Should You Choose A Backpack Or Wheeled Suitcase For Your Next Trip?

Should You Choose A Backpack Or Wheeled Suitcase For Your Next Trip?

Michael Keogh

You've bought your plane ticket and organised your travel insurance, but what about your luggage? With so many types of bags to choose from, the most common dilemma for travellers is deciding between a backpack and a wheeled suitcase. Travelling with the right bag can make all the difference on your trip. Find out whether you should choose a backpack or wheeled suitcase for your next adventure in this helpful post.


Choosing a Backpack for Travelling

Versatile and convenient, backpacks can be great for short- and long-term travel.

Advantages of a Backpack

  • They free up your hands - Backpacks allow for hands-free travel, so you can enjoy that gelato while hailing a taxi in Italy, or steady yourself with both hands on the London tube.
  • Comfortable - As long as it's a good fit and isn't over-packed, backpacks can be quite comfy.
  • Easy to move - Ever tried lugging a suitcase through a busy crowd? It's not fun. Backpacks made it easier to make your way through tight spaces.
  • Easy to store - Depending on where you're staying, a backpack might be easier to store than a suitcase.

Disadvantages of a Backpack

  • Baggage handlers can be rough - Backpacks generally don't offer as much protection to your belongings as a suitcase, and baggage handlers are notorious for throwing backpacks around. Your stuff could be at higher risk of damage when flying with a backpack, unless you use it as carry-on.
  • You can't pack as much - If you like to bring half your bedroom with you on your travels, you'll feel pretty limited with a backpack.
  • They can be pricey - A decent backpack doesn't come cheap. Like any quality products, you're going to have to be willing to invest money into a comfortable, reliable backpack.


How to Choose the Best Backpack for Your Trip

Not all backpacks are made the same. There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing the perfect backpack for you.

Choosing the Right Capacity

Are you headed on a 6-month trip across Europe or a weekend campout? Consider the pack volume you'll require before committing to a bag. A good rule of thumb is that overnight and weekend trips will require a bag with 30-55 litres of volume, and longer trips will need over 55 litres to fit all your essentials. Of course, this is just a general guide and will alter depending on whether you're a light or heavy packer.

Choosing the Right Fit

If you're opting for a backpack, you'll need to find one that fits your body comfortably, as you'll likely be lugging it around a lot. Ensure the length from the top of the shoulder strap down to the hip belt fits your torso, and that most of the load falls on your hip belt to avoid shoulder and back pain.


Choosing a Wheeled Suitcase for Travelling

Generally the most popular luggage choice for travellers, wheeled suitcases are available in a range of sizes to suit every type of globetrotter.

Advantages of a Wheeled Suitcase

  • Not having to carry a bag - Unlike backpacks, wheeled luggage doesn't require you to carry your stuff. If you're planning to get a taxi or shuttle bus straight from the airport to your hotel, a wheeled suitcase is perfect.
  • Organisation - Suitcases have heaps of pockets and compartments for organising your belongings, and even keeping your blouses or suits crinkle-free.
  • Packing freedom - Since you won't be carrying your wheeled luggage, you'll be less likely to leave that second pair of shoes at home out of fear of being weighed down.
  • Safer on airlines - As we've already covered, baggage handlers can be rough. Wheeled suitcases are often more durable and can handle a bit of tossing around.

Disadvantages of a Wheeled Suitcase

  • Stairs, stairs, stairs - It's all well and good while you're on a flat, smooth surface, but even the most manoeuvrable wheeled suitcase can be a pain when it comes to cobblestones and staircases.
  • Crowds - Trying to pull your suitcase through a crowd doesn't make you the most popular traveller, and it can end up slowing you down big time.
  • Hands full - At least one of your hands will always be preoccupied.


How to Choose the Best Wheeled Suitcase for Your Trip

Before you go reaching for the coolest suitcase you can find, consider these features to ensure you choose the best wheeled suitcase for your trip.

Size and Weight

Read up on your airline's size and weight restrictions before choosing your luggage. If you tend to stock up on souvenirs while you're travelling, you might want to opt for an expandable suitcase to fit your extra goodies in on the way home.


2-wheeled suitcases save space inside your suitcase, and reduce the risk of your wheels being damaged, while 4-wheeled suitcases are easier to move. It all comes down to personal preference. Choose your perfect backpack or wheeled suitcase at Bags To Go. Shop the range online today.