Backpack or Roller?

We’re at the one month mark before heading off around the world and still haven’t quite decided whether to go with a backpack or a rolling suitcase – well, Cheryl hasn’t decided. Lisa had such a tough time lugging her enormous backpack around Europe last time out that she’s quite happy with a rolling bag. It’s a 27 inch JEEP duffel with in-line skate wheels and LOTS of pockets to stuff things. And it’s RED, her favorite color. Even Priscilla’s excited about her choice!

But, sometimes among long-term travelers there exists a stigma when someone appears rolling a bag down the sidewalk while everyone else carries their weight solidly on their own shoulders. After all, it’s called “backpacking”, not “roller bagging”.

With approximately the same capacity in each choice, we tossed around the pros and cons.


  • Hands free
  • No hassles over rough terrain
  • Looks more like a real “traveler” should

Roller Bag:

  • Easier on the back
  • Everything doesn’t have to be taken out when you need something at the bottom of the pack
  • Holds up better in airport baggage claim

What’s your take on the backpack vs. roller bag debate? Personal preference or is one really better for long term travel?

Cheryl’s got a month to make up her mind.

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