Navigation Menu

It’s the great debate among travelers – backpacks vs wheels. On one hand, a backpack is easier to get around with, and wheels don’t bode well on cobblestone streets or through jungles (I’ve tried). But on the other hand, after a couple of trips hauling a heavy backpack, even the most hardened travelers have secretly wished for wheels.

So which is better? The good news is you no longer have to decide. Leading brands like BlackWolf Adventure Gear offer hybrids; a wheeled travel backpack, which is basically like a suitcase you can take off road. When the terrain becomes too much for the wheels to handle, simply pick it up and put it on your back.

Combining the best parts of a suitcase (the wheels, handle and packing structure), and the best parts of a backpack (removable day pack, compression straps, terrific support), today we review the BlackWolf Grand Tour (available in Australia and New Zealand).

Choosing a Travel Backpack with Wheels: BlackWolf Grand Tour Review

A practical wheeled travel backpack, with the versatility of a zip-off daypack and generous internal space.

A practical wheeled travel backpack, with the versatility of a zip-off daypack and generous internal space.

Key Features

Updated with a new streamlined shape, the Grand Tour has all the features of a high quality travel pack, though with the added bonus of easily converting into wheeled luggage. With the option of 85 or 65 liters, it can be wheeled, carried like a suitcase, a shoulder bag or can be worn like a rucksack.

And with a new stylish detachable daypack with headphone port, and internal organiser with key clip and side mesh pockets, it has everything you need and nothing you don’t; a highly functional wheeled travel bag.

Features of the Grand Tour

  • Tough inline 4WD wheels designed to tackle all terrain.
  • A full backapck harness cover to conceal straps for airport travel.
  • Bungee system
  • Four compression straps
  • External Headphone Port (located on detachable day pack)
  • Front access with a padded laptop compartment
  • Six internal organiser pockets
  • Lockable size 10 zippers
  • Waterbottle pockets
  • Night reflective daisyloop
  • Padded waist strap and hip belt to comfortably carry the bag on your back
  • Removable daypack which zips effortlessly onto the streamlined main bag
  • RFID protected (designed to help insulate you from a very particular brand of electronic pickpocketing, called RFID skimming)
  • Extendable two stage handle for reliable transport of heavy loads
  • Fabric: 420D mini ripstop PU, 600D Polyweave EXCEL
  • Solid EVA backed base which protects the internal components from being crushed in transit, as well as allows the bag to stand upright.

Why Would You Get This Backpack for Your Trips?

There are some really cool options with this pack such as the fact that you can detach the top of the bag and turn it into a smaller bag that can be used by itself.

There are quite a couple scenarios in which this function would come in handy in a big way, for example utilizing the second bag as a day pack, or for an overnight trip, without taking the rest of your gear. For example if you’ve reached camp and you want to take a short hike but don’t want to carry the weight of the entire backpack.

The day pack features an internal organizer, headphone port, padded laptop compartment, RFID protected pocket, and is hydration compatible (dual side). There are two compartments, utility webbing, a night reflective daisy loop, and lockable zips.

Easy Access to Everything in Your Pack

A real pain point with a lot of backpacks is that it’s difficult to access and keep everything organized within your pack, however the Grand Tour does a fantastic job of addressing this.

The pack opens like a suitcase, and large panel openings allow easy access to everything in your pack. On top of this there are internal compression and organising pockets, along with a number of pouches help you stay organized, and a separate bottom compartment for your sleeping bag or dirty clothes.

The detachable daypack works well as carry on for your inflight essentials and also for day trips when you don’t have your large bag with you.

A practical wheeled travel backpack, with the versatility of a zip-off daypack and generous internal space.

A practical wheeled travel backpack, with the versatility of a zip-off daypack and generous internal space.

Your Size of Choice

The 85L is a larger size that’s super spacious, with room for all gear and any extra items you pick up during your travels. It weighs 5.2 kg.

The 65L is the smaller size, but due to it’s clever design it’s still suprisingly spacious. It weighs 4.8 kg. Both bags are designed with incredible support for your back and torso, which means you never feel uncomfortable with transporting larger loads over really long distances, if you choose not utilize the wheels.

A practical wheeled travel backpack, with the versatility of a zip-off daypack and generous internal space, the Grand Tour from BlackWolf is a bag we can recommend.

 Shop Now at BlackWolf

OTHER  BLACKWOLF BAGS WE RECOMMEND: CLICK FOR BAG INFO ↓

Grand Traverse

 

Sierra

Roller Duffle

SPREAD THE WORD! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS ↓

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.

    32 Comments

  1. This is awesome. I have a suitcase that converts to a backpack, which I absolutely love. But when I’m lugging my bag in airports or subway stations and my husband is happily wheeling his suitcase along, I admit, I do get pretty jealous! Then again, when we’re trekking down cobbled streets in Europe or along the bumpy dirt roads of Indonesia, he’s in misery while I’m A-OK!

    Definitely looking into this combo style bag next time we need to upgrade.

    j

    • Haha a bit of reciprocal jealousy going on there then! Definitely consider the Grand Tour when it comes time to upgrade, the nice thing is the different sizing, so if your husband is a bit taller he could go with the 85, where the 65 is quite a good fit for women’s average height.

  2. I admire your courage. It seems that you may be a fun person.

    • Thanks Al :) This pack definitely makes it possible for fun trips.

  3. LOVE that this case has the best of both! I’m definitely going to consider this for my next big trip.

    • Awesome Danielle – you’ll love the Grand Tour :)

  4. Such a smart design! It makes so much sense to have the option for wheels because there are definitely times when I’d love to not have a big pack on my back. Not to mention, I love the detachable daypack. It adds such function without having to worry about packing another bag for daily activities. Any word on when Blackwolf might be selling this product in the U.S?

    • Absolutely – they’ve put so much thought into making it smart and practical for use; the detachable day pack is a huge bonus. I’ll let you know if I hear anything about opening shipments to the US – right now I haven’t really found an international equivalent, so I think they might have a big market if they chose to :)

  5. This is incredible! I think one of its best features aside from it is easily convertible to a wheeled luggage is the detachable daypack. You don’t have to bring an extra bag with you for day tours which is very helpful!

    • The detachable daypack is a massive bonus for sure – a very clever design. It’s so practical, and amazing that it zips on and off so easily. Can highly recommend the Grand Tour :)

  6. I absolutely love this backpack. It has wheels and a day pack all in one. Gosh, this is exactly something that I need. I think I would go for the 65L as the bigger one would be too much for me.

    • 65 L is a good choice if you’re a bit smaller – and still fits an incredible amount in. I can highly recommend this design :)

  7. What a great idea, there are so many places where one or the other is an issue. Even in major cities the benefit of popping it on your back on roughly cobbled streets or stairs would be a help. I’ve had to carry my suitcase up several flights of stairs in both a Sydney and Osaka train station and a pack would have been so much easier. Also love that it opens like a suitcase, the worst part about a traditional pack is the mess it ends up in from having to rummage to the bottom to find things.

    • Absolutely Toni – they’ve truly achieved the best of both worlds. It doesn’t cut it for me to have to choose one or the other anymore, I want to be able to roll but then throw it on my back when I need to :)

      And yes, incorporating the packing structure of a suitcase is a huge win – this has definitely been the downfall of the traditional pack in the past – it was always a hassle to find anything! Not any more – I truly love the Grand Tour :)

  8. I’m a wheeled spinner case kind of girl all the way. A backpack as my main piece of luggage just wouldn’t ever work for me. But I will admit that I’ve been toying with the idea of a backpack as a carry-on. My should gets so sort carrying my tote bag with heavy electronics in it.

    • Definitely check out the smaller backpacks from BlackWolf then if you’re considering a carry on – they have a lot of different options which would work really well for this too :)

  9. Hey Meg, glad that I found your review. I am currently looking for a duffel (trying to get a quality bag while we are in Australia since it wouldn’t be as easy in non-English speaking countries). I was thinking about getting Eagle Creek since we’d been using them for years, but it proves to be problematic in Perth. I haven’t heard about Black Wolf brand, so need your honest opinion about quality of material and craftsmanship. We need something that would last at least for couple years of constant travel and air travel abuse. Would you recommend Black Wolf from this point of view? Or should I look for something else? Thanks!

    • Hi Elena, thanks for stopping by (and hope you’re having a fab time in Australia!) Eagle Creek is a really great brand too, in terms of quality, BlackWolf is of the same standard.

      After I got this pack my sister and her boyfriend bought the same one, and have just returned from camping / traveling throughout Europe. It served them really well even though it copped a fair amount of abuse.

      Material and craftmanship are excellent in my experience, and they have a very strong reputation as a top Australian adventure brand. If you’re in Perth you can actually check out their bags in different retail stores, and physically see the product for yourself – jump to http://www.blackwolf.com.au/where-to-buy, set the country to Australia, and then the postcode for Perth is 6000 – it’ll bring up 10 or so stores which stock the brand in the city and surrounds.

      Hope that helps – I haven’t yet traveled with it for a couple of years, but so far it’s proven to be sturdy and durable. Let me know if you have any other questions :)

  10. Hey Megan,

    The bag looks very cool and seems to be perfect for travelers like me. My only issue with backpack wheelers is that they are great to be wheeled around. But when you have to carry them on your back, they break your back with their weight.

    • Hi Archana, if you’re not used to backpacking, then yes, it can be quite heavy depending on what you pack of course. Though you get used to carrying the bag on your back the more you travel, and it is designed with fantastic back and shoulder support so you’re not causing any damage carrying that much weight :)

  11. Thank you, Meg. I greatly appreciate your detailed response. I am going to check a couple stores close-by to see if I can “touch and feel” my bag of choice in person. Great to know that Blackwolf is of the same quality as EagleCreek since it comes almost 100AUD cheaper than comparable EC one. Cheers!

    • You’re welcome – let us know what you think after you head into the stores :)

  12. Nice idea to have a backpack with wheels. Blackwolf must have come up with great materials to maintain the weight at 4.8 kg.

    • Absolutely – they’ve done a killer job on the design :)

  13. Long ago I decided to retire my backpack and travel with a carry-on suitcase. But as you well point out, it’s not easy to carry one when you’re walking around some old town’s cobbled streets or going to some off-the-beaten-track accommodation. I guess I found what I’ve been looking for! :-)

    • Glad we could help Pedro – it’s an amazing bag for taking advantage of the best of both worlds, and you can turn the zip off day pack into a carryon and when you arrive, zip it straight back onto the bag. Works really well :)

  14. A backpack with wheels? That s a great idea? And it is only 4.8 kg? It sounds like the best backpack in the World.

    • It truly is! I’m loving mine :)

  15. Hi Meg!
    In the photos are you wearing the 85 or the 65L one?

    • Hi Nadia, the one I’m wearing in photos is the 85 L, so the 65 L would sit lower :)

  16. What is the size of the smaller ine?? Will it pass as a carry on in the airplane

    • Hi Deb, the smaller size is 65 L + the 20 L day pack. You’d be able to take the day pack on as carryon, but not the bag itself.

      The 65 L bag weighs 4.8 Kg for just the bag, and carryon limits are usually around 7 kg total, so it doesn’t give you much leeway there for packing anything.

      The dimensions are 63 X 33 X 25 Cm, which you might be able to get away with on some airlines as the standard size for cabin luggage is around 56cm x 36cm x 23cm, so not too far off. The biggest thing that you’ll get hit with is the weight though, if the airline is one that weighs carryon, as some nowadays do.

      Hope that helps!

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share61
Tweet104
Pin54
Flip
Share