Picture of Add Detachable Wheels to a Duffel Bag
I love traveling with duffel bags because they're easy to pack (you can just shove stuff in the corners) and the one I have always fits into the overhead bins on airplanes way easier than those bulky boxy type of rolling suitcases. But, now I'm getting old and creaky so it's harder to schlep my favorite Timbuk2 duffel around on my shoulder nowadays. Here's my simple and easy solution. 
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Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
Thick velcro (about 3 inches wide) - I had some lying around 
2 Wheels - $3.49 each at the hardware store
Metal rod that will fit through the wheels - I got a hollow aluminum tube because it's light and I knew I could cut it with a hack saw - $6.99
4 Shaft collars - for holding the wheels in place on the metal rod. make sure they fit around the metal rod snugly - $3.23 each 
A willing duffel bag - one that is big enough that you won't have to bend over awkwardly to drag it around on its new wheels. Also, it should have a handle on one end (or you can sew one on)
Total cost: ~$28

Sewing machine 
Allen wrench
Hack saw
Sharpie for marking the rod

Excellent idea... also been thinking and dreaming of this for soooo long... God i love the internet soooo much sometimes.... haha.. Thanks a lot once again!

HillaryHarris6 months ago

Hi, wondering about spinner wheels and a pull handle for duffels or totes that have a sleeve that I could fit them over and sit on a base of some kind - keeping it light of course! Any ideas? I have the luggage - two great pieces in fact - but it is just lacking the wheels!

wesyoung1 year ago

Good idea, Ronny K! I made a couple of modifications that worked for my duffel bag (which is 36 x 15 x14 and soft): I decided to attach the axle, not with velcro, but rather using two grommets which I placed in the corners (on the bottom, rather than the side). The velcro looked tricky to me: I don't have much confidence in my sewing ability and the material looked too think for my machine. I first tried roller-blade wheels, which I found were too small; the duffel dragged. I replaced them with 6" lawn mower wheels. They were perfect. Held the wheels and the axle in place with hose clamps and washers. Wheels -- $5 each, 5/16" rod -- $4, hose clamps -- 70 cents each, washers -- dime. Easy to assemble. Thanks again, for the idea!

RonnyK (author)  wesyoung1 year ago

That's awesome! Nice job. I'll have to try out grommets on my next bag.

jhicho1 year ago
thanks for the tips !
sarawelder2 years ago
great ible... I have been pondering for years how to get a lightweight system to add wheels to bags. I can't wait to try this!
tabi2 years ago
THANKYOUUUUUU I had been thinking HOW to make something like this!
Thought about getting some skate rollers... too.
Excellent Ible...Fast, clever and useful...Good job!
RayKenn2 years ago
Great idea! I plan to put this to use soon. Thanks for sharing it.
mazelady2 years ago
Great idea!
RonnyK (author)  mazelady2 years ago
Thanks! Been meaning to do it forever.