Some kids and adults can't take the weight on their back of carrying books, computers and the other items they need for school or jobs. That's when a wheeled backpack can come in handy. Just be sure your child's school allows it – some schools have banned such bags, citing tripping hazards -- and that it fits in your child's locker.
The L.L.Bean Rolling Deluxe Book Pack (Est. $90) stands out as the best rolling backpack, thanks to its 1,935-cubic-inch capacity, reflective detailing and reputation for durability. It has room for a college student's book, laptop, iPad and more. The biggest downside is an occasional complaint about the zippers, which L.L. Bean's customer service handles well.
The Rolling Deluxe doesn't have a laptop sleeve, but it does have a compression strap to help keep the load from bouncing around. Experts and owners say it's comfortable to walk with and has plenty of pockets for a high level of organization. It has compression straps to keep it from becoming too bulky even when stuffed full.
At 5.5 pounds, the Rolling Deluxe Book Pack is heavier than a traditional backpack, but owners say it's not too bad to pop on the back for a short time in crowded areas; although it's primarily pulled along. Although users say it lasts for years, it has a lifetime warranty, just in case.
The JanSport Wheeled SuperBreak (Est. $85) measures 2,000 cubic inches -- plenty of room for everything -- but with just two main compartments to the Rolling Deluxe's three, it's not as well organized. That also may not be quite enough capacity for older students.
The Wheeled SuperBreak has a retractable handle, but some say it feels stiff. Other say you have to use some power to get the second stage retracted. Users say it's easy to pull along; there aren't many comments about how comfortable it is in backpack mode.
The Wheeled SuperBreak is also very durable, but it doesn't seem to have the lifespan of the L.L.Bean Rolling Deluxe and gets more complains than most JanSport backpacks. However, like all JanSport backpacks, it comes with a lifetime warranty. One thing owners don't complain about is the style: It comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns that get high praise for aesthetics.