Best Luggage For European Travel - Reviews 2023 - 2024

Best Luggage For European Travel - By Train, Plane Or Automobile!

Top Choice
LEVEL8 Lightweight Carry-on Suitcase
  • Expandable for up to 15% additional packing capacity; solid, strong zippers; sturdy telescoping handle; securely mounted short handle.
  • This hand luggage trolley case is made from ABS thermoplastic polymer which is lightweight, waterproof and scratch proof, protecting your contents during flights and travel.
  • Overall Dimension: 55x 37x 25CM (Including wheels and handles). Expands an additional 3.5CM width. Weight: 5kg. Packing Capacity: 36 L to 42L. Perfect for business short trip.
  • 2-YEAR WARRANTY backed by LEVEL8. If you have any concerns or suggestion to our products, please contact us.
Runner Up
Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Spinner Suitcase 4 Wheels Expandable
  • 5 years warranty softside carry-on spinner. Ultra-lightweight design perfect for short to medium-length trips or for packing your onboard essentials.
  • Polyester stain-resistant, water-repellant fabric and strengthened zipper pulls provide long-lasting durability. 
  • Travelpro's patented Contour Grip shaped to the contours of your hand, with comfortable, rubberised touchpoints for effortless maneuvering. 
  • Expands up to 2" to maximise packing capacity with tapered shape to prevent tipping. 
  • Dimensions: 31", Volume: 91 Litres. Perfect carry-on softside luggage which fits airlines´ carry-on guidelines
Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage
  • Carry-On meets these airlines' size restrictions: United, American, Delta, Southwest, Allegiant
  • 20" SPINNER LUGGAGE maximizes your packing power and meets most carry-on size restrictions for those traveling domestically and looking to stay light
  • PACKING Dimensions: 20.0" x 13.5" x 9.5", OVERALL Dimensions: 23.0" x 14.5" x 9.5", Weight: 6.7 lbs.
  • FOUR, MULTI-DIRECTIONAL SPINNER WHEELS for effortless mobility, re-engineered lightweight
  • International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions.

When traveling abroad, it can be difficult to know how suitable your typical baggage arrangements can be. Especially somewhere as different as Europe.

What is the best luggage for European travel? For our money, it will be a choice of a backpack. Lightweight luggage you can keep on you at all times beats wheeled luggage this time.

Size restrictions on luggage racks can be extreme, so getting some soft-sided luggage with carry handles or adjustable straps will help you save on some of that space.


  • LEVEL8 Lightweight Carry-on Suitcase 20-Inch,Expandable 4 Wheel Luggage Suitcase

Sturdy wheels can be good for the bumpy footpaths of Europe, paved in cobbled stone and narrow corners, but rolling cases will only add hassle to a European trip.

Cobblestone streets can be difficult enough to navigate no matter how good the wheels are, and tight spaces certainly don't help. Travel experts like us say: stick to backpacking!

You might need to know what backpack to choose still for those cobblestone streets. You need to know the packing space, product reviews, and any hidden extra costs.

Luckily for you, we're here to run down everything you need to know. From exterior pockets to a hip belt. Here's what you need to know before hopping onto European public transportation.

What You Need to Pack for Europe

When packing for a trip to Europe, there are a few essential items you will need to bring. These include a valid passport, a travel visa (if required), travel insurance, a credit card, and local currency.

You will also need to pack comfortable clothing and shoes, as well as any prescription medications you may require.


  • Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Spinner Suitcase 4 Wheels Expandable

Additionally, it is a good idea to bring along a travel adapter so you can charge your electronics. Depending on how much traveling you plan to do within Europe, a map will also be handy.

It's also a good idea to pack comfortable walking shoes above all else since you'll likely be doing a lot of exploring. Don't forget to pack a camera to capture all the memories!

Be sure to pack for all weather conditions, as you never know what you'll encounter while traveling. With these items packed, you'll be all set for an amazing trip to Europe!

What Design Choices are Best for European Travel

There are a few things to consider when choosing a suitcase for European travel. First, you'll want to make sure the suitcase is the right size for your needs.

If you plan on doing a lot of shopping while you're there, you'll need a suitcase that's large enough to fit all of your new purchases.

Second, you should choose a suitcase with smooth, rolling wheels. This will make it easier to navigate through busy airports and city streets.

Finally, you'll want to select a suitcase that's durable and can withstand being thrown around by baggage handlers.

A hard-shell suitcase is a good option for this. With these things in mind, you'll be able to find the perfect suitcase for your European adventure.

One option is a rolling suitcase, which can be convenient for lugging around airports and train stations.

However, these can be difficult to maneuver on cobblestone streets and busy public transportation, as we said earlier.

A backpack may be a better option for carrying your belongings, as it is easier to maneuver in tight spaces.

No matter what kind of suitcase you choose, be sure to pack light to avoid strain on your back and shoulders.

Internal Frame Backpacks

There are many benefits to using an internal frame backpack when traveling. They are much more comfortable to carry than a traditional backpack, and they distribute the weight more evenly.

This makes it easier to walk long distances and explore different areas without getting tired. However, the perfect size can be difficult to find.

Additionally, they offer more support for your back and shoulders, which is essential when carrying heavy loads.

Finally, they are very durable and will last for many years if properly cared for. Yet, they're not the lightest luggage choices out there on the market. 

While most luggage brands do offer a carry-on size, these bags are made more for hiking than a travel compartment. 

While not exactly carry-on luggage, checking in an internal frame backpack instead of rolling bags can be a good idea if you know you will be walking a lot.

Having a large back you can keep track of with luggage tags will also increase security, and prevent theft on public transportation. 

Some luggage brands offer a built-in lock for some compartments of these hard-sided bags. So while not great for international flights, they are great for travel.

Soft Backpacks

There are many benefits to using a soft backpack for travel. They are usually much lighter than other types of luggage, making them easier to carry.

They also tend to have more compartments and pockets, which can be useful for storing smaller items. Their small size makes them perfect for quaint, European train stations.

Soft backpacks can also be more comfortable to wear for long periods of time, as they evenly distribute the weight across your back.

Lightweight luggage like this won't wear you down and leave you tired like dragging wheeled suitcases might. 

Even a lightweight suitcase can be a pain to drag rather than carry, but either way, you'll be left dealing with luggage tags when flying.

They also have a bit more flexibility, so you can squeeze them into tighter spaces. Plus if you do happen to damage them, they are usually much easier and cheaper to repair.

Still, as many product reviews will tell you there are some downsides to choosing a soft backpack over its hard-side counterparts. 

Rolling bags and suitcases can come with a 10-year limited warranty, but soft packs will rarely include such a feature. 

While this might be the lightest luggage choice, soft-side luggage is not the most secure option commercially available to you. 

If you are worried about theft, especially as you will always have your back on your bag, then soft-side luggage might not be for you. 

Why You Shouldn't Choose a Rolling Suitcase

A rolling suitcase is a great option for traveling, but there are some reasons why you might not want to choose one.

First, they can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. Second, they can be heavy and difficult to lift, especially when they are fully packed.

Third, they can be more expensive than a traditional suitcase. Finally, they can be more difficult to store, since they often take up more space than a traditional suitcase.

Luggage with spinner wheels might sound appealing, but you have to remember that what might be awesome luggage in the States won't necessarily be great in Europe. 

Your choice of luggage is very important for Europe. The cheapest carry-on luggage won't be the best, and classic wheeled carry-on luggage won't be either. 

They are not always the most durable option and can easily break if you are not careful with them. This is especially true for soft-shell suitcases. 

A suitcase with wheels can be difficult to store in an overhead cabin, largely thanks to the wheels themselves taking up some serious space. 

When shopping for carry-on cabin-size luggage, a 4 or 2-wheel suitcase is rarely your first choice. They are better suited as check-in bags. 

A carry-on suitcase isn't always terrible, however. Soft-shell suitcases do fold down and pack away a little easier than the cheapest hard-shelled suitcases. 

This means that a suitcase with wheels can be good for European trips and train travel, even if train travel and hiking are better suited with backpacks

While we suggest travel backpacks for airline travel and train travel, ultimately the choice is up to you. However, we still don't see rolling cases as the way to go. 

Our Choice for Backpacks

For travelers who wish to only bring a carry-on and maintain extreme organization, the Osprey Porter 46 works fantastically.

A secure laptop back panel, a top pocket for quick access to your amenities, as well as a compartment to hold your travel documents, are just a few of the many convenient features this backpack offers.

Due to the Porter 46's design, even on trips to Europe, passengers admit to having no trouble fitting it into the cabin of their aircraft.

The majority of readers identify it as the top backpack for exploring Europe. This lightweight luggage option is ideal if you plan on traveling with your bags. 

While any brand can offer you a zippered pocket for security, Osprey goes above and beyond with their sleek design, tailor-made for international travel as carry-on luggage.

Another great option for traveling in Europe is the Gregory Maven 45L Backpack! Despite being incredibly strong and roomy, it barely weighs 3.2 lbs. A great lightweight luggage choice.

The suspension, lumbar cradle, and flexible foam upper panel of this rucksack give it an excellent fit, and consumers truly adore how comfy it is!

It comes equipped with a boatload of functional pockets and organizing features, as well as a waterproof cover to keep your valuables secure in all weather.

The Setout 45L by Tortuga is a straightforward and incredibly useful pack for exploring Europe. Like those we previously mentioned, this is a great lightweight luggage choice for backpackers.

Travelers adore it because it feels and looks like a backpack but loads like a suitcase! It is roomy and can accommodate a lot of clothes while still adhering to carry-on requirements (particularly when used with packing cubes).

This backpack is incredibly well organized, with soft padded straps and a waist belt, and only weighs 3.8 lbs. A padded laptop sleeve is also included.

All these backpacks are not only ideal for comfort with their padded shoulder straps, or for planes being able to fit an overhead compartment but for other European forms of travel as well. 

Our Choice for Suitcases

Many claim that their European trips were made possible by their Samsonite Winfield 2 20" luggage. It is only 6.7 lbs. in weight and boasts 360-degree spinning wheels.


  • Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels

Users adore the safety of the TSA zip locks, and the scratch-resistant Hardcase polymer exterior will withstand all the demands of travel!

The Lightweight Carry-on Suitcase 20-Inch carry-on by Level 8 is a great, affordable alternative and has all the features you could expect!

It is simple to move because of the durable handle and wheels, and at 5kg, it is quite simple to lift and carry. For such a size, it packs down rather well, and the useful external pockets are a plus!

This adorable item will fit in practically any overhead storage space, although it is hardly lightweight luggage compared to other brands, being roughly 11lbs. 

You'll be effortlessly flying over any surface with the Aerolite 55x35x20cm Lightweight ABS Hard Shell Travel Carry On! It is decently lightweight but roomy, and the spinning wheels provide for a comfortable, multi-directional ride.

Coming in a set of two, the handle offers an impressive one-meter extension. roughly 5.7lbs pounds is a relatively modest weight for a rolling suitcase!

It will appear just as wonderful when you get off the plane as it did when you got on thanks to the sturdy, scratch-resistant material design!

Why Duffel Bags are Less Suitable in Europe

Duffel bags are not as popular in Europe as they are in other parts of the world for a few reasons. Firstly, they are not as well-suited to the climate as other bag types.

The weather is often cooler in Europe and a duffel bag can feel bulky and cumbersome when trying to layer clothing.

Secondly, duffel bags tend to be less stylish than other bag types, and Europeans often place a high premium on style.

Finally, duffel bags are not as convenient as other bag types when it comes to public transportation.

They can be difficult to carry on buses and trains and often take up too much space. For all these reasons, duffel bags are not as popular in Europe as they are in the US. 

If you don't want to stand out too much, then we suggest you avoid taking a duffel bag with you on your trip across the Atlantic. 

When traveling with a duffel, Europeans might view you with suspicion. Popular culture and American TV shows tell them that duffels are for drugs and ransom money only after all.

About this Guide

Written By Alex
Last Updated On December 29, 2022
Reading Time 
11 minutes
Guide Views 

Author Information


Related Guides

Lightweight Luggage is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to &
Our Location
© Copyright © by Lightweight Luggage Reviews. All rights reserved.
cross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram