11 Best Travel Backpacks for Europe in 2023

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Are you in the market for a travel backpack for an upcoming European trip? Choose wisely! Making the right choice is crucial for a safe, secure, comfortable, and enjoyable backpacking trip. So in preparation, you might want to familiarize yourself with the best travel backpacks to date.

Travel and hiking backpacks aren’t just for carrying your belongings. In many ways, a travel backpack serves as your home away from home, holding everything you need for your travels. Personal item bags can also keep important items closer to hand while you travel.

The best travel backpack for traveling in Europe can make your journey more organized, and thus less stressful. Conversely, the wrong choice can cause discomfort, damage your belongings, and even increase safety risks.

Read on to find the best travel backpack so you can enjoy your Europe backpacking trip to the fullest!

Hike pack, boots, hat, on the grass by Maxmann from Pixabay

What are the Best Travel Backpacks for Europe?

If you’re planning a trip to Europe, the right travel backpack can make all the difference. So after extensive testing and research, we have found that the Osprey Farpoint/Fairview 40, the Cotopaxi Allpa Del Dia, and the Tropicfeel Shell are the best travel backpacks for Europe.

The Osprey Farpoint/Fairview 40…

…is a versatile backpack that’s designed for comfort and convenience. For easier organization, it has a spacious main compartment and multiple pockets. In addition, the pack even has a laptop sleeve for added convenience. 

The Farpoint/Fairview 40 is also equipped with comfortable shoulder straps, a padded back panel, and a hip belt for maximum comfort during extended periods of wear.

The Cotopaxi Allpa Del Dia…

…is another excellent option for travelers to Europe. It has a durable build and is made with weather-resistant materials to keep your belongings safe and dry. It also features multiple compartments for easy organization, a padded laptop sleeve, and comfortable shoulder straps.

In addition, the Allpa Del Dia comes in a range of vibrant colors and is made from repurposed materials, making it an environmentally conscious choice.

The Tropicfeel Shell…

…is a backpack designed for travelers who want something lightweight, durable, and stylish. Also, it has a unique clamshell design that allows for easy packing and access to your belongings. 

Also, the Tropicfeel Shell is equipped with a padded laptop compartment, several other compartments, and comfortable straps for maximum comfort. Additionally, the pack is made with sustainable and eco-friendly materials, making it an ideal choice for the environmentally-conscious traveler.

These three backpacks beat the competition by a wide margin due to their durable build, top-notch construction, and large capacities. Lastly, their innovative features make them suitable for the most demanding settings. 

Whether you’re backpacking through Europe or taking a weekend trip, the Osprey Farpoint/Fairview 40, Cotopaxi Allpa Del Dia, and Tropicfeel Shell are excellent choices that’ll make your trip more comfortable.

So take a deep dive into our detailed reviews below to find the best travel backpack for you!

Here are the 11 Best Travel Backpacks for a Europe Trip!

For People Who Like to Travel Fast
1. Osprey Farpoint/Fairview 40 Travel Pack from the side

1. Osprey Farpoint/Fairview 40 Travel Pack

The Farpoint 40 is perfect for anyone who loves to travel. This travel pack has torso adjustments and breathable harnesses or hip belts, which can help secure the pack more closely to your body! It’s also great as a carry-on bag.

Check It Out on the Osprey Shop!


The Farpoint and Fairview backpacks are revamped versions of the well-received travel backpacks previously carried by Osprey. Released in 2022, the new versions of this backpack introduce new features that improve their usability and protection. 

Among these innovations are the improved AirScape back panel and the foam wings first seen in the Osprey Porter. Apart from offering better protection and more efficient compression straps, these backpacks also repositioned the padded laptop compartment so your computer can rest safely against your back. 

Top Features

  • Shoulder- and hip straps adjust to fit any torso size
  • The main compartment is now easily accessible via a large panel zip
  • The main compartment zipper features lockable sliders
  • Repositioned laptop sleeves rest your laptop against your back for better comfort
  • The front features dual compression shoulder straps for quick and easy adjustments
  • Two interior compression straps hold your things more securely
  • Has gear attachment loops to carry other essential items


Farpoint 40 Travel Pack Price

The Farpoint/Fairview 40 lists for $185.00.

Product Pros

  • Stitching, fabric, and zippers are durable
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • The harness system keeps the pack secure to your body
  • Fits under most airplane seats

Product Cons

  • Doesn’t have strap keepers
  • Water bottles won’t fit comfortably in the mesh pockets if the bag is full

Bottom Line

The Farpoint/Fairview 40 is an excellent all-around backpack for anyone traveling to Europe. After all, it can carry a surprising amount of stuff — and even fit a sleeping bag!

For me, the main selling point of this bag is that it isn’t heavy or ungainly even when filled with stuff. I find it the perfect solution when I need a light carry-on backpack for quick trips or a larger bag for extended travels.

In many ways, the Farpoint/Fairview 40 is my ideal travel companion.

For a Unique, Eco-friendly Design
2. Cotopaxi Allpa Del Dia Travel Pack, from the side

2. Cotopaxi Allpa Del Dia Travel Pack

Though the Allpa Del Dia is best for weekend travels, it’s no less durable or versatile. In addition, this backpack comes in unique color combinations, as it’s made from vibrant repurposed fabrics.

Check It Out on the Cotopaxi Shop!


Cotopaxi’s Allpa Del Dia is designed to meet the needs of the most demanding travelers. The pack is light and durable, so it’s perfectly suited for cross-country railway tours, quick weekend getaways, and even extended backpacking trips. 

In addition, the Allpa Del Dia is small enough to become a carry-on backpack on plane rides. Of course, since the Allpa is a travel and hiking backpack, it can still hold enough items to ensure a rewarding vacation.

Top Features

  • It’s constructed from durable, repurposed fabrics, reducing waste and minimizing environmental impact
  • Available in various colored panels and stitching options to suit your mood and personal style
  • Available in 28, 35, and 42-liter models. Generously-sized for most travel applications while still small enough to serve as carry-on backpacks for airline trips
  • The suitcase-style opening provides easy and convenient access to the main compartment and internal pockets
  • The large main compartment and the three smaller mesh pockets each have a zipper, with lightweight mesh separating them for better organization
  • All zips for exterior pockets are fitted with webbing tabs that deter thieves and pickpockets
  • The shoulder straps and hip belt can be concealed for suitcase-style carrying


Cotopaxi Allpa Del Dia Price

The Cotopaxi Allpa Del Dia is priced at $195. 

Product Pros

  • Opens like a suitcase and is spacious
  • Comes with a rain cover
  • Theft-proof zippers
  • No two packs have the same color

Product Cons

  • No pockets for water bottles
  • Not the best option for long hikes
  • You might get a bag with a design you don’t like

Bottom Line

The Cotopaxi Allpa Del Dia is the perfect solution for anyone looking for a light and durable carry-on backpack for a European vacation. Thus, I’ve found it versatile enough for various applications, from short trips to longer journeys.

I especially like the repurposed material and construction that can withstand heavy use. Lastly, the different color options allow me to impart my own personal style for an affordable price.

To Carry More on Your Trip
3. Tropicfeel Shell Core, from the side, black

3. Tropicfeel Shell Backpack

The Tropicfeel Shell Backpack is an ideal travel backpack for the modern traveler. You can scale the pack’s size from 20 to 40L depending on how much you want to carry. As such, this versatile pack allows for easy access and greater organization!

Check It Out on the Tropicfeel Shop!


Tropicfeel markets itself as an all-inclusive travel brand. The company produces everything from travel shoes and travel wear. But really, it’s their backpacks that have attracted our attention. So, the Tropicfeel Shell offers a wealth of features and innovations that make it a top contender for the best European travel backpacks. 

Top Features

  • The large 40-liter capacity allows you to carry everything you need, even on long journeys
  • The backpack’s convenient top-loading design allows you to compress it to 30 or even 22 liters
  • Well-designed shoulder straps, hip straps, pouches, and attachments let you use the Shell as a travel backpack, a carry-on bag, or a daypack
  • Made from 100% recycled nylon and 60% recycled polyester with materials sourced from ethical suppliers
  • Comes with several accessories that complement the Shell’s overall design. For instance, it includes a FidLock Mounting system, Camera Cube, and a built-in wardrobe system


Tropicfeel Shell Backpack Price

The Tropicfeel Shell lists for €199 or about $219.26. 

Product Pros

  • Can hold between 20 to 40 liters, depending on how much you pack
  • Best for weekends or short holidays and business trips
  • Has a kangaroo pouch for shoes
  • Made of recycled materials

Product Cons

  • The built-in wardrobe is bulky
  • Not a good pack for hiking or camping
  • Not the best for longer trips

Bottom Line

The beauty of the Tropicfeel Shell is that it offers all the benefits of a handy duffel bag, carry-on bag, or travel backpack with a convenient built-in wardrobe system. As a result, it’s one of the most versatile and accessible backpacks I’ve ever tried. For example, it works equally well whether as a carry-on travel backpack or a daypack. 

For Traveling in Rainy Weather
4. Salkan Backpacker 4. Mainpack + Daypack Set, all components

4. Salkan Backpacker Mainpack + Daypack Set

The Salkan Backpacker is made of weather-resistant fabric and recycled materials. The mainpack and daypack attach to each other for added convenience! So not only is it secure, but the pack’s adjustable back system will ensure that it adjusts to your size.

Check It Out on the Salkan Shop!


The Salkan Backpacker is actually two bags in one, with a Mainpack that you can use to carry your bulkier travel items and a Daypack for daily use. Not only do the two bags each have a laptop sleeve, but they’re designed to complement each other. As a result, it provides a convenient all-in-one solution for a variety of travel needs. 

Top Features

  • The pack is made of durable, weather-resistant recycled COTNA fabric. Thus, it provides excellent protection against even the worst weather
  • Has a convenient, fully-adjustable suspension system and hip straps for quick and easy fitting
  • Has thick and well-padded shoulder straps and hip straps that are contoured for a thoroughly comfortable fit
  • The mainpack and daypack each have a padded laptop sleeve that can carry a 15-inch laptop. So apart from the laptop sleeve, there are plenty of pockets in the mainpack to help keep your things organized
  • The daypack can be clipped onto the mainpack to separate clean items from soiled ones


Salkan Backpacker Set Price

You can purchase the Salkan Backpacker for £295.00 or about $367.85.

Product Pros

  • Great for longer backpacking trips
  • Design is customizable
  • Both the mainpack and daypack have a laptop sleeve
  • Inner pockets mean better organization
  • Comes with a rain cover

Product Cons

  • A bit heavy to be carry-on compliant
  • The daypack can be hard to close when at capacity

Bottom Line

I personally think that the Salkan Backpacker looks great and is probably one of the most comfortable carry-on travel backpacks you can find. Additionally, I love the suspension system and removable hip belt, and the durability and versatility make it well worth the price. Lastly, you even get a bonus daypack in the same design, which is a definite plus for me!

For Frequent Flyers
5. Tortuga Outbreaker Travel Backpack from the front

5. Tortuga Outbreaker Travel Backpack

The Tortuga Outbreaker has an adjustable suspension system that can fit your frame. Not only that, but the hip belt keeps weight off your shoulders and back. So depending on your size, you might choose the 35- or 45-liter pack.

Check It Out on the Tortuga Shop!


The Tortuga Outbreaker is conveniently sized and can fit standard overhead bins. Not only that, but it can serve as a hiking backpack. You won’t have any problems with the Tortuga travel backpack while backpacking across Europe or reclining on a flight! 

Even so, the Outbreaker travel backpack is large enough to fit everything you might need on your trip. Plus, it keeps your things neat and organized as well. 

Top Features

  • Perfectly sized for carry-on travelers. Comes in 35-liter and 45-liter versions, which should meet most commercial airline requirements
  • The square shape maximizes every inch of usable space in the main compartment, making packing and organizing more convenient
  • Opens like a standard suitcase, giving full unencumbered access to all the contents
  • Has an innovative, fully-adjustable suspension system. So the shoulder straps, back panel, and hip belt are all precisely adjustable for a comfortable fit
  • Built from sturdy, durable materials to withstand even rigorous use


The Tortuga Outbreaker is priced at $299. 

Product Pros

  • Excellent organization
  • Durable clamshell design
  • Made of waterproof material
  • Large carrying capacity

Product Cons

  • Shoulder straps can’t be stowed away
  • Best for longer trips
  • Not always carry-on compliant

Bottom Line

The Outbreaker Backpack is one of the best travel backpacks for me, considering how much I value convenience and portability. Also, I’ve found that the Tortuga travel backpack fits into almost any airline overhead bin, and I never have any trouble carrying it onto an airplane. Think of it as a hiking backpack that fits a good amount of travel items! 

For Better Security
6. Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Anti-Theft Backpack, from the front

6. Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Anti-Theft Backpack

The Venturesafe backpack is perfect for travelers who want to keep their things safe during a trip. This anti-theft backpack even has RFID-blocking technology! Consider bringing this carry-on pack for your upcoming Europe trip.

Check It Out on the Pacsafe Shop!


The Pacsafe Venturesafe offers a large storage capacity that lets you carry everything you need to enjoy a trip to Europe. Thus, at 40 liters, it is just large enough to meet international airline standards. This travel backpack also has innovative anti-theft technology features that keep your items safe and secure on the road.

Top Features

  • Made from ECONYL regenerated nylon material, meaning a reduced environmental impact
  • Manufactured according to environmental standards and ethical business policies. Additionally, part of the proceeds goes to preservation and environmental cleaning initiatives
  • Has anti-theft features. For example, it has zip locking systems, eXomesh slash-proof layers, a locking cable, a hip belt, and puncture-resistant zips
  • Easy access to the main compartment via the large, suitcase-style opening
  • Has a generously-sized main compartment
  • Is comfortable and easy to carry as a hiking backpack, despite its size and weight


Pacsafe Venturesafe X40 Backpack Price

The Pacsafe Venturesafe is priced at $329.95.

Product Pros

  • Comfortable design
  • Has anti-theft technology like an RFID-blocker
  • Made of tear- and cut-resistant materials
  • Various compartments with great storage capacity

Product Cons

  • Heavy when full of gear
  • Not a lot of external pockets to access your items
  • The laptop section isn’t positioned optimally within the bag

Bottom Line

In my long search for an anti-theft backpack with a huge carrying capacity, I’ve found exactly what I was looking for in the Pacsafe Venturesafe. Despite their size and weight, I’m happy to say that these travel backpacks meet most international airline standards and are remarkably easy to carry.

Best For Trekkers
7. Osprey Farpoint/Fairview Trek from the side, black

7. Osprey Farpoint/Fairview Trek

The Osprey Farpoint/Fairview Trek backpacks cater to a variety of torso sizes. Not only that, but it’s designed to regulate your temperature on a trek. As such, this travel pack is great for tackling trails or long trips.

Check It Out on the Osprey Shop!


The Osprey Farpoint Trek conveniently combines hiking and travel backpack features. Whether you’re traipsing the city streets or hiking through a mountain trail, this pack ensures a safe and comfortable journey. 

Advanced features include an adjustable suspension, a hip belt, a waterproof cover, and durable fabrics. These give you peace of mind knowing that your personal items are well protected. 

Top Features

  • Available in large 55-liter and 75-liter capacities. Holds a large amount of gear while remaining light and easy to manage
  • Its versatile hybrid design allows you to use the bag for long-term travel and quick hikes
  • The clamshell design makes packing and organizing items easy, quick, and convenient
  • Has an AirSpeed trampoline suspension system and hip belt that keeps pressure off your back
  • Distributes the weight evenly, allowing for comfortable use over long periods
  • A single large main compartment and several small pockets make arranging and organizing items easy


Farpoint 55 Trek Price

The Osprey Farpoint Trek 55 is listed for $250.00.

Osprey Farpoint 75 Trek Price

Meanwhile, the Trek 75 is available for $270.00.

Product Pros

  • Versatile, perfect for traveling, trekking, and camping
  • Made from durable materials
  • Has a comfortable, adjustable harness
  • Comes with a waterproof cover to protect from moisture or flight check-in

Product Cons

  • Doesn’t have an integrated travel organizer
  • Doesn’t have a padded laptop compartment

Bottom Line

The Osprey Farpoint Trek is the one to get if you value storage capacity above all else. Like the best travel and hiking backpacks I’ve tried, the Farpoint Trek is designed specifically for adventure travel. In addition, I like that it allows easy access to the contents while keeping everything neat and organized. 

For the Practical Traveler
8. Peak Design Travel Backpack, black, 45 liters

8. Peak Design Travel Backpack

Peak Design understand that no two trips are the same, so they came up with their travel pack! It’s ideal, whether you’re backpacking across Europe for two weeks or one weekend. This carry-on backpack is expandable, meaning you can fit more gear.

Check It Out on the Peak Design Shop


Peak Design’s Travel Backpack is a prime example of a product that defies first impressions. While its exterior may seem simple and unpretentious, it is a treasure trove of practical features that make it an ideal choice for anyone who travels frequently.

This travel pack is designed with travelers’ needs in mind. Additionally, this backpack isn’t just another bag for carrying your belongings, but also a well-conceived and meticulously crafted travel companion that offers numerous thoughtful features, such as a dedicated camera and laptop compartment.

Top Features

  • Expandable design allows for easy alternation between 35 and 45 liters
  • Multiple access points for effortless retrieval of items, including top, side, front, and rear
  • Padded laptop and tablet sleeves for safe and secure storage
  • Has a divisible main compartment for organized packing
  • Large and stretchy dual side pockets, a feature not commonly found in travel backpacks
  • Has multiple interior pockets for added storage options
  • Has a durable, modern-style nylon canvas shell for longevity


Peak Design Travel BackPack 30 Price

You can purchase the 30-liter Peak Design Travel Backpack at $229.95.

Peak Design Travel BackPack 45 Price

On the other hand, you can purchase the 45-liter one for $299.95.

Product Pros

  • Versatile and multipurpose pack
  • Strong construction and durable exterior
  • Great organization with its many compartments
  • Ideal for carrying camera gear

Product Cons

  • Water bottle compartment might be a bit cramped
  • Not as many anti-theft features
  • Water-resistant but not waterproof
  • Can get bulky when full up

Bottom Line

The Peak Design Backpack is ideal for someone who’s looking for a backpack that does more than just hold their belongings. Designed specifically for travelers like me, it’s a well-thought-out and meticulously crafted travel solution that offers many innovative features.

I don’t mind at all that the Peak Design Travel Backpack doesn’t look flashy or attention-grabbing. For me, its true value lies in its ability to provide a seamless and stress-free travel experience. I definitely feel that it’s a backpack that lives up to its name, and I, for one, would be proud to carry it while backpacking Europe.

Great Storage Compatibility
9. Osprey Porter Travel Pack 46, from the side, black

9. Osprey Porter Travel Pack 46

The Osprey Porter is a large backpack that’s compatible with carry-on. For instance, it can fit perfectly in overhead storage bins! This convenient travel pack is made of sustainable, bluesign®-approved materials.

Check It Out on the Osprey Shop!


Osprey has been a household name in the backpacking community for years, thanks to their innovative technology and unparalleled expertise in designing high-quality backpacks. So over the years, the brand has extended its expertise to the travel backpack market, and the Porter 46 is a fine example of this.

It’s a versatile and practical backpack that offers both impressive carrying comfort. Additionally, the pack boasts a sleek design that’s perfect for traveling around Europe. 

The Porter 46’s carry-on-friendly build allows you to take it on board a plane, eliminating the need for bulky checked luggage. As a result, it’s a backpack that strikes a perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics.

Top Features

  • Has a solid framesheet with well-cushioned shoulder and hip belt straps for carrying comfort
  • Its compression system cinches down the backpack and reduces bulk
  • Has lockable zippers for added security of the main compartment and laptop sleeve
  • The padded handle at the side doubles as a pass-through point for stacking on a rolling suitcase
  • Has multiple zippered pockets of varying sizes for convenient storage
  • Compression straps can keep clothes tidy during travel
  • Padded sidewalls protect valuables
  • Is carry-on compliant with most domestic and international airline restrictions, despite offering 11 more liters of capacity than the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L for $15 less
  • Sturdy and durable construction, reinforced with cord loops to attach to Osprey’s Daylight daypack


Osprey Porter Travel Pack 46 Price

The Osprey Porter 46 lists for $185.00. 

Product Pros

  • Stowable and carry-on friendly
  • Secure, lockable zippers
  • Made of recycled materials

Product Cons

  • Limited color options
  • No outside mesh pockets

Bottom Line

The Porter 46 is a versatile travel backpack that offers an unbeatable combination of capacity, features, and comfort for its price. 

With its 46-liter capacity, this backpack easily accommodates all my gear, even for longer, gear-intensive adventures. Thus, it provides ample space for packing all my clothes, shoes, toiletries, electronics, and other travel essentials. 

In addition to its impressive capacity, the Porter 46 is chock-full features that make it my ideal travel companion. The backpack boasts a solid framesheet that ensures it retains its shape and distributes weight evenly, so it’s comfortable for me to carry even when fully loaded.

I also like the Porter 46’s well-cushioned shoulder and hip belt straps. These provide me with the additional comfort and support I need for extended periods of use. 

Durable But with Plenty of Pockets
10. Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L, from the side

10. Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L

The 30-liter Global Travel Bag is made for long trips! The bag has three-way carry options and allows travelers to better organize their stuff. Also, this pack has zipper loops to prevent theft or having items fall out of your bag.

Check It Out on the Topo Designs Shop!


The Global Travel Bag 30L is a versatile backpack that offers plenty of storage space, making it easy to pack all your essentials for a weekend trip. In addition, it features a large main compartment and several smaller pockets and compartments for easy organization. 

The backpack, sleeves, and mesh pockets are made from high-quality materials that are both durable and weather-resistant, ensuring that your belongings stay safe and dry no matter the weather conditions. 

Top Features

  • Has many pockets and attachment points. For instance, it has vertical daisy chain webbing on the front and expandable side water bottle pockets
  • Ample zippered pockets inside and out of the pack make it easy to organize and access belongings
  • Features a laptop sleeve along the back panel, perfect for keeping your electronics safe and secure
  • Has several interior mesh pockets for storing smaller items like your passport, wallet, and keys
  • Made from a mix of 1,000- and 1,680-denier ballistic nylon, giving it a durable and rugged feel
  • Amazingly lightweight despite its toughness. Weighs only 2 pounds and 10 ounces


Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L Price

Topo Designs’ Global Travel Bag lists for $199.00.

Product Pros

  • Has a laptop sleeve and side water bottle pocket
  • Comfortable straps and sturdy handles
  • Made with recycled materials

Product Cons

  • For some, too many pockets
  • Can’t fit under airplane seats
  • Not the best for carrying larger items

Bottom Line

I’ve found the Global Travel Bag 30L to be a well-designed and expertly crafted backpack that’s perfect for my frequent weekend getaways. Additionally, the sleek and modern design is always sure to turn heads wherever I go, and the range of colors to choose from perfectly suits my personal style.

The Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L is a shining example of the company’s commitment to producing high-quality and stylish backpacks. It’s a great option for users like me who want a weekend-ready design that’s both functional and fashionable.

For Greater Carrying Capacity
11. REI Co-op Ruckpack 60+ Recycled Travel Pack from the side, black

11. REI Co-op Ruckpack 60+ Recycled Travel Pack

The 60-liter mainpack allows you to carry a hefty amount of gear, and you can add 20 more liters on top of that. Whether you take full advantage of the total 80 liters, the pack is still comfortable regardless.

Check It Out on the REI Co-op Shop!


The REI Co-op Ruckpack 60+ is a welcome alternative to standard backpacks since it’s designed for vacationers and travelers heading out for a week or two. Ideally suited for longer trips abroad, this backpack offers abundant storage and capacity. 

With a capacity of 60 liters (plus an additional 10 liters with the extension collar), the Ruckpack 60+ provides ample space for all your gear and essentials. Thus, the pack is designed for extended trips, making it an ideal choice for backpackers, hikers, and adventurers.

Top Features

  • Comes with a 20-liter daypack that can be attached to the front of the main pack, providing a total storage space of 80 liters
  • The daypack has a dedicated sleeve for a tablet or hydration system and a water bottle pocket
  • The main pack features comfortable cushioning along the straps and back panel, making it comfortable to wear for extended periods
  • The functional compression and daisy chain system allows you to securely pack all your gear
  • Allows easy access through the zippered back or side panels
  • Has storage for a water bladder, trekking pole attachments, and a stowable rain cover
  • Made from sustainable materials, including recycled and bluesign®-approved fabrics.


REI Co-op Ruckpack 60+ Travel Pack Price

REI Co-op’s Ruckpack 60+ lists for $199.00.  

Product Pros

  • Total 80-liter capacity
  • Has a sternum strap for more support
  • Made of durable materials
  • Comes with a stowable rain cover

Product Cons

  • Heavy when filled up

Bottom Line

The REI Co-op Ruckpack 60+ is my favorite choice when embarking on longer trips abroad. So it provides me enough storage and capacity for even large loads, and the 20-liter daypack provides even more versatility and functionality. 

Also, both the daypack and main pack are well appointed with useful features like:

  • Dedicated tablet/hydration sleeves;
  • Water bottle pocket; 
  • Rain cover; and 
  • Trekking pole attachments. 

A great option for outdoor enthusiasts like me, it’s also sustainable, incorporating recycled and bluesign®-approved fabrics. 

For me, the Ruckpack 60+ offers a complete and thoughtful package for travelers seeking both functionality and sustainability.

Why are Travel Backpacks for Europe necessary?

A travel backpack is an excellent choice for anyone going on a trip to Europe because they’re designed to make travel more convenient, comfortable, and organized. 

Unlike a traditional suitcase or carry-on luggage, the best backpack is more mobile and flexible. These are crucial qualities when navigating busy airports, train stations, and cobblestone streets. 

The best travel backpacks distribute weight evenly via comfortable shoulder straps and a hip belt, reducing the risk of back pain and fatigue. Multiple compartments and pockets also make it easy to access and organize belongings. So, its features can be useful when traveling to multiple destinations and staying in different accommodations. 

The practical benefits make travel backpacks ideally suited for exploring Europe. Additionally, they make it easier for travelers to blend in with the local culture. After all, large suitcases can attract unwanted attention and make travelers look like tourists. In contrast, travel backpacks are more low-key. 

Backpacks also allow travelers to move more quickly and efficiently through crowded areas. So, this makes them an ideal choice for navigating narrow streets and stairs. 

Finally, travel backpacks are ideally suited for eco-conscious travelers who want to reduce their carbon footprint. Unlike wheeled luggage, the best travel backpack for Europe has much less risk of damaging roads and paved surfaces. 

Person looking into the open sky by StockSnap on Pixabay

What are the Differences Between Standard and Travel Backpacks? 

Standard backpacks and travel backpacks differ in several key ways.

First, travel backpacks are designed specifically for the needs of travelers, with features such as easy access to external pockets for travel documents and toiletries, plus compartments for electronics like laptops and cameras.

Second, travel backpacks often have a larger capacity than a standard backpack or shoulder bag, allowing you to carry more items for extended trips.

Third, travel backpacks are typically made from more durable and weather-resistant materials than most bags to withstand the wear and tear of travel.

Fourth, travel backpacks often have additional features such as adjustable straps and padded back panels for increased comfort during extended periods of wear.

Finally, travel backpacks often have specialized designs, such as clamshell openings or front-loading compartments. These make packing and accessing your items more convenient.

Overall, while standard backpacks and hiking bags may be suitable for daily use, travel backpacks are specifically designed to meet the needs of travelers and provide additional features and durability for extended trips.

Two travelers, one with a book and guitar, walking through a city, by Austin Distel from Unsplash

Backpacks vs. Duffel Bags: Which Should You Choose?

Though both backpacks and duffel bags are popular options for carrying items during travel, they have some key differences.

Due to its design, a backpack will distribute the weight of your belongings evenly across your back, especially when paired with padded straps and a back panel for added comfort during extended wear. They typically have multiple compartments and external pockets for better organization and easier access to your items.

Backpacks are ideal for active and outdoor pursuits because they leave your hands free and allow for greater mobility.

On the other hand, a duffel bag is typically a large, soft-sided bag with a single compartment and often lacks a backpack’s organization and accessibility features. So duffels are generally easier to pack and can fit more items than backpacks. 

Thus, a duffel bag is a reasonable option if you need a bag for short trips. You could also use them for carrying bulky items like sports equipment or clothing.

Ultimately, the choice between a backpack and a duffel bag will depend on your situational needs and personal preference. But if you require hands-free mobility and organization, a backpack is the better option. On the other hand, if you need to pack more items or have large or bulky items to carry, a duffel bag may be the better choice.

Two travel bags and cell phones, by Yong_ on Pixabay

What Makes a Good Travel Backpack for Europe?  

The best travel backpack is the one that fits your needs. It should be big enough to hold everything you need with padded shoulder straps and a hip belt that allow for comfortable wear for long periods. 

The ideal travel backpack for a Europe trip should also be durable and keep your items secure when stashed in a plane’s overhead compartment. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a stylish-looking travel backpack that you’d be proud to carry around! 

Here are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a travel backpack for journeying in Europe:

1. Size and capacity

A good travel backpack for Europe should have a capacity of at least 40 liters. This capacity can comfortably fit all of your essentials for a multi-week trip. However, some budget airlines have strict carry-on size restrictions, so remember to check their guidelines before purchasing a backpack.

2. Comfort

Since you will be carrying your backpack for extended periods, it must be something you can comfortably carry. Look for a backpack with a padded hip belt, detachable shoulder strap, and back panel to help distribute weight evenly.

3. Durability

The best backpacks are durable enough to withstand the rigors of travel. Look for backpacks made from sturdy materials such as nylon or polyester and with reinforced stitching and zippers.

4. Organization

A good travel backpack should have multiple compartments and pockets to help keep your belongings organized and easily accessible. Look for a backpack with a main compartment, front compartment, and side pockets for water bottles or other small items.

5. Security

While traveling, it’s vital to keep your belongings safe and secure. Look for backpacks with lockable zippers, RFID-blocking pockets, or other security features.

6. Style

Finally, choose a backpack that fits your style and preferences. Look for backpacks in appealing colors and designs that suit your travel needs.

Woman walking with a travel pack by wal_172619 from Pixabay

Ideal Materials and Construction for a Travel Backpack 

When it comes to design, the backpack’s choice of materials and construction techniques are crucial to ensuring durability, functionality, and comfort. So here are some ideal materials and construction techniques that make a high-quality backpack:

1. Material: Ripstop Nylon or Cordura

Ripstop nylon is a lightweight, durable fabric that’s resistant to tearing and ripping. Thus, it’s an ideal material for a travel backpack’s shoulder straps or pocket organizer. Ripstop nylon is water-resistant and can withstand rough handling. Need a different material that can withstand wear and tear? Cordura is another high-performance, abrasion-resistant material.

2. Construction: Double-stitching

Double-stitching is a technique where two parallel rows of stitches will reinforce seams. This technique ensures a durable bag with resistant seams that can withstand the weight of the contents without tearing or coming apart. 

3. Material: YKK Zippers

YKK zippers are known for their durability and smooth operation. So, they’re ideal for a travel backpack as they can withstand repeated use, and easily handle heavy loads.

4. Construction: Reinforced Straps

Reinforced straps are essential for a travel backpack. After all, they’re responsible for carrying the weight of the contents. The straps should be double-stitched and reinforced with webbing to ensure that they’re strong enough to withstand the weight without tearing.

5. Material: Breathable Back Panel

A breathable back panel is vital to keep the backpack comfortable, especially during long hours of use. A breathable back panel allows air to circulate and prevents sweat from accumulating, which can lead to discomfort and irritation.

6. Construction: Multiple Compartments

A travel backpack should have multiple compartments to help organize the contents and make them easily accessible. The compartments should be designed with sturdy zippers. Not only that, but the backpack should have a variety of pockets for different items such as a laptop, water bottle, or passport.

By using high-quality materials and construction techniques, a travel backpack can be durable, comfortable, and functional. A well-designed travel backpack can help make traveling more enjoyable by providing easy access to all the essential items while on the go.

Friendly lady in the middle of the road by Guilherme Stecanella by Unsplash

Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a Travel Backpack 

In addition to comfort, durability, size, organization, and style, there are other factors to consider when choosing a travel backpack for Europe:

1. Carry-on size: If you want to avoid checked baggage fees or move quickly through airports and train stations, look for a backpack that meets the carry-on size restrictions of the airlines you’ll be using. But in general, the best carry-on backpacks have a capacity of 40-50 liters and fit in a standard overhead compartment.

2. Security features: Europe can be a target for pickpockets and thieves, so having security features on your backpack can be helpful. So, look for backpacks with lockable zippers, hidden pockets, and slash-proof materials to help protect your belongings.

3. Weight: You don’t want your bag to be too heavy, especially if you plan to do a lot of walking or hiking. Thus, you want to look for backpacks made with lightweight materials and minimal hardware.

4. Weather resistance: Depending on where and when you’re traveling in Europe, you may encounter rain, snow, or other inclement weather. Look for backpacks made with water-resistant or waterproof materials, and consider getting a rain cover for extra protection.

5. Comfort features: Look for backpacks with padded shoulder straps, a breathable back panel, and a hip belt. These features distribute weight and make your backpack easier to carry for long periods.

6. Purpose: Consider the purpose of your trip and the activities you’ll be doing. If you plan to do a lot of hiking, get a backpack with a rain cover, a hydration system, and trekking pole attachments. On the other hand, if you’ll be staying in hostels, find one with a detachable daypack or multiple compartments to keep your belongings organized.

A pair of seniors walking through a city by pasja1000 from Pixabay


When choosing a travel backpack for Europe, it’s important to consider several factors. Firstly, comfort is crucial, since you’ll be carrying your backpack for extended periods. Look for ones with padded straps, back panels, as well as a waist belt. These will distribute the weight and reduce pressure on your shoulders.

Secondly, durability is also critical. Europe can be challenging for backpacks due to the varied terrain, weather conditions, and potential for wear and tear during travel. So, choose a pack made from high-quality materials that can withstand frequent use and movement.

In terms of size, it’s best to choose a backpack that offers ample space to store all of your belongings. But it should still be compact enough to be used as a carry-on bag. 

Aim for a backpack with a 30-40 liter capacity, which should be sufficient for most trips. A pack with multiple compartments and pockets will help you stay organized and access your items easily.

Additionally, consider the versatility of the backpack. A good travel backpack for Europe should be suitable for both city and outdoor use. Look for features such as water-resistant material, compression straps, and loops for attaching gear like trekking poles. 

Finally, you should also account for your personal preference and style. You want a travel pack that not only meets your functional needs but also reflects your personal taste and style. 

Consider factors such as color, design, and the overall aesthetic of the backpack. Doing so will help you find a suitable travel pack that you’ll enjoy using on your journeys.

Traveler looking over the city from a bridge rail by shotinraww by Unsplash


What size backpack should I get for a European trip?

A travel pack with a 40- to 50-liter capacity should be sufficient for a European trip. Travel backpacks of this size provide enough space for essential items without weighing you down too much or being too cumbersome to carry around. 

What features should I look for in a good travel backpack for Europe? 

The most important features to look for in a travel pack for a European trip are:

  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Security
  • Organization
  • Style

The best travel backpack for Europe should be comfortable to wear and made of high-quality materials. Security features such as lockable zippers and hidden pockets are also good to have in travel backpacks.

Should I choose a backpack with or without wheels? 

Wheeled backpacks are undeniably convenient but also bulky and difficult to maneuver. This is especially true on cobblestone streets or uneven terrain, which are common in many parts of Europe. For most purposes, a traditional travel backpack with well-padded shoulder straps is usually better than a wheeled pack.

Can I use a hiking backpack for a European trip? 

Hiking backpacks or duffel bags can be suitable for traveling in general. But, a hiking backpack or duffel bag may not have the organizational or security features necessary for European travel. It is generally best to purchase a backpack designed specifically for travel, instead of a hiking pack or duffel bag.

Should I choose a backpack with a front-loading or top-loading design? 

Front-loading and top-loading backpacks each have their advantages and disadvantages. Top-loading backpacks are generally easier to pack and provide more space for larger items. On the other hand, front-loading backpacks allow for easier access to the contents.

How much should I expect to spend on a good travel backpack for Europe? 

Good travel backpacks for Europe can vary considerably in cost depending on the features and quality. Of course, you could go for a budget option at a more affordable price if you want to save money. But it is generally best to spend from $100 to $300 or more for a high-quality travel backpack that provides the necessary comfort, security, and durability.

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