The best backpack for trips to Europe: 11 top picks Travel

Preparing for a trip to Europe goes beyond buying plane tickets and buying new outfits. Oh … you know that!

Well, you’re excited anyway and literally count until the day of departure and do everything to contain your excitement. Sure, it’s exciting and you can’t wait to pack your bags. But wait a minute … do you have the perfect travel backpack for your trip?

You took the time to prepare for your trip and you planned everything perfectly, but somehow you don’t seem to find the best backpack for trips to Europe.

This comes as no surprise given the avalanche of travel backpacks available and the selection has never been so confusing. If you feel like this, we have you and are here to help you find the perfect travel backpack for you. Grab a drink and let’s go!

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Why should you choose a backpack for your European trip: Backpack against trolley case

Hynes Eagle 42L Rolling Backpack Rolling Backpack Flight Tested Travel Backpack Hand Luggage Backpack Luggage, Black

What travel bag would you trust when packing for this upcoming trip to Europe to easily and comfortably guide you to all the exciting places you want to visit while keeping the content safe?

A suitcase with wheels seems to be a better option, after all, you can always pull it with one hand, right?

But have you thought about how easy it is to maneuver this rolling luggage on crowded city streets? What about cobblestones, stairs, escalators and can you quickly get on trains and buses while pulling a heavy suitcase?

Unfortunately not that easy.

How about if you feel like grabbing a snack while moving through a busy market?

With a hand pulling a suitcase, it won’t be easy!

If you travel with a suitcase on wheels, you do not have the freedom to use both hands during the entire journey. You can enjoy that with backpacks.

A backpack sits on your back while you do all street maneuvers and snacks without losing your breath over your luggage. Buying bus tickets or boarding trains is much easier if you carry a backpack. You just can’t ignore how mobile you can be with a backpack.

If you want to visit many places in Europe, it means that you are very mobile and have to carry your backpack with you. With a backpack this is much easier. So it’s a backpack and you will definitely have more fun traveling with one.

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Selection of the ideal European travel backpack

Get help choosing the best backpack for trips to Europe

Choosing to use a backpack for your European trip is one thing, and the ideal backpack for your trip is another. And the latter is much more difficult than you can imagine.

The market is flooded with many, many backpacks. There are different designs from different companies that promise to meet all of your needs. This makes the selection process very difficult. And the wrong choice can ruin your trip, no kidding. So how do you choose?

How do you find seven and the best backpack for trips to Europe through dozens of backpacks? Fortunately, you have this guide to help you make the decision. We have examined (in detail) the various functions that a backpack needs for your trip and found the best options for you.

What size is the best backpack for trips to Europe?

Backpacks come in different sizes, shapes, designs and colors. The most important considerations are, of course, the size and design of the backpack. By design I mean how comfortable it sits on your back and everything else that makes it great. When considering the size of the backpack, first think about how long your trip will take.

The backpack you travel with should be big enough to hold everything you need for the trip. This ensures better mobility and a smoother journey. A backpack is ideal for a two-month trip, but is not enough for a longer trip of more than 12 months. The longer you want to stay in Europe, the more things you have to carry and the more space you need in a backpack.

Second, you need to consider your primary mode of transportation. If you want to fly a lot, think about the free baggage allowance and the extra money you may have to pay. While hand luggage is allowed on international flights, the weight of the luggage you can take is limited.

Here is a breakdown of backpack sizes and what you can expect from each size range.

  • Under 30L: Backpacks in this size class are best suited for daypacks and quick overnight trips and are mainly used as pendulum bags.
  • 30L-35L: If you’re packing up for a weekend trip, you should look for this backpack size.
  • 35L-40L: Backpacks in this size range are too small for long trips that take several months, unless you are a super light parker and only take the bare essentials with you. It is ideal for a few days to a week-long trip.
  • 40L-45L: This is the backpack for a trip that takes several days and weeks. Fortunately, most airlines allow you to take a 45-liter backpack as hand luggage.
  • Over 45 l: If you are going on a very long trip and want to pack almost everything in your closet, you want something with plenty of space. Backpacks from 50L, 60L and maybe what you need. However, you should know that such a backpack size is not permitted as hand luggage on airplanes. If you want something big but you’re not sure what size it is, consider backpack designs that are expandable.

Think comfort when choosing your travel backpack

Carrying everything you need for a long trip on your back is certainly not as easy as it sounds, but that’s exactly what happens when you carry a backpack with all the essentials for a 6-month trip.

We talk about clothes, shoes, cosmetics, jewelry, books, laptops, mobile devices and what you have. This bag will definitely be heavy and you may have to carry it for hours. When buying a backpack, it’s easy to forget how comfortable the bag is on your back when you’re in a queue or going on a long hike.

If it sways from side to side, your shoulder will hurt like mad and that’s bad. If the bag causes back pain, you are facing a terribly long journey. The best backpack for trips to Europe has to be very comfortable to be efficient.

What properties make backpacks comfortable?

The ideal backpack was designed with the comfort of the wearer in mind. Here are the features to look out for in your European travel backpack.

Backpack straps and suspension system

The suspension system of a backpack largely determines how tight and comfortable a backpack sits on your back. A backpack suspension system includes all straps and straps that hang the luggage securely on your back.

For a backpack to be comfortable, the suspension system must serve two purposes. The first is to evenly distribute the weight of the backpack over the shoulder and hip, as this balances the weight of the load.

Second, the suspension system should allow the backpacker to move naturally without constantly feeling an uncomfortable mass behind them. Below are the straps you need to look for in a backpack.

Osprey Atmos Ag 65 Backpack, Rigby Red, Medium

Ergonomically shaped back wall and carrier

The best backpacks for trips to Europe are ergonomically designed and have a solid suspension system that distributes the weight evenly over the shoulders, back and hips, thus preventing shoulder or back injuries.

The shape of the back panel and shoulder straps contribute to how comfortable and easy it is to carry a heavily packed backpack. Backpacks with contoured and padded back parts offer more comfort and are easier to carry because the back parts are designed to match the natural shape of the human back. This immensely reduces the risk of back pain.

The shape of the shoulder straps also determines how well the backpack sits on your back. Backpacks are usually supplied with straight or contoured shoulder straps. Contoured shoulder straps are much better because, unlike straight straps, they follow the shape of the human body. Contoured shoulder straps are slightly curved or look like a flat S-curve.

Also take into account the width and thickness of the shoulder strap. Shoulder straps that are wide at the points that rest on your shoulders can better distribute the weight of the backpack, while narrow straps locate the weight at one point on your shoulders.

However, the shoulder straps should not be too wide, otherwise they will affect your mobility by brushing your arms while walking. This can be very uncomfortable. The padding on the shoulder straps also adds to how comfortable the bag feels when you hang on your shoulders. However, too much padding can mean more volume. Overall, moderation is the key.

Shoulder straps in hiking style compared to normal shoulder straps in a backpack

If you closely observe different backpack designs, you will notice the two types of shoulder straps. The first is the normal shoulder strap, which is sewn to the top seam line of the bag and hangs loosely over your shoulders. Then there is the hiking style shoulder strap.

The latter has been specially designed to fit your shoulders and forearms exactly. This prevents the backpack from swaying or detaching from your body, making it more suitable for large backpacks.

Eagle Creek women 40 liters, black, one size

Waist belts

The hip belts serve a purpose; Help transfer some of the weight of the backpack from your shoulders to your hips and legs. This is not necessary for small bags, but for heavy bags they make your life a lot easier.

Hip straps can add volume to a bag, but good hip bets shouldn’t be too bulky. If you are unsure, consider a backpack model with detachable waist straps so you can only use it when you really need it.

Load lifter

If you carry a fully packaged bag, you may want to purchase one with lifting straps. These are the adjustable straps on the top of the bag (on the shoulder straps). They help to secure the backpack properly and prevent it from swaying and falling off the body. Load lifters are very important for the correct weight distribution.

Sternum straps

These may seem more aesthetic than useful, but they actually help spread some weight off your shoulders. Sternum straps with rubber bands are less stiff and more flexible because they expand and contract as you walk to accommodate your body movement.

Osprey Atmos Ag 65 Backpack, Abyss Gray, Small

Ventilated mesh back panel

Walking against your back with a backpack can result in excessive friction and heat. This will make you sweaty. And if there isn’t enough ventilation to dry out the sweat, you’ll get a damp shirt.

If you travel with a backpack in hot weather, you absolutely cannot prevent yourself from sweating. However, if the backpack has a ventilated mesh back panel, your sweat will evaporate faster and you will stay dry and cool.

Ventilated backpacks have hanging mesh backs with air gaps between the mesh and frame. These air spaces allow your back to breathe and stay dry.

Quick access compartments

Accessing the contents of your bag, especially the little things while on the go, feels great and convenient. Your backpack should have several small compartments in which you can store things like the phone, face cloth, money, passport, devices, a biscuit, etc.

The best position for small zip pockets are the sides of the bag, so you can easily open and dip them without having to remove the bag. Some backpacks are also equipped with shockproof bags that have been specially developed for certain sensitive devices and mobile devices.

Protect your valuables with an anti-theft backpack

As a visitor traveling through the busy streets of unfamiliar cities, you will most likely stand out as a tourist and be the target of little thieves. Most countries have a fair percentage of unscrupulous people, and you want to make sure that they cannot get your things. An anti-theft backpack is the first step to protecting the contents of your bag from theft, especially small things like money, passport, and devices that are tempting for thieves with light fingers. Most thefts are opportunistic. While you cannot guarantee that this is not the case, do your part to prevent pickpockets.

What properties make backpacks theft-proof?

  • Slash-proof fabric: Theft-proof travel backpacks are made of slit-resistant fabric. This fabric (usually rip-stop nylon) is very thick and embedded with a steel mesh or reinforced webbing so that it cannot be slit or easily cut.
  • Internal secret pockets: While quick access pockets are ideal for a backpack, internal secret pockets are just as useful for hiding passports, documents and other valuables. Little thieves look for simple targets and grab and run. It is very unlikely that you will reach into your pocket in search of valuables.
  • Lockable and puncture-proof Zippers: Locked bags don’t attract little thieves, they skip locked bags for unlocked bags. A safe way to keep them away is to keep the backpack locked. You should either get a bag with a zipper with a combination lock or sturdy zippers that can be closed with a small padlock, or use cable ties to lock your luggage. The zipper is not only lockable, but also puncture-proof and weatherproof. YKK zippers are super strong and durable and are used by top travel backpack brands.
Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45 Anti-Theft Carry-On travel backpack, black

A few more important points to consider


A backpack with wheels gives you the flexibility to choose between carrying the backpack on your back or pulling it along. Wheels come in handy when you feel like taking the load off your back for a while, but they cost a bit.

First, the wheels add to the overall weight of the bag and make it a heavier backpack. Second, the wheels also take up some space, making the inside of the bag smaller than it should have been.

Top and side handles

You should never buy a backpack without at least one handle. If it comes with an upper and a side handle, it is even better. Sometimes you may just want to hold your backpack instead of carrying it, and a handle (especially a side handle) is very useful during these times.

Aesthetics and design

Backpacks come in different designs and colors, and you want one that makes you look chic. Extravagantly colored backpacks are more suitable for hiking and mountaineering than a business / vacation trip. You can’t go wrong with black, gray, or a solid dark shade.

Fabric and durability

Backpacks are usually made of very thick and hard-wearing fabric, mostly nylon. However, you still need to make sure that you check the quality and durability of the fabric before you make your final decision. When reviewing backpacks, you’ll see labels like Ballistic Nylon, Packcloth Nylon, Cordura, and Rip-Stop Nylon. These are very solid materials for backpacks.

Laptop compartment

Most backpacks are equipped with a padded laptop / tablet compartment. This feature gives you easy access to your laptop (without having to unpack the entire bag) while holding it securely.

Gender-specific backpack

There are backpack models that have been specially developed for men and women. These backpacks have functions that match the structure of the respective gender. For example, tailor-made female backpacks have a shorter torso length, a slightly narrow shoulder, and the contoured shoulder straps and hip straps are slightly more curved.

Through / drinking connection

This is a small hole in a backpack through which you can run a cable or a small wire. Through this hole you can run a cable that connects your power bank to your smartphone.

Pack the cubes

If you prefer to organize your luggage in small sections or keep certain things separately, you should use packing cubes. Packing cubes makes it much easier to access your things. You can find an item without spilling the contents of your bag.

Compression straps

If you don’t want to pack your bag full and don’t want to look bulky, use external compression straps to reduce the size of the bag. Some large backpacks come with multiple adjustable compression straps and are useful when needed. Inner compression straps are also great for keeping your things in place and maximizing space.

Waterproof backpack

A waterproof backpack protects your things from the weather. If you encounter drizzle or rain, you can be sure that your clothes, books and important documents are dry and safe. Alternatively, you can opt for a rain cover for your backpack. This may be the better option since no backpack is 100% rainproof. Some backpacks come with rain covers, but you can also buy one separately.

Top loading backpack against front loading backpack

There are two main types of backpacks, the traditional top loading backpacks and the front loading backpacks (also known as panel loading backpacks). Top-loading backpacks are mainly hiking backpacks, while front-loading backpacks are mainly for on the go.

The difference between the two-pack design is simply how they open. Hiking backpacks open with cords at the top, while travel backpacks can be opened like suitcases.

With front-loading or travel backpacks, it is much easier to organize your things so that they are easily accessible during a long trip, as they are designed for travel only. Unlike the top-loading or hiking backpack, which forces you to unpack the entire bag before you find what you’re looking for.

Between the two backpack designs, neither is better than the other, everything depends on the use and if they are used for the right purpose, both will serve you well. However, the best backpack for trips to Europe is certainly a travel backpack.

While these backpacks may seem ideal for the design purpose, they have their shortcomings (unfortunately, nothing is perfect). We’ll briefly outline the pros and cons of each pack design.

Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45 Anti-Theft Carry-On travel backpack, black

Advantages of front-loading backpacks

  • They usually have a zipped main compartment and several other smaller compartments where you can organize your things for easy access. They also come with compression straps to keep your things in place.
  • They have top and side handles to carry like a suitcase and straps that can be stowed away.
  • Many of them come with zippers that can be locked to keep thieves out and keep your luggage safe.
  • Since they are designed for travel, they are more stylish and elegant than hiking backpacks.
  • They’re usually not as bulky as hiking backpacks because they look elegant and business-like. Some look like suitcases.
  • Some travel backpacks have enough straps for even weight distribution, making them comfortable to carry.

Disadvantages of front-loading backpacks

  • Most travel backpacks are not as comfortable as hiking backpacks because they cannot be worn for long hours.
  • Unlike hiking backpacks, travel backpacks have fewer straps, making them less flexible and comfortable.
  • Travel backpacks do not take over the weight distribution as well as hiking backpacks.
  • To keep in the background, these backpacks are usually smaller than hiking backpacks and contain fewer things.
Oakley Men's Overdrive Backpack, One Size, Jet Black

Advantages of top loading backpacks

  • More comfortable to wear as they can be worn for long hours hiking in the forest and mountaineering.
  • They have more advanced suspension systems and offer better weight distribution across the corresponding body structures.
  • They are very durable. You can expect them to have a long lifespan as they are usually weatherproof.
  • You always have many pockets and compartments with many adjustable straps.
  • They are very versatile and can be used for hiking or traveling.
  • They are usually larger than travel backpacks and can contain many things.

Disadvantages of top loading backpacks

  • It can be difficult to organize your things and access them easily.
  • They always have a lot of straps that cannot be stowed, which is a disadvantage when flying.
  • These bags are usually larger than travel backpacks. They are usually too big for hand luggage.
  • Packing and unpacking a hiking backpack can mean a lot of work.
  • The drawstring opening is not very reliable to prevent theft.

Despite some disadvantages, front-loading travel backpacks are better for on the go. They practically contribute to a stress-free and successful journey. You can find what you need when you need it, and your belongings are safe and secure. Whether for your European trip or for every trip, a robust travel backpack is an excellent piece of luggage.

Best backpacks for trips to Europe – our top tips

1. Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45 Anti-Theft hand luggage backpack

Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45 Anti-Theft Carry-On travel backpack, black

The Light Packer – best for minimalists

In the world of travel backpacks, Pacsafe is the brand for organized, safe and anti-theft products. This is in the collection of stylish and safe backpacks Venturesafe 45L travel package It is a perfect hand luggage for long business or vacation trips of several months and offers all the premium functions of the ideal European travel backpack.

It opens like a suitcase and shows a spacious main compartment where most of your things can be kept. A smaller outer compartment offers more storage space, two zipped inner pockets and a padded laptop pocket (size for a 15-inch laptop). The suspension system includes adjustable shoulder straps, a chest strap and a hip belt so that you can carry your backpack comfortably during your trip.

When partially packed, external compression straps and stowable shoulder and waist straps keep your backpack slim and compact. The anti-theft design is made of an impact-resistant fabric with interlocking and puncture-proof zippers. The interlocking zippers can be snapped together and inserted into the Roobar anti-theft lock with the other zippers. This way you can lock multiple compartments with a single padlock.


  • Safe and theft-proof
  • Excellent hand luggage
  • Adjustable straps for comfortable carrying
  • Top and side handles
  • Very well built


  • The contents of the bag are somewhat difficult to access.

2. Osprey Farpoint and Osprey Fairview

Osprey Packs Fairview 55 Travel Backpack, Misty Gray, Small / Medium
Osprey Fairview is a female backpack

Hit the Road Jack – best for long-term travel

The Farpoint and the woman-specific Fairview are excellent travel backpacks with front loaders from Osprey. Both are equipped with the advanced straps and straps of hiking backpacks to ensure comfort and even weight distribution.

It is the perfect backpack for a long-distance trip that takes several weeks and months. Large lockable zippers give you access to the main compartment while keeping your belongings safe. There are mesh pockets in the main compartment for arranging smaller items.

Well-padded shoulder straps, rear wall and hip belts secure the backpack comfortably on your back and properly distribute the weight of the backpack over the corresponding body structures. All straps and straps can be stowed in a zipped compartment to give the bag a sleeker and more compact profile when traveling.

The Farpoint also comes with two front compression straps to keep the load balanced when walking. When you’re not carrying it, the well-padded top and side handles make it easy to carry. The Farpoint 55L comes with a detachable 12 liter daypack with padded laptop / tablet sleeve and scratch-free pocket and can be conveniently attached to the backpack’s main harness so you can carry both at the same time and comfortably.

The Osprey Farpoint and Fairview backpacks are available in different sizes. There are small, medium and large, so you are sure to find one that suits you perfectly.

How does the Fairview differ from the Farpoint?

Osprey Farpoint 55 men's travel backpack
The Osprey Farpoint is basically the same bag, but made for men

These two Osprey backpacks are the same model and look the same at first glance. The Fairview, the female version of the Farpoint, was developed to better match the anatomical characteristics of the female body. The differences are evident in the shape of the backpack straps;

  • The contoured shoulder straps of the Fairview have slightly deeper curves and more padding than those of the Farpoint.
  • The shoulder straps of the Fairview are arranged a little lower on the back so that the bag sits higher for better weight distribution.
  • The Fairview has a shorter hip belt with a lower curve.
  • The chest straps at the Farpoint are stowed in a small piece under the shoulder straps, while the chest straps on the Fairview are attached to the shoulder straps with a buckle.


  • Excellent for long journeys
  • Removable 12L daypack,
  • Advanced suspension system,
  • Double compression straps
  • Stowable straps
  • Padded top and side handles


  • Not many pockets for organization
  • Laptop bag in a removable daypack

3. Hynes Eagle travel backpack 40L

Hynes Eagle travel backpack 40L Flight Approved hand luggage backpack, light gray with 3PCS Packing Cubes 2018

The budget-conscious traveler – inexpensive backpack

These 40L Hynes Eagle travel backpack is an excellent hand luggage for a long trip to Europe, compact, light, well-made and offers all the functions you need for an ideal European travel backpack. It’s rectangular and opens like a suitcase to expose the main compartment, which is large enough to accommodate most of your things for a longer business / vacation trip.

This compartment also has compression straps to keep the content organized and intact. A second front compartment has several inside pockets and a thick laptop pocket for a 15.6-inch laptop. Dieser 40-Liter-Rucksack wird mit drei Packwürfeln unterschiedlicher Größe geliefert, damit Sie Ihre Sachen auf Ihrer Reise gut organisieren können. Für stressfreies und angenehmes Tragen sind die konturierten Schultern angemessen gepolstert und mit Brustbein- und Hüftgurten verstellbar.

Diese Gurte können verstaut werden, sodass der rechteckige Rucksack sehr kompakt und sachlich aussieht. Externe Kompressionsriemen bieten auch maximale Kompression, wenn die Tasche teilweise verpackt ist. Wenn die Rucksackgurte verstaut sind, können Sie sie mit dem gepolsterten Seitengriff wie eine Reisetasche tragen. Dies ist ein ideales Handgepäck für Flugreisen, da es in das Sitzabteil und den Stauraum unter dem Sitz des Flugzeugs passt.


  • Hervorragender Handgepäckrucksack für Flugreisen
  • Verstaubare konturierte Schultergurte
  • Beinhaltet 3 Parkwürfel
  • Sehr budgetfreundlich


  • Hüft- und Brustgurte sind etwas dünn.

4. Hynes Eagle 42L Rollrucksack

Hynes Eagle 42L Rollrucksack Rollrucksack Fluggeprüfter Reiserucksack Handgepäck Rucksack Gepäck, Schwarz

Du siehst mich rollen – bester Rucksack

Wenn Sie einen Rucksack und einen Koffer in einem haben möchten, ist dies eine hervorragende Option für Sie. Es ist ein idealer Hybrid-Kofferrucksack für jede Reise oder Auslandsreise, sei es geschäftlich, im Urlaub oder im Abenteuer. Dieser 42L Rollrucksack ist stilvoll gestaltet und verfügt über ein großes Hauptfach, das sich wie ein Koffer öffnet.

Sie finden auch ein vorderes Reißverschlussfach mit mehreren Innentaschen für Ordnung und eine abnehmbare Laptoptasche für bis zu 17-Zoll-Laptops und 10,5-Zoll-Tablets. Auf der Außenseite befinden sich vier Kompressionsriemen, die den Beutel kompakt halten, wenn er teilweise verpackt ist.

Das Rucksackdesign besteht aus konturierten Schultergurten, einem Brustgurt und einem verstellbaren Hüftgurt. All dies trägt zur Stabilisierung des Rucksacks und zur Gewichtsbalance bei. Während das Rollenkoffer-Design einen Einrohr-Teleskopgriff und glatt rollende Räder hat.

Die Räder können bei Verwendung als Rucksack leicht in einer Radkappe verstaut werden. Verstaubare Rucksackgurte und -räder ermöglichen einen einfachen Übergang zwischen einem tragbaren Rucksack und einem Rollgepäck.


  • Hervorragender Handgepäckrucksack und Rollenkoffer
  • Versteckbare Radabdeckung
  • Verstaubare konturierte Schultergurte
  • Abnehmbare gepolsterte Laptop- / Tablet-Hülle
  • Akzeptabler Preis


  • Der Taillenriemen ist nicht stark genug

Andere ausgezeichnete Rucksäcke für europäische Reisen

5. Eagle Creek Global Companion Reiserucksack

Eagle Creek Damen 40 Liter, Schwarz, Einheitsgröße

Dies ist ein weiterer Frontlader-Reiserucksack, der alle Ihre Reiseanforderungen erfüllt. Der Global Companion-Reiserucksack verfügt über hervorragende Schultergurte und einen Gurt zum Ausgleich des Gewichts, wodurch er sehr bequem und leicht zu tragen ist. Es hat einen bequemen Hüftgurt mit Außentasche, robuste abschließbare Reißverschlüsse zur Sicherung Ihrer Sachen und eine Regenhülle. Es verfügt auch über Fächer zum Organisieren Ihrer Sachen, eine Laptoptasche, ein spezielles Schuhfach am Boden der Tasche und viele Organisationstaschen vor der Tasche.

6. Tortuga Setout Reiserucksack

Setout Reiserucksack Damen Passform: 45L Maximaler Handgepäckrucksack (schwarz)

Ein weiterer ausgezeichneter Budget-Rucksack für Reisende ist der Tortuga Setout. Dieser Reiserucksack wurde hauptsächlich für Reisen in die Stadt entwickelt und eignet sich daher für Abenteuer- und Urlaubsreisen. Es bietet viele aufregende Funktionen, die Sie von einem Premium-Rucksack erwarten, aber der Preis passt gut zu Ihrem Reisebudget. It features comfortable shoulder straps, load lifter straps, stowable hip belt with two zippered quick access pockets, and a ventilated back panel with proper padding. All the straps can be neatly tucked away, Tortuga Setout has 35L and 45L models.

7. Osprey Aura AG / Osprey Atmos AG 65

Osprey Atmos Ag 65 Backpack, Rigby Red, Medium

If you’ll pick size and comfort over organization and easy access to your stuff, then the Osprey Aura (for ladies) or Atmos (for men) is for you. This is a hiking-style top-loading backpack specially designed to contain a lot and be worn for hours. It has an excellent suspension system which allows it to sit on your back for long hours without getting awkward or too cumbersome. You also get zippered quick-access pockets on the hip belt and a removable floating top lid which you can use to lighten your load. Osprey Aura is the specially designed female version of the Atmos.

8. Lightweight Aveler 50L Unisex Backpack

Aveler 50L Unisex Lightweight Internal Frame Backpack; High-Performance Backpack with Rain Cover for Travel, Hiking, Camping - Gray

Aveler unisex backpack is one designed for versatility. It’s great for business travel, holiday getaway, hiking, camping, and other overnight outdoor activities. The massive 50L capacity is enough to contain everything you’ll need for a long trip of several weeks to months. This multifunctional backpack has a main compartment which locks with an elastic drawstring, a padded laptop pouch, adjustable contoured shoulder straps, adjustable compression straps for binding your belongings and a ventilated-mesh back panel. It’s also lightweight, water-resistant and scratch-proof.

9. WITZMAN Vintage canvas Backpack

WITZMAN Canvas Backpack Vintage Travel Backpack Large Laptop Bags Convertible Shoulder Rucksack (A519-1 Brown)

Another versatile travel backpack is the Witzman backpack. It’s made from high-quality canvas with a very roomy main compartment and heavy-duty zippers to keep its contents secure. It comes with a plethora of pockets for organizing everything you’ll need for a trip, be it an overnight trip, weekend getaway, camping, hiking, or a long-haul trip. This vintage canvas backpack is beautifully-made with excellent straps for easy wear and comfort, there are also compartments for tucking away the straps. It’s an excellent carry-on.

10. Samsonite Large Wheeled Backpack

Samsonite Large Wheeled Laptop Backpack in Black

This is a simple integration of a backpack and a roller suitcase, the Samsonite large wheeled backpack provides the flexibility of a backpack coupled with the easy mobility of a wheeled suitcase. It’s excellent for both short and extended business trips, and adventure travel. This travel backpack has two large compartments with inner pockets for organization, a removable laptop sleeve, and zippered quick-access pockets for frequently used articles. It’s durable inline skate wheels and a mono-tube telescoping handle ensures suitcase-like mobility, while contoured shoulder straps make it a wearable backpack. When in use as a backpack, the mono-tube handle can be stowed inside a protective zipper compartment.

11. Standard Luggage Co. Flight Approved Travel Backpack

35L Flight Approved Travel Backpack for Air Travel | Carry-on Sized with a Laptop Pocket by Standard Luggage Co.

The Standard Luggage Co. flight approved backpack is a 35L minimalist travel backpack and an excellent carry-on for airline travel. It’s a front-loading backpack with an expandable main compartment with compression straps for keeping things organized, a removable laptop sleeve and two exterior pockets. It has a top and side handle, with these it can act as a carry-on backpack, a suitcase and a duffle bag. It also has a roll-aboard strap for attaching it to a rolling luggage and a rain cover for extra protection from the elements.


What is the ideal backpack size for an long trip?

Backpacks of 45L and 50L are perfect for extended trips of several weeks to months and anything bigger than 65L is way too big for travel. If you’ll be traveling for more than 8 days, you’ll need to do laundry. If you’re willing to pack light and do laundry, then the length of the trip will not really matter. You don’t need to carry your entire closet on your back. Pack only essentials in a carry on backpack, and do laundry every few weeks.

Can I take a hiking backpack for a carry-on?

Yes, a hiking backpack can be used as carry-on for an airline trip but its weight and size has to be within the carry-on luggage limitations of airlines. Since airlines have different restrictions for carry-on luggage, you’ll have to do a little research to find out if your hiking backpack is within the recommended carry-on weight and size. And it’s even better to weigh and measure your bag at home before arriving at the airport.

What size of backpack can you take on a plane?

The standard carry-on backpack size for most airlines is 45L. But the permitted weight of carry-on luggage varies from airline to airline. Some of them allow between 25-50 pounds, however, if you’re flying a budget airline, expect tighter restrictions.

Will a travel backpack fit under an airplane seat?

Only bags categorized as personal items can comfortably fit under an airplane seat. If your backpack exceeds an airline’s size and maximum dimension for a personal item, then it may not fit under the seat. Unfortunately, airlines don’t advertise the amount of space under their airplane seats, but a carry-on backpack within 22 x 14 x 9 inches, including side pockets, handles/straps, and wheels will likely fit under an airplane seat. You also have to remember that under-seat space on airlines actually vary from seat to seat, so only soft-sided backpacks that are easily compressed will fit in if the space is tight.

Is there a difference between men and women’s backpacks?

Although male and female backpacks look the same at first glance, they do have a few differences in the shapes of the straps. The straps on women’s backpacks are designed to adapt to the smaller body frame and slight anatomical difference between the two genders.
Contoured shoulder straps: the shoulder straps on women’s backpacks are more slightly more curved into the body then moved out at the bottom. This is more comfortable for smaller body frames of women.
Hip belts: the hip belts on female-specific backpacks are shorter and curve a little deeper than those found on men’s backpacks. Again, this is designed to snugly fit the smaller body frame of women.
Size and torso length: female-specific backpacks are slightly smaller and have a shorter torso length and narrower shoulder than male-specific backpacks.

Wrap up

So, there you have it, our top travel backpacks for traveling to Europe. You won’t go wrong with any backpack on this page because they check all the boxes for an ideal travel backpack.

The Osprey Farpoint and female version Fairview are our top picks for very good reasons. First, they were designed with the comfort of the wearer in mind, they’re secure, durable, versatile, stylish, and big enough to contain all your essentials for a long-haul trip to Europe.

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