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03 Aug Backpack Or Rolling Suitcase: Which Should You Travel With?

Choosing between a backpack and a rolling suitcase to use on your travel is a tough one. Each item offers a long list of pros and cons, and their features vary so much. Picking the right one for you entails putting into consideration a number of factors that you may need and encounter on your trip.

To help you make a decision on which one will suit you better, let us look at some of their most important advantages and disadvantages:

Backpack

Positives:

  • Climbing up staircases. When there is a need to walk up three or five flights of stairs to get to your room in a hostel, a backpack is the best option as the weight of all your things is evenly distributed across your back.
  • Walking on cobblestone or uneven roads. Dragging a suitcase along bumpy ground as you are looking for your hostel in the middle of a medieval plaza in Italy can be really annoying and can damage the wheels of your luggage, so having a backpack is the better choice.

Negatives:

  • Wrinkled clothes. Because backpacks do not have really solid body frames, shirts and other garments that you keep in there may wrinkle easily due to being squeezed and constricted.
  • Back and shoulder pains. Wearing a 10-kilogram backpack for an extended time will definitely cause some aching on your shoulders and back, so people who already have back issues are discouraged to use it.

Rolling Suitcase

Positives:

  • Rolling suitcases have wheels so they can easily be dragged behind you as you try to find your way to your lodging or as you go from one platform to another in a city’s central train station. They spare you from the soreness, discomfort, and struggles of carrying an additional load of at least 10% that of your body weight.
  • Easier access to your belongings. Unlike backpacks which usually require you to first remove the things at the top before you can reach stuff at the bottom, rolling suitcases let you get your hands on your clothes without having to dig through the pile. They can be laid flat on the floor to provide quick access to everything inside all at once.

Negatives:

  • Hard to drag on uneven ground. If you need to walk a few kilometers to your destination with your suitcase with you, pulling it along cobblestone streets or some gravel road can be frustrating. Carrying it will be difficult and will only leave your arms in pain.
  • Too formal-looking. Unfortunately, there are people who think rolling suitcases are too formal and should only be used for business trips and such. They have this notion that wheeled luggage is not suitable for backpacking. Since when did “looking formal” while on vacation, whether for business or pleasure, get a bad rap? Does backpacking even have a strict rule requiring that you use luggage that does not make you look a particular way? This is such an absurd view that needs to go away.

There you go. Whether you choose a backpack or a rolling suitcase, the most important thing is to take a high-quality, sturdy bag that you are most comfortable with.

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