The Luggage Transformer – When a Suitcase Can be a Backpack

On my recent trip to Berlin I once again had to suffer the dilemma of luggage for a short trip. The dilemma being not able to take my trusty backpack – a 60 litre is just ridiculous for a three day adventure. But suitcases drive me absolutely crazy, ‘suitcase etiquette’ even more so (i.e. having one in your possession does not automatically give you right of way) but for a long weekend they are sometimes the only option unless I pack a very small daypack.

I haven’t quite mastered a three day trip with a 10-15 litre pack… yet.

Ironically I find it hard to pack for a couple of days than I do for a few weeks, but when I came across a suitcase that could also transform into, and be used as, a backpack I praised the travel lords for such an ingenious invention. The Karrimor Global Equator 40 Wheeled Travel Case has both a pull up handle and hidden straps which pull out and clip on to wear as a backpack.

Not only did it boast a great 40 litres of space, it was also listed as a size suitable for maximum hand luggage requirements. Hurrah!


Was it a decent backpack?


Sadly not. It’s not built to be contoured to body shape like your standard backpack and because of this it killed my shoulders and pretty much hurt trying to fling it on and off. However, it was useful to quickly whip up onto one shoulder and skim through a big crowd and get up and down stairs, just not for use on a lengthy journey.


Was it a decent suitcase?


Although it pains me to say I used it as such, when I so wanted a mini backpack, I fully recommend it. It’s available in three colours (including a girly purple pantone), it’s smart looking, maximises space well (enough to squeeze your handbag in when you need to get on the plane with one item of hand luggage only) and it’s got really smooth and quiet wheels. If I have to use a suitcase it has to glide… effortlessly. Which was very handy for Berlin and the long walks between metro stops.

I just had to accept that for a few days my beloved blue backpack wasn’t an option. It was hard to suck it up and difficult to avoid being one of those annoying people that runs over people’s feet with a case and manoeuvres corners briskly like a travellers version of Formula 1, of which I became one. Still, it’s certainly ready and waiting for the next short trip.


The Karrimor Global Equator 40 was supplied by Sports Direct for review. All opinions are my own.



  1. says

    This looks like a pretty cool invention. It’s a shame it’s not so comfortable to carry, but sadly you can rarely have everything you want in one bag.

  2. says

    Oh, you can tell just by looking at the straps it’d make a terrible backpack. And if it’s not going on my back I’d rather just have a carry on sized wheely bag. I’ve come to love my hard cased 360 swivel bag for short trips. And the packing stays so much nicer than in a backpack!

    • Backpacker Becki says

      Yea, that’s true, although it’s handy in some respects. But nothing beats a proper pack. I’ve found packing cells have been good at keeping my packing all nice…and not lost in the depths of the backpack.

  3. Kat says

    I’ve bought a Osprey Sojourn 65 L Convertible backpack, which is really comfortable to carry! The wheels are like big rollerblade wheels, and I can convert it super-quick! Very glad about this invention, as my back isn’t made for lugging around a conventional “backpacker backpack” 😉

    Just saying…

  4. Asif Sadiq says

    I got both sizes of these for a trip to Euro Disney with my 3 kids. They seemed to be OK but they really need to somehow incorporate a hip belt arrangement. Dragging a 12 yr old a six year old and a five year from plane to train to metro and the surface streets of Paris wasn’t pleasant. After about 10 minutes my eldest son was fatigued by his “rucksack” and i ended up wearing it back to front on my chest. My youngest son broke the handle on his trundle along. The only happy traveller was my daughter who insisted on trundling her suitcase everywhere (it was a hardcase and was bright pink)
    So there i am carrying two rucksacks, wheeling my own hardcase with my sons sideways on top fixed with bungee cord and at escalators carring two small cases in my other hand, negotiating my way through Paris.
    The opposing forces of two rucksack straps on my shoulders was reducing the circulation to my arms but still somehow letting lactic acid through to remind me i wasn’t as young as i normally feel. My T-shirt had rode up and the back and the textured cordura fabric had began to rub the skin off at the base of my back. Then mercifully one of the straps broke on the larger “rucksack” at the steel adjuster allowing me some rest. We made it at last after much struggling, mumbled cursing and bribery using Haribo and opal fruits to encourage forward motion. Had a really good time too, the children loved it Paris is more fun than Disney by far.
    I now weigh 15st on 5ft 10″ and have a vice like grip capable of holding any suitcase with ease. I have a North Face rucksack and i travel hyper light (10kg max) We are off to Disney California and San Francisco…. The Karrimor “rucksacks” theyre under the bed storing paperwork old clothes and photgraphs… The wheels are really usefull for pulling the case out easily !!

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