If you’re planning a trip to a destination where you intend to carry your luggage a lot but prefer to roll it along when you can, you may want to check out one of these best wheeled backpacks for travel. These are not your everyday school or work backpacks, as those are not built for rough use.
Not all destinations have smooth pavements to roll your luggage along, nor do they always have plenty of elevators and escalators about. If you’re city backpacking, that’s a good time to carry your travel bag on your back to make things faster, not to mention ease damage on your bag if it is wheeled.
However, if you’re not a light packer, it can be impossible to carry a heavy load on your back throughout. If the pavements are smooth enough, you should shift to rolling the bag with you.
Before we look at the rolling backpack reviews and ratings of some of the highest rated ones, let’s go through the all the pros and cons of choosing this type of luggage and what features you should look out for when choosing the ideal one for your needs.
Note that while some of our picks fall within the maximum carry on size, the others will need to be checked in as they are more than 22″ in height. We’ll categorize them into carry on and checked size. If you’re specifically looking for carry on sized backpacks but don’t need the wheels, take a look here. If you’re a bit of a tech warrior and are always traveling with a laptop and other gadgets, take a look at some great laptop travel backpacks.
Table of Contents
- 1 Pros of Rolling Backpacks for Travel
- 2 Cons of Travel Backpacks with Wheels
- 3 Choosing the Best Backpack with Wheels for Travel
- 4 Best Carry On Backpack with Wheels
- 4.1 Osprey Ozone Convertible 22″/ 50L Backpack with Wheels
- 4.2 Eagle Creek Exploration Series Switchback International Carry On
- 4.3 Wenger Luggage Synergy Wheeled Backpack Laptop Bag
- 4.4 High Sierra XBT Wheeled Laptop Backpack
- 4.5 JanSport Driver 8 Core Series Wheeled Backpack
- 4.6 Kipling Alcatraz Solid Laptop Wheeled Backpack
- 4.7 Racini Freewheel Rolling Backpack Carry On
- 4.8 Cabin Max Lyon Flight Approved Bag – Lightest Rolling Backpack Carry On
- 5 Large Travel Backpack with Wheels – Check in Size
Pros of Rolling Backpacks for Travel
You don’t have to worry about whether you’re taking the right luggage with you for a specific trip. If it’s a business trip with long airport terminal walks then you need wheels. If it’s a budget vacation trip in Europe where you definitely won’t take a cab to your hotel you should take a backpack. But why spend money on buying two different bags for two very different kinds of trips if you can buy one to do the job for both?
While you’re transporting your luggage in the terminal or on smooth pavements, a wheeled backpack can be wheeled all the way just like a regular rolling suitcase and your shoulders and back will thank you. When you reach a train exit and realize that you have to walk on cobblestone streets to reach your hotel, you put away the telescopic handle, release the shoulder straps and haul the bag on your back.
Some rolling backpacks are even more versatile in that they include an attached day pack to the front of the main rolling backpack so that once you’ve reached your hotel, you can unpack, detach the daypack, fill it up with essentials you need for the day and only take that with you for hiking or sightseeing. A bag like this is not cheap but it is one of the best value types of luggage you can buy.
Comfortable to travel with
Because a rolling backpack is so versatile, it is very comfortable and ergonomic. You don’t have to carry the pack on your back more than you absolutely have to so the risk of adding too much stress on your shoulders and back is kept to a minimum. If you think that you may need to carry it as a backpack for a few long periods now and then, there are a few options that comes with a full suspension system (adjustable hip belt and sternum straps) for added comfort. Many of them come with air flow mesh on the shoulder straps and back panel to wick moisture away and allow air to circulate freely to keep you from getting sweaty.
Easy to use
You would think that converting from a backpack to rolling luggage quickly would be impossible, but the best wheeled backpacks nowadays make it very easy and you won’t waste time. The features that you would look for in regular backpacks or rolling suitcases are almost all present in this type of luggage too. Easily accessible compartments and pockets, laptop compartments or sleeves, organizer pockets, lockable zippers.
Good for business as well as vacation travelers
While regular backpacks tend to look too casual for business use, most wheeled backpacks look sleeker and if you have to take your luggage with you into a meeting, wheeling it in will look a lot more professional than hauling it on your back!
Cons of Travel Backpacks with Wheels
Can be heavy
While a regular backpack can sometimes be super light, a rolling one is by default heavier just because of the whole frame plus wheels that are attached. That’s why for the periods that you will carry it on your back, it won’t feel as light and comfortable as a regular backpack of the same size and dimensions. That is why you should not select this type of luggage if the majority of your trips involve more backpacking on irregular terrain than wheeling on smooth pavements.
Sacrifice on packing space
Backpacks are usually very roomy because of their soft shells and ability to expand more than a suitcase of the same dimensions. However, a rolling backpack has to include a frame and wheels and these eat up into the interior packing space. Therefore, you’ll find that if you make the switch from backpack to rolling backpack, you won’t be able to pack as much as you used to.
Not the most comfortable on the back
Not only is a rolling backpack heavier than an equivalent regular backpack, but the rigidness of the inbuilt frame, telescopic handle plus the wheels that protrude out from the bottom corners make carrying the pack on your back more difficult. The back cannot mold to your back much and the hard frame and wheels will press against you. That’s why this type of backpack should only be carried on your shoulders for short periods of time.
Choosing the Best Backpack with Wheels for Travel
Materials and components used
When choosing the best wheeled backpack, the materials used are just as important as on a regular pack or suitcase. The pack should be water resistant to light rains, the shoulder straps should be well padded and adjustable, and the handles and wheels should be durable and easy to use. The material used must be durable but light enough to not add unnecessary weight.
Weight when empty
Even though you can’t avoid extra weight on the pack because of the handle, frame and wheels, the piece should still be light enough to wear and carry at least for a few minutes when climbing stairs or walking a short distance. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself not using the pack as much as you should and instead looking for a separate regular backpack and rolling suitcase or duffel bag.
If you’re picking a carry on sized rolling backpack then you probably won’t be able to go over a 50L capacity, which is actually a good capacity for a 3-4 day trip without doing laundry at all. A 60L-70L pack could get you through a week in warm weather but you it won’t be carry on size. If you’re traveling for a week and you need to pack some winter wear, then you will have to do some laundry during the trip because it becomes impossible to carry a 70L-100L wheeled backpack on your shoulders.
Keep in mind that the frame, telescopic handle shaft and wheel housings will take up a bit of space from the interior, so you’ll have to give up some capacity in order to gain the versatility of this type of luggage.
Comfortable to travel with
While looking for the best rolling backpack for travel, you should ensure that the pack has features that make carrying it at least for short intervals comfortable even though it has wheeling apparatus. In addition to being as light as possible without giving up on quality materials, the design of the backpack matters a lot.
Look for hip straps that take most of the weight off your shoulders and look for ventilated panels for a comfortable haul. The back of the pack should not be too rigid and should be well padded. The back panel that hides the backpack shoulder straps should be designed to fold under the wheels so that it provides some cushioning against the wheels and doesn’t just hang down to flap against your legs.
If you’re going to wheel it over cobblestones or curbs, look for some sort of bumper or guard at the bottom and make sure the telescopic handle is strong. If the backpack becomes heavy once packed, the wheels need to roll smoothly and the telescopic handle should be ergonomic so that there isn’t too much strain on your arm.
Easy to use
A monopole telescopic handle is lighter than a dual pole handle but the pack won’t be as stable and will tend to tilt sideways as you steer it along behind you, so if you pick a bag with a monopole handle, the whole pack must be designed to be rolled easily. Other features, like a durable and well designed telescopic handle and wheels are important to comfort as well.
Pockets and compartments should be easily accessible, especially the laptop compartment if it’s a carry on rolling backpack so that you can quickly remove and repack your laptop for the security screening.
Transitioning from rolling luggage to backpack should be quick and easy. If you have to remove the pack and start rolling it, it should be easy to tuck the shoulder straps away first and vice versa.
Best Carry On Backpack with Wheels
A carry on backpack with wheels is probably the most versatile piece of luggage you can own. When others are struggling with a hefty suitcase over cobblestone streets, you can swing your more manageable size backpack over your shoulders and hustle off to your destination in no time. And when the walk between airport terminals seems to go on for eternity, you can spare your shoulders and wheel the very same backpack behind you. Keep it to carry on size so that you don’t waste time waiting for it to arrive on the luggage carousel at your destination and you avoid paying check in bag fees on the budget airlines.
There are two types carry on backpacks with wheels. The first kind is a rolling backpack with detachable daypack. It is not cheap but that is because you get two bags in one and the versatility to use both or just one of the pieces at any given time. The second kind of cabin bag with wheels and shoulder strap is less expensive and is just one bag. We’ve selected the best of both kinds below.
Osprey Ozone Convertible 22″/ 50L Backpack with Wheels
The nylon Osprey Ozone Convertible 22″/50L Wheeled Backpack features a main pack with a very light ABS back plate and aluminum frame for strength, and large wheels housed in sealed bearings with a high-clearance molded base so you can wheel this pack using its monopole telescopic handle over the most rugged terrain. When you want to carry it as a backpack, there’s a full suspension system hidden at the back, including padded adjustable shoulder straps, sternum straps and hip belt strap to make it easy to do. Three low profile padded carry handles on all three sides make it easy to hoist the pack.
The main pack has a back panel pocket with drainage hole in case you carry damp clothes. A zippered pouch compartment is there on top for quick access items. The main compartment is lockable with your own luggage lock via the dual zippers. Inside you’ll find dual restraining straps for your clothes and several zippered pockets for organization of accessories.
This carry on luggage backpack with wheels comes with a daypack that easily attaches and detaches to the front via buckles. This day pack can be used at your destination and carried by its own backpack straps. It can be used to carry a 15″ laptop, tablet and a few extra clothes and accessories. Its main compartment can be locked via the zippers using your own luggage lock. There’s also a front zippered organizer pocket and a small zippered stash pocket on the top for a pair of sunglasses or snacks.
The main backpack measures 22″ x 14″ x 9″ with a 32L capacity and the daypack being 18L and 18″ x 11″ x 7″.
Pros: Lifetime warranty for any damage.
This carry on luggage backpack with wheels is extremely comfortable to carry, even for women and it is the best wheeled backpack with waist strap.
Very versatile to use both packs together or separately in cities or countryside.
You can use the main backpack as your carry on bag and the daypack as your personal item.
Cons: When both packs are full and attached together, the whole unit tends to tip forward unless you pack the daypack only with light things.
If you’d like to see the other pieces in the Ozone collection, read our full review here.
Eagle Creek Exploration Series Switchback International Carry On
The Ozone is a tried an tested rolling backpack but it is a monopole type of wheeled luggage and has a sporty look. If you like all the other features, like the detachable daypack and load balancing suspension but prefer a sleeker and more business look and a dual pole telescopic handle so that the pack feels more stable while rolling it behind you, then the Eagle Creek Exploration Series Switchback International Carry On can be considered. In fact, this piece of luggage is even more feature rich and versatile, although it comes at a price.
This adventure-type wheeled carry on backpack is really two pieces in one. The main backpack is meant for all your clothes and travel accessories, while the detachable daypack is for your laptop, electronic gadgets and accessories and travel documents. You can attach the daypack to the main pack via the zipper system to carry both together, either as a full system backpack or as a single piece of wheeled luggage. However, if you don’t want the daypack to extend too far behind you, you can detach it and wear it in front of you via the pair of top kangaroo clips that attach to the main backpack’s shoulder straps. This also keeps the daypack that’s holding your valuables more secure if you’re traveling in a packed train or walking in a busy tourist area.
Both the packs are made to resist wear and tear and are water repellent, as the materials used are Bi-Tech™ and Bi-Tech™ Armor fabrics, the latter is used for areas that are more susceptible to scuffing and ripping.
Let’s take the main backpack’s features first. This is the part of luggage that features the load-lifter suspension system, including padded and adjustable shoulder straps with moisture-wicking 3D air mesh, an adjustable sternum strap with safety whistle, and a padded moisture-wicking adjustable hip belt. The 3D air mesh is also present on the backpanel for complete carrying comfort even in warm weather.
To use this main pack as a backpack, you unzip the back panel, fold it down and velcro it to the bottom of the pack so that it stays out of the way and covers the hard kick plate that you don’t want banging into the small of your back. You clip the bottom of the shoulder straps to the lower sides of the backpack and adjust them to fit you well. Clip and adjust the sternum and hip straps too and you’re all set.
To use this as a rolling pack, you unzip the telescopic handle pocket on top and extend the handle to one of two heights. It is a dual pole handle, so the pack is very stable and easy to maneouver even if you have to run through the airport terminal while pulling it. The oversized tread inline skate wheels make it easy to roll even over uneven pavements and they are protected by robust wheel housings. There are top and side padded grab handles and a rigid grip at the bottom for easy hauling.
There is one large main compartment on this backpack and it opens via large dual zipper pulls. The zipper is puncture resistant and the pulls are lockable, either together or to a fixed loop near the bottom. Inside this compartment is a large packing space for clothes and elastic cross restraining straps to keep them tidy and compact. Packing cubes would work well here. The outer wall features a large zippered mesh pocket for accessories or underwear.
Now let’s look at the daypack in more detail. There are lots of attachment points all over the front of the bag if you have anything extra you’d like to secure to the pack on the outside. There’s a zippered quick stash pocket on the front of the pack and an elastic top mesh pocket on either side for water bottles.
The main compartment of the day pack opens via dual zippers to reveal a padded laptop sleeve with secure velcro fastener that can hold a 15″ laptop. There are also two padded sleeves for a smartphone and any other electronic gadget and some pen loops. On the outer wall of this compartment is a zippered mesh pocket and a key fob/bottle opener.
This day pack has its own adjustable padded backpack straps or you can carry it in front of you via the koala clips if you also have the main pack on your back. If you want to roll it along with the main pack, just zip it back to the front of it. On a plane you can use the day pack as your personal item and stow the main pack in the overhead bin as your carry on.
The main backpack measures 21.5″ x 14″ x 8″ with a 30L capacity and 6 lbs 8 oz weight, and the daypack being 1 lbs 6 oz, 19L and 13″ x 19.75″ x 5.75″.
Pros: Built to last and is backed by Eagle Creek Anytime warranty.
Easy to use both packs together or separately for almost any kind of trip.
You get two bags in one.
One of the few wheeled backpacks with waist strap and sternum strap.
Cons: The panel that hides the suspension system does not cover the wheels when folded down for use as a backpack. Therefore, you need to be careful that they don’t dirty your back.
There are no external pockets on the main backpack.
Wenger Luggage Synergy Wheeled Backpack Laptop Bag
While the Switchback above could be the best quality pack for business travelers, the Swiss Gear Wenger Synergy Wheeled Backpack Laptop Bag is probably the best alternative if you don’t want to spend that much. As well as being priced very competitively, it is a single piece of luggage but with lots of organizational features.
There are two very well padded dedicated electronics compartments – a 16″ laptop pocket and a 12.9″ tablet pocket. The one for the laptop is double zippered and lockable, while the tablet one is single zippered. Both are easy to quickly load and unload from during X-ray screening and elastic velcro straps keep your gadgets secure. The main compartment is behind that, is also double zippered and opens fully like a suitcase. This is where you can pack your clothes for a 2 day trip or your college books or work files.
In front is a well designed organizer compartment with anti-scratch lining, featuring a removable key fob, pen loops and several open and zipped pockets to keep your phones, media cables, cards and a notepad. The exterior of this compartment features a smaller quick stash zippered pocket that can be used for any last minute items from your pockets that need to be put away before you go through security. Two side elastic top mesh pockets are meant for a skinny water bottle and travel sized umbrella. Above one of these pockets is a zippered vertical pocket for accessories.
You can transport this pack in three ways. The first is by the secure-lock monotube telescopic handle that extends to 44″ off the floor and recedes back into its own zipped pocket when not in use. The easy-glide wheels makes this the easiest method. The second is by the shock absorbing adjustable padded shoulder straps that are hidden behind a zippered panel at the back. When you need to carry the pack by these straps, the panel can either hang down or fold back and under the pack, covering the wheels so that they don’t dirty your clothes while you carry the bag on your back. However, there is nothing to secure the panel in place for long. The third way is by the reinforced soft-grip grab handle but this should only be used sparingly when you have to lift the bag into an overhead bin or out of a car boot.
This polyester wheeled backpack measures 11.8 x 15.4 x 20.9 inches and weighs 6.1 lb.
Pros: This is a very versatile bag for travel, work or college.
Plenty of storage space and can fit a 15″ laptop in the laptop compartment or even a 17″ one in the main compartment. Also has lots of various other compartments and pockets.
Padding for laptop and tablet is excellent.
Cons: Can’t carry it on your shoulders for very long periods, as there are no waist or sternum straps.
Nothing to secure the panel that otherwise hides the backpack straps when you use the bag as a backpack.
High Sierra XBT Wheeled Laptop Backpack
If you usually carry a 17″ laptop and a tablet with you when you travel, then the High Sierra XBT Wheeled Laptop Backpack can be an option for you. This backpack is great value for money at under $100.
The dimensions of the bag are 21.0″ x 14.0″ x 9.0″ and it weighs 6.5 lbs. It works very well as a school backpack on wheels but it works very well as a travel carry on backpack as well.
There are three double zippered u-shaped opening compartments on this backpack. The one right at the back is where you can pack your clothes and it is quite a roomy space. The middle compartment is for your laptop and tablet. The laptop pocket is fully padded, while the tablet pocket is lined with microfleece. The compartment right in the front is an organizer one with lots of pockets and a key fob. Right above it is a single zipper accessory pocket that’s also lined with micro-fleece works well for your smartphone. There’s a hidden front panel accessory pocket right in front with a monster clip above that so you can tether something to the clip and tuck it away in the panel pocket. A vertical zippered pocket for more accessories is present on both sides of the pack. These can also function for a small water bottle or travel umbrella, although not perfectly.
You would think that after packing this backpack fully it would be too bulky but a pair of exterior side compression straps that you can adjust compress the pack well and makes it easier to carry the pack on your back. The back of the pack features a back panel that you unzip to reveal padded and adjustable backpack straps. You can fold the panel down and under the pack and secure it to the velcro tab at the bottom. This panel cover the backpack’s wheels so that they don’t dirty your shirt as you carry it on your back.
When you want to roll the backpack instead of carry it, just tuck the shoulder straps behind the back panel and zip it up. The aluminum telescopic handle that’s hidden away in the top of the pack is pulled up and extended to a maximum of 39.5″ from the ground. The pack can then be pulled along on its two corner mounted wheels. There are corner guards and a bottom kick plate that protect the bag from abrasion as you roll it over uneven ground. If you need to lift the backpack into an overhead bin or off a baggage carousel, there’s a padded grab handle on top as well.
This backpack is made of Duralite Ballistic Nylon and is water resistant. There’s a 1 inch flap that covers the zipper for the laptop compartment, so your belongings will be safe in light rain.
Pros: Everything is easy to access.
Comfortable to carry for short periods on the back even if fully loaded.
Great value for money.
Cons: No dedicated water bottle pocket.
The telescopic handle is a bit weak.
JanSport Driver 8 Core Series Wheeled Backpack
Lots of travelers have a hard time finding a good wheeled carry on that can hold their laptop as well as some clothes and personal items. Either the wheels and telescopic handle usually take the bag over the carry on dimensions limit, or the packing space and weight limit are taken over by the wheeling apparatus so there’s almost nothing left for a laptop and clothes. The JanSport Driver 8 Core Series Wheeled Backpack can take that dilemma out of the equation.
This backpack is a true wheeled carry on pack because it can be wheeled over rough terrain due to its corner mounted high traction inline skate wheels and protective kick plate in between, and its two-stage monopole extending handle works smoothly. When you don’t want to use the wheels, untuck the padded adjustable shoulder straps that are hidden inside the back panel pocket and clip them to their bottom d-rings. A grab handle on the top provides the third carry option.
There are two main compartments that open via dual zippers, one of which features a padded 15.1″ laptop sleeve. There’s plenty of space in both these compartments for packing clothes, toiletries, etc. The zipped compartment in front of the main ones is the organizer with multiple pockets for your phone, charging cords, pens, cards, etc., and a key fob. The last pocket right on the front is a small zipped one that’s just right for last minute items. There is a vertical mesh pocket on one side to accommodate a water bottle or umbrella.
This bag weighs 4 lbs 3 oz and measures 21 x 10 x 14 inches with a capacity of 34L. You can get this in quite a few colors.
Pros: Roomy and durable.
Allowed as carry on and fits perfectly in all overhead bins.
Good organizational features.
Comfortable enough for carrying on your back for short periods.
Good as a school backpack as well.
Affordable for the features.
Cons: Won’t fit under your plane seat when fully packed.
No hip belt for load balancing.
Kipling Alcatraz Solid Laptop Wheeled Backpack
Now we come to the wheeled backpacks that don’t have a separate zippered compartment for a laptop, rather there’s a dedicated sleeve for it in the main compartment. This design keeps packing simple, although at security screening you do have to open up this compartment to remove the laptop.
Kipling is a very popular women’s luggage brand and the Kipling Alcatraz Solid Laptop Wheeled Backpack is no different. It sports its signature crinkle nylon shell and detachable monkey key-hanger mascot so you can spot your bag from a distance.
The retractable multistage monopole handle extends to 3 levels and pulls the backpacks along on two wheels. When you need to use it as a backpack, the adjustable straps are hidden at the back behind a zippered panel that also houses the retractable handle. If you want, the panel can be folded down under the wheels and secured by Velcro underneath. This prevents the wheels from soiling your clothes while you wear the pack on your back. You clip the bottom of the straps to the d-rings located right above each wheel. A top carry handle provides a quick way to grab the bag and go.
There are plenty of external single zippered pockets to stash items – two side ones, one front one and one one on top of the flap that covers the main compartment opening. The flap secures to the front via a snap buckle. The main compartment opens via dual zippers and the space is simple with just a laptop sleeve with velcro tab that can accommodate a 15″ laptop. The rest of the space is roomy and good for packing clothes.
This pack weighs just 5.5 lbs and measures 16.2 x 18 x 8.5 inches. Choose from a few fun as well as sober colors.
Pros: Lots of external pockets.
Will fit in all overhead bins and under the seat if pushed in top first.
It is water resistant.
Cons: Wheels are a bit small so they’re better suited for smooth terrain.
Telescopic handle may feel too short for very tall people.
Racini Freewheel Rolling Backpack Carry On
The Racini Freewheel is a good business travel backpack and is also an option for those that don’t need a dedicated laptop compartment and a sleeve will do.
The major difference with this backpack is that there are 4 spinner wheels instead of 2 skate wheels, so when wheeling it, you can keep it upright and roll it alongside you without putting any stress on your arm. These spinner wheels can be easily detached by just pressing on the sides. An 18″ height adjustable aluminum monopole telescopic handle hides away inside its own zippered shaft.
A pair of padded shoulder straps with air flow mesh on the inside are hidden behind a zippered back panel which folds down and under the pack and stays out of the way with the help of Velcro. The wheels won’t be covered but it doesn’t matter because the spinner wheels are placed completely underneath and don’t protrude at the back. A padded grab handle on the top makes it easy to lift for carrying it over a short distance.
There is one dual zippered main compartment on this backpack. Inside is a large space for your clothes and a well padded laptop sleeve with Velcro fastener for a 16″ laptop. In front of that is a single zippered u-shaped organizer compartment that’s well organized with multiple pockets and loops. Right in front is a small zippered pocket that’s just right for a smartphone or travel documents. Two mesh pockets on the sides are perfect for water bottles.
This backpack pack weighs 6.7 lb and measures 13 * 8.66 * 20.87 inches. Choose from black, navy or purple.
Pros: Very roomy.
Rolls smoothly and does not fall over when standing upright.
Cons: There is no side or bottom grab handle.
A bit difficult to steer with the monopole handle and if the bag is very heavy.
Cabin Max Lyon Flight Approved Bag – Lightest Rolling Backpack Carry On
The Cabin Max Lyon Flight Approved Wheeled Carry On Backpack is similar in many ways to the above backpacks except that it looks more like a carry on suitcase rather than a backpack and it is not meant to carry electronics. Cabin Max is known for making super lightweight luggage that works well on very strict airlines in the U.S. like Spirit, and all the budget airlines in Europe and Asia.
This pack weighs just 3.75 lbs and measures 21.6 x 15.75 x 7.9 inches. A pair of adjustable compression straps on either side reduces strain on the zippers as well as keeps the bag compact. This bag must not be checked in or handled roughly, as it is made for the budget traveler that wants to pack a lot of clothes in just a carry on bag.
There is no laptop compartment or sleeve in this bag so if you want to carry a laptop in it it will have to have its own case and you will have to be careful packing it among your clothes.
It is a monopole wheeled pack with two inline skate wheels and a top grab handle. There are two adjustable padded shoulder straps tucked behind the back panel that when unzipped can be folded under the pack to cover the wheels when you’re carrying this bag on your shoulders.
The main compartment is one large space that opens via lockable double zippers. You can pack 5-6 days worth of clothes in here. The organizer compartment in front also opens via double lockable zippers. Inside it are several large pockets for organization. One small single zipper pocket lies right in front for quickly stashing last minute items like a newspaper.
Pros: Incredibly lightweight.
Will fit under most airplane seats and into all overhead bins.
Cons: Won’t withstand very rough handling. Fabric tends to fray near the wheels.
Not designed to carry electronics.
Large Travel Backpack with Wheels – Check in Size
These rolling backpacks for travel are NOT carry on size so you have to check them in if you’re flying.
Osprey Packs Sojourn 25 Wheeled Convertible Backpack (60 litres)
If you’re looking for a more gear intensive backpack, the Osprey Sojourn 25 is one of the top wheeled backpacks. There is no removable backpack, so the entire packing capacity is in one large bag.
It measures 14 by 25 by 13 inches with a 60-liter capacity, and weighs 7 lbs 13 oz. It is made of moisture, tear and abrasion resistant ballistic nylon.
The updated adjustable suspension can fit a torso range of 16 to 22 inches. The high clearance Highroad chassis lets you roll the bag over any terrain.
A separately available day pack can be attached if needed, as can an extra bag using the provided daisy chain.
Smaller items can be organized in zippered pockets inside the main compartment, while large items are well protected in the padded foam walls. A Straightjacket compression system also keeps your bag secure.
The main compartment can be accessed through a zippered front panel with lockable sliders, so you don’t have to open the bag fully and spill all its contents. There are fabric winged restraining straps to keep things in place. There’s a top panel zippered pocket for toiletries and a rear panel pocket for a magazines.
The trampoline mesh back panel, spacer mesh hip belt, and padded shoulder straps help support and cushion the load. Added ventilation also helps for carrying comfort.
In addition to the retracting handle, there is a top and side grab handle.
The mesh back panel features a second slot to enable adjustment to varying torso lengths.
You can remove the suspension system completely to increase packing space.
Pros: Limited lifetime warranty against defects and workmanship.
Large and durable wheels.
Can fit even short torsos.
Very large main compartment is ideal for carrying large and bulky items.
Cons: The telescopic handle is a little hard to extend.
Not carry on size.
Osprey Meridian Wheeled Pack – 28 Inch/75 Liter
The Osprey Meridian 75L/28IN is a large backpack with wheels and comes with a detachable day pack for day use. The bag is made of ballistic polyester and nylon.
The dimensions are: 28″ x 14″ x 13″. Weight: 9.26 lbs.
The removable day pack clips on and off and features a padded laptop sleeve for laptops up to 15 inches, a padded tablet sleeve, organizational pockets and pen holders and two external mesh pockets for water bottles. It’s great to use as your carry on bag while you check in the main pack when flying.
The high clearance chassis is lightweight and designed to allow you to roll the pack almost everywhere. There’s a zip away backpack suspension that’s ventilated and highly adjustable for any torso for carrying comfort. When not in use, it can be removed completely, which also increases packing capacity.
A hip belt and fully padded spacer mesh for the lumbar region transfers load evenly and away from the shoulders.
The retractable handle locks in two positions and there are padded top and side carry handles for more carrying flexibility.
The main backpack features a lockable zippered main compartment with 4 zippered pockets and fabric wing restraining straps. There is an external top zippered pocket that’s good for toiletries, etc., and a rear panel pocket for a magazine or two.
If you need to access the main compartment while the day pack is attached, you can do so without removing the day pack, as there are lockable sliders to prevent all the contents from falling out.
Pros: Very durable, functional and lightweight.
The day pack is easy and fast to clip on or off the main bag.
Will fit a wide range of torso lengths.
Nice and sleek looking.
Cons: The harness system does not have a hip belt to stabilize the pack.
I hope you have been able to make your pick from these best wheeled backpacks for travel. If not, let us know why in the comments section below.
Featured Image: “Rolling Backpack” by milst1 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0