The 8 Best Rolling Backpacks to Buy in 2018

Keep their backs healthy with these smart choices

Second grade girls roll backpacks in school.
Jonathan Kirn / Getty Images

School backpacks used to contain just a few books, a pad and pencil and maybe some lunch from home. Nowadays kids are just as likely to be carrying bulky sports equipment, a change of clothes, a heavy laptop and all the traditional school supplies. As extracurricular activities have become more popular it's also likely that your child will be carrying all this stuff for up to 12 hours a day, which is why ergonomic and back safe designs are so important.

The American Academy of Pediatrics...MORE (AAP) warns that a backpack should never weigh more than 10-20% of your child's body weight to avoid muscle strains. The solution is to use a rolling backpack which will allow your child to pull their supplies along with ease and is the official recommendation from the AAP.

But parents will need to ensure that they choose one with a padded back and shoulders as they may still sometimes need to be worn on the back, like when going up and down stairs, over rough terrain or if the weather is inclement.

These are the best rolling backpacks for every stage of your child's education. 

  • ll-bean-rolling-backpack

    Best Overall: Rolling Deluxe Book Pack

    This classic is still an all-time fan-favorite with its durable style, various color choices, personalization options and more. This model is suited for children ten and up and measures 19"x 14" x 9½". The backpack weighs 5.3 pounds and can hold up to 25 pounds making it an ideal option for middle schoolers and above. It's made of a weatherproof material that will keep the contents dry if rain strikes. It also has a reflective strip making your child noticeable at night and an...MORE audio cord port so they can thread their headphones through seamlessly.

    If you are looking for a comfortable backpack that will be with your child for the long haul look no further than this rolling backpack. 

  • Best for Elementary Schoolers: J World New York Sparkle Kids Rolling Backpack

    Little kids tend to have less to carry for shorter amounts of time but at this stage, it’s important to teach your child back safety tips, like bending their knees to pick up heavy items and wearing both straps of their backpack when carrying it. Available in six fun designs your child can choose from a collection of pink sparkles, cars, stars and flowers to suit their unique personality and interests. The telescoping single handle transforms this school bag into a back safe pull along. The...MORE 15" x 10" x  5" backpack provides enough space for school supplies, projects and books and the soundless wheels will be appreciated by teachers as they roll on down the corridors. When worn as a backpack the air cushioned mesh panel keeps kids cool and comfortable. Consistently receiving high customer feedback ratings this rolling backpack is a quality, durable option.

  • Best for Middle Schoolers: Meetbelify Kids Rolling Backpacks

    In middle school, academic expectations start to ramp up, kids take more courses and have to carry heavier loads for longer. But they are still kids and want to run off and play when the opportunity arises. The sturdy Meetbelify bag stands up by itself so kids can, well, be kids, without having to worry about their bag toppling over and getting dirty. It’s made of a waterproof-material in plain black with a variety of accent colors to choose from, even walking home in the rain needn't be an...MORE issue.

    Measuring 18.9” x 12.6" x 6.3" there’s enough room for everything your big kid might need, including two sides mesh pockets for a water bottle or umbrella. With the six durable wheels that can even climb stairs, they’ll be on their way to class and beyond in no time.

  • Best for Laptops: Racini Nylon Waterproof Rolling Backpack

    The large separate and shock proof compartment inside this waterproof backpack is a safe place to store teen’s electronics including room to hold a 17.3-inch laptop. The theft proof zippers will also help to ensure educational valuables make it home at the end of the school day. The aluminum hideaway handle can be adjusted to different heights as kids grow and take this bag from their back to a convenient and comfortable rolling option. The 13” x 8.67’ x 20.87’ inch dimensions provide plenty of...MORE space for every book, supply and resource student's could need. Rolling backpacks tend to be quite a bit heavier than traditional bags due to the added weight of wheels, a frame, and a handle. This model is 6.7 pounds before kids stuff all their heavy items inside, so be sure to remind your children to roll it for the majority of the day and only wear it as a backpack when truly necessary to avoid back and shoulder strain.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • Best for High Schoolers: High Sierra Rev Wheeled Laptop Backpack

    High school students will appreciate the understated design of this bag available in four sleek color options; black, slate, mercury and navy blue. The inline skate style wheels provide a smooth feel, while the fully padded inside compartment is the perfect spot for up to a 17" size laptop computer. The telescoping handle pushes down into its own compartment with a zippered cover and the backpack straps pack away when not in use. This bag opens like a book to allow quick packing and...MORE unpacking and also features multiple interior pockets including a zippered mesh pocket, pen pockets and a hook to store their keys, helping teens to get and stay organized.

  • Best Budget: Rockland Luggage 17 Inch Rolling Backpack

    If you're new to to world of rolling backpacks and want to test an inexpensive option before taking the full plunge, try this option from Rockland Luggage. This basic rolling backpack has a large main compartment for storing books, electronics, and other big items, plus a smaller front pocket. The front pocket has an inner organizer for keeping pens, earbuds, and other small knick knacks squared away.

    At under $30, this rolling backpack is a steal that is perfect for school or travel....MORE Reviewers say the handle extends long enough that this bag can be used by children and adults alike. You can choose from a variety of colors and designs as well.

  • JWorld Lollipop Rolling Backpack with Lunch Bag

    Best Set: JWorld Lollipop Rolling Backpack with Lunch Bag

    This cute rolling bag, available in seven colors and designs will appeal to both boys and girls and comes complete with a matching lunch box for a streamlined school look. The backpack straps tuck away into a mesh compartment when kids decide to push or pull their bag and give their backs a rest. The plastic base prevents rips and snags to the fabric when it is wheeled along and helps to keep it clean and sanitary with a quick antibacterial wipe. The front pocket has space for pencil and pens,...MORE and a zippered section for keeping keys or change secure. The dimensions of this bag are 6.0” x 12.5" x 6.0" and it provides plenty of space for notepads, books and supplies. 

  • Best for Travel: JanSport Driver 8 Core Series Wheeled Backpack

    Traveling can take a toll on your body, from spending long hours on a plane or in a car to dealing with heavy luggage. Make your trip easier on your back and body with the JanSport Driver 8. The nylon fabric is durable and easy to wipe clean. This rolling backpack also features two large compartments with zip closures, on of which has a laptop sleeve to keep your electronics safe during your travels. This bag also features a utility pocket and a side water bottle compartment so you can keep...MORE hydrated. There are also two shoulder straps so if you want to carry this bag like a normal backpack, you can.

    And with JanSport's lifetime warranty, you'll surely use this backpack for years to come. Reviewers rave about this bag's ample space, durability, and overall usefulness for their commutes and travels.

At The Spruce, our Expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.