How to Modify a Duffel Bag into a Rolling Suitcase

Rolling Duffel Bag

Rolling suitcases are ideal for walking around airports. However, if you’re on a tight budget, there’s a relatively easy way to add removable wheels to almost any bag you have.

If your duffel bag meets the airline size requirements for hand luggage, you can use it as a rolling suitcase. Select a duffel bag that’s no bigger than 9 by 14 by 22 inches as this is the standard size for most flights and airlines.

Here are the steps you can follow to modify your duffel bag into a “rolling suitcase”. Read on.

Steps to follow when modifying your Duffel Bag into a Rolling Suitcase

What You Require

  • 3-inch wide Velcro
  • Two wheels.
  • A metal rod to fit the wheels through.
  • Four shaft collars for grasping the wheels into position on the metal rod. They should fit securely.
  • Thread.

Tools Needed

  • A hacksaw.
  • Scissors.
  • A sewing machine.
  • A sharpie for making marks on the rod.
  • Allen wrench.

Step 1: Stitching the Velcro on.

You can choose to fix the wheels on the shoe side as it’ll be more stable. Rotate your bag over and then cut two 6 inches-long Velcro pieces. Strip the Velcro apart and pin the soft side of the bag’s base.

Move the bag onto your stitching machine and sew the Velcro back and forth in a zigzag pattern. You can also use jeans or leather needle. Ensure you stitch the strips together. Now, fasten the other Velcro side by stitching it down only at the outside edge.

Ensure you sew back and forth several times to secure it. This should be done on both strips. Next, add a small fold to the other uneven Velcro strip edge to make pulling up simpler. Then fold it under around a quarter-inch and stitch it down.

Now, you’ll be ready to put your wheels together.

Step 2: Assemble the Wheels

Place the metal bar over the base of the bag and mark the bar where the second wheel should end (position the first wheel at the end of the bar). The bag works well if the wheels stick out on the sides of the bag, instead of underneath it. Otherwise, the duffel bag will only tug on the wheels.

Place the shaft collars and wheels on the bar. You may need to unfasten the small screw on the shaft collar side so that it fits on the bar. Observe the placement of the second wheel, and then fasten the small screws on the shaft collars to keep everything in position

However, don’t make it too tight. Otherwise, you’ll twist the bar and it’ll be more difficult to adjust it later. You may want to leave a little jiggle space between the collars for the wheels (around 1/16 inch) so that they can roll easily.

Step 3: Connect the Wheels to the Bag

By opening Velcro, connect the wheels to the bag, slipping the bar against the stitched down end, and then press the Velcro down again. Unless you have an adequately sized metal bar, an extra bar should protrude over one of the wheels.

Then take your bag for a test run to ensure the wheels are in position. If they aren’t in place, adjust them, and then test again. If you think you’ve positioned them perfectly, cut off the additional part of the bar with a hacksaw.

To keep the bar in position, attach two rubber bands to grasp bunches of asparagus together on the bar.

Step 4: You Have a Rolling Duffel Bag Now

Turn the bag over and give it a try. It’s much easier to drag the bag behind you if you position it to the side of your body.

You can detach the wheels fast and easily and put them in your bag if you don’t need them. That’s the best part of this rolling duffel bag. Let’s now look at the benefits of this rolling duffel bag.

Benefits of Wheeled Duffel Bags

  • This non-stiff model is best suited to loading into boats, trains, or even cars. Therefore, when hiring a car, going on a safari, traveling by a tour bus, or going on road tours, a wheeled duffel bag is the best way to go. This is crucial if you’ll be traveling together with your family or as a group.
  • They have a flexible packing room – They adapt better to weirdly shaped items.
  • They have an open packing space – The main benefit of duffel bags is that they have a large packing room. It’s best for people traveling with unwieldy clothing or equipment. Wheeled duffel bags are best suited for skiing, surf trips, camping, or activities that are based on trips.
  • They require easy storage – Most of the time, they can be flattened and this allows you to keep them under your bed or on top of your closet if you’re not using the bag.
  • They are lightweight – Since they don’t have the entire structure, the bags are lightweight.
  • They carry more items – You can pack more gear than in a suitcase. It’s worth considering a wheeled duffel bag if you don’t want to incur extra luggage fees.
  • Robust construction – Duffel bags are constructed using a durable fabric and have two wheels. They endure being dragged. On the contrary, suitcases have more fragile parts and can get scratched easily.

Bottom Line

Perhaps you prefer duffel bags but can no longer handle sores and painful shoulders. If that is so, then a wheeled duffel bag has been made for you! Wheeled duffel bags are the next big thing – particularly, for weekend vacations and road trips.

Wheeled duffel bags have the carrying comfort of a suitcase, paired with the packaging comfort of ordinary duffel bags. That said, you can still pack everything you can carry – but now you don’t need to haul them anymore as they have wheels.