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Rolling Backpacks for Adults on the Go

Updated on September 27, 2011

Travel Easy with Rolling Backpacks

Whether you are an adult student, a professional, or just someone who travels, rolling backpacks can be a very handy way of packing and taking along important items. Certainly any backpack or piece of luggage can be of use, but when you want the process to be as easy as possible and avoid risking injury, then these backpacks are the best choice.

Learn a bit more about them on this page and see some of the rolling backpacks that consumers seem to like the best.

About Rolling Backpacks

While any backpack can be great for carrying books, notebooks, files, laptops, and even clothing and personal items, rolling backpacks offer some distinct advantages. Thanks to their wheels and telescoping handles they can be used as a pull along bag as well. This takes stress off the back and allows you to move quickly. When needed however, the handle can be lowered, shoulder straps pulled out and they can be worn like any backpack. Perfect when you are on uneven terrain.

Most rolling backpacks also make great carry on luggage. They hold a lot of gear for their size but in most instances, will fit under a seat or in a rail or airline storage bin.

Using these wheeled backpacks can also make access to your belongings easier. Rather than having to unload completely, it's easy to simply unzip a front or top pocket and grab what you want in just a few seconds.

Choosing Rolling Backpacks

Here are the most critical things to consider when selecting a one of these backpacks.

  • Size, Configuration, and Capacity
    Know what you will want to carry. If all you need is space for a few books, pens, and a cell phone you won't need as much capacity. If you need to carry a laptop, check the dimensions and look for extra padding. Want to tote along a media player? Check for a pocket that offers an opening for the headphones. Some of these bags include an organizer, key clips, pen loops, business card holders, an exterior pocket for a water bottle, and so forth.

    If you will be taking public transportation, know how large the bag can be in order to be allowed on and safely stored if you want to keep it with you.

  • Construction
    Rolling backpacks with in-line wheels help when maneuvering in tight spaces. Certainly some wheels are more durable that others, so checking current customer feedback can give you an idea of smooth movement and durability.

    For taller individuals, checking the top height of the telescoping handle is important if you want to pull it along comfortably. Some of these wheeled backpacks have handles that can lock into more than one height.

    Durable, water resistant materials are important for longevity as well. For instance, 600 denier polyester will be more durable that 300 denier fabric. Metal zippers will generally last longer than plastic and will be more secure than velcro.

High Sierra Freewheel

This rolling back pack measures 13.5" W x 20.5" H x 8" D and features durable 600 denier Duralite materials. With the smooth rolling corner mounted inline wheels and telescoping handle, it's hassle free to pull along the floor or sidewalk and the countoured, padded grab handle and shoulder straps also make it easy to carry when desired.

It includes a large front load main compartment, a zippered accessory compartment with a headphone port, a padded computer sleeve for laptops up to 17" in size, an open side pocket for accessory items or water bottles, and a triangle clip for attaching small items.

This wheeled backpack has reflective accents for safety at night and is available in red, black, or navy. It comes with a limited 5 year warranty.

Jansport Driver 8 Wheeled Backpack

This is a high quality rolling backpack from Jansport. It measures 19.5" x 13" x 8" and is available in Black, Navy, Brown, Purple, Grey and a variety of patterns including plaids.

It features 2 tuck-away shouder straps that allow you to carry it comfortably and a padded retractable 2-stage handle and corner mount wheels to pull along when desired. It has 2 large main compartments, a padded sleeve for laptops up to 15" in size, a front utility pocket with an organizer for smaller items, and a front stash pocket for easy access to necessities. It is made with durable 600 denier polyester.

High Sierra Powerglide

Available in Navy, Plum, and Red, this is a large rolling backpack. It features a large main zippered compartment, cushioned laptop sleeve for devices as large as 17", an organizer, media pocket with headphone port, a zippered pocket, and several open pockets that allow quick access to critical items. It has countoured adjustable straps for easy carrying and wheels for pulling along. This backpack measures 9" x 21" x 14".

Targus Sport

If you just need to carry a few books and folders or a small laptop, up to 15.4", then this Targus rolling backpack may be ideal. It offers a padded main storage pocket, side storage pocket, zippered mesh accessory pocket, business card holder, pen loops, key clip, side water bottle pocket, and a front pocket with scratch resistant lining.

The outside dimensions are 15" x 9" x 19.5". The bottom of this backpack repels water thanks to the protective PVC material used. It has a padded handle for comfort when pulling and a detachable shoulder strap for those times you wish to carry it. The hand grip on the bottom makes lifting your books or laptop to load in a truck or airline compartment easy.

Economical CalPak Awestruck

This is a very affordable wheeled backpack for students or professionals. It is available in navy, black, and red. It offers a large main compartment, side mesh pocket, and side zippered pocket as well. It has a self locking handle, inline wheels, and padded shoulder straps. Reflective tape increases your visibility at night. This backpack measures 7.5" x 18" x 13.5".

High Sierra 26"

This is a high quality rolling backpack that can be carried as a duffel bag or a backpack or used as a pull along. It measures 26" x 14.5" x 15" and is made of durable 900 denier Duralite. It has one large main compartment which gives users front load access and can expand up to 2" for extra storage. A divider panel separates the main compartment from a drop bottom lower compartement that has 2 zippered mesh pockets. A single large compartment can be made by removing the divider panel.

Padded backpack straps make it easy to carry and corner mounted inline wheels and a telescoping handle with soft grip make it comfortable to pull along.

ePac 05

This wheeled backpack measures 11" x 21" x 14" and is made with 1680 denier Nylon for durability. It offers plenty of compartments including a laptop compartment with 4 walls of foam and a bottom with 2 thick layers of foam padding, a side load compartment, key clip, pen loops, pockets for cards, media players and more.

It offers inline wheels and a telescoping handle. This bag comes with a 3 digit security combination lock and is available in green, black, purple, red, and grey.


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    • lisa42 profile image

      lisa42 5 years ago from Sacramento

      I love these backpacks. I much prefer to travel with one small bag rather than many big ones, and having the option to roll it or throw it on your back is even better.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Your hub does a great comparison of the different types and models of rolling backpacks available. I remember what we did before this invention - lug those heavy tote bags around and suffer shoulder pain. Later there were detachable wheeled metal devices that required strapping the bags to the rolling frame. Awkward.

    • Brinafr3sh profile image

      Brinafr3sh 6 years ago from West Coast, United States

      Hi Mulberry,

      Handy hub you have here. I would be more familiar with the "Economical Rolling Backpack," due to the work I do as a mobile phlebotomist. Thanks

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 6 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      Very detailed hub on rolling back packs. Yes makes you wonder how you managed without them now, they seem to have become a travel companion standard. Visit any airport and you will see what I mean by that statement. Nice Hub.

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 6 years ago from Ireland

      Good bags and good prices too.