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  • Writer's pictureEmmanuel David

Top 14 Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe: Find the Perfect Backpack for Europe Travel!

Updated: May 3

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Ultimate Guide to the Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe


Europe is a canvas filled with experiences, from the romantic cobblestone streets of Paris to the sun-soaked shores of the Mediterranean. For countless adventurers, backpacking through this diverse continent remains an unforgettable journey — a rite of passage into the world of travel.

...However, the difference between a good trip and a great one often lies in something as simple as your choice of backpack.

A backpack is more than a bag. It's a traveler's mobile base camp, office, wardrobe, and pantry all rolled into one. In Europe, where you might oscillate between sophisticated urban centers, laid-back beaches, and rustic countryside, your backpack becomes an extension of your needs, preferences, and travel style.

Choosing from the Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe can lead to a seamless travel experience, offering comfort during long walks, convenience when navigating narrow train corridors, and security amongst bustling city crowds.

The goal of this guide is to take you through the myriad of the Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe, showcasing the cream of the crop for your European exploits. We'll explore the standout features that are essential for a European jaunt and how these can benefit you, the intrepid traveler.

Read on to Discover the top 14 best backpacks for traveling Europe! Find the perfect backpack for comfort, security, and style. Essential guide and recommendations.

Where to Find Your Ideal Travel Backpack

Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe can be found through online marketplaces like (our affiliate link).

Why the Right Backpack Makes All the Difference

When you’re contending with the hustle and bustle of Rome’s streets or dashing to catch a train in Berlin, the last thing you want is to be let down by your backpack. Comfort is paramount as you’ll be wearing it for long periods. A backpack with padded straps, breathable material, and a supportive waist-belt will be a boon for your back and shoulders.

Also, dimensions are crucial.

Opt for a backpack that's spacious enough to hold your belongings but compact enough to meet airline carry-on criteria or fit snugly in a train's luggage rack.

Furthermore, European travel presents unique challenges such as pickpocketing or sudden rain showers. Features such as lockable zippers and water-resistant or waterproof materials will consequently be on the list. Conveniences like multiple compartments for organized packing, as well as features like USB ports for on-the-go charging, are now commonplace and are important considerations for modern travelers.

Selecting Your Perfect European Companion: Types of Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe

The Long Haul – Travel Backpacks

Travel backpacks are designed with the urban traveler in mind, pairing portability with organizational prowess. Look for options with a lay-flat design, allowing you to pack as you would with a suitcase, and which include padded laptop compartments to keep your tech secure. The Osprey Farpoint series and the Nomatic Travel Bag boast these features, and have consistently received positive "Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe" reviews from nomads worldwide.

The Daily Expedition – Daypacks

Your main travel backpack's partner-in-crime should be a lightweight, versatile daypack. The daypack covers your daily carry, perfect for those city day trips or short hikes in the Alps. The Osprey Daylite Plus or the Deuter Speed Lite offer functionality without sacrificing comfort or style. They’re sized to handle a jacket, water bottle, snack, and your valuables, all whilst fitting easily under a café table or in the overhead compartment of a regional jet.

Minimalism Meets Wanderlust: Compact Travel Backpacks

There's a rising trend in minimal travel, spurred by airlines' strict luggage policies and a desire for unburdened movement. Small backpacks, like the Patagonia Atom Sling 8L or the The North Face Electra, cater to the minimalist aesthetic, providing just enough space for essentials while forcing you to consider each item you bring along.

The Security Sentinel – Anti-Theft Backpacks

The best travel backpack for Europe will have enhanced security features. Bags with RFID blockers, like the Pacsafe Venturesafe series, protect you from electronic theft, while designs with hidden pockets and cut-resistant materials, like those found in Travelon's Anti-Theft backpacks, give you extra peace of mind while navigating crowded tourist spots.

Embark on your European adventure with the best backpacks for traveling Europe! Keep reading to Find comfort, security, and style in our top 14 recommendations.

Where to Find Your Ideal Travel Backpack

Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe can be found through online marketplaces like (our affiliate link).

Choosing the Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe: Ultimate Guide

Traveling through Europe presents a unique blend of experiences, from exploring ancient ruins and bustling city streets to enjoying serene landscapes and vibrant nightlife. The key to navigating these diverse adventures lies in one crucial travel companion—your backpack.

Selecting the "Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe" can make a world of difference in your travel experience, ensuring comfort, convenience, and enjoyment. This blog delves into the essential factors to consider when choosing a backpack specifically for traveling Europe and highlights the difference between travel and hiking backpacks.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe

Size and Capacity

Europe's rich tapestry of cultures and geography calls for a versatile packing list. The size of your backpack should be a balance between having enough space for your essentials and fitting within airline carry-on restrictions. A 40-50L backpack strikes a good balance for most travelers, offering ample space without the need to check it in at airports.

...Remember, having a bit of extra space is always useful for souvenirs and additional purchases.


Weight is a critical factor, especially when navigating Europe's cobbled streets, climbing stairs, or using public transport. A lightweight backpack will reduce strain on your back and shoulders, making your travel more enjoyable. The Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe are made from durable yet lightweight materials like nylon or polyester.


Europe's varied terrain and the occasional rough handling by carriers demand a backpack that can withstand a bit of abuse. High-denier fabric materials are key indicators of durability. Additionally, consider backpacks with water-resistant or waterproof coatings to protect your belongings from rain showers.


Comfort is non-negotiable. Look for backpacks with padded shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and a hip belt to evenly distribute the load. Ventilation systems, such as mesh back panels, prevent excessive sweating and ensure that long walks through cities like Paris or trails in the Alps remain pleasant.


Europe is safe, but like any popular tourist destination, it has its share of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas. Backpacks with lockable zippers, hidden pockets, and RFID protection add an extra layer of security for your belongings.

Organizational Features

A backpack with multiple compartments and pockets will help keep your belongings organized and easily accessible. Features like a dedicated laptop sleeve, a compartment for dirty laundry, and external attachment points for items like jackets or sleeping bags can be incredibly useful.

The Difference Between Travel Backpacks and Hiking Backpacks

When exploring Europe, it’s important to differentiate between travel backpacks and hiking backpacks, as each serves a different purpose.

Travel Backpacks are tailored for urban or semi-urban travel, focusing on ease of access, organization, and carrying comfort over long distances in cities or towns. They often open like a suitcase to allow easy packing and access to contents, are built to comply with carry-on standards, and prioritize features like lockable zippers and padded laptop compartments.

Hiking Backpacks, on the other hand, are designed for the great outdoors. They prioritize features like frame support for heavy loads, durability against harsh conditions, and specialized pockets for hydration systems. While hiking backpacks are invaluable on the trail, their top-loading design and often bulkier frames may not be as convenient for city travel or frequent packing and unpacking.

Where to Find Your Ideal Travel Backpack

Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe can be found through online marketplaces like (our affiliate link).

Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe | Efficiency & Security:

1. The Efficient Explorer

  • Features of an ideal travel backpack

  • Benefits of having a well-organized, multi-compartment backpack

2. Security-Savvy Satchels

  • Importance of security features (lockable zippers, hidden pockets, RFID protection)

  • Highlighting backpacks excelling in safety features

Best Travel Backpacks for European Adventures

Traveling through Europe is an unforgettable experience, from the ancient Roman streets to the vibrant markets of Istanbul. Every city, every landscape holds a story, and your travel backpack is a constant companion on this journey.

...However, not all backpacks are created equal. When embarking on a European adventure, your backpack needs to be more than just a bag; it needs to be a reliable travel buddy.

In the following, we'll explore two categories crucial for selecting the best travel backpacks for European adventures: The Efficient Explorer and Security-Savvy Satchels. These categories focus on organization and security features that cater to the needs of travelers navigating the diverse and sometimes unpredictable European tapestry.

The Efficient Explorer

Features of the Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe

When roaming the streets of Paris or hiking the Scottish Highlands, an efficiently organized backpack ensures you have quick access to all your essentials without the need to unpack everything. Look for backpacks with:

  • Multiple compartments for clothing, tech, and toiletries

  • Padded laptop sleeves

  • External pockets for water bottles and umbrellas

  • Compression straps to streamline bulk

  • Quick-access pockets for passports and tickets

  • Lightweight, durable materials that provide comfort and longevity

Benefits of a Well-Organized, Multi-Compartment Backpack

Efficiency: Saves time and frustration by keeping items neatly sorted and easy to find.

Flexibility: Makes it easy to pack for a variety of activities, whether you’re in the city one day or the countryside the next.

Protection: Ensures delicate items like electronics are safely stored away from heavier items that could cause damage.

Top Picks for Efficiency:

  1. Osprey Farpoint 40 / Fairview 40 - (affiliate link to A travel favorite, these sibling backpacks offer a light but sturdy frame, a mesh back panel for ventilation, and a front-loading compartment for easy access.

  2. Nomatic Travel Bag - (affiliate link to Built for the urban explorer, this bag shines with its sleek design packed with more than 20 features, including a dedicated shoe compartment and a side pocket for important documents.

CHOOSE FROM THESE Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe AT AMAZON.COM:

Security-Savvy Satchels | (Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe)

Importance of Security Features

The bustling markets, crowded trains, and lively squares of Europe provide fertile ground for pickpockets. A backpack with enhanced security features can protect your possessions and give you peace of mind as you explore.

Security features to look for include:

  • Lockable zippers to deter tampering

  • Hidden pockets for storing valuables out of sight

  • RFID protection to prevent unauthorized scanning of credit cards and passports

  • Slash-resistant materials to prevent theft

Highlighting Backpacks Excelling in Safety Features:

  1. Pacsafe Venturesafe Series - (affiliate link to These backpacks are a fortress for your belongings, featuring eXomesh slashguard technology, RFIDsafe pockets, and lockable zippers.

  2. Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Backpack - (affiliate link to This compact option doesn’t skimp on security, offering lock-down straps, RFID-blocking slots, and slash-proof body panels.

  3. Bobby by XD Design - (affiliate link to Stylish yet secure, the Bobby backpack features concealed zippers, hidden pockets, and cut-resistant material, making it an urban explorer's dream.

CHOOSE FROM THESE Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe AT AMAZON.COM:

Best Daypacks for Day-to-Day Excursions

1. The Urbanite Daypack

  • Emphasis on lightweight, compact daypacks perfect for city exploration

  • Easy storage for essentials (water bottle, camera, guidebook)

2. Versatile Voyager Packs

  • Daypacks that transition smoothly from urban to rural environments

  • Features like water resistance, comfort, and durability

Best Daypacks for Day-to-Day Excursions

Embarking on day trips and excursions is an integral part of traveling, offering the chance to dive deep into new surroundings without the weight of your entire luggage on your back.

Whether navigating the bustling streets of a new city or trekking through serene trails on the countryside, a good daypack is your ultimate ally. It needs to be practical, comfortable, and versatile enough to match the day’s demands.

Read on as we explore the best daypacks for your day-to-day excursions, focusing on two key types: The Urbanite Daypack and Versatile Voyager Packs, each tailored to suit different kinds of adventurers.

The Urbanite Daypack | (Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe)

Emphasis on Lightweight, Compact Daypacks Perfect for City Exploration

The Urbanite Daypack is designed for travelers who love to get lost in the maze of city streets, from historic neighborhoods to modern skyscrapers. These packs emphasize a lightweight and compact design, ensuring you can hop on and off public transport or visit museums without feeling weighed down.

Essentials Easily Stored

  • Water Bottle Pocket: Stay hydrated on the go.

  • Padded Compartment: For cameras or smartphones.

  • Easy-Access Pockets: For guidebooks, maps, or a snack.

Top Picks for The Urbanite Daypack:

  1. Patagonia Atom Sling 8L - (affiliate link to This sleek, minimalist sling bag offers quick access to your essentials without the bulk, ideal for navigating the urban jungle.

  2. The North Face Every Day Jester - (affiliate link to Compact, stylish, and designed with women in mind, it features organized compartments and a comfortable, breathable back panel.

CHOOSE FROM THESE Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe AT AMAZON.COM:

Versatile Voyager Packs | (Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe)

Daypacks that Transition Smoothly from Urban to Rural Environments

For those whose day trips might include a morning in the city and an afternoon hike, the Versatile Voyager Pack is your go-to. These bags boast features that cater to both environments, ensuring you’re as prepared for a sudden rain shower as you are for a museum visit.

Key Features:

  • Water Resistance: Protects your belongings from the elements.

  • Comfort: Ergonomic straps and ventilation for those longer treks.

  • Durability: Tough materials ready to handle city commutes and rural trails alike.

Top Picks for Versatile Voyager Packs:

  1. Osprey Daylite Plus - (affiliate link to Known for its incredible versatility, this pack comes with a hydration reservoir sleeve, making it perfect for city tours or outdoor adventures.

  2. Deuter Speed Lite 20 - (affiliate link to Ultralight yet sturdy, this pack is designed for comfort with padded shoulder straps and a breathable foam back, suitable for both urban exploration and light hiking.

CHOOSE FROM THESE Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe AT AMAZON.COM:

Best Small Backpacks for Minimalist Travelers

1. The Compact Carry-On

  • Showcasing small backpacks that comply with airline regulations for carry-on

  • Benefits for travelers who prefer to travel light

2. Stylish Solutions

  • Featuring backpacks that blend functionality with European fashion sensibilities

Best Small Backpacks for Minimalist Travelers

Minimalism in travel is not just a style; it's a philosophy that simplifies your journey, directs focus on the experience rather than possessions, and provides freedom from the burdens of excessive luggage.

For the minimalist traveler, every item chosen for the trip is intentional and purposeful, especially their backpack. Small backpacks are the epitome of minimalist travel gear, combining portability with smart design to accommodate essentials while complying with airline regulations.

In the following, we champion the best small backpacks for minimalist travelers, focusing on the Compact Carry-On and Stylish Solutions categories.

The Compact Carry-On

Perfect Small Backpacks Compliant with Airline Carry-On Standards

The Compact Carry-On is tailored to meet the needs of the savvy traveler who counts every inch and pound before boarding a flight. These small backpacks are meant to provide peace of mind, ensuring that you can breeze through check-in and avoid the wait at the baggage carousel.

Benefits for Travelers Who Prefer to Travel Light:

  • Avoid Check-In Hassles: A small backpack means you're less likely to have to check your bag.

  • Mobility: Navigate crowded airports, narrow airplane aisles, and public transport with ease.

  • Organization: Intuitive design and compartments allow quick access to travel documents and essentials.

Top Picks for The Compact Carry-On | (Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe):

  1. tomtoc Travel Backpack 40L - (affiliate link to TSA Friendly Flight Approved Carry-on Luggage Hand Water-resistant Lightweight Business Rucksack, Durable Large Weekender Bag Daypack Fits 17.3 Inch Laptop.

  2. Cabin Zero Classic 44L - (affiliate link to Known for its ultra-lightweight yet durable design, this backpack is a minimalist's dream with just the right amount of space, and even has a built-in tracker tag.

CHOOSE FROM THESE Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe AT AMAZON.COM:

Stylish Solutions

Blending Functionality with European Fashion Sensibilities

The well-traveled minimalist not only values function but also aesthetics. Embracing European design, stylish small backpacks do not compromise on elegance or practicality, making them suitable for a walk down Champs-Elysées or a casual cafe sit-down in Rome.

Features of Stylish Small Backpacks:

  • Chic Design: Looks in place in any urban setting around the globe.

  • Practicality: Despite their elegant appearance, they are designed to hold all your travel necessities securely.

  • Quality Materials: Often made with high-quality fabrics or leathers that withstand the wear and tear of travel.

Top Picks for Stylish Solutions | (Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe):

  1. Rains Backpack Mini - (affiliate link to This Danish brand offers a waterproof backpack with a modern, sleek design that’s perfect for unpredictable European weather while keeping your look sophisticated.

  2. Bellroy Transit Backpack - (affiliate link to Offering organization in a refined package, this backpack features hidden pockets and a discreet design that pairs well with any outfit, be it casual or business.

CHOOSE FROM THESE Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe AT AMAZON.COM:

Where to Find Your Ideal Travel Backpack

Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe can be found through online marketplaces like (our affiliate link).

European Travel Bag Must-Haves

Embarking on a European adventure combines the allure of romantic cityscapes, invaluable art, and vibrant street life. This diverse continent promises wonders at every corner, but to seamlessly hop from cobbled streets in Rome to chic boutiques in Paris, your travel gear needs to be as versatile and resilient as your itinerary.

Finding the Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe is pivotal. Here, we dove into the must-have features for your European travel bag, focusing on practicality without compromising style.

Essential Features for Your European Travel Bag

Travel in Europe often includes a mix of various transportation methods, abundant walking, and the unpredictable weather. Your travel bag must be a reliable companion throughout. Here are some indispensable features to look for:

USB Charging Port

In today’s connected world, having your devices charged on-the-go is not just a convenience but a necessity. A bag with a USB charging port allows you to recharge your smartphone or camera without missing a beat, ensuring you’re ready to capture or navigate your next destination.

Water Bottle Holder

Staying hydrated while exploring is crucial, and European cities can surprise you with sudden heatwaves. A dedicated water bottle holder in your travel bag means you’ll always have water at hand, saving you from constant purchases and supporting sustainable travel habits.

Comfortable Straps

Whether you’re dashing to catch a train or exploring a medieval town for hours, comfortable straps can make all the difference. Padded and adjustable straps will help distribute weight evenly, making your load more manageable and your travel experience more pleasant.

Secure Compartments

Europe is known for its safety, but like in any major tourist destination, it’s wise to be cautious of pickpocketing in crowded areas. Bags with secure, preferably hidden compartments for valuables, provide peace of mind while you immerse in your surroundings.

Material Considerations

Choosing the right material for your travel bag is critical for both durability and style. The debate between leather and synthetic materials, alongside the necessity for water-repellent fabrics, is worth considering.

Leather vs. Synthetic

Leather bags exude timeless style and can be incredibly durable, developing character over time. They’re perfect for city explorers looking to blend sophistication with functionality.

However, they require more care and might not be the best under harsh weather conditions.

Synthetic fabrics, such as nylon or polyester, are generally lighter, water-resistant, and more forgiving in diverse conditions. For those planning extensive outdoor activities or encountering varied weather, synthetic bags can be more practical.

Water Repellant Fabrics

Regardless of your material choice, opting for a water-repellent or waterproof bag is a smart move. Europe’s weather can be unpredictable; a sudden shower shouldn’t dampen your plans or your belongings. Water-resistant materials will ensure that your gear stays dry through drizzles or downpours.

Where to Find Your Ideal Travel Backpack

Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe can be found through online marketplaces like (our affiliate link).

Conclusion: Embrace Your European Adventure with the Perfect Backpack

Choosing from the "Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe" is about finding the perfect intersection of size, weight, durability, comfort, and security. Remember, a good travel backpack acts not just as a container for your belongings but as a trusted companion through your travels.

By prioritizing these factors and understanding the distinct advantages of travel backpacks over hiking backpacks for this specific journey, you're setting yourself up for a more enjoyable and hassle-free experience.

Europe awaits with endless discoveries, and with the right backpack, you’re all set to explore its wonders.

Where to Find Your Ideal Travel Backpack

Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe can be found through online marketplaces like (our affiliate link).

Additional Resources

For further reading and in-depth reviews on the Best Backpacks for Traveling Europe, consider visiting the following resources:


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