As you prepare for your European adventure, choosing the right luggage is essential. Wheeled backpacks, also known as rolling backpacks, are ideal for navigating cobblestone streets and efficient public transit systems. Look for a backpack with durable wheels that can handle uneven terrain, a telescoping handle for easy maneuvering, and multiple compartments to keep you organized.
When choosing a Best wheeled backpack for Europe Travel, consider size, durability, and functionality. A smaller bag, around 50 to 65 liters, will fit in overhead bins and be easier to transport. Look for water-resistant, ripstop fabric and reinforced stitching. Padded shoulder straps allow you to carry the bag when wheels aren’t convenient. Multiple zippered pockets, mesh water bottle holders, and a laptop sleeve will keep you organized.
With the right wheeled backpack, you’ll be ready to set off on a whirlwind tour of Europe’s most charming cities and stunning landscapes. After reviewing the top options, you’ll find a stylish, rugged, and lightweight companion for all your continental adventures. Let the journey begin!
Why You Need a Wheeled Backpack for Europe
When traveling in Europe, a wheeled backpack can make your trip significantly more pleasant and hassle-free. Here are a few reasons why you should consider a wheeled backpack for your European adventure:
A wheeled backpack allows you to avoid carrying the full weight of your luggage for long periods. Many European cities involve a lot of walking between destinations and attractions, often over uneven cobblestone streets. A wheeled backpack allows you to roll your bag when needed, giving your back and shoulders a rest.
Public transportation in Europe often requires navigating stairs, escalators and tight spaces. A wheeled backpack simplifies moving through train stations and on and off trams, busses and subways since you can roll it behind you with minimal effort. This mobility allows you to pack more into your bag without worrying about it becoming too heavy to haul up and down stairs.
Cobbled streets and uneven pavement are common in many European cities and towns. The durable wheels and retractable handle on a wheeled backpack are designed for these kinds of surfaces, making it easy to maneuver over bumpy roads and paths. The wheels also provide stability so your bag is less likely to tip over on uneven ground.
A wheeled backpack has plenty of storage space for longer trips. Look for a model that opens like a suitcase to give you easy access to the contents inside. Multiple compartments help keep you organized and separate dirty clothes and shoes from clean items. Exterior pockets are useful for storing essentials you need to access quickly like tickets, maps, chargers or snacks.
Overall, a wheeled backpack is ideal for the rigors of European travel. Do some research to find a high-quality, lightweight model that suits your needs and you’ll be rolling confidently from destination to destination. Your back and shoulders will thank you for it!
Key Features to Consider in a Wheeled Backpack
When choosing a wheeled backpack for travel in Europe, there are several key features to consider:
Size and capacity: Look for a backpack that is carry-on size for most airlines to avoid checking it. A capacity of 50 to 70 liters should be sufficient for most trips. Consider your packing needs and how long you will be traveling.
Wheel and handle system: High-quality wheels and a sturdy retractable handle are essential for navigating cobblestone streets and uneven terrain. Look for strong, multi-directional wheels and an aluminum handle.
Pockets and compartments: Multiple pockets make it easy to organize your gear. Look for a backpack with pockets for electronics, water bottles, pens, keys, and other accessories. Interior mesh pockets and dividers are useful for keeping clothes and shoes separate.
Durability: Your wheeled backpack will endure being rolled over rough, uneven surfaces, as well as occasional drops or impacts. Look for one made of tear-resistant, water-repellent material like ballistic nylon or polyester and reinforced stitching.
Security: For peace of mind, consider a backpack with lockable zippers, straps, or compartments. Some backpacks also have built-in anti-theft features like hidden pockets.
Comfort: Well-padded, adjustable straps allow you to comfortably carry your backpack when wheels are not ideal. Look for breathable, moisture-wicking material and strap padding. A telescoping handle and padded top and side grab handles also improve comfort.
With the proper features, a high-quality wheeled backpack can make traveling Europe much more pleasant and hassle-free. Choose one that suits your specific needs and you’ll be enjoying your trip in comfort and style.
Top Best Wheeled Backpacks for Europe Travel: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide
Best Wheeled Backpack for Air Travel: High Sierra AT7
The High Sierra AT7 is a durable and versatile wheeled backpack perfect for air travel. With a retractable handle and smooth-rolling wheels, it lets you easily navigate airports and cobblestone streets alike.
Spacious Main Compartment
The AT7 features a large main compartment with a padded tech pocket that fits most 15” laptops. It also has multiple pockets for smaller items like chargers, pens, and snacks. The main area is roomy enough for a few days of clothes and accessories.
Built to Last
This wheeled backpack is made of a durable 1200D Duralite material with a water-resistant coating. It has reinforced corners for extra protection and durability. The telescoping handle and wheels are made to withstand the wear and tear of frequent travel. With proper care, the AT7 can last for many trips to come.
Comfortable to Carry
For times when rolling isn’t ideal, the AT7 doubles as a backpack. It has padded shoulder straps that tuck away when not in use. Multiple padded grab handles also make it easy to lift in and out of overhead bins. At 7 lbs empty, it’s lightweight enough to carry comfortably when needed.
Ideal for Air Travel
The AT7 meets most airline size requirements for carry-on baggage. Its compact yet spacious design lets you pack everything you need for a short getaway while still fitting easily in an overhead bin. The smooth-rolling wheels and retractable handle are ideal for navigating the airport. Multiple external pockets provide quick access to your laptop, chargers, passport, and other essentials at security checks and boarding gates.
With the High Sierra AT7, you get a high-quality wheeled backpack that’s versatile, durable, and perfectly suited for air travel. Its spacious interior, protective design, and convertible carrying options make it a great choice for any European adventure. This adaptable pack lets you swiftly go from airport to hotel to back again, filling all your travel needs.
Most Durable Wheeled Backpack: Timbuk2 Copilot Luggage Roller
When investing in a durable wheeled backpack for extended travel across Europe, the Timbuk2 Copilot Luggage Roller is an excellent choice.
High-Quality, Weather-Resistant Materials
Constructed from ballistic nylon, the Timbuk2 Copilot provides superior tear and water resistance. Its tarpaulin lining and weather-resistant zippers keep belongings dry in rainy conditions. The backpack’s durable wheels and telescoping handle allow for smooth navigation over uneven cobblestone streets and gravel paths common in Europe.
Spacious, Well-Organized Interior
The Copilot’s cavernous main compartment and numerous pockets keep you well organized on the go. It fits enough for a 2-week trip and complies with most airlines’ carry-on size limits. Interior pockets, tie-down straps, and a laptop sleeve keep everything in place. A large front pocket and side water bottle pocket provide easy access to essentials.
Comfortable Harness System
For times you need to carry the Copilot, its padded air mesh back panel and shoulder straps provide maximum comfort. The straps can be tucked away when wheeling for a streamlined profile. An adjustable sternum strap and grab handle offer extra convenience.
- Extremely durable and weather-resistant
- Roomy interior with efficient organization
- Comfortable harness system for carrying
- Meets most carry-on size limits
- Can feel heavy when fully packed and carried long distances
- No dedicated shoe compartment
- Higher price point, though worth the investment for frequent travelers
If you want a wheeled backpack that will withstand the rigors of travel across Europe for years to come, the Timbuk2 Copilot Luggage Roller is a premium choice. Its durable, weather-resistant build, spacious and smartly designed interior, and comfortable carry options make it ideal for navigating cobblestone streets and gravel paths while hauling everything you need for an epic adventure.
Best Wheeled Backpack for Long Haul Trips: eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender
For extended trips where you’ll be away from home for a longer period of time, the eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender is an excellent choice. This rugged yet stylish backpack is made of durable twisted poly fabric and features multiple organizational pockets to keep all your belongings in order during long journeys.
Spacious Main Compartment
The main compartment of this backpack opens wide like a suitcase for easy packing and access to your belongings. It provides a roomy 26.5 liters of storage space that can hold 1-2 weeks worth of clothing, shoes, and other travel necessities for most people. Interior straps and a large mesh pocket help keep everything in place.
Padded Laptop Sleeve
For those who need to stay connected on the road, a padded laptop sleeve can hold up to a 17-inch laptop. The sleeve is located in a separate zippered compartment on the front of the backpack for easy removal at airport security.
Convenient Organizational Pockets
Numerous organizational pockets make it simple to keep important items close at hand. A large front pocket contains additional mesh pockets, pen slots, and a key fob. Side water bottle pockets, a zippered pocket on the top, and smaller pockets throughout provide extra storage for items like your phone, wallet, snacks, hand sanitizer, tissues, and more.
The eBags Mother Lode Weekender includes several comfort features for easy maneuvering. Padded shoulder straps, a ventilated back panel, and a padded top handle make this bag comfortable to carry for long periods. The telescoping handle and inline skate wheels allow you to roll the bag when your back needs a break. A side compression strap provides extra stability when the pockets are fully packed.
With its durable construction, abundant storage space, and comfort features, the eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender is an excellent choice for extended trips and long haul travel. This backpack will keep you organized and your belongings protected on adventures that take you far from home.
Best Budget Wheeled Backpack: Rockland Melbourne 20-Inch Rolling Backpack
Size and Design
The Rockland Melbourne 20-Inch Rolling Backpack is a compact and lightweight wheeled backpack suitable for budget travel in Europe. At 20 x 13 x 8 inches in size and weighing 4.5 pounds, it is sized to fit carry-on luggage requirements for most major airlines and small enough to navigate narrow aisles or cobblestone streets.
Constructed of durable polyester fabric, the Rockland Melbourne is built to withstand the rigors of travel. Its telescoping handle and hard plastic base panels provide structure and protect contents from outside elements. Smooth-rolling wheels make it easy to transport across various terrain without fear of damage. Multiple zippered compartments and straps allow you to keep belongings organized and secure.
With 20 inches of interior space, the Rockland Melbourne provides ample room for clothing, shoes, toiletries, and other travel essentials for short trips. Its main compartment features tie-down straps to keep items in place. A padded laptop sleeve and organizer panel in the front pocket keep electronics and small accessories protected and within easy reach. Exterior mesh pockets are ideal for water bottles or quick-access items.
Pros and Cons
For budget-conscious travelers, the Rockland Melbourne 20-Inch Rolling Backpack offers a durable and lightweight solution for navigating Europe’s narrow spaces and cobblestone streets. However, its compact size may prove limiting for longer trips or those carrying bulkier gear. Lack of hip belt or load-lifting straps can make the backpack uncomfortable to carry for long periods when wheeling isn’t possible. Overall though, the Rockland Melbourne provides good value and mobility for short-term travel on a budget.
Highest Rated Wheeled Backpack: High Sierra Powerglide Wheeled Book Bag Backpack
The High Sierra Powerglide is made of durable 600D Duralite fabric and a sturdy frame, allowing it to withstand the rigors of frequent travel and heavy loads. Its corner guards and kick plate protect the backpack from damage. The large wheels are designed to handle cobblestone streets and other rough terrain you may encounter in Europe. With proper care and handling, this backpack should last for many trips.
This backpack offers a substantial amount of storage space for belongings needed on extended trips. The main compartment is large enough for clothing, shoes, and other gear. It also has multiple pockets for smaller items like chargers, pens, maps, and journals. The front pocket is ideal for items you want to access quickly. There are straps inside to keep everything organized and in place. With a capacity of 2300 cubic inches, you’ll have room for souvenirs and other purchases on your journey.
Weighing only 8 pounds, this backpack won’t add too much weight as you travel between destinations. Padded shoulder straps make it comfortable to carry, and the extendable handle allows you to pull it behind you with ease. Contoured straps help distribute weight evenly and prevent soreness. For long days of sightseeing or travel, comfort is essential. The padded back panel provides extra cushioning and ventilation.
Overall, the High Sierra Powerglide Wheeled Book Bag Backpack is a highly-rated option for European travel due to its durability, storage capacity, comfort, and practical design. With this backpack, you can transport everything you need to experience a memorable trip abroad. Focus on enjoying all Europe has to offer rather than struggling with an ill-suited bag. This backpack handles the burden so you’re free to create cherished memories.
Best Wheeled Backpack for Students: J World New York Sundance Rolling Backpack
The J World New York Sundance is an excellent wheeled backpack for students traveling Europe. Its large capacity and organizational features make it ideal for long trips and study abroad semesters.
Spacious Main Compartment
The Sundance has a roomy central compartment that can hold several textbooks, a laptop, and other essential gear. Inside, a padded laptop sleeve fits most 15-inch laptops and tablets. Mesh pockets keep smaller items like chargers, pens, and snacks organized and accessible.
In addition to the main compartment, the Sundance has a front pocket, two side pockets, and a pocket on the top flap. The front pocket is perfect for papers and travel documents you need to access quickly. The side pockets can hold a water bottle, compact umbrella, or other items you want within easy reach. The top flap pocket provides space for items you want to keep secure but still get into without opening the main compartments.
Smooth Rolling Wheels
The Sundance glides easily on two large wheels and a retractable handle. The wheels are recessed, so they don’t add extra bulk to the backpack. The handle extends to several heights for optimal comfort. When the handle is retracted and the backpack is worn, padded shoulder straps make it comfortable to carry for long periods. The straps can also be tucked away when not in use.
Constructed of durable 600D polyester, the Sundance is built to last through years of frequent use and travel. Reinforced corners and a padded back panel provide extra protection. The wheels and retractable handle mechanism are also high quality and designed to support substantial weight.
With its abundance of storage, useful organizational features, and rugged yet lightweight build, the J World New York Sundance Rolling Backpack is an excellent choice for students studying abroad or embarking on extended trips around Europe. Its versatility and durability make it a backpack that will serve you well for years of adventure.
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Wheeled Backpacks for Europe Travel
As with any major purchase, buying a wheeled backpack for travel in Europe warrants some questions. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions to consider before you buy.
How much should I spend on a wheeled backpack?
Wheeled backpacks can range from $50 up to $500 or more, depending on the size, brand, and features. For Europe travel, expect to spend $100 to $300 for a high-quality wheeled backpack that will last for years of trips. Look for models with durable, water-resistant fabrics and sturdy wheels that can handle cobblestone streets.
What size wheeled backpack do I need?
Choose a size that will fit everything you need for your trip, including extras you pick up along the way. For most people, a backpack in the 50 to 80 liters range works well for 2 to 4 weeks of travel in Europe. If you’re traveling longer or with bulky gear, consider upsizing to 90 liters or more. Keep in mind that budget airlines have strict size requirements for carry-on luggage, so check with your airlines for their latest guidelines.
Do I need a backpack with laptop compartment?
If you plan to bring a laptop or tablet, choose a wheeled backpack with a dedicated padded laptop compartment to keep it safe. Look for a compartment that will fit your specific device size. Some backpacks can hold laptops up to 17 inches.
How do I choose wheels for a backpack?
For travel in Europe, choose a backpack with large, durable wheels, preferably at least 7 inches in diameter. Smaller wheels can get stuck on uneven cobblestones and be difficult to maneuver. Larger wheels with rugged treads will have an easier time on historic European streets. Some backpacks offer 4 wheel spinner models for maximum mobility.
Should I get a backpack with a locking zipper?
For extra security while traveling, choose a wheeled backpack with lockable zippers. A locking zipper, either built-in or padlock compatible, deters thieves from gaining access to your belongings. Locking zippers provide peace of mind, especially when navigating crowded tourist areas. Consider getting a coded padlock for quick, convenient access to your backpack.
In summary, do some research on brands, read reviews from other travelers, determine how much you want to spend, think about what you need to fit and any extras you may want, and weigh the pros and cons of different features to choose the perfect wheeled backpack for your European adventure.
After considering the options, you should have a good sense of some of the best wheeled backpacks for travel in Europe. With rugged construction, multiple compartments, and durable wheels, the Osprey Meridian or Eagle Creek Gear Warrior are excellent all-purpose choices for most travelers. For those on a budget, the High Sierra Powerglide provides great value. And for minimalist packers who want maximum mobility, the Cabin Max Metz is an ultra-lightweight winner.
Whichever model you choose, a high-quality wheeled backpack can make navigating Europe’s cobblestone streets, metro systems and budget airlines so much easier. Do some comparison shopping, read reviews from other travelers, and think about what features are most important to you. With the right wheeled backpack as your companion, you’ll be ready to set off on an unforgettable European adventure. Your back and shoulders will thank you, and you’ll have more energy to soak in all the sights and experiences. Bon voyage!