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Rick Steves Rolling Backpack

One of my readers has asked me to recommend a rolling backpack. I'm not up on these but know of the RS one.

If anyone has one:

Question #1: are any of the zippered compartments lockable? I know his new zipper pulls have no holes (The main compartment looks lockable but it's hard to tell from the photos.)
Question #2: are the dimensions given, 20 x 14 x 7, including wheels and handles?
Question #3: Has anyone checked it in successfully?
Question #4: When wearing as a backpack, does any dirt on the wheels get on your clothes?


Posted by
32263 posts

Frank II,

I've looked at the bags when I've been at ETBD, and I believe all zippers are the same (solid metal). It probably wouldn't be hard to drill small holes in the zipper pulls which would allow them to be locked together with the Cable Lock that ETBD sells. I've been using a couple of those locks for several years and they've been very useful.

Locking of zippered luggage is of course only of limited value, as there are methods of opening the zippers with something as simple as a ball point pen. I lock my Packs more to keep them from opening during transit (which has happened), but it also provides limited security

Hopefully you can dissuade them from using a Rolling Backpack, as it's not the best solution.

Posted by
295 posts

I work in the retail store and know this bag very well. For #1 the main compartment zipper, interlock, or kiss so its easy to lock. There are 3 outer compartments. One can't lock at all and is designed to hold small items or papers. The other 2 outer pockets can be locked. Its tricky since they don't interlock but a lock can fit at the base of the zipper pulls. #2 If the bag is standing the height is 20 inches including the wheels and handle. Its closer to 13 1/2 instead of 14 and then 7 but that could change depending on how much you fill it. #3 I have checked it without problems but usually I carry it on since its a legal carry on. #4 This one can go either way. Depending on your body type they might rub against you or not. For me they don't hit me but instead go outside of my hip area. Either way I would simply wipe them quickly off before wearing as a backpack. Hope that helps.