My picks for the best wheeled backpacks, whether you’re traveling or looking for a professional bag for work.
I used to be one of those travelers who scoffed at wheeled backpacks.
They just seemed impractical for my style of travel, which was usually off-the-cuff, adventurous backpacking.
And to be fair, that was probably the case when I used to only do that type of travel.
When you’re only spending a few days in each location, constantly on the move, and needing to carry your bag for long distances along dusty roads, a wheeled backpack doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Now that I’m no longer a full-time backpacker and I have a variety of different types of trips I take, I finally understand the draw of wheeled backpacks.
Not to mention, after turning 30 this year and having off-and-on lower back pain as a tall human, a wheeled backpack allows my back to take a break when I don’t necessarily need a regular backpack.
And the great thing about rolling backpacks is they’re still much more convenient and versatile than traditional rolling luggage.
They’re easy to convert either into a backpack or a rolling piece of luggage, depending on what I need in the moment.
So, without rambling further, these are my picks for the best wheeled backpacks for travel, work, commuters, and even students.
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
Best Wheeled Backpacks
- Best Overall for Travel – Osprey Sojourn
- Best Carry-On Backpack – Osprey Ozone
- Best Backpack With a Daypack – High Sierra AT3
- Best Professional Backpack – Everki Atlas
- Best Waterproof Backpack – Matein Wheeled Backpack
- Best Backpack Under $100 – Targus Rolling Backpack
- Best Backpack With Laptop Compartment – High Sierra Powerglide
- Best Camera Backpack – Think Tank Airport Takeoff 2.0
- Best Lightweight Backpack – Samsonite Wheeled Backpack
- Best Durable Backpack – Victorinox Vx Sport
- Best Wheeled Duffel Bag – Gonex Rolling Duffel Bag
- Best Backpack for College – Jansport Driver 8
What is a Wheeled Backpack?
A wheeled backpack is exactly what it sounds like – a backpack with wheels.
These versatile bags come with wheels and a handle attached so you can either wear it as a backpack or treat it like a rolling suitcase.
Are Wheeled Backpacks Good?
Wheeled backpacks can be great for people who often carry heavy gear or who deal with back and shoulder pain.
They’re especially popular for business travel, short weekend trips (or longer trips if you’re not ‘backpacking’), and as a way to easily transport gear without hurting your back.
Why are Wheeled Backpacks Bad?
The downside to wheeled backpacks is they’re usually slightly bulkier than a standard backpack.
They’re probably not the best choice if you’re a backpacker who is constantly on the go.
Luckily, even if you need to lug a rolling backpack up stairs or walk across uneven cobblestones, it’s still more versatile than standard rolling luggage.
This is because you can easily throw it on your back like a regular backpack if you need to travel over uneven terrain instead of carrying it like a regular suitcase.
And that can make a difference if it’s a heavy bag.
Are Wheeled Backpacks Better for School?
They can be.
Although rolling backpacks are more common with younger kids, if you want to protect your back while carrying heavy textbooks, it can be a good option for high school and college students too.
Are Wheeled Backpacks Better for Travel?
Yes and no.
As I mentioned above, wheeled backpacks can be a great option for those who don’t want to carry a heavy bag all the time on their trip.
However, if you plan to be doing a lot of on-the-go backpacking through places like Southeast Asia, it might be better to get a more traditional backpacking backpack.
Wheeled backpacks are great for travel if you’re not walking miles in a new destination.
If you usually just go from point A to point B to drop off your luggage, they can be an ideal way to carry your things without straining your back or putting extra pressure on your shoulders.
Wheeled backpacks are especially popular with business travelers, older travelers, those who take regular weekend trips, and travelers who want a versatile piece of luggage that they can both carry and roll.
Wheeled Backpacks vs Regular Backpacks – Which One is Best?
To decide whether you want a wheeled backpack or a regular backpack, it’s good to think about what you’re most likely to use this pack for and what’s important to you in a piece of luggage.
If you’re into trekking or you plan to have long journeys between destinations (that involve a lot of walking), it’s probably best to go with a regular travel backpack.
If the distance you need to walk between accommodations is relatively short and you plan to roll your luggage as much as (or more than) you plan to carry it, a wheeled backpack is a good option.
This is especially the case if you’re worried about the extra strain of carrying all your things on your back 24/7.
A wheeled backpack is more versatile in that sense because you can switch between rolling and carrying it.
Wheeled Backpack Pros
- More versatile than a regular backpack.
- Better on your back – if your back needs a break, you can roll your things instead of carrying them.
- The quality, features, and support that wheeled backpacks offer these days has improved a lot in the past decade.
- Can be used for all types of travel, besides maybe trekking.
Wheeled Backpack Cons
- Tend to be slightly heavier and bulkier than regular backpacks due to the harness and the wheels.
- Usually not as comfortable as a regular travel backpack for carrying on your back for long distances. This is due to the rod that goes through the back of the bag and the wheels that can sometimes dig into your back.
Regular Travel Backpack Pros
- Ergonomic and designed with comfort in mind for carrying long distances. There are also usually specific packs for women vs men that are based on body shape for the most comfort.
- Convenient for on-the-go travel and backpacking when you plan to walk long distances and need a durable bag that you can just throw on and go.
Regular Travel Backpack Cons
- Not as versatile, can sometimes be less professional or stylish compared to its wheeled counterpart.
- Can get heavy very quickly, especially for packs that hold over 30L.
- It’s easier to strain your back when constantly picking up a heavy travel pack or carrying it long distances.
Types of Wheeled Backpacks
Depending on your lifestyle, there are different wheeled backpacks on the market that are better for different things.
It’s good to be aware of which type of wheeled backpack you might need and what to look for.
Everyday Wheeled Backpacks
An everyday wheeled backpack is what you use daily, not just for special trips.
This would be your go-to pack for heading to work, school, or sports practice.
For an everyday wheeled backpack, you’d be looking for high maneuverability, good accessibility, and a lightweight frame.
Business Wheeled Backpacks
Business wheeled backpacks are what you might take on a business trip for the weekend.
These are generally sleeker, smaller, and have a more professional look to them.
You’ll probably also want to make sure you’re looking for a wheeled laptop backpack and a pack that can fit all of your work gadgets.
For a business wheeled backpack, you’d be looking for style, compactness, carry-on dimensions, and good organization.
Wheeled Backpacks for Travel
These backpacks can be all different sizes depending on the type of travel you usually do.
When it comes to a good wheeled travel backpack, one of the most important things is comfort.
Make sure you can wear the pack for a decent amount of time so you don’t always have to rely on rolling it when you’re traveling through diverse terrain.
Besides comfort, it’s also good to look for a wheeled backpack that’s lightweight, opens like a suitcase for easier access to your things, and durable.
Wheeled Backpacks for Gear
Wheeled backpacks can be especially popular for those who have to lug around a lot of heavy gear regularly.
Whether you’re an athlete, musician, or you simply have a lot of heavy things, finding a durable, heavy-duty wheeled backpack is super important when it comes to transporting gear.
For a wheeled gear backpack, you’ll often be wheeling your pack around more than wearing it, so find a pack that has good maneuverability and strong wheels that can support a lot of weight.
You also want to make sure your gear can actually fit into the bag’s dimensions, especially if you have odd-shaped gear (e.g. skis, golf clubs, etc).
There are often wheeled gear bags that are designed for specific sports or activities, so look for those if you need a specific bag for unique gear.
How to Choose the Right Sized Wheeled Backpack
There are several factors to consider when finding the perfect sized wheeled backpack.
Do you plan to travel carry-on only or do you prefer to check your luggage?
Are you carrying a lot of gear or are you more of a minimalist?
Do you mostly travel in the summer and pack a lot of light clothing, or are you more of a winter traveler where you’ll need the extra space for puffy jackets and boots?
Are you needing a wheeled backpack for work or a long vacation in Europe?
Or do you need a wheeled backpack that’s versatile enough for all types of travel?
Weight and durability are also things to keep in mind, in addition to size, since they sometimes tie together as well.
Although some people say a specific amount of liters translates to the number of days of clothes you can carry, I don’t subscribe to that kind of thinking.
I’ve used a carry-on sized backpack for three months in Europe and managed to pack two weeks worth of clothes in it (before needing to do laundry).
As a general rule of thumb, a 35L or less pack is good for weekend trips, and a 45L or over pack is better for longer jaunts.
If you’re needing a wheeled backpack for business trips or as an everyday backpack, you’ll probably be looking for a backpack that’s under 35L.
If you know you tend to carry a lot of gear and clothes with you, going for a bigger size can be better.
Although you’ll rarely need more than 70L, even for a multi-day trip.
45L to 55L is a good middle-ground for backpack size that’s not too small and not too big.
When choosing the right sized wheeled backpack, it all comes down to your lifestyle, how you plan to use your pack, and how much weight and bulkiness you want to be carrying around with you.
What to Look for in a Wheeled Backpack
Size & Weight
As I mentioned above, size and weight tend to go hand-in-hand.
Are you looking for a compact carry-on or a large wheeled bag to carry a lot of gear?
Because you have the versatility of wheels, you can pack more weight than you might with a regular travel backpack, but it’s good to keep in mind that you might still want to use it as a backpack from time to time.
If you want to be able to use your wheeled backpack as both a carry-on and for checked luggage, make sure to check its dimensions and weight are within carry-on restrictions.
There’s a reason you’re interested in getting a wheeled backpack vs wheeled luggage – you want the versatility to be able to wear your pack when you want.
Because of this, you’ll want to look for a wheeled backpack that has a comfortable frame and shoulder straps, suspension system, and padding.
Even if you plan to mostly wheel your backpack around, there might be times where you have to carry it more than you thought.
When that happens, you’ll be glad you prioritized comfort when choosing your pack.
Things to look for in terms of picking a comfortable wheeled backpack include the following:
Compression straps – these allow you to compress the contents of the bag and condense it to a more centered weight load for your back.
Hip and chest straps – help balance the weight of the bag better and provide extra support.
Materials – are the materials of the backpack breathable and made of mesh, especially around the straps and back area?
If you’re sweating while lugging around a heavy pack, you’ll want to make sure its breathable and still comfortable to wear.
Ergonomically designed – make sure the wheeled backpack you choose is designed with spine health in mind.
One of the main reasons for using a wheeled backpack is to make carrying luggage easier on your back, shoulders, and neck.
Keep this in mind when choosing a comfortable wheeled pack and make sure it’s ergonomically designed for your body.
And comfort isn’t just in terms of wearing your pack like a backpack.
There are additional aspects to think about in terms of comfort when it comes to wheeling around your backpack, such as:
Handle height – if you’re a tall person, are you needing to crouch down to use the handle? Make sure the height of the handle is at a good height to comfortably maneuver your backpack without resorting to bad posture.
Wheel Maneuverability – you don’t want to uncomfortably twist your wrists every time you need to change directions. Make sure the wheels on your bag have good maneuverability. This might mean they’re able to swivel in all directions and durable enough to roll over most terrain.
Durability & Materials
When choosing a wheeled backpack, it’s worthwhile to get one that is made with high-quality materials.
I also prefer most of my gear, especially for travel, to be waterproof.
However, the vast majority of rolling backpacks are only water-resistant for some reason.
But if you can find a good waterproof wheeled back, that’s a great feature to have because it’ll be more durable in any kind of weather.
If anti-theft is an important aspect to you in a bag, it’s good to look for a backpack that’s made with ballistic nylon.
And in terms of zippers, YKK zippers are usually a good bet in terms of durability and quality.
With that said, usually the more durable the bag, the more expensive it’s going to be.
So it’s really up to what you’re looking for and what’s more important to you in a wheeled backpack.
Another aspect to think about when it comes to a good rolling bag is accessibility.
Is there a front or top compartment that’s easy to access and that can fit your liquids and passport when you’re going through TSA?
Where is the laptop compartment located and other pockets that will hold heavier items, and are they accessible to get to?
Smart bag design goes a long way in terms of convenience and ease of use.
How maneuverable is the bag?
This usually has to do with the wheel and handle design, but also how the weight is balanced.
Wheels are perhaps the most important when it comes to maneuverability.
There are a lot of different wheel designs out there.
Some wheels are on a single track that don’t spin, which can make it harder to change direction quickly.
If you have full spinner wheels that can move in any direction, that can make a big difference in maneuverability.
Another key maneuverability feature is the handle.
Some people swear by the single rod handle, others prefer a double rod because it helps with moving the weight of the bag more easily.
And lastly, compression straps that center the weight in the bag can help with keeping the bag condensed and having a good center of gravity to move around.
Maybe a less practical aspect, but still an important thing to think about depending on how you plan to use your wheeled backpack.
If you’re a business traveler, you probably want something that looks sleek and professional so you present yourself in the right way.
And even as a leisure traveler, being a “backpacker” can have a negative stigma sometimes.
If that’s something you care about, you might want to go for a wheeled backpack that doesn’t look like a traditional backpacking backpack.
And on the other side of that, maybe you want a funky-looking backpack that’s colorful and stylish in a unique way.
This also helps it stand out if you’re picking it up from a luggage carousel.
It’s all about your personal preference when it comes to style and also what you plan to use your rolling pack for.
Another aspect to think about that’s not as important as the core parts of the bag, such as comfort and durability, but still nice to have.
Are you looking for a pack that has extra features to it?
Perhaps a removable day pack or rain cover?
Some packs even come with their own locks to lock zippers and keep your things secure.
These extra features are usually just added bonuses, but still good to keep in mind if you’re having trouble deciding between two different bags.
Warranty & Return Policy
And finally, what kind of warranty or return policy does the backpack have in case you need to send it back?
Some packs have no warranty, some have a one-year warranty, and others have a lifetime warranty.
It’s worth it to research the bag’s warranty ahead of time, especially if you’re shelling out a pretty penny.
Similarly, the backpack’s return policy can come in handy if you end up not liking the bag or there is some kind of malfunction with the bag you receive.
Amazon and REI have pretty standard return policies, but it’s always good to double check this before purchasing.
12 Best Rolling Backpacks
Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 in
Weight: 7lb 15 oz
Capacity: 45L – also offered in 80L
Best for: Travel (carry-on and checked)
If you’re looking for the best rolling backpack for travel, look no further than the Osprey Sojourn.
I’m a big fan of Osprey, I’ve been using their packs for over a decade and they’ve never let me down.
And this Osprey travel backpack with wheels is no exception in terms of a quality piece of gear that is long-lasting.
If you’re looking for a large travel backpack with wheels, this Osprey pack is a good-sized option.
It’s not too big, but big enough to fit in a decent amount of clothes and gear for a weekend trip or something longer.
It’s also a versatile wheeled backpack since the size of this bag fits most airline carry-on dimensions.
Besides its size, its durability (especially its large durable and high clearance wheels) makes it one of the best wheeled backpacks for Europe travel when you’re navigating those uneven cobblestones.
Other features of this Osprey backpack with wheels include extra padding to protect your gear, compression straps, and a well-ventilated suspension system to keep you comfortable when you’re carrying the bag as a backpack.
It also has a zippered top pocket for easy access to liquids or your passport, which I love on a carry-on travel pack.
This pack acts as a convertible backpack suitcase with a clamshell opening for the main compartment to easily pack and unpack your things.
Lastly, it has a removable hip belt and harness if you need more room or don’t want the extra weight.
And if you’re looking for an even larger wheeled backpack, there is an additional size in the Osprey Sojourn series – the Osprey Sojourn 80L.
- Versatile enough for carry-on and checked luggage
- Compression straps
- Ventilated suspension system
- Large, high clearance wheels for navigating rough terrain
- Zippered top pocket for easy access to toiletries and passport when you’re going through security
- Clamshell opening for easy packing and unpacking
- Extended handle for extra control of heavier loads
- Mesh hip belt for extra stability when carrying it like a backpack
- Removable hip belt and harness if you need more room
- Just barely fits carry-on requirements. If you fill it to the brim, you might have to check it.
- No external pockets for carrying a water bottle
- No laptop sleeve
- A little bulkier and heavier than other packs on this list due to its heavy-duty nature and large wheels
Dimensions: 21.7 x 14.2 x 9.1 in
Weight: 4.53 lb
Capacity: 42 L – also offered in 75L
Best for: Travel (carry-on and checked)
Another Osprey wheeled backpack, the Osprey Ozone is the slightly smaller and less expensive cousin to the Osprey Sojourn.
This is the better option if you’re going for carry-on only travel since the Ozone is more compact and lightweight.
This rolling travel backpack has smaller wheels than the Ozone, but that also means it’s easier and less bulky to carry as a backpack.
At 42L, this could easily be a go-to piece of luggage with wheels and backpack straps for those long weekends or week-long trips.
The Osprey Ozone is made from durable, abrasion-resistant nylon material and has a lightweight aluminum frame and ergonomic handle.
It also features dual compression straps, sturdy wheels, a rear zippered pocket for dirty clothes, two easily-accessible front zippered pockets to hold toiletries or a passport, and an easy-to-maneuver frame that’s comfortable to roll or wear.
Similar to the Sojourn, this is a backpack suitcase with wheels, with a clamshell opening that allows you to grab your items like you would in a suitcase.
For those familiar with Osprey, you may know that there’s a third popular wheeled Osprey backpack as well – the Osprey Meridian.
The Meridian is also a good carry-on option, but when looking at the Osprey Meridian vs Ozone, I prefer the Ozone for a few reasons.
The Ozone is much more lightweight than the Meridian pack at under 5 lbs compared to over 8lbs for the Meridian – although that’s comparing the 42L Ozone to the 60L Meridian since that’s the only size offered for it.
I will say that the Meridian is meant to be more durable, has fully detachable shoulder and waist straps, and a detachable day pack, which are all nice features.
However, the Ozone has a better suspension system and less bulk to it compared to the Meridian so it’s more comfortable to use as a backpack.
All up, if you’re looking for a backpacker’s backpack with wheels, this is one of the best options on the market.
And you really can’t go wrong with an Osprey bag.
If you think you need something larger than a 42L bag, you can go for their 75L version instead (although it’s too big for carry-on)
And if you’re looking for a good alternative carry-on wheeled backpack that’s not as expensive as an Osprey backpack, I’d recommend going for the 38L Eagle Creek Expanse Carry-On.
- Lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Compact and meets carry-on dimensions for most airlines – especially for domestic US airlines
- Made from durable materials that are abrasion-resistant and water-resistant
- Handle has an ergonomic grip
- Dual compression straps
- Comfortable to wear as a backpack for longer durations
- Easily accessible top pocket for liquids
- Lockable zippers
- Sturdy wheels
- No external pockets to hold a water bottle
- No interior mesh pockets for organizing smaller items
- Handle doesn’t have different levels, it’s either all the way up or down.
Dimensions: 9 x 13.5 x 22 in
Weight: 8.8 lb
Best for: Business travel and carry-on travel
High Sierra is one of the best brands out there for wheeled backpack luggage and their AT3 backpack is no exception when it comes to quality and versatility.
If you’re looking for a rolling backpack for travel that includes a detachable daypack, the AT3 is an ideal option.
This High Sierra rolling backpack features a large main compartment, dual mesh pockets to carry water bottles, a headphones port, inline skate wheels, and an aluminum retractable handle.
The detachable day pack has plenty of pockets and good internal organization, including a smartphone pocket, pen holders, and an attached key chain.
The High Sierra AT3 is also very durable.
It’s made from 900D Duralite and water-resistant tech weave, meaning it can withstand a decent amount of wear and tear.
And it’s a good anti-theft bag since it’s made from ballistic strength nylon, which is hard to cut through.
This bag is designed to be comfortable for long periods of wear.
You’ll find padded shoulder straps and an ergonomic design that helps distribute the weight in the pack evenly.
And this is another wheeled backpack that’s a backpack suitcase combo.
The front compartment has a clamshell opening similar to a suitcase to make it easier to pack and unpack.
This is one of the most versatile wheeled backpacks on this list since the AT3 can technically be turned into three different bags – a wheeled backpack, regular backpack, and a detachable day pack.
If you’re looking for a portable and versatile travel pack with wheels that’s perfect for carry-on travel and professional enough for business trips, the High Sierra AT3 is one of the best options on the market.
- Made from durable, anti-theft materials that can withstand wear and tear
- Versatile – can be turned into three different types of backpacks
- Style is professional enough for business trips
- Comfortable to wear as a backpack for long durations
- Opens like a suitcase for easy packing and unpacking
- Good interior organization with a decent amount of pockets
- Zipper that attaches the day pack is cheaply made and there are sometimes issues with it going off track
- Wheels are fairly small and not great for rough terrain
- Heavy for a carry-on bag
Dimensions: 21.3 x 15.7 x 8.1 in
Weight: 6.7 lb
Best for: Business travel and meetings, college, gaming
By far the best backpack with wheels for business trips, the Everki Atlas is a great professional rolling backpack that’s sleek, lightweight, and well organized.
This carry-on rolling backpack has top-notch organization and dedicated sleeves for your tech gear, including a laptop sleeve that fits up to 17.3″ laptop.
And if you’re not carrying a laptop, you can remove the laptop pouch to make extra room for clothes or other items.
The main compartment unzips fully into a clamshell opening for easy packing and accessibility.
The Everki Atlas business rolling backpack also features a tablet pocket and an RFID-blocking pocket for your credit cards and passport, as well as spaces for keys, water bottles, books, and more.
In terms of comfort, this bag is comfortable to wear for long durations, featuring extra-wide and padded straps and a weight-balancing chest strap.
It’s seamless to turn this versatile backpack into a wheeled bag and vice versa.
The backpack straps can be tucked away in the back flap when you’re not using them.
And the same flap protects your clothes and covers the wheels when you’re carrying it as a backpack.
There’s also a pass-through strap on the back of the bag to make it easy to pair with a larger piece of rolling luggage.
Simply put the handle of the larger bag through the pass-through strap for a secure fit to carry two bags at once.
Finally, the Everki Atlas is made from durable materials, including durable zippers and metal pulls which is a huge plus.
If you’re looking for a stylish and quality carry-on for upcoming business trips, or if you’re looking for a more professional backpack for school, the Everki Atlas is an ideal option.
- Carry-on compliant for both domestic and international airlines
- Good organization, especially for tech gear
- Removable laptop sleeve to make more room for clothes and other items
- Ability to hide wheels or backpack straps for a fully convertible backpack
- Comfortable to wear for long durations
- Has a pass-through strap to carry it on top of larger rolling luggage securely
- Clamshell opening for easy packing and unpacking
- Sleek and professional for business travel
- The handle can be a bit short for anyone over 6′
- Weight distribution makes it slightly slower to roll compared to other bags on this list
- Wheels are small and not good for rough terrain
Dimensions: 19.5 X 9 X 13 in
Weight: 4.9 lb
Capacity: 38L (they also have a 45L option)
Best for: Business travel, college/school, carry-on travel
It’s hard to find a good waterproof rolling backpack these days, most are water-resistant.
So I was excited when I discovered the Matein Wheeled Backpack, especially at its affordable price point.
This convertible rolling backpack is ideal for college or business trips with an organization that’s geared for tech gadgets.
Inside the pack, you’ll find a laptop pouch that holds up to a 15.6″ laptop and a main compartment that can hold 36L of books, papers, clothes, or a combination of things.
The smaller front compartment has various pockets to keep items organized and accessible.
For such an affordable price, this pack is also surprisingly durable.
It has a waterproof bottom panel and corner guards to protect the bag from wear, lockable zippers, rubber wheels, and a durable telescoping handle that can be adjusted to two different heights.
When you’re not using it as a backpack, you can tuck the backpack straps away in a zippered pocket.
The handle can also be tucked away in a zippered top pocket when not in use.
Although this bag doesn’t have the ergonomic design that some of the other backpacks on this list have, it still has breathable and adjustable shoulder straps for comfortable wear.
If you’re looking for a waterproof carry-on rolling bag for work or a wheeled backpack for college, the Matein Wheeled Backpack is a good choice.
And if you’re looking for a slightly larger bag, they offer a bigger version that can hold up to 45L – you can find it here.
- Carry-on compliant for domestic and international airlines
- Somewhat durable, although made from cheaper materials
- Handle has two different heights
- Backpack straps or handle can be tucked away in zippered pockets
- Breathable and adjustable shoulder straps
- Laptop pouch that can hold up to a 15.6″ laptop
- Various pockets and good organization
- Although it’s waterproof, it probably wouldn’t do well in really heavy rain
- Wheels are small and not good for rough terrain
- Not as good of an ergonomic design as other backpacks on this list, not as comfortable to wear as a backpack for long durations
- No exterior compression straps to make the bag more compact when fully packed
- Wheels don’t spin
Dimensions: 13.8 x 9 x 19 in
Weight: 4 lb
Best for: College/school, commuting to work, short business trips
Another affordable small rolling backpack, the Targus Wheeled Backpack is an inexpensive option for school, commuting, and the odd business trip.
There’s not a ton to this backpack, its features are kept simple and streamlined.
Its most prominent feature is its large laptop pouch that can hold up to a 17″ laptop.
The backpack also includes a tablet pocket, but there aren’t many additional pockets for organization.
If you’re using this backpack to commute to work, there’s room in the back of the bag for an extra outfit, including elastic straps to help compress clothes and keep them in place.
In addition to the standard interior features, there are two mesh side pockets – including one that’s zippered for additional security.
There are padded backpack straps for extra comfort, which can be tucked away when they’re not being used.
The wheels can also be hidden when wearing it as a backpack with a velcro cover.
As a bonus, the wheels are in a comfortable position when packed away so they don’t dig into your back when you’re wearing it as a backpack.
With that said, this bag is fairly simple in terms of ergonomic design so it’s not as comfortable to wear for long periods if you’re carrying a lot of weight.
If you want to use this small pack for a short trip, it’s carry-on friendly and can fit in most overhead bins.
Lastly, even though the materials used in this pack are somewhat cheap – which is unsurprising with the price point – it’s mostly waterproof and will do a good job of keeping your things dry.
This is one of the best backpacks with wheels under $100 on the market and versatile enough for school or work.
The Targus Wheeled Backpack is perfect for someone who just wants the basics and who is looking for an inexpensive rolling backpack.
- Carry-on compliant, can fit in most overhead bins
- Mostly waterproof (maybe just avoid heavy rainstorms)
- 17″ laptop pocket
- Easy to hide straps or wheels when converting it
- Area for clothes with compression straps to keep them compact and in place
- Padded backpack straps
- Made from cheap materials
- Not very ergonomic
- Basic design, not too many extra features or pockets
- Laptop pouch is on the front of the main compartment instead of the back, meaning it’s not as protected and the weight distribution isn’t as good
- Small wheels that aren’t good for rough terrain
Dimensions: 21 x 9 x 14 in
Weight: 6.7 lb
Best for: Carry-on travel, business trips, gamers, college
If you’re looking for a quality rolling backpack with a laptop compartment, look no further than the High Sierra Powerglide.
This is one of the best rolling laptop backpacks, and unlike most of the previous packs on this list that have a laptop compartment, this backpack is designed specifically with travel in mind.
One of the best aspects of this bag is its maneuverability.
Whether you’re flying through an airport or rolling across cobblestones in a foreign land, this backpack has a telescoping handle and durably designed wheels that are easy to direct.
Additional features of this wheeled backpack include a media pocket with a headphone port, padded and ergonomically-designed backpack straps that can easily be hidden, and zippered side pockets.
You can also hide the handle when you convert it to a backpack with the zippered top pouch.
Add on to this its large multi-compartment design, extra padded laptop pouch that fits up to a 17″ laptop, front organizer compartment with various pockets, and its durable wheels that can roll over pretty much any terrain, and it’s easy to see why this is one of the best wheeled laptop backpacks right now.
If you’re looking for one of the best travel backpacks with wheels that’s relatively small and affordable, the High Sierra Powerglide is a good option.
This is also an ideal option if you’re looking for a slightly heftier wheeled laptop backpack that can hold a lot of heavy gear comfortably.
- Mostly carry-on compliant for domestic and international airlines, although can be a stretch if it’s packed to the brim
- Protected laptop pouch with plenty of cushion that can hold up to a 17″ laptop
- Easy to maneuver
- Durable wheels that can handle most terrain
- Font organizer compartment
- Good for carrying heavy gear
- Ergonomically-designed backpack straps
- Zippered side pockets
- Looks professional
- Versatile enough for business or leisure travel
- Relatively heavy and bulky for its size
- Wheels can be noisy
- Made from somewhat cheap materials
- Not very water-resistant
- Could have more organization pockets, especially in the main compartment
- Media pocket could be designed better – it’s upside down so things fall out when you open it
Dimensions: 14 x 21 x 8 in
Weight: 8.7 lb
Capacity: Holds up to a 400mm f/2.8, two standard bodies and various other lenses
Best for: Photographers
If you’re a photographer and you’re looking for wheeled backpack luggage to carry around your camera gear, the Think Tank Airport Takeoff 2.0 is hands down the best rolling camera bag on the market right now.
This wheely backpack can hold up to a 400mm f/2.8 lens, two standard camera bodies, and various other lenses and camera accessories in smaller pockets.
With this bag, you can rest assured that your expensive camera gear is protected and secure, easily accessible, and organized.
And it’s not just good for photography gear, this backpack has two front pockets that hold up to a 17″ laptop and 10″ tablet.
There’s also a plushy front pocket to hold your smartphone and glasses.
Another bonus is the pocket and side straps to lock in your tripod if you want to carry it on the bag, a comfortable shoulder harness with integrated backpack straps, and back panel padding for more comfort.
In terms of security, there’s a cable and combination lock that comes with the bag to lock zippers.
Zippers are YKK RC Fuse zippers, meaning they’re durable and waterproof.
Plus, there’s a seam-sealed rain cover included to make sure your gear is fully protected.
And the backpack is made of ballistic nylon, high-density velex, and closed-cell PU foam, making it near impossible to slash with a knife.
This isn’t the lightest wheeled backpack, but if you care more about protecting and organizing expensive camera gear, this is one of the best backpacks you can purchase.
And if the Think Tank backpack is too far out of your budget range, Amazon offers a basic wheeled camera bag that’s a good alternative for beginner photographers – AmazonBasics Convertible Rolling Camera Backpack.
- Carry-on compliant for most domestic and international airlines
- Pockets for all your tech gear, including a 17″ laptop pocket, smaller pockets for camera accessories, and a place to attach your tripod to the bag
- Heavy-duty 80mm wheels that are durable and quiet
- Secure and weatherproof
- Made from high-quality materials
- Lockable zippers that come with locks
- Stylish and looks professional
- Heavy for a carry-on
- Not a versatile bag, can really only be used for photography gear and a few other gadgets
Dimensions: 8 x 14 x 21 in
Weight: 5 lb
Best for: Carry-on travel, business trips, college/school, commuting
If you’re looking for a lightweight rolling backpack, it’s good to find one that’s around five pounds or under.
This Samsonite Wheeled Backpack is an affordable option when it comes to a lightweight rolling backpack and perfect for anyone who just needs the basics.
This pack features ripstop fabric to help protect it from wear and tear.
It’s also designed with contoured straps that have extra padding for more comfort when wearing it as a backpack.
And these straps can be tucked away in a zippered pocket when converting it to a wheeled backpack.
Although the organization of the bag is fairly simple and straightforward, there are a few additional pockets to hold smaller items and a laptop pouch that holds up to a 17″ laptop.
This is the ideal bag for someone who is looking for a lightweight and inexpensive rolling backpack for carry-on travel, business trips, or commuting to work or school.
- Carry-on compliant for domestic and international airlines
- Includes a 17″ laptop sleeve
- Made with ripstop fabric to help protect it from wear and tear
- Durable wheels that handle rough terrain well
- Weight distribution is not always even with it’s packed fully
- Made from cheaper materials
- Doesn’t have a ton of pockets for organization
- Cheap zippers – be mindful to close them properly
Dimensions: 14.6 x 10.2 x 21 in
Weight: 5 lb
Best for: Carry-on travel, adventure travel, business trips, commuting
One of the most durable rolling backpacks that’s carry-on friendly, the Victorinox Vx Sport is one of those backpacks that you can take on any adventure.
Inspired by the design of a Swiss army knife, this backpack is all about versatile functionality.
With the Victorinox Vx Sport, you’ll find multiple protected pockets to keep your items organized and secure – including a laptop pocket with anti-scratch lining that can hold up to a 16″ laptop.
There’s also a 10″ pocket that can hold a tablet, Kindle, or other medium-sized electronics.
Other features of the Victorinox Vx Sport include front zippered pockets that are easily accessible and perfect for cruising through TSA lines, mesh side pockets to hold water bottles, and side compression straps to keep weight stabilized and condensed.
As a bonus, when you convert from rolling luggage to a backpack, there’s a retractable wheel cover that protects the wheels (and your clothes) from dirt.
This is one of the best heavy-duty backpacks with wheels due to its durable nylon materials and inline wheels that can easily roll over rough terrain.
The zippers are smooth and made from quality materials as well.
If you’re looking for a durable wheeled backpack for travel or commuting to work, this is a versatile choice.
It’s by far one of the top wheeled backpacks on the market today for those who are looking for a small, compact, and lightweight option.
- Carry-on compliant for domestic and international airlines – it can even fit under airline seats if it’s not packed too fully
- Lightweight and compact
- Made with durable materials
- Smooth high-quality zippers
- Great tech backpack for keeping your gadgets protected and organized
- Versatile enough for the office or adventure travel
- Stylish and professional
- Wheels can be noisy
- There could be more organization pockets in the front pouch
- Might be too small for some – it can be used for a weekend trip away but not much longer than that
Dimensions: 16 x 9 x 25.6 in
Weight: 8.6 lb
Best for: Travel (checked luggage), carrying heavy gear
Okay, the Gonex Rolling Duffel Bag isn’t technically a wheeled backpack, but it’s a great option if you plan to carry around a lot of heavy gear.
This is one of the best large rolling duffels on the market today with its durable features and its capacity to hold a decent amount of weight.
The Gonex is too big for carry-on travel, but if you care more about being able to carry more things, it’s the ideal piece of checked luggage.
Features of this wheeled duffel include multiple pockets and good organization, quiet wheels that can roll over rough terrain easily, and two compression belts to keep weight centered and condensed.
This bag also has a foldable bottom design that allows you to fold the bottom of the bag when it’s not in use – allowing you to save space when you’re carrying less gear.
And when you just want to carry it as a duffel, the handle can be hidden away in a top zippered pocket.
Lastly, this rolling duffel is made with fairly durable materials, especially at its affordable price point
These include waterproof PVC fabric that’s wear-resistant on the front, quality YKK zippers, and heavy-duty rubber wheels.
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty bag that can hold a lot of gear, the Gonex Rolling Duffel Bag is a great option.
And if you don’t think you need something quite as big as 70L, they also offer a 50L version – you can find it here.
If you prefer going with a more well-known brand, another one of my favorite heavy-duty rolling duffels is The North Face Rolling Thunder.
- Heavy-duty and durable
- Good for carrying heavy gear
- Water-resistant and the front is made from waterproof materials
- Foldable bottom design to help you save space when you’re carrying fewer things
- Converts into a standard duffel when you prefer to carry it
- Quiet rubber wheels that can handle rough terrain
- Two compression belts that keep weight centered
- Quality YKK zippers
- Not carry-on compliant, has to be checked
- Gonex branding is large on the exterior of the bag
- Although it can hold up to 70L, some people find the interior to be smaller than expected
Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 10 in
Weight: 5 lb
Best for: College/school
Looking for a good roller backpack for school?
Although trolley backpacks are sometimes associated with elementary school, they can be great for college as well with the number of heavy textbooks students have to carry around daily.
The classic Jansport Driver 8 is one of the best rolling backpacks for adults who are in school.
It’s everything you’d expect from a Jansport backpack but on wheels!
The simple design of this backpack includes a 15″ laptop sleeve, front organizer pocket, two large main compartments, a retractable handle that can be used at two different heights, and a side mesh water bottle pocket.
And it’s easy to convert it into rolling luggage from a backpack with shoulder straps that can be easily hidden in the back of the pack.
If the Jansport rolling backpack isn’t your thing, another good wheeled backpack for school is the J World New York Sundance Backpack.
- Standard organization for a school backpack – including two main compartments, 15″ laptop sleeve, and a front organizer pocket
- Retractable handle that can be used at two different heights
- Backpack straps that can be easily hidden away in the back panel when not in use
- Good for lugging around heavy textbooks if used as a wheeled bag
- Wheels can be noisy but are easy to change out for a quieter pair if needed
- No compression straps
- Not super comfortable to wear as a backpack if carrying a lot of heavy textbooks, better to use it as a rolling bag
- Zippers can be stiff
Looking for more posts on the best travel gear? Check out these related posts below!
Pin this image for future reference
- Torrey Pines Hiking Guide: Best Trails & What to Know Before You Go - March 3, 2021
- 18 Best Weekend Trips From San Francisco (From a Local) - March 2, 2021
- 5 Best Lake Tahoe Beaches (And What to Know Before You Go) - February 24, 2021