Whether you need something for business travel, your daily commute to work or college classes, vacation, or are prepping for the back-to-school season, there's a wheelable backpack out there for you.
Rolling backpacks offer enough space and pockets for all of your work or school essentials without the stress on your back and shoulders. Plus, many options are super stylish and come in a variety of different colors to choose from.
When browsing options, you'll want to consider the size, material, pockets, and compartments. We researched the best rolling backpacks on the market to help you find the perfect one for you.
Matein Waterproof Rolling Backpack
Lots of storage compartments
Designated laptop sleeve
Doesn't fit as a personal item
For the best in quality, performance, and aesthetics, the winner is without a doubt made by MATEIN. Most traditional backpacks are made of polyester, but this option also features a water-resistant construction, and the bottom panel is completely waterproof.
This wheelable pack has a roomy main compartment, a built-in sleeve for laptops up to 17 inches, a zippered file holder, and a separate multi-pocket compartment for organizing all your smaller items. There's also a larger option for commuters or college students that have a bit more gear to tout every day. Just note, this option may be too large for a personal item on a flight.
Slightly larger than most standard rolling backpacks, this pack has a 35-liter capacity, so it’s great for kids looking for a pack they can grow into and keep for years to come. The pull handle can be conveniently tucked into the unit or locked into place at two different heights. There are also well-padded shoulder straps in case it needs to be carried from time to time.
Price at time of publish: $80
Size: 19.6 x 13 x 9 inches | Material: Polyester, aluminum handle | Extra Features: Waterproof, laptop pocket, 2 mesh water bottle pockets | Number of Wheels: 2
Rockland Double Handle Rolling Backpack
Lots of colors
Suitable for adults or kids
The wallet-friendly Rockland Double Handle Rolling Backpack is an excellent choice for adults and kids alike. Note that it's slightly smaller than average, but the compact design makes it all the more portable.
This backpack-suitcase combo is made of durable polyester with a plastic stand and a metal telescoping handle. It comes in a handful of colors and patterns, including sophisticated neutrals, polka dots, and leopard print.
Price at time of publish: $80
Size: 13 x 10 x 17 inches | Material: Polyester, plastic | Extra Features: Side mesh water bottle holder, telescoping handle | Number of Wheels: 4
Targus Compact Compact Rolling Backpack
Designated laptop sleeve
Heavy for its size
Targus' Compact Rolling Business and Travel Commuter Backpack is a great lightweight and reliable pack versatile enough for everyday use that's also durable enough for travel. Stash away your on-the-go food containers in the large, main zippered compartment with a fully-padded interior sleeve designed to fit laptops up to 16 inches, and two mesh pockets on either side of the exterior.
Made with durable polyester and a soft-touch neoprene carrying top handle, it’s resistant to wear and tear and includes quiet roller wheels for a smooth commute. Its retractable handle is easy to use and the optional tuck-away shoulder straps convert it into a traditional backpack when needed. The best part? An optional extended compartment for when you need to pack a little heavier.
Price at time of publish: $135
Size: 13.8 x 9 x 19 inches | Material: Polyester, neoprene | Extra Features: Laptop pocket, two side mesh pockets/water bottle holder | Number of Wheels: 2
Best for Kids
J World Sunrise 18" Rolling Backpack
Suitable for children
Comes in kid-friendly prints
Wheels may wear if bag is overstuffed
The J World Sunrise is an excellent kid-friendly backpack that we loved during testing. It comes in several kid-friendly prints, like strawberries, colorful dots, and owls, as well as some simpler hues.
Air-mesh cushioned shoulder straps make it comfy to carry, while a push-button handle and smooth wheels allow kiddos to roll it around with ease. We also like that it has a mesh water bottle pocket, a key fob, and a pencil holder. Inside, there are plenty of pockets and organizers to store books and other school supplies. During testing, the backpack withstood being maneuvered multiple times by a 3-year-old, proving its durability. Even when using it in the rain, we noticed no stains or odor. The only concern we have it about posture for kids when using a rolling backpack, but this one easily converts to a normal backpack if the child prefers.
Price at time of publish: $75
Size: 18 x 13 x 9 inches | Material: Polyester, metal handle | Extra Features: Airflow back panel, water resistant, reflecting tape, 2 mesh water bottle pockets | Number of Wheels: 2
Best for Travel
Swiss Army Victorinox VX Sport Wheeled Cadet Backpack
Designated laptop sleeve
Meets carry-on size requirements
Wheels may be noisy
If you've got a trip coming up, you might consider getting this rolling backpack from Swiss Army. "The Victorinox is an easy choice with an affordable price-point and quality," says travel expert Sarah Dandashy of Ask a Concierge. "Its look is a little more rugged, but you can never go wrong with anything Victorinox."
This pick is spacious for your essentials, like a toiletries bag, but still compact enough to pass as a carry-on for air travel. Also, it has a padded laptop sleeve, an electronics pocket, and zip-away shoulder straps for ultimate convenience and versatility.
Price at time of publish: $190
Size: 20.8 x 14.4 x 10.23 inches | Material: Polyester | Extra Features: Laptop pocket, padded straps, built-in air-flow channels | Number of Wheels: 2
Netpack Stand Alone 35" 2 Wheeled Travel Duffel
Spacious main compartment
Only one color option
Need something a bit more spacious? Check out this rolling duffle bag from Netpack. You'll have plenty of packing room in the main compartment, not to mention the four side pockets.
The durable outer material is laminated for moisture resistance, and a thermoplastic frame helps it stand up straight without support. Ball-bearing wheels and a gripped telescope handle make this versatile luggage easy to tote around too.
Price at time of publish: $181
Size: 14 x 16 x 35 inches | Material: Polyurethane, vinyl, nylon | Extra Features: Water resistant, non-slip strap | Number of Wheels: 2
Best for College Students
Yorepek Backpack with Wheels
Sturdy and stable
Not many pockets
Whether walking around campus or traveling from class to class, college students have a ton of essentials they need on hand at all times. This sleek rolling backpack easily fits a laptop or tablet, textbooks, notebooks, binders, and more—making it a gift a college student can really use, along with shower totes and gripper socks. Stick a water bottle or umbrella in the side mesh pockets and you're on your way.
The water-resistant polyester fabric proves durable and sturdy, while an adjustable handle and cushioned straps make this pick perfect for all types of students. There's even an external USB charging port to keep all of your college student's devices charged on the go.
Price at time of publish: $100
Size: 13 x 9 x 19 inches | Material: Polyester fabric | Extra Features: Laptop sleeve, cushioned straps, water bottle holder | Number of Wheels: 2
Everest Deluxe Wheeled Backpack
Fits under airport seats
Fun colors and designs
Not as sturdy as other options
For a lightweight option that won't hurt your back or your arms when pulling, look to the Everest rolling backpack. At just four pounds, this pick doesn't sacrifice space: It provides tons of pockets for office or travel essentials, like a trusty notebook. The backpack features two main compartments, six front pockets, and three side pockets so everything stays organized and accessible. We love that it comes in fun color options like bright pink or turquoise blue.
Price at time of publish: $60
Size: 13 x 7 x 18.5 inches | Material: Not Listed | Extra Features: Six front pockets, three side pockets | Number of Wheels: 2
Best for Laptops
Ambor Rolling Backpack
Fits large laptop
Backpack unzips fully so content may fall out
If you need to transport a large laptop to or from class or work, consider the rolling backpack from Ambor. It fits a laptop up to 15.6 inches in a padded, protective sleeve. Additionally, it includes a compartment for files, tablets, or E-readers and side compartments for water bottles or umbrellas.
Unlike other picks, the Ambor backpack has a cover for your wheels when worn as a backpack. This way, dirt from the wheels won't get on your back or clothes. The anti-tear fabric resists water as well, for a truly durable and long-lasting luggage option.
Price at time of publish: $90
Size: 21 x 14 x 7 inches | Material: Polyester | Extra Features: Laptop sleeve, tablet compartment, water bottle holder | Number of Wheels: 2
Tilami Rolling Backpack
Comes with lunch bag
Bag can tip over if full
From cacti and kiwis to dinosaurs and donuts, Tilami has all of the fun designs to make back to school or back to the office a bit more exciting. The multiple compartments can hold books, laptops, and more, while the wheel covers keep your clothes clean.
Even better, this option comes with a matching lunch bag, so your elementary or middle schooler has everything they need for their day. They can choose their favorite print for a cohesive look for their school essentials.
Price at time of publish: $95
Size: 16 x 12.5 x 6 inches | Material: Not Listed | Extra Features: Comes with lunch bag | Number of Wheels: 2
JanSport Drive 8 Backpack
Durable and long-lasting
Tons of room
For weekend trips when you just want to take one bag with you, this option easily transitions from a carry-on to a day-to-day bag. The Jansport Driver 8 features detachable straps to roll your items through the airport with ease. It fits snugly in the overhead compartment of a plane or train.
Once you arrive at your destination, add the straps back on for a comfortable bag to accompany you during your travels. The spacious interior fits all of your clothing or devices, while the materials prove to be long-lasting and durable for years to come.
Price at time of publish: $150
Size: 21 x 14 x 10 inches | Material: Denierpolyester, Denier Nylon | Extra Features: Detachable straps, laptop sleeve | Number of Wheels: 2
If you're looking for a high-quality rolling backpack that'll last you several years or more, your best bet is the MATEIN Wheeled Backpack. You'll appreciate its generously sized compartments, maneuverable design, and weather-resistant material. For those looking for something more budget-friendly, we recommend the Rockland Double Handle Rolling Backpack (view at Amazon). While this rolling pack is on the smaller side, it's suitable for kids and adults and comes in a range of colors.
What to Look for in a Rolling Backpack
When shopping for a rolling backpack, the most important consideration is the overall size. Mid-size options are about 21 x 14 x 9 inches, which passes as carry-on luggage for air travel and is usually plenty big for most laptops. Smaller designs are closer to 19 x 13 x 9 inches, give or take, and typically fit smaller laptops. If you need the space, you can also find some larger duffle-style options, which will be more like 35 x 16 x 16 inches.
Like traditional backpacks, the outer material on most rolling backpacks is polyester or nylon. The durable fabric is often laminated or otherwise treated for water resistance. Nylon is often more weather and water-resistant, as seen in the Jansport Driver 8 Backpack. You'll also find hard-shell options, which are typically made of polycarbonates (PC), a type of heavy-duty thermoplastic.
Rolling backpacks typically come with at least a few pockets, but if you need something specific, look out for extra features. This may include a designated laptop sleeve, like our Best Overall pick, water bottle holder (there are two on the J World New York Sunrise Kids Rolling Backpack), key fob, secret hidden compartment, file divider, tech pocket, cord port, zip-away straps, or weather-proof flaps for stormy weather.
"For me, having multiple compartments for all of my electronics as well as being lightweight are the two most important features of a rolling backpack," says Dandashy. "Of course, a nice sleek design is imperative too—something classy yet functional."
How do you wash a rolling backpack?
Traditional backpacks can sometimes be can be laundered in a washing machine. However, since the rolling variety has metal and plastic components, this method won't work. Like suitcases, most rolling packs can be wiped down with a damp cloth or disinfectant wipe.
For stuck-on residue or stains, use a mild solution of soap and water and a soft brush if needed. In any case, make sure to let your backpack air dry completely before packing it or storing it.
How should you pack a rolling backpack?
For travel, the best way to pack your rolling backpack is to roll up all your clothes as tightly as possible to save space or use packing cubes. Then use the various compartments and pockets to pack and organize your toiletries, tech gadgets, chargers, and other essentials.
If you're using a rolling backpack for school, place your textbooks in the largest compartment and your laptop in the designated sleeve. Then pack your pens, folders, notecards, and anything else you need for class in the other pockets.
How do you attach a backpack to a rolling suitcase?
If your backpack doesn't already have a luggage strap or sleeve, you can buy an add-on strap which will let you secure any backpack to the handle of your luggage. You could also use the shoulder straps to secure it to the suitcase, but this tends to be less stable.
Do college students use rolling backpacks?
Most college students use traditional backpacks, but it's not uncommon to see students and professors toting their books in a rolling backpack. If you are carrying a lot of stuff, rolling backpacks are much better to use in order to prevent shoulder and back strain. However, some college students may avoid using them because they are bulky and take up more space when walking through busy hallways and up and down stairs.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is an experienced commerce writer with a background in travel and lifestyle. She has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019, where she covers home goods, kids' products, and everyday essentials. For this story, she spoke with a travel expert and considered dozens of rolling backpacks, carefully evaluating the size, material, compartments, and extra features of each item before making her selections.
Additional reporting was done by Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021. Before that, she covered similar topics including toy reviews, product round-ups, crafts, and more.
Expert advice was provided by travel expert Sarah Dandashy of Ask a Concierge.