If you are traveling, you should get yourself the best wheeled backpack. There is a good reason for that. First, it is a backpack, which means when you are running after a bus or a train, you can carry it on your back.
Secondly, it has wheels. You can roll it on its wheels when you are going to board a plane, or when strolling along on paved paths. Buying a travel backpack with wheels is like having a two-in-one backpack.
Owing to the popularity of these backpacks, there are quite many of them. Some have big volumes; some small and so on. They come in all styles and colors. Most importantly, they come at different prices.
For most people, the price is the main determinant of what backpack they buy. However, it is always better to pay more money for more features than pay less for fewer features. Does this mean that you cannot find a good cheap backpack? No, but do try to find a balance between price and features.
- 1 Top 10 Best Wheeled Backpack Reviews
- 1.1 Samsonite Wheeled Backpack
- 1.2 High Sierra AT7 Wheeled Computer Backpack
- 1.3 Travelpro Bold 30″ Rolling Duffle Bag
- 1.4 Gothamite 42-inch Rolling Duffle Bag
- 1.5 J World New York Sundance LAPTOP Rolling Backpack
- 1.6 AmazonBasics Convertible Rolling Camera Backpack
- 1.7 Osprey Sojourn Wheeled Luggage
- 1.8 Wenger Luggage Synergy Wheeled 16″ Backpack
- 1.9 Neewer 2-in-1 Convertible Wheeled Camera Backpack
- 1.10 Mercury Tactical Gear Mini Monster Deployment Bag
- 1.11 What is a Wheeled Backpack?
- 2 What Features to Look for in a Wheeled Backpack
- 3 Why you use a backpack with wheels?
- 4 Conclusion
Top 10 Best Wheeled Backpack Reviews
Backpacks with rollers are very popular and so it is always a daunting task to choose the best one. In the reviews that we bring you below, you will see the features and the pros and cons of each pack. You can never go wrong with these choices.
Samsonite Wheeled Backpack
If you are looking for an airline-approved bag, this is among the best of them in the market. It measures 21 inches by 14 inches by 8 inches. It is not too big but then, you do not want it to be too big if you do not want to check it in. The material making the bag is quite strong. It is rip-stop, which gives it extra strength. It will not fray or rip apart even with the mishandling that comes with traveling.
The seams are also strong. Basically, this backpack comes in a sturdy and super strong construction. If you do not exceed its weight limit and you give it good care and maintenance, this wheeled pack can last years on end. Other notable features include the in-line wheels. They do not swivel or anything, they just move in forward and backward direction. However, they never jam and they are small. When you want to rest, just let the backpack stand up straight and the wheels will not move.
Then there is the telescopic ice-pick handle. You can pull it outwards to pull the backpack and push it back in when you do not need it. There is another small padded handle for hoisting the backpack onto the bus, or the overhead luggage hold in the train or plane. It is quite strong and it holds well even when the pack carries maximum weight.
- The pack has padded and contoured straps that rest easy on the shoulders
- It has interior pockets in the back and sides
- Padded backrest is breathable for airflow
- The wheels move well on paved ground
- Has a laptop compartment as well as a music entry port
- The bottle holder netting might not be strong enough to withstand rough handling
- Small room between ground and the bag as wheels are small
High Sierra AT7 Wheeled Computer Backpack
This is a nice looking, stylish backpack that is specifically made for traveling. If you want to take your laptop with you (who doesn’t?), this is the pack to buy. It has a sleeve that fits almost, if not all 17-inch laptops. This sleeve is padded so that even if you drop the pack, the laptop is safe from shock and impact. At the same time, you may carry hard things that press into the sleeve, but their impact will not get to the laptop. The pack also has a tablet sleeve, same qualities but smaller.
The pack comes with nice, easy-rolling polyurethane wheels. PU is waterproof, so even if the laptop stands on wet pavement, there will be no effect on the wheels. There are large pockets on the side. These hold the water bottles and other gear that you would like to keep close.
When pulling the wheeled backpack behind you, use the lockable telescopic handle. This means that when you are walking pulling your bag behind you, the handle cannot recess. When you do not need to roll it, the handle goes back to its housing, keeping it nicely out of the way. As you carry the pack on your back, you will love the padded straps. They will not dig into your shoulders even when you carry extra weight.
- The straps stay out of the way when you do not need them in the zippered back panel
- Back panel is thick and breathable for good airflow
- Nice wheels stay intact in the unibody housing
- Has reflective piping for more safety
- The price is fair considering the features
- It is not waterproof but you can buy a rain cover
- Not made for hard traveling
Travelpro Bold 30″ Rolling Duffle Bag
This one is big enough to allow you to carry all the items that you need to take with you when traveling for a few weeks. You can even enlarge the packing space by opening the drop bottom. To keep some of your items separate, there is a large meshed pocket that is on the top lid of the case. That is not all, as there is also an exterior pocket. Many people use this one for keeping their dirty items separate from the clean ones.
The material used to make this case is polyester, which is coated with water-repellent coating. This coating also makes this bag very simple to clean. This bag cannot fall apart even with all the mishandling that comes in airports. Perhaps this is why it comes with a limited lifetime warranty. That is an indication of just how much confidence TravelPro have in their product.
This is a rolling duffel bag, you will get high quality wheels. They roll without skidding, something that is common with many backpack wheels. At the same time, the wheels are contained in reinforced housings. This duffel bag is wheeled, but it does not come with straps. It would be so hard or awkward anyway to carry it on your shoulders. When it is empty, it weighs about 10 pounds. You need to check the check-in requirements with the airline that you will be using.
- Strong and stain-resistant Polyester material
- The bag is water-repellent
- The wheels have ball bearings – they roll so easily
- Enough pockets to help keep your items well organized
- Lifetime limited warranty
- Quite large at 31 inches, needs to be checked in
- Does not have carry straps
Gothamite 42-inch Rolling Duffle Bag
This is a very versatile bag. For example, you can use it for traveling, for packing your sports items and so on. Whatever tasks you put the bag to, it will hold up very well. Measuring 42 by 18 by 18 inches, you can imagine the sheer size and packing volume that you will get with the bag.
For durability, the bag has been constructed with 1200D polyester fabric. The yarn is strong, the seams and joints are incredibly strong. Therefore, it can hold its end of the bargain very well. Not only is the material tear-resistant, but it is also weatherproof. For easier movement, it has three inline skate wheels. These move well on different terrains and most importantly, they give your bag some balance when the terrain is uneven.
In a wheeled bag, the handle is a very important feature. Gothamite does not disappoint. A telescopic handle recesses when it is not in use. This bag gives you the freedom to move around train stations and airports without struggling. For security, you will get two main zippers that are lockable. After you have packed all of your items in, you can lock the zippers with a padlock. You may store both small and large items in the main compartments of the duffel bag.
- Sold with a warranty of 12 months
- It is a unisex duffel bag with wheels – good for women and men
- You get plenty of storage room
- Built to last with the heavy-duty polyester material
- Lockable zippers make it secure
- Too large – good for people with plenty of luggage
- Not possible to carry it on your back for long
J World New York Sundance LAPTOP Rolling Backpack
This is a small backpack with wheels. It measures 20 by 13 by 9 inches and when empty, it weighs 5 pounds. The backpack has a laptop sleeve that can fit most of the 15-inch laptops. Because of its small size (38 liters), it is also categorized as a good backpack for school going children. Of course, it is heavy when packed to maximum capacity, but it has very nice wheels that allow easier movement on different terrains.
This backpack has a front pocket organizer. The main benefit of this organizer is that it helps you keep the vital personal items together. It has cardholders, pencil holders, a zippered pocket and a key fob. If you keep your small personal items in the zippered pocket, you will find them easily. If you are buying it for a student, the pencil holders and the key fobs are very important features.
The bottom of the backpack has a mold for protection. It protects the bottom against wear and tear. We all know that the bottom of the backpack is apt to be exposed to the ground. This makes it wear away fast. The bottom mold has the same color as the rest of the bag. Therefore, it does not look out of place.
- Wheels are not in the in-line in design and surprisingly this makes them more effective
- The bag has reflective tape for night safety when your child is riding from school
- Telescopic handle for pulling the backpack behind you easily
- Enough compartments and pockets for organization
- Handles the rigors of traveling well
- The straps could be better
- The laptop sleeve may not be true to size
AmazonBasics Convertible Rolling Camera Backpack
You may wonder why this backpack is called a camera backpack. The reason is that it is divided into several compartments that help you keep your camera gear organized. If you are a photographer on the move, this is your pack. Maybe you are a wedding photographer, a wildlife photographer or a traveling photographer. You must have this backpack.
First, you will be happy that this backpack can hold a full body of a DSLR and its lens attachments. When you need to take some fast shots, you can just reach in and grab the camera. That is not all because the pack also comes with 11 more compartments for different camera gear.
There are side straps for attaching your tripod. That is so important because the best shots require you to hold the camera very still. Only a tripod can allow you to do that. A padded compartment can fit a 17-inch laptop. The padding will absorb the shock if the pack falls. Since camera equipment is sensitive, you need a pack as small as this one so that you can board the plane with it.
The wheels are good for different terrains. The telescoping handle is really good and then there is a very nice strap on top for hoisting this bag to the overhead luggage compartment. You also get exterior pockets, which can help when you need to keep some small items at a place where you can easily reach them.
- It has adjustable shoulder straps for easier carrying
- You get a rain cover with the pack
- Really good at keeping your camera gear well organized
- Integrated with a luggage ID tag holder
- The straps are removable
- A handle on the side would have been a thoughtful addition
- You have to open the lid fully anytime you need something
Osprey Sojourn Wheeled Luggage
Osprey is one of the most established brand names for different kinds of luggage and outdoor backpacks. Many of their loyal customers have come to expect certain features and quality from them. Thankfully, they never disappoint as you will without doubt agree when you use the Osprey Sojourn wheeled bag. But first, its features …
This backpack is made of high quality materials. These include aluminum, nylon, ballistic nylon and polyurethane. With such a strong chassis, you would expect this pack to be heavy. Wrong! It is quite strong but light in weight. Whether you are pulling it behind you in the airport or you are carrying it on your back, it feels safe and strong. It will last a long time.
For easier maneuvering, the backpack has handles on the side and at the top. When you have to carry it for a long time on your back, you will be happy that Osprey has included an advanced suspension. This removes the rigidity that comes with a regular wheeled backpack. The lumbar area of the pack has a mesh for breathability in hot temperatures.
With a total volume of 80 liters, you can carry a lot of gear with this backpack. Handling it is easy, as we have shown you it has side handles for easier hoisting. The wheels offer good ground clearance, which is important when you are hauling maximum capacity.
- This backpack has a super strong construction
- It is easy to carry on the back or to roll around
- There are daisy chains for attaching different things
- Slender design makes the bag more manageable
- Packs a lot of gear thanks to the 80 liter volume
- This is a costly backpack, but it is worth every dime
Wenger Luggage Synergy Wheeled 16″ Backpack
Suave and stylish, this backpack bag is in a class of its own. First, it is a small backpack, most appropriate for packing your laptop, books and a few clothing items. However, even a laptop can feel too heavy when it has been on your back for a long time. Add the weight of your books on top and it feels like a ton. Thankfully, the Wenger Synergy Luggage has wheels. Moving it should be easy.
Like many wheeled backpacks, this one has a nice, comfortable and ridged retractable handle in the shape of an ice-pick. The handle recesses when you do not need to use it. When it is fully recessed, cover the handle with a Velcro flap so that it stays completely out of the way. The wheels glide easily on different surfaces, but they are small and so you should use them on smooth terrains only.
For carrying on the back, the pack has nice shoulder straps. They are padded so they shall not squeeze your shoulders unnecessarily. The back panel has a thick padding and a mesh for breathability.
- Padded compartment for protecting your laptop
- The handle is retractable and locks in place tightly
- Zippered mesh pocket for organizing small accessories
- Has big compartment for clothes and a small one for your tablet
- Very stylish, looks good on any student
- Shoulder straps look a bit weak, but they stay intact for long
Neewer 2-in-1 Convertible Wheeled Camera Backpack
This is another good backpack for a traveling photographer. First, it is small enough to take on the plane with you as it measures 21.7 by 13 by 10 inches. It offers your camera gear the best protection. This is not a surprise anyway, because Neewer is one of the renowned makers of music and camera gear.
You get one compartment that takes a DSLR body with and the accompanying lens attached. It also has 11 other compartments for the rest of your camera gear. Behind the backpack, there is an attachment for your tripod. You can also use this roller backpack or as a regular backpack. It is very comfortable on your back.
As a convertible backpack, you can use it for general traveling gear. The padded compartment for your camera gear is detachable. The collapsible handle is of high quality. Combined with the easy rolling wheels, it is easy to pull it along. There is a convenient handle on top for hoisting the pack to the overhead luggage compartment. On the side, there is another comfortable handle. Therefore, you can carry this backpack in the most convenient way.
- You will get a rain cover when you buy it
- Convert to a backpack and back whenever you want
- Has a padded and secure compartment for your laptop
- Carry it any way you like – roll, top handle or side handle
- Rollerblade wheels move very well on different terrains
- This backpack has no cons
Mercury Tactical Gear Mini Monster Deployment Bag
This is a big-wheeled backpack, with three wheels for easier movement on paved ground. From the term “deployment bag” you can guess that this is the same bag that the US military uses. Even though it has wheels, it has a flexible design.
In the interior, it has large compartment for your clothes. However, this compartment also comes with a divider, so you can make the bag more organized. On the exterior, there is an attached side pocket. It is zippered for security. The exterior material is made of a high quality polyester fabric, which resists scratches and fraying.
On both ends of the pack, there are comfortable carry handles. These will come in handy when loading it into a car trunk. The side straps join in a padded handle on the top. You can carry this bag with its full weight without slicing your hands. The ball bearing wheels give excellent performance. There are protective corner guards and skids. These tractor wheels are built for performance on different terrains.
- This backpack helps you keep your stuff organized
- Meets check-in requirements for all airlines
- Large backpack – can hold many clothes
- Has good padding inside to protect your things
- Available handles have nice padding for long distance carrying
- Does not have a retractable handle
- Secure interior pockets would be better
What is a Wheeled Backpack?
A wheeled backpack, just as you can learn from the name is a backpack that you can carry on your back or roll on its wheels after you. It has all the features of the regular backpacks (without wheels) but it adds a few more for the benefit of the user.
This backpack has features such as waist straps, chest straps, exterior and interior pockets, can be a front loader or a top loader. It also has a set of wheels. Another very important feature that this type of backpack comes with is a handle. Usually, this is a retractable handle, which you can just push back in when you have to carry the pack on your back.
Because of the inclusion of the extra features, a wheeled backpack requires more rigidity. Thus, most of the wheeled packs come with an internal frame and padding. It prevents the pack from crumpling even when it is not packed. Whether you pull your backpack on the ground or you carry it on your back, you will find it very convenient for traveling.
What Features to Look for in a Wheeled Backpack
When buying travel, backpacking, camping or hiking gear such as backpacks, checking the features is paramount. In this section, we are going to look at the most important features that every wheeled backpack should have.
- Super strong shoulder straps
This is the first feature that your backpack should have. You will need to carry this backpack on your back most of the time. Since it is heavier than the regular backpacks, you need to make sure the straps are equally strong. The straps should also be attached in such a way that they cannot fall apart easily.
Backpack straps should be very comfortable. For this, they have thick padding. Without this padding, they would dig hard into your flesh. If you need this backpack for long trekking and hiking, you need thick and comfortable straps.
Adjustability is very important for straps. That way, you can adjust the position of the backpack on your back depending on the weight. Besides, with adjustable straps, different people can use the pack comfortably.
Please look for a backpack that comes with many compartments. They go a long way in helping you keep your items organized. You can keep your clothes and other big items in the big compartments. To access every compartment, the front loading backpacks unzip almost fully. The small items can go into the small compartments and vice versa. Check whether some of the small compartments or the interior pockets are lockable. If they are, you can keep some of your personal items there.
- The fabric
Some backpacks are made of nylon, some are made of polyester or other materials. However, you will find that there are more important things in material choice. One of them is the thread count. The higher the better because more thread per unit means more strength.
It is impossible to find a pack with frayed fabric if it has the right material. The thread count is usually indicated by D preceded by some numbers, for example, 70D. The higher the number the stronger the fabric is. If you buy a back pack with a strong backpack, it can last several years in great shape.
- Exterior pockets
These are very important. When you are hiking, cycling or trekking, you need to keep some things close by. These include things like water bottles, snacks and other things. You need a few exterior pockets so that you can keep all these things close by.
For security, these pockets should be zippered at least. While you should not keep precious items in the exterior pockets, zippers will help contain your items especially when running or cycling.
You do not want your items to get soaked when you are caught in a shower while hiking, traveling or backpacking. Thus, look for a wheeled backpack that is coated with polyurethane. This helps keep your items dry.
Waterproofness means that the backpack will keep your things dry even when you are caught in a drench. Water-resistance on the other hand means the backpack can resist a light shower, but it will get soaked in a drench. You may also buy a rain cover for the backpack. It is important!
- The volume
This is a very important feature because it determines the items that you can carry. However, before you go ahead and choose that 60-liter backpack, consider a few things. If you are using the backpack for traveling, you cannot have it in the overhead luggage if it is heavier than 45 liters. However, if you do not mind checking it in when flying, you can make it big. As for the size, make sure that the length dimension of the pack is less than 22 inches. This is what most airlines allow. The width of the backpack should be 14 inches wide and 9 inches wide.
Why you use a backpack with wheels?
There are many reasons why you should opt for this backpack as opposed to others in the market. However, we will just look at the major ones:
- Wheeled backpacks are more durable
Because of the wheels, these backpacks are liable to suffer more abuse than their regular sisters. Thus, they are sturdier and more durable. Do not spare any cost when buying one. The wheels, the telescopic handle and the fabric are of high quality.
- You can carry more gear
When you know that you can only carry your backpack on your back, you will want to carry just a small one, say about 25 liters. This will in turn limit the amount of gear that you can take with you. With a wheeled backpack, you can carry more gear. After all, you can always pull it behind you when you get to a paved section.
- Backpack with wheels is versatile
You will love the fact that you can carry this backpack on your back and you may as well roll it behind you. There are many times that you will be grateful for the wheels. However, there are also those instances where you will be glad that you can hoist this backpack to your back when you are going to catch a train or a bus. When the circumstances require you to carry it on the back or to pull it behind you, it will be handy.
- Save your back from chronic pain
No one knows the debilitating effect of chronic back pain than a constant traveller who is always on the move. Imagine carrying an 80-liter backpack crammed with souvenirs, clothing and much more stuff on your back all the time.
With a wheeled backpack though, you can save your back from all this trouble. You can also save your shoulders and chest a lot of fatigue. Remember, all these body parts – shoulders, back, chest and even the arms come together to support the weight of the backpack on your back.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most first-time buyers are usually torn between the regular packs and the wheeled ones. You might think that choosing a wheeled backpack should be a no-brainer, but apparently, it is a bit confusing. Therefore, we have anticipated and answered the most common questions that people ask.
- Can I buy a wheeled backpack for my children?
If they are going to carry a lot of gear, wheeled is better than a regular backpack. Thus, today, we have wheeled packs for school, travel and many more functions. Children suffer from the effects of weight on their backs the same way that adults do. Thus, to protect their delicate torso, get them a wheeled pack for their heavy books and traveling gear.
- Must I get a backpack with compartments?
This depends on your personal preference. If you do not worry about organization and you like having everything in the same place where you can access it fast, then compartments are not so important. However, if you love to keep things organized all the time, get a pack with a few compartments. If you are traveling with a kid, use a backpack with compartments so that you can separate your baby’s stuff from yours.
- Can I use a wheeled backpack for hiking and backpacking?
No, and there are many reasons to support this. First, the rolling backpack is rigid in design and so it will be uncomfortable for your back. You do not want a rigid backpack on your torso for the long backpacking and hiking hours.
Another thing is that a rolling backpack comes with extra weight since it has handles and wheels. This is the reason why rolling backpacks are best for town travel, flights and train journeys. For outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, diving and many others, use a regular, flexible backpack.
When choosing the best wheeled backpack, we have seen the features you should consider. For a quick recap, check the shoulder straps. Make sure they have thick padding, are adjustable and high quality. Check the quality of the fabric, especially the thread count and the seams. If the backpack is going to withstand the rigors of traveling and the mishandling that comes with it, it must be strong enough. Our recommendation? Get the Samsonite wheeled backpack. It is wheeled but it looks flexible enough for your back. Besides, it is good for air travel and you will not have to check it in because it can fit in the overhead luggage compartment.