14 Best Travel Backpacks for EUROPE (Honest Reviews)

Best Travel Backpacks for EUROPE (Honest Reviews)
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Europe beckons with its ancient cities, charming villages, and awe-inspiring landscapes. 

But before you embark on your adventure, there's a crucial decision: choosing the right travel backpack. A comfortable, well-organized pack can be the difference between a stress-free journey and a back-aching odyssey. 

This review-based guide equips you with all the knowledge you need to find the perfect European travel companion.

Best Travel Backpacks for EUROPE

  1. Best Overall - THULE Landmark
  2. Best for Men - SWISSDIGITAL
  3. Best for Women - ZOMFELT
  4. Best Carry-on - OSPREY
  5. Best Personal Item - TORCH Fujisawa
  6. Best for Petite Female - THE NORTH FACE
  7. Best with Wheels - HYPATH 2-in-1
  8. 7 More Recommended Travel Backpacks for Europe


1. Best Overall - THULE Landmark Travel Backpack

Thule Landmark Travel Backpack - Best Travel Backpack for EUROPE Reviews - GRANDGOLDMAN.COM


  • A conveniently-sized, carry-on adventure travel backpack
  • SafeZone compartment protects a phone, sunglasses and small valuables
  • Hidden CashStash pocket keeps a passport and money safe
  • Innovative LoopLocks secure zipper pulls to the bag to deter theft
  • 15" MacBook and 12.9" tablet storage
  • Built in sternum strap whistle
  • Contoured shoulder straps and hip belt tuck away when not in use
  • Large zippered side pocket securely stores a water bottle
  • External lash points to attach a carabiner
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 13 x 21.5 inches; Weight: 3.17 lbs


Thule Landmark Travel Backpack - Best Travel Backpack for EUROPE Reviews - GRANDGOLDMAN.COM

I absolutely loved this Thule Landmark Travel Backpack.

The detachable daypack was a game-changer for our day trips and hikes. It was so convenient to be able to put a hydration pack in the laptop/tablet sleeve of the daypack. The side opening of the bag made packing a breeze, much easier than top loaders. The larger pack worked perfectly as a carry-on in the overhead compartment, while the smaller pack fit comfortably under the seat. 

Throughout our month-long journey in Asia, we were able to carry on our bags on every single flight. The bag's versatility in carrying options made it easy to feel balanced, even when I ended up on crutches for the journey home. 

The only downside was that I wish the top compartment opened in the opposite direction, as things tended to fall out when the bag was laying down and open for loading. But that’s not a dealbreaker. My husband and I recommended these backpacks to a few friends, as they are great for anyone planning a long trip with carry-on only bags!

2. Best for Men - SWISSDIGITAL Design CIRCUIT Travel Backpack

SWISSDIGITAL Design CIRCUIT Travel Backpack - Best Travel Backpack for EUROPE Reviews - GRANDGOLDMAN.COM


LARGE CAPACITY & ORGANIZED: Men's travel backpack with 20 Independent large and small storage compartments. 3 spacious main multi compartments with several hidden pockets that accommodate things like college supplies, travel accessories, clothes, stationery, notebooks, and more. Side deep zipper pocket for easy access to essentials, Side elastic net pockets conveniently stores travel gear, umbrellas and water bottles. Ideal school backpack and carry on backpack.

TSA APPROVED FOR ORGANIZED TRAVEL: Ideal carryon backpack. Move through security checks quickly and efficiently with a quick access pocket that unzips 90-180 degrees like a clam shell pocket. This backpack is great for a variety of indoor/outdoor activities. The large laptop pocket is able to fit computers that are up to 15.6 inches.

INTEGRATED USB CHARGING PORT: Equipped with a USB port offeringquick access to charge your phone and other electronic devices . The integrated charging port enables you to use the device while it charges and walk at the same time (portable battery pack is NOT INCLUDED - no specific battery pack is required).US Patent No.: US 10,574,071 B2;US 10,931,137 B2;US 10,931.138 B2;US 11,601,009 B2 (…).


SWISSDIGITAL Design CIRCUIT Travel Backpack - Best Travel Backpack for EUROPE Reviews - GRANDGOLDMAN.COM

The Swissdigital Design CIRCUIT Travel Backpack has been a reliable choice for me since years, when I purchased my first backpack from them. 

It served me well through my undergrad and masters, enduring numerous vacation trips. Recently, I bought another one in 2023, and I'm impressed. While this new version lacks the adjustable front pocket of my old one, it compensates with ample space.

It easily accommodates my laptop, iPad, charging brick, headphones, k-cups, iPad keyboard, stationery, folders, planner, change of clothes, sunglasses, and charging accessories, with room to spare.

Built to last, the sturdy neoprene fabric shell feels durable and comfortable. Although I've encountered a zipper issue and slight USB port movement, these are minor inconveniences compared to its overall design and functionality.

I wholeheartedly recommend this bag. Its spaciousness, durability, and overall design make it a standout choice for anyone in need of a reliable travel backpack.

3. Best for Women - ZOMFELT Rolling Carry On Backpack

ZOMFELT Rolling Carry On Backpack  - Best Travel Backpack for EUROPE Reviews - GRANDGOLDMAN.COM


The ZOMFELT Rolling Backpack is a versatile 2-in-1 suitcase and backpack with a 17-inch laptop compartment and a toiletry bag, perfect for 3-5 day trips. 

It features multiple compartments for organization, including a main compartment with elastic bands to secure clothes and an organizer compartment with many pockets. 

With flight-friendly dimensions of 20*14*8 inches, this wheeled backpack meets carry-on luggage requirements for most airlines and comes with an elegant bag toiletry bottles, and for added convenience during travel.


ZOMFELT Rolling Carry On Backpack  - Best Travel Backpack for EUROPE Reviews - GRANDGOLDMAN.COM

I recently used the ZOMFELT Rolling Backpack for a long trip to Europe and India and it was a great choice. 

The bag is lightweight, easy to roll, and has plenty of room. I love that I can easily switch from rolling it to wearing it as a backpack when I need my hands free. It's also durable, as it was carried by a donkey when I was hiking in the mountains, but it doesn't seem to have suffered and still looks almost new. 

The quality is excellent and it can fit all the necessary clothing for a trip, as long as you don't have bulky items like scarves or jackets.

4. Best Carry On - OSPREY Farpoint 70L Men's Travel Backpack

Best Carry On - OSPREY Farpoint 70L Men's Travel Backpack - Best Travel Backpack for EUROPE Reviews - GRANDGOLDMAN.COM


The Osprey Farpoint 70L Men's Travel Backpack is part of the Farpoint Family, designed for fast-moving travelers exploring new places with minimal weight and maximum functionality.

This backpack features backpacking features like torso adjustments, LightWire frames, and breathable harnesses/hipbelts, along with travel-friendly internal organization and rugged compression straps for stability.

Sized to meet most domestic carry-on requirements, the Farpoint 70 includes a laptop/tablet sleeve, external toiletry pocket, and compatibility with the Farpoint/Fairview® Travel Daypack for added flexibility during travel.


Best Carry On - OSPREY Farpoint 70L Men's Travel Backpack - Best Travel Backpack for EUROPE Reviews - GRANDGOLDMAN.COM

I got this Osprey Farpoint 70L in Space Blue for my husband. 

It's really well-made and has plenty of space. One feature that really stood out to us is the zippered cover for the straps, which makes it much easier to fit into an overhead bin. It also allows you to carry it like a suitcase, which is really convenient. 

The outside zippered compartment is great for quickly grabbing items without having to open the whole backpack. Compared to our previous backpacks, this one feels much sturdier and we're hoping it will last us for years to come.

5. Best Personal Item - TORCH Fujisawa 45L Travel Backpack Men & Women

Best Personal Item - TORCH 45L Travel Backpack Men & Women - Best Travel Backpack for EUROPE Reviews - GRANDGOLDMAN.COM


The Fujisawa Travel Backpack is the ultimate travel companion, providing comfort and convenience for your journey. It is designed to be the perfect carry-on backpack for most US and European airlines, making it ideal for frequent travelers.

Say goodbye to backaches while backpacking, as the Fujisawa Travel Backpack features an air bender back foam system that provides excellent support and reduces strain on your back.

With its large compartment, this backpack allows you to bring more essentials for your trip. You can easily pack up to 10 pieces of clothing, a towel, toiletries, body care items, jackets, and much more. Made from premium nylon, it is both strong and lightweight, ensuring it can withstand your adventures. Plus, it comes with an extra 3 liters of space and a rain cover to protect your belongings during rainy seasons.


Best Personal Item - TORCH 45L Travel Backpack Men & Women - Best Travel Backpack for EUROPE Reviews - GRANDGOLDMAN.COM

I was pleasantly surprised by this torch 45L Travel Backpack.

Although it may not be the most stylish backpack, it is incredibly durable and comfortable to wear. The best part is its spaciousness - it can hold a massive amount of items. The 45-liter capacity mentioned in the product description is accurate, and I have no doubts about its storage capabilities. 

The dual access opening is a convenient feature, allowing you to access your belongings like a backpack or a suitcase. Additionally, the padded laptop compartment ensures the safety of your tech. This unisex backpack also includes all the essential features for travel, such as a trolley strap, side handle, exterior easy access pocket, and a water bottle pocket. While it may not be groundbreaking, it certainly meets the needs of any serious traveler.

6. Best for Petite Female - THE NORTH FACE Women's Surge Commuter Laptop Backpack

Best for Petite Female - THE NORTH FACE Women's Surge Commuter Laptop Backpack


CLASSIC SURGE. With a women-specific suspension and 3 large, easy-to-access, zippered pockets on the front, the Women's Surge offers plenty of organization.

FLEX VENT TECHNOLOGY. The updated women-specific FlexVent suspension system has articulated shoulder straps, a rounded back panel and stitch lines for comfort, all certified by the American Chiropractic Association.

TOTAL ORGANIZATION. This pack has a large main compartment for books and binders, a front pocket with internal zip pockets and a padded laptop sleeve, external pockets for small valuables and water bottles and daisy chain webbing for multiple lash points.

COMFORTABLE CARRY. For everyday, commuting or travel, this backpack has a top handle for easy grabbing and a removable waist belt for a custom fit. A sternum strap with a whistle buckle adds extra support and safety. Reflective details help you stand out (...).


Best for Petite Female - THE NORTH FACE Women's Surge Commuter Laptop Backpack

After diving into countless reviews and researching extensively, I finally settled on The North Face Women's Surge Commuter Laptop Backpack. 

And let me tell you, it's been a game-changer. Whether I'm jetting off on a trip or navigating my daily commute, this pack has proven to be the ultimate companion.

First off, let's talk about its versatility. This bag nails it as both a trusty computer carrier and a handy personal item for flights. It slides effortlessly beneath the seat, saving me from the hassle of overhead bin jostling. And can we talk about comfort? The padded straps and the just-for-women suspension system make it a breeze to wear, even when it's loaded up with all my essentials.

Quality-wise, The North Face doesn't disappoint. 

The construction feels solid and durable, holding up admirably to my on-the-go lifestyle. But what really sets this pack apart is its organization game. With three spacious front zippered pockets, finding my stuff is a breeze. The main compartment easily swallows up books and binders, while the front pocket with internal zip pockets keeps my smaller items in check. Oh, and did I mention the padded laptop sleeve? It's a total lifesaver.

Whether I'm tackling the urban jungle or hitting the trails, this backpack has got my back. The top handle makes grabbing it on the go a cinch, and the removable waist belt ensures a snug fit every time. Plus, the added sternum strap with a whistle buckle? It's like a cherry on top, offering extra support and safety.

And let's not forget about those reflective details. Not only do they add a stylish touch, but they also provide an extra layer of visibility during those late-night walks home.

All in all, The North Face Women's Surge Commuter Laptop Backpack has exceeded my expectations. It's comfortable, organized, and built to last – everything I could ask for in a backpack and more.

7. Best with Wheels - HYPATH 2-in-1 Transformer Travel Backpack

Best with Wheels - HYPATH 2-in-1 Transformer Travel Backpack - Best Travel Backpack for EUROPE Reviews - GRANDGOLDMAN.COM


The Hypath 2-in-1 Transformer Travel Backpack with Wheels is a versatile luggage set that offers convenience and functionality. It has been recently released with new features and upgraded materials based on customer feedback.

This convertible luggage can be used as a wheeled carry-on, a backpack with wheels, stacked rolling luggage, or a carry-on duffle luggage set. It combines two bags in one, providing the ultimate soft-sided travel backpack. 

The larger bag is airline approved for carry-on size, while the smaller laptop backpack is perfect for under seat plane storage. The Hypath is made with durable ballistic nylon fabric, weatherproof coating, and water-resistant YKK zippers, ensuring its longevity and reliability.


Best with Wheels - HYPATH 2-in-1 Transformer Travel Backpack - Best Travel Backpack for EUROPE Reviews - GRANDGOLDMAN.COM

If you enjoyed the original set, you'll be thrilled with this new release. 

The enhancements made to the Hypath 2-in-1 Transformer Travel Backpack with Wheels are truly impressive. Soft luggage is a must for me, especially when navigating through various storage options. The ability to carry it onto the plane is a time-saver, and the reinforced seams ensure durability even when packed to the brim.

The addition of waterproof zippers is a game-changer, particularly for rainy seasons like the one I experienced in India last year. The sturdiness of the zipper locks surpasses that of pricier luggage brands. Combining both packs provides extra stability, and the cleverly placed pockets add a touch of convenience.



One issue with the old set, a flimsy retractable handle, has been rectified in the new version. I love how the smaller pack seamlessly slips over the handles, creating a balanced load that trails effortlessly behind me. And when the terrain gets rough, I can easily convert it into a backpack for added versatility.

After five decades of adventure travel, I've never come across a system as adaptable as the HyPath. Whether you're a seasoned explorer or a casual traveler, this set is a solid choice. Highly recommended for anyone seeking durability and convenience on their journeys.



Recommended Travel Backpacks for Europe

  1. Best Europe Travel Backpack for Laptop: TOMTOC  CHECK PRICE
  2. Best Anti-theft Travel Backpack for Europe: ULANZI BP10 Hardshell  CHECK PRICE
  3. Best Europe Travel Backpack for Airplane: Maelstrom 40-50L Carry-on  CHECK PRICE
  4. Best Europe Travel Backpack for Kids: SKYSPER Daypack  CHECK PRICE
  5. Best Budget Travel Backpack for Europe: G-FAVOR 40L  CHECK PRICE
  6. Best Canvas Travel Backpack for Europe: WITZMAN Carry On  CHECK PRICE
  7. Best Waterproof Travel Backpack for Europe: TROUBADOUR Apex  CHECK PRICE

What size backpack is best for traveling Europe?


Europe's diverse travel styles demand a backpack that fits your itinerary. Here's a breakdown of ideal sizes:


Small: Carry-on Champions (30-40L)

For minimalists and weekend warriors, a carry-on backpack maximizes cabin space and eliminates baggage claim woes. Popular choices include the Osprey Farpoint 40L or the Tortuga Setout Backpack.


Medium: One-Bag Wonders (40-50L)

This versatile size is perfect for trips lasting one to two weeks. It allows for more packing flexibility while still adhering to some carry-on restrictions. Consider the Nomatic Travel Bag or the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L.


Large: Euro Adventurers (50L+)

Backpacking across Europe or planning an extended stay? A larger backpack offers ample space for extra gear and souvenirs. Osprey Aura AG 65L and Gregory Baltoro 65 are excellent options for comfort and durability on longer journeys.


backpacking hiking couple mountain


How to Choose a Travel Backpack for Europe

With the size conquered, there are 4 key criteria to take into account when choosing a resistant bag for your future European escapades.


1. Comfort is King

Look for backpaks with adjustable suspension systems, like those found in Deuter backpacks. Breathable mesh back panels also ensure a comfortable carry throughout your adventures.


2. Easy Organization

Backpacks with multiple compartments and internal pockets keep your belongings neatly organized, saving you time and energy.


3. Carry-on Compliance

Double-check dimensions against airline regulations to avoid check-in baggage fees. Opt for backpacks with sleek designs that fit easily into overhead compartments.



4. Weatherproof

European weather can be unpredictable. Consider water-resistant materials or built-in rain covers to shield your gear from unexpected downpours.


Packing Tips for European Travel

Now that you have your backpack champion, here are some packing tips to maximize space and stay light on your feet:


Embrace Merino Magic

Merino wool clothing is lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, and odor-resistant, making it ideal for European travel.


The Layering Game

Pack versatile layers that can be easily mixed and matched to adapt to varying climates.


Shoe Shuffle

Limit yourself to one or two pairs of versatile shoes, with an emphasis on comfort for all that walking you'll be doing.


The Minimalist Mindset

Only pack what you truly need. Remember, most essentials can be purchased on your travels if needed.

By following these guidelines, you'll be well on your way to conquering Europe with the perfect travel backpack by your side. Now, get out there and explore!


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Best Travel Backpack for EUROPE - FAQs

What is the best full time travel backpack?

The "best" backpack depends on your travel style and preferences. For full-time travel, look for a backpack with a capacity of 40L or more that offers comfort features like adjustable suspension and breathable mesh. Consider backpacks with excellent organization options and weather-resistant materials for long-term use. Popular choices include Osprey Aura/Aerterra AG 50L+ or Nomatic Travel Bag.

Is it better to travel Europe with a backpack or suitcase?

Backpacks offer greater mobility and are ideal for navigating cobblestone streets and public transportation. Suitcases excel for longer stays or if you plan on bringing a lot of formal wear. However, some backpacks with sleek designs can function well as carry-on luggage, offering the best of both worlds.

What size backpack do I need for 2 weeks in Europe?

A 40L to 50L backpack is a versatile option for a 2-week European trip. This size allows you to pack enough clothes and essentials while still potentially meeting carry-on restrictions. Consider your packing style and research airline regulations for your specific flights to confirm carry-on size allowances.

Is a 40L backpack big enough for traveling?

Absolutely! A 40L backpack is a great size for many travel styles, especially carry-on travel in Europe. This size allows for packing essentials and some additional clothing. By utilizing packing cubes and embracing versatile clothing options, you can maximize space in a 40L backpack.

Is 55L too big for carry-on?

Most airlines in Europe have carry-on size restrictions around 55L in total dimensions (length + width + height). However, double-check the specific size allowances for your airline to avoid any surprises at the check-in counter. A 55L backpack might be best for checked baggage or for travelers who need the extra space.

How do I pack a backpack for 2 weeks in Europe?

  • Embrace Merino Wool: Merino wool clothing is lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, and odor-resistant, allowing you to pack less and wear more.
  • Layering is Key: Pack versatile layers that can be mixed and matched to create various outfits for different climates.
  • Shoe Shuffle: Limit yourself to 1-2 pairs of comfortable shoes suitable for walking.
  • The Minimalist Mindset: Pack only what you truly need. Remember, most essentials can be purchased on your travels if needed.

How do I pack a carry-on for 2 weeks in Europe?

The same principles apply to packing a carry-on as a backpack for Europe. Utilize packing cubes for organization, focus on merino wool clothing, and pack versatile layers. For carry-on luggage, be extra mindful of weight restrictions set by airlines.

Is it okay to wear a backpack in Europe?

Backpacks are a very common sight in Europe and are perfectly acceptable for sightseeing, navigating public transportation, and exploring cities. Just be mindful of crowded areas and practice good bag security habits.

What size suitcase do I need for 3 weeks in Europe?

A medium-sized suitcase around 60L-70L should be sufficient for a 3-week trip to Europe, especially if you plan on checking a bag. This allows for more packing flexibility, but remember to check the specific baggage allowances of your airline.

How do you pack smartly for Europe?

  • Focus on versatile clothing: Pack neutral-colored clothing that can be easily mixed and matched.
  • Utilize packing cubes: Packing cubes help compress clothes and maximize space in your backpack or suitcase.
  • Consider a capsule wardrobe: Choose a limited number of interchangeable clothing items to create multiple outfits.
  • Pack lightweight shoes: Opt for comfortable walking shoes that won't weigh down your luggage.

Do Europeans carry crossbody bags?

Crossbody bags are a popular choice among Europeans, especially in cities, as they offer easy access to essentials and hands-free mobility. They are a great option for day trips or sightseeing excursions.

Is 70 Litre backpack too big for travel?

A 70L backpack can be too big for carry-on travel in Europe. However, it can be a good option for long-term travel, backpacking adventures, or situations where you need to pack a lot of gear. Consider if the extra space is truly necessary before opting for such a large backpack.

Which brand is best for travel backpack?

Many excellent travel backpack brands exist. Popular choices include Osprey, Nomatic, Peak Design, Tom Bihn, and Tortuga. The "best" brand depends on your individual needs and preferences. Consider factors like size, features, comfort

Can I bring a 50L backpack as a carry-on?

The possibility of bringing a 50L backpack as a carry-on depends on the airline's specific size restrictions. While some airlines allow carry-on bags up to 55L in total dimensions, others may have stricter limitations around 40L-45L. Always double-check the airline's size and weight allowances for carry-on luggage before your trip. If unsure, err on the side of caution and choose a slightly smaller backpack (40L-45L) to ensure smooth carry-on acceptance.


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Hannah Palermo

With over a decade in fashion editing and product reviews, Hannah is a seasoned expert in travel accessories and luggage. She's a fashion buff who's traveled America and Asia, and has a taste for finding items made to last. Her keen style sense and fresh perspective help readers to find the perfect travel gear.