What kind of luggage to take inter-railing die/s every minute you don't read this article

Beautiful sunset scenery
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In December we're going travelling around western Europe by train for several weeks and I need to buy some kind of luggage.

I had thought that a ~35-45 litre backpack would be about right, sizewise and for portability.

Quechua Hiking Backpack
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Hiking Backpack:Buy Now!

But I've heard from people with direct experience that pickpockets are a big problem in several of the places we're going and that makes backpacks a bad idea.

Quechua College,school backpack
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So what kind of luggage should I use that will be reasonable to carry around but still secure given we're changing locations (and thus hotels) regularly.

I'm not interested in tips on how to travel light or what to pack. I know there are travellers who sell everything and take off with just a pair of clean underwear in their pocket but I'm not one of them, and it will be fairly cold while we're travelling too. 

Quechua College,school backpack
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Also, if it matters, we're planning on checking bags for the flights and have already paid for them, so I'm not asking for a small overnight or weekend bag because that is not appropriate for the trip we are taking (plus I have one already).

But I don't want to be dragging a heavy suitcase around with me either so some kind of portable luggage item seems necessary.

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Backpacks are designed for this kind of carrying but I don't see how I can carry one safely in a crowd so that it can't be stolen from.

Pickpockets are a real issue but long train holidays are still popular, so I assume there's some solution or best practise that people use for carrying stuff in this situation. What would it be?
Quechua men and boy backpacks
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I don't currently own anything at all suitable so have to buy something regardless of what it is. I'll probably need to make my husband buy something too because he currently thinks he's going to take his 90 litre travel pack which is both way too big and super easy to unzip. We're good for sekrit bags for hiding our money in and that kind of thing, it's the big stuff that we need to sort out.

Quechua kids backpacks
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So what kind of luggage, bag, suitcase, pack, whatever - generally or specifically (noting that I live in Ireland and will only buy online from within Europe) - should I be buying for my inter-railing holiday round Europe? I'm specifically worried about the safety/non-st.ealability aspect since just finding a comfortable backpack or rugged carry bag is pretty easy.

Quechua boys and girls backpacks
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