These Are The Best Wheeled Backpacks For Your Next Trip
When you’re out travelling the world, the last thing you need is an unwieldy suitcase or bag. I once walked five miles while carrying two 30+ lb duffels through the streets of Vienna in January. Needless to say, I would have preferred a backpack.
I personally love the freedom and versatility of a backpack when traveling but I know that isn’t for everyone. Some people just love to pull their luggage behind them or have back pain that requires them to limit the amount they can carry. You can have the best of both worlds with a wheeled backpack. You can roll it alongside you when your bag is too heavy and still have the flexibility to carry it when you need to move somewhere fast or when you aren’t carrying too much weight.
To make your travel choices a little easier, I’ve put together a list of my top five favorite wheeled backpack options for your next adventure.
This is the best wheeled backpack for travel for someone who needs a several options rolled into one. It can be used as a regular wheeled suitcase, as a large backpack with its padded s-shaped shoulder straps, or if you just need something for a quick day hike or afternoon exploring the city you are in, you can remove just the front of the bag and use it as a day pack.
The main portion has interior clothing straps to keep your belongings packed efficiently into its rather short 22” height. Still have a handful of items that you couldn’t sausage roll into your bag? Attach additional equipment to the outside of the bag with the adjustable tow strap. High Sierra literally tried to make one of the most versatile bags I have ever seen with this offering.
A significantly less expensive but still highly rated option from High Sierra, the Freewheel Wheeled Backpack comes in at almost half the price of the High Sierra AT3.
You do sacrifice some space at this lower cost, but the Freewheel does include more media-friendly options: a large “cushion zone” can hold a laptop up to 17 inches, the front compartment has a media pocket and organizer, and the zippered accessory compartment includes a headphone port.
This great backpack also features corner guards and rub rails to protect the integrity of the bag long-term, as well as a mesh padded grip handle for the times when you need to pick it up and toss it into the trunk of a taxi. Don’t worry, your laptop will be protected!
Want a bag that stands out at the luggage claim center? The Jansport gives you several unique pattern options that sets this backpack apart from the standard-issue flat black bags you will see going around the baggage claim.
Admittedly, most patterns are a little feminine for my tastes with delicate flowers and wild zebra stripes, but you can opt for a simpler and plain pattern as well.
The Jansport Superbreak is firmly in the middle of the pack for both price and quality. The size is similar to the High Sierra Freewheel but slightly more expensive. Add in its lifetime warranty, and this is truly one of the best backpacks with wheels.
The most expensive of the five options, the High Sierra AT6 is a more luxurious version of the AT3. It features one large main compartment that can be divided into two or left as-is.
The hold-down strap helps to accommodate your even the most strangely-shaped items you decide to lug with you on your next trip, like your size 15 hiking boots, that golden Buddha statue you bought in Thailand, or the 11 models of the Taj Majal you are bringing back for Christmas presents for all your family and friends..
The high-density foam assists in maintaining the shape of the bag but keeps it lightweight enough to carry as a backpack. However, the sport wheels will help you to roll along smoothly and quickly if the terrain allows.
Just slightly smaller than the Jansport Superbreak, the Jansport Driver 8 has many of the same features, weighs two pounds less, and comes in about twenty dollars cheaper.
Similar to the High Sierra Freewheel, this backpack also features a laptop sleeve for a 15” laptop and front organizer in addition to its other two main compartments. If you are a bit OCD when you pack like me, these features are quietly quite nice.
The padded back and shoulder straps make it easy to carry when climbing stairs where the side-mounted action wheels won’t be able to roll.
Don’t forget Jansport’s lifetime warranty either – when used under normal conditions they can repair or replace your bags that fall apart, not including wear and tear, neglect, or unreasonable use. Basically, don’t throw it down the stairs of your hostel. You won’t make any friends and you will ruin your bag.
If you’re heading out an adventure and don’t want to marry yourself to a traditional backpack or suitcase, consider one of the best wheeled backpack for travel that I just reviewed. You never know where the road might take you, so be prepared for smooth terrain, rugged terrain, or even a day out exploring a new city.
The best wheeled backpack for you will largely depend on your travel needs. Do you need something that holds technology or extra pairs of shoes? How often will you need to carry it vs pull it behind you? This list includes some of my personal favorites, but you’ll need to decide which one suits your travel needs the best.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com