What Is a Rolling Backpack? Everything You Need to Know 

 June 26, 2023

By  Keith Terrell

Picture this: you're hurrying through the pulsing veins of a bustling airport, a traditional shoulder-bag weighing you down like an anchor tied to your torso. You're gasping for breath, burdened by its uncomfortable straps and unbalanced load. Now let's flip the scenario. Imagine yourself gracefully gliding through that same airport, a sleek piece of luggage smoothly rolling alongside you as if it’s simply an extension of your body. 

A rolling backpack, also known as a wheeled backpack, is a type of backpack that includes wheels and a telescoping handle to allow it to be pulled along the ground like a piece of luggage. This combines the convenience of a backpack with the ease of transport of a rolling suitcase. Rolling backpacks are particularly useful for those who need to navigate uneven terrain or stairs while carrying heavier loads.

Welcome to the world of rolling backpacks - a game-changer in personal luggage and travel comfort. Dive into this article to uncover everything you need to know about these modern marvels of convenience."

Understanding Rolling Backpacks

Rolling backpacks, also known as wheeled backpacks, are an innovative solution for those who need to carry their belongings on journeys. These bags combine the versatility and functionality of a backpack with the convenience of wheels, making them ideal for people traveling by foot or public transport. They come in different sizes, styles, and models, and selecting the right one can be challenging.

The biggest advantage of a rolling backpack is that it provides extra support and comfort by reducing the weight carried on your back. It can be especially beneficial if you are hiking on uneven terrains or covering long distances because it eliminates the need to carry your luggage on your shoulders. A rolling backpack allows you to unpack as well without occupying extra space in your hotel room.

On the other hand, some people argue that rolling backpacks look clunky and bulky and might not be suitable for use at formal events or business meetings. It's essential to choose a design that suits your individual needs when considering purchasing one.

When deciding between a traditional backpack and a rolling one, consider the amount of weight you will have to carry regularly. For example, if you mostly travel light, then a traditional backpack could be more appropriate. In contrast, a wheeled backpack would be better suited for carrying heavier items like textbooks and laptops over long distances.

Think of a rolling backpack as investing in comfortable shoes - they may not always look fashionable but can make life easier in the long run if you have to walk around all day.

Classic vs Laptop vs Travel Backpacks

While choosing between classic vs laptop vs travel backpacks might seem daunting, understanding their differences can help make your decision much easier.

Classic rolling backpacks are perfect for everyday usage such as carrying books to classes or going for a short trip. They are generally designed to be more compact, lightweight, and easy to maneuver than travel backpacks. However, they tend to have less storage space.

Laptop rolling backpacks include specialized compartments fit for a laptop or tablet. This design is ideal for work or campus because laptops can be heavy.

However, if you plan on traveling frequently, you must invest in a travel backpack. They typically come with extra features like locks and expandable pockets that make them perfect for carrying clothing, toiletries, and other vital items necessary on extended trips.

Choosing the right type of rolling backpack is like choosing the right vehicle - you always strive for comfort, speed, and capacity from your car depending on your daily needs as expected from your chosen wheeled backpack.

Key Components and Design

Rolling backpacks are a fantastic invention, as they allow you to easily navigate different terrains whilst simultaneously transporting heavy equipment. The design of a rolling backpack is essential to its functionality, and there are several key components that every high-quality rolling backpack should possess.

One important feature is the handles. It's critical for a rolling backpack's handles to be sturdy enough to support the weight of the bag when it's fully loaded. Ideally, you want a backpack with telescopic handles that can extend at different lengths to suit your height. Additionally, it's best if the handle has multiple locking positions so that you can adjust it accordingly.

Another crucial component is the wheels. Look for rolling backpacks that have large wheels (at least 3 inches) capable of traversing uneven surfaces while remaining stable on smooth terrain surfaces. Wheels should be made of high-quality materials – typically polyurethane – which are both durable and long-lasting.

Padding is also essential in determining a backpack's quality. Ensure your rolling backpack has adequately padded straps and back support so that your shoulders and spine receive proper support throughout your travels.

The interior and exterior compartments of your rolling backpack are equally important when selecting a design that meets your needs. Most high-quality models come with multiple pockets, including those designed specifically for laptops and other electronics like tablets or smartphones.

Bag construction material is another significant factor in the design of your rolling backpack, which should protect any fragile equipment inside from getting scratched or damaged by potential impacts while offering enough flexibility to avoid breakage under extreme temperatures or situations.

For instance, I travel frequently with my camera gear, laptop, and personal effects all in one bag. However, during my most recent trip to Europe, my luggage underwent regular flights under harsh weather conditions and over cobblestone paths amongst other terrain types, taking some momentous hits along the way- thanks to my well-padded rolling backpack that featured a durable construction body and polyurethane wheels, my fragile equipment arrived without any damages.

All of these key components work together to create the perfect rolling backpack for your needs. For example, a high-quality roller backpack with properly padded straps and back support enables you to wear it as a backpack or roll it by the handle safely without straining your shoulders' muscles if you carry heavy luggage regularly.

However, whether it's best suited for your needs depends on what you want to achieve. Suppose you're looking for an everyday commuting backpack that accommodates your electronic gadget and laptop, then an option equipped with a laptop compartment and expandable sections that incorporate organizational pockets will suit your needs well.

Think of it as designing your own home's interior spaces. Depending on your lifestyle and requirements precisely, the features you choose ultimately determine convenience levels.

Choosing the Right Rolling Backpack

When choosing the right rolling backpack, several considerations come into play. Not every rolling backpack is created equal; there are different sizes and types suitable for different people, lifestyles and purposes.

Firstly, consider ergonomics: If you choose a roller bag marketed as a travel pack but without proper weight distribution design considerations like adequate padding on straps and back support when in backpack mode will put extra stress on shoulders increasing discomfort in extended use periods which may lead to permanent back problems. Choose one with shoulder straps and back panel appropriately designed with ample padding to ensure optimal distribution of weight easing pressure points to make carrying easier.

Design also includes style considerations since the model you select should match your preferences regarding both functionality and appearance. You can choose from various colors/shapes but keep in mind that some options offer more significant styling options than others and may not be appropriate for professional contexts.

To cater to your varying needs regarding functionality or appearance, manufacturers offer customizable features like stitching down the sides for expansion, full-sized interior compartments, and front pockets with extra space for holding stationery and small items.

When choosing a design that matches your lifestyle and preferences, consider the type of activity you will engage in as well. A traveler needs a rolling backpack that can be used for many purposes: storing their electronics and essentials during commutes on public transportation, safely transporting fragile gear like camera equipment without damage on long trips.

For instance, if you regularly attend conventions or go camping often, it might be worth looking for a model with multiple convenient storage options and compartments in addition to standard features such as laptop compartments.

For those who require traveling with unique luggage specifications that range beyond typical cabin baggage dimensions, like scuba diving gear, oversized sports equipment or photography studio lights- a variant capable of carrying extras within is best suited to ensure an enjoyable travel experience.

Rolling backpacks are an essential element for individuals on-the-go. With the right selection process basing on your unique needs determined by function or style preferences- high-quality design components including adequate padding on straps and back support, durable polyurethane wheels, telescopic handles adjustable at different lengths, secure lockable zips and multiple pockets added should combine to create the perfect solution tailored to serve you better both in domestic land travel and international adventure situations.

Ergonomic Considerations

Choosing the perfect rolling backpacks not only depends on the material but also on ergonomics. Whenever we think of ergonomic concerns, the first thing that comes to mind is human anatomy. A backpack that fits well and is comfortable to wear ensures a lesser risk of back pain and injuries. The following are some essential ergonomic considerations you need to keep in mind before investing in a rolling backpack.

For instance, a vast majority of rolling backpacks available today have adjustable handles, which makes them more versatile and user-friendly. The handle enables you to set the backpack to an appropriate height concerning your body size and thus alleviate the pressure on your wrist, elbow or shoulder. Adjustable straps, padded back support, and hip belt also contribute significantly to evenly distributing weight while walking or switching positions.

Secondly, ergonomic considerations go beyond the physical features of a backpack. They also require knowing where and when you intend to use it. If you are searching for a backpack that will serve your daily needs, then finding one with a comfortable fit might be more crucial than buying one with several additional pockets or compartments.

Furthermore, if you travel frequently with your rolling backpack in settings like airports or public transportations, models with compact designs can prevent accidental bumping into people or objects along the way.

On the other hand, some people argue that purchasing larger-sized rolling backpacks irrespective of their purpose can provide more space to store personal items without having to add another bag. However, if the bag is too big or excessively heavy once fully packed, it may result in muscle strains over time as well as awkwardly maneuvering through tight spaces like hallways or doorways.

Styling Options

Apart from ergonomics, rolling backpacks nowadays come in different designs and styles, depending on their intended purpose. Therefore, selecting a backpack that complements your fashion sense while allowing you to carry your personal belongings can make your trip more enjoyable and satisfying.

For example, if you are traveling for an extended period and thus require maximum storage space and organization, there are several classic rolling travel backpacks available in the market with functional compartments for accommodating numerous items, such as clothes, shoes, toiletries, laptops or tablets.

Moreover, if you plan to take short trips or spend time in busy areas like cities or theme parks where crowds may obstruct movement, choosing brightly colored or reflective backpacks could significantly enhance their visibility and prevent accidental bumping by pedestrians or cyclists.

Likewise, using different styles of rolling backpacks can help express personalities. A sleek and sophisticated laptop bag projects that professional appearance and can have corporate logos embroidered on them to promote brand awareness. Meanwhile, college students may prefer bold patterns like checkered prints on their bags to show off their individuality.

Taking Care of Your Rolling Backpack

Your rolling backpack is an investment that you want to last for years. However, it's easy to forget that your trusty backpack needs maintenance too. Proper care will keep your rolling backpack in good condition and extend its longevity. Here are some tips to help you take care of your rolling backpack:

First, always make sure to clean your backpack after each use to prevent dirt and stains from setting in. Use a damp cloth with mild soap and water to wipe any dirt or grime and let it air dry. Avoid using bleach, harsh detergents or washing machines as they may damage the materials.

Some people believe that waterproofing your backpack will protect it from damage in wet conditions. While this is true to an extent, spraying your backpack with waterproof coating can actually do more harm than good as it may clog the materials' breathability and degrade the quality of the fabrics over time. It's better to invest in a rain cover specifically designed for your brand and model of the rolling backpack instead.

Second, avoid overstuffing your rolling backpack beyond its capacity limits. This can cause excessive pressure on the fabric zippers and seams, which can lead to ripping or tearing. Always pack only what you need for your trip, leaving some room for souvenirs or other items you might acquire during your travels.

Think of it like packing a suitcase - the tighter you pack it, the more likely its contents will shift around during transport. This same principle applies to overloaded rolling backpacks which increases the chances of accidental damage while traveling.

Third, handle your rolling backpack with care when transporting it through airports, rough terrain or crowded spaces. Use both the handle and wheels for level surfaces and stairs when possible but remember that excessive bumping may damage the wheels over time.

With these tips in mind, you'll be sure to get the most out of your rolling backpack and enjoy many happy travels with it!

Key Takeaway 

Proper care for your rolling backpack is essential for its longevity. Clean it after each use, avoid overstuffing beyond its capacity limits, and handle it with care when transporting. Instead of waterproof coating, invest in a rain cover designed for your specific brand and model. With these tips, you can enjoy many happy travels with your trusty backpack!

Most Recommended Rolling Backpack Brands

When it comes to choosing the right rolling backpack for your needs, there are hundreds of models available on the market. To make things easier, we’ve done research and highlighted some of the most popular and reliable brands that travelers swear by:

If you're looking for an all-purpose backpack that is lightweight yet tough enough for heavy use, Eagle Creek is a great option. Their backpacks are made with durable materials that can stand up to rough handling, while still remaining light enough to carry around all day.

Osprey's Farpoint and Farview Wheeled Travel Packs have been gaining popularity over recent years due to their ability to meet carry-on requirements, comfortable backpack straps, and lightweight yet durable construction. These packs are versatile enough to navigate uneven terrain or stairs while providing ample storage space.

For those who prioritize style along with practicality, Thule offers a range of trendy and fashionable options that fit every budget. Their backpacks come in various colors and designs without compromising the functionality and features that matter most to travelers.

Lowe Alpine is another brand worth considering if you're looking for high-quality rolling backpacks designed specifically for travel purposes. They offer ergonomic design features like padded shoulder straps and harnesses for maximum comfort during long periods of carrying.

No matter which brand you choose, each of these brands offers a balance between durability, comfort, functionality, and affordability. Always look for reviews from other buyers before investing in a rolling backpack to ensure that it will suit your traveling needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can adults also use rolling backpacks or are they primarily for children?

Yes, absolutely adults can use rolling backpacks too! In fact, rolling backpacks have become increasingly popular among adults in recent years. According to a survey conducted by the Travel Industry Association, 72% of American adults reported that they travel with wheeled luggage. Rolling backpacks offer the added benefit of being hands-free and easier on your back when navigating airports or commuting to work.

Some may question the style factor of using a rolling backpack as an adult, but many brands now offer sleek and stylish options that cater specifically to adult audiences. Additionally, with the rise of remote work and telecommuting, professionals are looking for convenient and versatile options for carrying their laptops and other work essentials on-the-go.

So don't let anyone tell you that rolling backpacks are just for kids – they are a practical choice for all ages!

What types of materials are used in making rolling backpacks?

Rolling backpacks are designed to be durable and withstand the rigors of frequent use, which is why manufacturers use materials that are both strong and lightweight. The most common materials used in making rolling backpacks include nylon, polyester, ballistic fabric, and PVC.

Nylon is a popular choice for rolling backpacks as it is abrasion-resistant, water-resistant, and easy to clean. Polyester also ranks highly when it comes to durability and water-resistance.

For rolling backpacks meant for heavy-duty use or potential hazardous conditions, manufacturers often opt for ballistic fabric made from extremely thick synthetic fibers that can withstand punctures and tears. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is another sturdy material commonly used in luggage applications due to its resistance to moisture and UV rays.

According to the market research study by P&S Intelligence published in 2019, nylon held the largest market share amongst all materials used in making backpacks during 2014-2018.

Whether you are a student, traveler or just someone who appreciates the convenience of rolling backpacks, you can trust that these bags will be made of high-quality materials that are designed to last.

What are the benefits of using a rolling backpack over a traditional backpack?

Rolling backpacks might have been seen as an aesthetic nightmare a few years ago, but not anymore. These bags are now made for both comfort and style, and that's only part of the list of benefits they offer. Here's why you might need to switch to one:

Firstly, rolling backpacks are better for your body as they distribute weight more evenly than traditional backpacks. According to a study by the American Chiropractic Association, carrying loads that exceed 10% of our body weight strains our posture, especially when we carry them on one shoulder with traditional backpacks. Rolling backpacks allow the weight of the load to be distributed across your back and arms rather than directly onto your shoulders.

Secondly, rolling backpacks offer more storage space than traditional backpacks. It can accommodate books, clothes, and personal items without putting any strain on your muscles while walking or climbing stairs. 

Lastly, using a rolling backpack eliminates the risks of tripping or falling due to excess weight on your back or should bags slip off one shoulder. With most rolling backpacks having sturdy bases and wheels, it's much easier to maneuver through crowded streets or airports while keeping your belongings safe.

Switching to a rolling backpack has many benefits like even distribution of weight resulting in better posture of its user, ample storage space available in it can accommodate more belongings compared to traditional ones and eliminating falling or tripping risk making it ideal for those always on the move.

Are there any disadvantages to using a rolling backpack?

Despite its numerous benefits, rolling backpacks do have a few drawbacks. For one, they can be quite heavy even when empty, which can cause strain on the back and shoulders when carried up stairs or over rough terrain. 

Additionally, the wheels on rolling backpacks can sometimes get caught on uneven surfaces like rocks or gravel, making it difficult to maneuver. Furthermore, their larger size may not fit into smaller spaces such as lockers or under desks, which can be inconvenient for students who are always on the go.

Overall, while there are some potential drawbacks to using a rolling backpack, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages for most people. To avoid potential problems associated with heavy weight, it's recommended that users only pack what they need and ensure the backpack is properly balanced before rolling it around.

What are some popular brands that offer rolling backpacks?

When it comes to choosing a rolling backpack, there are several popular brands that have gained a solid reputation in the market. These are Targus, Samsonite, JanSport, High Sierra, and Olympia.

Targus is known for its high quality and durability. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by Consumer Reports, Targus is ranked as the number one brand when it comes to backpacks. Their rolling backpacks are no exception, with features such as padded laptop compartments and durable wheels.

Samsonite is another well-known brand with a large selection of rolling backpacks. Their products are designed with both style and functionality in mind, making them perfect for business or casual use.

JanSport has been in the backpack industry for over 50 years, and their legacy speaks for itself. They offer a wide range of rolling backpack designs that cater to different needs and preferences.

High Sierra is also a popular choice among consumers thanks to its emphasis on comfort and convenience. Their rolling backpacks feature padded straps and multiple compartments for organization.

Last but not least, Olympia has made a name for themselves by creating rolling backpacks that are both lightweight and affordable while still maintaining quality construction.

Overall, it's important to choose a reputable brand when selecting a rolling backpack as it guarantees better quality products backed by positive customer reviews and years of experience in the industry.

About the author

Keith is a one bag traveler and the owner of Backpacks Global. His go to backpack is the Osprey FarPoint 40.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}