What Is A Spinner Luggage? Here’s the difference It’s about the wheels

By James Smith
spinner luggage with four wheels
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When I was looking to buy my first suitcase I was wondering what is spinner luggage? Here’s what I’ve learned

A spinner luggage has 4 wheels instead of 2 wheels, which makes it able to stand on its own and you can drag it when it’s standing up. A traditional 2-wheelers rolling luggage you have to pull it behind you, with a spinner luggage you can move it in any direction (even sideways) and has pivoting wheels so you can ‘spin’ it around 360 degrees which is why it’s called spinner bags.

Pros and cons with a spinner luggage

Pros

  • Ergonomic, no needed to pull the suitcase behind you.
  • Perfect for heavy bags it’s very stable on flat surfaces.
  • Will glide very effortlessly on concrete, tiles, airport floors and basically everything that’s very flat
  • Can be rolled in front, the back or on the sides of you.
  • Can move in any direction
  • Stands up on its own, not have to worry about it falling while leaving it alone.
  • Can be rolled sideways in tight rooms such as aisle of an airplane.
  • Space on top of the bag to support for additional shoulder bag or briefcase.

With a traditional two-wheeled luggage if you put additional bags on top of your luggage you’ll definitely feel that extra weight and cause fatigue and stress on your arms. With a spinner luggage when you put additional bags on top the weight is supported by the four wheels are much easier to push.

Cons

  • Wheels often smaller, perfect for airports or hotels, but on sidewalks can crack easily if you don’t go for high-quality wheels
  • Reduced bag capacity, You get less interior packing space because of the max limitations of a luggage set by the airlines. The body of the bag has to stand on the fours wheels base which makes it longer and thus have to reduce the bad capacity.
  • Can tip over more easily if not packed the most optimal way, try to get the more heavy stuff at the bottom.

 

Pros and cons with a two-wheeled luggage

Pros

  • Easier to use on carpeting, sidewalks or cobblestones.
  • Bigger interior space, the wheels base aren’t as big as a spinner luggage
  • More durability since it’s only two wheels that can break instead of four

Cons

  • Tilts forward only goes one direction
  • Not as stable standing on its own can fall down easier with a little push

Make sure to test the suitcase with a walk to make sure that when you drag it behind you don’t hit it with the back of your foot, that means that it’s to short for your height and you should go with a longer handle.

How durable are spinner luggage?

Spinner luggage is little different since it has a wheelbase with four wheels instead of no wheels base and only two smaller wheels, the quality of the wheels depends on what you pay for but it’s often plastic wheels as usual so you should be little careful so they don’t crack. On cobblestone or on the street if you hit a curb too hard the wheels can break.

Often times a two-wheel suitcase handles the street a little bit better, but on hotels, carpets, airports or flat surface the spinner luggage rolls a lot smoother.

You get what you pay for, the quality can differ a lot on the wheels. Quality spinner luggage brands are more expensive but definitely worth it. If you have the budget some well-known brands are Samsonite and TravelPro (Amazon link) which are used by pilots as well.

Reasons why suitcases with spinner wheels can break

The wheels aren’t indestructible on either 4 wheelers or 2 wheelers, often on the lower ranger it’s just cheap plastic wheels sometimes people even do their own modifications such as replacing them with skateboard wheels for better durability. Either way here is some common reason the wheels might not survive for.

Probably the most common one is breaking from a fall or dropped from a height, often when it only lands on one wheel. It can happen either when the ground crew loads it off from the plane, misses the belt loader, throws out of the door on to the tarmac. They are on a tight time schedule and mistakes do happen, it maybe falls off the wagon or when they load all the luggage into the plane.

When you take it from the belt conveyor you might drop it if you’re not careful, either way, its wear and tear and suitcases are not indestructible it happens.

Some tips before buying a spinner luggage

  1. Don’t go for a too large luggage since if you only pack it half full and it’s a big suitcase then it will more easily move around and throwing the case out of balance. So it depends what you’re needs are if you are traveling for a long time then you might need a bigger luggage to fill it up but if you’re not traveling for so long go for one that will suit the amount of thing you will pack just so it’s not to much empty space. If it’s to much empty space just a little bump or uneven space will make it wobbly and get out of balance.
  2. Test the handle heights to make sure it fits your length. Often times if you get one that is too short you will bang your foot against the suitcase while your walking and you have to bend down as well if it’s too short too. So test one and make sure the height fits you.
  3. Make sure the handle is solid. Even though it has four wheels occasionally you will have to pick it up to put it in the trunk of a car or above your seat in the airplane. The fabric handles gets often flimsy and loose that will make it hard to carry sometimes especially if the suitcase is fully loaded.
  4. Built it TSA Approved lock, some but not all have site mounted built-in locks for the zipper pullers. But If the bag doesn’t have an inbuilt lock you can purchase a TSA approved lock and attach to it, works just as good. Learn more about what TSA approved means and best luggage locks.

Why the rise of popularity of spinner luggage?

The rise in popularity can be hard to pinpoint exactly why, but I believe many chose it for those who travel often or commute to work often. If you’re gonna walk long distances and encounter a lot of flat surfaces the 4-wheeler handles that very well and glides across the floor easily plus they are not too big either. Some people also don’t like dragging the luggage because it might be heavy, for disability purposes, too tall or short.

So for a short answer, convenient, easy to maneuver, reduces the weight and fatigue on your arms.

Also by these google trends graph, you can see the rise of searches with the word ‘spinner luggage’.

trend spinner luggage popularity

Leave a comment below on what your experiences are with spinner luggage’s, have you tried one?

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Hi, I'm James Smith, I love traveling and always looking to optimize the traveling life to make it as comfortable and stress-free as possible. I especially love to nerd out about choosing the right luggage.

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