The Best Backpack for Traveling to Europe: 11 Top Picks

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

Well, you’re thrilled anyways and literally counting down to the departure day, and doing all you can to contain your excitement. Sure, it’s exciting and you can’t wait to pack your bags. But, wait a minute…have you got the perfect travel backpack for your trip? 

You’ve taken time to prepare for your trip and you’ve perfectly planned everything, but somehow you can’t seem to find the best backpack for traveling to Europe.

This is no surprise considering the avalanche of travel backpacks available and making a pick has never been so confusing. If this is how you feel, we’ve got you and we’re here to help you find the perfect travel backpack for you. Grab a drink and let’s go! 

Why choose a backpack for your European travel: Backpack vs Rolling suitcase 

Hynes Eagle 42L Rolling Backpack Wheeled Backpack Flight Approved Travel Backpack Carry on Luggage Backpack Luggage, Black

While packing up for that imminent trip to Europe, which travel bag would you trust to easily and comfortably accompany you to all the exciting places you intend to visit while keeping its content secure?

A wheeled suitcase may seem like a better option, after all you can always drag it along with just one hand, right? 

But have you considered how easily you can maneuver that rolling luggage on crowded city streets? What of cobblestones, stairs, escalators, and can you quickly get on trains and buses while dragging a heavy suitcase?

Not so easy, unfortunately.

How about when you feel like grabbing a snack while making your way through a bustling market? 

With one hand dragging a suitcase, it’s not gonna be easy!.

Traveling with a wheeled suitcase means you won’t have the freedom of using both hands throughout the trip. That’s something you can enjoy with backpacks. 

A backpack sits on your back while you make all the street maneuvering and snack-grabbing without losing a breath over your luggage. Buying bus tickets or boarding trains are much easier when you’re carrying a backpack, you simply cannot ignore how mobile you can be with a backpack. 

If you intend to visit a lot of places while in Europe, it means you’ll be very mobile and your pack will have to tag along, this is so much easier with a backpack. So a backpack it is, and you’ll definitely have more fun traveling with one.

Click -> here <- to skip all the helpful information go straight to the awesome backpacks

Choosing The Ideal European Travel Backpack 

Get help choosing the best backpack for traveling to Europe

Deciding to use a backpack for your European travel is one thing, finding the ideal backpack for your trip is another. And the latter is a lot more difficult than you can imagine.

The market is flooded with lots and lots of backpacks, there are different designs from different companies promising to satisfy all your needs, this makes the selection process very dicey. And the wrong choice can ruin your trip, no kidding. So, how do you choose? 

How can you sieve through dozens of backpacks and zero in on that one best backpack for traveling to Europe? Thankfully you have this guide to help you decide, we explored (in detail) the various features a backpack must have to be ideal for your trip and came up with very best options for you. 

What size is the best backpack for traveling to Europe?

Backpacks come in different sizes, shapes, design and color. Of course, the most important considerations are the size and design of the backpack. By design, I mean how comfortably it sits on your back and everything else that makes it great. While thinking of the size of the backpack, first consider how long your trip will last. 

The backpack you travel with should be big enough to contain everything you need for the trip, this will make for better mobility and a smoother trip. A backpack may be great for a 2-month trip but not enough for an extended trip of 12 months plus. The longer you plan to stay in Europe the more things you’ll need to carry, and therefore the more space you’ll need in a backpack. 

Secondly, you’ll have to consider your primary means of transport. If you intend to do a lot of flying, think of airline luggage allowance and the extra money you may have to pay. While international flights allow carry-on luggage, there are limits to the weight of the luggage you can carry.

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

  • Below 30L: backpacks in this size range are best suited for daypacks and quick overnight trips, and they’re mostly used as commuter bags. 
  • 30L-35L: if you’re packing up for a weekend trip, then this size of backpack is what you should look for.  
  • 35L-40L: backpacks in this size range are too small for long trips lasting for several months, except if you’re a super-light parker and take only essentials. It’s ideal for a few days to a week-long trip. 
  • 40L-45L: this is the backpack for a trip that’ll last for several days and weeks. Fortunately, most airlines will allow you to carry a 45L backpack as a carry-on luggage. 
  • Over 45L: if you’re going on a very long trip and would like to pack almost everything in your closet, you’d want something with lots of space. Backpacks of 50L, 60L and above, maybe what you need. But you should know that such backpack size cannot be allowed as a carry-on luggage on airplanes. If you want something big but unsure of the exact size, consider backpack designs that are expandable.

While choosing your travel backpack, think comfort

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

We’re talking about clothes, shoes, cosmetics, jewelries, books, laptops, mobile devices and what have you. That bag will definitely be heavy and you may have to carry it for hours. While buying a backpack, it’s easy to forget to consider how comfortable the bag will be on your back when you’re standing on a queue or doing a long trek. 

Will it sway from side to side, this will make your shoulder hurt like crazy and that’s bad. Also, if the bag makes your back ache, then you’re in for an awfully long trip. The best backpack for traveling to Europe has to be very comfortable to be efficient.

What features make backpacks comfortable?

The ideal backpack is 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 determines, to a large extent, how snug and comfortable a pack will sit on your back. A backpack suspension system includes all straps and harnesses that securely hangs the luggage on your back. 

For a backpack to be comfortable, the suspension system must be designed to serve two purposes. The first is to evenly distribute the weight of the pack between the shoulder and hips as this offsets the weight of the load. 

Secondly, the suspension system should permit the backpack wearer to naturally move around without constantly feeling an awkward bulk behind. Below are the straps to look for in a backpack.

Osprey Atmos Ag 65 Backpack, Rigby Red, Medium

Ergonomically designed back panel and straps

The best backpacks for traveling to Europe are ergonomically designed with a solid suspension system that evenly distributes weight between the shoulders, back and hips, preventing a shoulder or back injury. 

The shape of the back panel and shoulder straps contribute to how comfort and easy it is to carry a heavily packed backpack. Backpacks with contoured and padded back panels provide more comfort and are easier to carry as the back panels are designed to conform to the natural shape of the human back, this immensely reduces the risk of back pain. 

The shape of the shoulder straps also determine how well the pack will sit on your back. Backpacks generally come with either straight or contoured shoulder straps. Contoured shoulder straps are much better because they’re designed to follow the shape of the human body, unlike the straight straps. Contoured shoulder straps are slightly curved or look like a shallow S-curve. 

Also consider the wide and thickness of the shoulder strap. Shoulder straps that are wide at the points that rest on your shoulders are better able to distribute the weight of the pack, while narrow straps localize the weight on a point on your shoulders. 

However, the shoulder straps shouldn’t be too wide, else they impede your mobility by brushing your arms as you walk, this can be very uncomfortable. Padding in shoulder straps also contributes to how comfortable the bag feels while hanging on your shoulders, though too much padding can mean more bulk. In all, moderation is key. 

Hiking style shoulder straps vs normal backpack shoulder straps

If you closely observe different backpack designs, you’ll 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 loosely hangs over your shoulders. Then, there is the hiking-style shoulder strap. 

The latter is specially designed to snugly fit your shoulders and underarms, this prevents the pack from swaying or pulling away from your body, making them better-suited for large backpacks. 

Eagle Creek Women's 40 Liter, Black, One Size

Hip belts

The hip belts are there to serve one purpose; help transfer some of the pack’s weight from your shoulders to your hips and legs. This is quite unnecessary for small bags, but for heavy bags they’ll make your life a lot easier. 

Hip belts can add bulk to a bag, however good hip bets shouldn’t be too bulky. If this is something you’re unsure, consider a backpack model with detachable hip belts, so you can use them only when you absolutely need to.   

Load lifters

If you’re going to be carrying a fully packed bag, you may want to get one with load lifter straps. These are the adjustable straps found at the top of the bag (on the shoulder straps), they help to properly secure the pack and prevent it from swaying and falling away from your body. Load lifters are very important for proper weight distribution. 

Sternum straps

These may seem more aesthetic than useful, but they actually help distribute some weight away from your shoulders. Sternum straps with elastic bands are less rigid and more flexible because as you walk they expand and contract to accommodate your body movement.

Osprey Atmos Ag 65 Backpack, Abyss Grey, Small

Ventilated-mesh back-panel

Walking with a backpack against your back can create a lot of friction and heat, this will make you sweaty. And if there isn’t enough ventilation to dry up the sweat, you’ll end up with a damp shirt. 

If you’re traveling with a backpack in hot weather there’s absolutely no way to prevent yourself from sweating. But if the backpack has a ventilated-mesh back panel, your sweat will evaporate faster leaving you dry and cool. 

Ventilated backpacks have suspended mesh backs with air gaps between the mesh and the frame, these air spaces allow your back to breath and stay dry.    

Quick access compartments

Having access to the contents of your bag, especially the small stuff, while on-the-go feels great and convenient. Your backpack should have multiple small compartments for storing things like your phone, face towel, money, passport, gadgets, a cookie, etc. 

The best position for small zipped-pockets are by the sides of the bag, so you can easily unzip and dig in without having to remove the bag. Some backpack also come with shock-proof pockets uniquely designed for certain sensitive gadgets and mobile devices.

Protect your valuables with a theft-proof backpack

As a visitor traveling through the busy streets of unfamiliar cities, you’ll most likely stand out as a tourist and be the target of petty thieves. Most countries have their fair share of unscrupulous individuals and you want to make sure such people can’t get to your stuff. Having a theft-proof backpack is the first step towards protecting the contents of your bag from theft, especially little things like money, passport, gadgets, which are tempting for light-fingered thieves. Most thefts are opportunistic, so while you can’t guarantee it won’t happen do your part to deter pickpockets.

What features make backpacks theft-proof?

  • Slash-Proof Fabric: anti-theft travel backpacks are made of slash-proof fabric. This fabric (usually rip-stop nylon) is very thick and embedded with a steel mesh or reinforced webbing, so they can’t be slashed or easily cut. 
  • Internal Secret Pockets: while quick access pockets are ideal for a backpack, internal secret pockets are equally very useful for hiding away passports, documents and other valuables. Petty thieves look for easy targets then grab and run, it’s very unlikely that one will dig into your bag in search of valuables.
  • Lockable and Puncture-resistant Zippers: locked bags do not attract petty thieves, they will skip locked bags for unlocked bags. So a sure way to keep them away is by keeping your backpack locked. You should either get a bag with combination lock zippers or sturdy zippers that can be locked with a small padlock or use cable zip ties to lock your luggage.  In addition to being lockable, the zipper should also be puncture-resistant and weather-proof. YKK zippers are super-strong and durable and top travel backpack brands use them. 
Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45 Anti-Theft Carry-On Travel Backpack, Black

A few more key points for consideration

Wheels

A backpack with wheels gives you the flexibility of choosing between carrying the pack on your back or dragging it along. Wheels come in handy when you feel like getting the load off your back for a little while, but they come at a cost. 

First, the wheels add to the overall weight of the bag making it a heavier backpack to wear. 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 a top and side handle then it’s even better. Sometimes you may want to just hold your backpack instead of wearing it, and in those times a handle (especially, a side handle) will be very useful.

Aesthetics and design

Backpacks come in different designs and colors, and you do want one that’ll make you look smart. Flamboyantly colored backpacks are better suited for hiking and mountain-climbing than a business/vacation trip. You can never go wrong with black, gray, or a solid dark shade.

Fabric and durability

Backpacks are usually made from very thick and durable fabric, mostly nylon. But you still have to be sure you check the quality and durability of the fabric before you make your final choice. When checking backpacks, you’ll see labels like Ballistic Nylon, Packcloth Nylon, Cordura, Rip-stop Nylon, these are very solid materials for backpacks. 

Laptop compartment

Most backpacks come with a padded laptop/tablet compartment. Go for that gives you easy access to your laptop (without you having to unpack the entire bag) while securely holding it in place. 

Gender-specific backpack

There are backpack models that are specially designed for men and women. These backpacks have features that fit the structure of the particular gender it’s designed for. For instance, tailor-made female backpacks have shorter torso length, slightly narrow shoulder, and the contoured shoulder straps and hip belts are a tad more curved.

Pass-through/hydration port

This is a small hole in a backpack that allows you to pass a cable or a small wire through it. You can pass a cable that connects your power bank to your smartphone via this hole. 

Packing cubes

If you prefer to keep your luggage organized in small sections or keep certain things separate, consider using packing cubes. Packing cubes will make access to your stuff much easier, you can find an item without having to spill the contents of your bag.  

Compression straps

In case you don’t pack your bag to full capacity and you don’t want it looking bulky, you use external compression straps to reduce the size of the bag. Some big backpack come with several adjustable compression straps, and they are useful when needed. Interior compression straps are also great for keeping your belongings in place and maximizing space. 

Water-resistant backpack

A water-resistant backpack will protect your stuff from the elements. If a drizzle or rain meets you, you’ll be sure 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 because no backpack is 100% rain-proof. Some backpacks come with rain covers, but you can also buy one separately.

Top-loading backpack vs Front-loading backpack

There are two major types of backpacks, the traditional top-loading backpacks and the front-loading (also called panel-loading backpacks). Top-loading backpacks are majorly hiking-style backpacks while the front-loading backpacks are primarily for traveling. 

The difference between the two pack design is simply how they open. Hiking-style backpacks are designed to open at the top using drawstrings while travel backpacks are designed to unzip like suitcases. 

With front-loading or travel backpacks, it’s much easier to keep your belongings organized for easy access during a long trip because they’re designed solely for travel. Unlike the top-loading or hiking backpack where you’re forced to unpack the entire bag before you’ll find what you’re looking for. 

Between the two backpack designs, no one is actually better than the other, it all depends on usage and when used for the right purpose they’ll both serve you well. However, the best backpack for traveling to Europe is certainly a travel backpack.

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

Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45 Anti-Theft Carry-On Travel Backpack, Black

Pros of front-loading backpacks

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

Cons of front-loading backpacks

  • Most travel backpacks are not as comfortable as hiking backpacks since they aren’t designed to be worn for long hours.
  • Unlike hiking backpacks, travel backpacks come with fewer straps which can make them less flexible and comfortable. 
  • Travel backpacks don’t handle weight distribution as well as hiking backpacks.
  • To keep a low profile, these backpacks are usually smaller than hiking backpacks and will contain fewer things. 
Oakley Men's Overdrive Backpack,One Size,Jet Black

Pros of top-loading backpacks

  • More comfortable to carry because they are designed to be worn for long hours while trekking in the woods and climbing mountains.
  • They have more advanced suspension systems and offer better weight distribution across the appropriate body structures.  
  • They’re very durable, you can expect one to last for a long time since they’re usually weather-proof. 
  • They always have lots of pockets and compartments with many adjustable straps.
  • They’re very versatile, you can use them for hiking or traveling.
  • They are usually bigger than travel backpacks and can contain lots of things.

Cons of top-loading backpacks

  • It can be difficult to organize your belongings and access them with ease. 
  • They always have lots of straps which cannot be tucked away, this is a disadvantage while flying. 
  • These bags are usually bigger than travel backpacks, they’re mostly too big for a carry-on.
  • Packing and unpacking a hiking backpack can be a lot of work. 
  • The drawstring opening isn’t very reliable for preventing theft.

Despite a few drawbacks, front-loading travel backpacks are better for traveling. They practically contribute to a stress-free and successful trip, you’ll find what you need when you need it and your belongings will be safe and secure. Whether for your European travel or any travel at all, a sturdily built travel backpack makes excellent luggage.

Best Backpacks For Traveling To Europe — Our Top Picks

1. Pacsafe Venturesafe EXP45 Anti-Theft Carry-On 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 go-to brand for organized, secure and theft-proof. In the collection of stylish and secure backpacks, the Venturesafe 45L travel pack stands out as a perfect carry-on for long business or holiday trips of several months, it’s packed full with all the premium features of the ideal European travel backpack. 

It opens like a suitcase to reveal a main roomy compartment for storing most of your belongings. A smaller exterior compartment opens to reveal more packing space, two zipper interior pockets and a padded laptop sleeve (sized for a 15-inch laptop). The suspension system includes adjustable shoulder straps, sternum strap, and hip belt for comfortably wearing your pack during your trip. 

When partially packed, external compression straps and  stowable shoulder and hip straps help keep your pack slim and compact. The anti-theft design features a slash-proof fabric with interlocking and puncture-resistant zippers. The interlocking zippers can be snapped together and slipped into the Roobar anti-theft anchor lock with the other set of zippers, this way you can lock down multiple compartments with a single padlock.

Pros

  • Secure and theft-proof
  • Excellent carry-on
  • Adjustable straps for comfortable wear
  • Top and side handles
  • Very well-built

Cons

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

2. Osprey Farpoint and Osprey Fairview

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

Hit the road Jack – best for long term travel

The Farpoint and the women-specific Fairview are excellent front-loading travel backpacks from Osprey, they both come with the advanced straps and harnesses of hiking-style backpacks to deliver comfort and even weight distribution. 

It’s the perfect backpack for a long-haul trip that’ll last for several weeks and months. Large lockable zippers give you access to the main compartment while keeping your belongings secure, there are mesh pockets within the main compartment for arranging smaller items. 

Well-padded shoulder straps, back-panel and hip belts comfortably secure the pack on your back while properly distributing the pack weight to the appropriate structures of the body. All straps and harnesses can be tucked away in a zipper compartment to give the bag a slimmer and more compact profile when traveling. 

The Farpoint also comes with dual front compression straps to keep the load balanced while you walk, and when you’re not wearing it, the well-padded top and side handles make for easy carry. The Farpoint 55L comes with a 12L detachable daypack with a padded laptop/tablet sleeve and scratch-free stash pocket and conveniently attaches to the main harness of the backpack so you can simultaneously and comfortably wear both. 

The Osprey Farpoint and Fairview backpacks are available in different sizes, there are small, medium and large, so you’ll certainly find one that perfectly suits you.

How does the Fairview differ from the Farpoint? 

Osprey Farpoint 55 Men's Travel Backpack
The Osprey Farpoint is the basically same bag but made for males

These two Osprey backpacks are the same model, and they look exactly the same at first glance. However, the Fairview, being the female-version of the Farpoint, is designed to better fit the anatomical features of the female body. The differences are seen in the shapes 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 on the Fairview are set a little lower on the back so the bag sits higher for better weight distribution.
  • The Fairview has a shorter hip belt with a deeper curve. 
  • The sternum straps on the Farpoint are stowed in a small piece under the shoulder straps while the sternum straps on the Fairview are clipped to a buckle on the shoulder straps. 

Pros 

  • Excellent for extended long-haul trips
  • Detachable 12L Daypack, 
  • Advanced suspension system, 
  • Dual compression straps 
  • Stowable straps
  • Padded top and side handles 

Cons 

  • Not many pockets for organization 
  • Laptop sleeve in detachable daypack

3. Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack 40L

Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack 40L Flight Approved Carry on Backpack, Light Grey with 3PCS Packing Cubes 2018

The budget travelers – great value backpack

This 40L Hynes Eagle travel backpack is an excellent carry-on for a long trip to Europe, it’s compact, lightweight, well-made and has all the features you need in an ideal European travel backpack. It’s rectangular and opens like a suitcase to reveal the main compartment which is large enough to house most of your belongings for an extended business/vacation trip. 

This compartment also has compression straps to keep the contents organized and intact. A second front compartment features multiple interior slip pockets and a thick laptop sleeve that can hold a 15.6 inch laptop. This 40L backpack comes with three packing cubes of different sizes to help you keep your belongings well-organized on your trip. For stress-free and comfortable wear, the contoured shoulders are reasonably padded and adjustable with sternum and hip straps. 

These straps can be tucked away making the rectangular backpack look very compact and business-like, external compression straps also provide maximum compression for when the bag is partially packed. With the backpacks straps stowed, you can carry it like a duffel bag using the cushioned side handle. This is an ideal carry-on for air travel as it’s designed to fit in the airplane overhead seat compartment and under-seat storage space.

Pros

  • Excellent carry-on backpack for airline travel
  • Stowable contoured shoulder straps
  • Includes 3 parking cubes
  • Very budget-friendly

Cons

  • Hip and sternum straps are somewhat flimsy.

4. Hynes Eagle 42L Rolling Backpack

Hynes Eagle 42L Rolling Backpack Wheeled Backpack Flight Approved Travel Backpack Carry on Luggage Backpack Luggage, Black

You see me rollin’ – best-wheeled backpack

If you want a backpack and a suitcase in one, then this is an excellent option for you. It’s an ideal hybrid suitcase backpack for any trip or overseas travel, be it business, vacation or adventure. This 42L rolling backpack is stylishly designed with a large main compartment that opens like a suitcase. 

You’ll also find a front zipper compartment with multiple interior pockets for keeping things organized, and a detachable laptop sleeve which can house up to 17 inches laptop and 10.5 inches tablet. On the outside, there are four compression straps that are provided for keeping the bag compact when partially packed. 

The backpack design features contoured shoulder straps, a sternum strap and an adjustable hip belt, these all contribute to pack stabilization and weight balance. While the roller suitcase design has mono-tube telescoping handle and smooth rolling wheels. 

The wheels can be easily tucked away in a wheel cover when in use as a backpack. Stowable backpack straps and wheels allow for easy transition between a wearable backpack and wheeled luggage. 

Pros

  • Excellent carry-on backpack and roller suitcase
  • Tuck-away wheel cover
  • Stowable contoured shoulder straps
  • Detachable padded laptop/tablet sleeve
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Waist strap isn’t strong enough

Other Excellent Backpacks For European Travel

5. Eagle Creek Global Companion Travel Backpack

Eagle Creek Women's 40 Liter, Black, One Size

This is another front-loading travel backpack that’ll meet all your travel needs. The Global Companion travel backpack has excellent shoulder straps and harness for offsetting weight, making it very comfortable and easy to wear. It has a comfortable hip belt with external pocket, sturdy lockable zippers for securing your belongings, and a rain cover. It also features compartments for organizing your stuff, a laptop sleeve, a special shoe compartment at the bottom of the bag, and lots of organizational pockets in front of bag. 

6. Tortuga Setout Travel Backpack

Setout Travel Backpack Women's Fit: 45L Maximum-Sized Carry On Backpack (Black)

Another excellent budget backpack for travelers is the Tortuga Setout. This travel backpack is designed majorly for urban travel, so it’s suitable for adventurous and holiday getaways. It comes with many exciting features you’ll expect from a premium backpack, yet its price will nicely fit into your travel budget. 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. 

FAQs 

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. 

Wrapping 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.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.