A wheeled carry-on backpack

One term we excluded from our search for the most popular names for a man purse last week was carry on. That’s because — like most airlines — we distinguish between bulky luggage stuffed into an overhead bin and those “personal items” you can usually sneak to your seat with. Man bags, messenger bags, and most backpacks are personal items, and that’s what we cover here.

Carry on, it turns out, rates far above messenger bag, but still below backpack in the Google Trend rankings. Which means that adding the term backpack to a wheeled bag might make it more popular — or at least more searchable.

T-Tech Pulse West Broadway 20-inch Wheeled Carry-On Convertible Backpack

Luggage and handbag retailer Tumi may have had similar marketing data in mind when they developed one of their latest products: the T-Tech Pulse West Broadway 20-inch Wheeled Carry-On Convertible Backpack. It comes in graphite or flame (those are colors, not materials — bags in the T-Tech Pulse line are made of a “lightweight, high-performance hybrid nylon”), and features both a retractable handle and a set of shoulder straps that can be hidden when not in use. The bag has a vented water-bottle pocket on the side and wheels on the bottom, of course. Tumi lists it on its website for $325.

Obviously, it’s convenient to be able alternately to pull your gear or carry it on your back. But the combination of carry-on luggage and backpack could yield unexpected benefits, we figure. If you’re backpacking with a group somewhere in a smoothly paved area, and a companion is simply too exhausted to travel further but is wearing one of these, you’d be in luck: Simply have him sit down and grab his ankles tightly, then wheel him to safety.

Tumi’s trademarked Tracer program could also be an advantage. The Tracer is a 20-digit ID and bar code on a metal plate that’s permanently attached to all Tumi gear and can be registered with the company. According to Tumi, the Tracer has helped countless travelers and business-case owners retrieve their lost luggage; now it’s available to help you find your backpack around the campfire too.

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