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 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 Our Picks for Best Travel Backpack with Wheels
- 2 Pros of Rolling Backpacks for Travel
- 3 Cons of Travel Backpacks with Wheels
- 4 Choosing the Best Backpack with Wheels for Travel
- 5 Best Carry On Backpack with Wheels
- 5.1 Eagle Creek Expanse Convertible International Carry-On
- 5.2 EVERKI Atlas Wheeled Laptop Backpack
- 5.3 Wenger Luggage Synergy Wheeled Backpack Laptop Bag
- 5.4 Matein Travel-friendly Rolling Laptop Backpack
- 5.5 KROSER 17″ Checkpoint-Friendly Laptop Rolling Backpack
- 5.6 Samsonite Wheeled Backpack
- 5.7 Victorinox VX Sport Wheeled Cadet Backpack
- 5.8 High Sierra XBT Wheeled Laptop Backpack
- 5.9 JanSport Driver 8 Core Series Wheeled Backpack
- 5.10 Cabin Max Lyon – Lightest Rolling Backpack Carry On
- 6 4 Wheel Rolling Backpack
- 7 Large Travel Backpack with Wheels – Check in Size
- 8 FAQs
Our Picks for Best Travel Backpack with Wheels
Our Overall Best Rolling Backpack Pick
EVERKI Atlas Wheeled Laptop Backpack
Matein Travel-friendly Rolling Laptop Backpack
Samsonite Wheeled Backpack
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.
Eagle Creek Expanse Convertible International Carry-On
The Eagle Creek Expanse Convertible International Carry-On is one of the underrated products in the wheeled travel backpacks category at the moment. With extremely comfortable and lightweight zip-away backpack straps and a spacious interior, this makes for the ultimate travel-friendly option that one can ask for. This wheeled carry on backpack comes with interior compression straps along with a mesh panel pocket that you can use for organizing your travel essentials.
The one issue that many soft-sided travel bags pose is that when they are stuffed with your belongings, they tend to shift and make the bag lopsided. However, this particular travel bag has a side compression panel with straps that keep the interior of the bag intact even after it’s been loaded.
The pack also comes with a few external lash points that you can use if you want to carry any additional gear or stuff that you might need but do not have the space for inside. You can also attach the EC Daypack to the front. On a plane you can use the day pack as your personal item and stow the Expanse pack in the overhead bin as your carry on.
The dual zipper pulls of both the main and front compartments are lockable, either together or to a fixed loop at the top.
Besides this, the biggest reason that this bag made our list of the best wheeled travel backpacks is that it comes with two oversized treaded wheels that have additional bumper protection to keep them safe from damage. The telescopic handle is sturdy and there are top and side fabric handles if you need to hold the rolling pack in your hand. A rigid bottom handle helps to haul it overhead while also serving as a front stand when setting the pack down.
Most travelers do not like dragging their bags around all the time and want to just carry them regardless of how heavy they may be. The Eagle Creek Expanse allows you to do this more easily as it has zip-away soft padded backpack straps with breathable air mesh. This makes it easier for you to carry your bag around. It also has a ventilated padded back panel to keep you cool while traveling on the hotter-than-hot summer days too.
The backpack is 13.78 x 21.26 x 7.87 inches in dimensions, which makes it a very compact and travel-friendly option. It weighs around 6.14 lbs, so the weight does not bother the traveler, and they can easily carry it.
If you need a bigger size, try the Expanse 29″ wheeled backpack. You’ll have to check it in but for carrying it in comfort, it comes with a full suspension system, including padded shoulder straps and stabilizer hip straps, and sternum strap – all adjustable for different torso lengths.
- The full-sized pocket in the front serves as a whole compartment for extra storage.
- Despite being spacious, it is very compact.
- The bumper protection on the sturdy wheels makes it a great fit for surfaces like cobblestones, stairs, or any other less than smooth surface.
- No hip belt for carrying it over longer distances. For that you’ll have to choose the larger 29″ version.
- No laptop compartment.
EVERKI Atlas Wheeled Laptop Backpack
The EVERKI Atlas Wheeled Laptop Backpack is fantastic for traveling, and you can use it for work if your job requires you to travel frequently.
The wheels on the EVERKI Atlas are quite durable, and the monopole telescopic handle lets you maneuver through a variety of spaces. You can roll it, use it as a backpack, or attach it to the handle of your suitcase.
Besides this, the backpack’s compartments are quite spacious. It has a capacity of 30L. It is quite comfy on the shoulders, and the straps are very sturdy when worn as a backpack. The bag’s external dimensions are 21.3 × 15.7 × 8.1 inches, which fulfills all of your requirements, as it can accommodate your stuff like laptops and notebooks easily. It weighs 6.7 lbs.
The backpack also offers versatility as well as careful functionality. It may just be the best rolling backpack for business travel as a carry on. You can effortlessly wheel it through the airport or comfortably carry it as a backpack if necessary, thanks to the well-padded and extra-wide straps and weight balancing chest strap. This suspension system can be tucked away behind a zippered flap when you’re not using it so that it doesn’t get caught in anything. When in use, this flap can be folded down over the wheels to keep them from hurting your back and getting your clothes dirty.
With a separate felt-lined compartment for your iPad or tablet, as well as an RFID-blocking pocket, this backpack is spacious and well-organized.
The backpack’s laptop pocket readily adjusts to fit a device between 13 inches to 17.3 inches. Moreover, in order to make extra packing room in your backpack, you can easily remove the pocket itself. Overall, it is an excellent travel bag with quiet, smooth wheels and a retractable handle for easy mobility.
- It is versatile and spacious, which makes it perfect for traveling purposes.
- It has soft straps and is well-padded from the back, making it very comfortable.
- The wheels roll quietly.
- It is multipurpose and can be used to store anything like laptops and notebooks.
- The telescopic handle is too short for very tall people.
- It is rain resistant, but we cannot call it waterproof.
Wenger Luggage Synergy Wheeled Backpack Laptop Bag
While the Everki Atlas above could be the best quality pack for business travelers, the Swiss Gear Wenger Synergy Wheeled Backpack Laptop Bag is probably the best wheeled backpack carry on 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Matein Travel-friendly Rolling Laptop Backpack
The Matein Travel-friendly Rolling Laptop Backpack is a spacious, versatile, and durable bag that is very convenient to carry around or wheel about.
There is a laptop pouch that fits a 15.6″ laptop inside of the pack, as well as a main compartment that holds 36L worth of books, papers, clothing, or a combination of everything. The next zipped file section can be used to store large books and documents. There are various pockets in the smaller compartment on the front to keep items organized and accessible. It has separate exterior pockets for your water bottles on each side, as well as a smart adhesive pocket for a small towel at the back.
In spite of the lack of ergonomic design details, this carry on luggage backpack with wheels still has padded breathable, adjustable shoulder straps. The straps attach to the bottom of the pack via sturdy swiveling metal hooks. You can tuck them away in a zippered pocket when you are not using it as a backpack to prevent them from dragging when the backpack is rolling.
It has rubber wheels and a telescoping handle that adjusts to two heights. This handle can also be stowed in a zippered pocket on the top.
This one of the best rolling backpacks with a laptop compartment and is surprisingly durable for such an affordable price. The bag’s bottom panel is waterproof, there’s a kick plate, and the corners are protected against wear. The metal zippers are lockable with your own luggage lock.
This rolling backpack for adults is ideal for vacations, weekend getaways, and business trips with a casual flair. It has an exterior of 13 X 9.05 X 19.68 inches, and it weighs 4.8 lbs.
- This wheeled backpack carry-on is water-resistant.
- Plenty of organization features including a padded laptop pouch.
- It has a sturdy exterior and interior.
- It can glide through congested airports and ground transportation connections with ease, which makes it convenient for traveling.
- The backpack straps might wear off after a few months if you excessively use it as a backpack.
- With no suspension system or external compression straps, it’s not advisable to carry this pack for longer periods.
- The wheels are not large so it can’t be rolled over very uneven surfaces.
KROSER 17″ Checkpoint-Friendly Laptop Rolling Backpack
Next on our list is the KROSER 17″ Checkpoint-Friendly Laptop Rolling Backpack. This backpack is simple and streamlined and its features are kept to the minimum. The most notable one is the large laptop pouch that holds a 17″ laptop. In addition to that is a tablet pocket and additional pockets for pens, keys, and other small objects. This backpack has space for an extra outfit and bulkier items in the back if you use it for a one day trip.
As well as the standard interior compartments, the backpack has two mesh side pockets and padded backpack straps for extra comfort. The straps can be tucked away when not needed. When worn as a backpack, the wheels can be hidden behind a velcro cover. When you hide the wheels away, they’re in a comfortable position, so they won’t dig into your back while you’re wearing it as a backpack.
This roller backpack carry on is made up of dependable water-repellent Dobby fabric. It’s water-resistant and does a decent job of keeping things dry, even though the materials used in the pack are not premium.
Its dimensions are 19.8 x 13.7 x 10.2 inches, and its weight is 5.5 lbs. The high-quality telescoping handle has a maximum length of 21 inches and recedes into its own zippered pocket when not in use.
The design of the bag is quite simple in terms of ergonomics, so carrying a lot of weight can make it uncomfortable to wear for long periods. This small pack is ideal for short trips because it fits in most overhead bins and can be taken on board as a carry-on.
Coming in at under $100, this lightweight travel backpack with wheels is one of the best on the market and is versatile enough for work or school and perfect for a traveler who just wants the basics.
The backpack weighs 5.50 lbs. It is very compact and fits easily into most aircraft overhead bin compartments, and meets most airline carry-on size regulations. Moreover, it comes with RFID pockets with Identity Protection features that protect the data encoded on most IDs, credit cards, and passports.
- You can fit a 17″ laptop in the padded compartment.
- It is lightweight and easy to convert between a backpack and a wheeled bag.
- The wheels roll quietly and are wide spaced for stability.
- You cannot stuff extra things in the bag because of the structured design and material.
- Doesn’t have many features.
Samsonite Wheeled Backpack
The Samsonite Wheeled Backpack is not like most other travel bags. It is an innovative, casual travel accessory that is made up of sheer quality, which makes it reliable, durable, fashionable, stylish all at the same time. It measures 8 x 14 x 21 inches and weighs 5 pounds.
This wheeled backpack luggage has innovative functionality that makes it an iconic product. It is adjustable and durable and also doubles as an overnight carry-on bag for one or two night trips due to its numerous internal and exterior pockets. If you do not plan on wearing the backpack on your back, the backpack straps are hidden in a zipped compartment and can be pulled out and attached to the bottom corner rings when you do.
Many comfort features are included in this item, including in-line skate wheels that are rugged and glide easily over both flat and irregular ground, an ice-pick monopole pull handle, and contoured straps with added padding. The Rip-Stop fabric used in this cabin backpack with wheels is tear-resistant and pull-resistant.
The backpack has been intelligently designed to be fully functional and can easily accommodate a whole host of things you may want to bring. The padded laptop storage sleeve is pretty adequate, with a fold-over cover for added security. It can easily accommodate any laptop up to 17 inches in size. It also includes pockets for small electronics and accessories and extra pockets for organizing more minor things. There’s a headphone cable port if you want to store your audio device inside while listening to music on the go. This as well as a USB port on a travel backpack is becoming quite popular.
- This backpack is sleek yet durable, as it is made with the finest quality materials.
- It has a lot of space for all your stuff and is well organized, allowing you to keep your things neat and accessible.
- It has a separate laptop compartment that can accommodate a 17″ laptop.
- Converts between backpack and wheeled bag in seconds.
- If you pack too much in the front pocket the bag may tip over.
- No sternum and hip straps.
- Not enough ground clearance for uneven terrain.
Victorinox VX Sport Wheeled Cadet Backpack
Victorinox is undoubtedly one of the best-rated brands for travel and business luggage collections. Victorinox came up with their VX Sport Wheeled Cadet backpack for urban and global travelers all across the world.
The company takes inspiration from the Original Swiss Army Knife to provide multipurpose backpacks with enhanced functionality, comfort, and durability. All these features come together to make this bag your ultimate travel partner for easy and convenient luggage carrying.
The outer material of this wheeled travel backpack is made of high-quality and durable polyester with durable nylon as its shell. It also has inline-skate wheels installed that roll very smoothly on all kinds of surfaces.
This lightweight backpack with wheels also comes with padded zip-away shoulder straps and air-flow channels in the padded back panels to keep the wearer cool and comfortable. There’s an attached wheel cover that can be put away when it’s not being carried as a backpack. When you have another larger wheeled suitcase with you, you can use this bag’s pass through sleeve at the back to slide it over the telescopic handle of the suitcase
The Cadet backpack boasts a 30-liter capacity and a unique multipurpose organization system for keeping all of your electronics organized while traveling. In addition to the main compartment, there is also a padded rear compartment that has the capacity to hold a laptop that is around 16 inches as well as a padded portable electronic device pocket for a 10-inch tablet or other electronic devices. Both these have an anti-scratch lining to keep the surfaces protected. The front organizer pocket is ideal for pens, keys, USB cards, and miscellaneous small items, while the two side mesh pockets are good for a water bottle and compact umbrella.
It is 20.8 x 14.4 x 10.23 inches in size and weighs only 5 lbs, making it very lightweight and feasible to carry or roll around with other pieces of luggage. Side compression straps constrict the bag to stabilize it when you’re carrying a heavy load.
- Compact and lightweight and can even fit under the airline seat if it’s not too stuffed.
- Three different ways to travel with it.
- The materials used are high-quality and durable and the zippers work smoothly.
- Good organization and protection for gadgets.
- Versatile design for business and leisure travel.
- May be too small for more than a weekend away.
- A few pieces seem to evade quality control and have stitches unraveling.
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.
- Everything is easy to access.
- Comfortable to carry for short periods on the back even if fully loaded.
- Great value for money.
- 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.
- 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.
- Won’t fit under your plane seat when fully packed.
- No hip belt for load balancing.
Cabin Max Lyon – Lightest Rolling Backpack Carry On
The Cabin Max Lyon Carry on Luggage Rolling 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, Southwest, 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 while giving you a very generous packing capacity of 44L, making it the lightest wheeled backpack on this list. 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.
- Incredibly lightweight.
- Will fit under most airplane seats and into all overhead bins.
- Won’t withstand very rough handling. Fabric tends to fray near the wheels.
- Not designed to carry electronics.
4 Wheel Rolling Backpack
Matein 4 Wheels Laptop Backpack for Travel
The Matein 4 Wheels Laptop Backpack for Travel is quite similar to the Matein 2-wheeled rolling backpack above, but this one has 4 spinner wheels so that you can roll the bag alongside you instead of pulling it behind you.
To accommodate the 4 spinner wheels, the capacity of this pack is slightly less, at 40 liters instead of 45. It is also just slightly heavier.
Instead of a monopole handle, this model has a dual pole telescopic handle. It also has a wheel cover that folds down over the wheels to protect your back while carrying it.
Everything else about this backpack is similar to the 2-wheeled model and you can carry a 15.6″ laptop as well as an iPad in a separate padded pocket along with other travel essentials.
- It moves and maneuvers pretty well.
- Does not tip when standing upright.
- Will fit into all overhead bins.
- The spinner wheels reduce the packing capacity.
- The straps are very long and will drag if they’re not rolled up and somehow secured.
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 Farpoint 65 Men’s and Fairview 65 Women’s Wheeled Travel Packs
If you want to travel the world with your partner, then you can opt for matching luggage. This is where Osprey comes in with their Farpoint 65 Men’s and Fairview 65 Women’s Wheeled Travel Packs.
These versatile travel bags have a robust chassis with large 90mm wheels to wheel them around in a smooth and effortless stride. Not just this but these exquisitely designed Osprey Farpoint 65 Men’s and Fairview 65 Women’s Wheeled Travel Packs are equipped with a storable mesh back panel along with padded shoulder and sternum straps. There is also a hip belt for travelers to be able to carry it very comfortably and a lightwire frame to transfer most of the weight from the shoulders to the hips.
Besides this, if you find it difficult to keep track of everything efficiently, then you’ll enjoy using this large backpack with wheels. Osprey has installed a large front panel access with zippers that can be locked so that it becomes easier than ever for travelers to pack and unpack and avoid any storage and organization issues.
As for the dimensions of these Osprey men’s and women’s specific travel bags with wheels and backpack straps, they are 27.56 x 16.14 x 13.39 inches in size. This means that despite being spacious and sturdy, they are very compact and travel-friendly. Both the bags weigh somewhere around 6.17 lbs, which means they are super lightweight and handy.
You can take these Osprey masterpieces with you regardless of where you are headed. The design of these backpacks allows you to choose whether to use the robust wheels or the lightweight suspension to carry your things. The internal compression straps keep your products secure while in transit, and a big front-panel opening makes loading and unloading simple.
If you need more packing volume, these packs have front attachment points designed to let you clip the Osprey Daypack to it. Carry both together in transit and detach the Daypack for city sightseeing or take in on board the plane as a carry on while checking in the larger backpack.
One of the major adaptations that Osprey has made for the women’s variant of the Fairview 65 is the slightly curved straps that move into the lower back. These straps are made to adapt with the smaller and curvier body frames, making it an ideal fit for women. While on the Farpoint 65, the shoulder straps go straight over the shoulders.
These classic Osprey travel packs are also available in carry-on versions that are Osprey Farpoint 36 and Fairview 36 Travel Packs.
- They come with an organization wall and zippered top pockets to organize smaller things.
- The backpacks are available in carry-on versions as well.
- You have a choice of ergonomically correct packs for a male or female frame.
- They are super compact and lightweight in design so that they can be taken along easily on backpacking trips or business trips.
- The outer fabric attracts lint and pet hair too easily.
- Not designed to carry electronics.
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.
Backpacks with wheels for traveling are great because they can be used for business travel, short weekend trips, or longer trips if you are not backpacking and need something to carry your belongings without straining your back. Convert to a backpack when climbing stairs or walking on cobbled streets, and roll it along when transiting at a railway station or airport.
Backpacks with wheels are generally known as ‘rolling backpacks.’ They are super-efficient because they have the utility of a backpack which is coupled with the portability of rolling baggage. They are essentially a backpack with shoulder straps and wheels on the bottom and a handle on top that allows you to drag the bag behind you as you walk, exactly as it sounds.
Yes, roller backpacks for travel are better for your back than regular backpacks for the simple reaon that when you’re on smoother surfaces, you can wheel the pack along instead of hauling it on your back.
Featured Image: “Rolling Backpack” by milst1 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
2 thoughts on “Best Wheeled Backpacks for Travel 2023”
Where can I get a replacement Monotube push button handles like the one for Kipling Alcatraz Solid Laptop Wheeled Backpack? Mine has broken.
Sorry, you can’t buy replacement monotube handles.