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 Kids: 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 School Kids: 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 High School Kids: 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.

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  • Best for Laptops: Racing 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.

  • Best Budget: Disney Girls' Elena 12 Rolling Backpack

    Your little princess will love this pink Elena backpack from the Disney show “Elena of Avalor” and the sassy words “ready to rule” emblazoned across the front. At 12" it’s a compact model for younger children that can handle most early grade homework supplies and books.

    The front pocket provides a safe spot for letters to teacher or lunch money and at this low price, it won't be too much of a problem if fickle kids decide they don't like the character after a little while.

    The...MORE contoured handle pulls up easily and is comfortable in little hands and the bright red, teal and purple color palette will help this bag stick out in the crowd at the playground.

  • 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: Samsonite Wheeled Backpack

    Kid or not traveling is stressful, that's why a rolling backpack is a smart move to help you transition from handsfree to rolling is a smart move. This rip-stop nylon material is resistant to tears, rips and friction and helps to keep the backpack looking good no matter how much wear it receives. The headphone entry hole will be appreciated by music-loving kids so that they can listen to their favorite tunes without having to leave their bag open. The 21" x 14" wide dimensions make...MORE this bag streamlined to the body when worn as a backpack but still provide lots of space for everything your kid will need for a day at school or the perfect size for a carry-on. The ice pick pulls handle and streamlined inline skate wheels make this a portable and hardworking rolling backpack.

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