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Got the travel bug?
From the beauty of Paris to the smoke-filled coffee-shops in Amsterdam, to the beaches of Greece, there’s a vast array of things to see and do in Europe.
Whether you are backpacking around Europe for a few weeks or months, you will have plenty to keep you occupied.
One of the most important things you will need is a backpack.
So sit back and enjoy this guide – let’s pick the best backpack for backpacking around Europe.
Do you really need a special backpack for traveling around Europe?
Irrespective of how long you spend away from home, there are many essentials you will want to take to make your travels more comfortable.
These range from small personal items, like your toothbrush, to larger items like water canisters. There will be items that you need to keep safe, like your money and passport. There may also be items that you need easy access to, like your smartphone.
Whatever you pack, I’m here to help.
This handy guide advises you on what aspects are essential in your selection process, and we also pick out some items for you that are definitely worth considering.
What features to look for in a Backpack for Traveling around Europe?
Stop and think first:
Consider these factors before you start looking for the bag you need.
What size do you need?
Typically this is a list of what you might take with you when backpacking around Europe:
- clothes for all weather you might encounter
- shoes for all terrains
- your smartphone
- hygiene accessories
- thermals for colder weather
- travel documents and passport
- toiletries, especially if you’re hosteling
- some rudimentary medicines like aspirin
- beachwear, depending on season
- laundry detergent (again, especially if you’re hosteling!)
- oh and just about everything else you need to live!
So if your house had wheels, you could simply drag that along.
But that’s not the case, and even if it were, it would not be practical. You need a bag big enough to take all these essentials but small enough to carry from one fantastic European city to the next.
Compartments & Pockets
There are a limited number of things you will need easy access to, and the things that you do need will change day-to-day depending on where you are.
For example, if you know you are flying today, you will need easy access to your passport, tickets, and hostel details.
However, if you know that you are walking through a forest, you won’t need those items, so you will favor waterbottles, maps, and compasses in those easy to reach pockets. Whatever your plans for the day, you will need at least one easy-access pockets.
Europe is notorious for their pickpockets, especially in more tourist-oriented areas.
When traveling anywhere for long periods, preventing thieves from stealing your essentials is crucial. Losing your passport or money will be one of your worst nightmares! You will end up at your national embassy trying to sort out the issue instead of enjoying the adventure.
Pick items with anti-theft systems incorporated in them.
Is it Durable?
Weather conditions in Europe range from heavy rainstorms to scorching sunshine.
Also, you are likely to throw your bag down on terrain that ranges from the soft sandy type to the muddy, rocky kind.
Your backpack needs to be able to survive in all the conditions you subject it to throughout your whole trip.
What kind of material is appropriate?
For those of you jumping the gun and opting for leather – stop!
Leather is derived from the skin of an animal and, understandably, should be the most durable option – after all, it was designed by nature to last a lifetime. However, a cow isn’t expected to take the wear and tear that your backpack will.
For example, a cow will not be thrown around a sweaty bus, or be thrown to the ground multiple times. A cow would not be expected to be squeezed into an already full luggage compartment or be dragged across rocky terrains.
So forget leather!
It was not designed for this type of treatment. Pick water-repellant, light-weight, and durable material – often something synthetic.
Best Backpack for Backpacking Europe Reviewed
Best Overall Pack for Backpacking Europe: the Osprey Farpoint 40 Anti-Theft Travel Pack
Buy on Amazon
I’ve talked a lot about Osprey on this site, because they’re an awesome company!
The Osprey Farpoint 40 Anti-Theft Travel Pack is Osprey’s lightest travel backpack to date.
Featuring a robust carrying system, the pack is ideal for traveling between multiple destinations. It has a mesh ventilated back panel, which optimizes breathability, while the Zip away harness and hipbelt spreads weight for comfortable carrying.
When you’re traveling, comfort is probably the most important thing to think about!
You can carry this bag like a suitcase using its top handle. It also includes a Sternum strap with emergency whistle – which could come in handy.
With low profile padded handles on the side as well, the main compartment has lockable zippers. Serious protection for your important stuff while backpacking!
This is available in two sizes – Small/Medium and Medium/Large – and in two stylish colors – red and black.
Best Anti-Theft Backpack Choice: the Bobby XL Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack
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Bobby has a wide range of anti-theft backpacks.
XD Design is Dutch, and they have 30 years of experience in this field. This particular bag weighs under 2lbs and comes in 2 colors; grey or black – sleek and stylish.
The Bobby XL 17
carries your laptop or tablet (17” max) and lifts this weight away from your shoulders, thus putting less pressure on your spine through an optimal weight balance.
This backpack also has protective layers and a cut-proof protection board as an inner-layer to keep your belongings secure.
There is an integrated USB port on the exterior of the backpack so you can keep your electronic devices charged while still on the move. The fabric is water-repellent, and there are hidden zippers to keep those thieves at bay!
Want to know more? Check out more info about it over on Amazon!
Honorable Mention Anti-Theft Pack: Pacsafe Metrosafe LS450 Anti-Theft Backpack
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This is a lightweight, durable, and secure backpack for traveling abroad.
The Pacsafe Metrosafe LS450 Anti-Theft Backpack features several Pacsafe anti-theft systems to give you peace of mind – from the eXomesh slash-guard, a flexible, stainless steel wire mesh built into its fabric, to lock-about security clip to help prevent pickpockets from getting into your bag.
At 25-liters, this backpack doubles up nicely as a backpack for daily commutes – so you won’t need to store it in a cupboard once your travels have ceased.
It has an internal protective sleeve for a 15” laptop, comfortable, adjustable and padded carrysafe slash-guard shoulder straps, and a zippered RFIDsafe blocking pocket sized for a wallet.
Want to get one for yourself? Click over to Amazon for more info and user reviews!
Budget Anti-Theft Travel Backpack: Matein Travel Anti-Theft Backpack
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This budget Matein Travel Anti-Theft Backpack with USB charging port is water-resistant and durable.
It can carry a laptop of up to 15.6”. This bag is pricey, but you could get similar features from the bags reviewed above.
The bag has a number of great features at a great price:
- Multiple pockets: Main compartment, front small-item pocket, side pockets, and a small rear pocket
- Key fob hook
- Comfy airflow back design with dense yet soft multi-panel ventilated padding, for maximum back support
- Breathable and adjustable shoulder straps – great for relieving stress from your shoulders.
- External pockets on both sides made of Elasticized Mesh. These expand to secure various sized water bottles and a compact umbrella.
- An anti-theft pocket and luggage sleeve are designed on the back
- The suitcase strap can secure tightly on a suitcase
- It’s lightweight
Click here to jump over on Amazon to get the best price!
There are so many travel backpacks to choose from. We have reviewed some, but the Osprey Farpoint 40 Anti-Theft Travel Pack is my favorite.
It combines the standard Osprey quality and style, with anti-theft technology to protect your stuff while backpacking Europe!
Think about your personal needs before you make your purchase. Consider the factors we mention here, especially it’s anti-theft features and the durability of the material. This will benefit you in the long-term!
We hope this review helps you select the backpack that will make your travels run seamlessly. Happy travels and stay safe!