Best Rolling Backpacks For Travel – Top 10 Choices In 2021!
Now why would you want a backpack with wheels? Isn't that somewhat contradictory? I mean, a backpack is supposed to be carried, well, on your back, right?
This is, of course, true. But there are times when having the possibility to put your backpack down and easily pull it behind you is a relief.
I have to admit, as I age I love this more and more. When that is the most convenient choice I can still carry my backpack on my back. But when I'm in an airport, in a city or on any comparably smooth ground I can just as well pull it behind me.
I've done the heavy lifting for you (pun intended!) and researched the best rolling backpacks for travel. Read on and find which one will suit your needs the best.
I'll cover both carry-ons and larger ones that you will need to leave at the check-in counter.
Your back will be the first to thank you!
Rolling Carry On Backpacks
JanSport Driver 8 Core Series Wheeled Backpack
What I love the most about JanSport is their large variety of colors and patterns. I once owned a gorgeous flowered one (daypack without wheels though) that I used daily for several years and to the very last thread.
This carry-on sized backpack is no exclusion. You can get it in stern Black, sophisticated Navy, out-there Deep Space, dreamy Spring Meadow or why not happy Confetti? Or one of the many other variants there is to choose from.
But that's just looks. How about functionality and quality?
The functionality of this bag is great. JanSport as a brand has maaany years of experience and knows how to make a backpack that serves you well in your daily endeavours.
Key Features Of The Driver 8 Backpack
It's actually recommended that you do tuck the shoulder straps away when you want to pull the backpack behind you. Otherwise, they may get damaged or caught up in the wheels.
Watch the video below for a complete visual rundown of all the features!
JanSport are known for making durable bags and this one is no exception to that rule. It's made with
600 Denier Polyester and 420 Denier Nylon.
The fact that JanSport offers a no-questions-asked Lifetime Warranty makes purchasing this fairly cheap wheeled backpack a no-brainer.
Simply go ahead and choose which color and pattern you fancy the most!
Osprey Packs Fairview 36 Women's Wheeled Luggage
Osprey Packs Farpoint 36 Men's Wheeled Luggage
Osprey are known for producing high quality outdoor gear. Several athletes are ambassadors for the brand, for example Aldo Kane and Victoria Pendleton.
The two backpacks presented here are the same item, the only difference betwen them is that the Fairview is designed with a female specific fit.
Osprey explains this as being "a backsystem that has been specifically designed to provide an optimum fit for a female body offering unparalleled levels of comfort and support". Sounds good to me!
Anyhow, both are excellent rolling backpacks.
The Fairview comes in Black and Amulet Purple, the Farpoint in Black and Petrol Blue.
The All Mighty Guarantee - What Does It mean?
Well, it could also be called Limited Lifetime because that's what it is. Osprey repairs or replaces your backpack within it's "reasonable lifetime" in case there are any material defects or poor craftsmanship. You pay to send the bag to them but they pay for the return to you.
Key Features Of Fairview 36 and Farpoint 36 Wheeled Luggage
Watch the video to see all the features shown live!
(Psst, if you want to you can check out the daypack as well! It's compatible with both bags above.)
Any drawbacks to the Farpoint and Fairview? Well the only one is perhaps that there's no padded laptop sleeve. I think we have somewhat come to expect that in a carry-on. But there's always the possibility to embed your laptop in the middle of your packing in the main compartment.
Apart from that there's nothing bad to say about these wheeled backpacks. Those who already own one love it! Superhigh quality and durability for years of adventurous traveling.
Kipling (Women's) Gaze Large Rolling Backpack
Usually, I'm very rigorous about the bags I review having excellent ratings wherever one looks around the internet. This is actually a daring exception. I haven't found any reviews at all about this one, good or bad. However, with Kipling being a well renowned manufacturer with nothing but great reviews for all their products I decided to go for this one anyway.
In the Amazon listing it says "women's". I'm not sure why, to me it doesn't appear to be designed specifically for men or women. It's also kind of funny that it's labeled 'large' seeing it is smaller than the rest of the bags in my article!
Key Features Of Fairview 36 and Farpoint 36 Wheeled Luggage
The available colors are Black, Blue Bleu (dark navy) and Blue Thunder. The last one is different from the other two in that the zippers and zipper pulls are a light yellow on the blue bag. I like it! Makes it stand out from all the black and navy out there.
The only possible drawback with this rolling backpack is the comparably short warranty. Kipling applies one year limited to all their bags. But, seeing that all bags have awesome ratings this is probably not a problem in reality.
Eagle Creek Expanse Convertible International Carry-On Bag
One of my all-time favorite brands is Eagle Creek. I mean, what's not to like here?
They make outstanding bags with a topnotch warranty, and although they're not by any means cheap they're not that expensive either. At least not for the quality you get.
So, let's dive in to the features of this wheeled carry-on!
Key Features Of Expanse Convertible
Well, that's about it guess! Please take a look at the video below for a more visual description.
One possible con for this bag is perhaps that there's only one exterior pocket, the large zippered front pocket. Personally though, I prefer carrying a purse or waist pack on my own front, with wallet, passport, cell phone etc in. Safe and easily accessible!
There's no built-in laptop sleeve, but one can always use a protective sleeve and put the computer close to the sturdy backside. It'll be well protected!
High Sierra XBT - Wheeled Laptop Backpack
I chose this High Sierra bag because it holds a 17" laptop (max size 16" x 11" x 1.75"). This makes it attractive for gamers who often use larger laptops for screen size.
And, it's great quality and awesome functionality too, so I'm very pleased with this one!
Actually, there are so many great features so it's hard to know where to start. But let's go for the interior first, since I announced this one as a gamer laptop backpack.
Key Features Of High Sierra XBT
According to one female user the High Sierra XBT holds as much as "laptop, iPad, three days of clothing and toiletries".
Very useful rolling backpack in my opinion! I'm not a gamer but a writer and the laptop I'm writing this on would fit nicely (a 17" ASUS).
Available colors are Black and Carmine Redline. I love red so that's my favorite! Which one is your's?
J World New York Sunny Rolling Backpack for School & Travel
I was about to leave the carry-on section of this article, but then I found this one and couldn't resist it. It's pretty (I really love the puppies), it's lightweight and it's small enough to fit in any overhead compartment. (But always check twice with your airline!)
And, if you don't fancy color and pattern on your carry-on, it's available in black as well.
And of course, it has great ratings everywhere!
Key Features Of J World New York Sunny Rolling Backpack
This is definitely one of the more inexpensive rolling backpacks. For the price point it seems to be great quality and should not disappoint you.
Extra Large Rolling Backpacks
It was much harder to find good larger than carry-on size backpacks with wheels. Perhaps it's not trendy to have wheels while exploring the world?
I'll leave that judgment and decision to you. My mission here is to do the research for you and provide you with a shortcut to the best ones.
I finally decided on three backpacks that I liked enough to include in this review.
They are all three from Osprey, sorry about that folks. But wait a minute, I'm not sorry, since Osprey delivers excellent bags!
So all good actually. Let's take a closer look at my choices!
Osprey Packs Sojourn Wheeled Luggage, 80 L/28"
The more I find out about Osprey the more I like them. They do know how to manufacture durable backpacks for adventurous travelers!
The Sojourn 80L has plenty of awesome features. One that becomes important when you need or want to carry it as a backpack is that it allows you to adjust the harness and hipbelt to your torso. This is far from always the case with larger rolling backpacks.
Key Features Of Osprey Sojourn Wheeled 80
Like to see it with your own eyes? Then watch the video!
According to users the waist/hip belt keeps the wheels off of your body and the bag is comfortable to carry as a backpack. This is one reason apart from the overall quality that I chose this bag.
It's really hard to find downsides to this bag, and quite frankly, I give up!
Osprey Packs Fairview 65 Women's Wheeled Luggage
Osprey Packs Farpoint 65 Men's Wheeled Luggage
As you might guess, these larger sizes of the Fairview and Farpoint wheeled backpacks have most of the same features that the carry-on sized ones above have.
For this reason I won't reiterate them here. Instead, I invite you to read about the features above. You can also watch the video and get a thorough walk-through of all the features.
The only con I can see with these otherwise great bags is that the back system is not torso-adjustable like on the Sojourn 80. But, seeing these are smaller (65L compared to 80L) this might not be a problem. The shoulder straps are adjustable and that might be enough for comfortability.
If you want to take a closer look at them, hop over to Amazon by clicking one of the buttons below!