This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which wheeled duffel bags are best?

Whether you are looking to travel lightly or have a large trip planned, wheeled duffle bags provide a lightweight yet durable option for all types of travel. These bags are very portable and are easy to carry from one place to the next. They combine the expandable nature of a duffel bag with the convenient transportation of a suitcase. In pursuit of the best wheeled duffel bag, consider what it is made from, its size and other accessories that make it more convenient to travel with, such as a handle and extra compartments. 


If you are looking for a durable wheeled duffel bag with sturdy wheels, a push button handle and interior organization, the Pathfinder Gear 22 Inch Rolling Drop Bottom Duffel is the top choice.

What to know before you buy a wheeled duffel bag


Wheeled duffel bags can be made from various materials that serve different purposes depending on your needs. The most popular of these are faux leather, canvas, polyester and nylon. Whether you choose lighter or more durable material, the duffel bag should be strong enough to securely hold your items into place. 

A good duffel bag will feature expandable material and will be water-resistant. The zipper seams should be thick and reliable so you don’t lose any luggage on your travels. The softer the material of your duffel bag, the less durable but the easier to carry and transport. 


Duffel bags are known for their ability to expand and provide extra packing space. However,  this can cause them to be rejected as a carry-on at airports. Make sure that you are not over-stuffing your duffel bag when traveling. If you need more room or are embarking on a longer trip, choose a larger sized bag. If you plan to pack lightly, a small wheeled duffel bag will do the trick. Choosing the correct size is important when purchasing a wheeled duffel bag to ensure comfort when traveling and maximum convenience. Consider saving extra space in your bag for souvenirs that you might pick up on your trip. 

What to look for in a quality wheeled duffel bag


A quality handle on a wheeled duffel bag will be t-shaped for more accessibility. The best handles will be able to expand to various lengths depending on your height and the angle that it is held. A locking handle will bring many benefits to the travel experience, so that the handle doesn’t get in the way when checking your bag or bringing it on your flight as a carry-on. If you are packing the product in a van, a locking handle will also help you save space. Smaller duffel bags will feature straps with padding for added comfort and portability, as well as featuring wheels for an option to roll. 


The more compartments in your duffel bag, the easier it will be to organize your items. Larger bags will feature more interior and exterior pockets. When searching for the best wheeled duffel bag, consider an item that features pockets of various sizes with the ability to organize and separate different travel items. For example, the most reliable compartments are those that keep items, such as electronics, away from clothing items. Mesh interior pockets will organize and separate the clothing, while small securely zipped exterior pockets will secure electronics and cables while keeping them away from other items. 


The main feature of a wheeled duffel bag is the wheels. This being said, it is extremely important for a product to have durable wheels and come with options. A good wheeled duffel bag brand will feature two and four wheeled models, depending on the type of travel and necessities for your trip. Four spinner wheels provide the most stability for your wheeled duffel bag and the items inside. If you struggle with your wheeled duffel bag tipping over the second you release it from your grasp, a bag with four wheels is best.

How much you can expect to spend on a wheeled duffel bag

Wheeled duffel bags can vary in price depending on what they are made from and their added features. A less expensive model with fewer features will cost around $60-$110, while a higher-end model with durable material and convenient features will be priced around $160-$350. 

Wheeled duffel bag FAQ

Does a wheeled duffel bag pass as a carry-on item on a plane? 

A. A smaller wheeled duffel bag will be more likely to pass as a carry-on. What passes as a carry-on is dependent on the specific restrictions of the airline. Larger duffel bags that are expanded will likely need to be checked. 

Can I use my wheeled duffel bag as a backpack? 

A. Some wheeled duffel bags can be used as backpacks, depending on the size and number of compartments. A wheeled duffel bag that qualifies as a backpack will feature shoulder straps that are padded and likely a belt strap for added support. 

What’s the best wheeled duffel bag to buy?

Top wheeled duffel bag

Pathfinder Gear 22 Inch Rolling Drop Bottom Duffel 

Pathfinder Gear 22 Inch Rolling Drop Bottom Duffel 

What you need to know: A heavy duty bag with dual push button handles for adjustability. 

What you’ll love: The main compartment of this item is oversized and features access to a zip panel that separates the lower drop bottom compartment for extra storage. The wheels are mounted to offer maximum durability over any terrain and the bag features two tie down straps for clothing, as well as self repairing zippers for maximum security and safety of items. 

What you should consider: If you let go of the handle, the bag will tip easily, especially when extended due to overpacking. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top wheeled duffel bag for the money

Olympia 8 Pocket Rolling Duffel Bag

Olympia 8 Pocket Rolling Duffel Bag

What you need to know: A rolling duffel bag with a hideaway retractable handle. 

What you’ll love: This bag features recessed metal ball bearing in-line skate wheels for easy maneuverability. The zippers are self repairing and there is a lot of room in the main compartment of the bag. It features multiple side pockets for extra storage and separation. 

What you should consider: The plastic material along the bottom of the bag is flimsy and must be handled with care. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Victorinox Vx Touring Wheeled Duffel

Victorinox Vx Touring Wheeled Duffel

What you need to know: A lightweight duffel that features extra non-slip pockets for added space. 

What you’ll love: This bag includes two interior and four exterior pockets. The zippers are thick and secure to provide protection for fragile items. The bag itself is waterproof and leak resistant.

What you should consider: If you tighten the strap too tight, it may break and there is no option for replacement on the website.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Logan DeLoye writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.