Researchers suggest that kids should not wear a backpack that weighs 20% or more of their body weight. But sometimes, kids have a lot of stuff they need to bring to and from school. And as kids get older, backpacks get heavier.
Too much weight can lead to back problems such as chronic pain, spinal curves, and other injuries. But there is a solution: the rolling backpack.
Life on wheels is easier. A rolling backpack can carry everything your kid needs without the aches and pains of a traditional backpack. But which are the best rolling backpacks for kids? Keep reading to find out which made the list and what you need to know before purchasing one.
IN A HURRY? HERE’S OUR TOP PICKS…
- IN A HURRY? HERE’S OUR TOP PICKS…
- Things to look out for when choosing a rolling backpack
- Top 10 Rolling Backpacks for Kids
- 1. JanSport Driver 8 Core Series Wheeled Backpack
- 2. Skip Hop Kids Backpack
- 3. High Sierra PowerGlide Wheeled Backpack
- 4. Kreative Kids Brown Puppy Rolling Backpack
- 5. J World New York Sunny Kids’ Rolling Backpack
- 6. JanSport Superbreak Wheeled Backpack
- 7. Meetbelify Kids Rolling Backpack
- 8. Pacific Gear Treasureland Rolling Backpack
- 9. Disney Doc McStuffin Rolling Back Pack
- 10. High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Backpack
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Bottom Line
Things to look out for when choosing a rolling backpack
When selecting the right rolling backpack for your child there are a few things to keep in mind. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
Wheels are wheels, right? Not so much. For little kids with a smaller backpack, you may be able to get away with a rolling backpack with simple, smaller-sized wheels, but for older kids who plan on hauling some serious stuff and even using their backpack for travel, durable wheels that will provide stability and traction on a sidewalk, halls, bumpy and smooth surfaces is a must.
Most rolling backpack handles are telescopic handles. For little ones, it’s best to choose a backpack where the handle locks in place when fully extended to make it easier for them to handle. For older kids, look for a sturdy handle that can hold up to a heavier load.
There’s no doubt that space is the primary function of a backpack. How much will your child be carrying around? Most preschool/elementary school backpacks are on the smaller side which is usually fine, but as kids get older, they are going to need a lot more space for all those textbooks.
Is your high schooler using a laptop or tablet? Consider choosing a backpack with a padded compartment. Also, some backpacks offer organizer pockets built into the backpack too, which can help your kid stay better organized.
Top 10 Rolling Backpacks for Kids
So if your kid is ready to ditch their backpack for something on wheels, we’ve got a list of the best rolling backpacks for them. We’ve included rolling backpacks for toddlers all the way to high schoolers (and even beyond).
So keep reading to find which rolling backpacks made the list!
1. JanSport Driver 8 Core Series Wheeled Backpack
- THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN BACKPACKS - Our...
- LIFE ON THE MOVE - The JanSport Driver 8...
- ORGANIZATION MADE EASY - This wheeled...
- RELIABLE BACKPACK - The Driver 8 durable...
- AMERICAN TRADITION IN BACKPACKS –...
Whether they need a backpack or a rolling backpack, this versatile wheeled backpack allows kids to use it as both. The padded shoulder straps easily tuck away when used as a rolling backpack.
The large 80mm wheels make cruising around with this rolling backpack easy. The backpack itself can hold a ton, including a laptop in the padded laptop sleeve.
Available in plenty of colors and designs, your older kid will have no problem finding their favorite to match their personality and style. While the price is a little on the higher side, this durable backpack will last them years to come.
- Plenty of space.
- Padded laptop sleeve holds 15” laptop or tablet.
- Variety of color and design choices.
- Converts from backpack to rolling backpack.
- Durable wheels provide good stability.
- A little pricey.
2. Skip Hop Kids Backpack
- Little kids will love rolling through...
- The front zip pocket with mesh divider...
- Featuring: Retractable 13-inch handle...
- Signature Skip Hop characters match both...
- Phthalate-free; Size (inches): Total...
This backpack is cute as a button and comes in creatures your child will adore. Giraffe, butterfly, owl, and unicorn are just some of the choices. The Skip Hop Kids Backpack is perfect for younger kids, including preschoolers.
The front of the backpack has a large zip pocket and there is a removable and adjustable strap for parents, in case they need to take over carrying it. On the side of the bag is a mesh pocket, great for water bottles, and the entire backpack is BPA-free and Phthalate-free.
The 13-inch retractable handle is easy for little ones to hold on to and the durable poly-canvas material will hold up to plenty of wear and tear.
- Adorable character designs kids will love.
- Parent strap (just in case!)
- Durable poly-canvas fabric.
- Great for preschoolers.
- Can be used for luggage too.
- The handle doesn’t lock in place when fully retracted.
3. High Sierra PowerGlide Wheeled Backpack
- Large main compartments and multiple...
- A fully padded Cushion Zone laptop...
- Multiple pockets including a zippered...
- Backpack straps are stored behind the...
- All terrain style wheels are corner...
This one’s for the older kids, perfect for high school and even college. The High Sierra PowerGlide wheeled backpack is made of a super durable water-resistant Duralite fabric and includes a special padded compartment for a laptop or tablet.
This is another convertible backpack. It has padded straps so kids can use it as a regular backpack or tucked away when used as a rolling backpack. The telescopic handle can even be stored in a special zipper pocket when not in use.
The unique inline skate-style wheels provide good stability and traction no matter what surface this backpack encounters. And did we mention this backpack holds a TON of stuff, making it good for travel too?
- Very spacious. Good for travel too.
- Converts from rolling backpack to a regular backpack.
- Handles tuck away into zipper pocket.
- Durable wheels provide traction on any surface.
- Water-resistant fabric.
- The side zipper pockets are too short to hold a water bottle.
- The handle is a little wobbly.
4. Kreative Kids Brown Puppy Rolling Backpack
- Adorable brown puppy stuffed animal...
- Made with high quality plush fabric!...
- Perfect use for school, travel luggage,...
- Wheels can be completely removed and the...
- Locks on both sides of the handle bars...
In case your little one needs a little love during the day, this backpack has a removable stuffed puppy on the front. Also available in other lovable animals like a hippo, aviator bear, elephant, cow and more, this backpack is adorable and functional.
The Kreative Kids rolling backpack also has straps and removable wheels if children decide they want to wear it as a backpack. The retractable handle locks on both sides making it easier and safer for kids to use it.
This backpack is suitable for toddlers and preschoolers and perfect for first days of school (for when your child needs a hug!)
- The adorable plush puppy is removable.
- Can be worn as a backpack too.
- Affordable price.
- Great for young kids, including toddlers.
- Retractable handle locks for safety and easy handling.
- Won’t carry a lot.
5. J World New York Sunny Kids’ Rolling Backpack
If you are looking for an affordable rolling backpack, this is a great choice. It also comes with a matching lunch bag just to make it that much of a better value. The designs are fun and stylish ensuring your child will look good rolling into school.
The Comfort Grip retractable handle is not only sturdy but easy and comfortable to use. It has multi-stage locks, allowing kids to choose the length they want to roll their backpack. The front zipper pocket has an organizer including two zipper pockets, a back pocket, and pencil pockets.
There is also another large pocket and the main compartment as well as allowing kids to hold everything they need plus some. Another convertible option, this rolling backpack has straps that allow kids to use it as a backpack or tuck away while they are rolling.
- Great value.
- Comes with a lunch bag.
- Fun design options.
- Comfortable, easy to use handle.
- Organizer in the front pocket.
- Straps aren’t durable. Won’t withstand a lot of use.
6. JanSport Superbreak Wheeled Backpack
- JanSport backpack
- Corner-mounted inline skate wheels
- Front utility pocket
- One large main compartment
- Padded grab handle
This JanSport backpack is smaller and simpler than the Drive Core 8 Series, but this rolling backpack still features the same sturdy inline side mounted wheels and tuck-away shoulder straps. The higher price tag might turn off some parents, but this backpack will hold up for more than just a school year.
The retractable handle locks at 3 stages and has a molded rubber for an easy comfortable grip. It has a simple design and features a large front pocket and main compartment. With fabric designs like Tropical Mania and Multi-Colored Stipe, as well as classic colors such as navy and red, there’s a color for everyone, or rather every kid.
- Stylish design choices.
- Durable in-line skate style wheels.
- Tuck-away shoulder straps to use as a regular backpack.
- 3-Stage retractable handle.
7. Meetbelify Kids Rolling Backpack
They’ve got stuff to carry and they need space. But not too much space. The Meetbelify is great for elementary and middle schoolers who are starting to need some extra space for their books and binders.
In the main compartment of this rolling backpack, there is a separate compartment for a tablet or laptop. In the front of the backpack are not 1, or 2, but 3 more zipper pockets and there are also two side mesh pockets as well.
The rolling backpack also has straps in order for kids to use as a traditional backpack. As a rolling backpack, it has a whopping 6 wheels so needless to say, it can go over any rough or bumpy surface with ease.
- 6 wheels make it easier to go over bumpy surfaces.
- Plenty of pockets.
- Convert from backpack to rolling backpack.
- Inner compartment for laptop/tablet.
- The handle could be more durable.
8. Pacific Gear Treasureland Rolling Backpack
- Polycarbonate molded bottom makes it...
- Soft and quiet wheels for easy...
- Telescopic push button handle system
- Padded and riveted grip handle
For the elementary and middle school-aged kids on the go, this one is for them. The front pocket will organize pencils and more with its small built-in pockets. The main pocket is spacious enough to hold their every growing homework demands.
The telescopic handle extends with just a push of a button to a super long length of 25 inches. The inline rolling wheels are a little small and can get caught in cracks making this backpack not so great for rolling over uneven surfaces.
The Treasureland rolling backpack comes in a bright and fun nautical design as well as blue, Argyle, and football-themed designs too.
- Front pocket organizer.
- Long handle great for taller kids.
- Fun design choices.
- Small wheels don’t work on uneven surfaces very well.
9. Disney Doc McStuffin Rolling Back Pack
This 12-inch backpack is made just for toddlers. It’s a smaller size and easy handling make it perfect your little tot as they enter preschool or go to grandma’s house for the weekend.
Just in case mom or dad has to pick up the bag, there is an adjustable strap located on the back. It has a main compartment and two front zipper pockets as well as two side pockets, one made of mesh the other with a Velcro flap.
It is on the small side, so it won’t hold a lot but for toddlers and preschoolers, it’s just right. It is also available in a variety of your child’s favorite Disney characters.
- Disney character kids love.
- Small size makes it perfect for toddlers.
- Adjustable strap in case parents need to carry it.
- Affordable price tag.
- On the small side.
10. High Sierra Freewheel Wheeled Backpack
- Large, multi-compartment design....
- Smooth rolling, corner-mounted wheels....
- Side beverage pocket. Attach extra gear...
- Vapel mesh padded grab handle....
- Dimensions: 20.87 x 13.5 x 8-Inch
This one’s for the older crowd, middle school, high school and beyond. The High Sierra Freewheel makes getting around school a breeze with its rugged inline skate-style wheels and comfortable, easy to use telescopic handle.
There’s plenty of space and organization in this backpack. The padded Cushion Zone pocket fits a laptop or tablet up to 16 inches. There are pockets galore including a zipper mesh pocket, media pocket with a USB/cable port, pen pocket and more.
The Airmesh padded straps allow kids to use this as a traditional backpack and the straps can be tucked away in a zippered compartment when not in use. The handle conveniently hides away too when not in use or when kids decide to use this backpack as a traditional backpack.
- Plenty of pockets for organization.
- Durable telescopic handle.
- Rugged in-line skate-style wheels work on bumpy terrain.
- Hidden straps to convert to a traditional backpack.
- Wheels can pick up rocks and debris.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are there any downsides to a rolling backpack?
A: While a rolling backpack is a great option for kids, it does have a few “cons.” The first being they can be pretty heavy, especially the ones made for older kids. The frame, the handle, the material all add up in terms of weight and that’s before they even add anything to the bag.
Rolling backpacks can also be harder to maneuver. Even with durable wheels, nooks, bumps, uneven surfaces or sharp turns can be challenging for kids to navigate.
Q: How do you clean a rolling backpack?
A: Always be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions first to see how to clean the backpack.
If the instructions say it can be hand washed, great! Go grab yourself a bin big enough to fit the backpack in and fill it with lukewarm water and about a tablespoon of mild detergent. Simply place the backpack in the water and allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes.
Next, remove the backpack from the bin and rinse the backpack well. Allow it to hang dry. Do not squeeze or wring out the backpack as doing so could damage it.
If the instructions say it can only be spot cleaned, make yourself a solution of 1 part water and 1 part detergent. Dip a sponge or cloth into the solution and scrub the areas that need cleaning. Do not soak or saturate the areas though.
Next, you will use another cloth and water (just water!) and wipe the areas you just cleaned. This will “rinse” it.
For more info on cleaning backpacks, check out this video!
Choosing one of the best rolling backpacks for kids can help save your kids some back pain and make toting around all their books and school supplies a little easier. For the older kids, the JanSport Driver 8 Core Series is the way to go. Plenty of space, durable material and the option to wear it a regular backpack or use it as a rolling backpack make this versatile choice perfect for high school-aged kids.
For the little ones, the Skip Hop Backpack is not only adorable but holds up to the wear and tear your kid will put it through. There are plenty of fun animal designs to choose from and it comes with an affordable price tag too.