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Backpack or Suitcase

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Backpack or Suitcase

1. Posted by TomAt (Budding Member 6 posts) 6y

Hey Guys

Just after a bit of advice, I'm travelling to Australia in September on a whv. I plan on doing a bit of travelling and was wondering what would be best to take a suitcase or backpack?

I've heard people taking about backpacks with wheels on (Think that would be the best of both worlds lol) anyone see/heard of these?

Any advice would be appreciated!

Cheers

2. Posted by Louise80 (Full Member 106 posts) 6y

Hiya,

I had this same dilemma and bought a holdall on wheels in the end. I'm not going til Sept either so have yet to see if I made the right decision, however I'm thinking it's the best of both worlds, you can carry it or drag it, and it's squashy so cann be stowed on greyhound bus/in lockers at hostels etc

Have a great trip!!!

3. Posted by Ofelia (Respected Member 142 posts) 6y

Quoting TomAt

I've heard people taking about backpacks with wheels on (Think that would be the best of both worlds lol) anyone see/heard of these?

About 2 months ago, I went to a large outdoor shop in London, and watched a young girl with her mum try on one of these backpacks. She seemed to want this backpack badly, and the sales guy tried his hardest to talk her out of it (it was quite funny to watch). The backpack with wheels looked clumsy, clonky and uncomfortable. Few weeks later, I went back in, and decided on a whim to try it on. I walked around the shop carrying the thing, and it was the worst thing ever. The wheels kinda digged into my sides; there was no proper back support or waist strap, the straps were not cushioned properly. Now, it might have just been the one I tried, but I would never get one. Basically they're trying to combine 2 things that just cannot be combined.

My advice? Backpack. Although you think you don't really have to carry a suitcase with wheels, you end up lifting it a LOT more than you think. Independent travel means you need to lift it on to the bus/train/metro yourself, and wheel it through beaches/cobbled streets/hills/potholes/curbs. Imagine yourself in a few likely situations, such as running up the steps for a train that's about to depart, or getting off a crowded bus onto a more crowded street. You really don't want to be fussing with handles that are stuck, or getting people to trip over a bag you're pulling behind.

On another note, backpacks are safer, as they are firmly strapped onto you. A friend of mine had a little wheelie thing, and at a major train station let go of the handle for a second to grab her credit card, and puff, the bag was gone....So my vote definately goes for the backpack! But regardless of what you choose, I hope you have a great trip! :)

4. Posted by Subz (Budding Member 9 posts) 6y

Hey mate :)

Im currently in Australia backpacking for 3 months with a WHV. As the guy above said, wheels become a lot of trouble over any surfaces that aren't smooth.

I would recommend a backpack too, I borrowed a backpack from my Auntie which is typically a large to medium sized backpack with a smaller, normal sized backpack attached to it by zip, so I can leave my larger pack with my clothes etc in it and just take my smaller backpack if I'm just touring around a place or whatever.

http://www.comparestoreprices.co.uk/images/ca/caribee-tomahawk-75-85-rucksack-blue-red-.jpg

It looks somewhat like that, with the smaller backpack attached. I dont think theyre too cheap, but theyre not too pricey either, its been so useful though and its not too heavy to take around anywhere with me, being a 19 year old male, medium to well built.

Hope you enjoy your tip mate, peace

5. Posted by hey_monkee (Respected Member 430 posts) 6y

Backpacks are good - make sure you get one thats a suitable weight for your build though. Suitcases are great for airport queues and city streets, and its nice to be able to open it right out and see everything you have...its a case of weighing up what exacty you want from your luggage and how you will be using it

6. Posted by joffre (Respected Member 157 posts) 6y

Hiya, I've used both normal backpacks (still own 2) & backpacks with wheels. These days I wouldn't use anything but a backpack with wheels. It's true that they aren't as comfortable to wear as a normal backpack, but in my travels I rarely (98% of the time I use the wheels) need to use it as a regular backpack. I also take a day-pack as carry-on luggage.

7. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 6y

Quoting TomAt

...I've heard people taking about backpacks with wheels on (Think that would be the best of both worlds lol)...

If you need wheels cos you're taking loads then it probably won't matter either way. If not, then maybe the extra weight of the wheels/handle assembly (which can add a kilo) and lower comfort level over a proper backpack should be considered.

8. Posted by TomAt (Budding Member 6 posts) 6y

Thanks for the advice guys. Think I'm going to start looking at backpacks.

I just thought a backpack with wheels would be easier i'm probably going to be a light packer lol.

Is there any tidy on-line shops for the UK someone can recommend? (or any stores for that matter, I'm a complete beginner)

9. Posted by Araluen (Respected Member 346 posts) 6y

Quoting TomAt

Thanks for the advice guys. Think I'm going to start looking at backpacks.

I just thought a backpack with wheels would be easier i'm probably going to be a light packer lol.

Is there any tidy on-line shops for the UK someone can recommend? (or any stores for that matter, I'm a complete beginner)

Eagle Creek have very good products. Here's the UK website

Happy travels.