pack is incredibly durable and can withstand beatings with being thrown from airplanes to cars, as well as being lugged around a plethora of different cities.

Best backpacks for European Travel: Osprey Fairview and Farpoint
Credit: osprey.com

What we also love 

The Fairview is designed specifically for women and has a shorter torso length and narrower shoulder width. The Farpoint on the other hand is designed for men.

What’s more?

Both come in two different color options and other sizes, so you can always go for what suits you best. And you’ll get to love either of these packs for a long time to come thanks to Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee.

What’s not great

There are a few disadvantages to the Osprey Fairview and Farpoint backpacks I think you should be aware of.

First, there is no added daypack like on the larger versions. This can be a bit of a pain if you want to carry additional gear with you on a hike or walk.

Also, the bag’s laptop sleeve is located at the front of this bag, which means that if you have a heavy computer, you may experience some discomfort when walking because the weight is not well distributed. Additionally, the compression straps can block access to the pockets on the sides of the pack.

This can be frustrating if you need to get to something quickly and can’t easily access it. All in all, the Fairview and Farpoint packs from Osprey are both very well-made with lots of positive reviews and ratings.

Nomatic 40L Travel Bag

Best backpacks for European Travel: Nomatic 40L Travel Bag
Credit: nomatic.com

Summary: The Nomatic Travel Bag offers the needed storage and carrying comfort for extended travel around Europe!

The Nomatic travel bag is one of the top-rated options backpacks for European travel. It has a lot of compartments and organizational pockets!

There’s a wide-opening main compartment for easy organization of your clothes, a shoe compartment, a water bottle pocket, and even a laundry bag to keep dirty clothes separate from your other items.

And for your tech, there’s a dedicated laptop and tablet compartment that lays flat to make TSA checkpoints a breeze! With a 40L carrying capacity, this is one of the best backpacks for European travel because it is spacious enough to fit items for 3-7 days trips around Europe! The bag also doubles as a carry-on since its 21 x 14 x 9 inches measurement and 3.42 lbs weight fits within most airlines’ size restrictions.

The Nomatic Travel Bag is comfortable to wear.

That’s thanks to the padded shoulder straps, a padded back panel, a chest strap, and of course, a waist belt that distributes the weight evenly across your body. Even better, the shoulder straps and sternum straps are adjustable so you can get a customized fit.

The Travel Pack is made from durable tarpaulin material with a water-resistant exterior that you expect will hold up well for a long time and also keep your belongings safe and dry. You should however note that while tarpaulin is sturdy, it’s quite sensitive and so accumulate scratches and marks over time that do not run away or disappear.

Best backpacks for European Travel: Nomatic 40L Travel Bag
Credit: nomatic.com

What we also love

The Travel Pack is easy to carry.

It comes with three handles: two by the side for when you wanna carry the bag as a briefcase or lift it into an overhead compartment and a thickly padded handle at the top when you’re just carrying or picking it off the ground.

This backpack can be carried as a duffel bag! Other amazing features include a hidden pocket for your valuables, a luggage strap in the back to attach to roller luggage, and a Nomatic lifetime warranty.

What’s not great

The Nomatic Travel Bag has its drawbacks.

When loaded out, it can get quite heavy and uncomfortable to carry because the shoulder straps are not densely padded enough, and there are no load lifters to prevent sagging. To mitigate this, I advise you use the hip belt if you’ll be wearing the backpack for a longer period for weight distribution.

You should also note that while tarpaulin material is sturdy, it’s quite sensitive and so accumulate scratches and marks over time that do not run away or disappear.

And finally, a 40L bag can seem too big for someone with a small torso. But all in all, this is a functional pack with an elegant minimalist design and lots of helpful features for life on the go.

Pacsafe Venturesafe Anti-Theft Carry-on

Best backpacks for European Travel: Pacsafe Venturesafe Anti-Theft Carry-on

Summary: The Pacsafe EXP45 gives you the peace of mind that your belongings are secured on your travel.

Looking for a versatile, and antitheft travel backpack that’ll help you travel with peace of mind in busy cities The Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45 ECONYL Travel Pack is the bag!

For one, this bag has a lot of features that make it theft-resistant so you can rest assured that your belongings are safe, from hotels to restaurants and on the road.

It features eXomesh Slashguard technology that makes it cut-proof, with slash-proof straps, lockable and puncture-resistant zippers, as well as RFID-blocking pockets to help keep your belongings safe while you travel.

The stitching and construction are designed to prevent anyone from slashing or cutting into your bag to steal your belongings. The bag also comes with a built-in locking metal cable that you can use to attach it to a fixed object, keeping your belongings safe from pickpockets and thieves.

The EXP45 is also one of the best backpacks for European travel with makes it perfect for travel. There is a padded 16” laptop sleeve, pockets for organization, several attachment points, and a clamshell opening for easy access to your belonging. And at 21.7 x 13.8 x 8.7 inches (HWD), it is roughly within most airline carry-on size requirements.

Best backpacks for European Travel: Pacsafe Venturesafe Anti-Theft Carry-on
Credit: pacsafe.com

What we also love

This popular bag can be carried as a backpack or briefcase. Plus, it comes in a variety of fun colors, so you can choose the one that best suits your style.

It’s also comfortable to wear, which is a plus.

The adjustable sternum strap and the adjustable, padded hip belt help make it easy to carry around all day. Plus the padded shoulder straps, and waist straps, can also be tucked away during transit.

What’s not great

Pacsafe’s Venturesafe EXP45 is far from perfect.

While the bag is made of water-resistant material, some users wished it was more waterproof or that it came with a rain cover. So you’ll need to buy one separately if you want to protect your belongings from the elements.

Finally, if you travel with lots of gadgets and gear, this may not be the best option for you as it doesn’t have a lot of compartments or organizational pockets like the Nomatic Travel Pack.

Overall, the VentureSafe EXP45 is an excellent option for those looking for a safe and secure pack to travel within Europe or anywhere else in the world!

COTOPAXI Allpa 35L Travel Pack

Best backpacks for European Travel: COTOPAXI Allpa 35L Travel Pack

Summary: The Cotopaxi Allpa is durable and loaded with features that make traveling with it a cinch.

The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack is an excellent option for the best backpacks for European travel. This pack features a sleek design and 35L of space for whatever adventure awaits you in Europe, be it exploring new cities or cross-country train tours with friends.

What’s more? This backpack is an internationally approved carry-on size (20 x 12 x 8 inches), meaning that you can take this pack with you straight on and off the plane, with no baggage claim required.

This bag is also organization friendly.

The clamshell main compartment features interior organization, complemented by padded laptop and tablet sleeves as well as many exterior pockets so every item has its storage. Also, it features compression straps to help keep items tight and snug.

Additionally, the fabric is tough enough to stand up to any terrain and is coated with thermoplastic polyurethane—making it very water-resistant. And if you want more protection, there’s also a removable rainfly in case of a heavy downpour.

The harness system is pretty amazing too.

It consists of contoured shoulder straps, a padded, removable hip belt, a breathable air mesh back panel, and an adjustable sternum strap. When you’re out for your adventure, I believe you’ll find the Allpa very comfortable to wear.

Best backpacks for European Travel: COTOPAXI Allpa 35L Travel Pack

What we also love

I like that this bag is available in many fun colors and has an elegant design that will make you stand out in any crowd! It also features multiple grab handles, theft-proof webbing sewn across the openings on all external zippers, and four lash points that allow you to carry even more gear.

What’s not great

The Allpa 35L doesn’t weigh that much, but once you start adding in all your belongings it can quickly become a burden. To avoid this, I suggest you pack light if weight is a problem for you.

Also, customers have complained that it seems this backpack is tailored for people on the shorter side with smaller builds, so it may not work as well if you have a large torso size. This is because the waist belt sits a little high off the hips of tall people, instead of being on the top of your hips. So, if you are tall and like using your waist belt, this is something you may want to keep in mind.

Additionally, the bag does not hold its shape unless it is full, so if you’re carrying around less stuff it can look quite saggy and unappealing. Overall, if you’re looking for a durable and well-made bag with a stylish design, the COTOPAXI Allpa 35L Travel Pack is a decent option.

Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack 35L

Best backpacks for European Travel: Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack 35L

Summary: The Tortuga Outbreaker can handle anything from weekend getaways to long-term travels.

The Tortuga Outbreaker is designed specifically for travel, with a lot of features that make it perfect for taking on planes, trains, and buses.

Measuring 22 x 13 x 8 inches, with a weight of 4.51lbs, the Outbreaker is a great carry-on standard size that fits in the overhead bin.

It has a 35-liter capacity, so it can hold everything you need for a week’s trip, including your laptop and other electronics, making it one of the best backpacks for European travel.

It features a front-loading, clamshell design that opens up wide like a suitcase with lots of mesh dividers, which means you can easily access your belongings without having to navigate through a maze of straps and buckles.

There is also a dedicated 17” padded laptop and tablet sleeve compartment, two water bottle pockets as well as plenty of organizational pockets to keep everything neatly sorted.

Best backpacks for European Travel: Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack 35L

The Outbreaker is not a comfortable unisex carry-on!

It features a weight-bearing hip belt and an adjustable harness system that can be customized to fit your body, which is great if you’re carrying heavy loads or traveling long distances.

Additionally, the load lifters and sternum strap help distribute the weight evenly, making it more comfortable to carry for extended periods. 

Plus, the contoured back panel, as well as padded straps, make it comfortable to wear even when loaded down with gear.

Best backpacks for European Travel: Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack 35L

What we also love 

The Outbreaker is one of those bags that won’t suddenly break down after just a few trips.

This bad boy is made with durable, waterproof sailcloth that is perfect for keeping your belongings dry and safe on even the wettest of adventures.

It features water-resistant YKK lockable zippers and Duraflex buckles and hardware that are built to withstand anything you throw at them. 

The lockable zippers also give you more confidence when traveling as it’d be much harder for others to get into your backpack without permission.

What’s not great

This backpack might be okay for short day hikes around European cities, but it’s not designed for multi-day hikes.

Also, some find that the hip belt is much too long and it becomes quite heavy when loaded with gear.

Nonetheless, the Tortuga Outbreaker backpack is a great choice for those looking for a high-quality bag that’ll last for years.

The best backpacks for European travel in this category are bigger-sized options for long-term city exploration or extended backpacking trips.

Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L

Best backpacks for European Travel: Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L
Credit: patagonia.com

Summary: The Black Hole 45L is a resilient yet classy backpack that will cater to all your adventurous needs. 

The Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L backpack is a great option for someone who wants a durable, reliable, and spacious backpack for their travels. It has a 45L spacious capacity that can fit items for many days’ trips.

The MLC 45L features a clamshell opening to access the main compartment, and you can use pouches, and cubes, or just arrange your stuff however you like. There’s also a well-padded and separated tech compartment that can fit a 17” laptop, with internal organization options to arrange smaller items.

And at the back of the bag is a pocket with zipping on one side that allows it to be used as a pocket or a hole for a luggage sleeve when the zip is opened. With a 3.64 lbs. and a dimension of 22.8 x 8.6 x 14.5, this large-sized bag still counts as a carry-on on some airlines.

This is also one of the most comfortable best backpacks for European travel. It comes with a chest strap, and an adjustable and removable sternum strap to help distribute the weight when you have a heavier load. And is thankfully crafted with padded shoulder straps and a fully adjustable harness to keep your shoulders happy throughout your trips.

Plus, it has a pocket where you can tuck away your shoulder straps for a streamlined fit.

The Black Hole from Patagonia is super durable.

It is made of 100% post-consumer recycled polyester materials with a DWR coating to make sure your stuff is protected if you do get caught in the rain.

And with durable construction details like YKK zippersDuraflex hardware, and recycled polyester with a PU coating lining, you know this pack is going to hold up to any sort of demand you can throw at it. Even better, the fabric used is bluesign approved, meaning it is sustainably and ethically made. And, since it’s from Patagonia, you can trust that it will last for years to come. 

Best backpacks for European Travel: Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L
Credit: patagonia.com

What we also love

The design makes it easy to carry around. It can be carried in three ways- as a shoulder bag, a backpack, and a briefcase.

The MCL 45L is also one of the best backpacks for European travel that you’ll love for years to come thanks to Patagonia’s lifetime warranties and a repair program.  What’s more? It’s versatile and can be used for a variety of activities, from traveling to hiking.

What’s not great

The major complaints about this bag are that the TPU material exterior scratches and scuffs easily, and the lack of structure makes it look floppy when not loaded out. But other than that, I would recommend this pack to anyone looking for a great all-purpose option.

Osprey Aura AG 55

Best backpacks for European Travel: Osprey Aura AG 55
Credit: osprey.com

Summary: Designed with the female frame in mind, the Aura AG 55 is a great choice for outdoor adventures or traversing through cities.

The Osprey Aura AG 55 is a great option for women who are looking for the best backpack for European travel that will provide them with ample storage space and comfortable back support. It’s specifically designed for women, so it takes into account things like different body shapes and sizes.

One of the best features of this pack is the Anti-Gravity suspension system. This distributes your load evenly and takes the strain off your back and shoulders. The mesh back panel also helps with ventilation, keeping you nice and cool even on long hikes.

No matter how tall or short you are, the backpack will always fit comfortably thanks to an adjustable hip belt and adjustable shoulder straps that can be customized to your body size.

In addition, its chest strap and two-side compression straps help stabilize loads. This backpack is ideal for long-distance hikes or extended backpacking trips.

Best backpacks for European Travel: Osprey Aura AG 55
Credit: osprey.com

Thanks to its 55L storage capacity, it can easily fit at least a week’s worth of gear. Plus, it comes equipped with numerous pockets and compartments (including a hydration sleeve) to keep all of your essentials organized and within reach.

There are plenty of pockets and compartments including a hydration sleeve that fits a 3-liter water bladder, a dedicated sleeping bag compartment, lash points, and gear loops to keep all of your essentials organized and within reach.

Even better, it features a front-loading panel for easy access to your gear and a top-loading lid that doubles as a daypack.

You can detach the lid and use it as a daypack on days you want to go extra light. Another great feature of the Osprey Aura AG 55 is that it has an integrated rain cover for when you get caught in a downpour.

What we also love 

The Aura 55 comes in an array of color choices and is easy to clean, with lightweight ripstop fabric. I like that this bag is available in different sizes (extra small, small, and medium), so you can go for the one that best fits your body structure. 

What’s not great

This backpack might be a good choice for someone who is looking for a lot of storage space, but it’s too big to be considered a carry-on bag. In addition, it’s quite heavy, which could be a problem if you’re looking for something easy to carry around.

The good thing however is that the Aura 55 is designed to comfortably carry heavy loads, making it the best backpack for European travel for weekend camping trips or extended backpacking journeys.

Osprey Aether 65 Pack

Best backpacks for European Travel: Osprey Aether 65 Pack
Credit: osprey.com

Summary: The Aether backpack 65 for men comes with plenty of features to make your trip more enjoyable.

This pack is designed to provide plenty of space and support for all of your gear, while still being light enough to make backpacking a breeze.

First, the Aether 65 has a massive internal capacity, which will easily accommodate all of your gear for even the longest backpacking trip. Additionally, it has plenty of pockets and compartments to keep things extra organized. 

For quick access, there are dual-zippered hip belt pockets, water bottle pockets, and a front “shove-it” pocket. Other noteworthy features include a sleeping bag compartment, hip-belt pockets, sleeping pad straps, compression straps, and attachment points for ice axes, tent poles, and more.

Plus, the pack is compatible with hydration reservoirs, so you can stay hydrated on the go. Also, the Aether is one of the best backpacks for European travel that is designed to fit a man’s frame.

It features a suspension system that evenly distributes the weight of your gear, making it more comfortable to carry over long distances. It is also equipped with a lightWire frame, which helps transfer the load of the pack to the hip belt for better weight distribution and comfy carry.

The bag has custom-fit shoulder straps so it stays put while the hip belt provides stability on your hips – no matter how much time passes or what adventure awaits! As you can see, the Aether 65 features several great features that make it an ideal choice for any guy who loves spending time outdoors.

Best backpacks for European Travel: Osprey Aether 65 Pack
Credit: osprey.com

What we also love

You will appreciate its durable and sturdy build.

It is sustainably made with high-quality bluesign approved nylon and PFC-free DWR coating for water resistance. And there’s also an integrated rain cover to protect your gear from the elements.

What’s not great

The downside is that this pack is quite bulky and expensive for the average explorer. It weighs in at almost a whopping 5 pounds, which is heavier than some smaller packs!

The price tag is also quite high, making it out of reach for many people. However, if you can afford it and don’t mind the extra weight, Aether 65 comes highly recommended if you’re looking for a high-quality backpack.

Yorepek 54L Travel Backpack

Best backpacks for European Travel: Yorepek 54L Travel Backpack
Credit: Amazon

Summary: The Yorepek Travel pack is for you if you tend to overpack or travel across the country now and then.

There are a few things that make the Yorepek stand out from other travel backpacks. First, it’s unusually spacious for its size.

At 54L, you can easily fit everything you need for a week-long trip in this pack. Additionally, the backpack comes equipped with 3 multi-compartment, and 20 different pockets, making it easy to organize your belongings.

The Yorepek is also great if you like to travel with your electronics.

This is because it has a 17-inch padded and shockproof laptop compartment and is TSA compliant because it has a lay-flat design that opens 90-180 degrees to help you through airport security in a breeze. And as one of the best backpacks for European travel, this extra-large bag can accommodate a range of items, thus great for travel, camping, or overnight trips.

Second, it’s quite comfortable to wear.

The thickened shoulder straps and padded back panel are designed to balance the pressure on your back, while the two side compression straps give the bag a snug fit. What’s more?The back panel and shoulder straps are well ventilated to help regulate back perspiration.

The Yorepek pack is made of sturdy polyester material and a water-resistant exterior that helps shrug off daily abuse.

Best backpacks for European Travel: Yorepek 54L Travel Backpack

What we also love

Aside from having an affordable price tag, the pack is available in six color options to choose from. And finally, it comes with a bunch of handy features like a luggage strap that lets you attach the bag to luggage, a convenient charging port, and an earphone port so you stay powered up even as you blast music to fuel the day.

What’s not great

The Yorepek Travel Laptop Backpack has a few downsides.

For a backpack this large, there is no chest strap or hip belt to help distribute the weight evenly. This means that the majority of the weight will be resting on your shoulders, which will quickly become uncomfortable.

Additionally, it may be too large for short people or for those with a small frame. However, this is one of the best backpacks for European travel that is not only very affordable but is also still a viable option for exploring a new city in Europe.

The Backpacker by Salkan

Best backpacks for European Travel: The Backpacker by Salkan
Credit: discoversalkan.com

Summary: The Backpacker is a 2-in-1 system bag that is practical, comfortable, and built to last.

If you’re looking for a great backpack to take on an extended trip around Europe, the Salkan Backpack is a great option. It’s a two-bag system consisting of the Mainpack and the Daypack, which are both designed to be comfortable and functional for long trips. 

The Mainpack has plenty of space for all your clothes and gear, while the removable Daypack is perfect for carrying your essentials with you on shorter hikes or days out exploring.

It’s perfect for carrying everything you need for 2+ weeks on the road.

The daypack alone has a 20 liters capacity that is big enough to fit everyday essentials while the main pack alone comes in at 45 liters which can hold days’ worth of supplies for longer trips. Both the main pack and daypack have a laptop compartment that can hold a 15-inch laptop.

Even if you move around with just one laptop, the daypack is a handy place to hide away important documents.

Additionally, there are a lot of handy pockets and compartments that make it easy to keep everything organized while on the go, including two water bottle pockets, expandable side pockets, and a hidden pocket for stashing away your valuables.

Plus, the bag is comfortable to wear, thanks to the well-cushioned back panel and padded shoulder straps. And should it get heavy, the removable sternum strap and hip belt are a nice touch. I also like that you can adjust the backpack to fit whichever height is appropriate for your body type.

And last but not least, the bag is made from high-quality and water-resistant 900D COTNA Polyester materials and YKK zippers that are built to last. If you’re looking for a reliable and comfortable backpack to help make your European adventure a success, the Salkan Backpack is an excellent choice.

Best backpacks for European Travel: The Backpacker by Salkan

What we also love

The Salkan backpack is a detachable daypack with tons of thoughtful features! There is a laundry bag, a hidden security pocket, an adjustable back system, and compression straps and a rain cover for heavy downpours!

You can also customize the design to your taste. Additionally, there is the option to change the accent coloring of the straps for the two packs. 

What’s not great

The Salkan Backpacker is not carry-on compliant, so if you’re looking to use this as your sole bag for travel, you’re out of luck. Combined, they take up too much space in the overhead bin, so you’ll have to check it. It’s also bulky when both bags are combined, so if you’re trying to pack light, this isn’t the bag for you.

Rolling backpacks give you the best of both worlds – a backpack and a piece of wheeled luggage.

In backpack mode, you can easily pull out the backpack strap and throw it over your shoulder for those walks through train stations, elevators, and other places where you’ll be going up and down stairs.

Wheels make it possible to effortlessly glide your bag over any surface, which is especially helpful when you’re traversing cobbled streets or long stretches of pavement.

Matein Rolling Backpack

Best backpacks for European Travel: Matein Rolling Backpack
Credit: matein.com

Summary: The Matein Rolling Backpack offers convenience and versatility.

The Matein Rolling Backpack is a great option for European travel because it is so convenient. The backpack has reliable rubber wheels and a retractable handle, making it easy to navigate busy streets and public transportation.

Rather than haul a heavy pack against your back, the rubber inline wheels allow you to easily pull the bag behind you, whether you’re taking the train, bus or walking in the city. And if you get to where there are lots of stairs, elevators or you just get of rolling it, you can always put it on your back and wear it like a backpack.

Also, it helps you avoid having to check your luggage, which can be a huge relief. With the dimension of 19.6 X 13 X 9 inches and weighing 4.8 lbs, the Matein is small enough to be considered a carry-on, you can save a ton of money (not to mention time and stress) by avoiding the checked baggage line altogether.

And if you would be traveling on train or bus, you will find that the Matein is also small enough to fit in the overhead space on trains and bus racks. Not to mention, the well padded handle makes it easy to lift into overhead bins or onto bus racks.  

Another reason why I think the Matein Rolling pack is great for European travel is because it’s small and lightweight, but still large enough to fit everything you need.

It features a 36L roomy capacity with 3 spacious compartments and pockets, including a built-in separate laptop pocket, which allows you to easily organize your clothes, and other travel essentials to taste.

Pickpockets are everywhere in Europe, especially in major tourist areas like Rome, Paris, and Amsterdam. This is why I like that the zippers in this bag are lockable, which makes it easy to store your belongings securely.

The Matein Rolling Backpack is made from high-quality polyester material, which is fairly durable and isn’t likely to break down on you during your trip.

And finally, the water-resistant material will keep your belongings dry in case of rain or spills, while the waterproof coating at the bottom will keep any puddles from splashing up and drenching your belongings through the bottom of the bag.

Whether you’re sightseeing or taking a day trip, the Matein Rolling Backpack will make your travels much easier.

Best backpacks for European Travel: Matein Rolling Backpack
Credit: matein.com

What we also love

The Matein backpack with wheels is stylish and comes in a variety of colors, so you can pick the one that best suits your personality.

This is also one of the best backpacks with wheels for European travel, which is so easy on the pocket.

Not to mention, the Matein is an Amazon favorite, so you can be safe in the knowledge that along with thousands of other travelers, you’re making a good choice.

What’s not great

If you’re looking for a rolling backpack to take along on your European travels, the Matein may be a decent option.

However, it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s a relatively small bag, so it might not be suitable for carrying everything you need for a longer trip. However, it’s not the most durable piece of luggage out there and probably won’t last more than a year or two if you use it frequently. 

However, if you’re just looking for something affordable, versatile, and stylish to get you from point A to point B without any hassle, the Matein Rolling Backpack might be a good option for you.

Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler XT Wheeled Duffel

Best backpacks for European Travel: Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler XT Wheeled Duffel
Credit: eaglecreek.com

Summary: The Cargo Hauler XT is incredibly durable and versatile.

If you need a reliable rolling duffel, I recommend checking out the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler XT Wheeled Duffel.

It’s super versatile and durable, making it perfect for all your European travels. Constructed with highly abrasion-resistant and water-repellent materials, this duffel can handle the wear and tear of travel.

I know that European weather can be unpredictable, but the Cargo Hauler XT is up to the challenge.

Its water-resistant exterior will keep your belongings dry, even if you encounter rain or snow. So, you can explore Europe without worrying about your stuff getting soaked.

Plus, the reinforced corner guards provide extra protection against damage from drags and drops. So, you don’t have to worry about your belongings getting damaged while you’re on the go.

One of the best things about this duffel is that it’s carry-on compliant, which is essential when traveling by air where size restrictions can be a major issue. You don’t have to worry about checking in your luggage or paying extra fees for oversized bags.

The Cargo Hauler XT is also incredibly versatile.

You can carry it like a backpack, wheel it around town, or hoist it up by its padded top haul handles. So, you can switch up your carrying style depending on your mood or the terrain you’re navigating. And the smooth and sturdy wheels make it easy to roll over cobblestone streets, which is a major plus in Europe.

Best backpacks for European Travel: Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler XT Wheeled Duffel
Credit: eaglecreek.com

What we also love

One more thing that I really appreciate about the Cargo Hauler XT duffel is its heavy-duty compression straps and 8 lash points. They provide the flexibility to attach additional gear to your duffel, which can be handy when you buy souvenirs or other items that won’t fit inside your bag.

You can simply attach them to the duffel using the straps and lash points.

Furthermore, the U-shaped opening of the duffel makes it easy to access your belongings without having to rummage through everything. Additionally, the duffel has multiple pockets and compartments, which helps keep your items organized and easily accessible.

What’s not great

The rolling duffel bag is quite heavy.

It can become difficult to handle, especially when lifting it onto overhead compartments or navigating uneven terrain. Moreover, when traveling around European cities, the weight of your luggage can really add up.

In my opinion, when you have filled the bag to its maximum capacity, the best course of action is to roll it. This will help reduce the strain on your arms and back, and make it easier to move around with the bag.


What size backpack should I take to Europe?

I would recommend a backpack around 35L-50L. If you want carry-on size, make sure the bag you go for is about 22″ x 14″ x 9″. Otherwise, something in the 35L to 50L range should suffice for most travelers’ needs. 

Another important factor to consider is the type of trip you’re taking. Are you planning on doing a lot of hiking and outdoor activities? If so, you’ll need a bigger 50L+ backpack to fit all your gear. But if you are simply planning on touring cities and doing some light sightseeing, a smaller backpack under 30L will suffice.

The best way to determine what size backpack you need is to first figure out what you want to bring with you. Make a list of the essential thing you think you’ll need for your trip, and go with the bag size that would fit these items.

Is it safe to travel with a backpack in Europe?

It is safe to travel with a backpack in Europe. However, there are a few safety measures to keep in mind when doing so.

First, take care of your belongings. There are many ways to protect yourself while backpacking in Europe such as staying in well-lit areas at night, carrying a whistle or alarm system, and being aware of your surroundings at all times.

Also, make sure that you have copies of your important documents, and keep your passport, spare credit card, spare cash, and other valuables in a safe place so you lose them or have them stolen.

Additionally, pack appropriately for the climate and terrain. Make sure to bring sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and water when necessary, and dress appropriately for the weather.

And finally, always obey the local laws and customs when traveling. If you take these precautions, you can minimize your risk and have a great time backpacking through Europe!

Do you need a backpack for Europe?

It depends on what you’re looking to do while in Europe. If you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing and walking, then I would recommend bringing a backpack with you as it will make it easier to carry your belongings around with you.

However, if you’re only going to be in Europe for a brief period and don’t plan on doing much traveling, then you may not need one.

How big of a backpack do I need for 2 weeks in Europe?

The size of backpack you’ll need will depend on several factors, including the type of trip you’re taking, and how many items you’ll need to pack. However, as a general rule of thumb, a medium to large backpack (45L+) will usually suffice for most two-week trips.

How do I not look like a tourist in Europe?

Is it better to travel with a backpack or suitcase?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question – it all depends on your personal preferences and needs. If you are traveling for a short period and don’t need to bring many belongings with you, a backpack may be the better option.

On the other hand, if you are going on a longer trip or need to pack more items, a suitcase may be more convenient. Also, if you’re the type of person who likes to be able to move around quickly and easily, without being weighed down by too much luggage, then a backpack is probably the way to go.

However, a suitcase has wheels, which means it’s much easier to transport than a backpack. No more getting tired arms from carrying your bag around!

Can you take a 40L backpack as a carry-on?

The answer is yes, you can take a 40L backpack as a carry-on. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, each airline has its regulations when it comes to luggage, so be sure to check with your specific airline before packing your bag.

Additionally, if your 40L backpack is packed to the brim, it may not fit in the overhead bin and would therefore need to be checked at the gate. If you’re worried about this, consider packing light or bringing a smaller backpack as your carry-on.

Is a 50L backpack too big for carry-on?

A 50L backpack may be too big to qualify as a carry-on for some airlines. Depending on the airline, the maximum size for a carry-on bag is usually between 45L and 55L. So a 50L backpack may be pushing it. Of course, it’s always best to check with your airline before packing to make sure you know their current guidelines.

How do I pack for 10 days in Europe?

Why do people backpack through Europe?

There are a lot of reasons why people backpack through Europe.

Some people do it to see the amazing history and architecture, while others do it to experience the different cultures and lifestyles. Others do it because they want to challenge themselves by hiking through the mountains, while others do it simply for adventure.

Also, some do it because they want to travel on a budget and see as many countries as possible. Plus, Europe is filled with beautiful scenery, interesting history, and charming towns and villages.

No matter what your reasons may be, there’s no doubt that backpacking through Europe is an amazing experience that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime.

What to Pack for Europe

Final Thoughts

The 17 best backpacks for European backpacks featured in this review are not only comfortable and durable but are also sized to fit different storage needs. 

There are options for short and long-term travel, as well as backpacks with wheel options for those who do not want to deal with heavy baggage.  Each one has its unique features and benefits, so be sure to read through the reviews and decide which one is right for you.

Have you ever backpacked through Europe? Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section. 

This article is not sponsored in any way by any company. These bags have been independently selected by myself and my team. And the only thing I receive is a small commission from our affiliate program if you buy any of them through the links and buttons on this page. It doesn’t cost you a penny. But it really helps me out as this money goes to paying for maintaining the website, editing software, my time, team and everything else that goes into preparing this post.

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