When you go traveling, what do you prefer? A bag that you have to carry on your back or shoulders most of the times, or a wheeled bag that practically carries itself? Just what I thought. Everyone goes for the easy choice. Fortunately, rolling duffel bags were invented.
Duffel bags were pretty good and before the wheels. They came in handy, there was enough room for all of your things, and it wasn’t so hard to carry around. That was until manufacturers attached wheels. In my opinion, that is one of the best travel-related ideas.
Suitcases are not so comfortable when you are traveling. Not all locations have smooth paved pathways. And to carry a suitcase…not so pleasant either. Backpacks are also great. And they have wheels too, but it’s kind of hard to carry a heavy packwhen you are developing back problems. People who do a lot of traveling know how exhausting it can get to take that backpack every day for weeks. It is not very healthy for your spine. And that is why a duffel bag on wheels is the best idea ever.
A rolling duffel bag is a perfect combinationof all traveling bags. You can carry it on your shoulder when necessary (crossing a river, jumping on a train and whatnot), but the rest of the time you can easily just pull it behind you. Not to mention that it is far more resilient than a suitcase or a backpack.The fact that a duffel bag is more flexible can add up a few years to its life. Usually, stiff suitcases tend to break quicker, which will force you to buy one every couple of years. But a high-quality duffel bag will last you for years.
What makes the best wheeled duffel bag?
If you decide that you want to go for a rolling duffel bag, there are a few things that you should take into consideration. Adding to cart the first product that shows up online is not the best idea. For it to be considered high-quality, it must meet certain criteria, which I find very helpful.
After doing a little research, I reached the conclusion that a duffel bag should excel at these few things.
- Sturdy wheels; and when I say sturdy wheels I mean unyielding, Iron Man kind of resilience I tried a lot of bags with wheels, and most of the times the first thing that got broken were the wheels. Usually, they are made of cheap plastic that will crack at the first pebble. However, there are duffel bags which have wheels made of polyurethane plastic. Almost nothing can break those. I am not saying that you should smash them. You have to be a little bit careful, but at least you will not have to worry all the time that you will lose a wheel.
- There should be shoulder straps. There are moments when you cannot wheel it down the road, and you have to carry it. If you are like me and have back problems, a backpack with wheels may cause you some issues. But a wheeled duffel bag which also has a shoulder strap, on the other hand, you may be able to handle easier. I prefer the padded straps. They are more comfortable to bear.
- They should not weigh very much. What is the point in investing in a comfortable-to-carry bag, if it weighs a ton? It should have maximum 5 or 6 pounds. If it’s heavier than that, then there is no point in bothering. It would lose all the advantages of a duffle bag.
- The capacity should be somewhere around 40 liters. When I am traveling, I need a bag in which to put everything I carry. I am not a fan of carrying multiple bags, big or small. I just need one, and that is it. That is why capacity is of utmost importance. You need a bag that will fit everything you need on your travels. If you take more than one with you, you will always be worrying about them, you will be more disorganized, not to mention that it will be harder for you to carry. So remember, one big bag is better than two smaller ones.
- Easy to clean material. The chances are that you are going to get your duffle bag dirty on multiple occasions. Either the storage space in the means of transportation is not very clean, or you place it on the ground, it will inevitably get dirty. Also, think about the possibility of spilling something inside. You need a duffel bag made out of a material which is very easy to clean, and very fast to dry, like nylon or another synthetic material.
- Side pockets; there are people who don’t care about this aspect, but I prefer my rolling duffel bag with as many side pockets as possible. Nothing tooexaggerated, but still. Why? Because I don’t like to go through my clothes to search for my passport. Or if I travel by train and I want to read, I have to go through everything just so I can find my book. It’s ridiculous. That is why I want many pockets so I can put small things in them, things that I may need on the road.
So there you have it. These things are very important for me when buying a wheeled duffel bag. These checkpoints are the reason I have the same wheeled duffel bag since 2012. And I travel a lot. Nobody can accuse me of keeping my bag in my closet.
Which are the best wheeled duffel bags?
There is an excellent offer for wheeled duffel bags on the market. Some of them are winking at me, but I decided to find out how much will mine last. Still going strong. However, I browsed a little bit, and there are a few which seem impressive, from all points of view. They seem better than the ones they made back in 2012.
Keep in mind that some destinations require that you take a wheeled duffel bag instead of other types of luggage. Not only will they make your journey more comfortable, but you will also be able to make other people’s journey more pleasant. Let’s say that you travel with a group or with a guide. Do you really want to be that person who slows everybody down?
Samsonite Luggage 22 Inch Andante Wheeled Duffel Bag
You all heard of Samsonite. It has been manufacturing luggage for a very long time. They got pretty good at it, and they learned to adapt to people’s needs. Generally, their luggage is low cost, but they do manage to manufacture good quality products.
The reason you will love this product is that it’s more of a rolling duffel carry on. This is perfect for airplane travels. You will be able to put everything you need in it but still manage to put it in the overhead compartment on the plane. It’s a huge advantage because a lot of people buy their luggage considering aircraft storage space. Will it fit in the overheadcompartment or not? This is the ultimate question for some.
The wheeled duffel bag is beautifully made. It’s 100% polyester with nylon lining. Cleaning and dryingcome easy with this bag. The good thing is that depending on the way you get it dirty, you can simply wipe it with a wet cloth. It comes in handy if you get it just a little dirty, like with dust or something like that.
The weight is not an issue. This wheeled duffel carry on weighs only 5.5 pounds when it’s empty. It is easy to store. Just roll it and put it under the bed. As for the multiple pockets on the sides, they come in handy if you have last-minute items to pack, or maybe documents or books. I consider this aspect very important. Also, there is a large U-shape opening so you will have easy access to your items.
Even if it has wheels, the bag also comes with comfortable carry handles. However, there is also a drawback to this bag. It does not have a shoulder strap. I find it uncomfortable. You may not be able to roll it in some places, like on rough terrain, or if it’s heavily raining and there is a lot of dirt on the ground. Carrying it in your hand may not please you. But other than that, this might as well be the best rolling duffel carry on. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Samsonite Luggage 30 Inch RipStop Wheeled Duffel
I am not trying to advertise Samsonite. I swear. I just like the way they manufacture bags. They manage to produce high-quality luggage at very affordable prices.
This one is no longer a carry on. You can live out of this bag for a very long time. It can fit everything you need for an extended vacation overseas, or anywhere else. The organizational pockets are most welcome. You can put your passport, books, or any other small, ready to hand items. I guess you don’t want to rake through all your clothes just to find that magazine you purchased yesterday, do you?
The bag is made of 100% nylon. It is perfect from this point of view. Cleaning and drying are easy and fast. Fabrics or canvases are your worst nightmare when it comes to duffel bags. Also, because of the nylon, every time you wash it, the bag will look brand new. As you may have guessed, it does not stain.
What I like about this bag is that it has straps that hold the bag together. When you overpack, you fear that you will destroy the zipper. But the straps I am talking about will prevent that from happening.
One thing that some people may complain about is the durability of the zipper. It seems that it breaks fast. As a matter of fact, Samsonite always had this problem. They can do a very good job at manufacturing bags, but they just don’t get the zippers right. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Code Alpha Mini Monster Wheeled Duffel Bag
Now, I know it may sound extreme, but I always thought that deployment bags are the best wheeled duffels. They are created from the start to bear severe conditions, so they have no choice but to be sturdy and durable.
You are going to love the exterior, apart from the fact that you have a variety of camo colors to choose from. The outside of the bag is made of rip-stop nylon (which makes it difficult to break), and the walls are padded. You get the advantages of a duffel bag, but hard suitcase protection. If you are a civilian, I don’t see how the 1680 denier ballistic nylon helps you, but it can’t hurt either.
If you prefer it, you can also carry this bag as a backpack, or you can take it in your hands. It has padded handles that will make carrying as comfortable as possible. The wheels are as sturdy as they come. After all, the primary purpose of this wheeled duffel bag is for deployment, so you know, it must come as sturdy as it can. But nobody says you cannot use it for traveling.
The one thing I dislike is that it does not have a retractable square handle. It just has a simple handle that you can use to pull the bag. A longer handle would be more convenient, but as I said, this bag was not made to carry it for too long. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Honestly, my favorite would be the Code Alpha, if it had the retractable handle, but I must go with Samsonite 30 Inch. I like the durability of the first bag, but I prefer to pull the wheeled duffel bag in the most comfortable way possible, so I must choose the latter. It is sturdy enough, it has the pockets on the sides, and the two straps that go over the top will protect the zipper from breaking. For me it’s perfect.
If you have done some traveling so far, you must know how important it is to invest in a high-quality duffel bag. You will place all your belongings in it, and you two will spend quite some time together. You need something that has durable written all over it. After all, you will travel so many miles together. So you would better go for the best wheeled duffel bags you can find before you wake up with broken wheels or compromised exterior. Click here to buy on Amazon
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