Looking for a new wheeled backpack? Want to know what is the best travel backpack with wheels on the market right now? Then you have found yourself in the right place. In this article I will tell you what exactly is a wheeled backpack and what are the benefits of such a backpack.
As you already now, I am a big advocate for traveling light. For 5 years and counting I have been traveling mostly with a carry on only. And mostly with a carry on size backpack, rather than a suitcase. Surely traveling with a backpack has its benefits and there are no doubts about it. But still there have been quite a few times, when I have thought – how cool it would be if my backpack had also wheels. It would make things so much easier…
In case you too have had thoughts like this, I have very good new for you. There are backpacks like this! There are backpacks with wheels.
What else – all of the best wheeled backpacks are both good backpacks and they share the benefits of a suitcase all at the same time. Scroll down to learn more about the best roller backpacks, what to pay attention to when buying one for yourself. And to read rolling backpack reviews!
Best Travel Backpack With Wheels 2020
Here they are – 10 of the best wheeled backpacks available on the market right now.
To read more about every one of them scroll down! Most of these backpacks are available in several colors. For more photos, latest price and user reviews check them out on Amazon – just click on the name or image of the backpack! I have also included a link to Amazon under every wheeled backpack review.
|NAME||IMAGE||DIMENSIONS||WEIGHT||PRICE ON AMAZON|
|*** - our favorites|
|Osprey Ozone Convertible ***||22” x 14” x 9”|
(55.88 x 35.56 x 22.86 cm)
|6 lbs (2.7 kg)||Check the price!|
|Osprey Sojourn ***||22” x 14” x 9″|
(56 x 35.6 x 23 cm)
|7.93 lbs (3.6 kg)||Check the price!|
|JanSport Driver 8 Core||19.5" x 13" x 8" |
(49.53 x 33 x 20.32 cm)
|4.2 lbs (1.9 kg)||Check the price!|
|Kipling Alcatraz||18” x 16.2” x 8.5” |
(45.72 x 41.15 x 21.59 cm)
|5.3 lbs (2.4 kg)||Check the price!|
|High Sierra Freewheel||20.5” x 13.5” x 8”|
(52.1 x 34.3 x 20.3 cm)
|5.3 lbs (2.4 kg)||Check the price!|
|J World New York Sunrise||19” x 13” x 9”|
(48.26 x 33 x 22.86 cm)
|4 lbs (1.8 kg)||Check the price!|
|Matein||19.68” x 13” x 9.05” or 21.65” x 13” x 10”|
50 x 33 x 23 cm or 55 x 33 x 25.4 cm
|4.8 lbs / 5.3 lbs|
2.2 kg / 2.4 kg
|Check the price!|
|eBags TLS Mother Lode||22″ x 14″ x 9”|
(56 x 35.6 x 23 cm)
|6 lbs (2.7 kg)||Check the price!|
|Samsonite||21.5” x 15.5” x 9”|
(54.6 x 39.4 x 23 cm)
|5 lbs (2.3 kg)||Check the price!|
|Olympia Cascade||20” x 15” x 8.5”|
(50.8 x 38 x 21.6 cm)
|5.5 lbs (2.5 kg)||Check the price!|
Wheeled Backpack Basics
A wheeled backpack is a regular-looking backpack with some features of the suitcase, such as wheels and a retractable handle.
It can be used either as a suitcase, or carried around on your back as a backpack. Usually the bottom part of the shoulder straps is detachable, so they can be tucked in a special compartment at the back of the backpack, when you want to use it as a suitcase.
These backpacks usually aren’t too large. The capacity of most of them is around 35 liters, and they meet carry-on size requirements. However, you need to find out what are the luggage allowance and restrictions of your preferred airline before booking a flight. Some airlines allow to carry on board only a small personal item free of charge, and the rolling backpack might be too large for that.
Traveling with a wheeled backpack is easy. It can be rolled around on the pavement and around the airport. And carried on your back when rolling is not possible – through dirt, on uneven tarmac, etc. For example, Osprey Ozone Convertible 22″/50L is especially good for traveling. It features also a small detachable day bag for either extra capacity or a day sightseeing trip, when the rest of the stuff can stay in a hotel room.
However, I would definitely not recommend taking a wheeled backpack on a serious hiking trip (such as Annapurna Circuit in Nepal). Even if it’s one of the top wheeled backpacks. Most of them are too small. And also the back’s padding of these bags is not designed for a hiking trip, and many rolling backpacks don’t have a hip belt that is a necessity on a trip like that. As well as a handle and wheels are not only completely unnecessary on a trip like that, but also take up space and add weight to the pack.
Otherwise – if you aren’t planning to go hiking with this bag – then it’s worth to check out wheeled backpacks. Also if you are traveling long-term. If you pack like a pro and are used to live with less, then a wheeled backpack might be exactly what you need.
Medium-sized rolling backpack can be used as a school bag as well. Lugging kilos of heavy text books is not an easy task, especially for a young child. Wheels and a retractable handle are nice features that will help to save back.
Usually wheeled backpacks have at least one large main compartment, a smaller front organizational compartment for small items, like pens, pencils and cables, and small zippered front pocket. At least one side mesh pocket for a water bottle or umbrella is usually there, too. Most of the best backpacks with wheels have a built-in laptop sleeve, usually in the roomy main compartment.
The main compartment of a backpack can be either front-loading or top-loading. I prefer front-loading when I travel. It makes it easier to locate your things, as everything is visible when the main compartment of the backpack has been opened.
If the backpack is front-loading, most probably there will be inner compression straps, just like in a suitcase.
2. Handle, Wheels and Shoulder Straps
A wheeled backpack is versatile. It can be carried around like a backpack, or it can be rolled, just like a suitcase.
It mostly has hide-away shoulder straps, a retractable handle and at least two wheels.
Most of the backpacks I have reviewed have detachable straps. The bottom part of the straps is connected to a D-ring, and it can be unclipped, then tucked in the special compartment on the back panel.
Actually it’s very important to remember, that you should unclip and tuck in shoulder straps when they’re not in use (the backpack is rolled). This will protect them from damage, because they won’t get caught in wheels when the backpack is rolled. Easier also for you to move around with the bag.
Usually rolling backpacks have single telescopic handle with at least one position that it can be locked to. When you are shopping for a new wheeled backpack, pay attention to how many locking positions the handle has. If you are short, it might be uncomfortable to roll a backpack with a long handle.
Most of the best wheeled backpacks have durable 2 inline wheels that aren’t 360 degree spinner wheels. However, some feature 4 multi-directional spinner wheels. For example, Kenneth Cole Reaction Double Gusset 4-wheel rolling backpack. Spinner wheels will allow you to roll the wheeled backpack upright in any direction. There will be no strain on your shoulders and arms, whatsoever.
If there’s 2 two inline wheels, then there will be 2 feet for stability at the bottom. So, the backpack will stand on its own.
3. Size and Weight of a Rolling Backpack
Rolling backpacks often are carry-on friendly. The height of the body of a backpack mostly is 18” to 22” (45.72 to 55.88 cm).
You should pay attention to the overall dimensions, including the wheels. And check airline luggage size restrictions, because the rules vary. While you’ll be allowed to take your rolling backpack on board free of charge on some airlines, you won’t be allowed to do so on the other.
Pay attention to the weight of the suitcase! If you are taking it on board of a plane, take into account that there is weight restrictions, too. The heavier the bag itself, the less you will be able to pack in, due to weight restrictions!
Most of the international airlines only allow to carry a carry on luggage of a weight between 15 – 22 lbs (7 – 10 kg).
Lightest of the rolling backpacks weight around 4 lbs (1.8 kg).
Usually the weight is around 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg).
Best Travel Backpack With Wheels – Reviews
1. Osprey Ozone Convertible (22-Inch) — Best Overall
The Osprey Ozone Convertible probably is the best travel backpack with wheels available on the market right now! It’s very functional and made of durable materials. And it has a couple of really cool features that a frequent traveler will appreciate.
First of all, I want to mention that the bag is versatile. The shouder straps and the hip belt can be hidden in a special zippered compartment at the back of the backpack. So, not only it can be carried as a backpack, but also used as a suitcase as it has a retractable handle. To take out the straps, unzip the back compartment. Take out the straps and buckle them into place. Now it’s ready to be carried as a backpack!
Then there’s the detachable small backpack with tuck-away shoulder straps! Perfect for your day trips. Just pack the essentials and go to explore the city or go on a day hike while the rest of the stuff stays at the hotel or hostel!
By adding it to your large Osprey Ozone convertible backpack you get more storage! But be aware that it makes the Ozone convertible backpack thicker – so it won’t be a carry on friendly luggage piece anymore! Depending on the airline – you might still be allowed to take them both on board. The large one as a carry on, the detachabe daypack – as a personal item.
Frequent travelers will be delighted to see that both bags (the main pack and the detachable bag) have easy access pockets at the top. Passports, phones, chargers and other small items can be stored there.
The Osprey Ozone Convertible is a bag that is going to last! It is made of sturdy materials, and features a lightweight yet very durable frame. Metal framing enables the bag to stand on its own. The convertible backpack has 2 large durable lightweight wheels and a retractable handle. There are 2 durable grab handles – one on the top of the backpack, the second one – on the side.
Let’s look inside the Osprey Ozone Convertible!
Unclip the external compression straps of the main luggage in order to open the large main compartment. The Osprey Ozone Convertible is a front loading pack, and has 2 adjustable internal compression straps. There are 2 large zippered pockets on either side of the main compartment and a large mesh pocket on the inside of the front panel. As I have already mentioned before, the straps and the hip belt of the large backpack can be stored away in a zippered compartment at the back of the pack.
The small detachable daypack has a front compartment with small pockets for organization. There’s a large main compartment with plenty of space. There’s a zippered tablet sleeve and a padded laptop sleeve at the back of the daypack.
The daypack has minimal padding on its shoulder straps, but it’s enough for a pack of this size. It has a sternum strap as well. Behind the straps there’s a gap large enough to fit it over the handle of the main luggage piece.
Both backpacks have easy access pockets at the top.
The big backpack will fit in an overhead compartment, but the daypack – under the seat in front of you. In total, you will have 50 liter of capacity.
Dimensions of the main bag (not including the wheels): 22” x 14” x 9” (55.88 x 35.56 x 22.86 cm)
Dimensions of the daypack: 18” x 11” x 7” (45.72 x 27.94 x 17.78 cm).
Size of the main bag: 32 liters.
Size of the daypack: is 18 liters.
Weight: around 6 lbs (2.7 kg).
2. Osprey Sojourn Wheeled Backpack (22-Inch) — Best Carry on Backpack with Wheels
In my opinion, it’s the second best wheeled backpack for travel (after the Osprey Ozone Convertible). It is well-made, it’s got a sturdy aluminium frame, smooth-rolling wheels and plenty of packing space.
As I am always saying — if you are traveling often, invest in good luggage! And Osprey Sojourn (as well as Osprey Ozone Convertible), are backpacks of exceptional quality.
What I love the most about this backpack that unlike other backpacks on the list (excluding the Osprey Ozone Convertible), it features a stowaway hip belt. Also, backpack’s suspension system is easily adjustable for your torso length.
Another thing to love bout this bag is the fact that it is carry on friendly.
The mesh back panel of the Sojourn provides comfort and ventilation. The backpack’s shoulder straps are removable to free up extra packing space. The padded side walls will protect your gear.
The Sojourn backpack features lightweight yet durable base with a foot grab handle. Oversized high traction wheels are smooth-rolling and durable.
The Osprey Sojourn also features reinforced top and side grab handles and 4 D-rings on the front panel which are designed for attaching Osprey Daylite pack.
The backpack has several compartments and pockets. The spacious main compartment is front loading — it opens up just like a suitcase and features dual compression straps. Also it features a few zippered mesh and fabric pockets.
The zippers of the main compartment are lockable.
Easy access pocket at the top of the pack provides quick access for your essentials and liquids. The rear panel pocket is perfect for storing magazines.
Dimensions: 22” x 14” x 9″ (56 x 35.6 x 23 cm).
Size: 45 L.
Weight: 7.93 lbs (3.6 kg).
3. eBags TLS Mother Lode Rolling Weekender — Best Carry on Backpack with Wheels
The popular eBags TLS Mother Lode carry on backpack is now also with wheels!
The eBags TLS Mother Lode rolling backpack has exactly the same features like the original eBags TLS Mother Lode. In addition to that, there are some useful features of a suitcase.
The eBags TLS Mother Lode is a front loading backpack. It opens up like a suitcase and provides generous main compartment storage space.
The inside of the backpack is just like of a suitcase — it has a zippered mesh divider on its lid and compression straps on the other side of the main compartment. There’s a clip-in divider in the middle of the right packing compartment, as well as a detachable zippered pouch.
The eBags TLS Mother Lode rolling backpack also features a large zippered front pocket with a travel organizer, a zippered vertical pocket, a zippered top pocket and a stowaway water bottle pocket.
Unfortunately, there is no padded laptop / tablet compartment.
The eBags TLS Mother Lode rolling weekender is expandable, and features a special compartment for storing the shoulder straps, as well as a zippered flap under which you can hide the handle. In addition to the two in-line skate wheels at the bottom, the backpack has a plastic stability bar, which will hold it upright.
The TLS Mother Lode rolling backpack is made of durable material — 840D & 900D Twisted Poly.
Dimensions: 22″ x 14″ x 9” (56 x 35.6 x 23 cm).
Size: 48 L.
Weight: 6 lbs (2.7 kg).
4. JanSport Driver 8 Core Series Wheeled Backpack — Best for College
The JanSport Driver 8 Core wheeled backpack with tuck-away shoulder straps is perfect for short trips or carrying heavy books around campus area. It features a padded laptop compartment large enough to carry a 15″ laptop.
The rolling backpack is made of 600D polyester and 420D velocity nylon. It features 2 large durable wheels with traction and stability control, and an aluminum two stage handle. There are protection pads around the wheels and at the bottom to protect the bag from abrasion.
The JanSport wheeled backpack is simple, yet it’s made to last!
Let’s look inside the backpack!
The bag has 2 large compartments. The one at the back of the pack features a padded laptop sleeve. There’s a front compartment with a key clip and 2 pockets with a flap closure. There’s a small zippered front pocket which will be perfect for small items, such as cables, sunglasses, tickets, etc. There’s side mesh pocket for a water bottle or umbrella.
The back panel is fully padded and has a special compartment for storing shoulder straps. The bottom part of the shoulder straps is attached to a D-Ring, and it’s detachable.
There’s a padded grab handle on the top of the bag. But there’s no side handle.
It will fit in the overhead compartments of most aircrafts.
In my opinion, this JanSport backpack looks pretty bulky, when fully loaded (as it expands). It might be the only drawback. Bag is available in several colors.
Dimensions: 19.5” x 13” x 8” (49.53 x 33 x 20.32 cm).
Size: 34 liters.
Weight: 4.2 lbs (1.9 kg).
5. J World New York Sunrise Rolling Backpack — Best for School
Beautiful affordable rolling backpack! And so many colors to choose from – more than 30! Whether you are a college girl who likes pink or a frequent traveler, you are going to like this durable wheeled backpack!
The J World New York Sunrise rolling backpack has plenty of space for your books or a few days worth of clothes and some electronics. It has a roomy main compartment and a zippered front compartment with an organizational panel with pencil holders, a key fob, card holders and a small zippered pocket. There’s another zippered pocket on the outside of the front zippered compartment. There are 2 side mesh pockets for water bottles / umbrella.
Unfortunately, there’s no laptop compartment. So, you’ll need to put your laptop in a protective case before putting it in this backpack.
The J World New York Sunrise rolling backpack features a color matching bottom mold for protection and wheel guards. The bottom feet are quite large and sturdy. The plastic bottom also prevents things from getting wet when bag is rolled over puddles.
The bottom part of the shoulder straps is detachable, so the straps can be tucked in a special compartment at the back of the backpack. The shoulder straps and back panel are cushioned for extra comfort. The stable wheels of the backpack are soft and noiseless. The handle can be extended to 2 different heights. The backpack features a sturdy grab handle as well.
Please note, that you must unclip and tuck the straps in when they are not in use. It will prevent damage – the straps won’t get caught in wheels.
This J World New York Sunrise backpack meets carry-on size requirements with most of the airlines globally.
Dimensions: 19” x 13” x 9” (48.26 x 33 x 22.86 cm).
Weight: around 4 lbs (1.8 kg).
6. Kipling Alcatraz Laptop Wheeled Backpack — Best for Women
A great stylish wheeled backpack, perfect for ladies. Not only it looks lovely, but it’s sturdy and well-made, too.
This backpack is quite roomy. It can accommodate a few days worth of clothes and some electronics. And it can be used as a school bag, as well.
There’s a large zippered, front loading, main compartment that is covered with a flap and secured with a buckle for extra security. There’s a small zippered pocket on the flap, too.
Bag’s interior padded pouch accommodates a 15” laptop. The laptop section is secured with a Velcro closure. There’s a roomy front zippered pocket with mesh-lined interior pouch pocket and a couple of other small pockets for small items, such as pens and pencils. There are 2 zippered side pockets.
The backpack has a retractable handle with blocking button and 2 durable wheels with wheel guards.
Hide-away padded straps for comfortable carrying can be hidden away in a zippered compartment at the back of the backpack.
The Kipling Alcatraz backpack is carry on friendly and even will fit under some seats if the bag is not being packed completely full. Available in several colors, including bright pink and orange! Lovely!
Dimensions: 18” x 16.2” x 8.5” (45.72 x 41.15 x 21.59 cm).
Weight: 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg).
7. High Sierra Freewheel — Best for Commute
An affordable rolling backpack made from durable materials. One of the best rolling backpacks for a short trip, as an overnight bag or as a schoolbag.
The High Sierra Freewheel wheeled backpack features smooth rolling, corner-mounted wheels with corner guards, and a single-tube telescopic handle that can be completely hidden in a special zippered compartment at the top of the backpack. It is made of Duralite® Ripstop nylon. The bag is sturdy, and doesn’t tip over.
Adjustable Vapel™ mesh padded shoulder straps can be tucked away inside the padded back panel when not in use.
There are several compartments, including fully-padded computer sleeve that fits most 15” laptops. There’s a front zippered media pocket with a headphone port and a zippered front compartment with an organizational panel that has several slip pockets and a key attachment point. There’s a deep mesh side pocket perfect for storing an umbrella or a water bottle, even a tall one!
The only drawback is the telescoping handle – it has only one extension so it can not be made shorter. So the High Sierra Freewheel might not be the best option for a short person.
Dimensions: 20.5” x 13.5” x 8” (52.1 x 34.3 x 20.3 cm).
Weight: 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg).
8. Matein Rolling Laptop Backpack — Best for Business Travel
The Matein rolling laptop backpack is a great, inexpensive backpack for traveling professionals.
For a backpack this cheap it’s surprisingly organized.
There’s plenty of pockets for your electronics, as well there is a sleeve for a laptop and a tablet. There’s plenty of space in the main compartment for your clothes for an overnight trip.
The rolling backpack features:
- Large main compartment with inner compression straps;
- Laptop and tablet sleeve in the main compartment;
- Front compartment for books and documents;
- Front bottom compartment for notepads, pens and other small items;
- Front top compartment for cables and small items;
- Two side pockets;
- Zippered pocket at the back for storing the shoulder straps & zippered flap for hiding the handle.
Not only the backpack is great for business travel, it also can be used as a bookbag.
The Marein rolling backpack has the features any other backpack would have. It’s got padded backpanel, padded and adjustable shoulder straps, and a sturdy top handle.
Plus, there are also the features of a suitcase, like, a retractable handle, water-resistant bottom panel, 2 corner-mounted wheels and corner guards which protect the bag from abrasion.
The shoulder straps of the Matein backpack can be detached and tucked away into the designated zippered pocket at the back.
The laptop backpack is available in two sizes: for 15.6” laptops and for 17” laptops.
Dimensions: 19.68” x 13” x 9.05” (50 x 33 x 23 cm) / 21.65” x 13” x 10” (55 x 33 x 25.4 cm)
Size: 36 / 45 L.
Weight: 4.8 lbs (2.2 kg) / 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg).
9. Samsonite Wheeled Laptop Backpack Review — Best for Business Travel
Are you a traveling professional in need of a new laptop backpack? Then look no further! The Samsonite wheeled laptop backpack is the best travel backpack with wheels for your needs.
The Samsonite wheeled backpack is a simple yet elegant rolling backpack, great for traveling professionals, and also can be used as a book for college.
The reason why it’s great for business travel and college is that it is surprisingly organized, features a padded laptop compartment, and has plenty of pockets for your small electronic devices and accessories.
The laptop compartment is removable and can accommodate most laptops of up to 17” in size. You’ll find the laptop compartment inside the spacious main compartment.
In addition to the main compartment there is a large front pocket with a travel organizer, two zippered pockets (bottom and top) and two mesh side pockets.
The Samsonite wheeled backpack is made of 400D Rip Stop Nylon which is durable and tear resistant.
The backpack features 2 sturdy in-line skate wheels, a pull handle, and stowaway contoured shoulder straps with extra padding for comfort.
Dimensions: 21.5” x 15.5” x 9” (54.6 x 39.4 x 23 cm).
Size: around 36 L.
Weight: 5 lbs (2.3 kg).
10. Olympia Cascade Rolling Backpack Review — Best Inexpensive Wheeled Backpack for Travel
Olympia Cascade is an inexpensive rolling backpack perfect for a short trip or your airline carry-on.
This backpack is made of durable jacquard polyester, and features push button locking handle system, and durable smooth rolling wheels with protective housing.
The backpack’s hideaway padded shoulder straps can be stored behind a padded back panel. The push button locking handle can be hidden under a special flap on the top of the pack.
The backpack also features two exterior compression straps, and side, bottom and top grab handles.
The Olympia Cascade rolling backpack is expandable for 2 inches for additional packing capacity.
The backpack is front loading and opens up just like a suitcase. The main compartment is similar to one of a suitcase. It is really spacious, and has two interior compression straps and a mesh pocket on its lid.
The Olympia Cascade has a deep front pocket and a hideaway water bottle pocket.
Dimensions: 20” x 15” x 8.5” (50.8 x 38 x 21.6 cm).
Size: 52 L.
Weight: 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg).
If you have any more questions about travel gear, check out our other gear guides! Or contact us!