Best Spinner Luggage

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

32 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
276 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Shopping for the best spinner luggage

Last Updated October 2019

No one wants to lug around heavy bags while they’re traveling, especially if you have to run to catch a connecting flight — at the other end of the terminal. If you want the easiest bags to roll through the airport, spinner luggage is the obvious choice.

Unlike most rolling bags that have two wheels, spinner luggage features four wheels. These important extra wheels allow the suitcase to move 360º, so you can push it in front of you, pull it behind you, or roll it alongside you. It’s also a snap to navigate tight spaces, because the wheels can turn in any direction, which makes dashing through the airport or rolling down the narrow aisle of a plane much easier.

But first, you’ll need to decide the ideal size and style of suitcase for your needs, if a single bag or set works best, and what other features will make travel more convenient. Fortunately, our guide can help you find the perfect spinner luggage for your next trip. If you want to simplify the shopping process even further, we’ve included specific product recommendations to save you time.

Because carry-on and checked baggage size restrictions vary by airline, check your carrier’s website to make sure your spinner luggage meets the guidelines.

Key considerations


Size

Carry-on spinner luggage: The sizing guidelines for carry-on luggage can vary from airline to airline, but in general, most carriers don’t allow bags larger than 22 inches in height. The benefit of choosing carry-on spinner luggage is that you won’t have to wait at baggage claim to retrieve your bag after a flight, so you can reach your destination more quickly. Because of the smaller size, though, these spinner bags won’t hold as much, so they’re best suited for trips of four days or less.

Large spinner luggage: You’ll have to check large spinner luggage, which is usually 24 to 30 inches in height. You can find some options that are even larger, but they may not be allowed by some airlines. [To avoid an overweight baggage fee, you may also want to look at our recommendations for luggage scales.]


Sets vs. singles

Like traditional rolling luggage, you can purchase spinner luggage in a set or as single bags. Sets range from two to four pieces, with bags in all different sizes. Even though it costs more up front to buy a set than a single spinner suitcase, it can be a better value because you’ll be paying less per bag. Individual spinner luggage pieces are a better option if you only need one bag of a specific size or are looking to supplement an existing set.


​​​​​​​Soft-sided vs. hard-sided

Soft-sided spinner luggage is made of fabric with some give to it. Most bags feature some type of nylon, such as ballistic nylon, ripstop nylon, or Cordura. Because they’re made of fabric, these bags are usually lighter, so they can be easier to lift. They also have the ability to flex, so you can stuff more items inside. Soft-sided spinner luggage is more likely to become damaged, though, because fabric can tear or rip more easily.

Hard-sided spinner luggage, on the other hand, is often made of plastic, such as polycarbonate or ABS, and is much more durable. While the plastic is lightweight, these bags are usually heavier than soft-sided options. Aluminum is also used for hard-sided luggage, which can be considerably heavier. Benefits include more protection for your fragile items, they are easy to stack, and they can’t be cut into with a blade. Hard-sided luggage has no give, though, so there is a limit to how many items you can squeeze inside. They also don’t usually have exterior pockets and can easily get scratched and scuffed.

Stylish and highly functional

The Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage is the perfect combination of form and function. Its durable polycarbonate exterior holds up well to the wear and tear of plane travel, while the push-button retractable handle allows you to maneuver the bag easily. It also boasts a sleek appearance and is available in several different stylish colors. We also love the TSA-approved lock that keeps your belongings safe.

Features


Expandability

Some soft-sided spinner luggage can actually be slightly expanded so you can fit even more items into your bag. There’s usually a zipper along the outer edge of the luggage that you can open to provide a few more inches of interior space. This feature can come in handy if you like to buy souvenirs.

However, it’s important to remember that expanding the bag will make it slightly larger, and, if it’s a carry-on, may not fit in a plane’s overhead bin as easily.

Side handles

Like any wheeled suitcases, spinner luggage always has a telescopic handle at the top of the bag that allows you to pull or push the bag. However, some bags also feature a handle on the side, which doesn’t help when you’re rolling the luggage but does make it easier when you’re lifting your bag into the overhead bin on a plane or the trunk of a car. Many bags also have a top handle to make lifting easier.

Organization

The interior setup of spinner luggage determines how easy it is to organize your clothing and other belongings when you’re packing. Some bags have small zippered interior compartments that allow you to separate your clothing. You can also find bags that have a large divider to separate the two sides of the luggage, which allows you to keep your clothing on one side and your shoes on another.

Exterior compartments

Exterior compartments on the front of a spinner suitcase make it convenient to grab items that you need to reach easily, such as your boarding pass or wallet. Keep in mind that hard-sided spinner luggage usually doesn’t have exterior compartments, so you’ll have to choose a soft-sided bag instead.

Some spinner luggage has just one large exterior pocket, while others have up to three in different sizes. You can even find some bags with a large enough exterior pocket to hold a laptop.

Replaceable wheels

The wheels on spinner luggage are typically mounted to the suitcase externally, so they can sometimes break off. To make sure that you get the most use as possible from your bag, opt for spinner luggage with wheels that are screwed on rather than attached with a rivet. Not only are they more durable, but they can also easily be replaced — if a wheel breaks, you simply unscrew it and swap a new one in its place.

TSA-approved locks

If you want to be sure that your belongings are secure in your spinner luggage, you should choose a bag with a lock. However, it’s important to opt for luggage with locks that are approved by the Transportation Security Agency (TSA), because they may need to open the lock to search your bag for security purposes.

TSA-approved locks have a combination that you can use to open the suitcase, but they can also be opened via a universal key that TSA agents have access to. You can buy a separate TSA-approved lock to add to your spinner luggage if it doesn’t have one, but it’s usually more convenient to have a built-in lock.

Color

The color of spinner luggage may seem like a superficial detail, but it can actually affect the ease of your travel if you check your bags. Neutral-colored spinner suitcases in shades like black, gray, or navy blue have a professional look that works well for business trips, but these colors are extremely popular, making it difficult to identify your bag at the luggage carousel.

Choosing spinner luggage in a bright, bold shade, such as red, cobalt blue, or purple, makes it much easier to pick out your luggage at baggage claim. You can even find spinner bags in eye-catching patterns, such as animal-print or plaid, that are easy to spot.

DID YOU KNOW?

For added stability, some spinner luggage has two wheels in each corner for a total of eight overall.

Spinner luggage prices

Individual soft-sided: Small soft-sided spinner luggage sold individually usually costs between $28 and $65 and works best for weekend trips. Medium soft-sided luggage sold individually typically ranges from $60 to $88 and is best suited for trips that are three to five days. Large soft-sided luggage sold individually usually costs between $80 and $155 and is great for trips of five days or more.

Individual hard-sided: Small hard-sided luggage sold individually typically costs between $38 and $75 and is ideal for a weekend trip. Medium hard-sided luggage sold individually usually costs between $50 and $140 and can work for trips of three or four days. Large hard-sided luggage sold individually typically ranges from $88 to $255.

Sets: Depending on the number of pieces included, soft-sided spinner luggage sets can range from $36 to $335. Hard-sided spinner luggage sets usually cost between $75 and $700.

EXPERT TIP

You can stack your purse, backpack, or duffle bag on top of a spinner suitcase to make it easy to cart all of your luggage through the airport.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Because their wheels can move in all directions, spinner luggage can easily roll away if you’re not careful. Keep a hand on your bag if it’s on an uneven surface or slope, so you don’t have to chase after it.
  • Spinner luggage can tip over more easily than rolling bags, so take care to pack your bags evenly to prevent them from falling in either direction.
  • A spinner suitcase can also tip over if you pack too much. Be careful not to jam a soft-sided spinner bag with so much clothing that it becomes unstable.
CAUTION

Choose spinner luggage with wheels that have reinforced corners to make sure they’re as secure as possible.

Versatility at a budget-friendly price

The Rockland Melbourne Hardside Luggage Set is the perfect spinner option if you want both a carry-on and checked bag. The set includes a 20-inch and 28-inch bag in a fun green color that’s easy to spot coming down the luggage carousel. Both pieces feature interior mesh and zippered pockets to make organizing your clothing easy as can be. We also love the affordable price tag, which gives you two bags for what you’d often pay for just one.

Other products we considered

The Coolife Three-Piece Spinner Luggage Set is an ideal option if you want a spinner bag for every occasion. It includes a 20-inch, 24-inch, and 28-inch bag to provide enough versatility for any trip, as well as a TSA-approved lock. It also features a durable ABS exterior, so it holds up well to wear and tear. If you’re in the market for an individual carry-on spinner bag, we also love the Ricardo Beverly Hills 20-Inch Wheelaboard. Its ergonomically designed handle makes maneuvering the bag as easy as possible, and the two exterior pockets allow you easy access to items you frequently need.

Checked baggage must meet weight requirements to avoid a fee, so you may prefer a soft-sided spinner suitcase if you’re checking your bag.

FAQ

Q. Does spinner luggage usually include a warranty?
A.
Most spinner suitcases do feature some type of warranty coverage, but it varies from bag to bag. Some models only offer a few years of warranty protection, while others provide up to ten. You can even find some spinner suitcases that feature a lifetime warranty so the manufacturer will repair or replace the bag if necessary.

Q. Is spinner luggage a good choice if I have back or shoulder pain?
A.
A spinner suitcase is actually an ideal option if you have back or shoulder issues. Because its wheels spin in every direction, you don’t have to pull the bag behind you when it’s heavy, which can put stress on your back and shoulder.

Q. Is spinner luggage suitable for children?
A.
Spinner luggage actually works very well for kids old enough to handle their own bags. Because the wheels move in every direction, they’re able to push it, which is much easier than having to pull a fully packed suitcase.

The team that worked on this review
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
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