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Best School Rolling Backpacks

Updated August 2022
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Best of the Best
JanSport Driver 8 Series Wheeled Backpack
Driver 8 Series Wheeled Backpack
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Trusted Brand
Bottom Line

This roller backpack has a lot of pocket space with two large compartments and a laptop storage area.


Good quality. Comes with a lifetime warranty. Telescoping handle. Heavy-duty wheels. Can hold a lot of books and a laptop safely. Holds up under a lot of wear. Good strap padding. Rolls well. Available in several styles and colors.


Some problems with the telescoping arm. It could be sturdier.

Best Bang for the Buck
J World New York Sunny Rolling Backpack
J World New York
Sunny Rolling Backpack
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Simple Yet Solid
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Less expensive with similar features and fun designs.


More compact at 17 inches. Straps tuck away in rolling mode. Main pocket for textbooks and lunch, front pocket with organizer and 2 mesh side pockets. Handle can be used at different heights. Bottom has rubber guards to protect from damage. Comes in many designs and colors.


Handle may not hold up to heavier loads.

Tilami Rolling Backpack
Rolling Backpack
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Bargain Pick
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Durable and functional option available in numerous kids' designs.


18-inch rolling backpack. Stylish patterns for kids. Bottom is well protected with durable shields. Straps and quiet wheels can be hidden. Supports on bottom to keep it standing. Handle on top, a device holder, 2 large main compartments, smaller front compartment and 2 mesh side pockets.


Handle for use in rolling mode can get stuck.

MATEIN Rolling Backpack
Rolling Backpack
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Durable & Rugged
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Water resistant and durable model with convenient features.


Large capacity and water resistant. Padded laptop holder in main compartment. Middle compartment, pocket for essentials, pocket with organizer, and 2 side pockets. Adjustable shoulder straps with padded material tuck away in rolling mode. In carrying mode, wheels can be hidden under flap.


Wheels may not be as durable as the rest of the backpack.

Skymove Wheeled Rolling Backpack
Wheeled Rolling Backpack
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Best for Everyday Use
Bottom Line

Versatile and lightweight option that resists water.


4.6 pound backpack. Padded laptop pocket holds a 14-inch laptop. 2 main compartments, organizer, outer zipper, and 2 side pockets. Straps zip away in rolling mode. Wheels are covered in carrying mode. Adjustable exterior straps keep belongings secure and contained.


Laptop pocket may not fit larger laptops.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best school rolling backpacks

If your child uses a backpack or messenger bag, chances are they fill them to capacity on heavy homework days. They can feel weighed down by them, and in some cases, these bags can have a long-term effect on posture. That’s why it’s worth making the switch to a school rolling backpack. They’re a convenient alternative that makes carrying textbooks and binders simpler.

School rolling backpacks respond to your student’s changing needs since they can be either carried or rolled. Equipped with a telescopic rod, it’s easy to adjust them to a comfortable length to hit the ground rolling. Rolling backpacks are also designed as the ultimate organizers, as they have plenty of compartments uniquely sized for electronics, pens, and water bottles.

We examined models of school rolling backpacks to give you the rundown with this buying guide. Take a look at our picks to choose the right one to help your student stay up on their homework — instead of being weighed down by it.

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If your child brings lunch to school, consider whether the rolling backpack is spacious enough to carry a lunch bag. Look for space in the main compartment, expandability options, or an exterior clip to secure a compatible handled lunch bag.

Key considerations

Parts of a school rolling backpack

  • Straps: Rolling backpacks are equipped with traditional backpack straps. In some models, there is an additional flap or compartment where straps can be stowed when the backpack is rolling.
  • Telescopic rod: A telescopic rod — either in the form of a single or double rod — extends and adjusts to a comfortable length for rolling. The mechanism is usually hidden and sewn into the rolling backpack, although there are some models in which they are exposed.
  • Handle: The handle of a rolling backpack offers a streamlined grip as well as tension buttons to collapse or extend the telescoping rod. Some handle styles feature rubberized nubs or similar designs to provide a softer grip.
  • Compartments: There are a wide variety of compartments and pockets throughout the rolling backpack. Larger compartments house textbooks, notebooks, and binders, whereas smaller ones hold keys, pens, and water bottles. In some styles, there are padded compartments that protect laptops, tablets, and e-readers.
  • Wheels: Rolling backpacks are equipped with two wheels. They’re usually made of plastic and metal, and there are some heavy-duty wheels that have rubber treads. Unlike other luggage where wheels rotate 360°, wheels on rolling backpacks only go forward and backward. This is a safety mechanism, so students have full control of their rolling backpacks, especially in busy hallways.


Since they have telescopic arms, rolling backpacks are designed to accommodate a limited range of heights — which is why dividing them into age groups is an easy way to determine which models best serve certain students.

Ages four to seven: These backpacks can be as small as 12 inches in height. There are only two or three compartments, and the entire pack only holds a couple snacks and toys. They’re often themed or feature vibrant designs that are child-friendly.

Grade school: Grade school students usually have textbooks and notebooks, so these rolling backpacks aim to hold larger accessories. They’re often on the compact side and still have somewhat limited compartments. They focus on being lightweight, as some children are still getting the hang of manipulating a rolling backpack with the added weight of books.

Middle school: At this age, it’s hard to definitively say which style or size of rolling backpack is most appropriate. As far as stature goes, middle school students may be the same height as grade schoolers or high schoolers. One thing to keep in mind when choosing a rolling backpack for a middle schooler is that their load is significantly larger than that of a grade schooler. In addition to changing classrooms, they often have larger textbooks and binders.

High school and college: High school and college students generally fall into the average adult height category, so expect a full-size rolling backpack in this age range. Models vary a great deal for this age group as needs and preferences vary tremendously between students. Some models feature a high level of organization with many compartments, while others are compact, designed to store only a laptop and a couple of textbooks.

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Expert Tip
Pack items in a rolling backpack in a way that evenly distributes the weight. Not only is it easier to roll, but it keeps papers and folders from being crumpled or crushed inside.



Rolling backpacks come in an endless assortment of colors, designs, and patterns. Some manufacturers stick to the basics with a small selection, and others are known for a wide variety. There are also themed backpacks available, so if your child is a big fan of a team or character, there’s probably a rolling backpack that appeals to them.


One of the more popular materials for rolling backpacks is ripstop nylon. It has a tight weave that withstands heavy use. With its high tensile strength, it holds up to the jagged corners of binders and textbooks as well.

Other nylon or polypropylene blends are common with rolling backpacks, particularly lightweight and children’s models. While they’re decently constructed, the material is much thinner and more susceptible to punctures and tears.


Some rolling backpacks are equipped with expandable pockets hidden behind a zipper. They may add as much as half an inch to two inches of space, so if your children frequently have heavy homework days, it’s a feature worth considering. There are also slimline compartments that hold thin folders or notebooks. Even if they’re not filled, they’re discreet enough not to interfere or add bulk to the rolling backpack.

Bottom coverage

To protect your clothing from getting stained or dirty, some rolling backpacks feature a bottom or base cover. These attached flaps unfold to cover up the wheels and knobs while you carry the backpack. As the inside of the cover comes in direct contact with the wheels and bottom, there’s usually a transfer of debris, so clean it out before rolling it up and tucking it away.

"Regularly clean the wheels and bottom of the rolling backpack. These areas attract dirt given their immediate contact with so many surfaces, so disinfecting them often is a good idea — especially if you drag them through your home. "


To get ready for back to school, you might want to add a few things to your backpack.

Refillable water bottleSave money by using a refillable water bottle. Most rolling backpacks have an exterior bungee compartment to store one. 

Pencil case: A pencil case keeps your pens, pencils, and highlighters in one place, especially if there are not enough pen slots to hold all of them.

School rolling backpack prices

Rolling backpacks range in price between $25 and $100.


Models between $25 and $40 are usually geared toward children ages four to seven. They’re limited on space, though they feature fun designs and characters.


Mid-range rolling backpacks are priced between $40 and $70 and are designed for high school and college students. They’re larger and feature a high level of organization, including padded compartments to store electronics.


If you’re looking for the cream of the crop when it comes to rolling backpacks, expect to spend between $70 and $100. Models in this bracket are typically made by established or premium brands. They’re designed and constructed far better than lower-priced models and have a reputation for lasting through a few years of use.

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Expert Tip
Opt for a backpack that stands out in a crowd. By being able to quickly identify yours, you can prevent it from being accidentally taken by another student.


  • Be realistic about backpack contents before buying. Determine the normal items your child keeps in a rolling backpack on a regular basis, including binders, textbooks, and electronics. Once you know what you need, it’s easier to choose a model with the appropriate capacity.
  • Optimize space by consolidating writing implements. If your child carries a collection of markers, colored pencils, and pens, store them in a single pencil case so they fit easily in your rolling backpack around other items.
  • Mark your contact information. Write contact information in permanent marker on your bag or attach a luggage tag to it. Include your name, telephone, and email address.
  • Enliven zipper pulls. If you want to add some fun to your zipper pulls, attach keychains to them. They also make the zipper easier to manipulate for young children as there’s a larger surface area to grab.
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For young children who ride the school bus, make sure their rolling backpack is a shape and weight that’s easy for them to lift as they step on or off the bus.


Q. Are rolling backpacks allowed at my child’s school?

A. For the most part, rolling backpacks are acceptable in school districts. In fact, some schools encourage students to use them to cut down on excessive lifting of heavy textbooks and binders. If your school happens to have regulations against them but your child needs one for health reasons, get a doctor’s note detailing medical necessity.

Q. How do I clean my rolling backpack?

A. You have to rely on spot cleaning, as you can’t exactly place a rolling backpack in the washing machine. Select appropriate cleaning products geared toward your bag’s specific material. Another option for dealing with stains on the go is a detergent pen, which pretreats the affected area until you can deep clean at home. You can also spray your rolling backpack with stain and water repellent to seal it from substances that may penetrate or soak through and damage the bag’s contents.

Q. Do I really need a rolling backpack? Can’t I just attach my regular backpack to a rolling luggage carrier?

A. You can, but it ends up being more cumbersome and less cost-effective in the long run. Rolling backpacks are designed for quick transition from carrying to rolling. It would take far more time to detach a backpack, not to mention the hassle of carrying or wheeling the carrier around when it’s not convenient.