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The 12 Best Rolling Backpacks in 2023 [School, Work, Travel]

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Amar Hussain

Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury

Keri Stooksbury


Countries Visited: 39U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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Between school, work, and travel, people are always on the go, often carrying books, laptops, and other essentials with them. Having a shoulder bag or traditional duffle can cause back pain, which is where rolling backpacks come in.

A rolling backpack allows you the space to be able to carry everything you might need without any discomfort.

Things To Consider With Rolling Backpacks

A rolling backpack should give you enough room to carry anything from books and computers to overnight travel essentials. Not all rolling backpacks are made equally, however. So before you buy one for yourself, here are a few things to consider:


Rolling backpacks can have a structured or unstructured design. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Most rolling backpacks follow similar designs, however, you can divide them into 2 more specific categories:

  • Unstructured Design: These backpacks are typically made of a soft fabric. They don’t have a structure of their own and look like traditional backpacks, just with wheels. If they’re empty, the bag will cave in or fold over.
  • Structured Design: These are backpacks that are “hard” in their design. They have a firm structure though they’re covered in fabric. Typically these bags will have the same shape and structure, whether they’re empty or full.


You should consider what sized backpack you’ll need before you make a purchase. For example, if you use your rolling backpack to carry office essentials, you’ll likely need a smaller bag than if you use your bag for overnight travel.

Smaller bags are ideal for short commutes or for carrying basic necessities or school supplies. Larger backpacks are ideal for traveling or for carrying larger quantities of items.

Type of Wheels

It’s important to make sure the wheels on the bag you’re looking at fit your needs. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Since their ability to roll is the key characteristic of rolling backpacks, it’s important to make sure the wheels on the bag you’re looking at fit your needs.

If you plan to roll your bag on the street or up and down stairs, you’ll want to make sure your bag’s wheels are large, durable, and, preferably, rubber, as they’ll tolerate more wear and tear.

Instead, if you’ll primarily be rolling your bag on smooth, flat floors, then you can opt for a bag with smaller wheels that are made of less durable material.


A backpack made from a sturdy material will offer more protection. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Once again, the reason you’re purchasing the bag will determine the backpack material you should opt for.

Softer and lightweight materials will be best if you plan to carry or wear your bag from time to time. A sturdy material will instead offer more protection if you intend to almost exclusively use your backpack like a trolley.

Bottom Line: You should also consider waterproof or water-resistant options if you plan to take your bag to places where it will be exposed to the elements, such as on camping trips.

Type of Protection

Bags that are designed for technology will have more padding and different pockets to protect your electronics. In comparison, bags designed for school supplies will likely have fewer protective compartments.

The 12 Best Rolling Backpacks

Not all rolling backpacks are designed the same. Countless options and little design differences can make it difficult to choose which bag is right for you.

We’ve done the legwork for you and compiled this list of the best rolling backpacks currently on the market. We’ve looked at the pros, cons, and all the other essentials you should consider when deciding which backpack you should buy.

1. Rolling Backpack With a Built-in Workspace

BEST OVERALL: Targus Compact Rolling Backpack
This backpack has multiple pockets that each have its own zipper. There's even a compartment designed for laptops that has extra padding in case it gets tipped over or jostled.

Targus Compact Rolling Backpack

It’s becoming increasingly common for people who work in offices to forgo a briefcase for something a little more functional, like a backpack. If that sounds like you, then the compact rolling backpack by Targus is a great option.

The backpack has 7 compartments to keep things organized, including a laptop pocket. Thus, you can carry everything you need to transport between home and the office. It even has a pocket suitable for clothing for short work trips.

When empty, the bag weighs just over 2 pounds, making it a lightweight option that can be used for daily commutes and business trips. The bag functions as a full workstation, so it’s been designed to allow you to do business on the go.

What We Like:

  • Multi-purpose

What We Don’t Like:

  • The clothing compartment is small and could cause wrinkles

Hot Tip: If you’re in need of a safe way to transport your tech, consider our guide to the best laptop backpacks to buy for travel.

2. Premium Quality Rolling Backpack for Travel

UPGRADE PICK: Samsonite MVS Rolling Backpack
This backpack is spacious and simple to keep organized. It has padded straps and cushions for extra comfort if you decide to carry it like a normal backpack. It also has smooth wheels.

Samsonite MVS Rolling Backpack

If you’re looking for an all-in-one rolling backpack you can use for work, school, and travel, this option from Samsonite is one to consider. The bag is padded and felt-lined. So, your valuables are protected, and you can carry the bag comfortably if you decide to use its back straps.

The bag also has multiple zipped pockets to easily keep yourself organized. It even has a zippered water bottle pocket, so you don’t have to worry about your bottle falling out or getting lost.

The bag is spacious enough to carry a full day’s worth of books as well as a computer and any other work or school essentials you might need. You don’t have to worry about juggling multiple bags.

What We Like:

  • Ergonomically designed

What We Don’t Like:

  • The price point

3. A Rolling Bag With Students in Mind

MATEIN Rolling Backpack
A backpack that's perfect no matter where you are in life. It can help you carry a full day's worth of school books, but it's also great for a workday.

MATEIN Water Resistant College Wheeled Laptop Backpack

Students have to carry a lot of supplies. Between books, laptops, and other equipment, it can be heavy carrying it all on your back. That’s why MATEIN’s rolling backpack is a good option.

This bag helps students organize everything they need without causing back or shoulder problems. It’s got enough space to carry a 15.6-inch laptop, which is more than enough for most students.

It also comes with multiple pockets protected with water-resistant zippers. You can easily walk in the rain without worrying about your books or tech getting wet and damaged.

There’s even a compartment designed specifically for clothing, so you can take this bag on overnight trips or as a carry-on bag without wrinkles.

What We Like:

  • Water-resistant

What We Don’t Like:

  • Becomes oversized when completely full

4. Ergonomically and Sleekly Designed

Check on Walmart

Kipling Zea 15″ Laptop Rolling Backpack

Kipling is a leader in bags and luggage, and its rolling backpacks are no different. This backpack is made of durable polyester, meaning you don’t have to worry about rips or tears. You can have the peace of mind that your bag will last through years of regular use.

The bag is also water-resistant to keep your personal items safe, whether you’re carrying tech or important documents. When empty, the bag is less than 5 pounds, putting it on the lighter end for rolling backpacks.

You can also easily maneuver the bag thanks to its 4 wheels which each smoothly rotates at 360 degrees. The bag can hold up to 18 liters of gear, so you’ll be able to carry whatever you need.

What We Like:

  • Carry-on-sized

What We Don’t Like:

  • Wheels can damage on rough surfaces

5. Great at Keeping Tech Safe

Targus Mobile Tech Traveler
1,568 Reviews
Targus Mobile Tech Traveler
This backpack is spacious without being bulky. You can quickly transfer it from the ground to your back and vice-versa. It will also keep your belongings safely protected from the elements.

Targus Mobile Tech Traveler EcoSmart Rolling Backpack

This extra large backpack from Targus is the perfect option if you’re looking for a bag that will keep your tech safe from harm. It has a semi-solid clamshell design, so your personal items have a nice buffer against any bumps or damage.

The bag is also expandable, and you can adjust it between a 35- and 40-liter capacity. That means you don’t have to worry about damaging anything by over-stuffing your backpack or juggling multiple bags.

You can easily convert the bag between a traditional backpack and a rolling trolley as well. It’s also extremely lightweight, coming in at under 3 pounds when it’s empty, making it easy to travel with.

What We Like:

  • Made of recycled material

What We Don’t Like:

  • Shows wear and tear

6. A Rolling Bag Designed for Kids

Tilami Kids Rolling Backpack 18 inch Boys and Girls Laptop Backpack
This backpack was designed with kids in mind. It's lightweight and highly adjustable. A child can use it throughout their entire school career without worrying about it falling apart or being the wrong size.

Tilami Kids Rolling Backpack

If you’re in the market for a good rolling backpack for the kid(s) in your life, Tilami has an excellent option for you.

This backpack option was designed specifically for modern-day kids. That means you get the practicality of a heavy-duty bag that’s good for tech and will keep items safe. However, you also get an ergonomic design that’s perfect for walking down school hallways.

The bag comes with 4 pockets to help young students stay organized, all of which are protected by a smooth-glide but durable zipper. There’s also a mesh bottle pocket. While the bag is a rolling backpack, you can easily cover the wheels and use it as a traditional book bag as well.

What We Like:

  • Numerous design options

What We Don’t Like:

  • Won’t fit some lockers

7. A Perfect Bag for Older Kids

J World New York Sundance Rolling Backpack Girl Boy Roller Bookbag
7,831 Reviews
J World New York Sundance Rolling Backpack Girl Boy Roller Bookbag
Each of the compartments in this backpack is specially designed to help you or your child stay organized. It has a section to keep lunches safe, another for laptops, and more.

J World New York Sundance Rolling Backpack

Teens who are looking for a rolling backpack to make carrying supplies easier will love this model from J World New York. Kids today have to carry not just books but laptops and tablets as well. That means they need a backpack that will keep their precious tech safe.

This bag has a laptop pocket that’s padded and protected. Unlike other bags, this option is large enough to also hold multiple books, notebooks, and more.

The telescopic handle can also lock at multiple heights, so it can last years as your child grows. In fact, its tallest height is suitable for people who are 6 foot 3 inches tall. Each bag also has reflective tape in its design, so it’s safe to use at night.

What We Like:

  • Quiet wheels

What We Don’t Like:

  • The straps aren’t as durable as the rest of the backpack

8. Excellent Choice for Business Use

High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Laptop Backpack
This backpack's telescopic handle is smooth and won't stick while you're adjusting it. It was made for school use, but it's also acceptable for travel on most airlines, trains, and boats.

High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Laptop Backpack

People who are looking for a bag that is just as comfortable as a traditional backpack as it is as a rolling option will love this High Sierra design.

The bag is made out of lightweight, fully-padded material. So not only will it keep your items safe, but it will also be more comfortable to carry. The wheels and handle can also be hidden when not in use for extra comfort.

The bag has a large capacity, so you can keep everything you need organized. However, if you need to carry more supplies with you, the bag is equipped with a triangle clip you can use for that purpose. The bag also has a reflective strip for low-light use.

What We Like:

  • Hideaway wheels

What We Don’t Like:

  • Zippers could be more robust

Hot Tip: Check out our detailed guide on the best travel backpacks for men and women for options to carry on or check.

9. A Great Rolling Backpack That Won’t Break the Bank

Rockland Double Handle Rolling Backpack
This backpack has multiple handles, so you can carry it however you see fit. There's a small top handle for easy lifting, shoulder straps, and a telescopic handle to glide it.

Rockland Double Handle Rolling Backpack

Rolling backpacks can get expensive. If you’re looking for an option that’s budget-friendly, this bag by Rockland is the way to go. This bag is affordable without giving up performance.

The bag is large enough to fit anything you might need for a day at work or school. However, it’s also been designed to be useful for short overnight trips as well. The bag has a plastic stand to keep it from tipping over, so you don’t have to worry about balancing it just to try to keep your items safe.

It’s also got comfortable mesh straps for traditional backpack use and a telescopic handle to use the wheels. The wheels themselves will glide smoothly on most surfaces without any issues.

What We Like:

  • Multiple zippered pockets

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not very padded

10. Guaranteed To Keep You Organized

Everest Deluxe Wheeled Backpack
While this backpack might be a deluxe size, it's not uncomfortable to move around. It isn't too bulky, and you'll be able to navigate a crowded airport or street without any trouble.

Everest Deluxe Wheeled Backpack

If you hate backpacks that ruin your organization, consider this option from Everest. This bag has numerous zippered pockets of different sizes, so you will always know where everything is.

The bag has easy-gliding wheels that allow you to hurry down halls and sidewalks. However, if you need both hands free, you can simply wear the bag comfortably on your shoulders, thanks to its padded straps.

The bag offers extra protection to your items thanks to its compression straps that will keep your things from shifting around. The bag is also water-resistant and breathable. Not only will your personal items be protected from rain and water splashes, but also from humidity build-up. There’s no need to worry about mildew.

What We Like:

  • Super spacious

What We Don’t Like:

  • Seams aren’t reenforced

11. A Big Brand You Can Rely On

JanSport Driver 8
JanSport is a leader in the backpack market. This model has thick fabric that won't rip even if it snags on something. Its wheels are smooth and easy to maneuver.

JanSport Driver 8 Rolling Backpack

If you want a trusty rolling backpack, you can depend on JanSport has you covered with its Driver 8 bag. JanSport has made a name for itself in the backpack world, which includes its rolling bags.

This bag is made of 100% water-resistant and durable polyester. So no matter the weather conditions, you can use this backpack without any worries.

The bag also comes equipped with 3 zippered pockets to keep you organized and keep your stuff safe. You can also take this bag along on any adventures you go on since it’s small enough to count as a piece of carry-on luggage.

JanSport is also known for its eye-catching designs. You have multiple color and pattern choices available to suit your personal style.

What We Like:

  • Great padding

What We Don’t Like:

  • Noisy wheels

12. Ergonomically-designed Backpack for Comfort

EVERKI Atlas Wheeled Laptop Backpack
You can adjust this backpack to fit your needs. Its main compartment can be expanded from 13 to 17.5 inches if you need some extra space for books or a laptop.

EVERKI Atlas Wheeled Laptop Backpack

Comfort is one of the most important aspects of a backpack, and this option from EVERKI keeps that in mind.

Being able to organize your items without overstuffing or damaging anything is more than possible with this bag. You can easily adjust the main pocket to fit laptops that measure between 13 and 17 inches. You also have 4 other zipped pockets and multiple other compartments to keep yourself organized.

If you want to use the bag like a traditional backpack, you can do so comfortably, thanks to its padded straps. You can also use the chest strap to make sure the bag’s weight is evenly distributed to reduce strain.

Unlike other bags, this option also has nearly-silent wheels, so you can roll it without creating much noise.

What We Like:

  • Ergonomically designed

What We Don’t Like:

  • The premium price

Final Thoughts

The idea of what an ideal rolling backpack is will change depending on your personal needs. While most bags will have straps and a handle to allow for different transport options, other features can vary.

You can find waterproof bag options, bags with extra compartments, and bags designed to carry tech products safely. Hopefully, this list will help you narrow down your decision about which backpack is the right option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you suffer from back pain or you have to carry multiple books or pieces of tech, then a rolling backpack might be worth it for you. They offer both hands-free transport when you use their shoulder straps and an easier, less tiring way to carry weight when rolled.

Rolling backpacks can have varying carrying capacities. Smaller backpacks, or those designed for children, may just be able to hold a few books. Larger backpacks are usually designed to also function as an airplane carry-on or travel bags. Different bags will also have different compartment layouts, which can also affect the amount they can carry.

Rolling backpacks are multi-purpose. Most people likely think about their uses in schools, however, they can suit different needs. They’re often used as replacements for traditional briefcases now that most people take computers with them to work. They’re also used for travel purposes and as overnight bags.

You may wonder if you can convert a traditional backpack into a rolling bag if you already have one. However, this isn’t recommended. While it might not be impossible to do, traditional bags aren’t designed to be wheeled. They won’t have a proper handle, and their structure may not be suitable to be rolled.

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.


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