So I have some back problems, and my physio recommended a rolling backpack. But unfortunately, none of them seem to come with a waist strap. Sometimes I will use the shoulder straps of a backpack when rolling the bag along is not an option (e.g. if I'm cycling or hiking of whatever). Anyone know of something I could use?
Eagle Creek makes quite a few wheeled backpacks, that come with a suspension type strap and waistband set up. One model you can remove the harness system to reduce the backpack's weight if you are traveling somewhere that you won't need the straps.
And contrary to backpacker purists beliefs, are comfortable to carry as a backpack. They are not form fitting as a high end trekking pack, so not really for long hikes in the mountains, but great for cruising through towns, hopping on and off buses, trains, etc.
"Good wheeled backpack" is considered an oxymoron by most serious backpackers, myself included. Wheels add extra weight, rigidity, and break-ability to what otherwise could be a perfect bag. However, if health concerns dictate the use of wheels, there's not much that can be done about the requirement. That doesn't mean there are products that will actually meet your needs, though.
While there may exist backpacks with waist straps and wheels, I doubt you'll find much selection, as the demographic which uses wheels is pretty much the polar opposite of that which uses waist straps.
Therefore, my recommendation would be to buy a small, collapsible, and light-weight luggage cart which you can attach to the outside of your backpack using ties or a bungee cord. This way you can buy the best back pack for your needs, and still use wheels when the situation calls for it.
I have been extremely happy with my Osprey Sojourner wheeled backpack.
It has been on numerous business trips as carry on luggage, and has also been to the top of Mt Fuji and to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (once climbing down and once climbing up the Bright Angel Trail).
It has a full suspension system with a padded waist belt. I bought it in 2008 to allow me to do some hiking trips while on business trips and it has worked out well as a dual purpose pack.
It is now showing some wear, but still functional. The plastic foot that lets it stand up on a flat floor is broken, so I'm shopping for a replacement.
I can recommend this number from Victorinox:
- Cabin friendly
- Shoulder strap + waist strap
- Handle fits nicely in the bag; and detracts minimally from the interior room.
- Very light weight.
Lots of straps to manage - I could never get them arranged neatly enough.
Then handle although has very good height, it is difficult to pull down (the handle has a button that needs to be pressed and then the handle twisted to unlock) and during a trip the top of it broke off - but his was mainly due to my hamfisting rather than the quality of the bag itself. Quickly replaced by the vendor.
The Osprey Sojourner recommended by James gets great reviews as well; but it looks too much like a duffle bag for my liking.