Carryon Backpack Wheels?
August 12, 2010 6:32 AM   Subscribe

Backpack for Europe Filter: We'd appreciate your suggestions on a backpack for a trip to Europe. Relevant details inside.

My fiancee and I plan on traveling to Europe for two weeks this fall for our honeymoon. We want to take one carry-on bag each. She recently bought an Osprey Porter 46 after reading this helpful thread, but is afraid it could be too big for her to carry by the end of the trip and thinks she should get a carry-on backpack with wheels just in case. She's 5'9", very slender, and the Osprey is pretty big on her. I will probably end up carrying the Osprey as my own bag. We also plan to have one daybag each so that we can leave our carry-on luggage at the hotel while we check out museums, etc. The only time we should be hauling the carry-ons is when we are traveling between cities and when we are at the airport.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a carry-on backpack that also has wheels?

posted by Atreides to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a fan of Eagle Creek. Particularly, the Switchback 25 would work nice. Wheeled, removable day-pack. Here's the rest of their wheeled bags.
posted by nitsuj at 6:37 AM on August 12, 2010

My wife and I both got ones similar to this Victorinox model when we went on our honeymoon in Europe last year. We also traveled Euro again this summer with them for an additional 3-weeks. They've been perfect. My wife likes the zip-on day pack, I never use it.

We paid a lot less though at a luggage store in Chicago.

I carry a Kata camera backpack and the roller. She has the roller, the day pack attached, and one additional pack (usually because she has so many toiletries)

Actually turning the roller into a backpack comes in handy on cobblestone, up LONG flights of stairs, in busy airports and train stations and on public transport in country . ..

We used them through Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, France, England, Ireland, Hungary, Spain, Morocco, Scotland, Poland. . . no issues.
posted by patrad at 6:53 AM on August 12, 2010

Response by poster: And I forgot to add, bonus points for any bag that is under $200, and super bonus points for a bag that's under $150. Thanks again!
posted by Atreides at 6:56 AM on August 12, 2010

Another recommendation for Eagle Creek. The carry-on size Continental Journey was my bag of choice for a long time, but they no longer make it. The Thrive looks pretty similar (but, like the CJ, has no wheels). Check out the wheeled options to see if something looks good.

Rick Steves also has some wheeled carry-ons, but I've never tried any of his bags.
posted by backwards guitar at 7:13 AM on August 12, 2010

I carried that same bag, the Porter 46 on my European backpacking trip of six weeks, and I was very happy with it. It was a lot easier going up hills, cobblestones, etc with the backpack. I am 5'2", average build, so yes, the bag looked big on me too, but it's all what you keep inside it. As long as you don't stuff it too full and make sure that everything is folded neatly between locations, I think you'll be in good shape.

As for the day bag, I also had an Osprey day bag, and when traveling between locations, I pulled off the very attractive one-bag-on-the-back-one-bag-on-the-front look. It worked pretty well.

Either way, hauling your luggage around a city will never be comfortable. I just thought there was a lot less to worry about while it was on my back.

Anyway, happy honeymoon!
posted by CPAGirl at 7:46 AM on August 12, 2010

Rick Steves, done deal.
posted by Freedomboy at 8:35 AM on August 12, 2010

I was going to get the Eagle Creek one but at ONE-THIRD THE PRICE, the clone from MEC seems just as good and has worked magnificently for me partner and me.

MEC is a Canadian version of REI, sorta. I don't know if they ship outside Canada.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:29 AM on August 12, 2010

I picked up the Rick Steves Convertible Carry-On a few years ago and it's suited me nicely. For $100, I'd say it's definitely a good value.
posted by dhammond at 12:34 PM on August 12, 2010

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) really does make great bags. And to the best of my memory they're in-house brand tends to be pretty affordable.

Having done my fair share of backpacking I would also advise not getting anything too big. Two weeks is a nice short jaunt and the bigger the bag the more you'll take. Forty litres at most should suffice, in my opinion.
posted by fso at 1:11 PM on August 12, 2010

I'm also a huge fan of Eagle Creek and spent 3 weeks traveling around Europe with only their Switchback Max 22. When you're comparing prices, keep in mind the quality of the warranty. Eagle Creek offers a "No Matter What" damage repair warranty on many of their bags and that's what clinched it for me after destroying numerous cheaper bags over the years.
posted by platinum at 1:13 PM on August 14, 2010

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