Q:

Who makes a sturdy wheeled suitcase that doubles as a backpack?

I'm traveling to Oz for six months and need to buy a wheeled bag that converts into a backpack if needed. Can you suggest anything? Lisa Cardiff, Wales

Oct 29, 2007
Outside
Outside Magazine
Osprey Sojourn 80

Sojourn 80

A:

Surely our readers know that by “Oz," you mean Australia, but I’ll make the point just in case.

Of course, I can suggest plenty of things. What availability might be in your area, I can’t say, and pricing may vary as well. But you surely can find a Karrimor Airport 80 (karrimor.com), as Karrimor is a U.K. brand. The Airport 80 is pretty much just what you seek—a wheeled travel bag with a stowaway harness for occasional use during those times when you’d rather carry the bag than roll it. And it’s a true travel bag, with a zip-off day pack, lockable zippers, compression straps for snugging up the load, pull-out handle, and more. And it’s big, with 80 liters of capacity. Expect to spend about £100 for it.

Here in the U.S., Eagle Creek (eaglecreek.com) makes a wheeled bag/backpack called the Switchback Max ES 25. It’s similar in design to the Airport 80, with a stowaway pack straps, pop-out handle, detachable daypack, and more. The design may be slightly more sophisticated, with better wheel design and a more compact profile. It’s still big enough for many weeks on the road, though. Price in the U.S. is $320. Cotswold Outdoor (cotswoldoutdoor.com) and several other retailers in the U.K. carry it for around £160.

I also like the Osprey Sojourn 80 (ospreytravelpacks.com), an 80-liter travel bag that has wheels and an above-average suspension, and that dispenses with the ubiquitous, but I think mostly useless, detachable daypack. I really like the design of the Sojourn, which has two big fabric “wings" that wrap around the pack for security and stability. Look for it in the U.K. (or on countryside.co.uk) for £150.

Check out the new 2007-2008 Winter Outside Buyer’s Guide, packed with reviews of more than 300 new gear must-haves. It’s available on newsstands now.

Filed To: Rolling Luggage

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