Welcome to our 2019 nomad guide to choosing the best wheeled backpack for Europe travel. In this zero-fluff guide, we share our expertly chosen top 5 best wheeled backpacks for travelling through Europe, because after all, in Europe it’s “travelling,” not “traveling.”

best wheeled backpack for europe travel featured image

Why choose a wheeled backpack? It’s all about convenience and saving your lower back the trouble of lugging around a heavy, clunky traditional backpacking backpack. Plus, there’s the advantage of avoiding checked baggage fees.

We put in the time to choose only packs that people have successfully used for their trips abroad in Europe.

Imagine rolling through the streets of London, Paris, or Amsterdam carefree. When one experiences the unadulterated beauty of a backpack on wheels with the Parisian breeze flowing through his/her hair, it’s in that moment, that the person realizes the decision to go wheeled was an exceptional one. All previous bad life decisions instantly flush down the abyssal drain never to be seen again.

It’s a new lease on life that everyone should have the pleasure of experiencing while soaking in the sumptuous European sights.

Okay, that’s enough of that, let’s talk about the bags.

Top 5 Best Wheeled Backpacks for Europe

Backpack Features & Highlights
#1 Best Wheeled Backpack for Travelling through Europe 

 

#1 High Sierra AT3 22″ Carry-On

high sierra best wheeled backpack for europe travel

high sierra best wheeled backpack for europe travel View at Amazon

  • The High Sierra AT3 isn’t only the best rolling backpack for Europe, it’s also the best rolling backpack on Earth
  • The 3-in-1 design includes the complete 2-bag rolling combination, a removable daypack, and the ability to wear the complete pack as a backpack
  • Eligible to use as a carry-on bag on most major airlines (owners recommend stowing the main bag in the overhead and sliding the daypack under the seat in front of you)
  • Durable and water-resistant 900D Duralite fabric
  • Retractable handle and inset skate wheels that won’t snag while in transit
  • Large main compartment, internal organizer features, and hide-away padded shoulder straps stow in the back panel when not in use
  • Dual side water bottle pockets on the daypack are great for carrying tall insulated stainless steel bottles
  • Internal luggage straps in the main bag for compressing clothing and/or other personal belongings
  • Dimensions: Day Pack 16″ Height x 12″ Width x 5.75″ Depth, Main Bag 22″ Height x 13.5″ Width x 9″ Depth
  • Total Capacity: 52 liters or 3165 cu. in.
  • Weight: 9.5 lbs
Verified to Survive European Cobblestone Streets 

 

#2 Hypath 2-in-1 Convertible Travel Bag

hypath best wheeled backpack for travelling

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  • One of the greatest advantages of the Hypath convertible rolling travel bag over the High Sierra is the addition of a padded laptop sleeve and felt-lined tablet sleeve
  • Large handles on both the main bag and the daypack allow you to carry the entire travel bag vertically or horizontally as a duffle
  • Internal compression straps in the main compartment keep your belongings snug and in place while in transit
  • Avoid travel fees by counting the daypack as a personal item backpack and the main bag as your carry-on
  • Unzip the back panel to reveal the wide padded shoulder straps and hip strap (if you prefer the luxury of a hip strap, the Hypath is better for you than the High Sierra)
  • Internal organizer pockets in the daypack
  • Built with Hex-Nylon Ripstop fabric with water-resistant PVC coating
  • Dimensions: Day Pack 18″ Height x 12″ Width x 7″ Depth, Main Bag 22″ Height x 14″ Width x 9″ Depth
  • Total Capacity: 65 liters
  • Weight: 7.65 lbs
Approved by Travelers for Multi-Week European Excursions 

 

#3 JanSport Driver 8 Core Series

jansport driver best wheeled backpack for travelling

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  • JanSport is a genuinely reliable age-old brand that stands behind its products with a lifetime warranty
  • 80 mm skate wheels roll like butter and will stand the test of time unlike inferior backpack brands
  • Hide-away shoulder straps give the bag a clean appearance
  • The feature we like most is the sturdy 2-stage aluminum handle
  • Internal laptop sleeve w/ strap holds up to a 15″ computer
  • A large front panel pocket with smaller interior velcro pockets and key ring
  • Overall, the JanSport Driver 8 is a reliable and straightforward wheeled backpack that’ll stand up to the test of European cobblestone streets and steep stairs
  • Built with durable 600D Poly, 420D Velocity fabrics
  • Dimensions: 19.5″ Height x 13″ Width x 8″ Depth
  • Total Capacity: 34 liters
  • Weight: 4 lbs 3 oz
Our #1 Pick for European Adventures & Multi-City Tours 

 

#4 Osprey Sojourn (22″)

osprey best wheeled backpack travel

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  • Osprey exclusive HighRoad Chassis provides more clearance than the other bags in our top 5 (perfect for tackling rough cobblestone)
  • Tensioned mesh lumbar area for premium weight distribution, wide padded hip belt, and adjustable sternum strap (if you plan to carry heavy loads, this is the best wheeled backpack in our top 5)
  • Osprey StraightJacket compression gives you the best chance of staying within European airline carry-on baggage size allowances
  • Sturdy bottom grab handle also stabilizes the bag when upright (no need to worry about this bag tipping over)
  • Zippered easy-access top pocket to store your travel documents
  • Wide dual-tube telescoping handle
  • Internal large mesh zip pockets to organize your belongings
  • Cons: No internal laptop sleeve or external water bottle pockets
  • Dimensions: 22″ Height x 14″ Width x 9″ Depth
  • Total Capacity: 45 liters
  • Weight: 7.93 lbs
Our #1 Premium Selection 

 

#5 TUMI Merge Wheeled Backpack

tumi merge best carry on wheeled backpack for travel

tumi merge best carry on wheeled backpack for travel View at Amazon

  • For those of you with impeccable taste who appreciate the finer things in life, the TUMI Merge wheeled backpack is the superlative choice
  • Approved by one married couple for a European getaway
  • Padded laptop compartment in the front panel fits up to a 15″ computer (plus tablet sleeve)
  • Hide-away shoulder straps with metal clips
  • Fabric panel to cover the wheels when in backpack mode to ensure no dirt gets on your favorite shirt
  • Expandable main compartment gives you an extra 2″
  • TUMI exclusive Omega zippers are easily replaced if broken
  • Aircraft-grade telescoping 2-stage aluminum handle with wide comfort grip
  • TUMI Tracer for lost or stolen baggage recovery
  • 2 roomy side zip pockets
  • Dimensions: 21″ Height x 13″ Width x 8″ Depth
  • Total Capacity: 30 liters
  • Weight: 6.39 lbs

How to Choose the Best Wheeled Backpack for Travelling

High Sierra & Hypath

The High Sierra and Hypath wheeled backpacks are best for people who are planning longer European vacations and want to skip checking a bag as much as possible.

The greatest advantage of these combination backpacks is the ability to use the daypack as a personal item backpack and counting the main bag as a carry-on. In the end, you may avoid enough fees to pay for the bags.

Trust me, baggage fees are steep in Europe. I sometimes find myself paying 50% or more of the ticket price to check my rolling suitcase.

Aside from avoiding expensive fees, you also have the luxury of disconnecting the daypack for sightseeing and exploring. With the other bags, you’re forced to bring the entire bag or purchase a separate daypack.

Finally, both of these rolling backpacks are fairly priced and cost significantly less than Osprey and TUMI packs.

JanSport Driver 8

jansport wheeled backpack

JanSport is the most reliable brand in our Top 5 that’s been around since the beginning of time. Choose the Driver 8 backpack if you value reliability and functionality above all else.

The Driver 8 has all the necessary features without all the unnecessary bells and whistles you’ll find on competing brands that attempt to compensate for inferior materials with flashy features.

The last advantage we want to highlight is weight. The Driver 8 is the lightest wheeled backpack in our Top 5.

Osprey Sojourn

osprey best wheeled backpack travel

Osprey manufactures packs that are loved most by adventure travelers and outdoor enthusiasts. If you’re an aging backpacker with a weary lower back, maybe it’s time to switch to a wheeled backpack instead of the traditional mountain-on-your-back travel backpack.

Plus, there’s always the option to flashback to your youth by breaking out the shoulder straps and hip belt. Overall, the Sojourn pack provides the most back support of all the bags in our Top 5, which also means Osprey went the extra mile to ensure even weight distribution.

We also love the larger wheels and additional clearance to tackle even the bumpiest European cobblestone streets.

TUMI Merge

tumi merge best carry on wheeled backpack for travel

Last but not least is the TUMI Merge wheeled backpack. The Merge is for people who value style and functionality above all else. If you’re a successful businessman who frequents Europe for casual weekend getaways that often include expensive champagne and 5-Star hotels, the Merge is the perfect companion.

It has the sleekest appearance and the best laptop compartment of the packs in our top 5. Its size makes the check-in process effortless throughout Europe without any questioning from airport employees. Become the smooth operator with the TUMI Merge.

Bottom Line

These are the 5 best wheeled backpacks for Europe travel that are guaranteed to satisfy everyone’s needs and wants, even the pickiest of individuals. Whether you treasure functionality or grandeur, we quenched your rolling backpack thirst with our Top 5 selections.

We took the European cobblestone and ancient steep stairs into account because we want you to glide across Europe like melting butter over hot pavement. We want people to see you rolling and say to themselves, That person has it all figured out, and I hope to be like them someday.

Cheers and safe travels!