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
Surely our readers know that by Oz,” you mean Australia, but Ill make the point just in case.
Osprey Sojourn 80Sojourn 80
Of course, I can suggest plenty of things. What availability might be in your area, I cant 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 seeka wheeled travel bag with a stowaway harness for occasional use during those times when youd rather carry the bag than roll it. And its 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 its 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. Its 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. Its 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 Buyers Guide, packed with reviews of more than 300 new gear must-haves. Its available on newsstands now.