The Best Wheeled Backpack For Europe Travel in 2024

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by Maggie Turansky


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While we have already covered the best traditional travel backpacks and best suitcases, there is another option — wheeled backpacks for travel! These pieces of luggage give you the best of both worlds but with so many available on the market, it can be hard to figure out what the best wheeled backpack for Europe travel actually is!

If you’re wondering if a wheeled travel backpack is the right option for you or are looking to buy one, then check out the below recommendations for your trip to Europe!

Want a quick answer? My choice for the best wheeled backpack is the Osprey Farpoint Wheels for men (also available from REI here or direct from Osprey here) or the Osprey Fairview Wheels for women (also available from REI here or direct from Osprey here).

Wheeled Backpacks for Europe Comparison

BackpackDescriptionPrices
Osprey Farpoint Wheels
Osprey Farpoint Men's Wheeled Travel Pack 36L, Muted Space Blue
BEST OVERALL WHEELED BACKPACK FOR MEN
Size: 36/65L
Weight: 2.4/2.8kg
Carry On: 36L Only
Daypack: Seperate
Sex: Male
Check on Amazon

Check on REI

Check on Osprey
Osprey Fairview Wheels
Osprey Fairview Women's Wheeled Travel Pack 36L, Night Jungle Blue
BEST OVERALL WHEELED BACKPACK FOR WOMEN
Size: 36/65L
Weight: 2.4/2.8kg
Carry On: 36L Only
Daypack: Seperate
Sex: Female
Check on Amazon

Check on REI

Check on Osprey
Osprey Ozone
Osprey Ozone 2-Wheel Carry-On 40L/21.5', Coastal Blue
BEST CARRY ON WHEELED BACKPACK
Size: 40L
Weight: 2.03kg
Carry On: Yes
Daypack: No
Sex: Unisex
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Check on REI

Check on Osprey
Osprey Sojourn
Osprey Sojourn Shuttle 22'/45L Wheeled Duffel Bag, Black
BEST WHEELED BACKPACK FOR OVERPACKERS
Size: 45/60/80L
Weight: 3.6/3.9/4.1kg
Carry On: 45L only
Daypack: No
Sex: Unisex
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Check on Osprey
Eagle Creek Gear Warrior
eagle creek Gear Warrior 4-Wheel 22” Durable Suitcases with Wheels Featuring Expandable Main Compartment, Lockable Zippers, and Front Compression Straps, Jet Black
ALTERNATIVE CARRY ON WHEELED BACKPACK
Size: 37L
Weight: 2.64kg
Carry On: Yes
Daypack: Yes
Sex: Unisex
Check on Amazon

Check on Eagle Creek
Osprey Rolling Transporter
Osprey Transporter 40L Wheeled Travel Duffel Bag, Black
BEST CARRY ON WHEELED DUFFEL
Size: 40/60/90/120L
Weight: 2.7/2.9/3.5/3.9kg
Carry On: 40L only
Daypack: No
Sex: Unisex
Check on Amazon

Check on Osprey
Hynes Eagle 2-in-1 Travel Bag
Hynes Eagle 2 in 1 Travel Backpack 22 inches Carry on Luggage 63L Rolling Backpack for Men Women with Packing Cubes 3PCS Set
BEST STYLISH WHEELED BACKPACK
Size: 63L
Weight: 3.7kg
Carry On: Yes
Daypack: Yes
Sex: Unisex
Check on Amazon


Why Choose a Wheeled Backpack for Travel?

If you plan on moving to more than one destination while you’re travelling, having a backpack can be incredibly convenient.

If you’re navigating narrow streets, running for a plane or a bus, or need to hike up some steep stairs to get to your accommodation, travelling with a backpack makes life astronomically easier.

That being said, sometimes backpacks can be heavy and get uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. Perhaps you have a long way to walk to the train station or are standing in line to get a bus ticket and you don’t want to carry 15+ kilos on your back…well, that’s when the wheeled part can make a difference.

Another benefit to opting for a wheeled travel backpack rather than a traditional rucksack is that they can more seamlessly transition into different accommodations.

There have been a couple of times where we have splurged and spent a night or two in a nice hotel and we always feel a little bit awkward walking into the lobby with a tattered rucksack strapped to our backs. While backpacks are the general luggage of choice for the hostel crowd, they don’t necessarily fit in at a nicer establishment.

A wheeled backpack, however, is just as appropriate in a 12-bed dorm at a hostel as it is in a nice hotel.

With just a simple switch, you can zip away the straps and extend the handle and you will look like a broke backpacker no longer! So, if your travel budget is allowing for both hostel and hotel stays, a wheeled travel backpack can be a great option.

One con of wheeled backpacks to consider, however, is that they do not have as advanced support as a traditional backpack and can be quite uncomfortable to wear for a long period of time.

This can be combatted by simply rolling it for some time, but that can be inconvenient if you are walking around cobbled streets or unpaved country roads.

 Wheeled backpacks
Wheeled backpacks can be a great alternative to a traditional backpack

Choosing a Wheeled Backpack

When selecting a wheeled backpack for your trip to Europe, you need to keep an eye out for a few different things.

First off, you want it to be durable and able to withstand a considerable amount of wear and tear. Travelling is hard on luggage, and you don’t want to spend $100+ on a backpack just to have it fall apart a year after purchasing.

Another thing you need to consider is the comfort and suspension of the harness. As mentioned earlier, no wheeled backpack will be as comfortable to wear for extended periods of time as a traditional travel rucksack, however, there are certainly some that are better than others.

The last thing to look for is a wheeled backpack that opens like a suitcase. Most rolling backpacks on the market today open like this, and it can mean saving a lot of time when it comes to packing and organising your things.

It is much easier to find the thing that you’re looking for when you can completely zip open your backpack rather than needing to take everything out to find the one thing you need…which is almost always, inevitably, on the very bottom of your bag.

Best Wheeled Backpacks for Europe

Osprey Farpoint/Fairview Wheeled

Arguably the ideal choice for the a wheeled travel pack for Europe is the Osprey Farpoint Wheeled (also available on REI here or direct from Osprey here) backpack for men or the Fairview for women (also available on REI here or direct from Osprey here).

The Osprey Farpoint and Fairview lines are some of the brand’s most popular backpacks (we both personally use the traditional Farpoint travel backpack models) and they are always a great choice for any trip to Europe or elsewhere in the world.

The Farpoint and Fairview wheeled backpacks come in both a 36-litre version and a 65-litre version and offer all of the features that I’ve stated above to look for in a wheeled backpack.

If you choose to wear this model as a backpack, there is an advanced suspension system and adjustable backpack straps meaning that the Farpoint or Fairview is comfortable to wear for some time.

However, it is just as easy to zip away the harness and use your bag like a traditional wheeled suitcase. Equipped with durable wheels and lightweight materials, it is perfect for handling uneven European streets.

The Osprey Farpoint and Fairview Wheeled backpacks are also compatible with the Osprey Daylite line of day packs, meaning that you can easily attach it to the front-loading panel of the bag should you need a day pack on your trip.

There are also fully lockable zippers, meaning that you can ensure that you keep your items safe and secure while in transit.

Osprey Farpoint Men's Wheeled Travel Pack 36L, Muted Space Blue

Osprey Ozone

If you’re searching for the best carry-on wheeled backpack, then you really can’t go wrong with the Osprey Ozone (also available direct from Osprey here or from REI here).

Osprey is one of the best brands for travel backpacks because they are durable, well-made and they have a lifetime warranty so you really can’t go wrong with any of their wheeled backpack options.

The Ozone stands out, however, because it is incredibly lightweight without sacrificing any of the durability that the Osprey brand is so synonymous with.

It’s lightweight also means that you can pack more into the bag without having to worry too much about airline weight requirements and it will ultimately make hoisting into luggage racks, overhead bins or up flights of stairs much easier.

They have a panel opening like a traditional suitcase with two mesh compartments attached, a large main compartment, a rear panel zippered pocket and convenient padded grab handles.

This 40L wheeled backpack can be used as carry-on, however, always make sure to check with your specific airline to ensure that your bag is alright for cabin luggage.

The Osprey Ozone also comes with lockable zippers to add extra security, internal compression straps in order to keep your items packed down and organised, and a retractable grab handle which makes pulling it off of luggage carousels and baggage holds easier.

Osprey Ozone 2-Wheel Carry-On 40L/21.5', Coastal Blue

Osprey Sojourn

Osprey is generally our go-to brand for our travel luggage and they have a number of different options on offer. The Osprey Sojourn (also available direct from Osprey here) is one of the best rolling backpacks if you tend to overpack!

It comes in three sizes — 45, 60 and 80 litres — with only the 45-litre version being suitable for most airline’s carry-on requirements.

The frame is made from an ultra light aluminium and the body is soft and water resistant. The backpack also has lockable zippers, which is great for some added security especially if you’re going to be staying in hostels.

The Osprey Sojourn is also equipped with Osprey’s anti-gravity suspension system, meaning that it is quite comfortable to wear on your back for a long period of time. The wheels are also incredibly durable so they can withstand a number of terrains, from asphalt to cobblestones to unpaved dirt roads.

These durable wheels make it one of the best options for Europe travel because the propensity of cobblestones streets can do a number of lesser-quality rolling luggage.

One of the benefits to choosing an Osprey bag is that they also come with a lifetime warranty, so if something breaks or stops working (besides just usual wear and tear) you can get it replaced free of charge.

Osprey Sojourn Carry-On Luggage/Backpack, 45L/22', Flash Black

Eagle Creek Gear Warrior

If you’re looking for an alternative carry-on backpack with wheels, then you really can’t go wrong with the Eagle Creek Gear Warrior (also available on Eagle Creek here).

Eagle Creek is another fantastic travel brand that makes very durable and lightweight products with active travellers in mind — in fact, we absolutely swear by their packing cubes, which can make organising your things in your wheeled travel backpack a breeze!

This bag is a durable wheeled backpack that fits even the strictest of airline’s carry-on requirements. The 37-litre pack has a detachable daypack so you can use the main bag as carry on and the daypack as personal item if the airline allows two items in the cabin.

The main compartment of the Eagle Creek Gear Warrior has a panel opening with compression straps inside and a mesh compartment in order to keep smaller items organised and secure. There are also compression straps on the exterior and convenient lockable zippers for added security.

If you are going on a short trip, are a minimalist packer, or want to travel carry-on only when traversing the globe, then this is a fantastic option!

The exterior is water resistant, which is paramount to keeping your things clean and dry, and there are padded grab handles which add to the ease of manoeuvring the backpack while travelling.

eagle creek Gear Warrior 4-Wheel 22” Durable Suitcases with Wheels Featuring Expandable Main Compartment, Lockable Zippers, and Front Compression Straps, Jet Black

Hynes Eagle 2-in-1 Travel Backpack

If you’re searching for truly the best of both worlds, then you really cannot go wrong with the Hynes Eagle 2-in-1.

Sacrificing neither functionality nor style, this wheeled backpack combo is perfect if you’re after extra space and convenience when on your trip to Europe.

The total backpack system has 63 litres of space inside and what makes this bag special is that it comes with a 43-litre convertible wheeled backpack (meaning that you can either roll it or wear it as a traditional backpack) and a detachable 20-litre daypack.

At any point, you can attach the daypack to the 43-litre main pack and either wear it as a backpack in its entirety, roll it all attached, or wear the daypack and roll the 43-litre bag.

The zippers are also fully lockable, meaning that you can easily secure your valuables. The bag itself is also lightweight and durable, meaning that you don’t need to be extra-vigilant about the weight of all of your items.

The Hynes Eagle 2-in-1 also has a USB charging point in the backpack and compartments for laptops, tablets and water bottles. You also can use it for carry-on depending on the airline’s requirements.

Hynes Eagle 2 in 1 Travel Backpack 22 inches Carry on Luggage 63L Rolling Backpack for Men Women with Packing Cubes 3PCS Set

Osprey Rolling Transporter

If you prefer a wheeled duffel bag that also fits airline carry-on requirements appeals to you, then look no further than the Osprey Rolling Transporter (also available direct from Osprey here).

This bag is incredibly durable and comes with Osprey’s lifetime warranty. The exterior is completely water resistant which will ensure that your interior items stay warm and dry.

It has a panel opening which means that you can easily access your items, lockable zippers for added security, mesh pockets inside for keeping smaller items organised, and internal compression straps to maximise the capacity.

The Osprey Rolling Transporter comes in four sizes: 40-litre, 60-litre 90-litre, and 120-litre. However, only the smallest size fits carry-on requirements for airlines so make sure to keep that in mind if you don’t want to pay checked luggage fees!

Osprey Transporter 40L Wheeled Travel Duffel Bag, Black

With so many options available for rolling backpacks to purchase for Europe travel, it can be hard to choose which one is right for you. Take the time to think about what you need from a wheeled travel bag in order to make the best decision for your travel style!

Are you looking for a good backpack with wheels? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

Comments

  1. You must intend to fly both ways on American airlines. EACH of the bags you recommend is 22″ long. The European airlines have length limits of 21.5″ long. I’ve been searching for quite a while for a wheeled backpack large enough for a two-week trip to Europe that yet small enough to comply with the Air Canada rules and have only today tentatively concluded that perhaps the Eagle Creek Expanse 21″ Convertible International Carry-On may suffice; I’m not sure, because too many manufacturers tout the measurements of their bags without including the wheels and handles. I need to see it in person.

    I note, too, that although the Osprey Rolling Transporter 40 can be found on Amazon (under the name of Osprey Rolling or Osprey Packs Rolling), it cannot be found on the Osprey.com website.

    Reply
    • Hi Carolyn, thanks for your comment and for sharing your perspective. I hope that you find the right bag for your trip 🙂

      Reply

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