Can you add wheels to a backpack?

It won’t be pleasant if you’re going a long way carrying a heavy bag on your shoulder. After a while, you’ll get tired. So, having a handle and wheels in your backpack or bag will be a relief.

If you have brought a wheeled backpack, it’s completely fine, but if you don’t have a wheeled backpack but need it, then the article is for you. 

When you add or install wheels to your backpack, you need an attachment kit including the necessary components. The attachments include straps and roller-blade-style wheels. 

In this article, I’ll tell you how to add wheels to your backpack and some necessary things you need to know about backpack wheels

Can you add wheels on your backpack?
wheels to a backpack

Required tools and parts for adding wheels to a backpack: 

Required tools and parts for adding wheels to a backpack: 

The main tool that is required is  a screwdriver and a drill machine. You also can attach straps if you want. Moreover, if you want to add screws to your bag for a more permanent solution. Adding more, you can use glue to add wheels to your backpack, and it’s the best way to install wheels. Using double-sided glue or adhesives is very important in this process. 

Other tools that might be required  

Wheels: There are 2 kinds of wheels- one is rubber-made, and the other is irony wheels. 

Metal plates: Aluminum metal plates are nice and shiny and won’t rust. Wooden or plexiglass metal plates are also good. 

Nuts and bolts: 

I don’t need to tell you that without nuts and bolts, the plate and wheels won’t stay in the right place and fall off.

Grommeting kits: 

Grommeting kits help reinforce the holes in your bag to hold the plate. 

A marker to mark the drilling place.

And obviously, the backpack on which you’re doing the work. However, the process is when you have gathered all the tools and necessary things in your hand.

How to add wheels to a backpack? 

How to add wheels to a backpack? 

The process has 4 steps as- Drilling, Marking, Grommeting, and Bolting. 

First step- Drill the holes in the plate: 

Once you have started the process, drill the holes in the metallic plate. Then, place and fix the casters and mark the places on the metal using a marker. 

Then, you need to use the marker again in another place where you want to make holes. The holes should be at the end of the plate. Thus, the plate will be secure in the bag and won’t stick out. 

Now, take the drill or the plate on the drill, whatever is convenient for you. Now, drill out the holes. Here, I have some advice for inexperienced people in drill work: start the drilling with a small bit of ⅛ inches. Make a pilot hole first and re-drill the same hole with a bit. 

However, if you’re experienced, you can take the bit of ¼ inches if you want ¼ holes. 

Second step-Marking: 

Take the drilled-out metal plate and position it into the backpack. Usually, the positioning place is on the bottom because the luggage wheels will be there.

Now, take the marker and mark the holes you’ve drilled. Why do you need to mark the holes when they’re already drilled out? It’s because the grommets’ll line up in the right position when you put the grommets. It’s very important. Otherwise, the line-up of the wholes and grommets won’t match. 

Third step- Grommeting: 

In this step, you must put some grommets into the marked holes. The grommets will hold the nuts and bolts strictly. When you fix the nuts and bolts, they won’t tear and fall apart. As a result, the wheels will stay with the backpack. 

Here is one thing I would like to tell you: when you take the whole punching part to make holes in the marked areas, then place a wood block in the bag and hammer to punch a hole into it. It may take some time if it isn’t very sharp; especially if the grommet is geared, it’ll be hard to cut. You must read the instructions very carefully. 

Moving forward, now place the 2 grommet pieces on opposite sides of the holes that you cut and hammer the 2 pieces by using the special grommet blocks and punch. Your bag has become full of holes now, and it’s very good for your pack. 

Fourth step- Bolting: 

Now, the final step of bolting is left. Line up the plate and casters over the holes and bolt them. To make it weather-tight, add some rubber washers inside the bolts. 

Now, your backpack has become a wheeled backpack because you have a wheeled metal plate attached to your bag. Let the grommet dry and adjust the bag very well. Then, it’s ready to roll out like a rolling suitcase.

The types of backpack wheels:

When you’re going to install wheels on your backpack, you need to know the wheel types. There are different types of wheels, all with different features and uses. 

However, the most common type is a traditional wheel. The traditional wheels can endure the heavy load of your backpack.

Another type is detachable wheels. Detachable wheels can be inside your backpack and fixed with covers when the bag isn’t used. 

The third type of wheel is roller-blade style wheels. These are cater-type wheels and reduce friction. It has retractable handles and roll-on skateboard-style bearings. So, choose according to your style. 

The types of attachment of backpack wheels: 

There are several attachment options, such as strap attachments, rivets, or screw attachments. If your backpack is traditional, a strap attachment is a better option.

Safety tips for installing backpack wheels: 

Whatever you do- safety comes first. The wheels shouldn’t spoil your bag and make a tear on it. You should keep an eye on several things, such as

  • As it is a Do It Yourself project, you may think it’s a very easy task, but wait. Every task needed to be learned first. So, learning shouldn’t be overlooked.
  • Never overload your backpack that becomes overweight and makes it difficult to carry the wheels. 
  • If your backpack is made from lightweight materials such as nylon or synthetic leather and the wheels are added with the wrong type of adhesive or screw, they can easily tear on the fabric and break apart under the extra weight.
  • Choose the right type of wheels that can handle a full-size backpack, shock absorption power, off-road ability, and durability. 

In conclusion, you know now all about adding wheels to your backpack. So, start your journey rightly. There are so many video tutorials on YouTube on the backpack wheel installation process. You can watch them or learn from an expert or experienced person. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

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