Are you among the millions of travellers who suffer from “packing panic”?
Some of us rethink our packing strategy at the last second, even if we start packing days before the trip. And 50% of us have admitted to sitting on a piece of luggage to zip it up!
You may not become a packing expert overnight, but one thing is certain to ease your stress levels — a great rolling backpack.
By combining the convenience of a rolling suitcase with the versatility of a backpack, you’ll be amazed by how this item will transform your travel experience.
There are countless rolling backpacks for travel, so I’ve put together this list to make your life easier. Keep reading for a rundown of the best rolling backpacks for your future travels!
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Wheeled Backpack for Travel 101
When choosing a travel backpack with wheels, there are several considerations to keep in mind to ensure convenience, durability, and functionality.
Before we dive into specific recommendations, here are some important factors to consider.
Size and Capacity
Look for a backpack that meets the carry-on size requirements of airlines, typically around 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56 x 36 x 23 cm).
Consider the capacity based on your travel needs, remembering that larger backpacks may be subject to size restrictions or weight limits.
Wheels and Handle
Opt for a rolling backpack with sturdy and smooth-rolling wheels that can handle various terrains.
Ideally, the wheels should be recessed or protected to minimize damage during rough handling. The telescopic handle should be adjustable and comfortable to hold, with a locking mechanism to keep it securely in place.
Choose a backpack that offers the flexibility to use it as a wheeled bag or as a traditional backpack. Look for designs that have hidden or detachable shoulder straps, allowing you to carry it on your back when necessary.
Weight and Construction
Consider the weight of the backpack itself, as you don’t want unnecessary bulk.
Look for lightweight materials like nylon or polyester that are also durable and resistant to tears and abrasions. Reinforced stitching and sturdy zippers are essential for longevity.
Compartments and Organization
Check for a well-designed interior with multiple compartments and pockets to help you stay organized.
You’ll want a padded laptop sleeve or compartment if you plan to carry electronic devices. Exterior pockets or mesh compartments can be useful for quick access to water bottles or small items.
Comfort and Suspension
Ensure the backpack has well-padded shoulder straps and a supportive back panel for comfortable carrying when it’s not being rolled. The straps should be adjustable to distribute weight evenly on your shoulders.
The best rolling backpacks come with lockable zippers to provide an extra layer of security for your belongings. Some models also have hidden pockets or compartments for storing valuable items discreetly.
Consider a backpack with water-resistant or waterproof materials to protect your belongings from light rain or accidental spills. This feature can be especially important if you’ll be travelling to rainy destinations or carrying electronics.
Reviews and Brand Reputation
Before making a final decision, read reviews from other travellers to gauge the backpack’s performance and durability. Consider reputable brands known for producing high-quality travel gear.
The Best Rolling Backpacks for Travel
Now that you know what to look for, here’s a list of this year’s best rolling backpacks to consider.
1. Osprey Farpoint 36 Wheeled Carry-On
This wheeled backpack from Osprey offers the choice between energy-saving wheels or a lightweight suspension.
It’s easy to get on your plane with the large 90mm wheels and telescoping handle, while the hideaway harness is ready when you step off your flight. Featuring a hip belt, full back panel, and LightWire frame, this backpack carries as well as it rolls.
The Osprey Farpoint weighs in at 5.29 pounds with dimensions of 22 x 14 x 9 inches, ensuring plenty of space to pack your essentials.
2. Samsonite Wheeled Backpack with Organizational Pockets
Samsonite has a reputation for making great luggage, and this wheeled backpack is no exception.
Weighing in at just five pounds with dimensions of 8 x 14 x 21 inches, it’s an ideal size for a wheeled carry-on backpack. It features Rip-Stop fabric that’s resistant to tears as well as multiple pockets for all your electronics (up to a 17” laptop).
Reviewers also appreciate the Samonsite’s ice-pick pull handle, in-line skate wheels, and comfortable contoured straps with extra padding.
3. MATEIN 17-Inch Wheeled Laptop Backpack
With an affordable price tag and over 4,000 positive reviews, you can’t go wrong with this MATEIN wheeled backpack.
Its dimensions are 19.6 x 13 x 9 inches and it weighs just 4.9 pounds, making it one of the lightest options on our list. It features waterproof panels, corner guards, and a kick plate, ensuring maximum durability while you’re on the road.
Users appreciate the various organisational compartments for large and small items as well as the adjustable, breathable shoulder straps.
4. ZOMFELT Rolling Backpack
Is it a backpack, a rolling suitcase, or a duffel bag? This versatile ZOMFELT bag can be all three!
With its aluminium alloy rod, durable rubber wheels, and concealable shoulder straps, you can easily switch between a carry-on backpack and a wheeled backpack in seconds.
It weighs in at 6.6 pounds with dimensions of 14.2 x 9.1 x 21.3 inches and offers an impressive 55-litre capacity. The backpack also comes with three extra storage bags including a waterproof bag for wet towels or dirty laundry.
5. Wenger Luggage Synergy 18-Inch
This stylish offering from Wenger ticks all the boxes for a wheeled backpack for travel.
Its generous 11.8 x 15.4 x 20.9-inch dimensions ensure plenty of space for your electronics, including a 16-inch laptop pocket and a 12.9-inch tablet pocket.
The anti-scratch lining is triple-protected to keep your valuables safe while you travel. Reviewers also appreciate its secure locking handle and easy-glide wheels with Velcro wheel cover.
6. Olympia U.S.A. Cascade 20″ Carry-on with Hideaway Backpack
This carry-on backpack from Olympia U.S.A. is as functional as it is stylish.
At 6.4 pounds and with dimensions of 20 x 15 x 8.5 inches, you won’t have any trouble qualifying for the airlines’ carry-on requirements. The hideaway padded backpack straps easily store behind the padded back panel and also include a multi-use harness strap.
The durable jacquard polyester lining features expandable straps and additional compartments if you need more storage.
7. J World New York Sundance Rolling Backpack
Although it’s technically a rolling backpack for students, the features of this J World New York backpack have universal appeal.
Weighing just 4.6 pounds, it’s light enough for incredible manoeuvrability. Its dimensions are 9 x 13 x 20 inches, offering enough space for a laptop, textbooks, clothing, food items, and more.
The aluminium handle extends to 34 or 39 inches, making it comfortable for children or adults to pull. It comes in an array of attractive colours and patterns, too, just in case you’re bored with an all-black bag.
8. High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Laptop Backpack
This eye-catching backpack from High Sierra is also the lightest option on our list.
Weighing just 3.5 pounds, you’ll never have to worry about overweight charges at the airport. Despite its featherlight weight, its 20.5 x 13.5 x 8-inch dimensions and multiple compartments offer plenty of storage options.
It can hold up to a 15-inch laptop in its padded computer sleeve. Users also like the deluxe media pocket and built-in headphone port as well as the air mesh padded shoulder straps.
9. JanSport Driver 8 Rolling Backpack
The JanSport backpack you toted around in grade school is all grown up now, as this JanSport rolling backpack will attest to.
Expect easy versatility with this backpack that weighs just 4.5 pounds and has dimensions of 14 x 21 x 10 inches. It can hold a 15-inch laptop and anything else you need to carry in the double main compartments, front organiser pocket, and side bottle pocket.
Reviewers note how durable the backpack is, even with daily use on campus. It’s also available in a variety of colours and designs to suit your individual taste.
10. EVERKI Atlas Wheeled Laptop Backpack
For the utmost versatility in a wheeled travel backpack, look no further than this bag from EVERKI.
What sets this backpack apart from the competition is its adjustable compartment to secure any device between 13 and 17.3 inches. If you need even more packing space, simply remove the computer sleeve.
At 6.7 pounds and with dimensions of 15.7 x 8.1 x 21.3 inches, it’s not the smallest or lightest option on our list. But with its easy manoeuvrability, quiet wheels, and retractable handle, it has everything you want in a rolling backpack.
11. Tilami Rolling Backpack 18-Inch Wheeled Backpack
Here’s another backpack that’s technically for students but works equally well for travellers — this rolling backpack from Tilami.
It weighs in at just under five pounds and has dimensions of 18.92 x 12.9 x 8.2 inches. The high-strength aluminium alloy rod and armour bottom protection system offer sturdiness and durability.
Bonus: The nylon lining means it’s also completely waterproof!
12. Hynes Eagle 2-in-1 Travel Backpack
Perfect as a backpack, daypack, or business bag, you can’t go wrong with this classic style from Hynes Eagle.
At 8.16 pounds, it’s a bit bulkier than other rolling backpacks on our list. However, its dimensions of 14.17 x 16.14 x 22.05 inches are still well within the limits for carry-on luggage on most major airlines.
Equipped with a computer sleeve, tablet sleeve, charging port, and headphone jack, you can easily store all your devices while you travel. It also comes with three water-repellent packing cubes to keep your belongings neat and organised.
13. KROSER Laptop Rolling Backpack 17-Inch
One of the most highly-rated (and best-priced) items on our list of rolling backpacks, check out this travelling bag from KROSER.
With dimensions of 19.8 x 13.7 x 10.2 inches, it can easily hold a 17-inch laptop as well as a tablet or iPad in its specialised compartments. And with a weight of just 5.5 pounds, you can pack plenty of other items without worrying about airline fees.
Users appreciate its “two-stop” push-button telescoping handle as well as its RFID pockets and silent wheels.
14. ZOMFELT 17-Inch Laptop Backpack with Toiletry Bag
If you need just a little more packing space than a standard backpack allows, consider this attractive set from ZOMFELT.
The rolling backpack features a padded pocket for a 17-inch laptop as well as built-in elastic bags to keep smaller items organised. The matching toiletry bag offers a convenient solution to increased storage capacity.
Speaking of capacity, the backpack’s dimensions are 19.55 x 13.15 x 8 inches and it weighs in at just under five pounds.
15. Glodiar Rolling Backpack
If none of the rolling backpacks above has ticked all the boxes yet, perhaps this final one will — the 22-inch Glodiar rolling backpack.
At 19.2 x 14.5 x 13.7 inches, its capacity should hold everything you need for your next getaway (including a 15-inch laptop). The adjustable shoulder straps are both comfortable and ergonomic, so no worries if you get stuck in a long security line!
Reviewers appreciate some enhanced security features including a detachable keyring and reflectors to improve nighttime visibility.
Find the Perfect Rolling Backpack for You
Don’t suffer one more bout of “packing panic”! With a new wheeled travel backpack at your side, you’ll be comfortable, organised, and well-prepared for your next journey.
Use the tips and recommendations above and you’ll be well on your way to finding your ideal rolling backpack for travel.
After you’re finished shopping for the best rolling backpacks, all that’s left to do is decide where you’re travelling next!
Check out this post full of super fun places to go with your friends.