Backpacking Europe – Best Backpacks for guys

So you’re ready to backpack Europe and travel the world but you don’t want to use your roller suitcase or carry a cumbersome hiking backpack with all your essentials.  With the new wave of travelers, bag companies have developed better bags for travelers.  These backpacks are designed for the avid traveler to have easy access, comfort, and carry-on size.  Trust me when I say you MUST carry-on your bags.  When taking an extended journey you don’t want to risk losing your luggage due to checking a bag.

If you haven’t read our post on bag types yet, please read it here first

My Favorite Backpack!

Backpacking Europe - Osprey 70L
  • Massive main 55L bag
  • Detachable daypack
  • Great harness system for support
  • Price $199
Buy it here

This is my baby. I love this bag! It has a main 55L bag with a 15 L day pack attached to the front.  When getting on a plane I wear the 15L pack on my chest as my 2nd bag.  Once I get off the flight I attach the daypack to the main bag and I’m on my way.  This allows me to have my hands free and eliminate the back & front bag look.   The 15L bag is big enough to carry my computer, ipad, and other essentials.  The main 55L bag is massive! You’ll have plenty of space to carry all your clothing for your next journey.

Small and Mighty!

Backpacking Europe - REI vagabond tour 40
  • Pack-able waist belt
  • Haul Handles for easy transport
  • Hydration pack can be added on
  • Price $99
Buy it here

This bag was my first love. I used it on our honeymoon though Europe and loved it!  It’s a 40L pack so it will easily fit into any overhead.  The $99 price point is very consumer friendly if you’re on a tight budget.  While some people want a larger pack, the 40L is plenty if you’re a light packer.  This will also prevent you from overpacking and having a 100lb pack.  I used it along with another 25L backpack that I wore on my chest.

Don’t be afraid  of the REI name tag.  They build their products to the highest lever. The straps and zippers are very rugged and durable

Kelty Redwing 50

Hiking/Travel hybrid

Backpacking Europe - Kelty Redwing 50
  • Comfortable on longer hikes
  • Plenty of side pockets
  • Aluminum suspension
  • Price $124
Buy it here

This is the Prius of travel backpacks.  The Kelty Redwing 50 is built for travel AND hiking with it’s convenient top loading panels and aluminum suspension.  This bag is made to carry through Paris or up a mountain without any discomfort to you.  If your travel plans include extensive hiking or camping then I would recommend this bag for you.

Patagonia Duffel 60L

Versatile and Durable

Backpacking Europe - Patagonia Duffel 60L
  • Has built in backpack straps
  • Duffel design allows for plenty of space
  • Water resistant and rugged
  • Price $119
Buy it here

This is my safari bag and weekender bag.  The soft body, duffel design is perfect for the small hopper planes used in South Africa.  I used this bag during our trip to South Africa and I wasn’t disappointed.  The backpack harness straps make it easier to carry than most duffels.  Since it’s from Patagonia you know it’s built to withstand the elements.  I also love the design and color selections Patagonia offers!

The water resistant top will keep your stuff dry and the extra durable bottom will withstand all the miles of travel you can put it through

Osprey Porter 46L

Old School Classic

Backpacking Europe - Osprey Porter
  • Massive main compartment
  • Durable, compression side panels
  • Tuck-away harnesses
  • Price $130
Buy it here

Can’t afford a porter to carry your luggage while you’re backpacking Europe? Then get this backpack.  The Osprey Porter 46L has been used by travelers for years.  It is designed specifically as a travel backpack.  Like other travel backpacks the main compartment is giant.  Fortunately, this bag has additional front compartments for smaller essential items. The front pocket has a padded sleeve to store your computer or other electronics.  One of the nicest features are the side compression panels that ensure the pack carries comfortably whether half full or maxed out.

While the 65L is nice and large, it’s a little to big for some airplane overheads.