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
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.
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.
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