LAST UPDATED: February 19, 2021
The Best Rolling Duffels (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
These are the best rolling duffels for light, effortless travel.
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PUBLISHED ON February 19, 2021
Are you tired of carrying your luggage on your shoulders or back? Whether you’re heading out of town for the weekend or packing for a lengthy vacation, your bags can weigh you down, even if you’re filling them with only the essentials. And if you need a lot of gear from day to day, carrying around a duffel bag can get bulky and uncomfortable. But there’s an easy solution — a travel-ready bag on wheels, better known as a rolling duffel.
Rolling duffels take the weight of whatever you’re carrying and put it on easy-to-maneuver wheels, eliminating the physical stress and strain of having to carry your stuff. Available in different sizes, materials, and even shapes for different needs, there are plenty of rolling duffels that can meet your needs. Find the best rolling duffel for you by browsing our picks for the top products below.
A highly versatile rolling duffel with plenty of storage solutions.
- Extra tough fabric
- Eight pockets for organized storage
- Telescoping handle
- Handle doesn’t lock
- Bag can tip over easily
An affordable rolling duffel with a surprisingly roomy interior that’ll hold a lot.
- Can fit a week or more worth of clothing
- Easily maneuverable wheels
- Plenty of pockets
- Fabric tears with wear
- Not very durable
A heavy-duty, high-quality bag built with tough, top-tier material.
- Material is resistant to weather and wear
- Designed for heavy items
- Large, organized interior storage space
- Bag’s large size can be tough to maneuver
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Rolling Duffels
- Versatility. A rolling duffel is just a duffel bag on wheels — and that means these convenient bags can be used in two different ways: you can use the built-in wheels and handles to pull your stuff with ease, or you can carry it like a traditional wheel-less duffel when needed.
- Roomy interior. With plenty of storage pockets and a soft, flexible exterior made of fabric, rolling duffels allow you enough space to store items for a few days or a week or longer. They can compress and shift slightly in space to accommodate whatever you’re packing, which gives you more room.
- Work as a carry-on. Traveling by plane? Most rolling duffels are sized like traditional duffel bags, which means you can easily carry them onto a plane as a piece of carry-on luggage. They fit right into most airlines’ overhead bins, so you’re never too far from your belongings.
- Lightweight. Because duffels are made to be carried, rolling duffels aren’t much heavier than a traditional duffel bag. They can easily be carried whether they’re half full or completely packed, and they don’t add too much weight. Their fabric exteriors help lessen the weight of the bag itself.
- Durability. Built for everyday carry or travel far and near, rolling duffels are highly durable. They’re constructed with tough materials meant to survive abrasions, rough handling, drops, and more. They can withstand the wear and tear of travel, whether it’s by car or by plane.
Types of Rolling Duffels
Basic Rolling Duffels
A basic rolling duffel bag, also known as a wheeled duffel, looks just like any other duffel bag. However, it’s equipped with a set of wheels at one end — typically two wheels — and a pull-out handle at the other end. If you don’t want to carry your duffel, you can set it down and pull it along with ease, taking the weight off your shoulders and back. You’ll enjoy all the perks and storage space of a duffel bag, plus even more convenience and flexibility.
Drop-Bottom Rolling Duffels
A drop-bottom rolling duffel takes your basic rolling duffel and adds a specialized bottom compartment. Instead of just one big open bag with smaller storage pockets, a drop-bottom duffel features a separate compartment at the bottom of the bag that’s accessed with a zipper. It’s designed to store some items separately, like shoes or boots. The drop-bottom compartment also unzips and lays flat, much more like a suitcase. However, drop-bottom rolling duffels tend to tip over easily, so they won’t stand up on their own.
With a history that dates back more than 100 years, Samsonite is one of the best-known luggage companies around. As a leader in durable, convenient, and innovative travel products, its product lineup includes luggage sets, laptop bags, wheeled briefcases, and more.
Rockland is a brand that creates durable yet affordable luggage you can find at many popular retailers. Whether you’re looking for a complete set of suitcases for air travel or convenient rolling duffels, you’ll get good value and plenty of room for whatever you need to carry.
Since 1986, Travelers Club has been a staple in the travel world. With an array of different luggage lines and suitcases and bags in every style, you can find everything you need for a weekend away or a long trip.
Rolling Duffel Pricing
- Under $50: There are several affordable rolling duffels that feature straightforward, simple storage and the convenience of wheels.
- $50 to $100: Most wheeled duffel bags fall within this price range. It covers streamline duffels as well as heavier-duty and more feature-filled options.
- $100 and up: If you’re looking for a premium rolling duffel, you’ll find one in this price range. It’s reserved for the fanciest, most durable, and highest-quality choices.
A rolling duffel bag needs to have durable material. There's little between whatever's inside and all of the dirt, debris, and grime of the outside world — the only thing protecting your items is your duffel's material. So, you want to choose a rolling duffel that's made with material that can withstand both wear and tear and potential damage like abrasions, rips, and tears. Look for bags made with multiple layers of material or reinforced areas like corners and seams.
Telescoping, Locking Handle
The handle of a rolling duffel is just as important as the structure of the bag. Without a good handle, it’s going to be tough to pull and maneuver your duffel. Look for a bag with a telescoping handle or a handle that extends smoothly and easily. You want to be able to adjust the handle to the right height for your hands. Additionally, the handle should lock; the best rolling duffels feature handles that can lock at multiple heights.
Storage Compartments and Pockets
In a bag as open and roomy as a duffel, pockets and various storage compartments come in handy. The more compartments and pockets you have available, the better you’ll be able to maximize your duffel’s storage space. These compartments can help you organize while you pack too, and they provide valuable space for small items like cords, tech gadgets, and more. Drop bottom duffels offer even more flexibility with a compartment designed just for shoes or other things you want to keep separate.
- Larger Isn’t Always Better. While you want a rolling duffel that’s big enough to carry all of the items you plan to stash inside, be careful about choosing one that’s too large. Bigger duffel bags are hard to carry and lift — going too large could leave you with less flexibility, as you’ll only be able to wheel your bag around.
- Check Travel Requirements Before Buying. While most wheeled duffels can be used as carry-on luggage with airlines, it’s important to consider the airlines you travel with most often before buying. You’ll want to check their requirements and luggage sizes to ensure you don’t run into problems trying to use your duffel for flights.
- Zippers Make a Big Difference. When duffel bag zippers break or get stuck easily, they make using the bag frustrating and inconvenient. To avoid these problems, look for bags that are constructed with self-repairing zippers. These tend to operate more smoothly, last longer, and avoid problems.
Best Rolling Duffel Reviews & Recommendations 2021
This rolling duffel is an excellent all-around choice whether you're heading out of town or carrying your gear with you daily. This 22-inch rolling duffel is constructed out of unique supreme "protecflon" polyester, a hardier and heavier-duty 1,200D polyester material. The material should withstand wear and tear — and you'll never have to worry about zipper problems thanks to the self-repairing excel zippers placed throughout the duffel. When empty, the bag weighs 5.1 pounds. It rides on a pair of recessed inline skate wheels with metal ball bearings, and the retractable hideaway handle makes pulling or pushing easy. With an overall size of 12 x 12 x 22 inches and eight pockets scattered through this duffel, you'll have plenty of room for all your stuff.
However, this duffel's handle doesn't lock, and the bag itself tends to tip over easily.
This 30 x 13 x 12-inch duffel on wheels features plenty of room inside, giving you more storage space for your money. It has enough interior space to pack for a weekend or a week, and there are two front zipper-secured compartments for extra room. Made out of 600D heavy-duty polyester material, the soft-sided bag is great for stashing in a car’s trunk or plane overhead bin. It rides on a set of inline skate wheels, which offer smooth mobility. An internal retractable handle can hide when not in use, and an adjustable ergonomic shoulder strap lets you carry the duffel comfortably whenever you’d like to change things up. The bag is even expandable, too, giving you more space as your needs change.
Some downsides to this rolling duffel are that its fabric can tear with extended wear over time. Also, the bag is not as durable as other options.
This rolling duffel is made with high-quality materials and sturdy construction, and it can live up to wear and tear that other rolling duffels can’t. This extra-large oversized wheeled bag measures 42 x 18 x 18 inches in size, giving you enough capacity never to have to stress about packing. It’s made out of 1,200D polyester, which is tough and resilient even in the face of weather and wear. The duffel’s structure is extra sturdy, with five back columns and three inline skate wheels offering support—it can even roll over all types of terrain. A telescopic handle with a firm-feeling grip helps you easily pull even the heaviest and most tightly-packed bags. Though this wheeled duffel features a higher price than many other options, its increased durability and size can make it worthwhile.
Keep in mind that since this rolling duffel is quite large, it is harder to maneuver.
This bag is durable enough for travel and convenient enough to use every day of the week. This 30 x 15 x 15-inch duffel bag weighs 9.5 pounds and features water-resistant dobby polyester material, which is durable and able to handle unpredictable environments. External grab handles let you carry the bag like a traditional duffel, while a locking pull handle enables you to pull via the built-in wheels easily. Corner protectors around the bag's edges help strengthen the duffel and prevent wear at the most important points.
You'll get multiple storage pockets and places on this bag, including a large U-shaped main compartment, a drop-bottom compartment to separate your belongings, and two end pockets designed for shoes or wet items.
With the Travelers Club Xpedition 30-Inch Rolling Multi-Pocket Upright Duffel, you’ll have enough compartments and pockets to organize your belongings effortlessly. This 30 x 13 x 12-inch duffel weighs 6.6 pounds and offers you a 77-liter capacity in its interior spaces. The main compartment is roomy, with plenty of room for clothing, shoes, and more. When it comes to stashing and packing smaller items, six pockets on the exterior of the duffel give you lots of options, and they’re all secure thanks to their zippered closures.
The entire bag is constructed out of 600D polyester, with a cotton lining. The in-set blade wheel system doesn’t eat up any critical packing room, and the retractable telescopic handle makes pulling your stuff along a breeze.
A good wheeled duffel is soft and flexible enough to adapt yet durable enough to survive wear — and the Samsonite Ripstop Rolling Duffel Bag offers both of these benefits. This rolling duffel can be squished and compressed when necessary, but it’s also built to survive some seriously tough wear. Measuring 30 x 15 x 15 inches in size, you’ll love the large main compartment and its interior divider made out of mesh, which helps you better organize whatever’s inside. The entire duffel is constructed out of 840 denier nylon material, which is high-strength and excellent at handling wear. It’s also woven with extra-strength ripstop fibers that prevent tears and rips in the bag.
Other great functional features include locking zippers, polyurethane inline skate wheels, and a top carry handle, making it easy to bring this bag along whether you’re wheeling it or carrying it in hand.
If you’re looking for a duffel that can survive all of the challenges of the great outdoors, take a closer look at the Wrangler Rolling Duffel. This wheeled duffel is light enough to easily carry by hand or wheel anywhere, yet it’s built to handle anything. Constructed out of durable nylon, you can depend on this bag’s structure to hold up whether it’s in storage or in use. You’ll have a roomy main compartment plus multiple zippered pockets — and it’s easy to reach the exterior pockets while you’re on the go. Top and rear carry handles are built right in, along with a heavy-duty blade wheel system that can roll smoothly.
This duffel is approximately the same size as a checked suitcase, making it a bigger option than others on this list. You may want to double-check whether it can be used as a carry on before traveling.
Need to be able to pack a lot of stuff? The TPRC Sierra Madre Duffel Bag will have you covered. This rolling duffel bag offers a whopping 103.2 liters of interior storage space, with an overall size of 30 x 15 x 14 inches and a weight of 5.6 pounds. You’ll be able to stash absolutely everything inside, from shoes to small items to a week’s worth of clothing. The large U-shaped zippered top gives you comprehensive access to the main compartment, while additional size pockets with zippers are perfect for smaller items.
A drop-bottom section lets you separate items, and there’s even a special compartment sized just for shoes. When you’re ready to get rolling, this large duffel rides on a pair of inline skate wheels that take up very little room while offering excellent maneuverability.
The Gonex Rolling Duffle Bag With Wheels is the perfect bag to pick if you’re worried about weather and water. This duffle is designed for performance, and it’s constructed with durable, wear-resistant PVC fabric that’s waterproof. You can take this bag outdoors without worrying about the weather. When it comes to storage, the 70 liters of interior capacity offer you lots of options. There’s a large main compartment, a separated storage compartment, plus smaller zipper-secured pockets and storage spots for organization. The wheels and handle are built right into the duffel, featuring extra tear-resistant rubber around the wheels for flexibility and durability.
There’s another high-performance surprise, too: the bag has a foldable bottom, which means you can fold down the bag compactly when it isn’t in use, helping you save space when you’re storing your luggage.
This is a versatile wheeled option designed to offer you flexibility whether you’re traveling by plane or carrying your items yourself. Made out of durable polyester material, the entire bag weighs just six pounds when empty, giving you more flexibility, especially when you’re keeping airline bag weight limits in mind. The bag itself measures 32 x 13 x 31 inches overall, with a handle that extends to up to 13 inches in length. You’ll be able to pack plenty inside the roomy main compartment, which is also easily accessible.
Four side pockets plus a bungee cord tie-down to give you room to organize and even attach items to the outside of the duffel. Whether you’re carrying items small or large, you’ll have plenty of versatile storage options throughout this large, spacious duffel on wheels.
- Even the most durable duffel bags can be prone to rips and tears when handled aggressively. Avoid sending your bag through airlines’ checked baggage process, as many wheeled duffels aren’t tough enough for that kind of handling.
- Two wheels are standard for rolling duffels, but three wheels can offer even more maneuverability—you may want a three-wheel model if you opt for a larger or heavier bag.
- Keep in mind that rolling duffels don’t have 360-degree rotating wheels like your average suitcase. They’re typically equipped with inline wheels, which are simpler and identical to rollerblade wheels.
Q: What is the best rolling duffel bag?
Our top pick for the best rolling duffel bag is the Olympia 8 Pocket Rolling Duffel Bag, which offers excellent storage and maneuverability.
Q: What is the difference between duffle and duffel?
Duffle and duffel are exactly the same. A duffel bag is the same as a duffle bag and vice versa. The first spelling (-le) was popular before World War II, and the second (-el) became the standard form from the 1940s on.
Q: Can you use a rolling duffel bag for a carry-on?
For most airlines, rolling duffels do work as carry-on luggage. Many of these bags are just the right size to fit in overhead bins or underneath seats, but the measurements and requirements vary from airline to airline.
The Olympia 8 Pocket Rolling Duffel Bag is our favorite, with plenty of room and the right amount of durability. If you’re looking for a bag that’ll offer excellent value, the Rockland Rolling Duffel Bag is another great choice.