wow, now I'm not sure what to do for my month in Italy. At first, I thought I needed a backpack to really do the hostel experience but I think a wheeled bag would be easier in general. I've rolled luggage down cobblestone streets before so I know the noise can be embarrassing but since I don't normally carry anything on my back I might be miserable all of a sudden lugging a pack around and trying to maneuver with a big bump on my back. Besides, a nice backpack is a chunk of change for one trip. Maybe my roller carryon and my regular daypack would be sufficient...
that might be your best bet , use a regular suitcase and have regular back pack stuffed inside your bag. the backpacks with the wheels are really a pain in the back, as the wheels and its hardware dig into your back.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 4, 2008, at 12:06 AM by flir67 ]
This is an interesting thread - I struggle with backpacks as I am only 5ft 1", so have toyed with the idea of a holdall/suitcase on wheels too. If I use a backpack the maximum I can take is 55L which I found was only just enough for a big RTW trip. Also, it's much easier to access your stuff in a holdall/suitcase - if you have a toploading backpack it's a right pain.
I agree with one of the previous comments too - the noise of the wheels could be rather embarrassing!
One of my best memories is of Canterbury. I arrived early in the morning and not many people were on the streets yet. I was using a large suitcase with four brass wheels on the bottom (constantly tipped over btw). The morning was quiet except for my wheels clack clacking on the cobblestones as I walked the few blocks to my hotel. The few people that were out turned to see what the noise was! I was embarrassed a little but had to laugh at myself. Two large plastic wheels should be a lot quieter than four little metal wheels.
I have a Swiss Army combo pack and honestly, I love it. I use it for everything whether it be going away for a weekend up north to traveling to Boston for a week.
Having used it on a regular basis though, I can tell you it's not something that I plan on taking with me on my trip to Costa Rica. Frankly, its heavier than a normal backpack, it's too big and it's flashy-it screams tourist. I don't really want to attract more attention to myself (female traveling alone)
My suggestion is to stick with a normal pack for backpacking and if you really like the idea of a combo pack, buy one for non-backpacking travel.
Heading off on a year long Round the world trip in a few weeks still haven't bought a rucksack
My boyfriend has quite bad shoulders and carrying a normal daypack hurts his back so he is thinking of getting the combination rucksack wheelie thing. I can't decide whether to join him and opt for this. I worry we're gona stand out and be easy targets - do these kind of bags scream tourist? We're travelling around South East Asia and South America where I think these kind of packs will be a pain except in cities. We'll also be spending time in Oz and New Zealand where they should be fine.
The wheels are attractive but then I worry that they'll be rubbish as backpacks if we need to use them as such. What do people think?? Should I leave him looking like a bit of a dweeb and go for a rucksack?
I must say that the best suitcase I've ever own was a duffle bag combo w/ wheels man I loved that bag.It was amazing I could carry as much or as little as I wanted. Not only that, but it was a gold colored bag, could see it a mile away...lol If my bag wasn't on the blet I knew it was lost, you could not miss it.
When you travel like I do that's important. Easy to spot and easy to carry!
Totally depends on the person and the situation in my opinion. I'm sure a wheeled pack is adequate for a trip comprised of mostly cities and developed areas, but many of us visit a large variety of terrain on our trips. For my upcoming RTW I'll be in places as diverse as London, a Highlands trek in Scotland, the Inca Trail and a month long trek in the Himalayas....I need a pack that works in all these areas. The answer is usually a backpack unless you're 100% urban.
I actually took a heavy wheeled pack in my last trip to Europe, and I found it cumbersome. Sure it's better in airports and subways, but wheeling/carrying it through rough and hilly city streets was no fun. Carrying it up three flights of very narrow and steep stairs in my London hostel was no fun either. I can't imagine having to transport this type of luggage for several miles. I can't say a large backpack is any more obvious than a noisy wheeled pack in a foreign city either.
I'm also very comfortable with a lot of weight on my back in a well-fitting backpack, and I'm an average sized guy. I've seen plenty of small girls carrying impressive packs without a problem. For the times when you have to carry a duffel or wheeled pack it's VERY difficult for extended periods, and I don't even find wheeling a pack very ergonomic either the way my body twists unnaturally.
So like anything I suppose "it depends", but my choice is the backpack. Also allows me ample free hands to wield a machete if necessary
i would have to agree that it depends on what type of traveling you are doing.
personally i like the backpack idea because its on my person so i feel more secure than dragging it behind me. also i like the idea that i can just grab my pack and go instead of having to lug a big suitcase around.
it also helps you pack less since, really, who wants to carry 50+ pounds on their back all day...
I vote for the backpack. Its safer and alot more versatile than a case. But maybe times are changing? I