Looking for the best backpacks with wheels for travel? Look no further, we’re comparing the best travel backpacks with wheels today and I’ll show you how to choose the perfect wheeled backpack for you.
Over the last 16 years of backpacking, I have had my fair share of backpacks and suitcases and currently, I own (and love) the Osprey Women’s Aura Ag 65 Backpack.
However, these days I suffer from a bad back when I travel which has had me lusting after wheeled backpacks instead.
Backpacks on wheels are perfect for travelling as they work in just about every scenario. Cobbled alleyway? Put it on your back. Long walk to get to your hotel? Use it as a wheeled case. You get the best of both worlds!
So I turned to my travel blogging colleagues and asked them which were the best backpacks on wheels for travel?
It’s helped me to narrow down my options and choose the best wheeled backpack for me.
I hope after reading their wheeled backpack reviews, that you will have a better idea about which is the best backpacks with wheels that will suit your own style of backpacking…
What you can expect from this article...
- 1 Best Backpacks on wheels for travel in 2020
- 2 Choosing the best backpack on wheels for travel
- 2.1 What features to look for in the best wheeled backpacks for travel
- 2.2 Where to buy your backpack with wheels
- 2.3 Should I buy a wheeled backpack?
- 2.4 Pros of backpacks on wheels for travel
- 2.5 Cons of Travel Backpacks with wheels
- 2.6 Which is the cheapest wheeled backpack for travel?
- 2.7 Which is the best travel backpack with wheels for people who can’t pack light?
- 2.8 Which is the best-wheeled backpack for hand luggage?
- 2.9 Which is the best men’s backpack with wheels for travel?
- 2.10 Which is the best women’s backpack with wheels for travel?
- 2.11 The Overall Best backpack with wheels for travel
Best Backpacks on wheels for travel in 2020
Best wheeled backpacks for travel at a glance
- Best wheeled backpack for women – Osprey Fairview
- Best backpack on wheels for men – Osprey Farpoint
- Cheapest backpack on wheels – The Cabin Max
- Best hand luggage-sized wheeled backpack – The Onli Travel bag (US) or Antler Urbanite (UK)
The best backpacks on wheels for travel as suggested by travel bloggers
The Cabin Max
Suggested by Sinead from Map Made Memories
I love my Cabin Max backpack with wheels. My bag has visited over 33 countries and has survived bouncing across cobblestoned historic cities, being dragged across beaches or forest floors and up and down staircases all over the world. It has been squashed into every sort of vehicle.
Cabin Max has proved to me that they make tough, durable bags. The extendable handle is strong and packs away into a secure zipped cover. The small wheels are sturdy and have not cracked or chipped during my travels.
My hybrid bag has two sections with an array of different sized, practical pockets.
Adjustable side clips help the bag to squeeze down to cabin bag proportions. I love the fact that I can carry my bag like a backpack when I want to or, in hot climates or when I am particularly tired, I can pull my bag.
The adjustable padded backpack straps zip away into their own protective pocket.
- Excellent value for money as Cabin Max bags are more affordable than other wheeled backpacks
- Available in carry on sizes
- Available in a range of colours
- No waist strap for extra support and comfort when carrying as a backpack
Read other reviews of the Cabin Max HERE
The Antler Urbanite
Suggested by Daniel from Layer Culture
If you are looking for a quality backpack with wheels that you can travel with and not have to check it in at the airport, the Antler Urbanite is a great choice.
I have travelled all over the world with this backpack and have moved around with confidence knowing I can rely on the backpack’s sturdy materials.
The Antler Urbanite is made from crinkle nylon which offers you a hard-wearing fabric that is not only waterproof but can withhold the strain of any adventure you may be thinking of embarking on.
I use it more as a business backpack due to its specifically designed carry-on dimensions and formal external styling.
Another great feature, however, is the sheer amount of pocket space for holding items.
For me, its ability to carry a large capacity makes it by far the most strongly constructed backpack I have owed.
- Doubles as a backpack and suitcase with wheels
- TSA-Approved Lock included
- Comes with a laptop/document sleeve
- Fairly heavy compared to other backpacks
- Colours available are not so desirable
- The outer pockets are bulky when filled
- Only available in UK currently
Read Antler Urbanite Reviews online HERE
Osprey Fairview Wheeled Travel Pack 65L
Recommended by Delilah from Our Travel Mix
The Osprey Fairview Travel Pack comes in various sizes. The non-wheeled option comes in 40L and 70L, and the wheeled version comes near their biggest size at 65L.
The best feature of the Fairview Travel Pack is its design. The pack is manufactured specifically for women, being shorter and length and wider. This means the pack is a lot more comfortable to carry, and the hip belt fits snug around the right place. The padded shoulder straps and mesh back panel give added comfort.
While there technically isn’t a correct way to pack your bag, there are better ways than others. Being a front-loader, packing is a lot easier with the Fairview compared to a top-loader. There’s also a 13L detachable day pack which you can clip onto your front to better distribute the weight of the bag when it is on your back.
- Designed for women
- Padded straps and a mesh back panel
- Detachable 13L day pack
- A full bag will be less than 20 kg
- Wheels weigh the backpack down
- 5L less space than Osprey’s non-wheeled equivalent
- Too large for a carry-on item
Read Osprey Fairview reviews online HERE
Osprey Farpoint 65 L wheeled backpack
Suggested by Lee from The Travel Scribes
Most travellers and backpackers will tell you that Osprey is the gold standard in the industry, and the Farpoint series is the star in the Osprey line-up, winning a slew of awards.
The larger end of the spectrum, the Farpoint 65 litre, sees you get a great ‘convertible’ case, essentially a wheeled bag that becomes a backpack, giving you the best of both worlds!
You’ll love that you can drag it along the airport terminal but, when you’re faced with cobblestones or a muddy journey, sling the pack onto your back.
What’s more, Farpoint 65 L is a very smartly designed bag, giving you pockets for all your niggly items plus you can even attached the Daylite pack, to give yourself even more room!
- Very lightweight, especially for a wheeled backpack
- Front-loading back which means it is far easier to load and unload your luggage, even without packing cubes
- Very comfortable shoulder pads with good padding and the hip belt is well-positioned for both men and women
- Has strong compression straps on the front, to help you pull the contents together
- Clever, functional pocket storage –the top zippered pouch is great for last-minute items (especially all your ‘liquids’ and passport)
- Because of the telescopic handle, the inside base is a bit awkward as its not flat, making it slightly more difficult to pack
- The front mesh pockets can’t be accessed when the straps are clipped over, meaning your water bottle and shoes wouldn’t be accessible
- The handle is ‘single stem’ making it a little bit uncomfortable to pull for extended periods
- While the top pouch is great for items in airports, it can be very accessible for pickpockets and thieves
Read Osprey Fairpoint reviews online HERE
Please note the Fairview and Farpoint are very similar. the main difference is the fit. The Fairview is better suited for smaller body frames and usually suits women better than the Farpoint.
The Osprey Ozone 75
Suggested by Bridget at The FlashPacker
The Osprey Ozone 75 is the perfect backpack on wheels for longer trips, its roomy 75L capacity easily able to accommodate all your clobber. And with deceptively robust construction for its weight, you are less at the mercy of baggage handlers.
- Super lightweight, tipping the scales at 2.4kg
- Multiple storage compartments to organise your packing, including an easy-to-access front compartment and a stuff pocket at the top of the pack. It also features a rear pocket for magazines and papers with a pocket for a retractable ID card.
- Internal and external compression straps to secure your items
- The bag unzips to allow you to pack the bag like a suitcase. This zip is lockable for security
- Comfortable ergonomic handle and robust wheels make this travel bag a joy to manoeuvre
- Comes in colours other than grey or black (mine is a lovely shade of burgundy!)
- Not carry-on size. This is one that you’ll have to check in folks!
- Does not convert to a strap-on backpack
Read reviews of the Osprey Ozone HERE
The Onli Travel Bag
Suggested by Michelle from Travel After Five
I had the opportunity to try the Onli Travel Bag this past year, and I think it is an awesome option for someone looking for a backpack with wheels.
The Onli Travel Venture Rolling Pack is a one-bag solution that comes with two separate backpacks that zip to the roller bag, so you only need to carry one bag while travelling.
This is especially great if you are travelling for work, and need to use a carry-on, but also want a backpack for the office.
Overall, the Onli Travel Venture Rolling pack is a really unique solution that’s worth checking out.
- Zip-off backpacks, so you don’t need to carry your entire suitcase while sightseeing.
- Two backpack options, so you can choose the size of your bag dependent on your day.
- The number of flexible options can be overwhelming at first, and it takes a few moments to understand all of your configurations with this system.
- Currently only available in the US
Read Reviews of the Onli Travel System HERE
High Sierra Composite V3
Suggested by Allison from Flights To Fancy
I love my High Sierra Composite V3 rolling backpack. Whether I am making one of my monthly trips to Melbourne for work, traipsing through Cambodia for two weeks, catching a high-speed train between Osaka and Tokyo or navigating a precarious boarding on the ferry from Phuket to Koh Lanta, my trusty High Sierra has never let me down.
In an effort to travel lighter, The Hubs and I treated ourselves to one of these beauties each about two years ago. We have used them extensively for every trip since.
The High Sierra Composite range has multiple styles and choices. I have the smallest size from the original range in blue and The Hubs has the same in black.
I’m not going to lie, fitting 2 weeks of clothes into a 37-litre capacity bag takes some practice, but I feel like I have finally nailed it. If you are not so confident go for one of the larger sizes. Some retailers even offer bundle deals so you can buy all three sizes together a little cheaper.
- The 56cm is carry on compatible
- Larger sizes available
- Competitive price
- Separate compartment for shoes or wet items
- Sperate compartment for paperwork and/or laptop
- Large zippered opening for easy access and package
- Comfortable straps when used as a backpack
- Telescopic handle for easy wheeling
- Water Resistant Fabric
- Only 2 colour choices
- Heavier than some at 2.3kgs (56cm size)
- Currently only available in Australia
Caribee Skymaster 80L
Suggested by Bella from Passport and Pixels
The Caribee Skymaster is the wheely backpack suitcase all-in-one for people who can’t pack light.
As a photographer I always carry loads of extra gear – plus I always pack for every eventuality and find it astonishing how some people manage to travel with hand luggage only. If you’re one of those people, look away now. This thing is a beast!
It’s got a massive 80L of space, so if your airline lets you bring 23kg you’ll be able to make the most of it. But it’s super rugged, with really thick fabric, strong zips and sturdy wheels.
On the front, there’s a zip-off day pack which is great for day trips or to fill with souvenirs on the way home.
And it has both wheels and a handle to pull it along, and a zip-away backpack section with comfy straps and waist support for when you need to carry it. If you fill it full, that’ll be a challenge – but it’s really great to have the option for difficult surfaces like beaches and gravel roads.
- It’s big enough to fit everything you could possibly need
- It’s really rugged
- The zip-off day pack is super helpful
- Even though it’s basically a massive suitcase, it also looks and performs like a backpack, so you can turn up with a lot of stuff and still pretend you’re a cool backpacker
- The size means it’s hard to carry for long when it’s full
- Having wheels AND straps makes the bag itself heavier than regular suitcases or backpacks
- You’ll probably end up wheeling it most of the time, which means you may be better off just using a normal suitcase if you’re not going anywhere off-road
- Only available in the UK currently
Read reviews of the Caribee Skymaster HERE
|Cabin Max Carry on Luggage Rolling Backpack with Wheels 22x14x9"||Prime||Click to buy here|
|Osprey Ozone Wheeled Carry-on 42L/21.5, Buoyant Blue||Prime||Click to buy here|
|Osprey Packs Farpoint Wheeled 65L Travel Pack Petrol Blue, One Size||Prime||Click to buy here|
|Osprey Packs Fairview 65 Women's Wheeled Luggage, Black||Prime||Click to buy here|
|Onli Travel Venture Rolling Pack - Modular 3-part rolling bag - zip apart to avoid checking - TSA checkpoint friendly!||Prime||Click to buy here|
Choosing the best backpack on wheels for travel
What features to look for in the best wheeled backpacks for travel
Possibly the most important factor – how does it fit? Make sure you try your wheeled backpack on when it’s filled as it will fit slightly differently with some weight in it. Do this as soon as you get it so they you can return it if there are any comfort problems. Also read reviews and focus on things such as comfort of straps and shape etc.
Look for quality materials which are durable with strong zippers. Again, reviews can be useful to read. I’ve included links to reviews for all of the above suggestions.
Since you will be carrying your luggage on your back on occasion, you want it to be light as possible with a lightweight frame. Also some airlines have limited luggage allowances so you don’t want your empty backpack eating too much into your weight allowance!
In general 35-40L is enough for a short trip under a week (or those who are capable of travelling very light!) In general, if you are travelling for longer than a week, you’ll need between 50-65 l.
Detachable day bag
Some of these wheeled backpacks comes with detachable day bags which is a really useful feature.
The number and size of pockets is one of the things I look at first in a backpack. I like to have lots of different sized pockets so I can easily separate things and always know where to find them. If I don’t have multiple pockets then I will usually use packing cubes to help organise my luggage.
Some backpacks open from the top and others front the front. In general, front loading backpacks are easier for seeing what’s what at a glance.
Top loading backpacks often require you to pull everything out to find something at the bottom.
However, top-loading backpacks are a. bit easier to squish down and make use of the space.
Check if the material is water resistant or atleast comes with a. rain cover to help protect your belongings should you get caught in a rain storm.
Where to buy your backpack with wheels
I usually buy most of my travel gear on Amazon. They have a lot of choice and offer next day delivery ( or at least within 2 days if you live somewhere remote) with Amazon Prime. They also have an easy returns and refund policy.
I’m usually a last-minute packer and often realise at the last moment that I’m missing something some backpacking essentials. I’d be totally lost without Amazon prime. If you don’t already have it, you can get a free month’s trial here.
Should I buy a wheeled backpack?
If you are staying in flashy resorts for the duration of your holiday, you probably don’t need a backpack with wheels. A suitcase may be more suitable.
If you are camping and hiking then again, a wheeled backpack is probably not for you as they are generally a little heavier and bulkier than your average backpack.
If you are backpacking through towns and cities and will be on the move regularly, a wheeled backpack may be perfect for you.
Pros of backpacks on wheels for travel
Whenever you have a flat surface, you can switch the wheeled mode and give your back a rest. Equally, if you have 4 flights of stairs to climb or a cobbled street to navigate, you can quickly convert it to a backpack. Essentially it gives you the best of both worlds.
Some have an inbuilt day bag which you can detach and use for day trips.
Cons of Travel Backpacks with wheels
In general, wheeled backpacks are heavier and more bulky as they have the additional weight of the frame.
Therefore if you . are always right at the upper end of your luggage weight limit, you might want to think twice OR buy a slightly larger model.
Which is the cheapest wheeled backpack for travel?
The Cabin Max is the most affordable wheeled backpack we compared. That said, though the Ospreys’s are significantly more pricey, they will last a lifetime and probably work out more cost-effective longterm!
Which is the best travel backpack with wheels for people who can’t pack light?
The Carribee Skymaster is an absolute beast of a backpack with wheels with a whopping 80L capacity. Perfect for those who simply cannot travel light. But if you fill it up, you may struggle to carry it as a backpack!
Which is the best-wheeled backpack for hand luggage?
The Onli Travel Bag is a really unique concept and I think is probably the best hand luggage sized wheeled backpack. It’s only a shame that it is currently only available in the US.
Which is the best men’s backpack with wheels for travel?
The Osprey Farpoint really stands out for design, style and quality. It is better suited for men or for taller, broader women.
Which is the best women’s backpack with wheels for travel?
The Osprey Fairview is almost identical to the Farpoint but is designed with women in mind. The differences are in the straps and waist belt which is designed for smaller body frames.
The Overall Best backpack with wheels for travel
Thanks to my colleagues for helping me decide!
Do you feel more confident to choose between these backpacks on wheels for travel? Which do you think is right for you?
If you have any questions about these wheeled backpacks, pop them in the comments below.
Don’t forget to pin this to come back to later!