Interrail Planner / May 17, 2017
What backpack should I take Interrailing? The best 6 rucksacks to take
We keep this article up to date to ensure we make the best backpack recommendations. Updated for 2018 interrailers!
This is a common question for interrailers and quite rightly, as it'll be your most important piece of kit. You'll be carrying your backpack around busy cities and lugging it onto trains so it's vital you find one you find comfortable and practical.
What size backpack should I take?
You need to consider what you want to take interrailing. This will depend on where you go and at what time of year but keep in mind that most, if not all, hostels will have washing facilities so you can wear the same clothes multiple times. Don't overpack, you'll regret it when you have to carry it in the summer heat. Take a look at our tips on what to pack for interrailing and how many clothes to bring interrailing.
We recommend taking a main backpack of between 50 and 70 litres for a 3 week interrail. You should also take a day sack for exploring cities. Some of the bags we recommend come with handy detachable day sacks.
The best backpacks to take interrailing
We've selected six of our favourite backpacks to take interrailing. We've linked up with Amazon so you can click on each bag and get further information. They come in at various price levels but we recommend you spend the most you can afford on a backpack. It's likely you will use it again!
A very practical bag, with handy features like front-loading, detachable 13L day bag and a zip to ‘hide the rigging’. It's one of the lightest back-packable travel packs for its capacity and packs like a suitcase but is worn like a backpack. This is the 55L size but the 70L version is also suitable for interrailing and is available here.
Best choice for: interrailing over 2 weeks
This one’s also front-loading, so it packs up like a suitcase, too! There’s a detachable 15L daysack on this new Lowe Alpine AT Voyager backpack, you can also detach it and wear it on your chest, and clip it to your main backpack for improved safety and maneuverability in crowded areas. There are loads of internal pockets and tamper-proof interlocking zips, too. And if the weather’s not so shiny in Europe, you can make use of the integrated rain cover!
Best choice for: secure packing and maneuverability
This backpack is the updated version of the original Vango Freedom backpack (an interrailing favourite) and it’s been upgraded in all the right areas. This is a versatile and hard-wearing travel and is abrasion and water resistant - ideal for interrailing! It’s front-loading and there’s a 20L detachable day sack, just as the others above.
Vango have also built in compression straps, zipped pockets and a drawcord inside, to help pack down clothes, but also keep things separate i.e. dirty laundry
It's one of the best bags on the market for long distance travelling. The travel pack is also well prepared for air travel, featuring a flight cover to protect the straps while in transit. The 80 + 20L version of this backpack is available here.
Best choice for: accessibility and durability
This is a great budget option - more of a classic expedition-style backpack, but still suitable for interrailing. You can access the bag from the top or bottom, so things that are stuffed at the bottom are still easy to access. There are 6 pockets and the main compartment can be divided into two areas so you can keep things separate. The straps are also very adjustable so you can get a comfortable fit on your back.
Best choice for: the budget conscious
Lightweight, breathable backpack with an anti-gravity suspension system that takes the weight off your shoulders. The air mesh ensures that your back never comes into contact with the frame of the bag itself, which ensures air can flow through and you can feel a breeze on your back as you walk, similar systems are deployed for the shoulder and hip straps. Pack more but feel less weight!
Best choice for: bad backs
This is an easy-to-manoeuvre wheeled bag, which also sits comfortably on your back thanks to the adjustable waist strap. It's effectively a suitcase, as it is front-loading and gives you the choice of carrying like a normal backpack or wheeling it along the city streets. It's a practical purchase that could be used for many other holidays.
Best choice for: suitcase lovers