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The 8 Best Rolling Backpacks for Savvy Travelers

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Ashley Rossi

Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

After interning at SmarterTravel, Ashley joined the team full time in 2015. She's lived on three continents, but still never knows where her next adventure will take her. She's always searching for upcoming destination hotspots, secluded retreats, and hidden gems to share with the world.

Ashley's stories have been featured online on USA Today, Business Insider, TripAdvisor, Huffington Post, Jetsetter, and Yahoo! Travel, as well as other publications.

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Rolling backpacks are an ideal luggage item for those who travel light, have back problems, or need to be able to carry their bag at some point during the trip. Equal parts function and convenience, these eight rolling backpacks stand up to busy travel days.

The Best Backpacks with Wheels for All Types of Travelers

Rolling backpacks tend to be more of a cult-favorite luggage type, but I think they’re underutilized in the broader travel community. This style takes the standout features from both rolling and backpack styles of luggage, which come together for a multi-functional masterpiece.

Osprey Farpoint & Fairview Wheeled Travel Pack 36

Osprey farpoint & fairview wheeled travel pack 36.

Osprey has earned its devoted following by consistently creating great backpacks. That expertise translates well into rolling-carry-on form with its Fairview Wheeled Travel Pack for women and Farpoint Wheeled Travel Pack for men. Ultralight at just 5.29 for the 36-liter carry-on model, these bags still manage to pack in plenty of features. The interior has a zippered door-panel pocket and large compression handles, while the exterior is designed with a roomy top and front pockets, a single-tube telescoping handle, and two large wheels that navigate tight spaces easily. Convert the rolling bag to a backpack with just a few zips, and you’ll be treated to Osprey’s signature backpack experience. A tensioned mesh back panel, padded shoulder straps, and a padded hip belt make it ultra-comfortable to carry.

Osprey bags are also finalists in the carry-on category of this year’s Editors’ Choice Awards .

Dimensions: 21.5 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches

Weight: 5.29 pounds

Capacity: Capacity: 36 liters

best roller backpack for travel

Samsonite Modern Utility Convertible Wheeled Backpack

Samsonite modern utility convertible wheeled backpack.

Samonsite’s Modern Utility Convertible Wheeled Backpack looks like a soft sided carry-on, but has stealthy stowaway shoulder straps that turn it into a backpack. It has all the features you love in a backpack—water bottle pocket, laptop sleeve, organizational pockets, easy-access pockets—and easily glides on its dual inboard wheels for when you don’t want to carry it on your back.

Dimensions: 19 inches x 13 inches x 9 inches

Weight: 4.85 pounds

best roller backpack for travel

Kipling Sanaa Metallic Rolling Backpack (Large)

Kipling sanaa metallic rolling backpack (large).

This stylish rolling backpack from Kipling holds more than you’d think. With two outer pockets, a water bottle pocket, and interior organization, you can easily use this as a weekender bag. This rolling backpack is also monogram-able and made of a coated nylon material that’s water resistant.

Dimensions: 18.5 inches x 12.5 inches x 10.75 inches

Weight: 4.2 pounds

best roller backpack for travel

Eagle Creek Expanse Convertible International Carry-on

Eagle creek expanse convertible international carry-on.

Eagle Creek’s best-selling wheeled backpack holds up to rougher terrain with bumper protection, side compression straps, treaded wheels, and heavy-duty wheel housing. The bag’s security features include zipper that lock and have attached toggles. Organizational features like a secondary compartment for gear, interior compression straps, and a large interior zippered pocket make packing a breeze.

Dimensions: 21.25 inches x 13.75 inches x 8 inches

Weight: 6.1 pounds

High Sierra Endeavor Business Wheeled Backpack

High sierra endeavor business wheeled backpack.

High Sierra’s Endeavor wheeled backpack is made with the business traveler in mind. Features like a separate laptop compartment, side water bottle holder, tablet pocket, and plenty of exterior organizational pockets make accessing your essentials easy. Plus, the inline skate wheels allow for stress-free maneuvering. Padded shoulder straps and a retractable handle add to this bag’s top-notch qualities.

Dimensions: 21 inches x 14.25 inches x 9.5 inches

Weight: 4 pounds

Capacity: 46.6 liters

best roller backpack for travel

High Sierra AT7 Outdoor Rolling Backpack

High sierra at7 outdoor rolling backpack.

The standout feature of the High Sierra AT7 Outdoor Rolling Backpack is that it’s three bags in one: a day pack, a wheeled bag, and a backpack. Other notable features include inline skate wheels, hidden backpack straps, and interior compression straps.

Dimensions: 22 inches x 14 inches x 8 inches

Weight: 7.5 pounds

Capacity: 50 liters

Kathmandu Hybrid 50L Trolley

Kathmandu hybrid 50l trolley.

Kathmandu’s Hybrid Trolley rolling backpack has comfortable carrying features like a fold out harness and padded straps. The bag also earns points for being durable and lightweight, plus it’s compatible with Kathmandu’s Gluon Beyond pack . Lockable zippers, interior pockets, sleek design, and compression straps add even more value.

It’s also available in a smaller, carry-on size (32-liter) or larger (70-liter) bag.

Dimensions: 27.5 inches x 11.8 inches x 14.6 inches

Weight: 6.9 pounds

best roller backpack for travel

More from SmarterTravel:

  • 7 Modern Travel Backpacks That Will Update the Way You Travel
  • 10 Best Personal Items for Spirit Airlines’ Baggage Limit
  • 6 Hybrid Duffel Backpacks That Will Change the Way You Pack

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The 12 Best Rolling Backpacks in 2023 [School, Work, Travel]

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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 63 U.S. States Visited: 9

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Keri Stooksbury


Countries Visited: 44 U.S. States Visited: 28

The 12 Best Rolling Backpacks in 2023 [School, Work, Travel]

Things To Consider With Rolling Backpacks

1. rolling backpack with a built-in workspace, 2. premium quality rolling backpack for travel, 3. a rolling bag with students in mind, 4. ergonomically and sleekly designed, 5. great at keeping tech safe, 6. a rolling bag designed for kids, 7. a perfect bag for older kids, 8. excellent choice for business use, 9. a great rolling backpack that won’t break the bank, 10. guaranteed to keep you organized, 11. a big brand you can rely on, 12. ergonomically-designed backpack for comfort, final thoughts.

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

Between school, work, and travel, people are always on the go, often carrying books, laptops, and other essentials with them. Having a shoulder bag or traditional duffle can cause back pain, which is where rolling backpacks come in.

A rolling backpack allows you the space to be able to carry everything you might need without any discomfort.

A rolling backpack should give you enough room to carry anything from books and computers to overnight travel essentials. Not all rolling backpacks are made equally, however. So before you buy one for yourself, here are a few things to consider:

Eagle Creek Luggage

Most rolling backpacks follow similar designs, however, you can divide them into 2 more specific categories:

  • Unstructured Design: These backpacks are typically made of a soft fabric. They don’t have a structure of their own and look like traditional backpacks, just with wheels. If they’re empty, the bag will cave in or fold over.
  • Structured Design: These are backpacks that are “hard” in their design. They have a firm structure though they’re covered in fabric. Typically these bags will have the same shape and structure, whether they’re empty or full.

You should consider what sized backpack you’ll need before you make a purchase. For example, if you use your rolling backpack to carry office essentials, you’ll likely need a smaller bag than if you use your bag for overnight travel.

Smaller bags are ideal for short commutes or for carrying basic necessities or school supplies. Larger backpacks are ideal for traveling or for carrying larger quantities of items.

Type of Wheels

Travel Backpack Wheels 2

Since their ability to roll is the key characteristic of rolling backpacks, it’s important to make sure the wheels on the bag you’re looking at fit your needs.

If you plan to roll your bag on the street or up and down stairs, you’ll want to make sure your bag’s wheels are large, durable, and, preferably, rubber, as they’ll tolerate more wear and tear .

Instead, if you’ll primarily be rolling your bag on smooth, flat floors, then you can opt for a bag with smaller wheels that are made of less durable material.

Osprey zippers

Once again, the reason you’re purchasing the bag will determine the backpack material you should opt for.

Softer and lightweight materials will be best if you plan to carry or wear your bag from time to time. A sturdy material will instead offer more protection if you intend to almost exclusively use your backpack like a trolley.

Bottom Line: You should also consider waterproof or water-resistant options if you plan to take your bag to places where it will be exposed to the elements, such as on camping trips.

Type of Protection

Bags that are designed for technology will have more padding and different pockets to protect your electronics . In comparison, bags designed for school supplies will likely have fewer protective compartments.

The 12 Best Rolling Backpacks

Not all rolling backpacks are designed the same. Countless options and little design differences can make it difficult to choose which bag is right for you.

We’ve done the legwork for you and compiled this list of the best rolling backpacks currently on the market. We’ve looked at the pros, cons, and all the other essentials you should consider when deciding which backpack you should buy.

BEST OVERALL: Targus Compact Rolling Backpack

Targus Compact Rolling Backpack

It’s becoming increasingly common for people who work in offices to forgo a briefcase for something a little more functional, like a backpack. If that sounds like you, then the compact rolling backpack by Targus is a great option.

The backpack has 7 compartments to keep things organized, including a laptop pocket. Thus, you can carry everything you need to transport between home and the office. It even has a pocket suitable for clothing for short work trips.

When empty, the bag weighs just over 2 pounds, making it a lightweight option that can be used for daily commutes and business trips. The bag functions as a full workstation, so it’s been designed to allow you to do business on the go.

What We Like:

  • Multi-purpose

What We Don’t Like:

  • The clothing compartment is small and could cause wrinkles

Hot Tip: If you’re in need of a safe way to transport your tech, consider our guide to the best laptop backpacks to buy for travel .

UPGRADE PICK: Samsonite MVS Rolling Backpack

Samsonite MVS Rolling Backpack

If you’re looking for an all-in-one rolling backpack you can use for work, school, and travel, this option from Samsonite is one to consider. The bag is padded and felt-lined. So, your valuables are protected, and you can carry the bag comfortably if you decide to use its back straps.

The bag also has multiple zipped pockets to easily keep yourself organized. It even has a zippered water bottle pocket, so you don’t have to worry about your bottle falling out or getting lost.

The bag is spacious enough to carry a full day’s worth of books as well as a computer and any other work or school essentials you might need. You don’t have to worry about juggling multiple bags.

  • Ergonomically designed
  • The price point

MATEIN Rolling Backpack

MATEIN Water Resistant College Wheeled Laptop Backpack

Students have to carry a lot of supplies. Between books, laptops, and other equipment, it can be heavy carrying it all on your back. That’s why MATEIN’s rolling backpack is a good option.

This bag helps students organize everything they need without causing back or shoulder problems. It’s got enough space to carry a 15.6-inch laptop, which is more than enough for most students.

It also comes with multiple pockets protected with water-resistant zippers. You can easily walk in the rain without worrying about your books or tech getting wet and damaged.

There’s even a compartment designed specifically for clothing, so you can take this bag on overnight trips or as a carry-on bag without wrinkles.

  • Water-resistant
  • Becomes oversized when completely full

Kipling Zea 15″ Laptop Rolling Backpack

Kipling is a leader in bags and luggage, and its rolling backpacks are no different. This backpack is made of durable polyester, meaning you don’t have to worry about rips or tears. You can have the peace of mind that your bag will last through years of regular use.

The bag is also water-resistant to keep your personal items safe, whether you’re carrying tech or important documents. When empty, the bag is less than 5 pounds, putting it on the lighter end for rolling backpacks.

You can also easily maneuver the bag thanks to its 4 wheels which each smoothly rotates at 360 degrees. The bag can hold up to 18 liters of gear, so you’ll be able to carry whatever you need.

  • Carry-on-sized
  • Wheels can damage on rough surfaces

Targus Mobile Tech Traveler

Targus Mobile Tech Traveler EcoSmart Rolling Backpack

This extra large backpack from Targus is the perfect option if you’re looking for a bag that will keep your tech safe from harm. It has a semi-solid clamshell design, so your personal items have a nice buffer against any bumps or damage.

The bag is also expandable, and you can adjust it between a 35- and 40-liter capacity. That means you don’t have to worry about damaging anything by over-stuffing your backpack or juggling multiple bags.

You can easily convert the bag between a traditional backpack and a rolling trolley as well. It’s also extremely lightweight, coming in at under 3 pounds when it’s empty, making it easy to travel with.

  • Made of recycled material
  • Shows wear and tear

Tilami Kids Rolling Backpack 18 inch Boys and Girls Laptop Backpack

Tilami Kids Rolling Backpack

If you’re in the market for a good rolling backpack for the kid(s) in your life, Tilami has an excellent option for you.

This backpack option was designed specifically for modern-day kids. That means you get the practicality of a heavy-duty bag that’s good for tech and will keep items safe. However, you also get an ergonomic design that’s perfect for walking down school hallways.

The bag comes with 4 pockets to help young students stay organized, all of which are protected by a smooth-glide but durable zipper. There’s also a mesh bottle pocket. While the bag is a rolling backpack, you can easily cover the wheels and use it as a traditional book bag as well.

  • Numerous design options
  • Won’t fit some lockers

J World New York Sundance Rolling Backpack Girl Boy Roller Bookbag

J World New York Sundance Rolling Backpack

Teens who are looking for a rolling backpack to make carrying supplies easier will love this model from J World New York. Kids today have to carry not just books but laptops and tablets as well. That means they need a backpack that will keep their precious tech safe.

This bag has a laptop pocket that’s padded and protected. Unlike other bags, this option is large enough to also hold multiple books, notebooks, and more.

The telescopic handle can also lock at multiple heights, so it can last years as your child grows. In fact, its tallest height is suitable for people who are 6 foot 3 inches tall. Each bag also has reflective tape in its design, so it’s safe to use at night.

  • Quiet wheels
  • The straps aren’t as durable as the rest of the backpack

High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Laptop Backpack

High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Laptop Backpack

People who are looking for a bag that is just as comfortable as a traditional backpack as it is as a rolling option will love this High Sierra design.

The bag is made out of lightweight, fully-padded material. So not only will it keep your items safe, but it will also be more comfortable to carry. The wheels and handle can also be hidden when not in use for extra comfort.

The bag has a large capacity, so you can keep everything you need organized. However, if you need to carry more supplies with you, the bag is equipped with a triangle clip you can use for that purpose. The bag also has a reflective strip for low-light use.

  • Hideaway wheels
  • Zippers could be more robust

Hot Tip: Check out our detailed guide on the best travel backpacks for men and women for options to carry on or check.

Rockland Double Handle Rolling Backpack

Rockland Double Handle Rolling Backpack

Rolling backpacks can get expensive. If you’re looking for an option that’s budget-friendly, this bag by Rockland is the way to go. This bag is affordable without giving up performance.

The bag is large enough to fit anything you might need for a day at work or school. However, it’s also been designed to be useful for short overnight trips as well. The bag has a plastic stand to keep it from tipping over, so you don’t have to worry about balancing it just to try to keep your items safe.

It’s also got comfortable mesh straps for traditional backpack use and a telescopic handle to use the wheels. The wheels themselves will glide smoothly on most surfaces without any issues.

  • Multiple zippered pockets
  • Not very padded

Everest Deluxe Wheeled Backpack

Everest Deluxe Wheeled Backpack

If you hate backpacks that ruin your organization, consider this option from Everest. This bag has numerous zippered pockets of different sizes, so you will always know where everything is.

The bag has easy-gliding wheels that allow you to hurry down halls and sidewalks. However, if you need both hands free, you can simply wear the bag comfortably on your shoulders, thanks to its padded straps.

The bag offers extra protection to your items thanks to its compression straps that will keep your things from shifting around. The bag is also water-resistant and breathable. Not only will your personal items be protected from rain and water splashes, but also from humidity build-up. There’s no need to worry about mildew.

  • Super spacious
  • Seams aren’t reenforced

JanSport Driver 8

JanSport Driver 8 Rolling Backpack

If you want a trusty rolling backpack, you can depend on JanSport has you covered with its Driver 8 bag. JanSport has made a name for itself in the backpack world, which includes its rolling bags.

This bag is made of 100% water-resistant and durable polyester . So no matter the weather conditions, you can use this backpack without any worries.

The bag also comes equipped with 3 zippered pockets to keep you organized and keep your stuff safe. You can also take this bag along on any adventures you go on since it’s small enough to count as a piece of carry-on luggage.

JanSport is also known for its eye-catching designs. You have multiple color and pattern choices available to suit your personal style.

  • Great padding
  • Noisy wheels

EVERKI Atlas Wheeled Laptop Backpack

EVERKI Atlas Wheeled Laptop Backpack

Comfort is one of the most important aspects of a backpack, and this option from EVERKI keeps that in mind.

Being able to organize your items without overstuffing or damaging anything is more than possible with this bag. You can easily adjust the main pocket to fit laptops that measure between 13 and 17 inches. You also have 4 other zipped pockets and multiple other compartments to keep yourself organized.

If you want to use the bag like a traditional backpack, you can do so comfortably, thanks to its padded straps. You can also use the chest strap to make sure the bag’s weight is evenly distributed to reduce strain.

Unlike other bags, this option also has nearly-silent wheels , so you can roll it without creating much noise.

  • The premium price

The idea of what an ideal rolling backpack is will change depending on your personal needs. While most bags will have straps and a handle to allow for different transport options, other features can vary.

You can find waterproof bag options, bags with extra compartments, and bags designed to carry tech products safely. Hopefully, this list will help you narrow down your decision about which backpack is the right option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are rolling backpacks worth it.

If you suffer from back pain or you have to carry multiple books or pieces of tech, then a rolling backpack might be worth it for you. They offer both hands-free transport when you use their shoulder straps and an easier, less tiring way to carry weight when rolled.

How much can rolling backpacks carry?

Rolling backpacks can have varying carrying capacities. Smaller backpacks, or those designed for children, may just be able to hold a few books. Larger backpacks are usually designed to also function as an airplane carry-on or travel bags. Different bags will also have different compartment layouts, which can also affect the amount they can carry.

What can you use rolling backpacks for?

Rolling backpacks are multi-purpose. Most people likely think about their uses in schools, however, they can suit different needs. They’re often used as replacements for traditional briefcases now that most people take computers with them to work. They’re also used for travel purposes and as overnight bags.

Can I add wheels to my backpack?

You may wonder if you can convert a traditional backpack into a rolling bag if you already have one. However, this isn’t recommended. While it might not be impossible to do, traditional bags aren’t designed to be wheeled. They won’t have a proper handle, and their structure may not be suitable to be rolled.

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About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.


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Home » Gear » Best Backpack With Wheels

14 BEST Backpacks With Wheels: (UPDATED 2024)

The more observant amongst you will probably have noticed that traditional backpacks, like submarines and hamburgers, usually don’t have wheels. But what if they did?! Well a backpacks with wheels would allow users to both carry their baggage on their backs or pull it effortlessly behind them – the best of both worlds!

Sometimes, it’s just not possible to use a wheeled suitcase, while at other times, nothing could be better than shrugging that pack off your shoulders and rolling it behind you. Yes, I have been there.

Well, having a rolling backpack with wheels is ALL about convenience in the ever-changing world of travel. And besides, these days we’re all about the hybrids aren’t we? Hybrid cars, hybrid electronics and hybrid backpacks!  Backpacks with wheels can be an absolute blessing. But which rolling backpack is best for your particular needs?

Well I will tell you. I tried and tested a bunch of them and so I could bring together my round-up of the top 12 backpacks with wheels, providing you with all the details you need to make the right choice!

Quick Answer: The Best Backpacks with Wheels

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  • Osprey Fairview Wheeled Travel Pack – Best Overall Backpack With Wheels
  • Nomatic Carry on Pro – Best Wheeled Luggage For Digital Nomads
  • Hynes Eagle Travel Wheeled Backpack – Best Backpack with Wheels for Adventurers
  • Eagle Creek Tarmak XE4 – Best Carry On Backpack with Wheels
  • Victorinox Vx Sports Cadet Backpack – Best Wheeled Backpack for Hikers 
  • Osprey Farpoint 65 liter – Best Wheeled Backpack for International Travel
  • Samsonite Rewind – Best Lightweight Backpack with Wheels
  • Karabar Aragon Overnight Wheeled Backpack – Best Wheeled Backpack for Business Travelers

Osprey Fairview 36 Wheeled Travel Pack

Osprey Fairview 36 Wheeled Travel Pack

  • Price: > $300
  • > Good for long-term travel
  • > Versatile

best roller backpack for travel

Hynes Eagle Travel Wheeled Backpack

  • Price: > $129
  • > Perfect carry on size

Eagle Creek Load Warrior

Eagle Creek Tarmac XE4

  • Price: > $359
  • > 4Ibs 14oz
  • > Expands to almost double its size

Victorinox Vx Sports Cadet Backpack

Victorinox Vx Sports Cadet Backpack

  • Price: > $182
  • > Dedicated laptop sleeve

best roller backpack for travel

Osprey Farpoint

  • Price: > $320
  • > 6.174 lbs (65L version)
  • > Available in 80l size

Samsonite Rewind

Samsonite Rewind

  • Price: > $$$
  • > Lightweight backpack on wheels
  • > Integrated rain cover

Karabar Aragon Overnight Wheeled Backpack

Karabar Aragon Overnight Wheeled Backpack

  • Price: > $130
  • > Padded laptop compartment
  • > Internal divisions to help keep your kit organized


Wheeled backpacks are kind of a niche product and are not for everybody. There is definitely a dedicated and vibrant market for them but there will never become as ubiquitous as conventional backpacks.

Let’s look at the Pros and Cons of wheeled backpacks as a concept, before we get into the nitty gritty of competing the individual packs to one another.

  • Versatile – functions as a backpack and a suitcase
  • Can carry heavier loads
  • Perfect for airports and city streets
  • Not suitable for hiking
  • Wheels are a point of failure

best roller backpack for travel

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Nomatic Carry-On Pro

Nomatic Carry On Pro

Want to skip the backpack concept altogether in favor of the best-wheeled luggage on the market? Meet the Nomatic Carry On Pro.

The Carry-On Pro is a fully-featured roller suitcase built with the modern traveler in mind. Minimalist and short-term travelers will appreciate all of the sexy organizational pockets and straps for clothing, including a dedicated electronics compartment dubbed the “tech case”. The tough-as-nails suitcase exterior also features a customizable locking system that will keep out any potential thieves.

This suitcase does require a steep investment, which is the only major drawback I can find. Also, if you are seriously set upon on a backpack suitcase combo then this is not for you.

For me, one of the real stand out elements for us was the organisational features on this bag. Being able to separate each side with zippable mesh allows you to keep items like clean and dirty clothes separate. It also has additional zippable pockets on the front too which came in super useful.

  • Perfect carry on size – and lockable for extra security
  • Can survive impacts from a sledgehammer – so yes, very durable
  • Top of the line silent Hinomoto wheels
  • Excellent organizational features
  • Too small for multi-week holidays (unless you are a true minimalist).
  • Need something bigger? Check out the full-sized  Nomatic Check-In Pro

Is the Nomatic Carry-On Pro for Me?

If you are looking for ONE suitcase that will last you a decade or more there is no better option than the Carry-On Pro on the market right now.

Nomatic has been a major player in the travel gear space for a few years now and we here at the Broke Backpacker are huge fans of the quality products and innovations they are putting out! We have being using these packs for years and have tested them out in all number of situations – in fact this pack performed so well for us in Barcelona that some swine was unable to resist the urge to steal it….

Want to learn more about this badass roller suitcase? Check out my full-length Nomatic Carry-On Pro review .

best roller backpack for travel

One of the main reasons you should invest in a backpack with wheels/backpack suitcase combo is for convenience. Well, this backpack takes convenience to a whole new level with the ability to attach a day pack to the front if needed. It’s perfect for backpackers looking to day the weight off their shoulders every now and then.

With this backpack suitcase with wheels, you will have a daypack, backpack, and rolling luggage all in one! The attachable “daypack” (sold separately) is a great design and when utilised is pretty much all you need for a backpacking trip.

A few more great features include a padded top and side handles, compression straps, and a handle that hides away nicely! Storage is pretty good too, there are multiple compartments including a very roomy and spacious main compartment that opens like a suitcase. Osprey makes a few of the best rolling backpacks on the market but this is the best pick.

  • Great for long-term travel
  • Ability to attach day pack
  • Heavy! Over 8 Lbs.
  • Not carry-on size

Is the Osprey Fairview 36 for me?

This one feels nice to the touch, the handle feels good to hold and the wheels roll nicely. It’s a delight pack and unpack and after using it for a few months, it was still in ‘good as new shape’. If you want a backpack with wheels that is convenient, comfortable and able to hold up in multiple situations, then you should invest in this backpack.

What I really like about this backpack, is the ability to attach my Osprey day pack; it’s one of the features that really make this bag a great hybrid for backpacker who wants the best backpack with wheels.

best roller backpack for travel

This 42 Liter rolling backpack is perfect for international travel, especially digital nomads with the detachable sleeve for a 17 inch laptop. We love how this sleeve can be attached in a number of positions depending on your needs.

Plus, it’s probably the coolest looking backpack with wheels – something I haven’t said since the fourth grade! A few of its awesome features include multiple compartments for all your clothes and other items, the top quick stash pocket, multiple grab handles, and treaded off-road wheels so you can roll this bag on challenging terrain!

I really love how this backpack meets carry on restrictions too. This backpack was designed and created for adventurers, so you know it’s going to last use and abuse for years.

  • Perfect carry on size
  • Weatherproof and extremely durable
  • Tuck Away Wheels Cover
  • Tons of pockets and compartments
  • Little bit unsteady
  • Small wheels

Is the Hynes Eagle Travel Wheeled Backpack for me?

We think this is the most durable backpack with wheels available. It can handle any and all-weather and terrain you throw at it, but it might be overkill if you aren’t going on adventures in South America and Africa!

Get this backpack if you want a sleek, beautiful rolling backpack to keep your things safe. If you’re just doing average urban travel, check out our next recommendation instead!

When our testers got their mitts on this bad boy they absolutely loved the rugged material the bag was made from. Being the adventurers we are we were also impressed by how durable the bag was when exposed to the elements and difficult outdoor terrain. If you’re looking for the ultimate hiking backpack with wheels, this is it.

Osprey Farpoint 65 Wheeled travel pack

best roller backpack for travel

One of the larger of the Osprey wheeled range, we’ve chosen the Osprey Farpoint 65 Wheeled travel pack as one of our best-wheeled backpacks for international travel not only for its roominess but also its additional helpful travel-friendly features.

The high clearance level for the slimline wheels makes it possible to roll seamlessly over the majority of surfaces, while this backpack comes not only with comfortable shoulder straps but with a padded hip belt too!

Grab handles on the top and side make it easy for anyone – from baggage handlers to hotel porters – to lift, while compression straps help stabilize the load. If that’s not enough, a zippered top pocket is ideal for easy-access items.

  • High wheel clearance
  • 65-liter capacity
  • Good-looking design
  • Additional grab handles
  • May require additional rain cover
  • Not carry-on compatible
  • Not for adventure travel

Is the Osprey Farpoint 65 Wheeled travel pack for me?

When you’re heading off on an international trip, you’re likely to need a greater capacity backpack with wheels then you would on a day to day basis, such as that offered by the Osprey Farpoint 65 Wheeled travel pack. Not just a larger-sized backpack with wheels, the Osprey Farpoint 65 Wheeled also has some great additional features, such as the padded hip belt and zippered top pocket.

I took this to Goa and let me tell now, the streets are not exactly intended for carrying wheeled backpacks along making it a particularly hard test – but the Osprey Farpoint 65 Wheeled held its own and showed no sign of damage after months of life.

In this case for me, the wheels were the area of the case I really wanted to put through its paces. I was impressed by how well they took a beating and how smooth they were over challenging surfaces. Of course, the ability to throw backpack luggage with wheels on your back when things get super rough is the main selling point and I can confirm the transition was just as comfortable as my traditional pack.

OIWAS Backpack

best roller backpack for travel

Not only is the OIWAS Backpack with Wheels a phenomenal backpack with wheels, but it is also carry-on compatible with plenty of major airlines.

What’s more, the backpack is just as suited on a weekend break as it is at the office, so it’s ideal for business trips or saving money by only having to buy one bag for both work and play. Being carry-on friendly means you can ditch the secondary daypack and bring it all in one.

Its gentle styling means the OIWAS Backpack is just as suitable for business travel as it is for a sightseeing trip, which makes this backpack with wheels extremely versatile! The super durable material means that it will last years of commuting all over the world!

  • Wheeled backpack with lots of organisation
  • Hidden handle zip
  • Suitable for business and vacation travel
  • Durable materials
  • Weighs 10 lbs
  • Carry-on size might be small for some
  • A bit fiddly to transition from bag to roller

Is the OIWAS Backpack for me?

The OIWAS Backpack takes the crown as our overall best backpack with wheels because of its fantastic features and ultimate versatility. Not only is it a backpack for travel, but also a business bag too – so it works for casual or business travel.

If you’re looking for a good all-around backpack (and more) with wheels, you need to look no further than the OIWAS Backpack!

One of our team took this to the streets Lisbon recently and confirmed that this travel backpack with wheels was a lifesaver on all those steps! A stand-out feature was the separate top section of the pack that can be accessed without having to go into the main pack. It’s handy for things like your phone, wallet or passport.

Eagle Creek Load Warrior

When it comes to a backpack with wheels that meets the requirements of aircraft carry-ons, you can’t get much better than the Gear Warrior 34L.

For carry-on functionality, the 22-inch backpack comes with a very decent 34-liter capacity, but should you find your travels leave you needing more space, zipper expansion will give you an additional overall capacity! Designed to be durable and survive the rigors of air travel, the Load Warrior is constructed using tough ripstop nylon, with extra reinforcement in areas known to take the most wear and tear.

There are plenty of pockets to keep smaller items from getting lost, and even a divider to keep clean and dirty items separate inside.

  • Carry-on compatible
  • Expands to almost double its size
  • Reinforced corners
  • A good number of pockets in addition to the main compartment
  • Not a rigid case
  • Water repellent but not waterproof
  • Single-strut handle
  • No RFID-blocking technology

Is the Eagle Creek Load Warrior for me?

Built to survive the outdoors, the Eagle Creek Load Warrior is at home in boutique hotels or the first-class section of an aircraft.

Compatible with aircraft overhead compartments, and with reinforced corners to help it last as long as possible, the Load Warrior is sure to become your go-to carry-on!

Our team loved how roomy this carry on backpack with wheels felt without being too heavy. They remarked that the design actually allows for far more storage than many of the other heavier cases. This was aided by the expandable compartments that make the bag feel super versatile.

best roller backpack for travel

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Victorinox Vx Sports Cadet Backpack

Coming from the makers of the Swiss Army Knife, you won’t be surprised by the durability and multi-functionality of the Victorinox Vx Sports Cadet backpack with wheels. It works for the modern hiker , who is just as likely to need a laptop as a pair of boots, the Sports Cadet has a dedicated padded sleeve for laptops with screens of up to 16 inches.

There’s a retractable wheel cover to prevent the spread of dust and dirt from the wheels when they’re not in use, and compression straps to keep all your kit in position, whether on the hiking trail or in the airport departure lounge.

Rounding things off is a good number of separate zippered pouches for smaller items. If you’re looking for a wheeled hiking backpack that still wouldn’t look out of place on a business trip, then this is the one!

  • Dedicated laptop sleeve
  • Retractable wheel cover
  • Zippered pockets
  • Only laptops up to 17” fit in a padded sleeve
  • Smaller wheels may struggle on rough ground
  • Just one size available
  • Soft-shell design

Is the Victorinox Vx Sports Cadet backpack with wheels for me?

This durable and well-styled backpack with wheels by Victorinox is, to our mind, the best currently on offer for hikers.

A retractable wheel cover means you can hide away the slimline wheels when you know you’re not going to need them, while the padded laptop sleeve means you won’t ever have to worry about your tech – no matter how rough the trail becomes!

Our testers just loved the quality feel of this rolling hiking backpack and described it as Swiss ingenuity at its best! Well, we can’t argue with that because everything from the smoothness of the high-quality zippers to the durability of the wheels feels premium.

best roller backpack for travel

Now, you  could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.

So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card!  REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉

Samsonite Rewind

The wheels and retractable handles that come part and parcel of a backpack with wheels means that these bags are invariably more cumbersome than their non-wheeled counterparts. That said, there are still some excellent lightweight backpacks with wheels out there to choose from, of which the Samsonite Rewind is perhaps the pick of the crop.

There’s an integrated rain cover to keep all your kit protected from the weather, a dedicated laptop compartment to keep your prized machine secure, and compression straps to hold everything in place whatever you find yourself doing.

Weighing just 2.1 kg when empty, this soft-shell bag is largely made up of tough polyester durable material and has a capacity of 30 liters.

The Samsonite brand is a popular choice and I feel that this suitcase backpack with wheels lived up to the brands high reputation. I loved just how light the pack felt even when fully loaded whilst still retaining that characteristic Samsonite sturdy and tough feel.

  • Lightweight backpack on smooth wheels
  • Integrated rain cover
  • Dedicated laptop compartment
  • Made from tough polyester
  • Not as light as a backpack without wheels
  • 5-liter capacity may be too small for some
  • Laptop compartment fits machines no larger than 16”
  • No hip belt

Is the Samsonite Rewind for me?

When the need for a lightweight backpack with wheels is your primary concern, it’s difficult to beat the 2 kg Samsonite Rewind. For that weight, you get a backpack with a capacity of 32.5 liters, a dedicated compartment laptop pocket for laptops up to 16”, and compression straps too!

Solgaard Carry On Closet 2.0

best backpacks with wheels

Ok, so this smooth wheeled suitcase is in fact not a backpack, BUT , it is such a neat product idea that I could not keep it off of this list.

Hailed as one of the most practical wheeled luggage designs of all time, the Carry on Closet 2.0 is the perfect unit for busy business travelers looking to add a bit of order to an already crazy schedule.

As the name suggests, the Carry on Closet features an expandable shelving system that makes packing, access to your stuff, and general organization much more streamlined.

There are a total of six different shelves to work with and compression straps to help secure all of the contents. The shelving system is also removable in case you are the kind of travleer who prefers packing everything into the main compartment instead.

The exterior design of the Carry on Closet is sleek, modern, and tough looking and has interesting security features including a built in lock and unbreakable polycarbonate shell.

Our testers were pleasantly surprised by this suitcase. Let’s be honest, sometimes these things can be a bit of a gimmick that in reality aren’t all that practical. But qudos to Solgaard because the closet design actually works wonders especially if you like to keep all your gear organised. The material also feels sturdy enough to withstand proper usage too.

  • Unique shelving system is the undeniable highlight
  • Can be integrated with Solgaard’s solar charging system ( Solar Bank  sold separately)
  • Comes in two sizes based on carrying needs.
  • Stylish and tough as nails.
  • Heavy (9 lbs when empty).
  • Not factually a wheeled backpack.
  • Too small for extended trips
  • The closet can decrease the amount of clothing you can actually pack.

Is the Solgaard Carry On Closet 2.0 for me?

If you find yourself hopping between cities for 2-3 days at a time and want a user friendly packing solution, the Solgaard Carry on Closet was pretty much designed exactly for people like you. There is a reason why Time Magazine called it the best travel invention of 2018. For international trips stretching out more than three days though, I’d consider bringing an additional business bag . Wheeled suitcases are never going to be super cool, but Solgaard has probably come the closest of any company to fitting that description.

Karabar Aragon Overnight Wheeled Backpack

Why is the Karabar Aragon Overnight Wheeled Backpack great for business travelers? First and foremost, its plain black design won’t stand out in an office or conference hall. But more than that, this backpack with wheels is incredibly functional for business travel.

For instance, it contains many internal compartments of different sizes, meaning there’s a space for everything – from your laptop and tablet computer (in padded sleeves) to A4-sized files, smartphone, and keys. With a sensibly-sized capacity of 40 liters and weight of just under 5.7lbs, there’s enough space for a night away from home.

Our testers particularly loved how smooth the handle was when popping the bag up and down. It means quick transitions from wearing the pack on your bag on a train to rolling it across the station. Experienced travelers know the stress of messing around with your bags on a crowded platform!

  • Looks right for the business world
  • Padded laptop compartment
  • Internal divisions to help keep your kit organized
  • Locking zippers
  • 40-liter capacity may be a little small for some
  • Not fully waterproof
  • Not for outdoor adventures
  • Fits laptops up to 16”

Is the Karabar Aragon Overnight Wheeled Backpack for me?

When you’re traveling for business, it’s just as important to look the part as it is to act the part, and using the Karabar Aragon Overnight Wheeled Backpack will certainly help. Its relatively plain, black appearance is the perfect start, while the internal compartments will keep you organized and efficient however long your days on the job.

Osprey Daylite 40 Liters

Osprey Daylite Carry-On Wheeled Duffel 40

Is the Osprey Fairpoint Wheeled too big for you? Do you want a high-quality Osprey backpack with wheels to handle all of your travels?

Osprey’s Daylite 40L might just be your travelling chameleon! This backpack is great as a carry-on. I like the padded handles and internal compression straps to keep your things organized. The best part about this backpack is its weight. It weighs so little that it’s hard to believe it’s so durable. Wheels are also good quality!

Speaking of the wheels, they were a real stand out feature for me. They’re lightweight, smooth and durable. But if you do happen to wear them out, well a great feature is that they are easily replaceable which makes this bag one for the long haul.

  • Carry On to most flights
  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Not as big as Sojourn

Is the Osprey Daylite 40 liter for me?

This is a good backpack that is compliant for many carry-on requirements. This backpack is for you if you want a backpack with a comfortable and high-quality backpack.

While the Sojourn is great, we like that you’re more likely to carry this sized bag on your back as it is one of the lightest backpacks on this list! That said, we’re still a fan of the Osprey Meridian a bit more if you can afford it! The Ozone beats the Meridian when it comes to price!

High Sierra XBT Wheeled Laptop Backpack

best roller backpack for travel

This is an affordable backpack that ticks off all the boxes. It is easy to maneuver with its smooth rolling corner-mounted wheels. It’s also lightweight, and features plenty of internal and external pockets for easy organisation.

We like that there are two main compartments and across them both is a compression strap to keep things tight. The front compartment is great for keeping things close to hand like your bus pass or city maps whilst everything behind it is super secure.

All in all, this bag will get the job done, and get you from point A to point B; however, it’s not the highest quality roller backpack on this list nor do any features set it apart from the rest of the bags. That said, its price is hard to beat!

Our testers loved this budget option and the fact that it still came with a padded laptop compartment, something our team takes very seriously! In fact, they said for such a well-priced bag their expensive equipment felt safe and secure.

  • Quality is so-so but good for the price

Is the High Sierra XBT Wheeled Laptop Backpack for me?

This is a good, affordable backpack. While it’s not our top pick on this list, it will get the job done! We like that it’s wheeled luggage with multiple functions. It easily converts into a backpack.

Cwatcun Camera Backpack

best roller backpack for travel

Any semi-serious photographer will already know just how much kit it’s necessary to cart around when you count up the camera, lens, and other pieces of vital equipment a photographer needs.

Not only can the weight soon mount up, but much of this equipment is delicate, meaning you need a specific camera bag – such as the Cwatcun Camera Backpack. Open up the main compartment and you’ll find eleven adaptable compartments that you can personalize as you wish.

There is also a padded sleeve for laptops up to 15.6″ and straps on one side to take a full-sized tripod ! The backpack also has an expandable area so if you pick up a few souvenirs along the way you’ll be a-ok!

Let’s be honest, Cwatcun actually make some pretty good products for those of us on a budget and well, as Broke Backpackers, our team are always on the lookout for a bargain. They really loved how versatile this bag was for the price. Many of the crew aren’t avid photographers but still enjoyed the addition of the dividers which meant they could easily organise and separate whatever they put in the bag too.

  • Dedicated camera bag
  • Adaptable compartments
  • Padded laptop sleeve
  • Expandable section
  • Exterior a little drab
  • Wheels protrude slightly
  • Can become heavy when fully loaded
  • Side straps better for a lighter tripod

Is the Cwatcun Camera Backpack for me?

If you’re in the business of carting around expensive camera equipment, either as a seasoned amateur or a semi-professional, you’re going to need a good backpack dedicated to the job. With an adaptable interior and plenty of small extra pockets for lens wipes and memory cards, this backpack from Cwatcun certainly fulfills that brief!

Aerolite 21” Four-Wheel Backpack

best roller backpack for travel

Matching the Cabin Max on price is the Aerolite wheeled backpack, which is a model using a four-wheel design rather than the regular two-wheel version. Although it may be a little plain to look at for some, this 32L backpack is carry-on compatible with many of the major airlines you’ll be flying with and has shoulder straps that won’t get in the way as they can be placed behind a Velcro cover.

Made from truly durable 1680 Dernier polyester and nylon, this backpack is sure to last, while useful side pockets in addition to the spacious main compartment mean you won’t have any trouble taking everything you need while you’re away!

What our testers loved most about this pack in particular is how much it actually looks and feels like a “normal” backpack compared to some of the other square or bulkier bags. With added covers for the wheels, it very much felt like a backpack with added functionality when needed rather than carrying a suitcase on your back!

  • Very well-priced
  • Four-wheel design
  • 32 liters may be too small for some travelers
  • Plain design
  • Wheels a little bulky

Is the Aerolite Four-Wheel backpack for me?

It’s fair to say that the great price may be the first thing to attract many would-be customers to the Aerolite Four-Wheel backpack! But looking beyond that, we think this is an excellent backpack with wheels, with a very reasonable capacity of 32 liters, durable construction, and compatibility with carry-on regulations for the major airlines.

Swiss Tech Navigation 21” Upright

What we love about the Swiss Tech Navigation 21″ Upright is primarily its high quality spec. It is made from sturdy, durable materials  and extremely is well put together. Its hard exterior makes it fully waterproof and able to survive a few falls. It also comes with an integrated TSA lock and a USB port  and utilises an  wheel design for maximum ease of movement.

Our testers loved the addition of the shoe holders, as folks who get out and about in nature whilst travelling, being able to keep our muddy shoes away from our “clean” clothes was a godsend! It’s actually made from pretty sturdy stuff too so it’s not going to rip easily.

Swiss Tech Navigation 21

  • Durable and sturdy
  • 12 year guarantee
  • 40 liters may be too large for some travelers
  • Not as cheap as some on here
  • Heavier than some other models in its class

When it comes to testing and comparing wheeled backpacks there are a few areas that we looked at. The first one is how versatile a product it and specifically how well it performs both it’d wheels function, and its backpack function. For example, some of the products on this list are great for wheeling, but perform less well when worn and carried as a backpack.

Next up, we paid really close attention to the quality and build of the wheels as this a major stress area. Beyond that we looked at durability, comfort, awarded bonus points for innovative features and added a weighting for price and value.

Of course, trying out travel gear liked backpacks on wheels is not a perfect science and we were not able to blind test them under laboratory conditions. Rather, various members of our team tried them on various trips over different time periods. For example, I took the Osprey Sojourn to Goa in India which has no pavements, dusty roads laden with cow shit – as such it got a proper brutal test whereas other packs got an easy ride being carried through the gilded streets of Copenhagen. Still, we stand by our assessments.

best roller backpack for travel

Still have some questions about the best backpack suitcases with wheels? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:

What is the best wheeled backpack?

We think the best wheeled backpack for overall travel is the Osprey Fairview .

Are rolling backpacks better?

Rolling backpacks are ideal if you are carrying a very heavy load or if you have problems carrying a backpack.

How many wheels does a wheeled backpack have?

Wheeeld backpacks usually have 2 wheels although some have 4.

What are bags with wheels called?

Backpacks with wheels! There is no fancy or technical name.

best roller backpack for travel

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There’s no excuse for uncertainty now we’ve given you all the relevant details on the best backpacks with wheels you can purchase right now!

Any of our most recommended bags will be able to keep up with you on your adventures. Enjoy the versatility of these great rolling backpacks!

best roller backpack for travel

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

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The 9 Very Best Pieces of Rolling Luggage

“it has survived being dragged across sand, dirt, and cobblestones.”.

Portrait of Rachael Griffiths

In this article

Best rolling luggage overall.

  • Best less expensive
  • Best for frequent fliers
  • Best mixed material
  • Best aluminum
  • Best for overpackers

Best rolling-luggage set

  • Best soft-side

Although I cover all kinds of luggage in my reporting as a travel writer , when it comes to personal preference, it’s rolling luggage all the way. Whether I go for two or four wheels, I want my luggage to glide with me through the airport (and beyond, as much as possible.) And the best rolling luggage has to have easy-to-organize compartments, sturdy handles, and plenty of space — while also being made of truly resilient material to endure baggage handling (it’s the type of luggage that I use as a checked bag).

Over the past few years, I’ve tested a dozen or so pieces of rolling luggage. From stretchy nylon cases with warranties that last a lifetime to bash-resistant plastic luggage that I can use to charge my phone, I’ve learned that I prefer a hardside case over a softside, and that a compression divider (I’m an overpacker) is nonnegotiable for me. My favorite — the Away carry-on — ticks all these boxes. While some pieces may cost more than others, I’ve also learned that if you’re not fussy about the type of plastics used (ABS costs less than polycarbonate but can withstand some real rattling in transit), there are bargains to be found.

Read on for my recommendations, as well as the expertise of the most well-traveled people I know, from travel writers to those that have to fly almost weekly for work. (And if you’re looking for other types of luggage, you can read my guide to the best carry-ons , weekenders , and I’ve also written an explainer here on what counts as a personal item .)

What we’re looking for

Hard-shell vs. soft-side.

Most experts I spoke to prefer hard-shell luggage, and I agree. It’s durable and easy to clean, it protects your clothes if it rains, and it’s harder for bedbugs to penetrate if you encounter any on your trip. The hard-shells on this list are made from either ABS, an inexpensive but less durable plastic; polycarbonate, a more durable but also lightweight material; or aluminum, which is slightly heavier, but the most durable. Most on this list are polycarbonate, but there are a few soft-sided pieces too, for those who haven’t made the switch yet. While they aren’t as durable, “from a repair standpoint, we always feel that the canvas soft-sided luggage is better than the hard-side luggage because you can repair canvas,” Tony Pecorella, president and CEO of Modern Leather Goods, a repair shop in Manhattan, says. He’s an authorized repairman for many of the luggage brands below and says someone comes in with a cracked hard-shell every day and “there’s no repairing them at all.” So in addition to soft-side suitcases being fixable, they’re also overpacking-friendly because you can stuff more in them than a rigid polycarbonate case (and finesse a larger carry-on to fit in an overhead bin, too.)

Our experts continuously raved about the wheels on their favorite suitcases, describing them as smooth and sturdy. Most were talking about their four spinner wheels, which make the suitcase much easier to push along as it can glide in all directions. For comfort and ease of use, four wheels is definitely the way to go and is our recommendation, but again, Pecorella says it’s not the best choice from a repair standpoint. “It is always stronger to have the case that has the two wheels on it,” he says. “Those wheels are encased, so the only thing that can really happen on those wheels is that they wear out eventually like tires on your car.” With the four spinners — which Pecorella fully admits to using personally — he says because they aren’t encased and just are attached to the bottom of the suitcase, you run the risk of them being banged off. “If you’re rolling off a curb or if you hit the escalator too hard, it’ll just snap the wheel right off,” he says. “That’s one of the biggest repairs we do here all day.” However, a good warranty should cover this (more on that below.)

Almost none of the suitcases on this list go the easy-repair route of being soft-side and having two wheels, and that’s because they all have pretty good warranties. The biggest phrase you want to avoid is “limited to manufacturer’s defects,” which Pecorella says means they basically cover nothing and will attribute damage to wear and tear, or say it’s your fault or the airline’s fault. “Lifetime warranty” is ideal, and he says most of them offer it.

If you’ve checked an overweight bag before, you’ll know how much those extra charges can sting. Lightweight suitcases are ideal for overpackers — including myself — so I’ve included each case’s weight when empty.

Away The Carry-on

Hard-shell vs. soft-side: Polycarbonate hard-shell | Wheels: 360-degree spinner wheels | Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty | Weight: 7.4 pounds  

I’ve recommended Away’s suitcases many times before (they’re my top pick for carry-on luggage and hardside luggage , and they get an honorable mention in my piece on the best weekenders ). For me, the wheels are a stand out: I’m used to tentatively hauling my suitcases up and down my cobbly London road, but the Away can truly take a battering — and when it meets flat surfaces, it glides. Although the bigger carry on has a 50-liter capacity, it still fits in most overhead bins, and is perfect for a longer trip. Kelly Farber , founder of KF Literary Scouting, took only this on a three-week, seven-city business trip, and said, “That thing just would not quit.” I tested the slightly smaller carry on, simply because I live in Europe, where airlines are much stingier about carry-on allowances. No matter what size you get, though, each one features the same desirable qualities our experts and I were looking for in a modern suitcase. “It’s sturdy but light, and has a USB charger so I can charge my phone just enough to order an Uber,” writer and photographer Nicholas Gill said. “Plus, inside it has a nylon bag where I can toss in my clothes after getting caught in a sudden jungle downpour, which always seems to happen.” Stephanie Be from and BUENA also calls out the “TSA-approved lock, 360-degree wheels, tough hardware, and sleek design.” Strategist editor Maxine Builder also has experience with the Away warranty, after her internal zipper broke in 2019: “There was a fair bit of back-and-forth over the next four months, but I ended up with a replacement suitcase in exactly the same limited-edition colorway with the same hand-painted monogram, all for free.” Five years later, she’s still traveling with it. (The Away lifetime warranty doesn’t extend to the removable portable charger in the rear of the case — that’s only covered for two years.)

best roller backpack for travel

Best less expensive rolling luggage

Open Story Hardside Carry On

Hard-shell vs. soft-side: Polycarbonate hard-shell | Wheels: 360-degree spinner wheels | Warranty: Limited ten year | Weight: 7.9 pounds

Usually, cheaper hardside suitcases are made from ABS, a less durable plastic than the polycarbonate more expensive brands use. That’s why this case is such a rarity: It costs less than $200 (usually far less, as it’s often on sale), and it’s made from the more durable polycarbonate. It also includes all of the features I’d expect from more expensive brands, like four 365-degree spinner wheels, TSA-approved locks, and a built-in USB port to use with a power bank. Travel blogger Courtney Vondran told me that “it’s a great option for budget travelers or first-timer carry-on travelers who want nice pieces for more affordable prices,” and I’d have to agree. So far, Vondran has taken her case with her on “road trips throughout the Midwest, a work trip to Egypt, vacation to L.A. , travel conference in Memphis, romantic getaway to Maine,” — and it’s all been protected by the case’s limited ten-year warranty, which covers any major damages beyond reasonable wear and tear.

Amazon Basics Hardside Carry-on Spinner Suitcase

Hard-shell vs. soft-side: ABS hard-shell | Wheels: 360-degree spinner wheels | Warranty: Limited warranty | Weight: 7.3 pounds

This AmazonBasics case is made from the less-durable plastic ABS, but it’s still one of my favorites. In my experience, it’s rare to find a case that costs under $100 that can compete with more expensive brands. As it is made from a cheaper plastic, I was surprised by how thick and sturdy the suitcase feels — it has a nice thud when you knock against the exterior. As well as being thick, the exterior is also scratch resistant , and the case also has a well-designed handle, smoothly rolling wheels, handles for comfort, and a built-in lock. The warranty is where this bag falls slightly short, though (and may explain the cheaper price tag): it’s only a three-year limited warranty that protects against defects in materials and workmanship — which Pecorella says is the type to avoid.

Best rolling luggage for frequent fliers

Rimowa Essential Cabin Case

Hard-shell vs. soft-side: Polycarbonate hard-shell | Wheels: 360-degree spinner wheels | Warranty: Five -year manufacturer’s guarantee | Weight: 7.1 pounds

The Rimowa Essential line of suitcases comes in a very close second to the Away. More than ten people mentioned the brand, but I ultimately didn’t award it the top spot because of the price. But if you have the money, those who recommend it say it’s worth it. It comes in 11 colors and two finishes and works like a dream, according to owners, almost all of whom praise the wheels. “I won’t pretend to understand all the physics behind the bearings and axles on Rimowa’s bags, but I do know they spin amazingly well through the airport,” Summer Hull, director of travel content at the Points Guy , told me. Fellow travel writer Hillary Eaton also told me she had no problem lugging the case on a 48-hour journey from Vancouver to Machu Picchu by “tiny floatplane, three long-haul flights, a five-hour bus, and a two-hour train ride.” Several owners told me how easy it is to get this suitcase repaired if anything goes wrong. However, while there’s a manufacturer’s guarantee of five years, it only applies if you remember to register your product when you purchase it. Otherwise, it only lasts for two.

Best rolling luggage with mixed materials

July Carry-On Pro

Hard-shell vs. soft-side: Polycarbonate hard-shell | Wheels: 360-degree spinner wheels | Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty | Weight: 7.9 pounds

I was introduced to July by Strategist associate editor Jenna Milliner-Waddell: she calls it the “the Away of the Down Under.” And while the July Carry-on offers a lot of the same features as the Away, it has the added perk of a USB-C port so you can charge your iPhone or your laptop straight from the bag. July’s smallest carry-on weighs about half as much as Away’s, even though they both have similar liter capacities, and you can personalize it. This particular case sets itself apart with a removable fabric front pocket, which came in handy for Christine Wang, founder of TheSkiGirl who is generally a fan of soft-side luggage. If you’re traveling for work, everything you need is easily accessible, and instead of digging through your bag to remove your laptop at TSA, you can easily just snap this pouch off instead.

Best aluminum rolling luggage

Away Carry-On Aluminum Edition

Hard-shell vs. soft-side: Aluminum hard-shell | Wheels: 360-degree spinner wheels | Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty | Weight: 10.1 pounds

Aluminum cases are as tough as they come: unlike with plastic cases, you don’t need to worry about them cracking and spilling all your belongings. They often have the added security of a clamp rather than a zip, which again is less likely to burst. This case comes from Away and has all the same specs as my favorite case overall, though it’s slightly heavier, so you may have to pack a bit lighter if you’re checking it in. Despite this, travel writer Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon says there’s plenty of space for all the essentials she’d need for a three- or four-day trip. Swede White, who works for Amazon and has to travel monthly for his job, told me the only downside to this case is that he finds it scuffs easily. Away acknowledges that this will happen, alluding to it as developing a patina over time — if you prefer a pristine case, it all boils down to personal taste.

Best rolling luggage for overpackers

 Béis The Carry-On Roller

Hard-shell vs. soft-side: Polycarbonate hard-shell | Wheels: 360-degree spinner wheels | Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty | Weight: 8.36 pounds

If, like me, you can’t travel without taking your entire closet, Béis’s luggage is for you. By unzipping an internal section, the bag expands by up to three inches — meaning you can shove that extra sweater inside. More stuff means a heavier bag, but Béis’s built-in weight-limit indicator ensures you don’t teeter over the 50-pound weight restriction for many checked bags. A red mark will appear if the luggage is over, which should save you some stress and money at the check-in counter. As well as a water-resistant zipper, travel blogger HeyCiara told me she appreciates how the case also has a TSA lock, a handle with ergonomic support, and a built-in laundry and shoe bag to prevent your clothes from getting soiled.

Antler Clifton Set

Material: Polycarbonate hard-shell | Wheels: 360-degree spinner wheels | Warranty: Lifetime | Weight: Various

If you’re traveling as a family, a set of luggage can be the most efficient and economic way to go. This suitcase set has accompanied Strategist senior editor Ailbhe Malone’s family on trips for two years. Aside from having everything you would expect from a great quality suitcase — “smooth wheels, extremely comfortable handle, more than enough space,” Malone says — these cases are eminently easy to store. That’s because they slot inside one another, meaning you can stash a whole family’s worth of luggage in the space of a single suitcase. The polycarbonate cases come in a range of 11 pleasing colors, and thanks to their construction, any scratches or scuffs will appear as the same shade as the case, no matter how deep. For bigger concerns, the set comes with a lifetime warranty, which covers the wheels, handles, and shells.

Best soft-side rolling luggage

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Lightweight Expandable Upright Luggage

Hard-shell vs. soft-side: Nylon soft-side | Compression strap | Wheels: Encased wheels | Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty | Weight: 5.4 pounds

From a repair standpoint, this suitcase is a dream. It’s made from easy-to-repair nylon and has just two encased wheels that won’t snap off. It expands up to two inches and has multiple compartments. None of this is groundbreaking, but that’s why I like this bag: It’s simple, effective, and on the less expensive side at under $200. TripSavvy ’s former general manager Molly Fergus told me she’s traveled with the bag across Miami, Cancun, and all over Europe: “It’s survived being dragged across sand, dirt, and cobblestones,” she says. Travelpro’s limited lifetime guarantee covers defects to the wheels, zippers, extension handles, and carrying handles, and this lasts for however long you own it. On top of that, for the first year, your product is backed by its Trusted Companion Promise, which covers the cost of repair for damage caused by an airline and covers the shipping cost for any product that needs to be shipped to one of its repair facilities.

Some more rolling luggage we’ve written about

Samsonite Freeform Hardside Expandable Luggage

Our experts

• Alexandra Baackes, travel blogger and founder of Wander Woman Retreats • Stephanie Be, founder of BUENA and blog Travel Break • Gabby Beckford , travel blogger • Kiana Brooks , luxury fashion buyer • Maxine Builder , Strategist editor • Hillary Eaton , food and travel writer • Kelly Farber, founder of KF Literary Scouting • Molly Fergus, former general manager of TripSavvy • Jacqui Gifford, Travel + Leisure editor-in-chief • Nicholas Gill , writer and photographer • Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon , travel writer • Summer Hull, director of travel content at The Points Guy • Jessie Hyman , co-founder of Pruzan Running • Ciara Johnson, travel blogger HeyCiara • Brian Kelly, The Points Guy • Ailbhe Malone , Strategist senior editor • Tom Marchant, co-founder of luxury travel and lifestyle brand Black Tomato • Tony Pecorella, president and CEO of Modern Leather Goods • Laura Ratliff , travel writer • Robin Reetz, writer and VP of marketing at Rag & Bone • Lauren Ro, Strategist writer • Alex Sanchez , consumer marketing manager at G Adventures • Chris Schalkx, co-founder of Rice/Potato • Jane Stoller , author of Decluttering for Dummies • Courtney Vondran , travel writer • Christine Wang, founder of TheSkiGirl • Swede White, principal content strategist at Amazon Web Services

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12 Best Wheeled Backpacks (Ultimate 2024 Buying Guide)

Best Wheeled Backpacks

Last updated: October 17th, 2023

TL;DR: The best wheeled backpacks are the High Sierra Freewheel Backpack and the Osprey Sojourn because of their combination of high-clearance wheels and comfortable carrying options that make it easier to breeze through an airport or across cobblestone. The Freewheeler is a perfect budget carry-on bag while the Sojourn comes in larger sizes that would be a good checked bag option.

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 take a variety of different types of trips, I finally understand the draw of wheeled backpacks. 

Not to mention, after turning 30 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 article contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

Short on time? Here’s a quick look at the top 12 best wheeled backpacks.

12 Best Rolling Backpacks

Table of Contents

#1 Osprey Sojourn

Best Backpack for Checked Luggage

Osprey wheeled backpacks - Sojourn 45L rolling gear bag -best wheeled backpack for travel

Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 in Weight: 7lb 15 oz  Capacity: 45L – also offered in 60L and 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’s 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 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 high clearance wheels) makes it the best wheeled backpack 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 if you don’t want to carry the extra weight.

And if you’re looking for an even larger backpack with wheels, there’s a larger size in the Sojourn series—the Osprey Sojourn 80L pack. 

  • 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 
  • Sometimes doesn’t fit strict 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 padded laptop sleeve
  • A little bulkier and heavier than other packs on this list due to its heavy-duty nature and large wheels

#2 Osprey Fairview & Farpoint

Best Carry-On Backpack With Wheels

Osprey Farpoint and Fairview carry-on backpack

Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 in Weight: 5 lbs 5 oz Capacity: 36 L – also offered in 65L Best for: Travel (carry-on)

As you can probably tell from this article, Osprey is one of the best brands for travel backpacks and wheeled backpack luggage.

Another two Osprey backpacks with wheels, the women’s Osprey Fairview and men’s Osprey Farpoint , are the slightly smaller and less expensive cousins to the Osprey Sojourn.

This is the better option if you’re going for carry-on-only travel since the Fairview and Farpoint are more compact and lightweight.  

At 36L, this could easily be your go-to piece of luggage with wheels and backpack straps for those long weekends or week-long trips. 

The Osprey Farpoint and Fairview backpacks are made from durable, abrasion-resistant nylon material and have a lightweight aluminum frame and ergonomic handle. 

They also feature dual compression straps, a padded hip belt for better balance, an easily accessible front zippered pocket to hold toiletries or a passport, and an easy-to-maneuver frame that’s comfortable to roll or wear. 

This rolling travel backpack also has oversized wheels for easier transport and with how they’re designed, they’re easy to tuck out of the way when wearing it as a backpack.

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. 

Or, if you’re looking for a good alternative carry-on wheeled backpack that looks a little sleeker and less like an Osprey backpack, I’d recommend going for the 40L Osprey Ozone .

The Osprey Ozone doesn’t have external compression straps but still feels spacious inside.

All up, if you’re looking for a backpacker’s backpack with wheels, the Farpoint or Fairview packs are some of the best options out there.

Plus, you really can’t go wrong with an Osprey bag. 

  • Lightweight
  • Compact and meets carry-on dimensions for most airlines—especially for domestic US airlines
  • Made from durable materials that are abrasion-resistant
  • Handle has an ergonomic grip 
  • Dual compression straps
  • Comfortable to wear as a backpack for longer durations
  • Easily accessible top pocket for liquids or passport
  • Padded hip belt for more balance and to help distribute the weight
  • Sturdy, oversized wheels
  • Wheels aren’t covered in backpack mode
  • Large interior pocket isn’t completely flat because the handle goes through it  



#3 Hynes Eagle 2-in-1 Travel Backpack

Best Wheeled Backpack With a Daypack

Hynes Eagle 2 in 1 Travel Backpack

Dimensions: 22 x 14.2 x 15.7 in Weight: 8.31 lb Capacity: 43L Best for: Checked luggage and longer trips

If you’re looking for rolling backpacks for travel that include a detachable daypack, the Hynes Eagle 2-in-1 Travel Backpack is an ideal option.

This Hynes Eagle 2-in-1 backpack with wheels features a large main compartment with four zippered pockets and an easy-to-access zippered top pocket for toiletries.

It also has a dual retractable tube handle for better control, lockable zippers, and durable high-clearance wheels.

Instead of fully removable backpack straps like the now discontinued Osprey Meridian, the Hynes Eagle has a compartment for tucking the straps out of the way.

This means there’s no chance of forgetting them at home, only to realize when you want to use the backpack feature on a trip.

The detachable daypack has a few different pockets and good internal organization.

There’s a 15.6″ padded laptop sleeve, plus a pocket for an iPad and other electronics. At the front, there’s a scratch-free pouch that’s perfect for sunglasses or a phone. 

And this is another 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 it can technically be turned into three different bags—a wheely backpack, a regular backpack, and a detachable daypack. 

If you’re looking for a portable and versatile large travel pack with wheels that’s perfect for checked luggage, and you liked the Osprey Meridian, the Hynes Eagle is the newest, best option on the market.

  • Made from durable, water-repellent polyester that can withstand wear and tear
  • Versatile—can be turned into three different types of backpacks
  • Wheel cover to protect your clothing from getting dirty
  • Dual tube retractable handle for easier maneuverability
  • Opens like a suitcase for easy packing and unpacking
  • Trolley strap
  • Good interior organization with a decent amount of pockets
  • No hip straps
  • Has a tendency to fall over and not stand up on its own when packed fully 

#4 Everki Atlas

Best Professional Wheeled Backpack

Everki Atlas Wheeled Backpack - best professional rolling backpack

Dimensions: 21.3 x 15.7 x 8.1 in Weight: 6.7 lb Capacity: 30L Best for: Business travel and meetings, college, gaming

By far the best backpack with wheels for business trips is the Everki Atlas . It’s a great professional backpack with wheels that’s sleek, lightweight, and well-organized. 

This carry-on backpack with wheels has top-notch organization and dedicated sleeves for your tech gear, including a padded laptop sleeve that fits up to a 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 backpack with wheels 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 good zippers and metal pulls.

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
  • 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

#5 Matein Wheeled Backpack

Best Waterproof Wheeled Backpack

Matein Wheeled backpack - best waterproof rolling backpack

Dimensions: 19.5 x 9 x 13 in Weight: 4.8 lb Capacity: 36L Best for: Business travel, college/school, carry-on travel 

It’s hard to find good waterproof rolling backpacks these days, most are water-resistant. 

That’s why I was excited to discover 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 toward 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, adjustable, and padded shoulder straps for comfortable wear.  

If you’re looking for a waterproof carry-on rolling bag for work or a backpack with wheels for college, the Matein Wheeled Backpack is a good choice.  

  • 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
  • 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

#6 Kroser Rolling Backpack

Best Wheeled Backpack Under $100 

Kroser rolling backpack

Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.7 x 10.2 in Weight: 5.5 lbs Best for: College/school, commuting to work, short business trips

Another affordable small rolling backpack, the Kroser Laptop 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 and additional organization pockets for pens, keys, and other small items. 

If you’re using this backpack to commute to work, there’s room in the back of the bag for an extra outfit and bulkier things.

In addition to the standard interior features, there are two mesh side pockets and hidable padded backpack straps.

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 water-resistant and does a decent job of keeping things dry. 

This is one of the best backpacks with wheels under $100 on the market and it’s versatile enough for school or work.

The Kroser Backpack is perfect for someone who just wants the basics and is looking for an inexpensive rolling backpack. 

  • Carry-on compliant, can fit in most overhead bins
  • Water-resistant
  • 17″ laptop pocket
  • Easy to hide straps or wheels when converting it
  • Area for clothes and bulkier items in the back
  • Padded backpack straps
  • Plenty of organization pockets
  • Wheels are pretty quiet
  • Made from cheap materials
  • Not very ergonomic 
  • Basic design, not too many extra features
  • Small wheels that aren’t good for rough terrain

#7 High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Laptop Backpack

Best Wheeled Backpack With Laptop Compartment

High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Laptop Backpack

Dimensions: 20 x 13.5 x 8 in Weight: 4.65 lb Capacity: 34.5L Best for: Carry-on travel, business trips, gamers, college

If you’re looking for good quality rolling backpacks with a laptop compartment, look no further than the High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Laptop Backpack . 

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 backpack with wheels include a media pocket with a headphone port, padded and ergonomically designed backpack straps that can be easily hidden, and zippered side pockets.

You can also hide the handle when you convert it into 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 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 great option. 

This is also an ideal option if you’re looking for a slightly heftier wheeled laptop backpack that can hold a decent amount of weight 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
  • Front organizer compartment
  • Good for carrying a decent amount of weight
  • Ergonomically-designed 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

#8 Think Tank Airport Takeoff V3.0

Best Wheeled Camera Backpack

Think Tank Photo Airport Takeoff V2.0 (Black) - best rolling camera backpack

Dimensions: 14 x 21 x 8 in Weight: 8.7 lb Capacity: Holds a 600mm f/2.8 lense, two standard bodies, and various other lenses Best for: Photographers 

If you’re a photographer and you’re looking for wheeled luggage to protect your camera gear, the Think Tank Airport Takeoff V3.0 is hands down the best rolling camera bag on the market right now. 

This wheely backpack can hold up to a 600mm 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.

This pack also has 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. And zippers are YKK RC Fuse zippers, meaning they’re durable and waterproof. 

Plus, there’s a seam-sealed rain cover included to protect gear fully. 

This Think Tank backpack is also made of anti-theft materials such as ballistic nylon, high-density velex, and closed-cell PU foam.

The ballistic strength nylon makes it near impossible to slash with a knife. 

This isn’t the lightest backpack with wheels, 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 also offers a basic wheeled camera bag that’s a good alternative for beginner photographers: Deco Gear 3-in-1 Travel Camera Case .

  • 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 a 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

#9 Samsonite Wheeled Backpack

Best Lightweight Backpack With Wheels

best lightweight backpack with wheels - Samsonite Wheeled Backpack with Organizational Pockets

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 lightweight rolling backpacks and is 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 the straps can be tucked away in a zippered pocket when not in use. 

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’s looking for a lightweight and inexpensive backpack with wheels for carry-on travel, business trips, or commuting to work or school. 

  • lightweight
  • 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

#10 Victorinox Vx Sport

Best Durable Backpack With Wheels

Victorinox Vx Sport - most durable backpack with wheels

Dimensions: 14.6 x 10.2 x 21 in Weight: 5 lb Capacity: 30L 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 an 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. 

Another feature of the Victorinox Vx Sport is the front zippered pockets that are easily accessible and perfect for cruising through TSA lines.

It also has 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 backpack with wheels 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 
  • 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

#11 Gonex Rolling Duffel Bag

Best Wheeled Duffel Bag

Gonex Rolling Duffel Bag - best wheeled duffel bag

Dimensions: 32 x 15 x 14 in Weight: 11.4 lb Capacity: 100L Best for: Travel (checked luggage) and carrying heavy gear

The Gonex Rolling Duffel Bag isn’t technically a 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 with its durable features and 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 storage 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. 

Or, if you prefer a more well-known brand, another one of my favorite heavy-duty rolling duffels is The North Face Rolling Thunder . 

Looking for more duffel bag options? Read our guide to the best waterproof duffel bags .

  • 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 storage 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

#12 Jansport Driver 8

Best Wheeled Backpack For College

Jansport Driver 8 - best rolling backpack for college

Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 10 in Weight: 5 lb Capacity: 36L 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, a front organizer pocket, two large main compartments, a retractable handle that can be used at two different heights, and a side mesh pocket for a water bottle. 

And it’s easy to convert 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 option for school is the J World New York Sundance Backpack .

For adults planning to carry heavy loads, just keep in mind that both of these bags won’t have the suspension system or as much back support built-in, as some of the higher-end packs.

  • 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

What is a Wheeled Backpack?

A wheeled backpack is exactly what it sounds like–a backpack with wheels, or you could say a backpack on 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 rolling backpacks up stairs or walk across uneven cobblestones, they’re still more versatile than standard rolling luggage.

This is because you can easily throw them on your back like a regular backpack if you need to travel over uneven terrain instead of carrying them like a regular suitcase.  

And that can make a huge 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 to 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?

A young, dark-haired woman in a striped shirt seen from behind wearing a large red backpacking backpack in a soft-focus tropical setting.

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 have improved a lot in the past decade. 
  • Can be used for all types of travel, besides maybe trekking or backpacking.

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 more 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

Silhouettes of people on a moving walkway in an airport, with the tarmac and a yellow-orange sunset visible through the window behind them.

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

Wheeled backpacks for travel have come a long way in terms of comfort—just look at the Osprey Sojourn and Osprey Fairview or Farpoint .

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 is 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 or 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’ll 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

A young brunette seen from behind, wearing a dark grey backpack and walking across a bridge in a leafy green jungle setting.

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. 

40L 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, padded shoulder straps, and a good suspension system.

Even if you plan to mostly wheel your backpack around, there might be times when 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 it’s 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 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 backpack with wheels, 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. Unfortunately, the vast majority of rolling backpacks are only water-resistant for some reason.

However, if you can find a good waterproof wheeled backpack, 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 most important to you in a backpack with wheels.


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 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, and there are a lot of different wheel designs out there. 

Wheels on a single track that don’t spin can be 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. 

If you’re a business traveler, you’ll probably want something that looks sleek and professional so you can 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 backpack with wheels 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. 

Extra features are another aspect to think about that maybe aren’t as important as the core parts of the bag, such as comfort and durability, but are still nice to have.

Are you looking for a pack that has unique 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 bonuses but are 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. 

Looking for more travel gear recommendations? Check out these related articles below!

Best Travel Purses for Savvy and Stylish Travelers

Best EDC Backpacks

Best Hardside Luggage Sets

Pakt One Review: The Ultimate Travel Duffel

Best Hiking Backpacks for Women

Best Hiking Fanny Packs

Best Dog Backpack Carriers for Hiking

Best Waterproof Walking Shoes for Women

Best Travel Gifts

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12 Best Wheeled Backpacks (Ultimate 2024 Buying Guide)

Hi, I'm Mimi! I created The Atlas Heart to share my travels. Over the year, I've added everything I can think of to help others plan trips, figure out what they'll do, and make sure they have what they need.

4 thoughts on “12 Best Wheeled Backpacks (Ultimate 2024 Buying Guide)”

The single pole handles are not as good as the double pole kind. They don’t maneuver as well and you can’t use them to carry another bag that has a trolley strap.

Agreed, the double pole handles can definitely be a nice feature when it comes to wheeled backpacks.

The Osprey Ozone you linked to does not seem to have a backpack option. Am I missing something?

Hi Ben, thanks so much for letting me know and sorry about that, I meant to put the Osprey Fairview/Farpoint backpack instead of the Ozone. It’s fixed now!

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best roller backpack for travel

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The 7 Best Rolling Backpacks For Travel

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

best roller backpack for travel

For a practical and versatile piece of travel luggage, the best rolling backpacks for travel are made from durable polyester or nylon fabric and have a large enough capacity for your trip. In order to ensure your backpack is made from durable fabric, you’ll need to look at its density, which is typically measured in deniers. If you’re going to use the bag frequently or stress the fabric by loading it up with heavy items, look for fabric with a density between 500 and 2,000 deniers (the higher the rating, the tougher and heavier the fabric). A lower denier rating is fine for smaller bags or ones that won’t take as much of a beating. For added toughness, look for a ripstop weave, which can prevent tears or rips from spreading .

In terms of capacity, travel backpacks are usually measured in liters. For shorter trips or minimalist packers, a capacity of 35 to 50 liters will likely offer plenty of room . For longer trips, opt for 50-plus liters. If you need a carry-on friendly bag , though, check dimensions as well as capacity. In the U.S., carry-on baggage typically can’t be larger than 22 by 14 by 9 inches , but this can vary between airlines so you’ll want to double-check with who you’re flying before you get to the airport.

In addition to durability and capacity, consider wheel design. While most rolling backpacks have in-line skate wheels, you’ll also see some spinner wheels. In-line skate wheels tend to be more durable thanks to their recessed design, but since these wheels can’t spin, the bag won’t be as easy to maneuver. Bags with spinner wheels are designed to rotate 360 degrees so you can push the backpack in any direction. However, because they aren’t recessed into the bag, they’re more vulnerable to damage and more likely to get in the way if you wear it as a backpack.

Finally, consider the extra features that might be useful. If you’re traveling with a laptop, for example, look for a backpack with a padded laptop compartment . If you bring lots of small gadgets or travel-size beauty products, a style with small compartments or pockets to keep items organized might be of interest. And for valuables, there are anti-theft features like lockable zippers or hidden pockets.

Wherever your next trip takes you, these rolling backpacks for travel are durable and spacious enough to bring all your essentials with you.

1. A Water-Resistant Rolling Backpack You Can Use As A Carry-On

J World New York Sundance Rolling Backpack

  • Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 9 inches (length x width x height)
  • Capacity: 38.34 liters

Made from 600-denier polyester paired with an extra water-resistant coating, this J World New York Sundance rolling backpack is a great pick for travelers who don’t want to risk exposing their belongings to bad weather. That extra-thick polyester fabric is also resistant to tears and fraying, so it should stand up to pretty heavy use. A wrap-around bumper on the bottom provides extra tear and fray protection, as well as protecting the rubber spinner wheels even though they aren’t fully recessed. The PU-coated aluminum handle is rust-resistant even if it gets wet and can extend to 34 to 39 inches in height when you want to pull the backpack along.

The bag has a capacity of just under 40 liters, and it should be small enough to meet most carry-on limits so you can take it on any trip. It features a number of helpful pockets, including a padded laptop pocket. When you aren’t using it as a backpack, you can stash the straps in the bag’s back pocket. While solid colors are available, this backpack comes in 34 fun colors and designs so you can find something that matches your style (and is easier to spot if you ever opt to check it at the airport).

According to one reviewer : “Took it on a 2.5 week trip in late Jan / early Feb, where I used it to carry all kinds of extra stuff, wheeled it on all kinds of uneven surfaces and basically put all the zippers, compartments, handle and wheels through a pretty good workout. Everything still looks / works great […] The wheels roll smooth and are very quiet, the zippers seems sturdy and even fully packed, it fit easily underneath the seat in front of me on the plane (American Airlines). I really love the look of it and all of the many compartments, as I like to be organized when traveling.”

2. A Budget-Friendly Rolling Backpack

Rockland Double Handle Rolling Backpack

  • Dimensions: 20 x 8 x 12 inches (length x width x height)
  • Capacity: N/A

For a low-cost option, this Rockland rolling backpack is a great pick. The compact, carry-on ready design comes in a bunch of colors and patterns so you’re sure to find the perfect match for your style. With a large main compartment and two external zippered pockets, you can pack everything you need for a short trip and keep essentials like your phone or book stored in the easy-access front pockets. While the manufacturer does not provide a capacity for the bag, one Amazon reviewer noted that “It fits about 3 or 4 days of clothes, hair dryer, toiletry bag.”

The bag is made from thick polyester (though the exact denier rating isn’t specified) with a metal telescoping handle. The backpack’s inline skate wheels are easy to roll, and the bag has plastic bumpers so you can easily set it upright.

According to one reviewer : “This bag was a perfect buy it was stylish and it was perfect for travel especially on airlines that charge you for carryon luggage the dimensions were perfect for my trip. I did not have to pay the $30 bucks each way for bags. I packed two pair of shoes and several changes of clothes. The outside pockets are great to put passport, keys make-up and phone chargers.”

3. An Extra-Large, Durable Rolling Backpack

Osprey Meridian Wheeled Luggage

  • Dimensions: 22 x 9 x 14 inches (length x width x height)
  • Capacity: 60 liters

Made from 420 denier nylon with strong ballistic nylon panels, the Osprey Meridian is one of the more durable and versatile pieces of luggage you could ever buy, with the option to be used as a backpack, duffle bag, or rolling luggage. While Osprey doesn’t specify which kind of wheels it has, they’re big and sturdy enough to handle many types of terrain. The lightweight aluminum handle is strong enough to support the generous 60-liter capacity without adding too much weight when you’re carrying it on your back, and a harness system with a sternum strap makes carrying more comfortable. When you’re not using the bag as a backpack, these straps can be stashed away in a rear panel pocket, or you can even remove the suspension system entirely to open up more storage capacity and simply carry it from the top or side handles.

In addition to generous storage capacity and carrying features, the backpack also has compression straps so you can maximize your packing potential, multiple storage compartments and pockets for organization (including a padded laptop sleeve), and a detachable day pack so you won’t have to pack a separate one.

According to one reviewer : “I packed 5 pairs of pants, five polo shirts, an extra pair of shoes, 7 pair of socks and underwear, shaving kit, and other misc items in the main bag. I detach the day pack once on the plane so I can actually store the stuffed main bag in the overhead bin. Things are very tightly rolled and packed, but the main bag holds clothing for a two week trip. The day pack holds magazines, a camera, an iPad, a Kindle reader, and a CPAP breather for use on the plane.”

4. A 40-Liter Backpack With 4 Spinner Wheels

MATEIN 4 Wheel Rolling Backpack for Travel

  • Dimensions: 19 x 13 x 9.5 inches (length x width x height)
  • Capacity: 40 liters

With a convenient 40-liter capacity (made up of five separate compartments, including three easy-access small compartments with organizational pockets) and four spinner wheels for easy rolling, this MATEIN rolling backpack is the ideal travel companion for anyone who wants to keep all their stuff organized and easy to find without sacrificing maneuverability. Thanks to the four spinner wheels, you can pull this behind it, keep it alongside you, or push it in front of you as needed. The bag also turns corners and weaves through crowded airports with ease. When it’s time to carry it on your back, you can pull out the tuck-away padded straps and wrap the back wheels in the built-in cover so that you can carry it comfortably, without the wheels rubbing against your clothes.

This backpack is made of thick, tear-resistant polyester, though the manufacturer doesn’t provide the specific number of deniers.

According to one reviewer : “The bag is very versatile, go from on your back to holding next to you, then to a roller in seconds. Very sturdy design and it expands and allows you to put a lot in it. Many different compartments to stay organized. I travel and work with 3 laptops, so it handles it with ease. Looks great also!”

5. A Rolling Backpack With Plenty Of Security Features

Samsonite MVS Rolling Backpack

  • Dimensions: 19 x 12 x 12 inches (length x width x height)

Already well-known for its high-quality luggage, Samsonite’s rolling backpack is the next in its line of long-lasting, travel-ready bags. With ultra-strong 600 denier nylon fabric, lockable zippers, and a hidden pocket, you can feel confident that your belongings are secure while you travel.

The carry-on-size backpack comes with four spinner wheels for ultimate maneuverability and tuck-away padded straps when you want to carry it on your back. The padded laptop sleeve comes with a side-access zipper so you can get to your laptop without having to open up the main compartment. That should come in handy when you’ve stuffed this bag to the brim and don’t want to risk all your clothes exploding out each time you need your laptop. Samsonite doesn’t provide a capacity for the bag, but Amazon reviewers suggest it has a large “enough capacity to carry whatever needed for 3-4 days trip.”

According to one reviewer : “I bought this bag to use as a carry on, for items I don't wish to check, when I travel to Europe this Fall. Since I already had the bag, I have been able to use it for the short trips we've taken in the U.S.”

6. A Rolling Backpack With A Separate Laptop Compartment

MATEIN Wheeled Laptop Backpack

  • Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 9 inches (length x width x height)
  • Capacity: 36 liters

The large suitcase-style main compartment provides much more room than a standard backpack compartment in this MATEIN wheeled backpack . It also has a compression strap so you can maximize the space in this roomy compartment even more. The padded laptop compartment is separate from the main compartment so you can still access your gadgets even when you’ve got this packed at maximum capacity. It also comes with lockable zippers and a plastic bumper panel on the bottom to provide added protection to your belongings.

The backpack is made from sturdy polyester (though no specific denier is provided) and has an aluminum telescoping handle. Rubber inline wheels allow you to easily pull the bag behind you, and a waterproof coating at the bottom should keep any puddles from splashing up and drenching your belongings through the bottom of the bag.

According to one reviewer : “I had no issues with the rolling backpack and loved it. The larger pocket was roomy and I was able to get in my essentials, even an extra pair of shoes. For an overnight or two, you should be able to get what you need packed inside. For me, it is a carry on that supplements my checked bag on a week or longer trips. Even if you aren't traveling by train, this is a much more useful bag than the normal carry on.”

7. A Rolling Backpack For All Your Gadgets

High Sierra Freewheel Laptop Backpack

  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 13.5 x 8 inches (length x width x height)
  • Capacity: 34.5 liters

With separate padded pockets for your laptop, tablet, phone, and other gadgets, the High Sierra Freewheel laptop backpack is the must-have carry-on for the techy traveler. The thick 600D ripstop polyester will keep all your tech safe, while the headphone/USB cable port, and front organizer pocket make it easy to access your gadgets without having to unpack everything.

The telescoping handle tucks away into a zipper compartment when you’re ready to carry it as a backpack. Then, the padded straps tuck away into a padded back panel when you want to roll it again. This functionality and comfortable design has made it a popular pick. After more than 3,000 Amazon reviews, it’s earned a 4.5-star overall rating.

According to one reviewer : “I took this bag with me on a recent trip and it certainly met all my expectations. It held my laptop, tablet and related accessories with ease. There was plenty of room left over for a change of clothes and other miscellaneous items. The handle is comfortable and it extends and stores again quickly and easily. The wheels roll straight and make navigating the crowds at the airport extremely easy. It fits into the overhead bin on all but the smallest airplanes or under the seat. When it is stowed, all of the zippers and pockets are still easily accessible when you need them.”

best roller backpack for travel

Roundups photo

The best rolling backpacks to traverse anywhere and everywhere

Calling all students and travelers — who wouldn’t want a little extra mobility in their luggage?

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Calling all students, urbanites, and traveling salesmen (if those are still a thing) — it’s time to claim a superb rolling backpack for your bustling life. Sure, an EDC backpack is perfect for day-to-day use, and waterproof backpacks are better suited for wilder excursions, but what can be better than a typical static backpack than one with wheels? Beneath their somewhat gimmicky appearance often lies quality luggage solutions capable of pulling multiple duties for many types of hardworking folk. There’s a clear purpose for each of them, from bookbags sitting beneath a desk to carry-ons sitting beneath an Airbus seat. What may not be so clear is which one is the right pick for you.

To answer just that, we rounded up the best rolling backpacks on the internet. Whether you’re hunting for a suitable bag for the next business trip or need something for the tots and the new school year, there’s a product for you here. So, come on down, scroll on through, and enjoy sifting through the best rolling backpacks on the market.

  • Best Overall: Ambor Rolling Backpack
  • Best Value: Vidoscla Trolley Backpack
  • Honorable Mention: Ligsan Rolling Backpack
  • Best for Kids: J World New York Sunny
  • Best for School: Targus Compact Rolling Backpack
  • Best for Travel: Matein 4-Wheeled Rolling Backpack

Ambor Rolling Backpack

Ambor Rolling Backpack

Ambor’s Rolling Backpack is an easy winner and the most well-rounded package in this guide. Whether you’re a traveler, a student, or just some bustling urbanite hopping from the subway to your workplace, there’s a use case for anyone. The generous 39-liter storage capacity, among the highest on this list, ensures this and is spread across three cavernous pockets. The larger main pocket includes a handy laptop slot which, depending on your size choice, can fit a 15.6- or 17.3-inch laptop and be strapped in place. The secondary pocket is large enough for books, paperwork, or smaller articles of clothing, and the quick access pocket can hold work supplies and even smaller electronics.

From the dense, water-resistant construction to the padded interior linings, the overall construction is just about faultless. Consumers from all over have lauded the completeness and practicality of such an understated-looking bag, making even the smallest nitpicking a tedious task.

If you had to complain, the rounded shape and two-wheeled platform may make it quite prone to tipping over when stuffed to the brim. And its generous main compartment, while it straps your electronics, does not strap down clothing.

  • Storage compartments: 3
  • Storage capacity: 39 liters
  • Weight: 4.7 pounds
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 7.8 x 13.5 x 19.8 inches (small), 8.2 x 15 x 21.2 inches (large)
  • Strong, robust construction envelops a package riddled with a brilliantly laid-out storage arrangement to create one of the best rolling backpacks, hands down.

Your choice of two sizes

Generous yet well-organized pocket layout

Water- and tear-resistant materials

Basic, understated design

Bulky shape and two-wheeled platform means it’ll tip

Vidoscla Trolley Backpack

Vidoscla Trolley Backpack

The Vidoscla Trolley Backpack runs hot on the heels of its pricier competitors and, while advertised as a kid’s rolling backpack, it’s actually sized right in line with the grown-ups’ backpacks. At the time of writing, it stickers at an inviting $43, slightly discounted from its usual $47. Ringing in for half as much as its peers buys you a compelling product that graces tight budgets, with three large pockets totaling 33 liters of storage. Buyers have a choice of colored accents as well as your pick between two- or six-wheeled detachable platforms, the latter of which is ideal for smoother rolling and climbing stairs.

Constructed of dense, water- and scratch-resistant materials like its peers, it’s a practical pick that’s definitely worth a look if you’re keen on saving 10s of dollars. Just don’t expect perfection; it’s still a cheap rolling backpack.

For instance, the Trolley Backpack’s interior versus its rivals is quite spartan and akin to a basic children’s school bag. The three pockets are just, well, um, pockets. There are no straps for clothes and electronics, and there aren’t even slots for writing materials. Build quality is comparable to standard school bags, as well. Reports of loose latches on the trolley and worn straps have been noted.

  • Storage capacity: 33 liters
  • Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 7.8 x 12.9 x 19.6 inches
  • Vidoscla carves a cozy spot for itself in the market with a viable bag for school and travel at nearly half the cost of its premium peers.

Friendly price tag

Dense, water- and scratch-resistant material

A suitable size for work, school, and travel

Choice of two- or six-wheeled detachable platforms

Its peers can carry way more

Some build quality hiccups

Ligsan Rolling Backpack

Ligsan Rolling Backpack

The Ligsan Rolling Backpack is a practical choice, nearly unseating the Ambor as the best rolling backpack if it weren’t for the latter’s lower cost of entry. Ligsan blows the other entries out of the airport terminal with a 45-liter capacity and four pockets without bloating in size or weight. If anything, it’s only marginally chunkier in its appearance. Its main pocket includes a strapped laptop slot as well as a separate strap for securing clothing, and there’s a smaller quick-access compartment up front for grabbing smaller items in a pinch. Much like the previous items, its design has created an effective, all-around backpack for workers and students alike.

It’s quite difficult to fault aside from its lofty price, similar to the Ambor it rivals so closely. The listed price at the time of writing is right at $96, discounted from its usual sticker of $116. That places it far ahead of the second cheapest options that we’ve curated. For that price, you could also nitpick by saying it should offer extra options for colors, sizing, and wheels, which it doesn’t.

  • Storage compartments: 4
  • Storage capacity: 45 liters
  • Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 7 x 13.3 x 19.6 inches
  • Ligsan rewards buyers willing to spend a smidge extra with a large rolling backpack loaded with space spread across many unique, usable compartments.

Immense storage capacity

Doesn’t sacrifice size or portability

Tiny front compartments for separating smaller items

On the pricier side

Cheaper bags have more options

J World New York Sunny

J World New York Sunny

The J World New York Sunny is here to give the little one’s something to show off to the other younglings in the classroom and on the family trip. Because what kid doesn’t love some outlandish styling? This rolling backpack for kids is a colorful, shrunken-down interpretation of the models for grown-ups, with height and width that are down just a couple of inches. The storage layout is quite simple, with a gaping maw of the main pocket for swallowing textbooks and lunchboxes, plus a smaller compartment complete with a smartphone slot and nooks for writing utensils.

The literal highlight of it all is the vast array of designs available to ensure your kiddo’s bag is unique enough to never wind up in the lost-and-found again. The palette has enough variety to appeal to most elementary and even middle school children.

However, the caveats of a children’s rolling backpack are clear. Its straightforward interior layout means there won’t be much organization when packing for a trip, and with the lowest capacity on this list, let’s hope it’s not a long one. Overall quality is stellar, but there have been some reported hiccups along the way.

  • Storage compartments: 2
  • Storage capacity: 28 liters
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 8.5 x 12 x 17 inches
  • The Sunny’s shrunken-down stature combined with a basic storage layout and charming color palette make for a great children’s backpack that’s both stylish and practical.

Fun and lovable color variety

Perfectly sized for children and preteens

Non-confusing storage

layout Inoffensive pricing

Probably not the most spacious choice for traveling

Mildly questionable longevity

Targus Compact Rolling Backpack

Targus Compact Rolling Backpack

The perfect solution for campuses the size of small towns, the Targus Compact Rolling Backpack is an excellent rolling backpack for students. Its understated design gives it a professional aura that will suit many environments while retaining usable storage and a trim profile. It follows in the footsteps of our top picks, with a cavernous main compartment — total capacity is not disclosed — complete with straps for securing your laptop and clothing. There’s a nifty quick-access pocket up front with a secondary tablet pocket beneath it, enabling you to carry two large electronics. It’s designated for tablets, although I reckon I could also squeeze one of my smaller laptops in there. Room for phones, writing utensils, and even car key fobs are also included.

Perhaps best of all is its middle-ground pricing, with a sticker of $70 at the time of writing. It should be noted that the price is heavily discounted off its regular $95 sticker, which places it smack in between our Best Overall and Honorable Mention winners.

Also in the spirit of its peers is similar acclaim for its stout quality and practicality. However, there have been minor complaints of stuck or broken handles.

  • Storage capacity: N/A
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 9 x 13.8 x 19 inches
  • In the challenging realm of higher education, it helps to carry everything you need in one place. Thankfully, this compact, waterproof option offers just the right amount of storage for that.

Two dedicated storage nooks for larger electronics

Relatively light and compact profile

Discreet styling works in many environments

Middle-ground pricing undercuts its rivals

Not the most spacious for long haulers

Finicky handle in rare cases

Matein 4-Wheeled Rolling Backpack

Matein 4-Wheeled Rolling Backpack

With one of the highest capacities in this guide and a four-wheeled platform, the Matein Rolling Backpack is the closest thing to traditional rolling luggage as a backpack can be, and is the best rolling backpack for traveling. The 360-degree wheels create a stable, supportive platform, no matter how heavy you pack all 40 available liters. Of that storage space, most are dedicated to the expansive main compartment, relegating the other pockets to act as quick-access pockets for smaller articles or miscellaneous valuables. While that may not make it the most practical choice for day-to-day work, it’s the easiest to pack to the brim for extended journeys.

Quality is nearly flawless, with unanimous praise for its durability. Only minor complaints exist, and are few and far between, usually regarding stiff wheels or tipsy weight distribution when stuffed.

The biggest drawback against the Matein is that rolling backpack luggage will always lack storage space versus traditional luggage. The compact profiles they must maintain for easy mobility severely handicap their carrying capacity for long trips. However, that does make them usable as carry-ons under plane seats or inside overhead bins.

  • Storage compartments: 5
  • Storage capacity: 40 liters
  • Weight 5.5 pounds
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 9.5 x 13 x 19 inches
  • What separates the Matein 4-Wheeled Rolling Backpack from your typical rolling luggage? Nothing more than two shoulder straps for that extra carrying option, a healthy amount of storage, plus robust construction.

Supported by four spinning wheels

Generous main compartment with electronics pockets

Smaller pockets included

Far more affordable than most standard rolling luggage

Backpack profile means it’s smaller than most rolling luggage

Things to consider when buying rolling backpacks

Size and portability.

How big is it, and how easy is it to lug around? The duties of a rolling backpack ensure that most, if not all, are appropriately sized to be worn on one’s back and fit in airplane storage compartments. Many are quite lightweight, with the heaviest options hovering around five pounds. Of course, this is negated if you’re a pack mule lugging a lot of textbooks, computers, or depleted plutonium. 

Many large rolling backpacks will be roughly 20 inches tall, with rolling backpacks for kids typically measuring three to four inches shorter and approximately one to two inches narrower. The main gripe against rolling backpacks is their lack of space versus traditional luggage cases.

Storage space

Being smaller than conventional luggage, rolling backpacks will have to get clever in how they carry things while retaining their highly mobile size. Whether a backpack has two, five, or even a dozen compartments, there will always be an ultra-large “main” compartment that comprises most of the storage capacity. Rolling backpacks will often have pockets for laptops or straps for securing clothing, just like standard luggage cases. Rolling backpacks for kids may forgo some storage solutions for a more rudimentary layout better suited to holding school supplies and lunch boxes. In contrast, rolling backpacks for school or work may sport extra slots for additional electronics or paperwork.

Durability and build quality

This is a bit trickier of an area, as many companies don’t disclose exact materials aside from “high-density this” and “wear-resistant that.” But it’s just as important as any other factor as you’d want a product that can last you through years of work trips or back and forth across the university campus. Good tell-tale signs would include generous use of thick nylon construction and stitching, similar in materials to some tactical accessories. Plastic or leather reinforcements near the base will lessen the chances of the rolling backpack giving out and act as a sturdy platform for mounting wheels, and metal handles will be more resilient than plastic.

FAQS about rolling backpacks

Q. how much do rolling backpacks cost.

A: Premium rolling backpacks from popular, well-received brands typically ring in around $80 to $100, with the bulk of them sitting at $90, including our Best Overall and Best for Travel winners. Our Best Value-winning Vidoscla stickers at nearly half that with a $43 price tag, while our Best for Kids and Best for School winners occupy a middle ground, between $55 and $70.

Q. Are rolling backpacks better than standard backpacks?

A: Objectively speaking, they’re better because they’re more functional and mobile. They don’t sacrifice storage space or specialized pockets for valuables, yet they include wheels and handles for use as rolling luggage for airports or road trips. If anything, they can be just a tad bulky from their extra hardware.

Q. How heavy is “too heavy” for a rolling backpack?

A: “Too heavy” is a subjective term varying from person to person, but you don’t want to overload your bag. Over-encumbering your luggage can lead to back fatigue and even injuries when worn as a backpack and when worn improperly, and the towing handle and wheels could break under excessive stress.

Q. Can rolling backpacks be used for personal/carry-on luggage?

A: If they’re the right size to fit, which most of them are, then absolutely. Having to pull double duty as a backpack and not just rolling luggage, they’re forced to maintain a slimmer profile, enabling them to better fit under seats and in overhead bins. The real determining factor is packing wisely .

Final thoughts

The Ambor Rolling Backpack is a superstar of a rolling backpack whose configurations, durability, and well-thought-out storage make it a superb all-purpose backpack. The Ligsan Rolling Backpack is also a worthwhile runner-up, and it deserves a look for its similarly ingenious use of storage space down to the tiniest pocket. The Vidoscla Trolley Backpack rewards the thrifty by delivering even greater reconfigurability while retaining usable storage at a great price and is our Best Value winner.

For those looking for a little more focus, the J World New York Sunny is a vivid and compact choice, acting as the perfectly-sized rolling backpack for kids. At the same time, the Targus Compact Rolling Backpack adds extra valuable equipment space for college and high school students. The Matein 4-Wheeled Rolling Backpack rounds out the group as the ultra-roomy, ultra-mobile airport companion, making it the best rolling backpack for travel.


Our guide to the best rolling backpacks has been primarily curated through extensive research, diving deep into manufacturer specs and, more importantly, real-world ownership experiences. The best products were durable, reliable, and superbly capable luggage items that can be used anywhere, with focus shifting as categories called for a more honed-in skillset, such as children or airline travel. Products with little-to-no feedback or egregious quality control were binned in favor of rolling backpacks you and I could easily trust. 

Amazon primarily served as our key encyclopedia of consumer input and specs due to the higher density of needed information. Note that some entries and their variants can also be purchased from Target and Walmart or manufacturer sites such as J World and Matein . As always, readers are always encouraged to learn more about how Task & Purpose generally curates its buyer’s guides.

Jeric Jaleco

Jeric Jaleco is an AGE mechanic (2A6X2) in the Nevada Air National Guard as well as a contributor to The Drive and Car Bibles. Born in SoCal and raised in Las Vegas, he’s a diehard car enthusiast and aspiring purveyor of firearms. He’s journeyed far from his first deployment in East Africa to pursue a career in writing.

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Buying Guides

Last Updated: January 24, 2024

Top 15 Best Rolling Backpack for Travel in 2023

What are the best rolling backpacks available in 2023? How do you choose the right one for you? Find answers in this complete rolling backpack buying guide.

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Danny Newman

Rolling backpack

Searching for the best rolling backpack? I hope this post helps!

Are you among the millions of travellers who suffer from “packing panic”?

Some of us rethink our packing strategy at the last second, even if we start packing days before the trip. And 50% of us have admitted to sitting on a piece of luggage to zip it up!

You may not become a packing expert overnight, but one thing is certain to ease your stress levels — a great rolling backpack.

By combining the convenience of a rolling suitcase with the versatility of a backpack, you’ll be amazed by how this item will transform your travel experience.

There are countless rolling backpacks for travel, so I’ve put together this list to make your life easier. Keep reading for a rundown of the best rolling backpacks for your future travels!

Wheeled backpack for travel

Here we go then: a complete buying guide to the best wheeled backpack for travel on the market today! But first, how to choose one…

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Wheeled Backpack for Travel 101

When choosing a travel backpack with wheels, there are several considerations to keep in mind to ensure convenience, durability, and functionality.

Before we dive into specific recommendations, here are some important factors to consider.

Size and Capacity

Look for a backpack that meets the carry-on size requirements of airlines, typically around 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56 x 36 x 23 cm).

Consider the capacity based on your travel needs, remembering that larger backpacks may be subject to size restrictions or weight limits.

Wheels and Handle

Opt for a rolling backpack with sturdy and smooth-rolling wheels that can handle various terrains.

Ideally, the wheels should be recessed or protected to minimize damage during rough handling. The telescopic handle should be adjustable and comfortable to hold, with a locking mechanism to keep it securely in place.


Choose a backpack that offers the flexibility to use it as a wheeled bag or as a traditional backpack. Look for designs that have hidden or detachable shoulder straps, allowing you to carry it on your back when necessary.

Weight and Construction

Consider the weight of the backpack itself, as you don’t want unnecessary bulk.

Look for lightweight materials like nylon or polyester that are also durable and resistant to tears and abrasions. Reinforced stitching and sturdy zippers are essential for longevity.

Compartments and Organization

Check for a well-designed interior with multiple compartments and pockets to help you stay organized.

You’ll want a padded laptop sleeve or compartment if you plan to carry electronic devices. Exterior pockets or mesh compartments can be useful for quick access to water bottles or small items.

Rolling backpack for travel

Comfort, security features, water resistance & reviews are 4 more considerations to think about when choosing the best rolling backpack for travel.

Comfort and Suspension

Ensure the backpack has well-padded shoulder straps and a supportive back panel for comfortable carrying when it’s not being rolled. The straps should be adjustable to distribute weight evenly on your shoulders.

Security Features

The best rolling backpacks come with lockable zippers to provide an extra layer of security for your belongings. Some models also have hidden pockets or compartments for storing valuable items discreetly.

Water Resistance

Consider a backpack with water-resistant or waterproof materials to protect your belongings from light rain or accidental spills. This feature can be especially important if you’ll be travelling to rainy destinations or carrying electronics.

Reviews and Brand Reputation

Before making a final decision, read reviews from other travellers to gauge the backpack’s performance and durability. Consider reputable brands known for producing high-quality travel gear.

Best rolling backpacks

Ready to find the best rolling backpacks? Let’s dive in. First up: the Osprey Farpoint 36 Wheeled Carry-On.

The Best Rolling Backpacks for Travel

Now that you know what to look for, here’s a list of this year’s best rolling backpacks to consider.

1. Osprey Farpoint 36 Wheeled Carry-On

This wheeled backpack from Osprey offers the choice between energy-saving wheels or a lightweight suspension.

It’s easy to get on your plane with the large 90mm wheels and telescoping handle, while the hideaway harness is ready when you step off your flight. Featuring a hip belt, full back panel, and LightWire frame, this backpack carries as well as it rolls.

The Osprey Farpoint weighs in at 5.29 pounds with dimensions of 22 x 14 x 9 inches, ensuring plenty of space to pack your essentials.

2. Samsonite Wheeled Backpack with Organizational Pockets

Samsonite has a reputation for making great luggage, and this wheeled backpack is no exception.

Weighing in at just five pounds with dimensions of 8 x 14 x 21 inches, it’s an ideal size for a wheeled carry-on backpack. It features Rip-Stop fabric that’s resistant to tears as well as multiple pockets for all your electronics (up to a 17” laptop).

Reviewers also appreciate the Samonsite’s ice-pick pull handle,  in-line skate wheels, and comfortable contoured straps with extra padding.

3. MATEIN 17-Inch Wheeled Laptop Backpack

With an affordable price tag and over 4,000 positive reviews, you can’t go wrong with this MATEIN wheeled backpack .

Its dimensions are 19.6 x 13 x 9 inches and it weighs just 4.9 pounds, making it one of the lightest options on our list. It features waterproof panels, corner guards, and a kick plate, ensuring maximum durability while you’re on the road.

Users appreciate the various organisational compartments for large and small items as well as the adjustable, breathable shoulder straps.

Wheeled carry on backpack

Need a versatile Wheeled carry on backpack? Here’s one from ZOMFELT that could do the trick.

4. ZOMFELT Rolling Backpack

Is it a backpack, a rolling suitcase, or a duffel bag? This versatile ZOMFELT bag can be all three!

With its aluminium alloy rod, durable rubber wheels, and concealable shoulder straps, you can easily switch between a carry-on backpack and a wheeled backpack in seconds.

It weighs in at 6.6 pounds with dimensions of 14.2 x 9.1 x 21.3 inches and offers an impressive 55-litre capacity. The backpack also comes with three extra storage bags including a waterproof bag for wet towels or dirty laundry.

5. Wenger Luggage Synergy 18-Inch

This stylish offering from Wenger ticks all the boxes for a wheeled backpack for travel.

Its generous 11.8 x 15.4 x 20.9-inch dimensions ensure plenty of space for your electronics, including a 16-inch laptop pocket and a 12.9-inch tablet pocket.

The anti-scratch lining is triple-protected to keep your valuables safe while you travel. Reviewers also appreciate its secure locking handle and easy-glide wheels with Velcro wheel cover.

6. Olympia U.S.A. Cascade 20″ Carry-on with Hideaway Backpack

This carry-on backpack from Olympia U.S.A. is as functional as it is stylish.

At 6.4 pounds and with dimensions of 20 x 15 x 8.5 inches, you won’t have any trouble qualifying for the airlines’ carry-on requirements. The hideaway padded backpack straps easily store behind the padded back panel and also include a multi-use harness strap.

The durable jacquard polyester lining features expandable straps and additional compartments if you need more storage.

7. J World New York Sundance Rolling Backpack

Although it’s technically a rolling backpack for students, the features of this J World New York backpack have universal appeal.

Weighing just 4.6 pounds, it’s light enough for incredible manoeuvrability. Its dimensions are 9 x 13 x 20 inches, offering enough space for a laptop, textbooks, clothing, food items, and more.

The aluminium handle extends to 34 or 39 inches, making it comfortable for children or adults to pull. It comes in an array of attractive colours and patterns, too, just in case you’re bored with an all-black bag.

Wheeled travel backpack

Check out this one from High Sierra for the lightest best wheeled travel backpack with plenty of storage options!

8. High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Laptop Backpack

This eye-catching backpack from High Sierra is also the lightest option on our list.

Weighing just 3.5 pounds, you’ll never have to worry about overweight charges at the airport. Despite its featherlight weight, its 20.5 x 13.5 x 8-inch dimensions and multiple compartments offer plenty of storage options.

It can hold up to a 15-inch laptop in its padded computer sleeve. Users also like the deluxe media pocket and built-in headphone port as well as the air mesh padded shoulder straps.

9. JanSport Driver 8 Rolling Backpack

The JanSport backpack you toted around in grade school is all grown up now, as this JanSport rolling backpack will attest to.

Expect easy versatility with this backpack that weighs just 4.5 pounds and has dimensions of 14 x 21 x 10 inches. It can hold a 15-inch laptop and anything else you need to carry in the double main compartments, front organiser pocket, and side bottle pocket.

Reviewers note how durable the backpack is, even with daily use on campus. It’s also available in a variety of colours and designs to suit your individual taste.

10. EVERKI Atlas Wheeled Laptop Backpack

For the utmost versatility in a wheeled travel backpack, look no further than this bag from EVERKI .

What sets this backpack apart from the competition is its adjustable compartment to secure any device between 13 and 17.3 inches. If you need even more packing space, simply remove the computer sleeve.

At 6.7 pounds and with dimensions of 15.7 x 8.1 x 21.3 inches, it’s not the smallest or lightest option on our list. But with its easy manoeuvrability, quiet wheels, and retractable handle, it has everything you want in a rolling backpack.

11. Tilami Rolling Backpack 18-Inch Wheeled Backpack

Here’s another backpack that’s technically for students but works equally well for travellers — this rolling backpack from Tilami.

It weighs in at just under five pounds and has dimensions of 18.92 x 12.9 x 8.2 inches. The high-strength aluminium alloy rod and armour bottom protection system offer sturdiness and durability.

Bonus: The nylon lining means it’s also completely waterproof!

12. Hynes Eagle 2-in-1 Travel Backpack

Perfect as a backpack, daypack, or business bag, you can’t go wrong with this classic style from Hynes Eagle.

At 8.16 pounds, it’s a bit bulkier than other rolling backpacks on our list. However, its dimensions of 14.17 x 16.14 x 22.05 inches are still well within the limits for carry-on luggage on most major airlines.

Equipped with a computer sleeve, tablet sleeve, charging port, and headphone jack, you can easily store all your devices while you travel. It also comes with three water-repellent packing cubes to keep your belongings neat and organised.

Rolling backpacks for travel

Want affordable and highly-rated rolling backpacks for travel? Check out this one from KROSER!

13. KROSER Laptop Rolling Backpack 17-Inch

One of the most highly-rated (and best-priced) items on our list of rolling backpacks, check out this travelling bag from KROSER.

With dimensions of ‎19.8 x 13.7 x 10.2 inches, it can easily hold a 17-inch laptop as well as a tablet or iPad in its specialised compartments. And with a weight of just 5.5 pounds, you can pack plenty of other items without worrying about airline fees.

Users appreciate its “two-stop” push-button telescoping handle as well as its RFID pockets and silent wheels.

14. ZOMFELT 17-Inch Laptop Backpack with Toiletry Bag

If you need just a little more packing space than a standard backpack allows, consider this attractive set from ZOMFELT.

The rolling backpack features a padded pocket for a 17-inch laptop as well as built-in elastic bags to keep smaller items organised. The matching toiletry bag offers a convenient solution to increased storage capacity.

Speaking of capacity, the backpack’s dimensions are ‎19.55 x 13.15 x 8 inches and it weighs in at just under five pounds.

15. Glodiar Rolling Backpack

If none of the rolling backpacks above has ticked all the boxes yet, perhaps this final one will — the 22-inch Glodiar rolling backpack .

At 19.2 x 14.5 x 13.7 inches, its capacity should hold everything you need for your next getaway (including a 15-inch laptop). The adjustable shoulder straps are both comfortable and ergonomic, so no worries if you get stuck in a long security line!

Reviewers appreciate some enhanced security features including a detachable keyring and reflectors to improve nighttime visibility.

Find the Perfect Rolling Backpack for You

Don’t suffer one more bout of “packing panic”! With a new wheeled travel backpack at your side, you’ll be comfortable, organised, and well-prepared for your next journey.

Use the tips and recommendations above and you’ll be well on your way to finding your ideal rolling backpack for travel.

After you’re finished shopping for the best rolling backpacks, all that’s left to do is decide where you’re travelling next!

Check out this post full of super fun places to go with your friends.

rewarding traveler logo

The 5 Best Rolling Backpacks for Travel: Buyers Guide & Reviews

Traveling can be hectic when you aren’t properly prepared. If you’re going on vacation sometime soon, then it’s worthwhile to take the time to find the right luggage that you need. Depending on how much stuff you want to take on your trip, you might need to look for a specific solution. Those who are just looking for a convenient carry-on bag might be interested in rolling backpacks.

Rolling backpacks have become very popular and you’ve probably seen some at the airport before if you travel often. They’re really useful and they make it that much simpler to get through the airport without straining yourself. It allows you to pack some important things and you’ll be able to roll it behind you if you get tired of wearing it like a normal backpack. It’s basically a combination of a backpack and a rolling suitcase.

Today, we’re going to be taking a look at several products to help you find the best rolling backpack for travel. These are the top five rolling backpacks for travel that you should be considering. They’re all very good, but you should be able to find the best one that is going to work for your purposes. Take the time to read everything so that you can make a truly informed decision.

best backpack with wheels for travel

1. MATEIN Rolling Backpack

The first backpack that we’re going to be taking a look at is this MATEIN rolling backpack. This is an ideal option to consider, due to how much it’s capable of holding while still being the right size to use as a carry-on. You’re going to be able to fit a lot inside of this backpack. It’s even designed to fit laptops that are less than 15.6” inside of a separate laptop sleeve.

[earnist ref=”rolling-backpack-matein-waterproof-travel-wheeled-laptop-backpack” id=”13370″]

Having a fully-padded laptop sleeve isn’t the only reason to consider purchasing this rolling backpack, though. The main compartment is also roomy enough to hold lots of clothes and other essentials. There’s even an organizer compartment that features many pockets. This helps you to organize stuff inside of the backpack and things are going to be much easier to find.

There are also mesh pockets on the sides of the bag that’ll be perfect for holding water bottles. You’ll like the back velcro pocket that is meant to hold towels, too. Carrying this backpack is simple and it’s designed to feel natural when being worn. The straps are completely adjustable and they’re also made to be breathable.

Rolling Backpack, Matein Waterproof Travel Wheeled Laptop Backpack for Women Men, Carryon Trolley Luggage Suitcase Compact Business Bag College School Computer Bag fit 15.6 Inch Notebook,Black

The wheels roll smoothly too, so getting through the airport won’t be an issue. Other important features to consider include the water-resistant bottom panel corner guards and the overall durability of the bag. This bag has been designed to last for a long time. It’ll be just fine in an overhead compartment on the airplane and you should be able to use this for many years.

Waterproof Portable Electronic Organizer Bag Travel Accessories Universal Cord Storage

  • Very durable
  • Nice telescoping handle
  • Has a laptop sleeve
  • Spacious main compartment with pockets
  • Rolls smoothly
  • The whole bag isn’t water resistant

2. TiTa-Dong Wheeled Laptop Backpack

Here is another solid rolling backpack for you to consider. This is also a good one to buy when you need to travel with a laptop computer. This one is actually capable of holding a 17” laptop, if you have one that large. It’s going to be a convenient backpack to own for anyone who travels with a laptop for their job.

[earnist ref=”rolling-backpack-luggage-tita-dong-18-inch-wheeled-backpack-travel-laptop-laptop-six-wheels” id=”13372″]

Overall, the capacity of this rolling backpack is quite impressive. You’re going to be able to fit a lot in the main compartment and there are also several pockets for you to make use of. This should make it easy to keep your smaller items organized as you see fit. There are even mesh pockets for you to make use of and the backpack has a key fob hook.

This backpack is durable too, so it’s going to be able to stand up to regular use. You can use this for travel purposes for a long time without having to worry about it becoming damaged. They used high-quality materials to create this bag and it’s even waterproof. This means that your laptop will be safe inside of the backpack, if you need to walk through the rain.

Rolling Backpack Luggage , TiTa-Dong 18 Inch Wheeled Backpack Travel Laptop Laptop Six Wheels Unisex Trolley School Bags Jansport for Boys Girls Kids Teenagers Students,Black

When you’re carrying this in backpack mode, you’ll love how comfortable it feels. The back of this backpack has been made to dissipate heat. This keeps you from getting too hot and sweaty on those sweltering summer days. The shoulder straps feel nice and you’ll just have an easy time using this backpack.

  • Easy to carry
  • Dissipates heat
  • Has a large laptop sleeve
  • Holds a lot of stuff
  • Durable and waterproof
  • The wheels are so-so

3. Time Traveler Wheeled Black Backpack

Our next rolling backpack comes to us from a company called Time Traveler. This backpack can’t take you back in time, but it’s going to work well enough to give you a positive experience at the airport. This is a multi-function backpack that is designed to work great as both a rolling backpack and a laptop backpack. You’ll be able to use this backpack to pack your most important items for your trip without having any issues.

[earnist ref=”wheeled-black-backpack-travel-nylon-rolling-backpack-carry-on-luggage” id=”13373″]

It should be noted right away that this backpack has a large separate compartment for your laptop. This compartment is shockproof and it has been designed to fit laptops that are up to 15” in size. The design of the laptop compartment is truly top notch and it’s going to keep your computer safe. If you’re reliant on your computer for work, then this is a great backpack to own for peace of mind.

The backpack can fit a lot more than just a laptop. You’re also going to have access to multiple pockets that can be used to store things. With so many built-in pockets, you won’t have a hard time finding a spot for your wallet, keys, smartphone, passport, or any other important items. It’s very simple to keep your belongings organized inside of this backpack.

Wheeled Black Backpack, Travel Nylon Rolling Backpack, Carry-on Luggage

Using this backpack in trolley mode is great, due to the high-quality aluminum hideaway telescoping handle. You’ll be able to adjust things to your liking so that you can find a comfortable position. It rolls well and you’re going to find it convenient to use this when you just don’t feel like carrying the backpack any longer. It’s durable enough to last and easy enough to use whenever you’re going on a trip.

  • Breathable airflow shoulders
  • Protects your laptop with a shockproof sleeve
  • Lots of pockets
  • High-quality telescoping handle
  • The wheels aren’t as durable as the handle

4. Samsonite Wheeled Backpack

The Samsonite brand is famous for making high-quality products so you shouldn’t be surprised to see one of their backpacks on this list. This backpack here is a good option, due to its amazing durability. This is among the most durable wheeled backpacks on this list. It’s going to be useful for many years and it should stay looking great.

[earnist ref=”samsonite-wheeled-backpack” id=”13374″]

It was made using a durable type of fabric that is very hard to rip. They refer to this as “rip-stop” fabric and it really does work quite nicely. You won’t have to be concerned about whether this backpack can withstand a bit of punishment. Even if the bag gets rattled around a lot in the overhead compartment, it’s going to be fine, due to its durable nature.

Of course, you’re also going to be able to fit all of the essentials inside of this backpack. It has been made to fit laptops that are up to 17” in size. The backpack has a separate laptop bag compartment for you to make use of, too. It’s a great option for people who want to protect their investment in an expensive laptop.

Samsonite Wheeled Backpack (21 x 8 x 14), Black/Charcoal

You’ll also find that the wheels of this backpack are among the best out there. This backpack uses in-line skate wheels that roll very smoothly. The icepick-style pull handle is also easy to make use of when it comes to steering the bag. You’ll definitely be able to get through the airport with ease when you own this backpack.

  • Great in-line skate wheels
  • Fits laptops up to 17”
  • Many organizational pockets
  • Made from incredibly durable “rip-stop” fabric
  • The handle design isn’t as nice as the wheels

5. HollyHOME 19 Inches Waterproof Wheeled Rolling Backpack

Lastly, we’re going to take a look at this wheeled rolling backpack from HollyHOME. One reason to consider picking this up over some of the other options is that it’s really lightweight. If you like your travel backpacks to be light and easy to carry, then this one is going to appeal to you. It weighs in at only 4.8 pounds and is significantly lighter than many of the leading rolling backpacks on the market.

[earnist ref=”hollyhome-19-inches-waterproof-wheeled-rolling-backpack-for-men-and-women-business-laptop-travel-bag-upgrade-black” id=”13375″]

You’re also going to really like how many pockets this thing has. There are a large number of pockets for you to make use of. This is going to make organizing all of your stuff a lot simpler. You can fit small items while still having plenty of space in the main compartment to fit clothing and other items.

You can fit your laptop in this bag, too. This bag is designed to hold laptops that are up to 14” in size. This is kind of small for a laptop, so you may or may not be able to make use of it for yours. It isn’t the biggest bag in the world, but you can fit a good bit of stuff if you pack smart.

HollyHOME 19 inches Waterproof Wheeled Rolling Backpack for Men and Women Business Laptop Travel Bag, Upgrade Black

The wheels on this backpack are super convenient to use. It makes use of unidirectional wheel design. When the wheels aren’t in use, you can even cover them with the back cushion to prevent them from getting dirty. The handle is made from rust-resistant aluminum alloy too, so it’s going to work nicely for quite some time.

  • Great unidirectional wheel design
  • Several pockets
  • Fits up to a 14” laptop
  • Waterproof and durable
  • The handle might feel too short for some people

Decision Time: Which Rolling Backpack is Best for Your Travel?

Looking at the various rolling backpack options should give you a much better idea of what is out there. You’re going to be able to choose one of these backpacks to make your next travel experience much easier. We’d recommend considering the [earnist_link ref=”rolling-backpack-matein-waterproof-travel-wheeled-laptop-backpack” id=”13370″]MATEIN rolling backpack[/earnist_link] , due to its capacity and durability. The other four options are also amazing in their own ways, so don’t hesitate to choose whichever one appeals to you the most.

The next time you’re going to the airport is going to be a lot less of a hassle. Being able to roll your backpack behind you can save you from back pain when you’re starting to feel fatigued. It’ll allow you to get to your next gate easier and you’ll just have a better time. Go out and purchase what you need today so that you can start your vacation off on a good note.

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Ryan Kangail

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Rolling Backpacks: For the Lightest, Most Comfortable One-Bag Travel

best roller backpack for travel

Your Backpack Tester

best roller backpack for travel

Mose Hayward

Minimalist-ish Vagabond

A carry-on backpack that rolls?

This, for minimalist travel, is the sweet spot.

I’ve traveled constantly with one small rolling backpack or another for the past decade. I have also been updating this article for nearly as long, every time I’ve tried a different wheeled backpack.

My favorites (and my recommendations) have tended to be Osprey bags. They’re thoughtfully designed with travel in mind, and they hold up against rough conditions fabulously. So my top recommendation is definitely the current Osprey model, but later in the article we’ll detail some cheaper options, as well as some good but more expensive and heavier options.

Our Favorite Rolling Travel Backpacks

Our top choices are the Osprey Farpoint Wheeled (for men) and Osprey Fairview Wheeled (for women). (I currently roam and live out of the Farpoint 36 version at right.)

  • Lightweight but solid; likely to hold up well for years
  • Extremely comfortable to carry as backpacks
  • The wheels glide over rough terrain without problems
  • Small enough to meet most carry-on requirements (the 36L versions)
  • Compatible with the clip-on Osprey Farpoint Fairview Travel Daypack , which works as an under-seat bag/personal item and holds essentials and a laptop
  • A bit pricey (if you don’t travel much, see the cheaper Samsonite options below )
  • The backpack straps are supremely comfortable but perhaps more elaborate than needed for our infrequent use, since the wheels do roll so well anywhere

Farpoint 36 Wheeled   Fairview 36 Wheeled

Farpoint 65 Wheeled   Fairview 65 Wheeled

Since the Fairview and Farpoint wheeled packs have the exact same styling, measurements, and features, so if one is out of stock just go for the other. (In fact, Osprey now markets the Farpoint 36 in Europe as unisex.) For the same reason, I’d recommend going with whatever version is cheapest at the moment.

best roller backpack for travel

This article gets regular updates from savvy, sweaty, human backpackers who enjoy wheels

The whole article was most recently completely re-researched and rewritten with new recommendations in February, 2023, with a few more updates in June 2023 and then in November 2023. PREVIOUS VERSIONS: First version published on June 24, 2016. Updated March 28, 2017: Information on the new version of the Meridian and the models from Granite Gear and Eagle Creek has been updated. Updated April 30, 2017: Eagle Creek options updated. They are coming in very close to the Osprey options, but we still prefer Osprey. Updated May 31, 2017: Added Lowe Alpine option and minor updates. Updated July 24, 2017: REI option not available. Updated Aug. 4, 2017: Minor changes to introduction. Updated August 18, 2017: Added Thule information. Updated Sept. 5, 2017: Info on Meridian hip strap. Updated Feb. 6, 2018: Minor fixes, added word “rolling”. Updated July 11, 2018: Added updated information throughout, changed some recommendations, and added more photos. Updated Nov. 14, 2018: The Osprey Ozone Convertible is discontinued but still available at this check. Updated May 24, 2019: Our snazzy new main recommendation, plus overhaul of the whole damn article. Updated Dec. 23, 2020 with new Eagle Creek options. Then the pandemic meant we went quiet for a while with travel stuff.

Who paid us to write this anyway?

We purchase these backpacks ourselves for our travel and to amuse you, dear readers. We’ve been recommending various rolling backpacks on this page for years. No brand—not Osprey nor the others, has ever paid us to sponsor them over any other. In fact, we’ve never even received a free rolling backpack for review. This site—as well as our travel and luggage purchases—is funded through automatically affiliated links to online shops, as noted at the top of the page. That means we can link to just about any backpack anywhere—such as on Amazon, Osprey, Eagle Creek, and other shopping sites—and if our readers like it, buy it, and keep it, a small percentage of the purchase comes back to us and helps us continue our adventures. So for our funding it doesn’t matter which brand we recommend, as long as we can find you all something good and useful.

This article focuses on all-in-one rolling carry-on backpacks for travel . If that’s not what you’re looking for, we also have articles focused on:

Why I Have Traveled for Decades with Only a Wheeled Carry-On Backpack

My first extended backpacking trips were around South America and I carried a traditional pack on my back. As I continued to move through the world I switched to large suitcases, which would quicklyget destroyed by bumpy streets in São Paulo and by aggressive baggage handlers in Chicago and Paris. I replaced a few.

Like most frequent travelers, I eventually whittled things down to start travelling as lightly as possible, and managed to reach that nirvana of travelling with only a carry-on.

And from there, finding the perfect carry-on backpack with both backpack straps and wheels was gravy. Now I could hop off a French train , roll my small bag through the station, and then jump onto a borrowed city bike with my belongings on my back.

best roller backpack for travel

I got more particular over the years, as bags like the one pictured above broke. I tried out a number of brands and models, especially (but not only) from Osprey. And aside from such real-world travel testing, we have continued to analyze brand reliability results from consumer testing organizations across Europe and North America, and we continuously read about others’ experiences on travel blogs in a variety of languages and talk to others on the road carrying (and rolling) wheeled backpacks.

Why Limit Yourself to a Carry-On?

If you’ve got more than a carry-on, you’re humping around more stuff than you need, and the quality of your actual experiences is going to suffer. That’s the whole point of our minimalist perspective on this site. Do you want to come home with memories, or have space for junky souvenirs you’ll never use? Do you want to spend extra time figuring out what to do with a big bag, or be able to change directions at the drop of a hat?

So my recommendation is to go with the carry-on version (36L) of the Osprey pack described here, but some of you may go bigger and move up to the 65L, which will need to be checked in planes.

Why Both Wheels and Backpack Straps?

Why wheels does that destroy my backpacker cred.

The wheel is not an invention to be ignored, dear backpackers! Wheeled luggage keeps your back from getting hot/tired; if you have them, you’ll use them 90 percent of the time. Save your travel energy for going out dancing, hiking, sightseeing, and the rest, not hefting around your belongings.

Why backpack straps?

For those moments when you need the flexibility of being able to pop your load up onto your back, quality backpack straps are a lifesaver. They’re particularly useful when you encounter lots of stairs in a city metro, when you’re off the pavement in the wilderness, when you want to hop on a bike for a moment, when it’s raining and the streets are full of puddles…. We don’t use them all that often, but we’re sure glad to have them when we do.

Our Current Top Recommendation: Osprey Farpoint / Fairview Wheeled

Quick specs.

best roller backpack for travel

The Key Advantages of Osprey’s Farpoint Fairview Wheeled Series

The Osprey Farpoint/Fairview Wheeled Travel Packs meet our most key criteria that come out of years of rolling and hefting backpacks on the road.

best roller backpack for travel

• These are extremely durable packs designed by a company with decades of experience in meeting the needs of demanding travelers. They are backed by a lifetime warranty . Travel pieces with both wheels and backpack straps have more parts that could break, and so good design and materials are key. Over the years, many of my lesser luggage pieces have quickly broken, but my Osprey pieces have endured and never needed that very generous warranty.

• The designs fit with our minimalist aesthetic and style without a lot of silly extras that could add weight or too many pockets to lose things in. The pockets that it does have make sense.

best roller backpack for travel

• The wheels are large and inset, ready to roll easily over rough terrain.

best roller backpack for travel

• The backpack and hip straps allow the pack to be carried quite comfortably over long distances through nature, while biking, or on stairs. I tend to also use them on arrival at train stations in Europe, from where I will grab a city bike for a euro or two to get to my final destination. This would be impossible without the backpack straps.

• The materials, including the durable aluminum frame, are lightweight ; the packs themselves add little to your load (or to your weight limits on airlines).

• It is possible to attach a daypack like the Daylite or (recommended) Farpoint Fairview Travel Daypack. I personally always travel with a daypack, and it’s much more convenient to be able to attach it to my main pack to have a single unit to roll and keep track of.

best roller backpack for travel

• Internal and external compression straps:  If you go a bit too wild with your packing and need to cinch your luggage down, there are straps for this purpose both inside the main compartment and outside the bag.

best roller backpack for travel

A Few Drawbacks — But They Don’t Hold Us Back

  • The Osprey Farpoint and Fairview Wheeled Travel Packs are not exactly cheap , even taking into account that we expect them to hold up for decades. For me, having had to replace a few of the cheaper bags I mentioned earlier, the price ends up being worth it—but if you don’t travel much the expense may not be worth it for you.
  • The shoulder harness and hip belt for backpack carry are perhaps overly elaborate.  Simpler backpack straps and no hip belt would have been fine in my opinion for most users. When you have wheels, you mostly use them and so the shoulder straps and hip belt may not get used all that often. At the very least, Osprey excels in making these ultra-comfortable for long periods of back carrying and they add very little weight to the unit.
  • I would prefer interior (side) pockets for organization during long periods of travel. This can be remedied with packing cubes and organizers though, to help organize everything.

More on the Features, Durability, and Water Resistance of the Osprey Farpoint / Fairview Wheeled Travel Packs

How it carries: comfortable shoulder, sternum, and hip straps.

You unzip the back panel of the Farpoint / Fairview Wheeled Packs to quickly reveal shoulder and sternum straps. These can be adjusted to suit different sizes of backs and shoulders; once you get the right adjustment you are set, and can leave them ready for use or hidden away behind their zipped up panel so that they don’t catch on anything when not needed.

The sternum strap features a safety whistle that is integrated into the buckle. It’s clever and works fine, but would probably be much less effective than yelling loudly if you’re in trouble.

Easy-Access Pockets

Both the 65L and 36L versions of the Farpoint and Fairview Wheeled Travel Packs have two external mesh pockets that are ideal for water bottles, an umbrella, or a small wet towel or windbreaker that needs separating from your main luggage. They are quite deep—certainly more than large enough for any water bottle I’d carry while traveling.

These wheeled packs also have a top pocket for easy access to essentials—just be aware that what is easy for you to access is also easy for pickpockets in crowded places if you’re carrying the piece behind you. If traveling in backpack mode, it is better to carry valuables in a daypack, which can be worn in front of you or clipped to the front of the shoulder straps.

Fitting as a Carry-On — For Most Airlines

For most airlines around the world, the carry-on versions of the Fairview and Farpoint 36 Wheeled Packs pose no problem, but airlines love to mess with us, so check each one specifically before travel. The dimensions are in the table earlier in this article.

Also keep in mind that any backpack’s stated dimensions are going to be a bit squishy, just like the pack itself; even hard luggage is pretty complicated to measure, as Consumer Reports found in their laser tests . You can do your own checking, as airline size requirements for carry-ons vary within the USA as well as abroad.

Note also that some airlines, especially budget airlines, have been reducing the size limit for carry-ons. If you get the cheapest fare on Polish budget airline Wizzair , for example, you can only carry a bag much smaller than the standard carry-on; it must fit under the seat in front of you. Traditional carry-on sizes with wheels tend to require an extra fee.

The Osprey Farpoint and Fairview Wheeled Travel Packs are small enough to fit in the overhead bins on our much-preferred modes of transport: buses and trains . And the carry-on versions are fine for the budget trains like Ouigo and Avlo that charge extra for full-sized luggage.

Men’s and Women’s Versions of the Wheeled Travel Backpacks

In theory, the Farpoint is designed for men and the Fairview for women. This distinction is more important with Osprey’s trekking packs, as the hip straps are a bit more angled for women.

Men’s bags usually have a slightly longer and narrower torso, but the Osprey Farpoint and Fairview Wheeled Travel Packs have exactly the same dimensions, weights, and volumes.

At the moment there appears to be no sex distinction in Europe; Osprey sells the Farpoint and the Fairview Wheels 36 as the same “unisex” model: the Osprey Farpoint Wheels 36. This makes me wonder if there really is a difference at all, but I have not yet been able to compare the two models side-by-side to check if the angling is at all different. I suspect that both models are actually the same.

With other Osprey packs, the backpack straps are angled slightly differently for male or female hips, but as most users only wear rolling packs on their backs occasionally, the difference, if there is one for its wheeled packs, is likely to go unnoticed.

Durability: A Pack for Life

Our experience with Osprey pieces over the last decade has been excellent. They’re expensive, but you can expect them to last.

We’re not the only ones to like Osprey. The brand gets great raves from bloggers, consumer reviews, and online travel magazines. For travel writers who cover luggage, the Osprey brand has long been at or near the top of reviewers’ lists. They report that Osprey’s zippers, handles, and wheels in sealed housings withstand heavy use, and generally appreciate the same features we have commented on ourselves.

In our ongoing research for this article we monitor results from consumer testing organizations in Europe ( Which? , Que Choisir ,   60 Millions ) and America ( Consumer Reports ). Although they do not cover this particular subcategory of luggage (wheeled backpacks), they do offer pointers in terms of quality, rolling design and durability, as well as some limited testing of specific brands.

On top of these experiences we can add Osprey’s “All Mighty” Guarantee (“any reason, any product, any era”), which puts it among the top few luggage manufacturers in standing by its work. If a handle, buckle, zipper, whatever breaks on the road, you can get it repaired and sent back to you free of charge, and if they can’t fix it they’ll replace the bag. You pay only to send it in. If you’re on the road, just contact the international customer service center closest to you. Importantly, travelers have reported in that Osprey actually follows up on this promise, quickly, without fuss, and for free. We’ve never had reason to contact Osprey’s warranty department ourselves.

A Key Add-On Feature: A Great Daypack

A good daypack is essential for travel; you’ll actually use it more than your main luggage piece as you carry lunch and water through green landscapes, wander around in a new city with a few essentials, take a laptop to work in a café or co-working space, or even pack a change of clothes for a short overnight trip. So you want your daypack to be a good one.

Osprey Farpoint Fairview Travel Daypack

We cover a full range of Osprey daypacks here , but if you’re looking for one to add onto the Farpoint / Fairview Wheeled Travel Packs, the choice is obvious: the Osprey Farpoint Fairview Travel Daypack , which is fully compatible with The Farpoint or Fairview Wheeled Travel Packs in that it can clip onto the front or back . You’ll likely want to wear it on the front when using your main pack as a backpack, because this provides better balance, is more comfortable, and keeps your valuables in front of you where you can keep an eye on them when in a crowded area (like city transport). You’ll likely attach it to the back of the pack when rolling.

There are two outer stretchy pockets that work well for water bottles, a sandwich, banana or other snack, or a collapsible umbrella. For many critics of other luggage this is a very appreciated feature of daypacks but one that is also a key stress point; often the poor-quality mesh material of the water bottle pockets on backpacks is the first thing to fall apart. On Osprey daypacks, these pockets are made from very durable stretchy material. They show no signs of wear on our daypacks yet, and we’re certainly not expecting them to give out the way such mesh pockets often do.

Offering an attachable/detachable daypack seems obvious, but many of the other rolling backpacks that we cover later in this article simply lack this feature. An attachable daypack allows you to roll all of your stuff as one unit, as well as leave the main piece and unclip the daypack with your essentials when that’s all you need.

Aside from the convenient carry options, an attachable daypack has also proved wonderful at times for getting through different airline carry-on restrictions:

  • If the airline allows only a personal item, you can use the daypack as your personal item and then pay for checked luggage or a large carry-on, whichever is cheaper (often the former).
  • If the airline or train does not allow a personal item, you can attach the daypack to the main piece and voilà, you have only a single carry-on. Just be careful not to overstuff the pack and exceed the dimensions for that particular mode of transport.
  • If an airline decides to gate-check your carry-on at the last minute at boarding, you can detach the daypack with your valuable essentials and laptop and keep it with you while allowing the airline to gate-check your main carry-on. (One airline worker in France was very surprised and impressed when he saw me doing this.)

Water Resistance

These Osprey packs are treated with DWR, or Durable Water Repellent, which is what keeps water out of your pack if you get stuck in the rain. My experience so far has been that Osprey’s repellants do a good job when I’ve been stuck in brief downpours; we’ll do a test with the new DWR and report back soon.

The Osprey DWR is PFC-free (that is, no perfluorinated chemicals, which are harmful for people and the environment).

Osprey Raincover

If you expect to be outdoors a lot in bad weather, you can improve your protection with an Osprey Raincover ( direct from Osprey USA , Osprey Europe , or from Amazon ), available in different sizes and in black as well as high-visibility options.

A Video: Opening up the Osprey Farpoint and Fairview Wheeled Travel Packs

Here’s a promotional video from Osprey that helps to give a good idea of the Farpoint and Fairview wheeled packs in all their glory.

Other Rolling Carry-On Backpacks

If you’re looking for something simpler, slightly different features or styling, or want to spend less, there are a few other options worth considering. You can also check out our article focused on larger (checked luggage) travel options with both wheels and backpack straps .

High Quality but Not Quite the Right Features: Eagle Creek Wheeled Backpack Carry-Ons

We find that Eagle Creek’s convertible rolling cabin bags come in at a very close second to Osprey’s. Eagle Creek has a solid reputation for durability and tops the list for luggage brand satisfaction in surveys by consumer organizations . Also, like Osprey, Eagle Creek offers a solid lifetime warranty and has repair centers around the world. If something goes wrong you pay to get the bag to a repair center, and they take care of the rest.

Eagle Creek bags are fabulous in terms of quality but slightly heavier and with different features.

best roller backpack for travel

For me, the closest contender is the Eagle Creek Caldera Convertible International Carry-On . It offers a detachable daypack, excellent rough-and-tumble wheels with good clearance, and (for my taste) the Caldera’s daypack is sleeker and smarter-looking.

The downsides to the Caldera are that there are no water bottle pockets, and it tends to be a bit more expensive.

The Eagle Creek Expanse 2-Wheel Convertible International Carry-On is a bit cheaper but maintains high quality construction and materials. It lacks a detachable daypack and some other features; the backpack straps are quite simple and there is no hip belt. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; you’re not likely to carry the bag for long distances on your back since you have wheels.

For more on these, see our comparison review of the Caldera International, Gear Warrior, and Expanse International .

Cheaper Wheeled Backpack Carry-Ons from Samsonite

If you’re looking for much cheaper options from a well-rated brand, Samsonsite is an obvious place to look for wheeled backpacks, particularly since Samsonite luggage has been generally reasonably well-rated by consumer organizations for its durability (and the British organization liked some of its rugged hard luggage).

That said, the materials and construction of the bags we’ve seen here do not seem as durable as our top choices (earlier in this article.) The water bottle pockets are made of a flimsy mesh material that often tears quickly and catches on things, and the wheels are not as large and don’t have as much clearance for rough roads as the Osprey options. Generally Samsonite does not even list the specific materials aside to say “polyester” and sometimes “recycled fabric”, without giving the type and grade.

That said, these are much cheaper options and worthwhile if you only travel occasionally, or want to experiment with the rolling+backpack travel life before committing to a more expensive bag.

Samsonite Wheeled Backpack

A simple, two-wheeled carry-on option is the Samsonite Wheeled Backpack , which has a pull handle, organizational side pockets and water bottle pocket, a front pocket, and a laptop sleeve for 17″ laptops. The shoulder straps are padded. It is carry-on sized, at 8 x 14 x 21 inches (20.3 x 35.6 x 53.3 centimeters).

Samsonite MVS Rolling Backpack

If you really want spinner wheels for some reason, or a smaller and much cheaper piece, the Samsonite MVS Rolling Backpack is an option.

We don’t use spinner wheels ourselves as they take up space, break off more easily and don’t serve much of a purpose,  particularly  with smaller carry-ons like this one that you will never end up pushing in front of you. I also think that at 19 x 12 x 12 inches (48.3 x 30.5 x 30.5 centimeters), this is a bit oddly sized and shaped for a standard carry-on and yet too large to fit reliably under the seat in front of you as a personal item, particularly with the wheels.

best roller backpack for travel

A bit more travel-oriented is the Samsonite Detour Convertible Wheeled Hybrid Backpack directly from Samsonite, which measures 22 x 14 x 10 inches (55.6 x 35.6 x 25.4 centimeters). It has a range of both inner and outer organizational pockets including one for a 15.6″ laptop.

There are well-padded backpack straps with a shoulder harness and a fabric flap that can cover the wheels to keep you clean when you’re using the pack on your back. I like that there is a divider that creates multiple compartments but this may not be to your taste if you like to have everything in a single main compartment in small bags like this one.

best roller backpack for travel

The Samsonite Tectonic Nutech Wheeled Backpack is a more expensive and likely more durable wheeled backpack carry-on of similar dimensions; it uses 1680D ballistic polyester fabric, including for the side water-bottle pockets (as opposed to flimsy mesh material).

There is a sturdy, two-bar pull handle and more plastic reinforcing around the wheel housing.

As with the other Samsonite options, there are quite a lot of external and internal organizational pockets. It opens out flat so it’s easy to get at everything.

The shoulder straps are padded (but no sternum strap, making it uncomfortable to carry significant weight for long) and there is a fabric covering for the wheels when you’re using the pack on your back.

These Samsonite luggage options come with a 10-year limited warranty .

Shopping Links for Samsonite Wheeled Backpacks in Various Countries

  • Samsonite Australia
  • Samsonite Belgium
  • Samsonite Canada
  • Samsonite India
  • Samsonite Netherlands
  • Samsonite Taiwan
  • Samsonite USA

Other Well-Rated, Cheaper Rolling Backpacks for Travel

The following wheeled bags are the cheapest we have found that still have reasonably good ratings—but we think most people will be happier with our other picks above.

We think it’s best to ignore any of these brands’ dodgy claims of “waterproof” or “water resistance” on Amazon as they are not backed up by a specific IP rating for a specific, testable degree of water resistance.

Yorepek Rolling Backpack

There is a Yorepek Rolling Backpack that has a removable handle and wheels—making it more like a luggage cart/trolley with a backpack included. The bag has a sleeve for laptops of up to 17 inches and a variety of compartments and pockets. There is a USB jack which serves no real purpose (no battery is included—it simply allows you to run a cable from the inside to the outside of the bag) and yet may still arouse suspicions from airlines that reject bags with integrated batteries. Most customers seemed more or less happy with it though some complained that it is unstable on its rolling stand.

Glodiar Rolling Backpack

A bit pricier is the Glodiar 22-Inch Rolling Backpack , which is a good carry-on size, and it also comes in a couple of smaller sizes . The wheels are extremely oversized, giving it a bit of a crazy (and I think classy) look, but of course that eats into some of the valuable internal capacity.

There are lots of internal pockets and sleeves, including for a 17″ laptop. The shoulder straps are padded and can be hidden when not in use; there is no sternum strap.

Aocrin Rolling Backpack

An extremely similar bag with oversized wheels is sold under a different brand name: the Aocrin Rolling Backpack . It has much more of a business/briefcase look to it until you pop out the backpack straps. There is, again, lots of internal organization including a sleeve for a 17″ laptop. There is also, unfortunately, a silly USB plug integrated into the bag. The piece measures 18.5 x 13.3 x 9.4 inches (47 x 33.8 x 24 centimeters). It’s worth checking out mainly for the hilarious pictures of “businessmen” modeling it despite the oversized wheels and backpack straps.

See also some cheaper, smaller rolling backpacks for school or day-to-day use.

Wrap-Up: The Best Rolling Backpacks for Most Travelers

best roller backpack for travel

We love to hear about your experiences with these and other rolling carry-on backpacks in the comments.

  • Osprey Farpoint 36 Wheeled (Men, Carry-On) ]
  • Osprey Fairview 36 Wheeled (Women, Carry-On)
  • Osprey Farpoint 65 Wheeled (Men, Checked)
  • Osprey Fairview 65 Wheeled (Women, Checked)

You can also browse the lineup of wheeled backpacks at Osprey USA (or the same at Osprey Europe and Osprey UK ).

As an add-on, we highly recommend also using a compatible daypack, especially the Osprey Farpoint Fairview Daypack , which attaches to the front (in packpack mode) or to the back.

best roller backpack for travel

Our Reviewers’ Picks of Underrated, Useful Travel Gear

A Universal Travel Adapter with 3 USB-C Ports

About The Author

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20 thoughts on “Rolling Backpacks: For the Lightest, Most Comfortable One-Bag Travel”

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Great information. Thinking of getting one to take to Japan. Does it meet airline carryon sizes with or without the daypack attached? Thank you.

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Thanks for sharing your experience.

Hi! Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Osprey Transporter Wheeled Carry On: This is my minimal rolling carry-on, for quick trips that don t require backpacking. It has rugged features, water resistant, tough wheels, and easily flies as a carry-on. Available on Amazon or REI .

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I recently bought the Osprey Meridian roiled backpack with removable day-bag. I travel the EMEA region for work every week and have been looking for a replacement for my 3 year old IKEA bag with removable day bag………..unfortunately the Meridian does not compare with regards to functionality. The day bag does not hold my laptop due to the air-mesh distorting the shape of the bag, there is no organization pocket for electronics, notepads, pens, etc. the main bag has undeniable build quality but it’s clunky to access the pockets at airport security…..even the click lock of the day bag is not very practical when trying to quickly attach/remove the day pack. Overall very disappointed with the Osprey Meridian and my search goes on for a replacement.

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Hi! Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m curious what exactly your laptop issue is, as I use the daypack with my laptop nearly every day, and I have a rather large and heavy laptop at the moment. I use the tablet pocket for notepads and pens, but it’s true that there isn’t a dedicated pen slot like you find on some bags. I’m also not sure why you’re having issues with the buckles that detach the daypack from the main pack — those are far more quick and convenient on this bag than on others we’ve tested. Feel free to comment with more specifics if you wish!

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Heart = broken. After much too much time scouring the internet for the Ozone, I can’t find it anywhere, in any size… except one for $570 from Japan! Amazon is out. Can’t even find it on eBay.

What I can’t understand is why Osprey would discontinue this pack. It’s 2lbs lighter than the Meridian, which is a lot for those of us with bad backs who end up packing our bags to the T. Maybe because they can charge more for it? So lame!

I’m not sure what country you’re in so it’s hard to help; checking just now, the Osprey Ozone Convertible is still available from Amazon at our links above for the USA; it has long not been available in Europe. It sounds, though, like you might prefer to travel with a bit more space? I’d go for a larger rolling backpack like the Meridian 75 in your shoes; because of your back you’ll roll it most of the time but it has comfortable straps when needed.

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Quite an informative blog.

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I have been considering the Meridian for a few months now for an upcoming trip to Japan..but I can’t seem to find one to try on anywhere where I live (Ottawa, Canada). I am also a little confused…I see in some sites advertise the Meridian with a hip strap and in other sites it does not have one. I really want a hip strap…can anyone let me know for sure if the Meridian has a hip belt.

Hi Mello, the new version (as of 2016) of the Osprey Meridian 22 does not have a hip strap, and can be purchased here in Canada . It sounds like you want a hip strap so the Osprey Ozone 22 would be better for you; it is slightly lighter to carry on your back, has basically the same features as the Meridian, and has the hip strap. Here’s the link for the Ozone in Canada . offers free shipping and has a good return policy so you can return it if you change your mind.

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I’ve been searching for a wheeled convertible backpack with a detachable daypack for a while. I am glad to have found this article with reviews. Aside from the lack of a daypack and the weird placement of the backpack straps, the Eagle Creek Flip Switch Wheeled Backpack 22 mentioned here is no longer available on the manufacturers website. There are, however, two other bags offered by Eagle Creek that are much more comparable to Osprey’s Ozone 22″ Convertible:

The Eagle Creek DoubleBack™ Carry-On:

The Eagle Creek Switchback™ International Carry-On:

For me it is now a choice between the Osprey Ozone and the Eagle Creek Switchback.

Hi Darin, checking just now, the Flip Switch is available at Eagle Creek. Your suggestions about the Eagle Creek Switchback International and the DoubleBack are excellent, however, and we should have covered those earlier. We now have a full comparison of the two and we’ve also completely updated the Eagle Creek section of this page. Thanks for your careful comments and happy travels!

We didn’t originally mention the duffel version of this bag since it lacks a daypack, which we find essential. But sure, why not, for completeness. We have now added the duffel to the text above. As for the Meridian, there was a — we’d call it minor — update in 2016 that improved ventilation of the daypack and streamlined the harness design. This is also now noted above. We don’t think this takes away from the design of the piece at all, if anything it’s now even more appealing. Thanks for your careful comments!

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Why not like the Eagle Creek Lync Series system? Their 20 inch is a true International carry on, unlike the flip switch or even the Ospey 22 inch you highlight.

We considered the Eagle Creek Lync 20 inch and 22-inch just a bit too weird—when is it really necessary to be able to remove your wheels? You’re going to want them at some point on any trip, so why take them off? And more importantly, they lack a daypack. Eagle Creek makes good backpacks and we think the Eagle Creek Flip Switch is a better option if you don’t need a daypack. We have not had any problems on international flights (including intra-Europe flights on budget airlines) with the Osprey and Eagle Creek carry-on options we highlight, nor have others reported problems.

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If you’re going somewhere where you won’t use the wheels such as on a day hike you’d remove the wheels (well if it wasn’t such a hassle to re-install, which is the real complaint with the Lync bags). However, if as I do you own a separate daypack just use it instead and leave the roller at the lodging. You mention you can buy the usb separate but neglect to mention you can buy a good daypack for $20 that while not in use can be stuffed into your main bag.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to take off the wheels and carry my entire bag with me on a day hike; that’s what daybags are for. Great point about buying daypacks separately (we discuss that further here ). If you want to go that route, the Osprey Ozone 22″ plus the Osprey Ozone Adult Day Pack make a fine couple and are built to hook together. But note that it’s nice to be able to fully zip your packs together (especially when you have to fly on airlines that don’t allow a “personal item” in addition to your carry-on). Thus our recommendation at the top of this page.

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These are great overviews! Wish I had stumbled upon this page during my two days of researching wheeled carry-on backpacks. You mentioned that the main bag of the Granite Gear Cross Trek backpack cannot be worn on a backpack, but I noticed in the video here that you can – you just need to unzip the back:

Yes, this was misstated in an earlier version of this article. This has now been clarified in the text above; thanks for your comment! The Granite Gear Cross Trek Wheeled-Carry-On is a decent bag at a great price, but with the daypack attached it is too big to be accepted as a carry-on — so not our top choice.

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Top Rolling Backpacks

Osprey Farpoint 36 Wheeled (Men, Carry-On)

For daytime jaunts and to carry a laptop, couple any of these with the clip-on daypack.

Osprey Farpoint Fairview Daypack

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10 Best Wheeled Backpacks (For Easy Travel)

Wheeled backpacks are a must when you travel with a lot of heavy gear. They help tremendously with back pain especially when you’re carrying lots of gear every day.

But with so many different options, how do you know which wheeled backpacks are right to buy? Only by doing a lot of research, which is exactly what we did so you didn’t have to!

At A Glance: Our Top 3 Picks for Wheeled Backpack

  • Best Travel Backpack With Wheels Osprey Sojourn Jump To Review
  • Best World Travel Backpack Eagle Creek Gear Warrior Covertable Backpack Jump To Review
  • Best Work Wheeled Backpack Samsonite Tectonic Wheeled Backpack Jump To Review
  • Best Small Backpack Wenger Luggage Synergy Wheeled 16" Laptop Backpack Jump To Review
  • Best Everyday Backpack Aoking Wheeled Travel Backpack Jump To Review

Scroll down to see the best of the best-wheeled backpacks we have found. And there are options for all different budgets!

Top Product Overview

The best wheeled backpacks, osprey sojourn.

Osprey Farpoint Men's Wheeled Travel Pack 65L, Black

If you’re looking for a high-quality travel backpack, the Osprey Farpoint is the bag for you. Although I find it to be a pricey bag, it’s worth every single penny. This wheeled backpack is made from  210D recycled high tenacity nylon, that is coated with a DWR to make it highly water resistant. Great for travel, right>

I liked that the Farpoint has a spacious packing space, and inside there are several zippered pockets. The total capacity of the backpack is 65 liters , so I noticed I can stuff a lot of gear compared to when I travel with a smaller suitcase. But, unlike a suitcase, the Farpoint has multiple internal pockets, attachment points, and compression straps to pack more or keep things secure.

This pack also has top and side grab handles for effortless picking up . Which is great for when you need to check it in or load it on a train or bus!

The thing I love about the Farpoint is that both the back panel and the harness are padded and ventilated – using Osprey’s famous Airspeed suspension system. So, it feels comfortable even when you’re carrying the backpack on your shoulders. I appreciated having a padded hip belt and sternum strap to distribute the load on your hips instead of on your shoulders.

One thing I didn’t like about this rolling backpack is the lack of  a dedicated laptop pocket . Sure, you can fit pretty much any device inside the actual bag, but it lacks the convenience of  a TSA-friendly bag.

Overall, if you want a convertible wheeled travel back pack with an insane amount of space that is easy to move about, you can’t really go wrong.

Note:   The Osprey Fairview is the women’s version of this rolling travel backpack.

  • Carry on sized
  • Padded back panel and harness
  • Spacious storage compartment
  • No dedicated laptop compartment
  • Quite heavy

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 27.56 X 16.14 X 13.39 Inches
  • Weight: 6.174 lbs
  • Capacity: 65 liters
  • 3967 IN3 / 65 L 27.56H X 16.14W X 13.39D IN. 6.174 LBS.

Eagle Creek Gear Warrior Covertable Backpack

eagle creek Gear Warrior Convertible Carry On Travel Backpack with Wheels - Durable Design with Burly Wheels and Bumpers, Lightweight Tube Handle and Compression Straps, Jet Black - 22'

When it comes to world-class luggage, Eagle Creek’s name pops up almost every time. You might know them more for their packing cubes or other travel accessories, but this travel backpack with wheels  is also top-notch!

This is actually a two-bag system, that is ideal for world travelers. You can pack your main bag, and detach the second one for your day out in town or hiking. I love the flexibility of such a system as that is how I always travel.

The large backpack/main bag is a huge packing space with a high-quality harness that I found made the bag a pleasure to walk around with. Just be careful not to overload the second backpack or else it pulls you backwards a bit. Put heavier things closer to your back.

It has a zip-away harness that you can hide if you have to check it in or carry it on a train or bus. And there is a great 42″ extendable handle with skate wheels so you can cruise around the airport or streets of Paris!

The material is high-grade recycled 600D Poly Neo Diamond combined with a rigid 210D Exo Skeleton. The base of both bags is well protected and there is even a stand for the backpack to take a load off. Both bags felt super durable to me, but either way, Eagle Creek backs it up with their “No Matter What” lifetime warranty.

The wheels are nice and burly for those annoying streets with rough ashfelt or even those European cobbles. But, you can always carry it whenever you want too. There are also corner protectors and recessed wheel housing to ensure those durable rollers keep rolling for years to come.

I like how the backpack zips off for the times when you just don’t need it on a trip. However, when you are using it, it has comfy padded shoulder straps to carry it.

Eagle Creek certainly has not forgotten security with lockable zippers tough pulls to open them. They are seriously on point for today’s anti-theft backpacks .

This is no cheap rolling backpack, but when you consider it is actually two-in-one and will take you all the way around the world and back, it’s quite a good deal.

  • Water resistant durable fabric
  • Laptop pocket is 18"
  • Security features
  • No organizer panel
  • No hip belt
  • Dimensions: 21.75 x 14 x 9 in
  • Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz
  • Capacity: 37 liters
  • Dimensions: 18.25 x 11 x 6 in
  • Weight: 1 lbs 2 oz
  • Capacity: 18 liters

Samsonite Tectonic Wheeled Backpack

Samsonite Wheeled Backpack with Organizational Pockets, Black/Charcoal, One Size

Samsonite rarely disappoints with its luggage, so grab this pack if you’re looking for a safe choice. I was impressed by the durable 400D ripstop nylon , which offers great abrasion, tear, and water resistance.

The Tectonic wheeled backpack has two in-line skate wheels  which I found rolled well. Its  shoulder straps are contoured and with thick padding , and there is a cover that you can put over the wheels so they don’t touch your back directly.

The thing I really like about this roller backpack is that it can fit even 17” laptops in the internal padded compartment. I just found it is difficult to get a laptop in and out when it is full. However, there is definitely plenty of space for your gear in the internal and external compartments, including one with an organizer panel.

The one big downside I noticed on this rolling pack is that there’s not really enough space between the bottom of the bag and the ground. This could easily lead to rips and tears in the fabric. Even though nylon is a sturdy material, it’s not strong enough to endure being dragged on concrete.

But smooth floors of the airport, school and the office shouldn’t do any damage to the pack.  To make your backpack last as long as possible, be very careful how you roll it and try not to overfill it.

One thing to note is that not all of the colors are the exact same size. I listed the specs for the black Samsonite wheeled backpack; the purple and red packs are slightly smaller.

  • Fts 15- 17” laptops (depending on version)
  • Multiple compartments allow for easy organization
  • Not enough space between the bottom of the pack and the ground
  • No hip belt or sternum strap
  • Dimensions: 8” x 14” x 21”
  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Capacity: Not specified

Ambor Rolling Backpack

AMBOR Rolling Backpack, Waterproof 18 Inch Wheeled Backpack, Carry-on Bag Luggage Suitcase Compact Business Backpack with Wheels, Student Rolling Laptop Bag Carry Luggage - Black

The Ambor rolling backpack is one of the best affordable options. It’s  a great EDC bag , with multiple compartments and pockets that allow you to organize all of your belongings. And it actually has a really spacious compartment that can fit enough clothes for shorter trips.

The bag features a padded laptop sleeve, which can fit most 15” laptops. And there’s also a tablet sleeve attached to the laptop pocket, so all your tech can be safely tucked away in the same place. On top of that, the Ambor wheeled backpack also features two additional external compartments that are great for any of your travel gear you want to have more easily accessible.

There’s  an extra tablet sleeve in the frontmost compartment , as well as an entire organizer panel for all your smaller necessities. The other external compartment does not have any extra pockets inside, and it’s large enough to fit notebooks, magazines, and files.

The pack is equipped with  rubber in-line skate wheels  that roll quite smoothly. The wheel handle is made from aluminum, so it’s very sturdy and lightweight. It’s a single barrel handle, so it really doesn’t protrude inside the actual backpack compartment that much.

You can easily switch this from a wheeled backpack to a normal backpack. The shoulder straps are stowable, and there is a padded cover that goes over the wheels.

However, the straps themselves are quite thin, and there’s  no ventilation on the harness or the backpanel,  so it’s not going to be the most comfortable to carry on your back.

  • Very affordable
  • Great EDC bag
  • Fits 15” devices
  • Shoulder straps are quite thin
  • No ventilation on backpanel or harness
  • Dimensions: 19.8” x 13.5” x 7.8”
  • Weight: 6 lbs
  • Capacity: 39 liters

High Sierra XBT Laptop Rolling Backpack

High Sierra XBT - TSA Laptop Backpack, Black, One Size

High Sierra is known for making high-quality outdoor gear, and this backpack is no exception. It is made from ripstop and tech-weave Duralite fabric, with an additional water-resistant coating that will protect your tech in rainy weather. But, the zippers aren’t exactly water-resistant and water can leak through them – keep that in mind if you get caught in a heavy downpour.

The XBT travel bag features corner-mounted wheels and a double-barrel telescoping handle. Frankly, I’m not a huge fan of the double-barrel handle, as I found it takes up more space within the actual bag.

The thing I love about this pack is that it has  several compartments that allow for easy organization.  There’s a dedicated  laptop sleeve that can easily fit 17” devices , as well as a smaller tablet sleeve.

And that’s on top of the spacious packing space and multiple external pockets, one of which has an organizer panel. Additionally , one of the pockets is lined with micro-fleece to protect your phone or sunglasses from scratches.

This laptop backpack has  external compression straps , which will come in handy when it’s not entirely full. They allow you to cinch in the bag and make it more compact, in order to prevent its contents from shifting around.

Last but not least, there are the  two padded shoulder straps . I liked that they are quite comfortable. However, the lack of a hip belt, sternum strap, and breathable mesh on the back panel means it is not ideal. I would not necessarily recommend this wheeled pack if you’re more interested in carrying it on your shoulders than rolling it around.

  • Fits 17” laptops
  • Water resistant coating
  • No ventilation on the backpanel
  • No hipbelt or sternum strap
  • Dimensions: 21.3” x 15” x 7.1”
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Capacity: 38.5 liters

Wenger Luggage Synergy Wheeled 16" Laptop Backpack

Wenger Luggage Synergy 18-Inch, Black/Grey, 16

The Wenger wheeled backpack is one of the most versatile options out there. It works great as both an EDC backpack and a travel backpack, which is why it’s one of our favorites. The spacious main compartment can fit quite a lot of items, whether you’re looking to fill it with books or clothes.

And one of the reasons why we love it so much is the back panel. There’s no messing around with the Synergy pack – with thick padding and high-quality breathable mesh all over the back panel and harness, t his will be as comfortable as any regular backpack.

It is also going to be easy to roll this small backpack, due to the high quality, smooth wheels and the retractable wheel handle.

When you look at the interior of the pack, it only gets better. It has  a triple padded 16” laptop sleeve, as well as a 13” tablet sleeve.  This means that you could technically fit a bigger and a smaller laptop inside the bag.

And that is just one compartment. The Synergy rolling backpack has  multiple other zippered compartments and pockets – I counted at least seven external ones. Plus, there are stretch side pockets that can fit smaller items, including a standard water bottle.

The Wenger backpack kind of seems too good to be true – I bet you’re wondering what’s the catch. And there really isn’t one, other than the high price point that might be off-putting for some people. But it’s  nowhere near as expensive as the  Osprey  or Tumi packs,  and I honestly think the price is fair, considering everything you’re getting for your money.

All in all, a worthy selection from a great range of travel backpacks.

  • Padded and ventilated backpanel and harness
  • Multiple external pockets and compartments
  • Dimensions: 11.8” x 15.4” x 20.9”
  • Weight: 6.08 lbs

Aoking Wheeled Travel Backpack

AOPMGOE AOKING 20/22″Water Resistant Rolling Wheeled Backpack Laptop Compartment Bag

The Aoking backpack is definitely one of my favorites, due to the  really large wheels . Their size lets you casually roll them up and down the stairs, without worrying that you’ll rip one of the wheels off or damage your backpack. And that’s perfect for us lazy folks, that sometimes just can’t be bothered to pick up our luggage.

This travel bag is  available in two sizes, an 18” version and a 20” one.  I will list the specs of both sizes below, so you know exactly what to expect.

Another thing I really liked about it is that it comes with a  detachable cover for the wheels . It will protect you from getting first or water on your clothes, and since it is detachable, it’s super easy to wash it after use.

And there’s more. With thick padding and ventilation on both the back panel and harness, I found I could carry this pack comfortably on my back. When you’re just rolling it, you can tuck away the shoulder straps so they don’t get caught on the huge wheels.

This pack has  a spacious packing space with a laptop pocket (fits 17” devices),  a smaller front compartment with an  organizer panel,  and one zippered external pocket. Because the wheels of the bag are so big, there really isn’t space for side water bottle pockets.

If you’re looking for a really spacious bag for travel, this isn’t the wheeled backpack for you. But if you just want a premium bag for everyday activities, then this is right up your alley.

  • No side pockets
  • 18” Backpack
  • Dimensions: 18.9" x 7.87" x 13.8”
  • Weight: 6.5 lbs
  • Capacity: 34 liters
  • 20” Backpack
  • Dimensions: 20.1" x 9.8" x 14.2”
  • Weight: 7.19 lbs
  • Capacity: 48 liters

TUMI - Merge Wheeled Backpack

TUMI - Merge Wheeled Backpack - 15 Inch Laptop Carry-On Rolling Bag for Men and Women - Black Contrast

Tumi Merge is the rolling backpack we recommend for those of you that looking for  a luxury option .

Even though I don’t necessarily agree with the sky-high price tag, I can’t deny that this is a premium bag,  perfect for those that frequently travel for business . It’s made from  tough ballistic nylon, with an aircraft-grade aluminum wheel handle.

The great thing about this wheeled backpack is that it is small enough to fit under the seat even on smaller jets. This pretty much guarantees you will always be able to carry it on an airplane and avoid checked baggage fees.

The bag opens up like a suitcase, to reveal a very spacious packing space with one zippered pocket and two slip pockets. There are internal compression straps to keep all your clothes in place, but no external straps to cinch the pack when it’s not full.

The shoulder straps are detachable and can be tucked away when you’re rolling the bag. And when you’re carrying it, you can use the cover to protect your clothes from the dirty in-line skate wheels.

In addition to that spacious packing space, the Tumi Merge wheeled backpack also features  a 15” laptop pocket, a dedicated iPad sleeve, and four a total of four external pockets  for any smaller items you would like to have handy while traveling.

On top of that, this bag is  part of the Tumi Tracer program . That means that it has a unique barcode, which can help you track down the bag in case it ever gets lost. Very useful, especially considering the high price point.

  • Great for organization
  • Spacious packing space
  • 15” laptop pocket
  • No external compression straps
  • Very expensive
  • Dimensions: 21" x 13" x 8”
  • Weight: 6.4 lbs
  • Capacity: 30 liters

Targus Compact Rolling Backpack

Targus 16 Inch Compact Rolling Backpack, Black - Wheeled Travel Bag with Removable Protective Laptop Sleeve, Fits Laptops Up to 16” and MacBook Pros up to 17” (TSB750US)

The Targus backpack is a great option for those of you that are looking for an affordable bag . There are two versions of the bag, and keep in mind that everything I tell you here only applies to the 16” laptop backpack.

This rolling backpack is  made from durable polyester, with a neoprene grab handle. Polyester is a good material for luggage, but it’s not quite as durable or water-resistant as nylon. So, the lower price point actually makes perfect sense.

This bag features thick padding in the back panel and breathable mesh on the inside of the shoulder straps. Unfortunately, there’s no ventilation on the back panel, so it’s not going to be the most comfortable backpack to carry on your shoulders during hot summer days. But it has wheels and a wheel handle, so you can always just roll it around everywhere.

And when you want to make use of the  in-line skate wheels and the retractable wheel handle , you should tuck away the shoulder straps so they don’t get in the way. You should also make sure to put the cover over the wheels so that they don’t get in direct contact with your clothes.

There’s a dedicated laptop compartment that fits 16” devices, as well as a smaller tablet sleeve. In fact, the laptop compartment  can even fit 17” MacBooks , but not other computer brands.

In addition to the spacious main compartment, the Targus backpack also has  a small scratch-free zippered pocket,  a front compartment with an organizer panel, a zippered side pocket, and a stretch water bottle pocket.

The only downside of the pack is that it’s pretty small. With  a capacity of only 29 liters  it’s not the best choice if you’re looking to replace a carry-on suitcase.

  • Fits 16-17 inch laptops
  • Internal elastic straps
  • Small capacity
  • Backpanel not ventilated
  • Dimensions: 13.8” x 9” x 19”
  • Capacity: 29 liters

Olympia Cascade Wheeled Backpack

Olympia USA Cascade 20' Outdoor Rolling Backpack Carry On Travel Bag with Hideaway Straps and Comfort Grip Handles, Black

Olympia makes some decent affordable luggage , and their Cascade backpack is a good choice if you’re on a budget. It is made from jacquard polyester, sturdy material with good tear resistance.

It  opens up like a suitcase , which allows for easy packing. The main compartment of the pack is very spacious, with  tie-down straps that will keep all your clothes in place. And the large mesh pocket inside this compartment is great for any smaller items you want to keep separate.

The thing that is great about this backpack is that it has expandable capacity. This is actually the only pack in this review that has this feature – if that’s something you were hoping to have, then you shouldn’t look further than the Cascade.

This backpack is also equipped with  several external compartments, zippered pockets, compression straps, and grab handles. One of the grab handles actually doubles as a daisy chain attachment point, allowing you to attach anything you want to it with a carabiner.

The Cascade is overall a pretty good bag, but it has some serious downsides. For one, it’s  lacking a dedicated laptop compartment . Sure, you can fit a laptop inside the bag, but you’ll have to put it in your own sleeve if you want to keep it protected.

The lack of padding is also evident in the shoulder straps, so it’s not going to be the most comfortable pack to wear.

The wheel handle of this Olympia backpack is not the sturdiest. It’s kind of flimsy, especially when fully extended. If you don’t take proper care of it, there’s a really good chance it will break off.

  • Expandable capacity
  • External compression straps
  • Wheel handle is flimsy
  • Shoulder straps are pretty thin
  • Dimensions: 20" x 15" x 8.5”
  • Weight: 5.6 lbs (shipping weight)

SKYMOVE Wheeled Rolling Backpack

SKYMOVE 19 inches Wheeled Rolling Backpack for Business Men Women Adults College Computer Laptop Books Travel Carry-on Bag, Blue

The Skymove rolling backpack is another great affordable option. It is made from 1200D oxford fabric, with a multi-stage aluminum alloy wheel handle. Unlike most other roller backpacks you’ve seen here so far, the handle of this backpack can’t be completely hidden. Instead, it’s more similar to a suitcase handle.

I really like that the manufacturer openly stated that this pack is not suitable for people who are taller than six feet because the handle can’t extend enough. It’s much better to know these things in advance, so you avoid buying a wheeled backpack that you can’t actually wheel around.

The main compartment of this pack  opens up just like it would on a regular backpack , and it is really spacious. It has a laptop compartment inside, which can fit devices up to 14”.

There’s also an  external front compartment with a couple of pockets inside , but unfortunately, there’s not a proper organizer panel.

  • Multi-stage wheel handle
  • Laptop compartment fits 14” devices
  • Ventilated backpanel and harness
  • Not for people taller than 6ft
  • Dimensions: 19” x 13” x 8”
  • Weight: 4.6 lbs
  • Capacity: 45 liters

Wheeled Backpacks Comparison Table

What to look for in the best wheeled backpacks, what do you need the backpack for.

Are you looking to get a wheeled backpack for travel or as an EDC backpack?

If you’re looking for a bag specifically for travel, then look at backpacks that open up like suitcases. This is going to make packing a lot easier, and it will actually allow you to fit more clothes inside the bag.

In addition to that, if you want a carry-on-wheeled backpack, be sure to check the exact dimensions of the bags. Not all of the packs I’ve shown you here are small enough to be carry-ons, so it’s best to double-check everything to avoid any surprises.

On the other hand, wheeled backpacks that are great for everyday use will actually have several smaller compartments. This is great for organization, especially for people who carry a lot of stuff in their bags – laptops, chargers, notebooks, files, folders, etc.

I showed you both types of rolling backpacks in this review, and it’s pretty easy to tell them apart.

Carrying Comfort

Even though we’re talking about wheeled backpacks, carrying comfort is still very important. Sometimes you’ll have to carry it on your shoulders, and in those instances, you want to be as comfortable as you would be with a traditional backpack.

This means no wheels poking you in the back, adjustable shoulder padded straps, padded back panel, and some sort of protection between the wheels of the pack and your clothes. There’s nothing worse than having to put the filthy wheels directly on your clean clothes – that’s a huge no-no, and I haven’t included any packs that don’t have some sort of cover.

But, not all of the backpacks have a very comfortable back panel. Some have rather thin shoulder straps, just like on most wheeled duffel bags. This is okay if you know you will be wheeling the pack around anyway.

But if you think you’ll spend more time carrying it on your back than wheeling it around, then look for packs that have thick padding in the backpanel and harness, as well as some sort of ventilation (usually breathable mesh).

I’ve shown you backpacks that cost anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars. And that’s because I wanted to include options for everyone – there’s something for people who are on a tight budget and looking for a quick solution, as well as for those that really want a premium backpack and are willing to pay a lot of money for it.

Does that mean that all of the cheaper bags suck? Not at all. You can get some truly amazing wheeled backpacks for less than $100, which is a really good deal. But they’re not going to be backpacks from well-known brands.

If you want to go with Osprey or a similar high-end brand, you will have to spend a lot more money. But there’s no doubt that you will get a premium travel backpack that you can use for years to come.

Laptop Compartment

So, not all of the packs featured here have a dedicated laptop compartment, and those are usually travel backpacks. If this is a must-have feature for you, be sure to check the pros and cons boxes to see if a backpack has a laptop compartment. And you can also check the size of the sleeve/compartment in the same section, and see if it can actually fit your laptop.

Our Top Choices For Rolling Backpack

Can’t decide which of these wheeled backpacks you should buy? That’s fine – go with one of our three top choices, and you won’t have any regrets! The best rolling backpack overall is the Wenger Synergy pack .  It has all of the features you could possibly need from a wheeled backpack, including  thick padding and ventilation on the back panel and harness.

And it has a triple padded 16” laptop sleeve,  which will do a great job at protecting your tech. That’s in addition to the  13” tablet sleeve  that can easily fit a smaller laptop. On top of all that, this backpack has a very  roomy main compartment,  which is suitable for both books and clothes.

  • Triple Protect padded 16" laptop pocket with dedicated 12.9" tablet pocket
  • Zippered mesh accessories pocket

Osprey Sojourn is without a doubt the best option for travel and as carry on luggage.  It’s an amazing backpack with a spacious main compartment, multiple internal pockets for easy organization, and tie-down straps that keep everything in place.

And with the  ventilation and thick padding in the backpanel and shoulder harness , you’ll stay comfortable even when you’re carrying it on your back. Its only fault is the lack of a dedicated laptop compartment, so consider if you’re okay with not having that feature before you get the pack.

Osprey Sojourn Wheeled Luggage, Flash Black, 60 L/25

  • Lightweight, high-rolling clearance HighRoad Chassis provides a smooth ride over any surface
  • Long haul capable deployable harness, hip belt and back panel for ultimate carry comfort

The Aoking wheeled backpack is easily the best everyday option. With oversized wheels, it is the only backpack that can handle being wheeled up and down the stairs, which is something we all do if we’re being honest.

It has a spacious main compartment with a 17” laptop sleeve, a front compartment with an organizer panel, and a padded and ventilated backpanel and harness. And it comes with a detachable wheel cover, which is super easy to clean.

Rolling Travel Backpack Large Wheeled Rucksack Laptop Trolley Black Carry Luggage (20 Inches)

Head to Amazon to see the exact prices of these backpacks. And if you still haven’t found the right backpack for you, check out our related posts for more options!


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The Best Travel Backpacks You Can Buy, According to Experts

A good backpack can make all the difference when you're on the road, so we turned to the style and product experts at Esquire and Good Housekeeping for advice on the best travel backpacks out there.

best travel backpacks

Whether you're planning a day at the track, hitting the trails, or just heading to the office, a quality travel backpack is as essential as its contents. A good backpack is among the most versatile and essential pieces of gear for keeping your belongings organized while ensuring you can traverse the world with ease.

Whether you're a minimalist packer or a savvy traveler who loves to have every necessity at your fingertips, we've got you covered.

Our Top Picks

Black Hole Travel Pack

Best Overall Travel Backpack

Patagonia black hole travel pack.

Travel Line Backpack

Most Versatile Backpack

Peak design travel line backpack.

Aion Travel Backpack

Most Durable Backpack

Thule aion travel backpack.

Allpa Travel Pack

Most Comfortable Backpack

Cotopaxi allpa travel pack.

Carry-On Travel Backpack

Best Budget Backpack

Amazon basics carry-on travel backpack.

Wunderlust Backpack

Best Backpack for Adventures

Lululemon wunderlust backpack.

Little America Laptop Backpack

Most Stylish Backpack

Herschel little america laptop backpack.

Rolling Backpack

Best Rolling Backpack

Matein rolling backpack, things to consider.

There are a number of factors that make for a comfortable and functional backpack and a few things to consider before you drop your hard-earned bucks on any old sack.

Size and Capacity

Take into account how far you're traveling and what you'll need to carry. Choose a backpack that is roomy enough to accommodate your essentials, but not so big that it becomes cumbersome. Sizes can vary from 20 liters or so up to 45 liters or more.

Comfort and Fit

Look for a backpack with padded shoulder straps, a supportive back panel, and perhaps a hip belt. These features help distribute weight evenly and add comfort for extended periods of carrying stuff.

Travel backpacks go through a lot of wear and tear. Invest in a high-quality backpack made from sturdy materials that can withstand a range of weather conditions and rough handling. Some durable eco-friendly offerings are made from recycled materials.

Accessibility and Organization

Consider a backpack with lots of pockets, dividers, and sections to keep your things well organized and simple to access. For simple packing and unpacking, a front- or panel-loading design may be especially beneficial.

Water Resistance

To protect your belongings in case of rain or accidental spills, some degree of water resistance is essential. Many backpacks are made from a water-resistant material, and some even use water-resistant zippers. Don't go jumping in the deep end with your pack, though!

Since you'll be carrying the backpack on your back, consider its weight when empty. Some backpacks use lightweight material, and lighter packs are generally more comfortable for extended use.

How Good Housekeeping Tests Backpacks

best travel backpacks

In testing backpacks for travel, the Good Housekeeping Institute team uses a specific abrasion tester to assess the fabric's toughness. They perform packing tests with a defined load and assess the construction and padding of each backpack.

Backpacks are checked to ensure they will fit items you may require while traveling, and the amount of padding on the straps is taken into account. Analysts assess each backpack's shape, organizational features, and laptop compartment to rate the bag's overall design. In addition to conducting evaluations in the lab, testers carry backpacks home and wear them while traveling. For more feedback on comfort, packing convenience, organization, and other factors, the institute sends backpacks home with consumer testers to use while traveling. Surveys gauge what factors matter most, from shopping considerations to brand loyalty and beyond.

Patagonia is known for its durable outdoor gear, and the testers at the Good Housekeeping Institute lauded this Black Hole as the "backpack to end all backpacks." Its 25-liter capacity isn't the largest, but testers found that it swallows up plenty of items if packed with care.

The big selling point of this one is its durable water-repellent finish and zippers, which allowed water to roll right off with ease in Good Housekeeping Institute lab testing.

Peak Design's travel backpack was a standout in testing. It was lauded for its versatility, as it can be expanded and contracted from 30 liters up to a spacious 45 liters. Its design allows you to access your valuables from the front, back, and side, and its straps can be hidden so it can be carried neatly with its luggage sleeve.

Peak Design also offers camera cubes , which are handy for keeping camera and video gear neatly organized and accessible, though they are sold separately.

The Swedish manufacturer Thule (pronounced "TOO-lee") is best known for its roof-rack and bike-carrier systems. It also makes fantastic backpacks. This one is made of 100 percent recycled materials. Its waxed canvas has a PFC-free water-resistant coating.

It's available in two sizes: a smaller 28-liter (which can be expanded to 32 liters) and a larger 40-liter. It features a small easy-to-access pocket, a laptop compartment, interior dividers, and mesh panels. Thule is one of the Good Housekeeping Institute's top tested brands.

The product analysts at the Good Housekeeping Institute were impressed to find that the Allpa Travel Pack from Cotopaxi "outperformed multiple carry-on suitcases for its generous capacity." It's clear why. It can be unzipped completely, making packing easy. The inside has an oversize laptop compartment and features mesh compartment separators.

The institute also found it to be extremely comfortable to wear, thanks to sternum straps and padding along the back to the hip.

This one made Esquire's 10-best list thanks to its simplicity and affordability. While it doesn't offer some of the fancy tricks of some of its competitors, it features plenty of pockets and interior dividers.

While the fashionable folks at Esquire weren't huge fans of its basic styling, we happen to appreciate its no-nonsense approach to simply being a backpack. It's also available in blue and red in case you prefer some color.

The folks at Esquire liked this one for its attractive looks and adventure-ready spirit. It's made from a water-repellent fabric and features lots of storage options. Its drawstring top opening makes the goods inside easily accessible. It also offers zippered exterior pockets and adjustable exterior straps for securing your jacket when it gets steamy out.

Herschel is one of the only brands on this list known primarily for backpacks. As you'd expect from Herschel's signature backpack, it offers solid construction and is made from recycled post-consumer water bottles.

The folks at Esquire described it as "a mountaineering backpack reimagined for casual day-to-day stuff." So if you're into rugged good looks and don't need the plethora of compartments offered by some competitors, this is an awesome option.

If you're looking for a bag that blurs the line between luggage and backpack, Matein's Rolling Backpack is a no-brainer. It has a nice 36-liter capacity in the smaller 17-inch configuration and 45 liters in the larger 18-inch version. In addition to the large main compartment, it features a zippered file compartment, a large laptop sleeve, and mesh water-bottle pockets.

The folks at Esquire found it to be on the heavier side. But its packable straps, telescoping handle, and wheels make taking off and rolling it around easy.

best travel backpacks

What size backpack do I need for travel?

The length of your trip and the things you intend to carry will determine the size of the backpack you require. A 20- to 40-liter backpack should be plenty for quick excursions. Longer journeys might require a larger 50- to 70-liter capacity.

Are travel backpacks waterproof?

Travel backpacks often come with some degree of water resistance, but not all are fully waterproof. Look for backpacks with water-resistant materials and zippers. If you expect heavy rain or plan to visit very wet environments, consider using a rain cover or packing your items in dry bags inside the backpack.

What's the difference between front- and top-loading backpacks?

Front-loading backpacks open like a suitcase, allowing you to access your belongings easily without having to unpack everything. Top-loading backpacks have a single opening at the top and require you to dig through the contents to reach items at the bottom.

How do I clean a travel backpack?

You should always refer to the manufacturer's care instructions, but in general, you can spot-clean a backpack with water and a light detergent. Before using the backpack, let it thoroughly air-dry. Avoid using harsh chemicals.

Why Trust Us

lexie sachs good housekeeping

Grace Wu is a product analyst at the Textiles, Paper & Apparel Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. She performed its latest tests on travel backpacks. Good Housekeeping's most recent travel-backpack test was managed by Emma Seymour , senior textiles analyst, who performed hands-on evaluations and coordinated consumer reviews.

Esquire 's coverage of the 10 Best Travel Backpacks was written by Maverick Li, who now covers clothing, footwear, watches, and grooming for another Hearst publication, Men's Health .

Why Trust Hearst Autos?

Hearst Autos combines the talent, resources, and expertise of three of the largest, most influential automotive publications in the world. The Gear Team has tested a wide variety of automotive products, parts, accessories, and gear, such as GPS trackers for cars , OBD-II scanners , and electric-car chargers . We get our hands on each and every product we test. Most are purchased; some are supplied by manufacturers.

Hearst Autos doesn't need to game algorithms for traffic or promote lousy products to earn a buck. We're more concerned with our legacy, our reputation, and the trust that our readers have in Autoweek, Car and Driver, and Road & Track to deliver honest opinions and expert evaluations.

Headshot of Justin Helton

The Assistant Commerce Editor for Hearst Autos, Justin Helton is an enthusiast with a passion for heavily depreciated autos and a penchant for philosophical debate. As a lifelong Manhattanite, he has mastered the ins and outs of classic car ownership in one of the least car-friendly cities in the world.

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The 9 best carry-on backpacks.

Enjoy hands-free travel with a versatile carry-on backpack.

The Best Carry-on Backpacks

Man looking over his shoulder as he walks through an alley wearing a red Cotopaxi Allpa 35L backpack.

Courtesy of Cotopaxi

The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L is the top backpack pick.

Not sure whether to take a rolling suitcase or a travel backpack on the plane? Both types of carry-on luggage certainly have their merits, but if you like keeping your arms and hands free when traveling, a backpack is the right choice for you. Furthermore, compared to a hard-sided suitcase , it's easier to squeeze a malleable backpack into an overhead bin or under the seat. And if your vacation is focused on adventure travel, you might value a durable pack on your back over wheels on the ground.

U.S. News compiled this list from extensive research along with consumer reviews. Whatever your reason for choosing a backpack, there are plenty on the market to satisfy your needs. Read on for the best carry-on travel backpacks.

The Top Carry-on Backpacks for 2023

Best overall: cotopaxi allpa 35l, best budget: zomake lightweight packable backpack 30l, best lightweight: osprey farpoint 40, best for business: aer travel pack 3, best for international travel: solgaard lifepack endeavor (with closet) – large, best for weekend getaways: topo designs global travel bag 30l, best with wheels: matein rolling backpack – 17-inch, best for women: osprey fairview 40, best for men: peak design travel backpack 45l.

(Note: Prices and availability were accurate at the time of publication; they may fluctuate due to supply chain issues. Dimensions of backpacks are height by width by depth.)

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L in turquoise against white background.

Dimensions: 22 x 12 x 10 inches | Weight: 3.5 pounds

What sets this backpack apart: When it comes to bag travel, the Cotopaxi Allpa packs a serious punch. The carry-on backpack is available in three sizes – 42L, 35L and 28L – and a variety of colors. (In true Cotopaxi style, you can even purchase a colorful Del Día backpack .) The 35L size not only fits everything you need for your next getaway, but it's also TSA-compliant as a carry-on item. On the outside, the Allpa features a removable waist belt, a padded laptop sleeve on the side, anti-theft zippers, carabiner lash loops, a sternum strap and a front zippered pocket. The backpack straps can even be tucked away if you're looking to save more room in the overhead bin or you want to carry the bag via its grab handles.

The bag opens suitcase-style; inside, you'll find one large zippered mesh compartment on the right and a subdivided zippered mesh compartment on left, providing ample space for all your clothes, shoes and accessories. (Consider purchasing the highly-rated and colorful Cotopaxi packing cubes for extra organization.) What's more, you'll find a rain cover inside despite the water-resistant bag already being TPU-coated.

Travelers appreciate: Travelers rave about this carry-on backpack, praising its durability and the way it can fit everything needed for weeklong or longer trips. Some reviewers, however, noted they wished the 35L came equipped with a water bottle pocket like the 42L.

Price: $200 or less Shop now: Cotopaxi

Dimensions: 19 x 13 x 7 inches | Weight: 0.74 pounds

What sets this backpack apart: If you're planning to hike or kayak on your next getaway, make sure you have the ZOMAKE Lightweight Packable Backpack 30L in your back pocket – literally. This travel backpack can be folded into a compact pouch and tucked away in a larger carry-on bag if you're planning to only use it as a daypack. The lightweight travel bag is both tear- and water-resistant. With all of its pockets – including one on each side for water bottles or umbrellas – you'll be able to fit everything you need for an adventure-filled trip.

Travelers appreciate: Erin Evans , managing editor at U.S. News & World Report Travel, swears by the backpack, praising its affordability and size. "It can fit enough for a weekend trip, plus it's super useful for hiking, boat excursions and more once you're in your destination because it's so light and water-resistant," Evans says. "I've used it for years and it has held up incredibly well; it comes in so many fun colors, too."

Price: $21.99 or less Shop now: Amazon

Read: The Top Underseat Luggage

Osprey Farpoint 40 in dark blue against white background.

Courtesy of Osprey

Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 inches | Weight: 3.47 pounds

What sets this backpack apart: The Osprey Farpoint (or Fairview for women ) is truly an all-in-one travel pack that combines quality with minimal weight. The clamshell-style carry-on bag features a sizeable main compartment (perfect for packing cubes ) along with an easy-to-access zippered laptop sleeve. For extra support and comfort, the backpack includes a sternum strap, back panel, harness and hip belt; the latter three can be stowed away for fully streamlined travel and compression straps can help slim the bag down even more. The Osprey Farpoint 40 meets most domestic carry-on size requirements and is compatible with the Farpoint/Fairview Travel Daypack, which can be brought onto the plane as a personal item.

Travelers appreciate: Reviewers appreciate the backpack's quality and durability, and confirm that it can hold enough for weeklong trips. However, some are disappointed that the latest model does not have as many compartments as previous versions.

Price: $185 or less Shop now: Osprey | Amazon

Aer Travel Pack 3 in black against white background.

Courtesy of Aer

Dimensions: 21.5 x 13 x 9 inches | Weight: 4.12 pounds

What sets this backpack apart: With a pocket for everything, the clamshell-style Aer Travel Pack 3 (35L) keeps you organized to the max on business trips. Keep your laptop (up to 16 inches) safe in the padded, soft-lined, zippered laptop sleeve, and stow your passport or other travel documents in the quick-access side pocket. The front zippered compartment features several sizes of pockets perfect for chargers, notepads, pens and more. Along with the lay-flat main compartment for clothes, there's also an interior pocket for small accessories and a hidden luggage tracker pocket.

Designed for one-bag travel, the durable Aer Travel Pack 3 also features a water-resistant nylon exterior along with load lifters for a more comfortable fit. You can purchase a hip belt separately.

Travelers appreciate: Recent purchasers of the carry-on backpack appreciate the numerous pockets and thoughtful design. Reviewers also verify that the bag works well not only for business travel, but for longer getaways as well.

Price: $275 or less Shop now: Aer

Dimensions: 12 x 19 x 8.25 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds (backpack); 0.75 pounds (closet)

What sets this backpack apart: Solgaard's closet system – featured in the Solgaard Carry-On Closet , one of the best carry-on luggage pieces – makes a reappearance in the Lifepack Endeavor carry-on backpack. The 35-liter capacity of the large size is ideal for a carry-on bag, but you can also get the backpack in medium. The hanging closet, which comprises three compartments with compression straps, is removable and can fit up to a week's worth of clothes, making this bag an excellent choice for an international trip. Additionally, the carry-on backpack's zippered expansion allows for 40% more space; you can expand the bag to hold the closet for the plane, then hang the closet in your hotel and use the bag as a daypack.

Inside the bag, you'll find two compartments: the Lifezone and the Workzone. The Lifezone holds the closet as well as multiple pockets for sunglasses, toiletries and more. The Workzone includes laptop storage and additional pockets for work accessories. The bag's exterior features two side pockets for water bottles, a suitcase seatbelt and a sternum strap, as well as four secret, quick-grab pockets for valuable travel items such as a passport or credit cards. The Lifepack Endeavor is made from upcycled, ocean-bound plastic, making it a good pick for sustainable travel .

Travelers appreciate: Recent travelers say that the bag fits well under the seat if compressed, and in the overhead bin if expanded. They highly appreciate the organization and ease-of-travel the closet provides.

Price: $265 or less Shop now: Solgaard

best roller backpack for travel

Tips on Trips and Expert Picks

Travel tips, vacation ideas and more to make your next vacation stellar.

Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L in orange against white background.

Courtesy of Topo Designs

Dimensions: 12.5 x 20 x 7 inches | Weight: 2.62 pounds

What sets this backpack apart: Heading out on a romantic getaway , girls trip or solo adventure for the weekend? Consider taking the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L. The clamshell-style backpack meets most carry-on requirements, is made with abrasion-resistant recycled materials and offers three carry options: stowable backpack straps, a removable and adjustable shoulder strap, and grab handles.

The bag features plenty of internal pockets including a back panel laptop compartment. (Consider purchasing Topo Designs accessory bags, packing cubes and more for added organization.) Externally, you'll find expandable water bottle pockets on each side of the bag. The sternum strap and removable hip belt provide extra support, and the heavy-duty zippers add to the backpack's durability.

Travelers appreciate: Reviewers like the high-quality zippers and look of the bag, but some found certain compartments and pockets to be smaller than they prefer.

Price: $199 or less Shop now: Topo Designs

Matein Rolling Backpack (17-inch) in black against white background.

Courtesy of Matein

Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 9 inches | Weight: 4.9 pounds

What sets this backpack apart: If you're stuck between roller bags and backpacks, the Matein Rolling Backpack offers the best of both worlds. The 17-inch, 36-liter bag has a hideaway handle at the top and storable backpack straps so the bag can easily transform from a roller bag to a backpack. Water- and abrasion-resistant panel guards on the bottom help protect the bag when you're rolling it on the ground.

Besides the large main compartment, the clamshell-style backpack features a second zippered compartment to hold files, an organization compartment with multiple pockets, and mesh water bottle pockets on the sides. It comes in three colors: black, blue and floral. For a larger option, the 18-inch version has a 45-liter capacity.

Travelers appreciate: Travelers say that the bag is sturdy and the wheels maintain their durability over rigorous travel. Reviewers also recommend the bag for school and work.

Price: $99.99 or less Shop now: Amazon | Matein

Read: The Top Rolling Duffel Bags

Osprey Fairview 40 in red against white background.

Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 inches | Weight: 3.44 pounds

What sets this backpack apart: Comfort meets quality with the Osprey Fairview 40 carry-on backpack. The bag's back panel, hip belt and harness system feature mesh that improves ventilation and reduces chafing, and all three can be packed away for streamlined travel. Additionally, weight is transferred from the harness to the hip belt through the backpack's LightWire frame suspension. The Fairview 40 also comes with padded handles and a padded shoulder strap if you want to switch up your carry style to over-the-shoulder.

The clamshell-style backpack includes a main compartment with interior compression straps as well as a front pocket, an external toiletries pocket, a quick-access zippered laptop compartment and a sternum strap. Like the Farpoint 40 for men , the Fairview 40 is compatible with the Farpoint/Fairview Travel Daypack (sold separately).

Travelers appreciate: Recent backpack purchasers praise the high quality of the bag and recommend purchasing packing cubes, which work more effectively with the internal compression straps.

Price: $185 or less Shop now: REI | Backcountry

Read: The Top Weekender Bags for Women

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L in black and gray against white background.

Courtesy of Peak Design

Dimensions: 22 x 13 x 11 inches (expanded); 22 x 13 x 9.5 (standard) | Weight: 4.5 pounds

What sets this backpack apart: One of the larger-capacity backpacks on this list at 45L, the Peak Design Travel Backpack is the perfect choice for one-bag travel. It meets most international airline requirements and can collapse to 35L for a more manageable daypack. The sleek weatherproof design includes shoulder straps, a sternum strap and a hip belt that can all be tucked away, as well as expandable water bottle pockets on the side and quick-grab pockets for your passport, wallet and other valuables.

Anti-theft, abrasion-resistant zippers are especially helpful as the bag is recommended for those who travel with photography equipment – in which case the Peak Design Camera Cube could come in handy. The carry-on backpack opens clamshell-style. Inside, you'll find a large main compartment with a divider layer, as well as zippered mesh pockets and padded laptop and tablet sleeves. The bag is sustainably built, being Fair Trade Certified and 100% carbon neutral, and you can even purchase it pre-owned .

Travelers appreciate: Reviewers, especially photographers, rave about the backpack. They appreciate how much the bag can hold as well as its durability. Some, however, warn that the bag isn't the most comfortable.

Price: $299.95 or less Shop now: Peak Design | Amazon

Read: The Top Travel Backpacks for Men

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Leilani Osmundson will always pick a backpack over a suitcase when it comes to carry-on luggage. She's taken her Cotopaxi Allpa 35L everywhere, from a romantic getaway in Colorado's wine country to an adventure-filled weeklong road trip around Iceland. Osmundson used her own experience with travel backpacks along with extensive research to write this article.

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A Broken Backpack

Complete Guide: Best Travel Backpacks With Wheels

by Melissa Giroux | Last updated Feb 24, 2023 | Travel Gear , Travel Tips

Trying to find the best wheeled backpacks for travel? Let’s talk about the things to consider when buying a backpack with wheels, as well as the pros and cons of a wheeled backpack.

If you’re after a quick answer here – here’s my favorite pick (this one isn’t a carry-on size though).

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best rolling backpack and how to pick one that suits your travel needs.

backpack with wheels

How To Choose The Best Backpack With Wheels?

Finding the perfect backpack with wheels can be a fun task when it comes to planning your upcoming trip. Although, with so many options to pick from – it won’t be a quick decision.

To make it easier for you, I’ve put a list together of the things you should keep in mind when buying a backpack with wheels.

Backpack Size

People tend to go with a big – enormous – backpack when they go on a long trip. I’ve been there and done the same myself on my first few trips abroad.

Of course, I quickly realized that having a bigger bag means I’ll fill it up.  That also means the backpack will be super heavy – not convenient – and I might have to pay extra money to bring it along with me in low-cost airlines.

I’ve been traveling with a piece of carry-on luggage only for the past 3 years. My previous backpack was a small 33 litres. My current backpack is a 37 litres.

Ideally, you want your backpack to be as comfy as possible. It has to fit right especially if you’re going to walk with your backpack.

If you’re planning to go on long treks during your trip, you need to make sure your backpack won’t destroy your beautiful back.

If some backpacks are unisex, some others are fitting better for women or for men. As we are made differently, it totally makes sense.

Material and durability

It’s always convenient to have a bag that comes with waterproof protection. If your backpack doesn’t come with one, you can always buy a waterproof cover .

You want to buy a backpack that will last you for years and a material which won’t require you any washing, etc.

The price is also a factor when it comes to buying your luggage. I personally paid anything between $100 and $300 for a backpack.

All my previous backpacks lasted for years. The only reason why I changed them over the years was that my needs changed in terms of size and comfort.

Pros And Cons Of Having A Backpack With Wheels

Having a wheeled backpack comes with pros and cons.

Let’s take a look at them.

pros and cons backpack with wheels

Advantages Of Having A Backpack with Wheels

As you can see, the pros and cons are even, which makes it even more difficult.

Although, here’s how I came to the conclusion that a backpack with wheels was better for me:

  • Convenience is the most important factor for me. I’m getting older and I like how swappable the wheeled backpack is. At the airport, I can easily use the wheels and if I’m walking in the street, I can then, put the straps on and walk with a backpack. If I get tired, then, I can simply put it back on the ground.
  • As I don’t like packing, unpacking, the wheeled backpack is also better for me. I truly hated these moments when I was “fishing” in my backpack to try to find my clean underwear. Now I can simply unzip the backpack and find everything I need easily. No more backpack fishing, yay!
  • It might not be as comfortable and I might be losing space, but it turns out I use the wheels more than I expected anyway. As I don’t mind minimizing my possessions, it was an easy pick for me.

Best Backpack With Wheels

Now, let’s take a look at the best options when it comes to choosing a backpack with wheels.

My Pick: Eagle Creek Gear Warrior Convertible Carry-On

carry-on with wheels

This one is my top pick but is also the current backpack I travel with. It’s a great choice when it comes to long-term travel.

Eagle Creek is a great brand when it comes to luggage, especially for adventurers. This one can’t be bought on Amazon and let’s be honest, it’s not the cheapest.

This bag can be carried like a backpack or wheeled for your convenience. The size of the bag (37L) makes it one of the best wheeled backpack for long-term travelers. As you can combine it with the day pack part too, it gives you a total of 55L.

Eagle Creek Gear Warrior Convertible Carry-On Features:

  • Dimensions: 25 x 40 x 15 in
  • Capacity: 55L
  • 100% made of recycled materials
  • Lockable exterior zippers


Carry On Backpack With Wheels: High Sierra Ultimate Access 2.0

backpack with wheels

Three backpacks for the price of one! This excellent rolling travel backpack is a carry-on size that is perfect for any minimalist packer or busy traveler on the go.

Simply carry as a backpack or wheel the bag along for one of the best rolling backpacks on the market.

Once you arrive at your destination, you can unzip the front of the backpack and turn it into a day bag!

High Sierra Ultimate Access 2.0 Features:

  • Dimensions: Main Bag: 22 x 13.5 x 9 in, Daypack: 16.5 x 12 x 5.75 in
  • Capacity: 51 L
  • Zip-off Day Pack
  • Carry-on friendly
  • Oversize, Skate-style wheels

Travel Backpack with Wheels: Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Rolling Duffel

luggage with wheels

An excellent long-term travel backpack choice is the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler. A trusted company in the travel gear sector, Eagle Creek knows what’s best when it comes to carrying around your gear (or in this case, rolling it along the ground).

This bag can be carried like a duffel, an over-the-shoulder backpack, or wheeled for your convenience. The size of the bag (120 L) makes it one of the best wheeled backpacks for long-term travelers.

Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Features:

  • Dimensions: 32 x 13.5 x 15.75 in
  • Capacity: 120L
  • Water-repellent

Best Backpack for Long-term Travel: Osprey Sojourn Wheeled Luggage

luggage with wheels

Lightweight, easy to carry and coming from a trusted brand — what more do you want in a long-term travel backpack?

The Osprey Sojourn Wheeled Luggage offers back-suspension technology that allows it to be carried comfortably on your back.

But when you’re wanting to give your back some rest, simply pop up the extended handle to smoothly roll your luggage across all surfaces.

Osprey Sojourn Wheeled Luggage Features:

  • Dimensions: 28in x 14in x 14in
  • Capacity: 80L (they also offer other smaller models)
  • Lightweight, high-rolling wheels
  • Straightjacket compression straps to secure load

Best Travel Backpack Carry-on Size: Olympia Cascade 20″

luggage with wheels

With a selection of two fun colors, this carry-on-friendly rolling backpack is perfect for any weekend adventure getaway.

The shoulder straps hide away nicely if you decide to wheel the bag to your destination or push down the handle to reveal an easy-to-carry backpack!

The compact size makes it an excellent option for those who travel light and love moving quickly through the airport lines!

Olympia Cascade Features:

  • Dimensions: 8.5in x 15in x 20in
  • Expandable for additional packing capacity

Packing Hacks

Here are a few things you might find helpful while packing:

  • Electronic organizer
  • Packing Cubes
  • Waterproof rain cover for backpack

Final Thoughts On The Best Rolling Backpacks For Travel

We hope this guide helped you find a suitable backpack with wheels for your travel adventures.

As you can see, there are a few things to consider when buying a backpack.

Need help with your travel gear? Read one of the following blog posts:

  • Best backpacks for backpacking
  • Best backpacks for teachers
  • Best smart backpacks

best roller backpack for travel







best roller backpack for travel

The Best Carry-On Travel Backpacks

A person standing outside in a light blue short sleeve shirt wears the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L backpack, in black with a gray llama-head logo and aqua accents.

Opening up your favorite carry-on travel backpack—with all of your stuff in the right place and easy to reach—should feel like you’re opening the door to a well-organized closet or sitting down at a clean desk.

This is a moment to center yourself, no matter how chaotic the journey.

What we considered

A 45L bag maximizes overhead space but can get heavy when fully packed; 35L bags tend to be more manageable.

Clamshell designs open like a book and are easiest to pack, but bags that open traditionally tend to have more structure.

Ideally, a travel backpack has handles on all sides, especially the bottom, for pulling it out of overhead bins or from under seats.

Some internal pockets are useful, but major organizing is better managed on your own with packing cubes.

We spent six months testing 22 bags and flying across the country with all of our picks.

In the end, we chose two as our top picks: the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L (for most trips) and the larger Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L . Both bags are exemplary carry-on travel backpacks that are designed for comfort, durability, and organization.

Though these backpacks are great as companion bags for any trip, they’re designed to ultimately replace all of your other luggage and become your exclusive bag as you travel.

This is not a style of packing that’s for everyone, but once some people try it , they’re forever hooked. However, finding the right bag is a personal choice, and no single bag will appeal to everyone.

That’s why we have picks that are great for people traveling for work , others designed to be carried over long distances , picks for maximizing your packing space , and budget options for travelers who want to give the one-bag strategy a try.

The research

Why you should trust us, best small carry-on bag for most situations: cotopaxi allpa 35l, best large bag for most situations: peak design travel backpack 45l, best bag for document organization: topo designs global travel bag 30l, best bag for long journeys on foot: osprey farpoint 40 and fairview 40, best bag if you need a large suitcase on your back: tortuga travel backpack 40l, best affordable large backpack: ebags tls mother lode weekender, other good carry-on travel backpacks, who this is for, how we picked and tested, what to look forward to, the competition.

I’ve been covering aspects of luggage and travel bag design for Wirecutter for nearly a decade and have personally researched, tested, and compared hundreds of bags in that time. And as members of a remote organization, our editors and writers travel a lot and are continually testing the gear we recommend—our travel gear guide remains a perennial favorite among staff members. I personally try to do most of my travel with a single backpack whenever possible. I spent nine months roaming around Hawaii with not much more than that and another six months nomadically couch-surfing in New York City.

In addition to documenting our own experiences, I reached out to experts and writers who specialize in traveling the world carrying everything they need in a single bag. Eytan Levy is the owner and operator of the Snarky Nomad travel website, which combines travel guides and tips with in-depth gear reviews. James Feess is the founder of The Savvy Backpacker and author of The Savvy Backpacker’s Guide to Europe on a Budget . And Sharon Gourlay is the writer of the Where’s Sharon? travel website. I also spoke with moderators of Reddit’s r/onebag and r/heronebag forums, as well as with Chase Reeves, bag fanatic, reviewer, and owner of Matterful .

The shiny, one-piece back of the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L on a tester's back

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L

A versatile small pack for a week or a weekend.

The Allpa’s clamshell design makes organizing your things simple. The strap design lets you easily wear this durable bag on your back or carry it in your hand while you’re on the move.

Buying Options

Get this if: You want an easy-to-organize, comfortable-to-carry bag with a rainfly for downpours or you want to support a B-corp and its related social and sustainable missions .

The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L features an easy-to-pack clamshell design and highly adjustable straps that make it a great all-around bag for any traveler who’s dedicated to packing light, or for a smaller person who wants less to carry. Handles on all four sides of this bag make it easy to grab no matter where you’ve stowed it. It’s also protected by a full lifetime warranty and has the build quality to back that up. After more than four years of testing, this single backpack (plus a personal item ) has replaced nearly every travel bag or piece of luggage I use.

Cotopaxi also makes the Allpa in 28 - and 42 -liter sizes. But the 35 liter is, for us, the best. At 42 liters, this bag becomes heavy for most people to carry when its fully packed, and for a bag that big, we’d prefer that it had a more-robust hip belt. At 28 liters, the bag becomes a touch small for most people, and its internal organization feels fussy for any shorter trip, such as an overnight. Cotopaxi also makes a hip pack that’s designed to fit snugly into the Allpa’s front top compartment. It’s a neat little addition to the bag, and it is worth getting if you like wearing fanny packs while you travel.

The Allpa has a clamshell design, which means it opens like a hard-sided suitcase: A large YKK zipper runs around three sides of the bag, letting it fall open into two halves when unzipped. On the right side is a deep compartment, spacious enough for two large packing cubes or half a suitcase’s worth of clothes (which you access through a mesh zippered flap). On the left, there’s space for one more medium-size packing cube behind a zippered flap. Above that are two smaller pockets with high-visibility backing—useful when you’re looking for hard-to-differentiate personal items.

The Cotopaxi Allpa open to show the zip-up compartments on both the left and right sides filled with clothes, packing cubes, and other gear.

The Allpa’s hip belt, which can be removed while the bag is on your back, is substantial enough that it’s comfortable to wear when you need it. With or without the hip belt, the Allpa is decently comfortable over long distances. However, folks who have longer torsos (over 19 inches) may find that the waist belt sits a little high off the hips, unless you fully extend the shoulder straps. Speaking of, unlike the shoulder straps on our other picks, the Allpa’s straps are contoured to fit people who have large or small chests. It’s not a specifically gendered design, but our female tester noticed the improvement right away.

The Allpa has two side-access zippers—great for on-the-go access, especially when the bag is hanging from your shoulder. One of these reveals a flat computer pocket with a padded false bottom, so if you drop the bag, it won’t land on the corner of your computer; the other reveals a “secret” pocket with a hidden zipper and access to the main compartment. All of the main compartment zippers are protected by security loops, which you thread the zipper through at the end of its run. This prevents anyone from subtly or quickly grabbing a zipper and opening your bag when you aren’t paying attention.

The Allpa is made with 1680-denier ballistic nylon, similar to the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag or the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 . This feels similar to a strong canvas, but it has a more prominent weave. The Allpa is the kind of bag you can toss as easily into an overhead compartment as you can into the back of a rusty pickup truck. Uniquely in this category, the Allpa also includes a rainfly.

A person holding a gray Cotopaxi Allpa backpack in front of themselves by gripping the side handles.

Flaws but not dealbreakers The Allpa has a minimal amount of administrative organization—places to keep pens and papers, spaces to hold tickets, and so forth. This is where a good personal item comes in handy. However, if you want to travel with just this one bag, there are a few nooks you can hide things in. The front organizer is deep enough that you can also fit several small organizing pouches, if you want, or the aforementioned fanny pack.

Cotopaxi does enjoy playing around with fabrics and colors. Sometimes the company has released the Allpa without the TPU-lined front panel. The TPU panel improves water resistance, but we’ve found after many years of travel with our bag that the TPU layering can begin to flake in spots. We’d love to see the all-nylon option return at some point, for people who prefer the added robustness and don’t mind sacrificing a bit of rain coverage.

Capacity: 35 liters Weight: 3 pounds, 5 ounces Main compartment access: Clamshell opening Style: Adventurous Colors: Assorted

A person in a gray tshirt and red shorts stands between a solid wooden fence and tall shrubs while wearing the 45 liter Peak Design Travel Backpack.

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

An easily customizable large bag for long trips and expensive gear.

This bag was built with photographers in mind, but most travelers will appreciate its easy accessibility, clever tuck-away straps, and the elegant way the bag expands and contracts. The accessory cubes cost extra, though.

Get this if: You travel often with expensive camera gear and need easy access and many storage pockets, or you just prefer a backpack-based packing system with plenty of adaptability and customization.

Some bags in this category are built to do one thing extremely well—be luggage on your back. But the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L is built to adapt. It’s the Swiss Army knife of backpacks: adjustable, customizable, and (if you spring for the extra cubes and organizers) an almost perfect system for a photographer or gearhead on the move. Most bags’ expanding mechanisms aren’t worth the extra zipper they’re built on, and they look about as attractive as a boiled ham splitting out of its plastic packaging. Not so with the Peak Design: It looks just as good fully packed at 45 liters as it does compressed to a 30-liter daypack.

You can access the bag through a back panel, which doubles as a computer and tablet pouch, as well as a front one, if you unzip the pass-through divider. You can also get into the main compartment via two wing-like trapezoidal flaps that run along each side of the pack. In its natural shape, the Travel Backpack holds 35 liters, but an expansion zipper lets the bag swell to 45 liters. If you want to use the bag as a daypack, you fold in the top corners and snap them down, reducing the bag’s volume to a slim 30 liters. It will still feel larger than a normal daypack in this configuration, but we think that’s a small compromise for being able to use one backpack as both your travel bag and your daily explorer. The bag itself consists of 400D nylon and polyester fabrics. It feels tough, but not as tough as some other bags we’ve tested, such as the Cotopaxi Allpa .

The Peak Design lets you tuck its shoulder and hip straps away when you’re not using them. But unlike any other bag we’ve ever tested, this pack has magnetic flaps on the back panel that open and close with an almost magical snap. Once you’ve played with them, you’ll wonder why every backpack doesn’t have something similar. A small, childish part of me still gets excited about tucking away the straps when I put the Peak Design into an overhead bin. Although the straps are thin, they’re comfortable. The hip belt isn’t quite as plush as the one on the Tortuga ; still, even when the Peak Design is fully loaded, the belt doesn’t pinch or dig into the body.

If you travel with a camera, you don’t have to use Peak Design’s camera cubes , but they do make carrying that gear a whole lot easier. The cubes come in three sizes, and if they’re situated properly in the bag with the provided clips, they line up with the Travel Backpack’s side-access flaps for quick access. Caleigh Waldman (the photographer for this piece and, full disclosure, my spouse) took this bag across the country for a wedding shoot. “I want this backpack,” she said after three weeks of travel. “I want to travel with it everywhere. With my cameras. Without my cameras. It doesn’t matter. I want to travel with it.”

Peak Design also makes a line of ultralight packing cubes . They’re good cubes, and they compare well to the ultralight Eagle Creek Pack-It Isolate Cube set, our pick for light packers . However, the Peak Design cubes are sized specifically for this bag and fit just so inside it, especially when combined with other Peak Design gear cubes and accessories, like the toiletry bag . (Chase Reeves has done an in-depth video review of these cubes; it’s a good resource for anyone who’s on the fence about buying them.) After testing the cubes (and this is not a mark against the Eagle Creek or the Peak Design ultralight cubes, both of which are excellent), I personally still prefer the more-rigid Eagle Creek Pack-It Reveal set, one of our longtime picks .

Flaws but not dealbreakers The Travel Backpack has few flaws. It is expensive—especially if you commit to the entire system of packing and camera cubes. The adjustable design and multiple zippers do add complexity, and complexity adds potential weaknesses. Peak Design covers all of its bags with a lifetime warranty , which should alleviate most people’s concerns. But if you’re particularly hard on your gear and still need to carry as much as possible, you might consider the Tortuga instead.

Capacity: 45 liters Weight: 4½ pounds Main compartment access: back-panel loader Style: minimalist and unobtrusive Color: Black, Sage

A person in a black jacket walks across a brick plaza while carrying the Topo Designs 30 liter travel bag over their shoulder with the optional shoulder sling. The bag is olive green with bright yellow and red accents.

Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L

Combines more organization with a simple interior.

This bag’s open interior makes packing easy. Those who travel for work will appreciate the Topo’s accessible front pockets and holders for organizing books, papers, and assorted miscellaneous items.

Get this if: You travel often for work and prefer a bag that’s much easier to work out of than most of our other picks. The front panel and assorted pockets are like a small traveling office space.

Of all the bags we recommend, the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L comes closest to the style of an everyday carry backpack, due to its small size and minimal external features. This bag is perfect if you have to travel to a work event, get off the plane, and then use it as a daily backpack without drawing too much attention to yourself. Topo also includes built-in attachment clips, if you want to piggyback a smaller daily-carry backpack to your Travel Bag. I know people who love to do this. I personally do not. But it’s a good feature, especially if you’re committed to Topo gear in general. However, given its basic strap system and flat nylon back, the Topo is not built as well as our other picks for longer hikes.

The Travel Bag is one of the simplest bags we tested, with a main compartment and some basic document organization in the front pocket. This bag is a front-panel loader (which we find very easy to pack), organized around a main pocket that can fit two large packing cubes. Inside, the lid of the bag also has two mesh dividers, for a small amount of organization. Outside, the bag has two small zippered pockets for travel accessories (such as earbuds and a passport) and a larger organizer pocket for books, tickets, and snacks. The Topo is constructed with heavy YKK zippers and, similar to the Cotopaxi Allpa, has built-in zipper security loops (strong loops of fabric that secure your zippers when the bag is shut), if you want a touch more security.

Similar to our other picks, the Travel Bag is backed by an excellent lifetime warranty and repair program from Topo. However, Topo’s gear is made from 1000D nylon (a dense and very tough fabric) and built like a tank; it has rigid padding throughout, and there is an attention to detail (particularly in the stitching around the zippers and handles) that’s a mark of quality to any savvy bag enthusiast. The point is, you would really have to get into some trouble to need the repair program. But it’s there if you do need it.

If you want to carry as much as possible, the Travel Bag also comes in a 40L model . It’s a fine bag at that size, and it does include a small yet stowable waist belt to help carry the weight. But we prefer our larger picks, like the Tortuga (more carrying capacity) or the eBags TLS Mother Lode (less expensive).

The Travel Bag has a built-in laptop compartment that fits most 15-inch laptops and is situated close to your back; this protects the computer and keeps its weight closer to your body. The Topo is well padded on all sides, and it is stitched in a way that keeps the edge of your computer from the bottom of the bag and should protect your computer from all but the worst drops. This bag, like most of Topo’s gear, is designed to work with Topo dopp bags , accessory bags , and packing cubes . Fully packed, it can carry two large packing cubes, two medium accessory bags, and a dopp kit.

Flaws but not dealbreakers Despite its travel-document organization, the Topo bag lacks the large internal pockets of our other picks, and the bag’s main compartment isn’t quite as spacious as that of our other picks. People who like a deeper main compartment might prefer the Cotopaxi or Tortuga bags. The Topo bag’s compartment is a little tight for large laptops, so it isn’t the best when going through security. We’d love to see a little more attention paid to the back contouring and straps of this bag, to make longer walks more comfortable.

Capacity: 30 liters Weight: 2 pounds, 10 ounces Main compartment access: front-panel loader Style: retro Colors: Navy, Black, Clay, Charcoal, Olive

A tester from behind, wearing the Osprey Farpoint

Osprey Farpoint 40

For long distances on foot.

A great starter option for one-bag travel, the Farpoint is easy to pack, adaptable to most situations, and sturdy enough to take with you as you travel the world. And it’s backed by a lifetime warranty.

May be out of stock

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Osprey Fairview 40

For smaller torsos.

A scaled-down version of the Farpoint, the Fairview has shoulder straps that are slightly lower, to keep the bag’s bulk more aligned with smaller torsos.

Get this if: You’re starting out with one-bag travel and aren’t sure which style of bag is best for you, but you want one that’s easy to carry over long distances.

The Osprey Farpoint 40 is well made, easy to pack, and comfortable to carry over most mid-length distances—such as walking across a city for an afternoon. (For simplicity’s sake, everything we say here about the Farpoint applies to the Fairview as well.) Osprey makes excellent backpacks for hauling around, and its lifetime warranty is renowned within the industry . The Farpoint also has an optional messenger bag–style strap, which offers some flexibility when you’re maneuvering tight spaces like subways or crowded city centers.

If you’re just starting out with one-bag travel, or you aren’t sure what type of travel bag best suits your needs, the Farpoint is an excellent first choice.

The Osprey backpack opened to show its neon-green interior mesh pocket on one side and a bright red packing cube strapped in to the other side.

The Farpoint is easy to pack. Opening the bag reveals a clamshell design; it’s deep enough to accommodate most large items, without your having to fumble awkwardly with zippers once it’s time to close up the bag. The feeling you get is not unlike packing a bit of sturdy luggage, which is something we love about bags like this—especially when you pack with packing cubes . Osprey says this bag, when fully packed, can carry 40 liters. But after using the Farpoint for a few years, we’ve decided that its rounded shape seems to cut into that theoretical packable space more than other bags do. In practice, the available space in the Farpoint is closer to—but still less than—that of the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L .

Like all Osprey bags, the Farpoint has very comfortable shoulder straps. The years of design and consideration that Osprey has put into its line of hiking backpacks are quite evident in the Farpoint. After more than six years of long-term testing this bag, we’re still surprised by how great it feels to put on when it’s fully packed. Crucially, the straps of the Farpoint stow away neatly behind a zippered panel. However, when you’re using the shoulder straps, the design forces you to also use the hip straps. Though this isn’t a huge issue, if you prefer a sleeker look or would rather have the option of using shoulder straps without hip straps, the Cotopaxi Allpa is more flexible and lets you hide the waist straps while the bag is on your back.

A black Klean Kanteen water bottle in the mesh water bottle pocket of an aqua colored Osprey backpack.

As some reviewers have pointed out, smaller individuals may appreciate the lighter weight and more-compact design of the Farpoint or the Fairview (which basically have the same design, but the Fairview is made for someone with a more-diminutive torso). On both, the chest-strap clip is also equipped with a small security whistle that’s surprisingly loud. It’s a handy feature for anyone traveling in unfamiliar environments.

Flaws but not dealbreakers For a smaller carry-on travel backpack, this one has little not to like. However, we do wish Osprey would trade some of the sleeker contours for a little more interior space.

Capacity: 35 liters Weight (Farpoint): 3 pounds, 3 ounces Weight (Fairview): 3 pounds, 2 ounces Main compartment access: front-panel loader Style: active Colors (Farpoint): Gopher Green, Tunnel Vision Grey, Muted Space Blue, Black Colors (Fairview): Winter Night Blue, Zircon Red, Night Jungle Blue, Black

A traveler wearing a black backpack

Tortuga Travel Backpack 40L

A suitcase to carry on your back.

For dedicated single-bag travelers, this water-resistant, durable bag is easy to pack and to travel with. And it’s comfortable to wear over endless miles—as long as you don’t mind the heavier weight.

Get this if: You want to maximize your packing space in a bag that’s durable, customizable to fit most torso lengths (there’s also a 30L version ), and water-resistant, and that has organizational features to suit any digital nomad.

The Tortuga Travel Backpack 40L is built to occupy the maximum carry-on space available. It’s a nearly perfect blend of backpack and luggage. On the outside, its tear-resistant sailcloth and sealed zippers provide ample protection from sharp objects and the elements. Opening the main clamshell zipper reveals a cavernous interior and a few organizational features that make the bag a cinch to pack. The front panel is a particular standout, great for keeping track of electronics and chargers. Of all the bags we tested, the Tortuga strikes the closest balance between the carrying comfort of a hiking backpack and the space and organization of a piece of luggage.

When it comes to packing, the Tortuga has a soothingly minimal interior, as any good suitcase should. In addition to the bag’s cavernous main pocket, its interior lid has a large vented panel. The panel is too narrow to hold additional packing cubes, but it’s great for holding light jackets or doubling as a dirty-laundry bag (if you’re really committed to one-bag travel). The Tortuga is available as a 40-liter bag (the max space for a carry-on bag), which we tested, along with the 30-liter version, which is compliant with some intra-European flights. The more-diminutive version is a decent choice for weekend travel or for minimalist travelers—but for those uses, we prefer the space-saving profile and extra internal organization of the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L .

However, the Tortuga is the most adjustable bag we’ve tested five years in a row, thanks to its adjustable torso length, shoulder straps, and waist-belt system. The adjustable strap system lets you manipulate the location of the shoulder straps (video) to fit a wider variety of body sizes, in both the 30- and 40-liter versions. This design (with its included load-adjuster straps at the top, to prevent the bag’s weight from sagging toward your lumbar region) is the best of those we’ve tested at distributing the weight of the bag (4.5 pounds when empty—roughly a pound and a half more than most of our other picks, except the Peak Design.) The hip straps are removable if you need, but the shoulder straps are not stowable.

Flaws but not dealbreakers Some people, especially those who are hard on their gear, may consider not being able to remove or stow the Tortuga’s shoulder straps (as they can with our other picks, like the Cotopaxi Allpa) a disqualifying factor. But after years of testing, traveling with, and occasionally checking our bag, we haven’t had an issue. Personally, it still makes me nervous to see the Tortuga traveling on the luggage belt toward mysterious machines and conveyors beneath the airport—all of which, in my imagination, are waiting to tear the hip belt from the bag or slice open the sailcloth exterior. But the Tortuga appears to shrug it all off with ease. However, if these mysteries beneath the airport also make you nervous, you might prefer our picks with easy-to-stow straps, such as the Peak Design Travel Backpack .

We’ve also fielded complaints from some testers that older models of this bag were too heavy for them to carry, even with the padded hip belt and adjustable straps. The additional padding does add weight. At 4.5 pounds, the new Tortuga is more than half a pound lighter than it used to be —the difference is noticeable—and it weighs the same as the equally large Peak Design . But if you feel like you would struggle carrying this model, we strenuously encourage you to consider one of our more-manageable picks, like the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L .

Capacity: 40 liters Weight: 4.5 pounds Main compartment access: clamshell opening Style: minimal, with a rigid construction Color: black

A person in a gray tshirt and red shorts wears the eBags TLS Mother Lode while walking outdoors next to tall shrubs.

eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender

Affordable capacity and organization.

The Mother Lode offers the organizational features most travelers want, at an affordable price. However, it’s not as comfortable to carry as pricier options, and it can expand well past the limits of most overhead bins.

Get this if: You want an affordable bag with a traditional look, to carry as much as you can—potentially more than you’re allowed by airlines.

If you like the concept of the large Tortuga Travel Backpack but not its price, the eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender is a great option for infrequent travelers who are willing to give up some features, such as a decent hip belt. It’s not comfortable enough for trekking long distances on foot, but there are plenty of external pockets for organization, a laptop sleeve that holds the weight of your computer high up on your shoulders, and an easy-to-access main compartment. This bag also has the largest capacity of any of those we tested, expanding to 65 liters—well beyond any airline’s regulated 45-liter limit. However, the bag’s more-casual looks might not be to everyone’s taste.

The Mother Lode is a good suitcase built around a basic (if slightly underwhelming) backpack. That’s the tradeoff you make for its low price, which is less than half that of other models. Unlike our other picks, the Mother Lode is not for carrying over long distances, especially when it’s full. If you know you’re going to be walking long distances (say, over a mile or so) with your pack on, you might want to consider one of our other picks. That said, if you’re carrying your bag only from a taxi to the airport security line but you want to avoid checked-item fees, the Mother Lode might be the bag for you.

The best part of the Mother Lode is the interior layout: It is easy to pack, and it’s smartly organized but still adaptable enough to mold to your preferred style of packing (meaning you can find what you need when you need it). However, the intense design focus that’s evident in the interior of the bag seems to have slipped a bit when it came to the exterior. Compared with those of several other picks in this size, this bag’s slim straps and barely there hip belt are noticeably lacking, especially if you’ve maxed out the bag’s ludicrous capacity.

The clamshell opening of the Mother Lode is similar to the Tortuga’s or the Cotopaxi Allpa’s. This space is augmented by a separate front compartment and organization panel for quick access to mid-size items like a toiletry kit; a top compartment for keys, small books, or sunglasses; and a front pocket organizer for smaller flat items, like travel documents and wallets. The laptop pocket is large and well protected, and it has a strap to help secure and position your laptop’s weight higher up your back if you wish.

Flaws but not dealbreakers There are plenty of flaws with this bag, if you choose to see them as flaws instead of the necessary consequences of the Mother Lode’s inexpensive price. During testing, we packed as much into the Mother Lode as we did in the Tortuga (more, if we expanded the Mother Lode past strict carry-on dimensions). The problem with that much capacity? It becomes an absolute bear to carry. And the flimsy waist belt is almost useless at distributing weight across your hips. Several times during testing I considered just cutting it away. This is a shame, since the bag could go from “decent for the price” to “fantastic, especially at this price” with just a few upgrades.

Capacity: 45 liters (expandable to 65 liters) Weight: 4 pounds Main compartment access: clamshell opening Style: casual Colors: Eggplant, Garnet, Slate Blue, Heathered Graphite, Pine Green

If you want to travel like a backpacker but fit in at a board meeting (and have the budget to do so): Consider the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 —its reputation for durability, adaptability, and a low-key aesthetic make it a favorite among many dedicated one-bag travelers, and after testing it, we think it’s a great bag too. That said, for the bag to really stand out against other backpacks, and to take full advantage of its carrying adaptability, you need to buy the $33 internal frame , the $33 hip belt , and (if you’re traveling with a suit or jacket) the $33 shoulder strap (all prices at the time of writing). This all adds up on a bag that already costs $330. Even though everything about the Tom Bihn (the fabric, the zippers, the quality of construction) feels like an upgrade from other bags, it’s simply too pricey, and its design is too rarified and specific for most people. The biggest flaw, from our perspective—apart from the price—is that the Tom Bihn lacks a dedicated laptop pocket. In its place, the company sells laptop sleeves (a fine version if you don’t have one) that clip into the bag’s central compartment. Not everyone needs a dedicated laptop pocket, but we prefer the more secure feeling of bags that do.

Anyone who wants to travel light and stay flexible should seriously consider using a carry-on travel backpack. For some people, the challenge of cutting down a packing list is intimidating. But if you can get past that initial hurdle, traveling with a single bag is a revelation. With fewer items, you have more time to concentrate on and appreciate the journey. It’s easy to remain more mobile when you’re not loaded down by heavy luggage and easier still to adjust your plans mid-trip. If you’re willing to do laundry on the road, then one bag is all you need to travel indefinitely. And as airlines charge more and more for checking baggage, traveling with just a carry-on bag (frequently referred to as one-bag travel ) is becoming less of a lifestyle choice and more of a survival skill. At its heart, one-bag travel allows you to discover more—not just about the places you’re going but about yourself and what you really need day to day.

If you desire more creature comforts or more gear, or if you plan to be away for a long time across multiple climates, you’ll want a bigger travel backpack . These larger bags are not carry-on-friendly, though, especially in Europe, so be prepared to check them. We also have a guide to wheeled carry-on bags , which are designed to hold a lot of stuff while remaining easy to maneuver around airports. However, wheels, retractable handles, and frames subtract from precious packing space and add weight, and can make a bag difficult to manage on busy city streets.

There’s no single backpack that is perfect for everyone. Before you make any purchase, consider some basic points. How much can you carry? And where do you usually visit: city or outback? Travel gear should feel like a welcome companion—there to support you when you need it, but unobtrusive when you do not. The best bags are built to survive a lifetime of use and, if cared for properly, should be something you develop a bond with over time.

To compile our list of possible models, we scoured the world of travel blogs and product reviews (most driven by a similar affiliate revenue model to ours), including The Savvy Backpacker , Snarky Nomad , The Travel Hack , Nomadic Matt , The Travel Tester , Where’s Sharon? , Y Travel Blog , Lengthy Travel , and GearLab . Additionally, we lurked on Reddit’s r/onebag  and r/heronebag forums, and emailed and had phone interviews with the moderators of those subreddits, Addison Ryan and Lindsay Lorraine Calderón, respectively. Additionally, we spoke with the prolific travel bag reviewer Chase Reeves to get his thoughts on what most great bags have in common. We ended up with a list of 60 candidates and then narrowed this list down to 22 finalists using the following criteria: capacity, compartment design, aesthetics, reviews, and reported comfort.

There isn’t one perfect bag to please everyone, but there are tools you can use to find what’s best for you. We did a lot of our own research to compare models of travel bags, but r/onebag moderator /u/-Nepherim created one of the best product-comparison spreadsheets we’ve seen . If you want to keep researching your own pick, this spreadsheet is a great place to start.

A graphic comparing 45-liter vs. 35-liter travel bags. The difference in size translates to fitting 4 large packing cubes, 1 medium packing cube, and a toiletry bag (45-liter) vs. 2 large packing cubes, 1 medium packing cube, and 1 small toiletry bag (35-liter)

Even if you aren’t convinced by our picks, we do think we can help you figure out what parameters are best for travel bags of any size. We’ve narrowed down our specifications to the following list of features, ordered from most to least relevant.

  • Panel-loading or clamshell opening for the main compartment: As with any good piece of luggage, with these bags, you want to be able to open them and see everything you’ve packed. A panel-loading or clamshell design—rather than a traditional top-opening design—lets you pack and unpack these bags just as you would a suitcase.

A graphic illustrating a clamshell bag opening

  • Backpack strap comfort and design: You never know when you’ll be walking farther with your bag than you’d intended. The more comfortable and well designed the straps, the easier traveling will be. “Ideally, you want a bag’s shoulder straps to adjust to the angle of your shoulders,” said Eytan Levy of Snarky Nomad. “Good shoulder straps are the difference between an easy trip and a hard trip.”
  • Hip belt comfort and design: A hip belt transfers heavy loads from your back and shoulders onto your hips, letting your legs—not your back—bear the brunt of the weight. Just having a waist belt is a plus, but having a padded and sculpted one—especially on bags with over 40 liters of volume—makes a world of difference.
  • Style: This is purely subjective. We preferred bags that had a minimalist exterior style, but not all of our picks will please everyone. Most of the people we spoke with, however, preferred not to stick out like a tourist wearing a large, colorful backpack, if they could avoid it.
  • Material quality: Durability is critical for any type of luggage, but especially for a backpack that will be your only bag. Most bags worth considering are made of nylon, which resists abrasion more than polyester fabrics of similar density. Spending more, however, can get you such exotic, light, and strong materials as Dyneema or sailcloth.
  • Weight: Once the bags arrived, we weighed each one ourselves. Most of the bags weighed within a few pounds of one another. But unless you’re very strict with yourself, by the time you’re packed for a two-week journey, all bags are going to feel equally massive, even if one is just 2 pounds heavier than another when empty.
  • Stowable straps: These are nice to have but aren’t absolutely necessary. “The more often you need to check a bag, the more often you need to hide away the straps,” Levy said. “But if the straps are tough enough, it doesn’t matter.”
  • Accessory pocket layout and design: Some people will love an accessory pocket that has a specific space for everything, while others may find that feature constricting and unadaptable. We prioritized simple designs that guided our packing without constraining us.

During testing, we flew with these bags across the country, took weekend trips to nearby cities, lived out of them on extended trips, and tried them locally in our daily routines. We also packed and unpacked each bag, using a standardized set of weeklong travel necessities and accessories, to see how well the internal organizational features (or lack thereof) aided or got in the way of efficient packing.

The Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L has an updated design featuring a new hip belt, which brings it back into class with many of its competitors in this category. In the past, the MLC’s straps were too slim and unsupported for the bag’s 45-liter capacity. Also, its lack of any framing gave the bag a soft and unsettling feeling if it was anything but fully packed. We’re looking at the newest model to see if some of these problems have been corrected and if a former champion travel backpack can regain the spotlight.

Asenlin 40L Travel Backpack : This mind-bendingly inexpensive bag (which includes three packing cubes, all for $45 at time of publication) is a remarkable testament to the cutthroat logic and efficiency of a globalized free market. Is it attractive? No. Is it comfortable to carry? Not particularly. Is it durable enough to withstand years of travel? Unlikely. Is it $45? Yes! If you want the absolute least expensive carry-on travel backpack we’ve ever seen, this is it. But you’ll get more with the TLS Motherlode , which, although double the price, is still very affordable.

Away F.A.R. Convertible Backpack 45L : A rare miss from the Away team. This bag is resoundingly average for the price. Admittedly made of excellent materials, the bag is let down by its overall design, which lacks any kind of structure or attention to comfort. There are better options.

Cabin Max Metz (and the nearly identical AmazonBasics Carry-On ): This cheap, no-frills bag is enticing for the price. But after comparing these bags to the TLS Mother Lode, we think you’re better off paying twice the price for way more than twice the value. The Mother Lode is more reliable and built from stronger materials, and it will hold more stuff comfortably than either of these bags.

GeniusPack Travel Backpack: The GeniusPack is the only model we came across that tried to fit a suit into a travel backpack. Though some people might need this, we think those who have to travel with a suit (or clothes that require pressing) would be better off with a piece of carry-on luggage . (GeniusPack now has a version 2 of this bag, but our conclusion hasn’t changed.)

Goruck GR2 : I’m a big fan of Goruck bags, and I use the GR1 regularly as my daily work and travel bag. These bags will last a lifetime. However, the GR2 is too expensive and too large (its 40L size is a true 40L) for many people, especially since none of the three sizes (26L, 34L, and 40L) comes with a hip belt. We wish the GR2 had a removable hip belt, something similar to what’s on the GR3. That said, this bag is simple, sturdy, and stoic. There is a lot to love about it. And if you don’t mind the high cost, this bag will probably outlast your corporeal self.

Goruck GR3 : The GR3 is almost worth the cost for certain people. It’s strong and simple and covered by an iron-clad repair guarantee. The removable hip belt is comfortable to wear and good at displacing the weight of a 45-liter backpack. It’s a good bag. However, after testing it, we weren’t thrilled with the internal Velcro lining for compatible Velcro packing cubes. Velcro isn’t great: It wears out, is difficult to keep clean, and clings to dirt. That might seem like a small thing, but for the price, this bag should feel perfect.

Kelty Redwing 44 : When we got our hands on the Redwing, we realized that it was closer to a top-loading light camping backpack than to the panel-loading packs we tested. It didn’t quite fit the scope of this review because of its design.

Hynes Eagle 40L Flight Approved Carry-on : This pack is very similar pack to the eBags TLS Mother Lode and the Cabin Max Metz models. It might be useful as a weekend traveler, but we don’t think it would hold up for longer trips.

MEI Voyageur : There’s a lot to like about this bag, especially for the price. It features 1000D Cordura nylon and YKK zippers, and it has a spacious design and decent shoulder straps. But we’re still on the fence about recommending it. The lack of recent reputable reviews gives us pause, along with the sparse Shopify website, which, the last time we checked, in 2024, wasn’t operational. (The company now appears to be selling directly via PayPal.)

Minaal Carry-on 2.0: This bag was designed to be the absolute best travel backpack for business people. But if you’re a business person, you’re probably wearing at least a blazer, so you wouldn’t use a backpack in any case. Even so, if you’re a business traveler who falls more on the casual end of the business-casual spectrum, and you’re not on a budget, you should know that many travel writers have spoken highly of this bag, despite its high price. This does look to be a well-thought-out pack, but we think our picks are more versatile for world travel. (Minaal has since introduced a 3.0 version ; our thoughts about it remain the same.)

Osprey Porter 46: This was a slightly larger sibling of the Farpoint 40 . It’s about 2 inches longer, and it pushes right up to most airline limits. If you don’t mind possibly having to gate-check your bag at the last minute, this would have been an excellent alternative to the Farpoint 40. (It has since been replaced by the Osprey Sojourn Porter 46 ; we may take a look at it.)

Trakke Storr Carryon : Travel-bag enthusiast Chase Reeves used to list this bag as one of his top picks for a medium-size carry-on bag, and it looks very well built . But at $500, plus shipping from Scotland, it is simply too expensive for most people.

We also tested and dismissed The North Face Overhaul 40, which has since been discontinued.

This article was edited by Ria Misra and Christine Ryan.

Chase Reeves, , phone interview , October 10, 2018

Addison Ryan, moderator, r/onebag , email interview , September 8, 2018

Lindsay Lorraine Calderón, moderator, r/heronebag , phone interview , September 28, 2018

Meet your guide

best roller backpack for travel

Kit Dillon is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter. He was previously an app developer, oil derrick inspector, public-radio archivist, and sandwich shop owner. He has written for Popular Science, The Awl, and the New York Observer, among others. When called on, he can still make a mean sandwich.

Further reading

Four Osprey travel backpacks, two blue, two green, sitting next to each other.

The Best Travel Backpack

by Geoffrey Morrison

For trips ranging from a week to multiple months, the Osprey Farpoint 55 and Fairview 55 carried everything we needed comfortably.

A person in an outdoor environment wearing one of our picks for best buy it for life backpack with a minimalist look, the GoRuck GR1.

The Best Buy It for Life Backpack (Please Don’t Call It Tactical)

by Kit Dillon

A buy-it-for-a-lifetime backpack should last you for years of heavy use. But as with all investments, you need to decide if it makes sense for you.

Three of our favorite backpacks, totes and duffle bags on display

Wirecutter’s Favorite Bags, Totes, Backpacks and Carryalls

by Truth Headlam

Whether you’re going to school, work, the gym, the store, or on vacay, you need a bag. Here’s the Wirecutter-recommended carrying gear we love most.

A person wearing the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L travel backpack.

I Took 5 Trips in 6 Months. My Go-To Weekender Bag Was This Surprisingly Spacious Backpack.

by Elissa Sanci

Struggling to pack for your weekend away? The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L fits so much more than you’d expect.

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8 best backpacks with wheels for smoother travel

From long-haul adventures to office commutes, these hybrid bags will take the weight off your shoulders, article bookmarked.

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These two-in-one holdalls are even more helpful if you’re short on space at home

Samsonite roader laptop bag with wheels 55cm

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Need a bag for all occasions? Then pick up a backpack with wheels. At first it might sound like a strange concept but, once you get one, you’ll be hooked.

These are the most versatile bags on the market, following you on every adventure, from city break to mountain hike – and even helping with your daily commute.

When you’re traversing difficult terrain or navigating multiple bags through an airport, these lifesavers can go on your back to leave you blissfully hands-free. When you’re moving through a city or carrying an especially heavy load, you can wheel them effortlessly along the pavement.

They are even more appealing if you have limited storage space at home – rather than buy and house multiple bags, you can have one that does it all.

When choosing our best backpacks with wheels, we were very particular about one thing: these bags – and it may sound obvious – should function perfectly well as backpacks and as roller luggage . Because what’s the point of purchasing a two-in-one if you’re having to compromise?

How we tested

From a backpack point of view, we wanted straps that could shoulder a reasonable amount of weight to balance the bag’s capacity, and be comfortable enough to wear at least through an airport. On the roller bag side of things, we were looking for smooth-wheeling functionality, a solid handle for easy manoeuvring, and a neat and easy way to tuck away backpack straps when not in use. We’ve only included the best backpacks with wheels here – the ones we felt proved to be good value for money. We sent all the others packing.

Related stories

The best backpacks with wheels for 2022 are:.

  • Best overall – Samsonite roader laptop bag with wheels 55cm: £129,
  • Best for functionality and style – Victorinox VX sport evo backpack on wheels: £170,
  • Best for maximising cabin allowance – Eastpak strapverz S: £145,
  • Best for day-to-day – Cath Kidston sweet pea frame wheeled backpack: £95,
  • Best for large capacity – Osprey sojourn 60 travel pack: £275,
  • Best for outdoor adventures – Kathmandu hybrid 32l trolley: £185,
  • Best budget backpack with wheels – It Luggage 28l backpack with wheels: £40,
  • Best for the office commute – Mountain Warehouse voyager 35l wheelie rucksack: £69.99,

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Samsonite roader laptop bag with wheels, 55cm

Samsonite roader laptop bag with wheels 55cm .jpg

  • Best : Overall
  • Dimensins : 55cm x 39cm x 22cm
  • Volume : 28l
  • Weight : 2.26k
  • Colourways : 3

One of the titans of the luggage industry, Samsonite is known for making suitcases that are light, slick and smooth-wheeling. And the 28l roader fits that profile like a glove. The roller case functionality is excellent – responsive wheels feel like they could turn on a dime, while a smooth-gliding handle tucks away nicely in a dedicated pouch. We love the sleek interior material, too, which is easy to keep clean and feels the same as the material used in other Samsonite cases.

The bag itself is made with recyclex material – exactly 26 recycled 0.5l PET plastic bottles were used to make the fabric for the bag. The best bit, though? Whether you’re using it as a backpack or as a wheelie case, it never looks like a two-in-one hybrid. There’s zero compromise on style. That’s a giant tick from us.

Victorinox VX sport evo backpack on wheels

Victorinox VX sport evo backpack on wheels .jpg

  • Best : For functionality and style
  • Dimensions : 26 x 38 x 54cm
  • Volume : 37l
  • Weight : 2.7kg
  • Colourways : 2

Of all the bags out there, backpacks with wheels are not ones that you might consider “high fashion”. But then again, most of them aren’t made by Victorinox. The producers of the famous Swiss Army knife also do a roaring trade in sleek, built-to-last luggage, and that translates here to this good-looking hybrid. When you’re not using them, comfy padded straps tuck away quickly and easily into a dedicated middle pouch, making transitioning between pack and wheelie bag super quick. The handle is one of the sturdiest and smoothest we tried too, and the exterior is water-repellent. There’s a generous 37l capacity as well – enough to keep you going over a long weekend.

Eastpak strapverz S

Eastpak strapverz S .jpg

  • Best : For maximising cabin allowance
  • Dimensions : 51cm x 32.5cm x 24cm
  • Volume : 42l
  • Weight : 2.49kg

Eastpak bags are made to take a knocking – we’ve had some for well over a decade that still look and operate almost as good as new. And this, the brand’s take on a backpack with wheels, is no exception. It comes with all the same classic lightness and roominess that is the signature of Eastpak bags, but with added straps that fold discreetly away in a zippered pouch. It is on the boxy side, which means when you wear it as a backpack, it basically looks like you have a wheelie bag strapped to your torso. It could be a little comfier, but on the flip side you get a cabin-sized bag that’s light and fits an absolute tonne (the capacity is 42l). A no-brainer for air travellers.

Cath Kidston sweet pea frame wheeled backpack

  • Best : For day-to-day
  • Dimensions : 29cm x 41cm x 18cm
  • Volume : Not specified
  • Weight : Not specified
  • Colourways : 1

This cutesy Cath Kidston backpack – plastered with a print of blooming sweet peas – is the perfect pick for day-to-day use. It’s compact enough for toting around town on your back, then after you’ve popped by the supermarket or corner shop to pick up a few bits, you can convert it into a wheelie bag for the journey home. There’s a padded laptop compartment too, and clever top handles so you can even carry it like a handbag. It opens up pretty wide to quickly get stuff in and out, too. One more reason to buy? It has some eco-creds: that classic cool-kitsch Cath Kidston fabric is a hardy polyester that’s been made from recycled plastic bottles.

Osprey sojourn 60 travel pack

Osprey sojourn 60 travel pack.jpg

  • Best : For large capacity
  • Dimensions : 64cm x 36cm x 35cm
  • Volume : 60l
  • Weight : 3.87kg

This is an investment piece but you do get loads for your money. With a 60l capacity, this bag will easily squeeze in enough for a week – or longer, if you’re a pro packer. And yet, it’s built in a way to make carrying it on your back super comfortable, with a ventilated mesh layer and an adjustable harness and hipbelt for support. The thick base wheels are super smooth-rolling, and the double-bar retractable handle is grippy. Inside, compression straps securing clothes, and pockets for liquids and shoes, keep everything neat and tidy. On the outside, “straightjacket” compression keeps everything stable. You could take this on a tour through southeast Asia, a camping holiday or a city break to New York, and no matter what, it will keep up with you all the way.

Kathmandu hybrid 32l trolley

  • Best : For outdoor adventures
  • Dimensions : 56cm x 36cm x 23cm
  • Volume : 32l
  • Weight : 2.36kg

Kiwi brand Kathmandu knows the outdoors inside-out – it’s spent more than 30 years making kit for exploring the world’s wild corners, and is now a certified B-Corp. So, as you might imagine, this is a company that knows what makes a good explorer’s backpack. Kathmandu evolved its hybrid trolley to make it as light (2.36kg), strong and comfortable as possible, while still maximising volume (32l). The internal mesh pocket is handy for, say, separating out dirty laundry, while compression straps will let you squeeze in as much as possible. We love the flash of bright neon colour, too.

It Luggage 28l backpack with wheels

It Luggage 28l backpack with 2 wheels .jpg

  • Best : For budget
  • Dimensions : 50cm x 33cm x 20cm
  • Weight : 2.08kg

It may not be quite as stylish as some others on this list – the look is more corporate “biz traveller” than runway – but for the £40 price tag, this really is a small niggle. With a padded section to keep your laptop safe, a load of internal pockets and three zippered compartments, this bag has the same functionality as many others on the market and yet won’t hurt your bank balance. The polyester exterior seems like it could take a few hits, and we like that the fold-away shoulder straps are padded. There’s a 10-year manufacturer’s guarantee, too, which, for a bag of this price point, is a bonus.

Mountain Warehouse voyager 35l wheelie rucksack

Mountain Warehouse voyager 35l wheelie rucksack .jpg

  • Best : For the office commute
  • Dimensions : 49cm x 34cm x 20cm
  • Volume : 35l

Looking for something to take to and from the office? Here’s your bag. The padded 15in compartment is the voyager’s main selling point – it will keep your laptop comfortably encased while you make the journey to your desk. The bag’s subtle wheels (tucked discreetly under a patch of fabric) make it look more like a “normal” backpack than some others. When it is time to tuck the straps away and put those rollers into motion, you’ll find the bag’s handle is sturdy and it holds as much as you could possibly need (it’s a roomy 35l). The heavy-duty fabric, meanwhile, feels built to last.

The verdict: Backpacks with wheels

With the very best backpacks with wheels, there’s no compromise – the bags should operate equally well as a pack and as a roller case, and look good doing either job too. For that reason, we’ve selected the Samsonite roader laptop bag with wheels as our best buy. For most occasions, whether it’s a weekend break or the office commute, this bag will work a treat.

Going on a long-haul adventure? Osprey’s sojourn 60 travel pack gives you all the capacity you could want, and is made to last. It’s not the cheapest backpack with wheels on the market by a long shot, but consider it an investment piece that you’ll use for many years.

Finally, we love the style-meets-functionality of the Victorinox VX sport evo backpack on wheels . If you thought hybrid bags couldn’t look stylish, this one’s here to change your mind.

For more advice check out our review of the best travel backpacks for every adventure

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The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

Whether weekend road-tripping or jet-setting around the world, you’re going to need a pack to toss over your shoulder. Here are the best travel backpacks for every adventure.

Mallory Paige Testing the Cotopaxi Allpa Travel Backpack

There are a lot of great travel backpacks out there, but not all of them are created equal. A travel pack needs to be comfortable to carry, easy to organize, and durable enough to withstand being toted from place to place.

From hitting the road for the weekend to spending months traveling abroad, we’ve put nearly 30 different travel backpacks through the wringer. We tallied our airline miles, punched our tickets, and put our tray tables in the upright and locked position for close to half a decade now, taking domestic and international flights to as far as Iceland and as close as 30-minute island hops. And while there isn’t a single pack that suits every traveler, we’ve highlighted a variety of designs and price points to help you find the perfect travel backpack.

Choosing a travel backpack can be a dizzying experience, and we’ve shaken down the best to sort through the static. Each pack has seen its time on the baggage carousel, hostel luggage cart, and we’ve even had a few go missing for the full experience. We fully pack and live out of these bags to test them, and in the end, we’re confident that the 14 packs collected here are the best travel backpacks available today. Check-in and check them out.

For all your travel pack questions, consult our buyer’s guide , where we’ve laid bare all the essentials. Compare each of the packs using our handy comparison chart , and if you’ve still got questions, check out our FAQ section.

Editor’s Note: We updated our travel backpack guide on November 15, 2023 to include additional information on our testing, as well as ensure that our selection is still current.

  • Best Overall Travel Backpack: Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L
  • Best Budget Travel Backpack: Dakine Campus 33L Backpack
  • Best Carrying Travel Backpack: Osprey Farpoint & Fairview 40 Travel Packs
  • Best Organization in a Travel Backpack: Matador SEG45 Travel Pack
  • Best Shoulder Bag: Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L
  • Best Commuter-Style Travel Backpack: Arc’teryx Granville 25 Backpack
  • Best Personal Item Travel Pack: TimBuk2 Never Check Expandable Backpack

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

  • Capacity 45 L (collapses to 35 L)
  • Weight 4 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Dimensions 22" x 13" x 9.5" standard, 22" x 13" x 11" expanded
  • Compartment access Back panel clamshell design with #10 zipper
  • Material Weatherproof, 100% recycled 400-denier nylon canvas shell; 900-denier waterproof bottom

Product Badge

  • Compresses down to maximum airline carry-on size, and then expands once you’ve hit your destination
  • Burly construction
  • No details are overlooked in the design
  • Side-carry handles are offset in an awkward position

Perfect is a dirty word in product design, but we’re about stumped when it comes to drumming up a quibble about the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45 L ($300). This redeye-ready clamshell design is made to the highest of standards.

It’s made of quality materials, utilizing aluminum hardware and a burly 400-denier nylon canvas — and it easily ticks all our boxes for the best overall travel backpack. The interior of the bag is split into two compartments: a larger main area for storing the majority of your kit and a secondary sleeve at the front of the bag with five zippered pockets. The main pocket also sports a foam-padded laptop sleeve and three more pockets.

One of the more impressive aspects we discovered along the bag’s inaugural leg from Seattle to Anchorage was how easily the straps of the Travel Backpack stow away into the bag. Two foam panels on the back of the bag flip away to secure them and then close with a magnetic closure — very slick. This was our favorite strap-stowage system, with the zippered panels of the Matador GlobeRider45 coming in a close second. We find the Peak Design bag compresses smaller.

Then there are the little details. An ID-size sleeve on the back panel provides all the information should your bag get separated from you. Zipper pulls thread through one another to keep what’s yours safe. And a collapsible system adjusts the bag from a full 45 to 35 liters.

In our review, there’s little about the Peak Design pack that misses the mark. The company leans heavily toward the camera-toting travelers among us, but the 45 L Travel Backpack makes no compromises and works just as well for any user group. The high price is undeniable, but for the scope of the travel pack, it’s a buy-once-cry-once purchase we would make again.

Also available in a 30L size , the range of Travel Backpacks from Peak Design is so well-thought-out that you can practically see the cogs turning in their creators’ heads. We think they make the best travel backpacks on the market.

Dakine Campus 33L Backpack

  • Capacity 33 L
  • Weight 1 lb., 10.6 oz.
  • Dimensions 20.5" x 13" x 8"
  • Compartment access Zippered top access
  • Material Depending on print type, can be 600-denier recycled polyester, 420-denier recycled nylon, 630-denier recycled nylon, or 1,200-denier recycled polyester

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Cheap price
  • Available in many different fabric prints
  • Unique insulated cooler pocket
  • Not many travel-specific features
  • Straps don’t pack away

Even at the regular price of $75, the Dakine Campus 33L Backpack is a great deal. And considering you can grab one on sale for $45, it’s a must-have budget travel backpack.

It has everything you need to keep your travels organized, without getting too big or complicated. It has a padded laptop sleeve, a fleece-lined top pocket to keep your sunglasses safe, and an organizer pocket perfect for pens, a phone, and easy-access essentials. We love pockets, and this backpack has plenty.

And if that weren’t enough, it also has an insulated cooler pocket to keep your snacks fresh on the go, plus double side pockets keep drinks handy. We found the straps comfortable during long travel days. Be sure to use the sternum strap when carrying a heavy load for the best fit.

While this bag does excellent at travel, it isn’t quite what the bag was designed for, and thus it’s missing a few travel niceties like a compression system or the ability to pack away the straps. We didn’t find that we missed them desperately, but it would have been nice to have had in a few instances. For similar-sized backpacks with more of a travel bend to them, look to the sleek Timbuk2 Never Check, or the uber-customizable Tom Bihn Synapse 25. But prepare to shell out some more for them.

If you’re looking for a sub-$100 backpack (under $60 during sales!) that does it all, then the Dakine Campus Backpack is for you. It comes in a variety of colors and is also available in a 25L capacity .

Osprey Farpoint & Fairview 40 Travel Packs

  • Capacity 40 L
  • Weight 3 lbs., 7.6 oz.
  • Dimensions 22" x 14" x 9"
  • Compartment access Zippered back panel clamshell design
  • Material Bluesign-approved 450-denier recycled polyester

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Supreme suspension system offers the best carry of any pack we tried
  • External compression straps limit the volume well
  • Comfortably padded grab handles
  • Not much internal organization

No stranger to producing supremely comfortable suspension systems, Osprey injected a good bit of its tech into the Farpoint and Fairview packs ($185), which both sport LightWire frames, load lifters, and breathable framesheet and suspension straps. Our Farpoint pack was easily the best load carrier of any we tested and a close contender for the best travel backpack overall.

Far beyond what any of the other travel packs offer, the pack even allows you to adjust the torso length — unheard of in the typical travel pack. Newly updated, these packs have been tweaked to ride the line between traditional backpacks and functional luggage, a claim we can substantiate.

The 40-liter capacity is just about the sweet spot for domestic carry-on luggage limits, and these packs make good use of the space. We could easily pack away a long weekend’s worth of travel essentials into the bag with a little space to spare.

Whereas many other travel packs stash straps away into the body of the pack, the Farpoint and Fairview move in the opposite direction with a deployable strap cover that neatly seals in the suspension for safekeeping when checked. This produces a clean profile that’s ready to be slung around, but it’s not quite as easy and quick as the magnetic panels of the Peak Design Travel Backpacks, as you need to unclip straps to tuck them away.

The interior of the pack is rather spartan, incorporating only one zippered pocket, a laptop sleeve, and two internal compression straps. We would have rather seen a bit more organizational features involved like those that the Matador GlobeRider and Topo Designs Global Travel bags incorporate, but for those who stuff more than pack, the Farpoint and  Fairview may very well punch the ticket.

With one foot on the platform and one on the trail, these packs from Osprey will get you where you’re going and carry a trip’s worth of kit with ease.

Matador SEG45 Travel Pack

  • Capacity 45 L
  • Weight 2 lbs., 8 oz.
  • Dimensions 22" x 13.4" x 10.2"
  • Compartment access Full clamshell interior, additional front zippered access
  • Material 420-denier nylon exterior, 100-denier Robic Dynatec interior

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Excellent storage organization options
  • High-quality, strong, and lightweight construction
  • No frame to speak of
  • Shoulder straps don’t pack away

Aiming to do more with less, the Matador SEG45 Segmented Backpack ($200) proposes a future free of packing cubes and splits up the bag for you, making the organization of your travel pack a breeze.

The full 45 liters of volume is shared among the five segments (6, 9, 15, 9, and 6 liters) and trades volume between the full clamshell compartment and the segments. Each of these segments is accessible via its own water-resistant zippers and can be collapsed as your needs change.

We found organizing by clothing type made the most sense in our own packing, but you could even pack based on the day of the week or the use. The clamshell-accessed main compartment was ideal for holding larger items like spare shoes or quarantining spent outfits.

Known for its overbuilt but lightweight bags, Matador didn’t spare the SEG45, utilizing 420D UHMWPE-reinforced nylon in the pack body, as well as 100D Robic Dynatec weave on the interior. It should be noted that this travel backpack doesn’t have any kind of frame and will rely on being packed well to carry correctly. Because of this, this pack won’t carry as well as bags like the Osprey Farpoint/Fairview, so consider packing mostly clothing in the SEG45.

Our testers felt this bag excelled as a travel bag you might deploy once you’ve hit your destination, as it packs away into larger bags so well. Unfortunately, however, the shoulder straps don’t pack away into the bag itself, so you’ll have to wrangle them into place to keep things tidy.

No matter what you’re up to, everything has got a spot to live in the SEG45 . Need a bit less space? Matador offers the SEG28 ($250) for that.

Read Review: Dresser in a Backpack: Matador SEG42 Review

Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L

  • Weight 3 lbs., 10.3 oz.
  • Dimensions 22.8" x 8.6" x 14.5"
  • Compartment access Back panel zippered clamshell design
  • Material 900-denier recycled polyester ripstop with a TPU laminate

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Multiple ways to carry the pack
  • Many different storage and internal organization options
  • Burly external fabric
  • Doesn’t carry the best as a backpack

Looking to squeeze out every last liter of allowed space? Patagonia named this pack in honor of the cause — the Black Hole Maximum Legal Carry-On 45 L ($239). This bag can be carried in a number of different ways, but we found it shined during travel as a shoulder bag.

Borrowing fabric from Patagonia’s line of burly Black Hole Duffels , the MLC 45 is made for the long haul. The 900-denier polyester ripstop is coated in a TPU laminate and feels ready to take on the surliest baggage carrier. We certainly felt no remorse in tossing the bag around.

At 45 liters, the MLC is certainly right at the cusp of the maximum allowed size, but thankfully that space is well divided up inside the pack. Inside the main clamshell-accessed compartment is a blizzard of zippers and mesh pockets and dividers, and anything we tossed inside was well-stabilized.

Because there isn’t much of a frame to speak of, the Black Hole MLC doesn’t carry the best when slung over both shoulders and can sag when not entirely full. But over a shoulder with the included shoulder strap, this pack feels great and can be easily accessed on the go. This is one of the only packs in our testing to feature a shoulder strap (the other being the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag).

On top of all this, we greatly appreciate that the Black Hole MLC 45 L is made with 100% recycled body fabric, lining, and webbing. Perfect for grabbing and going, this pack is ready to move.

Read Review: Patagonia Black Hole MLC Bag Review: An Organized, Carry-On-Size Wonder

Arc’teryx Granville 25 Backpack

  • Capacity 25 L
  • Weight 1 lb., 14.5 oz.
  • Dimensions 22" x 12" x 9"
  • Compartment access Drawstring top-entry
  • Material N400r-AC² nylon ripstop

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Tough and waterproof exterior fabric
  • White interior for easy viewing
  • Floating laptop sleeve
  • Not very much interior organization
  • Simple webbing waistbelt

Made for moving through the city over the concourse, the commute-ready Arc’teryx Granville 25 ($220) takes travel backpacks to the streets in a sleek and tough design that we couldn’t keep from grabbing every day.

Crafted from the same N400r-AC² nylon ripstop as Arc’teryx’s high-end climbing packs, the mountain DNA is strong in the Granville, with fully taped seams that make the pack highly weather-resistant. In our impromptu “rain” test, a garden hose fired directly at the pack wasn’t able to get a drop past the tough exterior.

On the front of the pack, a single water-resistant zippered pocket was practically made for your keys, and could accommodate a few other essentials for when you’re on the go. Tossing back the shaped lid, a single drawstring entry leads to the interior space, which is mainly one large pocket, with a few zippered and drop pockets to separate smaller items. If you’re looking for the same style pack, but with a bit more organization built-in, the Tom Bihn Synapse 25 divides up its space well.

The padded interior laptop sleeve will accommodate up to a 16” laptop, and is suspended within the main compartment in a way that leaves us feeling confident in slinging our computer across a shoulder. Compared to other more airline-focused travel packs, the Granville 25 has its feet more firmly planted on the ground, and excels at bus, bike, or foot travel.

Whether your commute is just across town or across the country, the Arc’teryx Granville 25 makes for a good-looking carry-all that’s bound to be around for a while.

Timbuk2 Never Check Expandable Backpack

  • Capacity 27.5 L
  • Weight 2 lbs., 9 oz.
  • Dimensions 18.9" x 11.4" x 5.9"
  • Material 420x2000D Cordura nylon, 135D polyester

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Dang good looking
  • High-quality trim and details, including anodized G hooks and supple webbing
  • Supper cushioned back panel
  • Exterior expandable water bottle pocket is a bit slim
  • Pack straps don't stow away.

Pulling off a good expandable backpack can be a tough task, with fabric accordion folds often taking up valuable real estate on the interior when collapsed in lesser bags. Not so with the TimBuk2 Never Check ($209), which takes a simple backpack shape and elevates it with premium materials and design to create one of our favorite travel backpacks for tucking under an airliner seat.

Unlike a lot of the pure-function rectangular bags in our lineup, the Never Check is a real looker — easily one of the best styled in our testing so far, and we’d have no qualms about bringing it along as a business bag. Small details like rubber-covered zipper pulls, anodized G hooks, and supple webbing keep it looking sharp. The 27.5-liter size is just about dead-on for most airline ‘personal item’ size requirements, and this bag easily slides under a seat.

The main compartment is accessed through a clamshell zipper on the front of the bag, which is gusseted to hang open while you’re loading it up. During the few national and international flights our Senior Editor Nick Belcaster deployed the bag on, this was easily enough space for everything you might want during a plane ride. And for everything else, a front pocket is lined with multiple drop and zip pockets for organizing small gadgets like chargers or keys.

The back panel of the Never Check is a plush ½ inch of comfortable foam, and combined with the equally padded shoulder straps made for a very nice carrying bag. The straps unfortunately do not stow away, but on a lower volume pack such as this, it’s a much less useable feature in our opinions.  And finally, one of our favorite features: the wide laptop sleeve. This 15” opening is generous enough to accommodate the larger laptops of today, and is suspended from the bottom of the backpack to ensure bumps don’t turn into bruises.

Just like the name suggests, the Never Check Expandable Backpack provides a svelte solution to bringing a bag with you during airline travel — or even just to the office. Its clean profile and attention to detail impressed us, and it would make an excellent work-to-weekend bag.

Matador GlobeRider45 Travel Pack

  • Dimensions 22" x 12.8" x 11"
  • Compartment access Zippered clamshell design
  • Material 420D UHMWPE-reinforced ripstop nylon, 100D Robic nylon mini-ripstop

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Incredible density of pockets and sleeves
  • Tough UHMWPE outer fabric can be tossed around
  • Shoulder straps tuck away in a novel and smart manner
  • Laptop sleeve opening is a bit tight
  • Price is up there

With a pocket or sleeve for pretty much everything, the new Matador GlobeRider 45 ($350) gives the Peak Design Travel Pack a run for its money when it comes to the best overall travel pack. 

Our Managing Editor raved about the GlobeRider after serious testing where she pretty much lived out of it for 3 months: “If you travel often and look for crucial components like internal and external pockets, laptop storage, and backpack and hip straps, consider the Matador GlobeRider 45. It’s a unique design in that the [pack] seems to have it all — every feature I’ve needed so far, both living out of it and in my travels — in a pretty packable size.”

What impressed us most was the way the GlobeRider was able to balance both an eye-watering amount of organization and versatility, and burly durability that ensures that this pack won’t shy away from tough travel conditions. In total (and we double-counted) there are 19 individual pockets on the pack, in all types of stretch mesh, zippered, and collapsable configurations. When good organization is key, the GlobeRider reigns. 

On the back panel of the GlobeRider, one of the more novel stowage systems we’ve seen packs away the shoulder straps and hip belt for when you want to slim down the pack. Two zippered panels — similar to the structure of the Peak Design packs, save for the closure — envelop the straps when not in use, and provide a lump-free panel for toting around. 

When it comes to downsides, the GlobeRider doesn’t miss much. The laptop sleeve aperture is a bit small at 9.5”, which in today’s age of mondo-screened computers may be limiting to some with larger devices. There also is no ability to convert the pack to a shoulder bag like the Patagonia MCL does, which can be handy when moving quickly through the airport.

Dang-near the top of the list, the Matador GlobeRider 45 would be an excellent choice for anyone who practices one-bag travel, or desires to have a place for everything in their journeys. The price does sting a bit, but based on the long-term testing we’ve completed so far, we’ve seen no indications that this pack will fade away anytime soon.

Read Review: I Lived Out of This Backpack for 3-Plus Months: Matador Globerider45 Review

Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 40L

  • Weight 3 lbs., 10.4 oz.
  • Dimensions 22.5" x 14" x 7.5"
  • Material 1000D recycled nylon, 400D recycled nylon, 210D recycled nylon, 1680D recycled ballistic nylon

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Overbuilt design with tough materials and chunky zippers
  • Plenty of organizational pockets
  • Bright interior
  • Not the cleanest strap stowage

Chunky zippers, an overhead-savvy profile, and multiple ways to sling it over your shoulder: The Topo Designs Global Travel Pack ($229) has honed in on much of what we love in a travel backpack.

During a recent trip from Seattle to Southern California we were heavily saddled with the maximum the airline would allow. But this pack made use of every inch of space and reached the allowance of what we could check as our carry-on. The 40 liters of internal capacity is broken down into a series of dividers and pockets, which made condoning off things like electronics from the rest of our kit easy. And the interior of this pack is a cheery canary yellow, which helps with ease and visibility.

On the exterior of this pack, three separate carry styles are available to get you through the concourse in whatever way you choose. We found the full-featured backpack straps to be our go-to, which even sport load-lifters for a comfy carry. This suspension system does tuck away for when you might want to check the bag, though we found the hipbelt to be a bit tricky to fully retract.

Rounding out this travel-ready backpack is a tough build that makes use of 1000D recycled nylon and heavy-duty zippers, and we had no qualms with tossing this bag around during our trip. Perfect for anyone who subscribes to the one-bag travel ethos, the Global Travel Pack from Topo Designs makes the grade for those who want the most out of their carry-on.

And if you’re only going to be away for a short trip, the Global Travel pack is also available in a 30L capacity .

Cotopaxi Allpa 28L Travel Pack

  • Capacity 28 L
  • Weight 3 lbs., 4 oz.
  • Dimensions 19" x 12" x 9"
  • Material TPU-coated 1,000-denier polyester, 840-denier nylon paneling

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Burly exterior material holds up for the long run
  • Plenty of zippered mesh storage pockets
  • On the heavier side
  • TPU-coated nylon can feel grabby

The Allpa 28L Travel Pack ($170) will change the way you travel. It’s sleek, durable, and able to fit an incredible amount of stuff in a small space. The zippered mesh pockets keep clothes organized. And the compression straps maximize what you can pack.

The tough polyester and nylon construction can take a beating without any signs of wear. And we appreciate that the externally accessed, padded laptop sleeve makes pulling out your electronics at security checkpoints a breeze. There’s also a small outer compartment to keep essentials at hand.

You can completely tuck away the backpack straps and carry the pack like a briefcase, or wear it comfortably as a backpack. We’ve stuffed this pack to the gills countless times and have never had a problem with the zippers. Light rain showers or spills roll right off the TPU-coated exterior, but for legit rainstorms, just pull out the included rain cover.

The Allpa also comes in 35L , 42L , 50L, and 70L capacities. As our editor noted in the 42L review , “Building on its fun and functional ethos, Cotopaxi beefs up its bestselling product. The Allpa Travel Pack earns big points for clever design, clean aesthetic, and a surprising number of handy — and hidden — features.”

Yes, the Cotopaxi Allpa packs are an investment, but anyone who travels regularly will find it a worthy one. These powerhouse travel backpacks are sturdy, versatile, and built to last.

Tom Bihn Synapse 25

  • Weight 1 lb., 13 oz.
  • Dimensions 13.4" x 20" x 9.1"
  • Material 400-denier Halcyon, 420-denier nylon ripstop

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Many different fabrics and color schemes are available
  • Built to last design and materials
  • Removable webbing hip belt
  • Suspension doesn’t pack away
  • Side wing pockets are a little awkward to access

Refined and clean-looking, the Tom Bihn Synapse 25 ($243) is a high-end travel backpack we just can’t stop staring at. It just looks that good. Made of burly textiles and zippers, this pack was built to stand the test of tough travel and come out shining on the other side.

The Synapse 25 is the larger version of Tom Bihn’s Synapse 19 , a popular backpack made for daily carry. The bump in volume is appreciated in this travel-oriented version and is doled out in one large compartment as well as a set of pockets on the front of the pack.

We found all the pockets easily accessible, save for the side wing pockets. While these were excellent for the organization of smaller bits and bobs, the openings were a bit awkward to jump into.

Topped off by a cushioned suspension (the foam is a half-inch of supple EV50), this travel backpack didn’t weigh us down on long days of travel when fully packed. And when we wanted to go light, even the webbing hip belt was removable. In terms of the ability to bop around town as a daily driver, this pack is up there with the TimBuk2 Never Check and Arc’teryx Granville packs (we liked the back panel on this pack the most).

Along with being carry-on compliant, the Synapse is also one of the few bags on our list that are compact enough to fit under most airline seats without hogging too much precious legroom.

Patagonia Black Hole 25L Backpack

  • Weight 1 lb., 6.9 oz.
  • Dimensions 22" x 10.5" x 5.5"
  • Material 300-denier recycled polyester ripstop with a TPU laminate

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Heavy-duty outer fabric
  • Cheaper price
  • No hip belt

The Patagonia Black Hole Backpack ($149) is a rugged classic, and now one that is fully revamped with an eye toward sustainability.

The 300-denier ripstop nylon outer is newly 100% postconsumer recycled material, and has a novel recycled TPU laminate for extra durability — all coming together to make this pack 100% recycled material from the body to the lining and the straps. We’ve long been a fan of the entire Black Hole line , and that’s doubly true now that it’s made from recycled materials.

The side mesh pockets are great for water bottles. And the back laptop sleeve is well padded and will hold most 15″ laptops. The organizational pockets inside and on top fit all of your little essentials, making them easy to find. The signature Black Hole gear loops are also great for tying on extra gear or wet clothes that need drying.

One thing that the majority of our testers asked for with this pack was a hip belt, which it unfortunately lacks. Without it, the load can feel a bit unsettled on our backs, and a bit of stability would go a long way on this pack.

We’ve been using a Black Hole backpack for years now, and it still doesn’t show any signs of wear or tear. For durability, it’s one of the best travel backpacks you’ll find.

Mountain Hardwear Redeye 45 Travel Pack

  • Weight 3 lbs., 2.1 oz.
  • Dimensions 24" x 15" x 12"
  • Compartment access Back panel zippered clamshell design, additional top entry
  • Material 500-denier CORDURA nylon

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • Burly 500-denier CORDURA nylon construction
  • Front and rear grab handles make loading easy
  • Cylinder shape won’t be the most space-efficient
  • Strap storage isn’t the most compact

Fine-tuned and ready to be thrown around, the Mountain Hardwear Redeye 45 Travel Pack ($180) hit all the marks for what we’re looking for in a travel pack for long climbing excursions.

Styled after climbing packs and haul bags, the Redeye keeps a clean profile inside and out and provides access to the internal 45 liters of space via either a full back panel clamshell or an additional top entry. Grown onto the outside is a full-length panel concealing a number of mesh pockets as well as a single water bottle pocket opposite.

We broke in our Redeye with a quick alpine climb in Washington’s granite playground of Washington Pass, where it shouldered a load of climbing kit with aplomb. The rear clamshell design is ideal for fishing out bits of gear as you rack up, and the back panel provided enough cushion to avoid feeling any protruding cam lobes.

Not just a climbing pack, however, the Redeye comes with a number of smart travel features that makes splitting time a cinch. A 15-inch padded laptop sleeve will fit most computers on the market, and the suspension straps are fully stowable, although it wasn’t the most seamless execution we’ve seen.

You probably won’t want to haul it up your next off-width chimney, but a full day of travel in search of one is absolutely on the menu for the Redeye 45 .

Osprey Nebula 32 Daypack

  • Capacity 32 L
  • Weight 2 lbs., 1.7 oz.
  • Dimensions 19.2" x 12.2" x 11.4"
  • Material 420-denier recycled nylon

The Best Travel Backpacks of 2024

  • TSA-compliant laptop sleeve
  • Many options for organization
  • Water bottle pockets fit 32 oz. bottles
  • Need to release two buckles in order to unzip the main pocket all the way

When it comes to backpacks, Osprey has put in the time — and it shows. The Nebula 32 ($140) feels like it’s all the brand’s most popular packs morphed into one. Most of all, we love how it seamlessly goes from city streets to trails.

This backpack can do it all, whether you’re hauling your laptop and books around town; water, food, and layers on an easy hike; or all of the above and then some for a weekend away.

The internal storage pockets are great for organizing all of your things for easy access. And while the Nebula 32 is top-loading, the main pocket opens up wide enough so you won’t have to unload everything to get to the one thing you want at the bottom. The sternum strap and hip belt are comfortable as well, especially when carrying a heavy load.

On smaller volume packs like this, sometimes design concessions need to be made to accommodate all the functionality, and on the Nebula it’s in the side compression straps. Like on the Osprey Farpoint/Fairview, the compression system of the pack overlays across the main compartment zipper, meaning you’ll need to undo some straps before rifling around in the storage area. Not a deal breaker, but a little annoying when the TSA line starts to back up behind you.

Overall, the Nebula 32 won’t disappoint if you make it your go-to smaller-volume travel backpack.

Travel Backpack Comparison Chart

Peak Design Travel Pack 45L at SEATAC

How We Tested Travel Backpacks

The staff of GearJunkie is a hot-footed bunch, restlessly plodding across the country or around the globe in search of adventure and whatever else comes our way. And we have a lot of stuff, which necessitates having a travel bag or four in the stable.

Surely any old bindle will do in carrying your kit around, but having a travel backpack that is dialed into the needs of travel can turn a stressful situation into a manageable one. We’ve been testing travel backpacks since 2019 and have put the market slice through the wringer on thousands of miles of travel to weed out the best of the best.

Senior Editor Nick Belcaster has a zeal for international travel, and he leads up our current travel pack testing, logging almost 10,000 flying miles in the last year alone. From Iceland to Utah, Belcaster has carried these packs and lived out of them for weeks, relying on them to support back-to-back travel excursions. In testing, we looked for a number of features in our travel backpacks, including overall capacity, carry style, durability, and aesthetics. It’s important to think about how you’ll use your travel pack, and as such, every pack on our list is carry-on compliant for the worst-case scenario.

We know no trip will be like the next, so we took a broad swath of the travel backpacks on the market in order to create a list that will suit many different travelers. Packs in hand, over our shoulders, or on our backs, we hit the four corners and tested the best travel backpacks of 2024.

Curious about what we pack in our travel backpacks? We’ve penned up a list for both domestic and international trips .

Osprey Farpoint Travel Pack in Iceland

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Travel Backpack

Travel backpack user profiles.

The International Jet-Setter: The term ‘One Bag Travel’ is no stranger to you, and you’ve just about got your life distilled down into 45 liters of space. If international travel is your bag, then a backpack that’s up to the task will be essential to see you through to further time zones. Efficiency will be the name of the game here, and going with a pack that is dang-near the carry-on maximums for international flights will mean you can make it through without checking a bag. Look for near to 45-liter packs with plenty of organization baked in, as well as a comfortable (and stashable) carry system.

For international travel, the bag we reach for most often had to be the Peak Design Travel Backpack , with a razor-thin second place going to the Matador GlobeRider45 Travel Pack . For an emphasis on organization, the Matador SEG45 splits up the volume well, and if you’ll be schlepping bags around a long way, the Osprey Farpoint & Fairview Packs have all the Osprey suspension we love.

The Weekend-Warrior: Maybe it’s a work trip, and maybe it’s just for fun, but it’s only going to take 2-3 days total, and you’ll need a bag that can pack it in. For weekend excursions, we find packs in the 25-35 liter range work well for the minimalists among us, and the 30-40 liter range for those who like a bit more options.

The Tom Bihn Synapse 25 is easily one of the most stylish packs in our review, only slightly edged out by the Timbuk2 Never Check , and both make the grade for a single overnighter in a foreign locale. For a bit more space, you can’t go wrong with the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 40L , a fun pack that is a lot tougher than the multi-colored exterior would let on.

The Commuter: No flight involved! Duty calls, and sometimes you’ll need to lug around a bit more kit than the old briefcase can allow for. Commuting with a travel backpack is a great way to stay comfortable on longer rides, as shoulder and handbags are cumbersome over the long run. Focus on a bag with a more traditional backpack shape that puts an emphasis on ease-of-access, and is in the 20-30 liter range.

For bumping around town, we’ve come to love the Arc’teryx Granville 25 , which not only lugs our remote office around with ease, but also looks pretty slick doing it. The drawstring opening here is a huge boon for quickly stashing a jacket, and the tough exterior fears no weather forecast. For a budget just-get-it-done choice, the Dakine Campus 33L will make it happen for less.

Peak Design Travel Backpack on the Back of a Traveller in Seattle International Airport Looking out on the Tarmac.

The right size pack for you depends on a few things. First, where are you going? And, how long do you plan to stay? Winter travel often comes with more gear, so you’ll need to pack extra layers. Longer trips often require larger bags.

That said, your personal packing style will be the most important factor. We know minimalists who happily travel for months with only a single backpack in tow and others who want the largest travel backpack possible in addition to a totally stuffed duffel bag . One method isn’t better than the other, but knowing your style is helpful when choosing a bag.

In general, we’ve found that something in the 28-45 liter range is ideal for comfort and packability. Many packs will also offer a compression system to allow you to limit the overall volume of the backpack. We’ve seen many different ways to accomplish this, but the most effective by far were the button snaps and expanding zipper of the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L . Packs toward the 40-45 liter range will be your carry-on bags of choice, and the 45-liter Peak Design, Patagonia MCL , and Matador GlobeRider are perfect for maxing out your allowed space. The 40-liter Osprey Farpoint/Fairview packs give up a little internal room for the luxe suspension system they’re carried with.

Packs in the smaller end of the range, from around 25-30 liters, make better personal items, and the TimBuk2 Never Check , Tom Bihn Synapse , and Patagonia Black Hole backpacks all fit snuggly underneath an airliner seat. These small bags move through a city gracefully and look more like everyday carry backpacks than traditional luggage.

Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

What good would a bag be if you couldn’t get into it? From a simple drawstring to a thicket of Velcro and zippers, there are plenty of ways to keep your bag closed while you’re on the go, but not every one will be amenable to travel.

Zippered Clamshells: Most travel backpacks will use a clamshell-style design that opens up the backpack like a suitcase, allowing you to pack intentionally as opposed to stuffing things in. Oftentimes, an internal strap system will help keep your items contained while you’re on the move.

Packs with this clamshell design may also opt to add internal dividers to the main storage area, and make these dividers removable — should you need the entire storage area uninhibited. For packs without internal dividers or straps, consider adding a few packing cubes to keep your items organized.

In addition to the rear entry, some backpacks will offer additional entry points through the top or front of the pack. This can be helpful when you need to quickly retrieve something like a passport from your bag, without the need to totally spill the contents. The majority of packs in our review close in this clamshell manner, and a few of our favorites are the Peak Design Travel Backpack , Osprey Farpoint & Fairview 40 Travel Packs , and Matador GlobeRider45 Travel Pack .

Peak Design Travel Backpack Clamshell Access

Zippered Top-Access: Much like many traditional backpacks, zippered top-access packs load and unload from the topside, and generally only offer one point of entry/egress into the pack. For this reason, packs of this flavor are generally left packed during travel, as digging around for something at the bottom can be a hassle.

Bags of this stripe, including the uber-nice Tom Bihn Synapse 25 , rough and tumble Patagonia Black Hole 25L , and expandable Timbuk2 Never Check , most often make better personal items over carry-ons, as their smaller volumes make for easier searching within.

Drawstring Top-Entry: While not quite as common as a zippered clamshell or top-access pack, drawstring top-entry packs can make for very quick and easy access to your kit if you’re on the move. These packs will integrate an extended fabric collar to the top of the storage area, which can be compressed when needed, or overstuffed with bulky items like jackets.

Commuters will find drawstring entry bags the most appealing, and the Arc’teryx Granville 25 has become our dedicated laptop toter for everything from remote work stints at the coffee shop to jumping on a ferry for work.

Mountain Hardware Redeye Travel Backpack Clamshell Packing

Carrying Options

There are plenty of ways to lug your kit to your boarding gate, but not all of them will be comfortable for everything. Over-shoulder backpack straps can support a good bit of weight but typically will need some type of frame to truly be supportive. The Osprey Farpoint/Fairview packs were the best-carrying packs in our testing, owed largely to the wire frame and Airscape mesh back panels, but we also enjoyed the carry of the aluminum frame stays on the Matador GlobeRider.

A shoulder strap travel backpack, like the Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L , can be slung across your body and provide a great amount of accessibility on the go. Don’t expect to carry too much weight this way, however.

And then there’s the classic suitcase style, easily towed anywhere. It’s good to note many travel backpacks will have stowable straps to better streamline the pack for a trip through an X-ray machine or stowed under a seat. The strap storage design of the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L impressed us most of all, utilizing magnetic closure flaps to pack away the shoulder and hip straps neatly.

Patagonia MCL 45L Travel Backpack Carry Options

Pockets & Organization

There’s an organizational saying: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” And we couldn’t agree more. Keeping track of everything while you travel is key for organization. And while more pockets always seem better, there is a threshold where having too many simply becomes more places to misplace things. Instead, we recommend packs with three to six pockets.

The Cotopaxi Allpa and Topo Designs Global Travel Bags both have ingenious inner organization systems complete with large zipping “pockets.” It has just enough space to find room for everything but not so many compartments that you’ll be hunting all day for your misplaced passport. For even more organization, the Matador SEG45 splits into five different segments that are accessible from the exterior of the pack.

Bringing along a laptop is a necessary evil for some travelers, and having an incorporated laptop sleeve in your travel backpack can keep it safe during travel. Most laptop sleeves will be padded with some type of foam and nestle in close to the back for maximum protection. In order to be TSA-compliant, a laptop sleeve will need to fold entirely flat away from the pack in order to be scanned.

Because flying with liquids over 3.4 ounces is prohibited in the U.S., carrying all of these items in a separate toiletry bag can make your foray into the screening line a breeze. Many of the packs on our list incorporate many external pockets where such a bag could be stashed and produced when needed.

Matador SEG30 Travel Backpack Storage Options

Travel luggage takes a beating, so durability is a top concern. Luckily, gear manufacturers realize this and are making increasingly burly yet portable packs. The fan-favorite Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L pack is made with a 900-denier ripstop nylon outer with a TPU laminate for extra durability. It’s nearly indestructible, water-resistant, and versatile.

If you’re traveling somewhere with inclement weather or if your pack needs to double as a climbing bag or hiking pack, durability is extra important. And it’s worth paying more for a backpack that is water-resistant.

Tom Bihn Synapse 25 Travel Backpack

Space Efficiency & Carry-On Compliance

Astute observers will note many of the packs in our review sport a rectangular shape, which is certainly due to designers aspiring to create a more space-efficient pack. This isn’t to say that more shapely packs won’t make it happen, but when you’re struggling to make every liter of space count, maximizing dimensions matters.

Carry-on luggage is any bag that you plan on bringing into an airplane and storing in the overhead bins. Because space is limited, airlines dictate the maximum size that any carry-on can be. In the U.S., the most common size is 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches, or 45 linear inches (length + width + height). However, this is just a rough guideline; some airlines differ from these dimensions, and you should refer to their information directly.

In general, these dimensions provide a travel backpack with around 40-45 liters of internal volume, so buying a pack that’s as close to that as possible will provide the most space allowed. Many of the packs on our list have the ability to compress to a smaller size, such as the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L .

Be mindful as well, that any protrusions from your travel pack such as shoulder straps or handles will also need to fall within the maximum allowed size. Many travel backpacks today incorporate some type of strap-stowing ability, such as the magnetic panels of the Peak Design packs, the zippered cover of the Osprey Farpoint/Fairview, and the hybrid zipper/panel of the Matador GlobeRider 45. All of these provide a more streamlined profile that should both hit the mark, and fit better into overhead bins.

Peak Design Travel Pack at SEATAC

Travel backpacks run the gamut of prices — from affordable to downright pricey. There are a number of factors that play into what you get for the money.

Budget-Minded Travel Packs

Travel backpacks, as a category, are generally a bit pricer than your average luggage, as they incorporate tough materials that can put up with extensive wear over the lifespan. Travel is tough on bags, so it’s unsurprising that even budget travel backpacks will cost you around $100-150. These packs often will incorporate more traditional architectures such as a zippered top access, as opposed to the more complicated (and spendy) full-zip clamshell designs. For example, the Dakine Campus ($75) is pretty much your average school bag.

Volumes, too, will be a bit limited in this price range — added material adds cost. The 32-liter Osprey Nebula ($140) is about the best price-to-volume ratio you can get, with the Patagonia Black Hole Backpack ($149) coming in behind it at 25 liters.

Mid-Range Travel Packs

Mid-range packs make up the bread and butter of travel packs, and can be had for around $150 to $200. These designs are often more of the full carry-on variety, and aim to capitalize on permitted volume as much as possible. The 45-liter Matador SEG45 ($200), Patagonia Black Hole MLC ($239), Mountain Hardwear Redeye ($180), 40-liter Osprey Farpoint/Fairview ($185), and Topo Designs Global Travel Bag ($229) all shoehorn in just about as much space as a friendly gate agent will let you get away with.

For the price, you also get a good variety of functionality that makes travel easier, such as stowable pack straps, interior segmented pockets and sleeves (done excellently on the $170 Cotopaxi Allpa ), and an external compression system that limits the space your bag takes up. Some packs, like the TimBuk2 Never Check ($209), don’t exactly hit these parameters, but instead make up for it in high-quality design and materials.

Premium Travel Packs

Above $250, you’re likely paying for premium materials or a to-the-hilt design that leaves absolutely nothing on the cutting room floor. The Peak Design Travel Backpack ($300) is a great example, and utilizes super high-quality nylon canvas, custom aluminum hardware, and supple seatbelt material webbing in its build, as well as fitting in just about every conceivable feature you could want in a travel pack. The same can be said of the Matador GlobeRider 45 ($350), which uses high-tech UHMPWE-reinforced materials and sports a total of 19 pockets.

The Tom Bihn Synapse 25 ($243) is a bit of an outlier, as it commands a high dollar amount not for the extreme amount of space it offers or amount of features, but for being a hyper-customizable, hand-made bag that uses the nicest textiles available, as well as the best zippers, webbing, and foam in its design. If you’re a fan of the finest materials, this is your daily driver pack.

What is One Bag Travel?

The ‘One Bag Travel’ ethos and travel backpacks go hand-in-hand. Simply put, to travel in one-bag style is to be minimalist in your luggage choices, and only take what you can carry onto the plane/train/pack animal. Not only does this do away with the fuss of deciding what exactly to bring along with you, but it also allows for breezing through airports — skipping the need to check baggage, wait at baggage claim, or fear for lost luggage.

In order to most effectively travel with one bag, be sure to read up on exactly the baggage size allowances provided by your transportation. This can affect both overall size and weight, and having an expandable pack is a large benefit here. In this way, you can carry just enough to skirt through under the limit, and then expand the bag when you’ve hit your destination for more breathing room. If you aim for a 35-40 liter backpack, you’ll be right on the money for one bag travel.

Finally, remember that this bag is going to be the only item of luggage you’ve got, so ensure it’ll be comfortable enough for the long haul. Look for padded back panels and hip belts that’ll transfer the load correctly, and if they stash away — all the better.

Our team unanimously agrees that the best travel backpack is the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L . It’s extremely durable, and it offers plenty of organizational pockets to stash your kit away in. The clamshell opening makes packing a breeze, and we really appreciated the unique shoulder strap storage options available to turn the pack into a stripped-down bag that would slide into any overhead compartment.

Peak Design Travel Pack in Denver

The best size bag for traveling depends largely on your travel itinerary and mode of transport. The Cotopaxi Allpa packs range from 28 to 42 liters.

The 28-liter option makes for a compact and comfortable backpack that easily fits in overhead airplane compartments. The 42-liter option is a bit more like carrying a duffel bag on your back, but it still manages to fit in overhead compartments. It’s a great option for maximizing carry-on capacity in backpack form.

While both have their place in travel, a backpack can offer some advantages over a suitcase. Since they’re much more portable, backpacks can be brought to many more places where a suitcase won’t work. Suitcases can be your large load carriers, but a good travel backpack gives you the freedom to strike out on daily adventures.

Travel backpacks absolutely can be carry-on luggage, given they meet the size requirements. In the U.S., the most common maximum size is 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches, or 45 linear inches (length + width + height). But this is only a common size, and different airlines will have different specifics. Consult with your airline specifically to determine what they allow.

While different body types will find different travel packs comfortable, we can all agree that a good support system and ample foam make for a comfortable carry. In our own testing, we found the Osprey Farpoint 40 and Fairview 40 Travel Packs were by far the most comfortable due to their plush suspension systems.

Because many different airlines operate a slate of different planes, there isn’t a standard under-seat luggage size, although there is an average: 16 inches x 12 inches x 6 inches. Some airlines allow personal items larger than this, but you should consult with their customer service for specifics. Our favorite personal item-sized travel pack was the Timbuk2 Never Check Expandable Backpack , which at 24 liters compressed easily slides under a seat.

The Best Women’s Travel Pants of 2022

The Best Women’s Travel Pants of 2022

Active travel demands versatility from your clothing. To help you travel with ease and confidence, we scoured the latest styles to determine the best women’s travel pants for 2022.

The Best Men’s Travel Pants of 2024

The Best Men’s Travel Pants of 2024

We’ve tested the best wrinkle-resistant, quick-drying, and comfortable men’s travel pants of the year. Pack your bags and get ready for adventure.

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Pro Gear Tester Mallory Paige is always up for adventure. Whether motorcycle camping across North America (with her dog in a sidecar!), paddling whitewater in a tiny packraft, or traveling in a van she’s always ready to pivot and turn a challenge into an opportunity. When not busy obsessing about gear, she can be found building an off-grid homestead in the remote mountains of Colorado.

best roller backpack for travel

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Watch CBS News

The best rolling luggage in 2024

By Leah Groth, Kaylyn McKenna

Updated on: January 29, 2024 / 10:43 AM EST / Essentials

CBS Essentials is created independently of the CBS News editorial staff. We may receive commissions from some links to products on this page. Promotions are subject to availability and retailer terms.

best rolling luggage

It's a great time to upgrade from tired old luggage to a stylish new piece for 2024. We found the best rolling suitcases and bags for your next trip.  Whether your upcoming travels take you camping at a national park or walking down Main Street of  Walt Disney World , it's time to start preparing now. Start your trip off on the right foot with the best rolling luggage in 2024.

A great piece of rolling luggage can upgrade your travel experience , especially if you've been using the same bag for years. Gone are the days of lugging unbearably heavy bags through the airport or trying to navigate your carry-on with wheels that squeak, wobble or stick together. 

The experts at CBS Essentials have selected the best rolling luggage options for carry-on and check-in . Now, all you need to worry about is getting to the airport on time.

We rounded up some of our top rolling luggage picks from brands including Away , Monos , Rimowa and  Samsonite , ranging from carry-ons to checked bags. 

  • Best luxury rolling luggage : Rimowa 

Best expandable rolling luggage: Samsonite Omni luggage 

Best staff-tested rolling luggage: away luggage.

  • Best rolling luggage for stylish travelers : Monos luggage

Best sustainable rolling luggage: Paravel Aviator

Best customizable rolling luggage: roam luggage.

  • Best rolling luggage with 360-degree wheels: Beis The Carry-On roller

All these picks are reviewer-loved, with four-star ratings or higher, and offer smooth gliding with well-designed roller wheels. (For more luggage options, check out our full roundup of the  best luggage of 2024 .)

Best luxury rolling luggage: Rimowa

rimowa suitcase

Inspired by the grooves on Golden Age-era jets, Rimowa aluminum suitcases have been in the hands of international jet setters for nearly 100 years. Features include 360-degree multiwheel spinners, TSA-approved locks and a telescopic handle that easily glides up and down. 

This sleek, statement suitcase never goes out of style, making it a perfect lifelong travel companion. Consider splurging on the original aluminum, or opt for the newer hybrid, a polycarbonate and aluminum version, which weighs a bit less. 

Why we love Rimowa luggage:

  • Aluminum luggage is durable and protective.
  • Rimowa luggage pieces have a timeless look you'll love for years to come.

samsonite omni carry-on

The polycarbonate Omni, a highly rated and popular piece from Samsonite, offers high quality for less. Features include TSA-approved, side-mounted locks, multidirectional spinner wheels, an interior mesh divider and cross straps.

The Omni comes in two checked-bag sizes: a 24-inch suitcase and a larger 28-inch version (which may fall into the oversized luggage category). Prices vary based on size and color.

Why we like the Samsonite Omni:

  • This is one of the best-selling and well-reviewed suitcases on Amazon.
  • It's a premium luggage option available for a reasonable price point.
  • Comes in a wide range of color options to fit your tastes.


CBS Essentials' own Fox Van Allen owns a piece of Away luggage. "This single piece of luggage has been such a travel game changer," he says. "No matter how much I stuff into this suitcase, it always rolls around the airport as if it was light as a feather. It's almost magical how easy it is to move Away luggage."

Away's polycarbonate bags will get the job done in style, but the aluminum edition stands out for those looking for a more affordable version of Rimowa's high-end luggage collection. 

If you don't like your Away piece, return it within 100 days for a full refund. 

Why we like Away luggage:

  • The compression panel helps you get more clothes into this suitcase when packing.
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • You can personalize Away luggage with your monogram for $50 extra.

Best rolling luggage for stylish travelers: Monos luggage


Monos luggage comes in bunch of great colors. It includes cool features including an effortless telescopic handle, lots of pockets and compartments with zippers and an easy-to-use lock. 

Monos boasts a 100-day trial period and lifetime warranty. Choose from six carry-on options (including two aluminum and polycarbonate hybrids) and two check-in sizes. 

Why we like Monos luggage: 

  • Monos carry-ons and checked bags offer smooth, seamless maneuverability according to our testing .
  • Monos offers a 100-day trial period and a limited lifetime warranty. 
  • Monos luggage comes in a variety of stylish colors.


Looking for a sustainable polycarbonate suitcase ? The Paravel Aviator is made of all recycled materials, from its interior lining to its aluminum handle to its vegan leather accents. Geared with frictionless, carbon steel-bearing wheels, the Aviator offers 360-degree movement and a telescopic handle, which makes walking (or running) through the airport a breeze. 

Paravel offers three sizes: Two carry-on options and a larger check-in. 

Why we like the Paravel Aviator: 

  • The luggage is carbon neutral and made with recycled materials.
  • Reviewers state that it is easy to maneuver. 
  • It features a scuff-hiding textured finish.


Design your own suitcase with Roam. The company allows you to customize the color of just about every aspect of your suitcase, from the front and back panels down to the trim. Some of the bags are expandable, giving you extra room to bring home souvenirs. 

Not feeling creative? You can also choose from pre-designed bags in appealing colorways.  

Why we like Roam luggage: 

  • You can customize multiple aspects of the suitcase and choose your favorite colors.
  • Roam suitcases come with a lifetime warranty.
  • Roam luggage comes with a 100-day trial period and a lifetime guarantee.

Best rolling luggage with 360-degree wheels:  Beis The Carry-On roller


The Carry-On roller is a popular option from Shay Mitchell's Beis luggage line. The 21-inch roller features 360-degree smooth-rolling wheels and a comfortable silicone-grip handle. 

"This Beis bag exceeds my [last luggage piece]!" says one reviewer. "So much space, built in compression, quality zippers and the wheels and handles are the best I've seen. Definitely the best carry on I've EVER owned!"

Why we like the Beis The Carry-On roller:

  • It's available in seven stylish colors.
  • It expands up to two inches.
  • The carry-on features 360-degree smooth-rolling wheels.

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The Medium Check-In Roller in Black

Color: Black / Beige

best roller backpack for travel


Buy a set and save up to 15% off.

WARNING: baggage claim is about to get chic! You're going places and our durable check-in rolling luggage is going to get all your stuff there! This smooth rolling 26" luggage holds everything you need without going over the baggage weight limit, thanks to the handy weight limit indicator that lets you know that your baggage may need to lose a few L-Bs! Two inches of optional expansion, compression flaps and straps with pockets galore, keep everything organized and ensure that the only organizing you will be doing on your trip is finding which restaurant serves the best pizza! TSA-approved combination lock is the cherry, and peace of mind, on top. Béis Limited Lifetime Luggage Warranty included.

Dims: Exterior (including wheel & Handle ) W 17.7in x H 28.3in x D 11in Interior W 16.5in x H 26in x D 11in Material Body: Polycarbonate Liner: PVC, Polyester Trim: Vegan leather Nylon Zipper Hardware Metal Care: Spot Clean Capacity: 78 - 94 L Weight: 10.2lbs

EXTERIOR - Durable hard sided 100% virgin PolyCarbonate (virgin materials guarantee a higher durability) - Gradient 3D stripe design - Hinomoto 360 degree wheels - Extendable trolley handle with soft hand cushion for comfort and BÉIS logo detail - BÉIS logo retractable bag attach strap - HOLDS UP TO 15LBS - BÉIS embossed logo top carry handle and side carry handle with weight limit indicator. - TSA locks. Click here for instructions . - Expandable (expands an extra 2'' ) with zipper puller that indicates which zipper expands the luggage, water resistant zipper tape, capacity 99LBS. **We recommend that you adhere to airlines guidelines, please check with your airline for weight limit restrictions. INTERIOR - Butterfly opening (for easy packing/unpacking) - Lined with durable, easy to spot clean, 75D (polyester) with soft brushed hand feel - U-zip flap with contrast faux leather trim, includes one zip pocket & one frosted PVC zip pocket - Detachable, compression flap with U-zip pocket and mesh material back four point compression straps - Zip pouch for keeping small valuables - Separate pouch set for dirty clothes, shoes, under garments, damp clothing PERFECT FOR - Travel - Air Travel

Compare Sizes

The Medium Check-In Roller on model

The Medium Check-In Roller

The Carry-On Roller on model

The Carry-On Roller

The Medium Check-In Roller dimensions

Shay's priority with this launch was to create a well-designed, hard-sided piece of luggage that could also be expandable. She wanted it to be good-looking but also ultra-functional, which is why we included the compression straps and dividers with pockets; this not only make packing easy, but helps to keep you organized from point A to point B, and everywhere in-between. We're also super excited about the “Dirt Bag," our built-in laundry bag that keeps your to-be-worn clothes separated from those that have already had an adventure.

Reviews / Q&A

Condé Nast Traveler

Condé Nast Traveler

16 Best Travel Backpacks for Day Trips, Outdoor Adventures, Commuting, and More

Posted: September 27, 2023 | Last updated: September 28, 2023

<p>Whether you're hopping on a bike, trekking across rugged terrain, sightseeing, shopping, or jetting off to a business meeting, the best travel backpacks give you the freedom to explore hands-free. With so many options to choose from, we've rounded up 15 of the best bags to throw over your shoulders, from chic carry-ons to super durable options, all of which prove there really is a backpack for every occasion. Our editors and contributors road tested dozens of backpacks for months to determine the best of the best for our readers. We considered each backpack's weight, capacity, price, comfortability, style, and how well its held up.</p> <p>Ahead, discover our editors' and contributors' recommendations for the weather-resistant carry-on bags, ultralight hiking backpacks, and sleek business-friendly options to bring on your next adventure.</p> <h2>Our top picks:</h2> <p><strong>Best for weekend trips:</strong> <a href="" rel="sponsored">Quince Revive Nylon backpack</a><br> <strong>Best for long vacations:</strong> <a href="" rel="sponsored">Roam The Continental backpack</a><br> <strong>Best for business travel:</strong> <a href="" rel="sponsored">Monos Metro backpack</a><br> <strong>Best for everyday use:</strong> <a href="" rel="sponsored">Lo & Sons The Rowledge backpack</a><br> <strong>Best splurge option:</strong> <a href="" rel="sponsored">Peugeot Voyages Laptop backpack tote</a></p> <p><strong><em>This gallery is part of</em> Condé Nast Traveler’s <em>first-ever <a href="">Luggage Week</a>, for which dozens of suitcases, backpacks, and weekender bags were road-tested by our editors.</em></strong></p><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Whether you're hopping on a bike, trekking across rugged terrain, sightseeing, shopping, or jetting off to a business meeting, the best travel backpacks give you the freedom to explore hands-free. With so many options to choose from, we've rounded up 15 of the best bags to throw over your shoulders, from chic carry-ons to super durable options, all of which prove there really is a backpack for every occasion. Our editors and contributors road tested dozens of backpacks for months to determine the best of the best for our readers. We considered each backpack's weight, capacity, price, comfortability, style, and how well its held up.

Ahead, discover our editors' and contributors' recommendations for the weather-resistant carry-on bags, ultralight hiking backpacks, and sleek business-friendly options to bring on your next adventure.

Our top picks:

Best for weekend trips: Quince Revive Nylon backpack Best for long vacations: Roam The Continental backpack Best for business travel: Monos Metro backpack Best for everyday use: Lo & Sons The Rowledge backpack Best splurge option: Peugeot Voyages Laptop backpack tote

This gallery is part of Condé Nast Traveler’s first-ever Luggage Week , for which dozens of suitcases, backpacks, and weekender bags were road-tested by our editors.

Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel

<p>Calpak's Luka collection is made of scratch-resistant material, so you can rest assured that this backpack will hold up for years. “I love this backpack's material because of how durable it is for travel. I’ve spilt coffee, food, and makeup on this bag and it's so easy to clean with a disinfectant wipe,” says associate commerce editor <a href="">Meaghan Kenny</a>. It's her go-to backpack because of its many pockets, roomy compartments, and ultra-soft material. Inside, there's a large zippered compartment, a small mesh pocket, and three compartments for keeping items like socks, beauty products, or tech essentials separate. “One of my favorite features is the shoe compartment on the bottom of the bag that fits a pair of slippers or sandals,” says Kenny. The Luka backpack can hold up to 22 liters of essentials, but it still feels so lightweight.</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Laptop compartment, trolley sleeve, water bottle pocket, soft adjustable straps<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> Very narrow luggage trolley sleeve</p> $108, Calpak. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Calpak Luka Laptop Backpack

Calpak's Luka collection is made of scratch-resistant material, so you can rest assured that this backpack will hold up for years. “I love this backpack's material because of how durable it is for travel. I’ve spilt coffee, food, and makeup on this bag and it's so easy to clean with a disinfectant wipe,” says associate commerce editor Meaghan Kenny . It's her go-to backpack because of its many pockets, roomy compartments, and ultra-soft material. Inside, there's a large zippered compartment, a small mesh pocket, and three compartments for keeping items like socks, beauty products, or tech essentials separate. “One of my favorite features is the shoe compartment on the bottom of the bag that fits a pair of slippers or sandals,” says Kenny. The Luka backpack can hold up to 22 liters of essentials, but it still feels so lightweight.

Pros:  Laptop compartment, trolley sleeve, water bottle pocket, soft adjustable straps Cons: Very narrow luggage trolley sleeve

<p>Made from 15 plastic bottles, the sleek recycled nylon on the Quince backpack is smooth to the touch, water-repellent, and lightweight. The nylon material is a selling point for senior commerce editor at <em>Architectural Digest</em>, <a href="">Rachel Fletcher</a>. “I love the black nylon because it’s basically invincible when it comes to stains and —two things I’m very prone to," she says. Though compact, it can still fit quite a bit—Fletcher has used it for commutes to the office as well as a weekend to <a href="">Connecticut</a>. She says "it fits an East Coast summer weekend’s worth of clothing pretty comfortably. It's best to bring on an airplane as your personal item, but if you’re a light traveler, it would definitely fit the bill for a quick trip."</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Thoughtful laptop sleeve, water-repellent material, accessible price point<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> A little bulky</p> $100, Quince. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Quince Revive Nylon backpack

Made from 15 plastic bottles, the sleek recycled nylon on the Quince backpack is smooth to the touch, water-repellent, and lightweight. The nylon material is a selling point for senior commerce editor at Architectural Digest , Rachel Fletcher . “I love the black nylon because it’s basically invincible when it comes to stains and —two things I’m very prone to," she says. Though compact, it can still fit quite a bit—Fletcher has used it for commutes to the office as well as a weekend to Connecticut . She says "it fits an East Coast summer weekend’s worth of clothing pretty comfortably. It's best to bring on an airplane as your personal item, but if you’re a light traveler, it would definitely fit the bill for a quick trip."

Pros:  Thoughtful laptop sleeve, water-repellent material, accessible price point Cons: A little bulky

<p><em>Traveler</em> contributor Tori Harstein says the eBags Mother Lode Jr. backpack is “perfect for weekend trips and can save a buck for thrifty travelers limited to personal items. For longer vacations, it’s probably best to supplement it with an additional <a href="">carry-on</a>.” It's compact enough to fit under the seat in front of you on an airplane and comes with backpack straps that are easy to stow. It you need some extra room, you can use the 1.5-inch zipper expansion. Choose from a few different ways to wear it: enjoy hands-free travel on your back, tuck the traps away and carry it as a briefcase, or throw the bag over one shoulder with a convenient duffel strap.</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Many separate compartments, opens like a suitcase which makes packing easier<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> Can feel heavy on your back</p> $144, Amazon. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

eBags Mother Lode Jr. backpack

Traveler contributor Tori Harstein says the eBags Mother Lode Jr. backpack is “perfect for weekend trips and can save a buck for thrifty travelers limited to personal items. For longer vacations, it’s probably best to supplement it with an additional carry-on .” It's compact enough to fit under the seat in front of you on an airplane and comes with backpack straps that are easy to stow. It you need some extra room, you can use the 1.5-inch zipper expansion. Choose from a few different ways to wear it: enjoy hands-free travel on your back, tuck the traps away and carry it as a briefcase, or throw the bag over one shoulder with a convenient duffel strap.

Pros:  Many separate compartments, opens like a suitcase which makes packing easier Cons: Can feel heavy on your back

<p>With five colors and patterns to choose from, the customization is great for this Tumi backpack. The small, compact design hides the sheer capacity of the Navigator backpack—and it can be expanded for more space. Global director of audience development <a href="">Lara Kramer</a> says she can easily fit a weekend's worth of clothes and <a href="">toiletries</a> inside (and an extra pair of flats or sandals in the summer). “Tumi’s backpacks are the perfect combination of functional and comfort. The shoulder straps are well-padded and easily adjustable, and the bag also features a padded mesh back panel for additional support. For easy lifting, there is also a leather top carry handle that adds to its versatility,” says Kramer. Plus, it's made from recycled ballistic nylon, so you can feel good about your purchase.</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Many pockets (both inside and outside), padded mesh back panel, recycled material<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> Hefty price tag</p> $525, Amazon. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Tumi Alpha Bravo Navigation backpack

With five colors and patterns to choose from, the customization is great for this Tumi backpack. The small, compact design hides the sheer capacity of the Navigator backpack—and it can be expanded for more space. Global director of audience development Lara Kramer says she can easily fit a weekend's worth of clothes and toiletries inside (and an extra pair of flats or sandals in the summer). “Tumi’s backpacks are the perfect combination of functional and comfort. The shoulder straps are well-padded and easily adjustable, and the bag also features a padded mesh back panel for additional support. For easy lifting, there is also a leather top carry handle that adds to its versatility,” says Kramer. Plus, it's made from recycled ballistic nylon, so you can feel good about your purchase.

Pros:  Many pockets (both inside and outside), padded mesh back panel, recycled material Cons: Hefty price tag

<p>This design-forward vegan leather bag is just the thing for travelers looking for a more elevated backpack. According to senior commerce editor <a href="">Madison Flager</a>, “it’s a comfortable bag to wear, and fits a lot—I’ve used it as an overnight bag. I do think it’s a great backpack, especially for commuters or for work trips where you want the practicality of a backpack while also looking polished." Whether you're headed on a weekend trip, carrying necessities on your daily commute, or using it as a carry-on bag, the Monos Metro backpack is a smart choice. The inner laptop compartment fits a 15" laptop, and there's a built-in trolley sleeve, top carry handle, and adjustable shoulder straps. The bag also comes with a Metro Kit, a modular pouch that snaps securely onto the front of the backpack, so you can keep essentials like a phone, earbuds, and hand sanitizer nearby.</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Multiple pockets, trolley sleeve, and comes with a removable pouch<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> Not very lightweight and can feel bulky</p> $215, Monos. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Monos Metro Backpack

This design-forward vegan leather bag is just the thing for travelers looking for a more elevated backpack. According to senior commerce editor Madison Flager , “it’s a comfortable bag to wear, and fits a lot—I’ve used it as an overnight bag. I do think it’s a great backpack, especially for commuters or for work trips where you want the practicality of a backpack while also looking polished." Whether you're headed on a weekend trip, carrying necessities on your daily commute, or using it as a carry-on bag, the Monos Metro backpack is a smart choice. The inner laptop compartment fits a 15" laptop, and there's a built-in trolley sleeve, top carry handle, and adjustable shoulder straps. The bag also comes with a Metro Kit, a modular pouch that snaps securely onto the front of the backpack, so you can keep essentials like a phone, earbuds, and hand sanitizer nearby.

Pros:  Multiple pockets, trolley sleeve, and comes with a removable pouch Cons: Not very lightweight and can feel bulky

<p>Although labeled as a tech bag, the simple and sleek design makes it versatile enough to wear just about anywhere. There’s two main compartments that give you plenty of room to pack clothes, toiletries, a laptop, iPad, and large over-the-ear headphones. There’s also multiple interior pockets that keep small essentials secure. Kenny was able to fit two days worth of clothing inside and says it's a great personal item for <a href="">long-haul flights</a>. “It’s so easy to carry, thanks to its buckle that connects the two straps which helps better distribute the weight and keep the backpack secure,” she says.</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Luggage sleeve, made from recycled materials, water bottle pocket<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> Earbuds pocket is only compatible with Apple products or others that are similarly shaped</p> $130, Herschel. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Herschel Kaslo Daypack Tech

Although labeled as a tech bag, the simple and sleek design makes it versatile enough to wear just about anywhere. There’s two main compartments that give you plenty of room to pack clothes, toiletries, a laptop, iPad, and large over-the-ear headphones. There’s also multiple interior pockets that keep small essentials secure. Kenny was able to fit two days worth of clothing inside and says it's a great personal item for long-haul flights . “It’s so easy to carry, thanks to its buckle that connects the two straps which helps better distribute the weight and keep the backpack secure,” she says.

Pros:  Luggage sleeve, made from recycled materials, water bottle pocket Cons: Earbuds pocket is only compatible with Apple products or others that are similarly shaped

<p>Former <em>Traveler</em> editor <a href="">Alex Erdekian</a> has traveled with the Dagne Dover backpack to Mexico, <a href="">Italy</a>, France, <a href="">New Hampshire</a>, and <a href="">Boston</a> to name a few. There are several pockets inside and it expands enough to fit a weekend’s worth of clothing. It’s extremely light when unpacked and the foamy exterior straps don’t dig into your shoulders and evenly distributes the weight of the backpack. It's made from neoprene and Performance Air Mesh which was a selling point for Erdekian. "The look of this backpack is a major part of why I use it so much. Something about the neoprene foam look feels really modern and fresh. It also looks so simple and free of distractions, whilst being tricked out with all these hidden bells and whistles on the inside,” she says.</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Spacious, comfortable, chic design<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> There are almost <em>too</em> many pockets inside and the black neoprene can get a little scuffed</p> $155, Dagne Dover. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack

Former Traveler editor Alex Erdekian has traveled with the Dagne Dover backpack to Mexico, Italy , France, New Hampshire , and Boston to name a few. There are several pockets inside and it expands enough to fit a weekend’s worth of clothing. It’s extremely light when unpacked and the foamy exterior straps don’t dig into your shoulders and evenly distributes the weight of the backpack. It's made from neoprene and Performance Air Mesh which was a selling point for Erdekian. "The look of this backpack is a major part of why I use it so much. Something about the neoprene foam look feels really modern and fresh. It also looks so simple and free of distractions, whilst being tricked out with all these hidden bells and whistles on the inside,” she says.

Pros:  Spacious, comfortable, chic design Cons: There are almost too many pockets inside and the black neoprene can get a little scuffed

<p><em>Traveler</em> Contributor <a href="">Lydia Mansel</a> loves this sleek, convertible backpack for carrying all of her work essentials. It features a 13" laptop compartment and can easily transition into a tote, thanks to backpack straps that tuck into a back pocket. It has plenty of pockets for organization—including a hidden one at the top for slipping your passport and boarding pass into while at the airport—and a trolley sleeve. It's made of a mix of nylon and leather, and has memory foam straps for extra comfort.</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> It can carry two laptops, plenty of pockets, luggage sleeve<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> Offered in two sizes, but the smaller version is a little too small to store a day's worth of essentials</p> <p><em><strong>Read a full review of this backpack <a href="">here</a>.</strong></em></p> $465, Lo & Sons. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Lo & Sons The Rowledge

Traveler Contributor Lydia Mansel loves this sleek, convertible backpack for carrying all of her work essentials. It features a 13" laptop compartment and can easily transition into a tote, thanks to backpack straps that tuck into a back pocket. It has plenty of pockets for organization—including a hidden one at the top for slipping your passport and boarding pass into while at the airport—and a trolley sleeve. It's made of a mix of nylon and leather, and has memory foam straps for extra comfort.

Pros:  It can carry two laptops, plenty of pockets, luggage sleeve Cons: Offered in two sizes, but the smaller version is a little too small to store a day's worth of essentials

Read a full review of this backpack here .

<p><a href="">Kenny</a> has deemed it the most <a href="">functional tote</a> that she's ever used. You might be wondering why a tote deserves a spot on our best backpacks list—it transforms into a backpack with its adjustable straps. It's made from lightweight oxford fabric that's known to be durable and water-resistant. It can fit easily fit a 15"laptop and slides over your carry-on with its luggage trolley sleeve.</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Can be worn as a backpack or tote, multiple pockets inside, large water bottle pocket<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> The straps can feel a bit awkward</p> <p><em><strong>Read a full review of this bag <a href="">here.</a></strong></em></p> $235, Pond LA. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Pond LA Transform tote

Kenny has deemed it the most functional tote that she's ever used. You might be wondering why a tote deserves a spot on our best backpacks list—it transforms into a backpack with its adjustable straps. It's made from lightweight oxford fabric that's known to be durable and water-resistant. It can fit easily fit a 15"laptop and slides over your carry-on with its luggage trolley sleeve.

Pros: Can be worn as a backpack or tote, multiple pockets inside, large water bottle pocket Cons: The straps can feel a bit awkward

Read a full review of this bag here.

<p>Each time <a href="">Flager</a> takes this backpack on vacation she's complimented on its aesthetic. The bag is fully customizable, so each customer can choose the colors used for the front, back, sides, and straps. The wide, deep side pockets are a highlight for Flager, who says “there’s a place for everything—I like to put my important documents, ID, phone, and AirPods in the top zippered pocket for easy access, my Kindle or a book in the largest exterior pocket, and my keys in the smallest exterior pocket. I like that there are two side pockets for a water bottle and an umbrella or other small item."</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Lightweight, many color options<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> A water bottle sometimes slips out of the pocket</p> $350, Roam. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Roam The Continental backpack

Each time Flager takes this backpack on vacation she's complimented on its aesthetic. The bag is fully customizable, so each customer can choose the colors used for the front, back, sides, and straps. The wide, deep side pockets are a highlight for Flager, who says “there’s a place for everything—I like to put my important documents, ID, phone, and AirPods in the top zippered pocket for easy access, my Kindle or a book in the largest exterior pocket, and my keys in the smallest exterior pocket. I like that there are two side pockets for a water bottle and an umbrella or other small item."

Pros:  Lightweight, many color options Cons: A water bottle sometimes slips out of the pocket

<p>This is has long been a go-to work bag for commerce producer <a href="">Paris Wilson</a>, “I've carried this non-stop since I got it. I just love how lightweight it is. It has a lot of storage space and a dedicated laptop sleeve," she says. It has one main compartment with a laptop sleeve and interior pockets that have hard inserts and pen holders. It's impossible to overpack with this bag which means that you don't have to worry about the weight straining your shoulders. Wilson notes that one of her favorite features of the backpack is the design: “it has a study build where it stands up on its own while I organize my things. The reinforced structure makes me feel put together when I wear it.”</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Multiple pockets, can stand on it sown<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> Limited colors available</p> $130, Bagallini. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Bagallini Soho backpack

This is has long been a go-to work bag for commerce producer Paris Wilson , “I've carried this non-stop since I got it. I just love how lightweight it is. It has a lot of storage space and a dedicated laptop sleeve," she says. It has one main compartment with a laptop sleeve and interior pockets that have hard inserts and pen holders. It's impossible to overpack with this bag which means that you don't have to worry about the weight straining your shoulders. Wilson notes that one of her favorite features of the backpack is the design: “it has a study build where it stands up on its own while I organize my things. The reinforced structure makes me feel put together when I wear it.”

Pros:  Multiple pockets, can stand on it sown Cons: Limited colors available

<p>If you're looking for a sleek yet functional bag that's polished enough for the office, look no further than Troubadour's Apex backpack. Made of waterproof fabric, Kenny says this lightweight backpack is perfect for busy commuters. It fits up to a 17" laptop and has multiple pockets for small essentials like AirPods, glasses, or a wallet. This stylish backpack also features a breathable back panel and ergonomic padded shoulder straps for added comfort. “This would be a great bag for business trip and thanks to its trolley sleeve, it fits nicely on your carry-on," says Kenny.</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Padded laptop compartment, waterproof material, trolley sleeve<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> Not ideal for active days outdoors due to its sophisticated look</p> $245, Troubadour. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Troubadour Apex backpack 2.0

If you're looking for a sleek yet functional bag that's polished enough for the office, look no further than Troubadour's Apex backpack. Made of waterproof fabric, Kenny says this lightweight backpack is perfect for busy commuters. It fits up to a 17" laptop and has multiple pockets for small essentials like AirPods, glasses, or a wallet. This stylish backpack also features a breathable back panel and ergonomic padded shoulder straps for added comfort. “This would be a great bag for business trip and thanks to its trolley sleeve, it fits nicely on your carry-on," says Kenny.

Pros:  Padded laptop compartment, waterproof material, trolley sleeve Cons: Not ideal for active days outdoors due to its sophisticated look

<p>Contributor <a href="">Rekaya Gibson</a> raves about the amount of space that this backpack offers. “It includes dedicated space to carry heavy-duty gear like ropes and an ice axe with ease, and two exterior pockets to keep smaller items organized,” she says. The top of the bag has a convenient drawstring that secures your items on the top before covering it with the flap. Each bag comes from repurposed materials which vary slightly—this helps reduce waste, making it a more environmentally friendly pick, too.</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Has a lot of security elements (which is great for hikes)<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> Shows wear quickly depending on your trek</p> $100, Backcountry. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Cotopaxi Tarak 20L Backpack

Contributor Rekaya Gibson raves about the amount of space that this backpack offers. “It includes dedicated space to carry heavy-duty gear like ropes and an ice axe with ease, and two exterior pockets to keep smaller items organized,” she says. The top of the bag has a convenient drawstring that secures your items on the top before covering it with the flap. Each bag comes from repurposed materials which vary slightly—this helps reduce waste, making it a more environmentally friendly pick, too.

Pros:  Has a lot of security elements (which is great for hikes) Cons: Shows wear quickly depending on your trek

<p>Although deemed a gym bag, the City Adventurer backpack takes characteristics from it's name and can be the perfect companion for days spent exploring. The water-repellent fabric makes it an easy choice when commuting on rainy days or when you are packing it into a suitcase with toiletries (don't worry <a href="">we have you covered</a>). <a href="">Flager</a> likes using this backpack for days when she heads to the gym after work. The backpack has thick padded straps, a trolley sleeve, and an expandable laptop sleeve.</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Separate shoe compartment, trolley sleeve, padded laptop pocket <br> <strong>Cons:</strong> When filled with shoes, your main compartment room is limited; no exterior water bottle pocket</p> $128, Lululemon. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Lululemon City Adventurer backpack 20L

Although deemed a gym bag, the City Adventurer backpack takes characteristics from it's name and can be the perfect companion for days spent exploring. The water-repellent fabric makes it an easy choice when commuting on rainy days or when you are packing it into a suitcase with toiletries (don't worry we have you covered ). Flager likes using this backpack for days when she heads to the gym after work. The backpack has thick padded straps, a trolley sleeve, and an expandable laptop sleeve.

Pros:  Separate shoe compartment, trolley sleeve, padded laptop pocket Cons: When filled with shoes, your main compartment room is limited; no exterior water bottle pocket

<p>Elegant and versatile, the Peugeot Voyages is an elevated option for travelers. The bag's exterior is made from leather and weather-resistant canvas and the interior comes from recycled plastic bottles. Travelers can carry the bag as a backpack or a tote. Plus, the shoulder straps and the back panel are padded for extra comfort. Associate social media manager <a href="">Kayla Brock</a> was on the hunt for the ideal laptop bag when she came across this. “I found exactly what I was looking for. A backpack that could hold my laptop as well as be an easy travel bag with several pockets for storage to get me through a week or two on the road without the back pain. With its price point, it's definitely worth the investment,” she says.</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Made from recycled materials, padded straps and back panel<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> Can easily become bulky</p> $245, Delsey Paris. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Peugeot Voyages Laptop backpack tote

Elegant and versatile, the Peugeot Voyages is an elevated option for travelers. The bag's exterior is made from leather and weather-resistant canvas and the interior comes from recycled plastic bottles. Travelers can carry the bag as a backpack or a tote. Plus, the shoulder straps and the back panel are padded for extra comfort. Associate social media manager Kayla Brock was on the hunt for the ideal laptop bag when she came across this. “I found exactly what I was looking for. A backpack that could hold my laptop as well as be an easy travel bag with several pockets for storage to get me through a week or two on the road without the back pain. With its price point, it's definitely worth the investment,” she says.

Pros:  Made from recycled materials, padded straps and back panel Cons: Can easily become bulky

<p>This stylish leather bag is ideal for travelers looking for a chic backpack that's equally functional and comfortable. There are two large compartments inside, with two small open pockets in the front compartment and a pocket in the back compartment that zip closed. The double-button clasp over the top handles adds an extra layer of security. Contributor <a href="">DeAnna Taylor</a> says "it's large enough to fit a <a href="">light jacket</a>, a pair of flats or sandals, plus any other small items you’ll need for the day’s adventure including lip balm, hand sanitizer, <a href="">sunscreen</a>, and more."</p> <p><strong>Pros:</strong> Lightweight, versatile, and durable<br> <strong>Cons:</strong> Limited colors available</p> $195, Amazon. <a href="">Get it now!</a><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="">Inspire Me</a>

Radley London Dukes Place zip around backpack

This stylish leather bag is ideal for travelers looking for a chic backpack that's equally functional and comfortable. There are two large compartments inside, with two small open pockets in the front compartment and a pocket in the back compartment that zip closed. The double-button clasp over the top handles adds an extra layer of security. Contributor DeAnna Taylor says "it's large enough to fit a light jacket , a pair of flats or sandals, plus any other small items you’ll need for the day’s adventure including lip balm, hand sanitizer, sunscreen , and more."

Pros:  Lightweight, versatile, and durable Cons: Limited colors available

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42 Carry-on Essentials T+L Editors Can’t Travel Without in 2024

We put together this list of travel products our team of globe-trotting editors love to pack for journeys of all types.

Anna Popp is a Commerce Writer at Travel + Leisure where she tests, researches, and writes about travel products. Since living overseas in 2018, Anna has been a travel writer and began reviewing products in 2021.

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Travel + Leisure / Alli Waataja

Travel + Leisure editors are always on the go so we asked our team of globetrotters to share their favorite carry-on essentials. Along with a slew of product recommendations, they delivered helpful tips and recommendations to consider for your next trip, too.

From handy tech gadgets you didn't know existed to travel-size skin care products for in-flight facials, our team knows a thing or two about getting the most out of a flight with the help of these 42 travel products that are travel-editor approved. Plus, all the items are TSA-approved and small enough to fit in your cabin bag.

White+Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap


“Regulating the air temperature on board a plane is always a bit of a challenge — I find it’s best to layer, that way if you get too hot you can take off a sweater or jacket (and vice versa). One ‘layer’ that proves to be useful, time and again, is a cashmere travel wrap from White and Warren. You can use it as a shawl to keep warm; a blanket while you sleep; even as a pillow, folded delicately into a tight little square. It also looks great when you step off the plane, wearing a chic accessory!” — Jacqui Gifford, Editor in Chief

Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment


"My lips can get extremely dry while traveling so I'm a big fan of the Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment. The formula is glossy and hydrating, which means it soothes my cracked lips while adding a stunning sheen to finish the job. I love the vanilla scented one but the unscented option is nice as well, since it truly doesn't have a scent." — Anna Popp, Commerce Writer

Cadence The Originals Set

“I love beauty products almost as much as I love organization. Cadence combines the two as I can fit a shocking amount in these little 0.56-ounce capsules — about a week’s worth of cleanser and even more for serums and toner. My favorite part is that you can customize the magnetic label ’tiles’ with whatever names or icons you want (and get different hues to color code your products and order additional tiles separately to swap). They take up very little space and are great for skin care, or even jewelry and medicine, too. The tops screw on securely and it’s so easy to get every last drop out — with or without spoons — before cleaning (especially compared to standard reusable bottles). If I just add makeup and these larger 3-ounce pouches for my hair care, my entire at-home routine is sorted on the go.” — Morgan Ashley Parker, Associate Editorial Director

Bioderma Makeup Remover Wipes

“I like to have makeup wipes (like these Bioderma wipes ) in my carry-on bag so I can take my makeup off during a long-haul flight and freshen up before I reach my destination. I always have a good moisturizer on hand, too, like this one from Drunk Elephant , to combat that dry plane air and keep my skin hydrated and happy.” — Elizabeth Rhodes, Special Projects Editor

Vlando Small Travel Jewelry Box

“When most people think of travel organizers, they picture large packing cubes meant to be stuffed in checked luggage. But when your checked bags end up lost for hours (or even days) at a time, you’ll wish you’d stowed a few extra items in your carry-on. At 4 x 4 x 2 inches, Vlando’s Small Travel Jewelry Box is compact enough to easily store in any carry-on bag, yet it’s spacious enough to hold nearly a dozen pieces of jewelry and other small items like makeup and medicine bottles. It even comes in 28 colors and with removable dividers, so you can customize it to fit your specific travel needs.” — Hillary Maglin, Associate Commerce Editor

Apple Airpods Pro (2nd Generation)

“I'm a firm believer these are the best earbuds Apple has released. I fly between coasts every few months, which means I'm sitting on long flights frequently and I always keep my AirPods in since they block out the pesky airplane engine hum. They easily fit in my pocket, purse, or carry-on and the different-sized rubber ear tips make it easy to find the most comfortable fit to wear the buds for hours on end without ear pain.” — Anna Popp, Commerce Writer

Ekrist Portable Charger Power Bank

“I basically never leave the house without my portable charger power bank, especially when I’m traveling. When you use your phone for so many essential functions, from texts, calls, and social media to maps, photos, and your calendar, it’s bound to run out of battery at the most inconvenient time. This fast-charging power bank can charge your phone up to eight times and can even charge multiple devices at once. It’s totally worth it for long travel days and everything in between.” — Sophie Mendel, Commerce Editor

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

“Dry airplane cabins can really do a number on your lips, so just any travel ChapStick won't do. This mask is packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. It's meant to repair dry lips overnight, but I use it day and night — and always, always in flight.”  — Nina Ruggiero, Digital Editorial Director

Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet

“I find that I get my best reading done on vacation, but I hate taking up the precious space in my suitcase with books. The Kindle Fire has been a mainstay in my carry-on since I got it for my birthday years ago, and I even recently learned that you can connect it to your local library to check out books throughout your trip. It's super compact, and also holds a charge all day long which is essential for longer flights.” — Merrell Readman, Commerce Writer

Bevledge Airplane Window Organization Station

"This nifty little cup holder has made enjoying in-flight refreshments so much easier. There’s no more juggling multiple beverages (hey, I always need a couple) while trying to fit my laptop or meal on a tiny tray. It also has a slot that’s great for keeping track of my phone, and a space to hang up my glasses for naps. I’ve used it on four different airlines and several different planes so far, and it has fit neatly on the window frame every time." — Lydia Price, Senior Commerce Editor

Travalo Milano Perfume Atomizer

“I've always been a big fragrance and perfume lover who likes to change them up daily depending on my mood. Traveling with perfumes can be a hassle, especially in a carry-on when you have to worry about delicacy and bottle size. With the Travalo Milano, you fill them up directly from any and every one of your favorite fragrances. They're shatterproof, leakproof, pressure-tested, and TSA-approved. Plus, their fun-colored vegan leather casing keeps them looking chic and sophisticated. With an affordable price point you can even get a few of their trio set to bring as many fragrances away with you as desired.” — Alessandra Amodio, Associate Photo Editor

USAMS Multi-Charging Cable

“I always toss this handy multi-charging cable in my carry-on since it never fails to come in handy at some point during my journey – even if it's just while I'm sitting on the plane. Use it to charge your Kindle, phone, Airpods, external battery, and more, all at the same time. It's such a time saver, especially if there are limited outlets in your hotel room.” — Sophie Mendel, Commerce Editor

Care.e.on En Route Essentials 5-piece Kit

“This cute little set has everything I need for a mid-air spa day. I can sanitize my hands before using the other three goodies — hydrating pads, a skin mist, and a creamy mask — to treat my face. I've used it both during the flight and in the airport arrivals lounge before heading out for the day off a red-eye.” Morgan Ashley Parker, Associate Editorial Director

Owala FreeSip Water Bottle

“Ever since I read a T+L article about why you shouldn't drink water from the plane during your flight, I've become insistent on packing an empty water bottle in my carry-on that I can fill up in the terminal before I board. This Owala water bottle is perfect because it has a built-in straw as well as a locking cap so I never have to worry about spilling all over myself (or my belongings) during the flight. Plus, it has a slim design that easily fits into the pocket of my favorite backpack.” — Merrell Readman, Commerce Writer

Hill House Home The Ellie Nap Dress

Hill House Home

“I’m always nervous that my checked luggage will get lost, so I always stick a packing cube filled with the essentials in my carry-on bag (even if I’m just bringing a personal item on board). For me, that means underwear, socks (I love these Bombas socks when I travel), a hairbrush, deodorant, a light sweater or jacket, and an easy dress I can throw on after getting off the plane. For my last few flights, I’ve packed a Hill House Nap Dress in my carry-on so I can change out of my ’plane clothes’ as soon as possible when I arrive.” — Elizabeth Rhodes, Special Projects Editor

Dagne Dover Ace Fanny Pack

Dagne Dover

"As someone who still struggles to pack light (working on it) having something like a sling bag or a small purse really helps me keep my most important travel items within close reach. I love this one from Dagne Dover because it's the perfect way to keep my passport, chapstick, credit cards, and other valuables closeby. I'm also a fan of the lightweight and cozy neoprene material." — Jasmine Grant, Senior Commerce Editor

Quip Adult Electric Toothbrush with Metal Handle

“I always pack my toothbrush in my carry-on because you don't want to get stuck without a toothbrush if your luggage gets lost or your flight gets delayed overnight. This one comes with a cap so it's easy to throw in your bag.” — Jackie Cucco, Commerce Testing Editor

Away The Insider Packing Cubes

"I can’t believe there was ever a time that I traveled without packing cubes, but now I won’t pack my carry-on without the Insider Packing Cubes from Away. The various sizes ensure that everything that I need for my trip has a place and together, they help me save space and stay organized. For short trips, I’ve used the smaller cubes as bag organizers and toiletry bags — they’re so versatile." — Emily Belfiore, Commerce Editor

Rare Beauty Blot & Glow Touch-Up Kit

“My dry skin tends to over-produce oil to compensate, so after a few hours on a plane or in a car, my face looks pretty shiny. An easy way to combat this (and arrive at my destination looking somewhat made up without busting out my foundation and concealer) is to mattify my skin with Rare Beauty’s Blot & Glow Touch Up Kit. It comes with a pre-powdered makeup sponge as well as oil-absorbing sheets, which I usually alternate between a few times during my flight and throughout the day. The products are neatly packed into a mirrored compact which easily fits into a purse or carry-on.” — Hillary Maglin, Associate Commerce Editor

Pacsafe Women's Citysafe CX 17L

“I’ve owned this backpack for years, and it’s my go-to bag for travel. Its professional style and padded laptop sleeve make it perfect for work trips , but I also love it for general travel — it has locking zippers to keep my belongings safe, a trolley sleeve for easy carrying with a suitcase, and two outside water bottle pockets.” — Jamie Hergenrader, Commerce Director

Garnett Hill Cashmere Socks

Garnett Hill

“I’m a firm believer that you can look cute while traveling without sacrificing comfort so I turn to quiet luxury travel accessories like these cashmere socks. It’s basically like a soft and cozy cashmere sweater for your feet and the socks look nice while on, too. Best of all, they aren’t even the slightest bit itchy or too hot.” Anna Popp, Commerce Writer

Veriphy Core Trio Gift Set

“This skincare set is the perfect addition to your in-flight toiletries. I love a skincare routine that's easy to follow and keeps my skin clear and glowing, and Veriphy absolutely does it all in four easy steps. Plus, the bottles are absolutely beautiful so you'll love leaving them on your counter whether at home or at your hotel.” — Taylor Fox, Commerce Updates Writer

Carhartt Knitted Cuff Beanie

“Trains and planes always have the AC on blast, which is why I always pack a knit cap like this one. On long-haul flights in particular, it's toasty — and also doubles as an eye shade that never gets lost.” — Paul Brady, News Director

Sony WH-1000XM5 Headphones


One of our picks for the best noise-canceling headphones on the market, this pair impressed us with superior noise-canceling abilities that could block out sounds like a screaming baby, an ambulance siren, and car honking.

“[They are] equally adept at blocking out the chaos and noise of a busy airport, as well as flight noise, and light enough to wear for the entire trip.” — Mark Prigg, VP Commerce

Twelve South AirFly Pro

“I'm not a fan of airline-supplied headphones, so this genius Bluetooth wireless audio transmitter always has a spot in my carry-on. By plugging it into the headphone jack, it connects with my AirPods to allow me to listen to the airplane seatback TV and even lets me share audio with another set of AirPods. I love this because my fiancé and I can enjoy the same in-flight movie at the same time without having to split a pair of headphones. “ — Kayla Becker, Senior Commerce Editor

Tom Beckbe Field Hat

“I'm all about a durable hat these days, since they help me to keep cool and protected on any adventure-focused trip. This field hat from Alabama-based Tom Beckbe is easy to pack since the crown can be crushed--not every hat has that capability. It is also made from wax shelter cloth, ideal for rainy days or time spent fly fishing.” — Jacqui Gifford, Editor in Chief

Pear Compression Crew Compression Socks

“While I love the anti-swelling benefits of compression socks, I don’t want to struggle to put them on (or take them off) after I’ve left home, especially if I’m wearing leggings. The typical knee-highs look like something I’d definitely want to cover up (and remove ASAP), but these short compression socks are so cute that I find myself wanting to keep them on — and even display them on top of my pants. Personally, I’m a fan of the 'Be Kind’ style if you can find them in your size but the Sporty Crew’s cute, too.” — Morgan Ashley Parker, Associate Editorial Director

Ouai Hair Oil

“It can be hard to justify splurging on travel-sized toiletries, but a little goes a long way with this Ouai hair oil that I've been using for months now (at home and on trips) to help keep my hair frizz-free in even the most humid environments.” — Alexandra Domrongchai, Commerce Writer

Mark & Graham Hanging Packing Cube

Mark & Graham

“I am a very strategic packer but once I get to my destination, it can turn into a tornado of clothes and shoes very quickly. I love using this hanging packing cube since it’s basically a portable dresser with shelves to keep things off the floor and organized. It fits into a carry-on perfectly and all I have to do is hang it up in a closet for effortless organization.” — Anna Popp, Commerce Writer

Rothy’s Mary Jane Flats

"I recently hopped onto the Mary Jane trends with no other than the pair that ignited the revival in the first place. These Rothy's Mary Jane's are a best-seller for a reason, and consider myself influenced. They hardly take up any room in my suitcase and are my secret weapon to elevate any look. Even better, they're also incredibly comfortable, and feel like I'm walking around town in slippers." — Alexandra Domrongchai, Commerce Writer

Dieux Skin Forever Eye Mask

"I'm all about optimizing my time on the plane whether it's doing work, catching up on e-mails, or indulging in a skincare ritual. These reusable eye masks are easy to travel with and I slap them on in flights to multi-task. (I was admittedly self-conscious the first few times but fellow travelers always end up paying a compliment and/or asking where it's from.)" — Susmita Baral, Travel Edito r

Marshall Marshall Monitor II ANC

Courtesy of Best Buy

I love over-the-ear headphones (due to a totally realistic fear of losing an earbud in my seat) but the cases for most models take up way too much room in my personal item. These headphones not only sound great, they fold up to a compact size fitting in an included canvas sack that slips inside my purse or can be attached to the outside of my bag with a carabiner. — Morgan Ashley Parker, Associate Editorial Director

Vapur Flexible Water Bottle

"I haven't flown without a refillable water bottle in years but recently swapped out my longtime favorite aluminum bottle for this ultra-lightweight collapsible one from Vapur. It holds the same amount of water as my bulkier, heavier bottle, folds up compactly, is nice to drink from (vibe: drinking a Capri Sun pouch full of water, but without the annoying straw), and it makes my carry-on noticeably lighter." — Skye Senterfeit, Deputy Photo Editor

Coach Lowline Low Top Sneaker

“The cool sneaker revolution continues! I love packing a fun, comfortable, statement pair of trainers in my carry-on to get me through anything: a business meetings, a long day of touring a city, even an impromptu workout.” — Jacqui Gifford, Editor in Chief

Topicals Faded Under Eye Brightening & Clearing Eye Masks

"As an editor, I stay on the go, which means a lot of flights. The airport hustle may be exhausting, but I ever look like it when I land because of these eye masks from Topicals. The cooling hydrogel cools, hydrates, de-puffs, and fades dark circles so I always look ready for business. Plus, they make for cool selfies on social." — Danielle Pointdujour, Senior Travel Editor

Satechi USB Type-A to Type-C Adapter

“These days it seems like every smartphone and tablet uses a USB-C power connector. And that's a problem when you realize that most planes only offer in-seat power by way of a USB-A connector. The fix is this super-affordable adapter that lives full time in my go-to carry-on bag.” — Paul Brady, News Director

Dagne Dover Mila Toiletry Organizer

"There are some toiletries I always keep in my carry-on, like a toothbrush and deodorant, in case my flight gets delayed or my luggage gets lost. This toiletry organizer doesn't take up much space but helps me stay organized with adjustable compartments to keep bottles upright. It also comes in a larger size if you want something bigger for your full-size bottles." — Jackie Cucco, Commerce Testing Editor

Ekster Tech Case

“Between my phone, iPad, laptop, headphones, and camera my charging cords become an absolute mess when I travel unless I assign each item their own space. This tech case makes that organization simple (and beautiful) so I avoid tangles or forgetting any charges behind as I travel from place to place. It even fits some of my smaller items like earbuds and portable chargers to keep everything I need together.” — Taylor Fox, Commerce Updates Writer

Nuebiome Hand Cream

“I’m a nervous flier with dry skin, so I always end up picking at my nails and cuticles. One way I curb this is by traveling with a hydrating hand cream, and my current favorite is the Amaretto and Biotic Hand Remedy from Nuebiome. It’s intensely moisturizing and silky while still being lightweight and fast-absorbing, which means no uncomfortable greasiness, stickiness, and general unpleasantness. It also has a lovely scent that instantly relaxes me.” — Emily Belfiore, Commerce Editor

Lush The All Rounder Bodycare Discovery Kit

“Curating the perfect toiletry kit can be tough, and after years of subjecting my skin to whatever travel-sized toiletries were the cheapest at the drugstore, I've discovered my new go-to kit from Lush. This particular kit stays ready-to-go in my travel bag that keeps me moisturized, clean, and overall feeling good. I also have always loved everything from Lush, and admired their clean ingredients and products that genuinely work.” — Alexandra Domrongchai, Commerce Writer

Hobo Fern Belt Bag

“I've never in my life been a fanny pack person, but this small and sleek leather belt bag from Hobo converted me. I like to keep it in my carry-on so I can throw it on crossbody-style as soon as I land and be ready to shop, eat, and see the sights. It's the perfect hands-free option, too, which is convenient when I'm also carrying my luggage around. I've worn it all over the world and it always looks stylish, no matter my outfit or the time of year.” — Hillary Maglin, Associate Commerce Editor

Dr. Scholl's Time-off Sneaker

“I actually bought my first pair of Dr. Scholl's sneakers from an old T+L article from 2019. I had no idea that this pair would go on to accompany me to over 100,000-plus steps, multiple international trips, sprints through TSA, and everything in between. They're always the first thing on my packing list and I can't recommend them enough.” — Alexandra Domrongchai, Commerce Writer

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Commerce writer Anna Popp writes various researched and tested roundups. She has been travel writing since 2018 and product testing since 2021. Anna collaborated with T+L editors to create a list of carry-on essentials our editors can’t travel without.

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best roller backpack for travel


  1. The 8 Best Rolling Backpacks of 2020

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    Danny Newman July 15, 2023 Buying Guides Searching for the best rolling backpack? I hope this post helps! Are you among the millions of travellers who suffer from "packing panic"? Some of us rethink our packing strategy at the last second, even if we start packing days before the trip.

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    By Rick Steves A fundamental packing question is your choice of luggage. Of all the options for travel bags, specifically for an overseas trip with lots of stops, I'd consider only four types: a carry-on-size soft backpack, an internal-frame backpack, a carry-on-size bag with wheels, or a carry-on-size rolling backpack.

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    Wrap-Up: The Best Rolling Backpacks for Most Travelers. The Fairview Wheeled Carry-On Pack 36. We love to hear about your experiences with these and other rolling carry-on backpacks in the comments. Osprey Farpoint 36 Wheeled (Men, Carry-On) ] Osprey Fairview 36 Wheeled (Women, Carry-On)

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