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Wheeled Backpack

I got some good feedback regarding a prior post of wheeled suitcase vs. a backpack for a 2 week trip in Italy (me and my wife). A wheeled backpack seems like it would be the best of both worlds. You can carry it on your back and roll it when your back gets tired. Does anyone have recommendatoins for a reasonably priced wheeled backpack. We will be in Italy for 2 week in late September and early October. Not quite sure just yet what type of clothing we will need for the weather.

Posted by
66 posts

I spent hours and hours researching wheeled bags that I could also wear on my back. I just bought a 20" High Sierra "wheeled duffel" that also turns into a backpack from the REI outlet. It expands 2" by unzipping a zipper and really holds much more than I thought it would when I first saw it. Fairly light for a wheeled item and available for under $100.

High Sierra also makes a several sizes of wheeled backpacks; REI also has a couple of them on their outlet site. REI has their own store brand of wheeled backpacks, but they are closer to $200.

Good luck!

Just be aware that almost ANYTHING with wheels will not be eligible as a carry-on; you will need to check it. The wheeled backpacks with the detachable daypack might be a good idea; check the main body and use the daypack as a carryon.

Posted by
850 posts

I have not had a problem with a wheeled suitcase as carry on luggage. Our last flight was with Delta and we checked their rules on the size and ours fit their requirements. Packing light with only carry on has been our way the past three trips and each time no checked luggage. We wash our clothes in our room and if we run out of toiletries, etc we purchase there. If you go with wheeled suitcases just make sure you measure yours and check the airlines requirements. I would prefer to go without wheels than have to check baggage. Whether 1, 2 or 3 weeks we get by with just about the same clothing. Took two pair of shoes on our 3 week trip in May and only wore the second pair one time so next time I will only take one pair. My wife used both pairs quite a lot so she will stay with 2 pair.

Posted by
66 posts

Lane: I don't want to argue with you, but the wheeled backpacks (which is what Bob was asking about) are somewhat deeper than a wheeled suitcase - hence the problem with carryon.
I agree that they need to figure out which airline they are flying on - and don't pick Lufthansa if you want to carry on a wheeled bag that holds more than 1500 cu in - their carry-on requirements are the strictest of them all.
Best regards,

Posted by
2 posts

I've never had a problem carrying on my wheeled backpack, on several different airlines. I'm curious which airlines wouldn't allow you to do this.

Posted by
1540 posts

I have a combo wheelie backpack - Eagle Creek.
I have had it for years and it is great.
I can use wheelie, or pull out the straps for backpack, or it also has a clip-on/clip-off shoulder strap.
It is the "legal" carry-on size and it has been around the world......

Posted by
23236 posts

I think the prior postings are all slightly correct and slightly in error. There is no guarantee, that a wheeled back pack will always be allowed as carry on. This is an area subject to judgement calls and checkin gate agents --- and subject to change. Over the last couple of years we have seen the wheeled backpack being subjected to the box test and most failing because of the wheels and handles. I think Lufthansa is the worse (or does the most checking) but have encourntered the box on both United and British Air.

Posted by
423 posts

When I have researched carryon luggage restrictions with various US airlines, it usually states that the length + width + height cannot exceed 45 inches. But the "sizer" at the airport is the real guide. I actually took my tape measure and measured it once. It is 14 x 9 x 22inches. Now I measure my carryon and have not been forced to check it. Now finding room on board the plane is another challenge.

Posted by
1633 posts

My son uses an Eagle Creek Switchback Modular 22--several years old. It's a backback and has the skate wheels. Also has a removeable backpack for day trips. It has worked out great. On the way home last week, we took it on the plane with all of our breakable souvenirs. Had to remove the zippered backpack so it would fit up above, but had no problems. Whenever we are walking to find our hotel (cobblestone or not) and I have a fullsize backpack on, I always look at my son with envy. I always think, next trip I'm getting a wheeled backpack. You're lucky to go to Italy in the fall. We were at the Vatican in 41 degree centrigrade. I would still take the longer type shorts, capri pants and sleeveless/short sleeve tops. Of course, a skirt for the Vatican and churches. We always pack a windbreaker, rainy weather type jacket that can fold up into its own pocket for easy packing (REI). Have fun.