Backpack Vs. Suitcase

I have yet to see if a backpack worked out better than a suitcase on my travels but I thought I’d write a little blog about the two and how I decided to purchase this snazzy thing instead of taking a suitcase with me.

Buy Terrane 70L Wheeled Trolley Backpack - Denim online at KathmanduBuy Terrane 70L Wheeled Trolley Backpack - Denim online at Kathmandu

I got it on sale the other day from Kathmandu ( for NZ$270
If you look closely it has little wheels on it!
Now it’s not one of those trolley bags where it has the handle and wheels and you can drag it around like a suitcase (Pictured below)- this one just has wheels on the bottom. From what I’ve read and heard, the trolley bags are really uncomfortable to carry as it has such a hard back and they’re heavier because it has the handle that pulls out which adds more weight to it.

Buy Split Level 100L Wheeled Luggage Trolley - Dark Red Online at Kathmandu

When I was looking at bags I had two things in mind. It had to be big enough to carry all my stuff, and it had to be light!
I’ll have trouble later on because the bigger the bag, the more stuff you’re going to want to have in it!
I’m lucky in a sense that when I fly TO America, I’m only allowed 23kg’s but on the way back I’m supposedly allowed 30kgs. Yay!
I’m going to try and take less than 10kg’s over so I have lots of room for shopping 😉 , but we’ll see…I’m going for 3 months so that’s quite a few bottles of Fake Tan.

The bag I got is called a Terrane Wheeled Trolley Backpack.
It doesn’t stand up by itself so if I do want to stand it up it has to be leaning against me. (Unlike a suitcase which will sit by itself)
It has the custom C-3 harness which is easily hidden by zipping up the flap – great for when it’s going on the plane and you don’t want the harness to get tangled up with other passengers luggage!

Buy Terrane 70L Wheeled Trolley Backpack - Denim online at Kathmandu

It’s 70L and I’m thinking it doesn’t quite look like enough room….
I haven’t tried putting in all my stuff yet as I have a few months till I leave for my trip but I might this weekend.
The weight of the bag itself is 3.44kg’s (Including the day bag attatched) so I’m going to see if I can pack about 8kg’s. I’ll use the day bag as my carry on luggage 🙂
It’s worth noting that there’s 2 sizes of this bag. Depending on your frame – so if you are going to go ahead and buy a backpack make sure you get it fitted in the store or ask them how to fit them properly. They’re meant to sit on your hips, not just hang off your shoulders like I thought!
The straps on the bag I ended up buying were slightly smaller than the one on display (I’m assuming the one on display was for taller/wider people)
I also liked how this bag zipped open like a suitcase. I hate having to rummage through my whole bag just to find something at the bottom!


When I went to Thailand with my friend, I bought a different friends backpack with me. It was great as we stayed in Phuket, travelled to Koh Samui, went to Phi Phi Island and Koh Phangan.
We didn’t just stay in one place so it was easier to heave something on my back and travel around like that.
The only time it got annoying was when we were on Phi Phi Island trying to find some accommodation in the sweltering heat and I was walking around for an hour carrying 20kgs on my back.

Pro’s of Backpacks
– Better mobility
Stairs at a hostel? I’d rather carry a backpack than lift 23kg’s up 4 flights of stairs.

– Roads/un-even surfaces
I don’t have to worry about dragging a suitcase down a cobblestone road in Europe.

– It helps to check out of Hotels easily
When I want to go, I can go. I don’t have to worry about leaving my suitcase at reception until my flight later than night. (Even thought I might take advantage of free storage after check-out anyways)

– Your hands are free!
When you’re paying for stuff or having a browse in a store you don’t have to worry about putting your suitcase down and leaving anything behind.

– They’re durable
The backpack I bought is meant to be able to withstand wear and tear pretty well so here’s hoping! x


– Cost
Some are bloody expensive! I’m happy I got mine on sale but still – $270! This better last me lots of trips.

– They can be a burden on your back
If you don’t get them fitted properly I’m sure they’ll end up hurting your back but I’m hoping mine will be fine 🙂

– Hard to organize
As mine opens up like a suitcase I’m hoping that it’ll be easier to find stuff then having to dig right down to the bottom for a toothbrush.

Unless you have locks on all the zippers, someone can easily come up behind you and sneak something out of your bag without you realising.


When I think of a suitcase I think, Holiday
Like an actual relaxing by the pool, drinks in my hand, book in my lap-type holiday.
When I went to Bali last year having my suitcase was perfect. My partner and I stayed at hotels for long periods of time and we always travelled by Taxi so we never really had to carry our bags. Even if we did have to roll them anywhere there was always someone willing to take them for us (At the hotels, not just some randoms)


– Your belongings won’t get damaged
Well, not as much… I wouldn’t be taking a laptop in my backpack but I would in a suitcase (And just stuff it in between some towels)

– You won’t get a sweaty back and yucky bag straps
Nothing worse then walking around with a bag on your back all afternoon and having a massive sweat patch. Plus all that sweat getting on the straps! gross.

– Easier access
You open it, and everything is spread out for you to see!  Easy 🙂 and so much tidier.

– Some are waterproof

– Much easier to clean

– You can wheel it around (And it makes a good seat)


– Harder to carry up stairs

– Rough ground, grass or sand
Those wheels will not glide through/on very well…

They can be bulky and hard to fit under beds in hostels or in lockers

– More can go wrong with wheels
If one’s broken, you pretty much need to get a whole new suitcase for your travels. Or you can just wait until you get home and half wheel it around.

Thanks for reading! 🙂




One thought on “Backpack Vs. Suitcase

  1. ambitiouswanderer April 2, 2015 / 7:06 am

    Wow, your backpack seems really handy! Especially with the what looks like some sort of extra strap-on mini-backpack on it. You’ll have so much space and little places to store things!

    As I’m more of a cheap traveller I bought my backpack secondhand (for $30,-). It’s nowhere near as fancy (or large) as yours, but it has worked for me so far. At least, because it is smaller I won’t have to worry too much about it being too heavy, because I can’t put too mch stuff in there.

    Be careful you don’t make that mistake though, if you’re used to dragging your suitcase around haha. I think you’ll love the backpack, so much more practical (:


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