In a perfect world, your luggage would follow you around like a well-trained puppy. It would keep up with you while rushing to the gate to catch your flight and happily handle the cobblestoned streets of Rome without needing to be carried in your arms—all while looking incredibly cute and catching the attention of everyone you pass.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case (and, by the way, you’ll probably have to wait until next year before the trained puppy-like robotic luggage might be available to purchase). That vintage leather suitcase that’s seen every corner of the world is beautiful and romantic in theory, but schlepping it from the baggage carousel at Charles De Gaulle airport to the metro and up nine floors of uneven, winding stairs to your non–air conditioned, Parisian rooftop rental flat? We can’t think of anything less glamorous (especially if it’s packed with two weeks’ worth of clothes, shoes, and guidebooks).
As hard as it may be to admit, backpacks with wheels are your friends, like trusty standbys in good times and bad. Just ask anyone who has ever sprinted between terminals to make a tight connecting flight or who’s struggled to make the Eurostar before the doors close: without that all-important rolling carry-on, they’d have been stranded without so much as a meal voucher.
So what’s a savvy frequent traveler to do if they want to get around fast and with ease while still feeling stylish? Fear not. There are aesthetically pleasing options out there, and we’ve done the research for you. Here, 17 wheeled bags that balance great looks with a design that’s durable, sturdy, and above all, easy-to-handle. Until hands-free luggage becomes mainstream, these sleek rolling backpacks, bags, and duffels will be your best friend for everything from a weekend getaway to a grand tour of Europe.