Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

What Backpack Size Is For Backpacking In Europe


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Adela Fast



When preparing for a backpacking adventure in Europe, choosing the right backpack size is essential. A backpack is not just a means to carry your belongings; it becomes your home away from home, storing everything you need to navigate through various destinations and experiences. Selecting the appropriate backpack size will ensure that you have enough space to carry all your travel essentials comfortably, without being burdened by excess weight.


Backpacking in Europe offers a unique opportunity to explore diverse cultures, historical landmarks, and picturesque landscapes. Whether you’re embarking on a solo journey or traveling with a group of friends, having the right backpack size will enhance your overall experience and make your trip more enjoyable.


In this article, we will explore the factors to consider when choosing a backpack size for backpacking in Europe, recommend specific backpack sizes based on different travel durations, and provide essential packing tips to optimize your backpack’s space.


It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to backpack sizes. The ideal backpack size for backpacking in Europe will depend on various factors, including the length of your trip, the nature of your activities, and your personal preferences. However, with the right information and guidance, you can make an informed decision and select a backpack size that suits your needs.


Before we delve into the specific backpack sizes, let’s explore some important factors to consider when making your backpack selection.


Factors to Consider When Choosing Backpack Size

Choosing the right backpack size is crucial for a comfortable and efficient backpacking experience in Europe. Here are some key factors to consider when making your decision:

  1. Duration of Your Trip: The length of your journey will heavily influence the size of your backpack. For shorter trips, a smaller backpack in the range of 40-50 liters may suffice. However, for longer trips, especially those spanning several weeks or months, a larger backpack in the range of 60-70 liters is recommended to accommodate your additional belongings.
  2. Type of Travel: The nature of your travel activities is another important consideration. If you plan on engaging in outdoor adventures such as hiking or camping, you may need extra space to carry specialized gear like sleeping bags, tents, or cooking equipment. In such cases, a larger backpack with external attachment points would be beneficial. On the other hand, if you primarily plan on exploring urban areas and utilizing public transportation, a smaller and more compact backpack would be more convenient.
  3. Climate and Season: The climate and season of your travel destination will impact the type and amount of clothing and accessories you need to carry. If you’re traveling during the summer or to warmer regions, you may be able to pack lighter and opt for a smaller backpack. However, if you’re visiting during the winter or packing for unpredictable weather, you will need more space for bulkier clothing items such as coats, sweaters, and boots.
  4. Your Physical Strength: It’s essential to evaluate your own physical strength and comfort level when selecting a backpack size. Carrying a heavy backpack for long periods can strain your back and shoulders. If you’re not accustomed to carrying heavy loads, it’s advisable to choose a smaller and lighter backpack to avoid unnecessary discomfort.
  5. Personal Preference: Finally, your personal preference plays a role in the choice of backpack size. Some individuals prefer to travel light and minimize their belongings, while others prefer to have a bit more space for flexibility and convenience. Consider your own travel style and what makes you feel most comfortable on the road.

By considering these factors, you can narrow down your options and select a backpack size that aligns with your specific needs and preferences. Now, let’s delve into the recommended backpack sizes for backpacking in Europe based on different travel durations.


Recommended Backpack Sizes for Backpacking in Europe

When it comes to choosing the right backpack size for your backpacking adventure in Europe, it’s essential to consider the duration of your trip. Here are our recommendations based on different travel durations:

  1. Short-Term Trips (1-2 Weeks): For shorter trips, a backpack size in the range of 40-50 liters is generally sufficient. This size provides enough space for your clothing, toiletries, electronics, and other essentials. It is also more manageable and easier to carry around during your travels. Look for backpacks with multiple compartments to help you stay organized.
  2. Medium-Term Trips (2-4 Weeks): If you’re planning a trip that spans 2-4 weeks, consider a backpack size of 50-60 liters. This additional capacity allows for more clothing options, extra layers for changing weather conditions, and space for souvenirs or gifts. Look for backpacks with adjustable suspension systems and padded shoulder straps for added comfort on longer journeys.
  3. Long-Term Trips (4+ Weeks): For extended trips lasting four weeks or longer, a backpack size in the range of 60-70 liters is recommended. This larger size gives you ample space to pack clothing for various climates, along with other essential items such as a sleeping bag, travel towel, and travel gear. Look for backpacks with durable materials and a supportive back panel to withstand the rigors of long-term travel.

It’s important to note that these recommendations serve as general guidelines and can be adjusted based on your personal preferences and packing style. Some travelers may opt for smaller backpack sizes, especially if they’re experienced at packing efficiently and prefer to travel light. Others may choose larger backpacks for additional storage and convenience.


Ultimately, the goal is to find a backpack size that comfortably accommodates your belongings while still allowing you to move around easily and maintain a balanced weight distribution.


Now that you have a better understanding of the recommended backpack sizes for different travel durations, let’s explore some essential packing tips to maximize the space within your backpack.


Packing Tips for Backpacking in Europe

Efficient packing is key to a successful backpacking trip in Europe. Here are some helpful tips to optimize the space within your backpack:

  1. Make a Packing List: Before you start packing, create a detailed packing list. This will help you prioritize essential items and avoid overpacking. Be mindful of the weather conditions and activities you’ll be engaged in to pack accordingly.
  2. Roll Your Clothes: Rolling your clothes instead of folding them can save significant space in your backpack. This technique also helps to prevent wrinkles and makes it easier to locate specific items when needed.
  3. Use Packing Cubes or Compression Bags: Packing cubes or compression bags can be a game-changer when it comes to organizing your belongings. They help to compress clothes, reduce bulk, and keep everything neatly organized within your backpack.
  4. Utilize Every Inch of Space: Take advantage of every inch of space within your backpack. Stuff smaller items, like socks or underwear, into shoes or gaps between larger items. Use the inside pockets and compartments of your backpack to store toiletries and electronics.
  5. Wear Bulky Items: If you have bulky items like a winter jacket or boots, consider wearing them during transit instead of packing them. This will free up space in your backpack and also keep you warm on your journey.
  6. Minimize Toiletries: Toiletries can take up a significant amount of space. Bring travel-sized bottles or consider buying toiletries upon arrival in Europe. Remember, most destinations will have pharmacies or convenience stores where you can easily purchase these items.
  7. Think Versatility: Pack clothing and accessories that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits. Choose versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. This will help you pack lighter and still have a variety of outfit options.
  8. Consider Laundry Options: Plan for doing laundry during your trip. Packing a small bottle of travel laundry detergent or packing a few laundry pods can help you extend the use of your clothing items, allowing you to pack fewer clothes overall.
  9. Leave Room for Souvenirs: If you plan on buying souvenirs or gifts during your trip, leave some extra space in your backpack to accommodate them. Alternatively, consider packing a foldable bag or duffel bag to carry any additional items you may acquire along the way.

By following these packing tips, you can make the most of the space in your backpack and ensure a more organized and hassle-free experience during your backpacking adventure in Europe.



Choosing the right backpack size is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable backpacking experience in Europe. By considering factors such as the duration of your trip, type of travel, climate, and personal preference, you can select a backpack size that suits your needs perfectly.


For shorter trips, a 40-50 liter backpack will provide enough space for your essentials, while longer trips may require a larger backpack in the 60-70 liter range. It’s important to find the right balance between carrying everything you need and avoiding unnecessary weight.


Additionally, employing packing techniques such as rolling clothes, using packing cubes or compression bags, and utilizing every inch of space within your backpack can help optimize the available space and keep your belongings organized.


Remember, a well-packed backpack enhances your mobility, allows for easier navigation, and minimizes discomfort during your journey. Consider the activities you’ll engage in, the weather conditions, and the versatility of your clothing choices to ensure you have everything you need without overpacking.


As you embark on your backpacking adventure in Europe, keep in mind that the goal is not only to carry your essentials but also to create unforgettable memories. Take time to immerse yourself in the local culture, interact with locals, and explore the hidden gems of each destination.


With the right backpack size and well-thought-out packing, you’ll be well-prepared for your backpacking journey across Europe. So pack smart, stay organized, and embrace the freedom and adventure that awaits you!