Spinner Luggage: What Are The Pros And Cons?

Spinner Luggage: What Are The Pros And Cons?

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People have strong opinions about just about everything in the travel space, and that includes luggage. In this post I wanted to address one of the most controversial topics in the luggage world — should you get a spinner suitcase?

What are spinner suitcases?

For those not familiar with the terminology, a spinner suitcase is an upright bag with four wheels (as opposed to roller luggage, which has only two wheels). While it’s absolutely not always the case, spinner suitcases are often hard-sided, while roller bags are more often soft-sided.

It seems like in recent years, spinner suitcases have become all the rage, with many bag manufacturers largely switching from two wheels to four wheels for their bags. So, what are the pros and cons of spinner bags vs. roller bags?

The pros of spinner suitcases

There are several benefits to spinner suitcases compared to roller luggage:

  • Spinner suitcases are much more flexible, in the sense that you can roll them next to or in front of you, which isn’t so practical with roller luggage
  • Spinner suitcases are more maneuverable, and can be rolled sideways into tighter spaces; this is great whether you’re walking down an airplane aisle, or are rolling a bag through an automated immigration kiosk or through a train turnstile
  • On flat and even surfaces, spinner suitcases are arguably easier to roll, as there’s less friction, and less pressure on your arm and shoulder
  • Spinner suitcases are often hard-sided, which some prefer, as it’s potentially more durable, and protects the items in your bag
Rimowa spinner carry-on

The cons of spinner suitcases

There are also several downsides to spinner suitcases compared to roller luggage:

  • Spinner suitcases typically have external wheels, which doesn’t help with maximizing space, as they stick out; when you put your carry-on bag in a sizer, the wheel space counts toward the limit
  • Spinner suitcases are great on flat and even surfaces, but the second you deal with an incline, or you’re inside something that’s moving (a train, subway, etc.), or you have an uneven surface, they can become a burden
  • Not all bags are equally durable, and sometimes wheels break; you’re more likely to have issues if you have four wheels rather than two wheels
  • Spinner suitcases are more likely to be hard-sided, which doesn’t maximize space, and doesn’t allow you to expand your bag in the event that you’re carrying more than usual
Briggs & Riley two wheel carry-on

I’m in the anti-spinner luggage camp

Let me acknowledge that this is a topic that divides my household. Ford exclusively has spinner bags with four wheels, for both carry-ons and checked bags (he uses Rimowa bags). He says I’m too practical. I exclusively have roller bags with two wheels (I use Briggs & Riley), for both carry-ons and checked bags. I say Ford isn’t practical enough.

Does Ford’s Rimowa look nicer than my Briggs & Riley bag? Probably (though I find Rimowa bags scratch up so easily). Personally I don’t think Briggs & Riley bags look particularly great, but they’re incredibly durable (I made the switch from Tumi a few years back, and have been very happy about that).

But style aside, I can’t help but point out that when we travel together, I generally have fewer issues with my bag than Ford does. Basically any time we’re not on a flat, smooth surface (which is quite a bit of the time), I find that my bag offers a more seamless experience.

I know some people feel like it can be tougher on your wrists and heavier to have a two wheeled bag than a spinner bag. My solution is that I hang my backpack off the back of my carry-on with a clip. This acts as a balance to the bag’s weight when I’m carrying it behind me, and makes it feel virtually weightless.

There’s also not nearly as practical of a way to hang a second bag off a spinner bag as with a roller bag. You can place something on top, but that can be limiting.

My typical carry-on setup

Anyway, I make absolutely no claim that my system is better than anyone else’s. However, I’ve been using two wheeled roller bags for as long as I can remember, and I refuse to make the switch. I’m probably just stubborn, since the luggage industry is increasingly headed in the direction of spinner suitcases. I just can’t get behind the concept.

Bottom line

People have strong opinions about the merits of four wheel spinner luggage vs. two wheel roller luggage. There are pros and cons to both types of bags. Call me traditional, but I’m stuck in my ways with roller luggage. I appreciate how these bags perform better with complicated surfaces, and I also like how I can clip something to the side of the bag, to maximize how much I can easily carry.

Where do you stand — do you prefer spinner luggage or roller luggage?

Conversations (108)
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  1. Gerald Guest

    I can run faster with a roller bag, useful in case of tight connections…

  2. Azamaraal Guest

    Absolutely against SPINNERS

    I have had to replace spinner wheels within a year for every spinner bag I own - and it is VERY expensive and time consuming. Minimum $30 just about anywhere and only specialty luggage shops can do it and it takes 2-3 days.

    My old 2-wheel that has the rib cage exposed and is max dirty from all the abuse has to be replaced and it is almost impossible to find a decent replacement.

  3. Aleksandra Guest

    The spinner is much easier on one’s back. Dragging a two-wheeler is taxing.

  4. Stephen in Vegas Guest

    Obligatory post to say that you shouldn't be writing about this topic, that you are wrong, and I have more travel experience than everyone else added together. Lol.

    Seriously, though, thanks for your website and articles and Happy Holidays!

  5. Beck Guest

    I'm a two wheeler all the way. Can't stand spinners and hate that is all you can buy these days. Legit would have purchased a truckload suitcases with two wheels a decade ago if I had known how hard it would be to buy one these days. They are a nightmare to roll over carpet. Not to mention how much space is lost to accommodate the wheels.

  6. VMS Guest

    I use two wheel bags exclusively and had debated spinners after a recent trip. I decided that I do not like to have my bag open in the middle with two sides to pack. I prefer the traditional zipper towards the top of the bag allowing me to put larger items in it without having to figure out how to close up the bag.

  7. STEFFL Member

    FORD is outdated!!

    . . . . as you ng as you both are, it seems a "BRAND" is everything to an "ELITE" tarveller :-)
    .... well, he should look at the useage of RIMOWA (even his WAYYYY outdated hardshell steel cabin Bag!).
    A RIMOWS built 4-wheeler can also be pulled on 2 wheels only, NO need to suffer next to you while he is thinking it's a MUST to use all 4...

    FORD is outdated!!

    . . . . as you ng as you both are, it seems a "BRAND" is everything to an "ELITE" tarveller :-)
    .... well, he should look at the useage of RIMOWA (even his WAYYYY outdated hardshell steel cabin Bag!).
    A RIMOWS built 4-wheeler can also be pulled on 2 wheels only, NO need to suffer next to you while he is thinking it's a MUST to use all 4 wheels on uneven surface!
    Again, the weight of his Aluminum RIMOWA 4-wheeler is just soooo overaged, that the new age people travel with a much lighter and VERY durable Polycarbonat bag, also 4-wheeler and much lighter and more flexible.

    So you both have your own PRO'S & CON'S, but what i think, BOTH are outdated!

    Enjoy the Holidays, NEW Suitcases would make NICHT gifts! ;-)

    1. Jen Guest

      What is your recommendation then? Include the brand, I’m in need of new luggage. TIA.

  8. David B Guest

    I love my Travel Pro with large diameter in-line skate wheels tucked into the case design. Easily roll down long carpeted hallways, across gravel parking lots, and down cobblestone streets where spinner owners are out of breath.

  9. Bryan Guest

    For checked-in luggage, an eight-wheeled (having two wheels at each corner, allowing you to use the spinner as a roller), softshell spinner with breaks locking the wheels (hence not rolling away on inclined surface or trains) is the best. Delsey used to offer these at a reasonable price but they have since been discontinued. Muji from Japan offers sturdy hardshell luggages ticking all other boxes and they are the best alternative I can find at...

    For checked-in luggage, an eight-wheeled (having two wheels at each corner, allowing you to use the spinner as a roller), softshell spinner with breaks locking the wheels (hence not rolling away on inclined surface or trains) is the best. Delsey used to offer these at a reasonable price but they have since been discontinued. Muji from Japan offers sturdy hardshell luggages ticking all other boxes and they are the best alternative I can find at the moment.

    For carry ons, rollers are just better as there is no heavy weight to take advantage of the spinner wheels and maximizing load is everything. it Luggage from UK does the trick in offering really light-weight luggage, even though they are on the fragile side and have to be handled with care (which shouldn't be difficult as they are intended to be carry-on).

  10. Petri Diamond

    Am I the only one without any wheels on my bags? I choose beautiful leather bags, style before practicality!

    1. Heathrow_LHR Guest

      "style before practicality!"

      Said no routine traveler.

    2. Petri Diamond

      I am a million miler on two different airlines. Usually 200 flights a year. My carry on is a real carry on. Porters, chauffeurs and doormen are happy to carry the larger suitcases. Please, define the "routine traveller".

    3. John Guest

      @Petri

      Don't forget to mention your PhD from Harvard, your Swiss chalet, and the collection of vintage Rolls Royce cars.....Oh, and the fact that you're a lawyer AND a neurosurgeon....

    4. Petri Diamond

      @John Merry Christmas to you! I see that you are already in the holiday spirit. (Actually, the car is Bentley, and I am not a neurosurgeon. Otherwise you are pretty close.)

  11. Alpha Guest

    If you buy Briggs & Riley luggage, you should check out Costco Next! You can buy merchandise from the manufacturer at a discount. Note: this is different from simply searching for items on costco.com.

  12. Bob Guest

    I have multiple sets but for the most part spinners I find will have a much lower physical demand. When walking through the terminal, it's mostly effortless until you hit some carpeting from the 1980s. With mine there is a sweetspot on how to angle the luggage when walking to keep the momentum of moving the case. And then simulate it as a 2 wheel on inclines. Overall spinner wins.

  13. Anna Robertson Guest

    4 wheel hard sided always

  14. Santastico Diamond

    I have a two wheeler Tumi Alpha that is good but when it is heavy it doesn't stay up. The stupid carry on tilts forward. I bought a new Rimowa original which I like a lot. Yes, it scratches easily but it stays up and I can use it in 4 or 2 wheels depending on the pavement. Also, Rimowa added lifetime warranty to all bags bought after July 2022 so I am covered in case wheels break.

  15. Donato Guest

    Decades ago I purchased a newfangled design, I believe it was called the Z-cart. It had 4 wheels and could stand, be pushed or pulled. It was able to stand in a tilted position. It could have used some innovation to make it utilize space yet fit into the 22.4 height limit.
    Sad that this never caught on.

  16. Kent Guest

    I have always favored my Osprey backpack. It's a dream to rush through traffic in crowded terminals and it has so many other uses besides just being a carry-on. Personally not a fan of the chintzy looking Rimowa bags.

  17. Kent Guest

    I have always favored my Osprey backpack. It's a dream to rush through traffic in crowded terminals and it has so many other uses besides just being a carry-on.

  18. EK_engineer Guest

    Rollers for sure.
    Got turned off buying spinners because of their adverse reputation for the wheels getting knocked off. I've tried a spinner a couple of times, and though it's certainly 'lighter' feeling and more manoeuvrable, I found rollers more dependable than spinners over a wider variety of surfaces. And even if one wheel should get jammed on my roller (never occurred), I could still handle it. But if you lost even one wheel on a spinner, then it's game over.

  19. Robert Guest

    Love Rimowa bags - big ones and cabin one - they look great, they have good quality and they are easy to use. Big disadvantage is price and the way how they are treated by the baggage handlers. I have impression the better and the more expensive bag - the worse is treated. I agree Rimowa bags are esy to scratch and dent ( aluminium one ) but I still find them the best for me.

  20. Anameofaguy Guest

    Anyone have suggestions for a soft roller or spinner with no pockets/compartments? They just add bulk and 99% of the time are empty. I'm in the hunt for one that's european economy-friendly and one that's biz class carry on friendly.

  21. Michael_FFM Member

    Ford is a stupid snob. Sorry to say that. But his Rimova trollies invite that. You on the other hand are effortlessly practical. And it really doesn’t get better than Briggs and Riley. Still have my toiletries bag from 1996 which wise friends gifted me. Ford’s Rimowa trash won’t last that long.

    1. EK_engineer Guest

      @Michael_FFM

      Imagine, my dearest Michael, if a complete stranger turned up out of nowhere and abused your spouse, calling her a "stupid snob" and labelling her possessions "trash". I imagine that it would not be a pleasant thing for you and your children to witness, no?
      I too dislike Rimowa; but you need a sense of perspective here (it's merely luggage, not a Faberge egg) and to learn the fine art of expressing your...

      @Michael_FFM

      Imagine, my dearest Michael, if a complete stranger turned up out of nowhere and abused your spouse, calling her a "stupid snob" and labelling her possessions "trash". I imagine that it would not be a pleasant thing for you and your children to witness, no?
      I too dislike Rimowa; but you need a sense of perspective here (it's merely luggage, not a Faberge egg) and to learn the fine art of expressing your opinions intelligently and without unwarranted aggression like....a mature adult.

  22. glenn t Diamond

    Spinners are great on smooth polished surfaces like you find in airports and hotel lobbys, but as soon as you encounter carpet, it's game over; like dragging your bags through sand!
    Worst experience of that was at the then new Pan-am JFK hotel. To get to my room had to go up a wide heavilly carpeted incline, then a long corridor. Lovely lush deep-pile red carpet. What a design paux pas!
    The hotel...

    Spinners are great on smooth polished surfaces like you find in airports and hotel lobbys, but as soon as you encounter carpet, it's game over; like dragging your bags through sand!
    Worst experience of that was at the then new Pan-am JFK hotel. To get to my room had to go up a wide heavilly carpeted incline, then a long corridor. Lovely lush deep-pile red carpet. What a design paux pas!
    The hotel was so new there were no bell-boys to take your luggage! There were many wrinkes, some serious (locked in room with no functioning phone to summon help) but I assume they are all resolved by now.

  23. tassojunior Guest

    For us elderly spinners are a walker, especially two. Caring about elderly is too much out of style today.

    But the fallacy in the comparison is that any spinner can also be a roller. Many people change from using 4 wheels to using 2 on an incline, etc.

  24. Fed UP Guest

    You're forgot the biggest CON of these types of luggage.... and the people that use them....

    Almost always, people hold these things next to them and take up two people width of space... and usually people are totally inconsiderate with these things... they come at you in corridors, walkways, doorways and block the opposing direction...
    Not to mention people are out of control with these things and mow people down, bump into you, on...

    You're forgot the biggest CON of these types of luggage.... and the people that use them....

    Almost always, people hold these things next to them and take up two people width of space... and usually people are totally inconsiderate with these things... they come at you in corridors, walkways, doorways and block the opposing direction...
    Not to mention people are out of control with these things and mow people down, bump into you, on some times these things go flying into other people.
    Its the luggage of the self entitled, inconsiderate ME FIRST ME FIRST type

    No to these things

    1. Ken Guest

      Nothing worse than getting behind somebody dragging a 2 wheel case up an incline. When you slow down, we have to wait for you since you are taking up all that space behind you that another person could move in. Selfish inconsiderate me-first type.

    2. glenn t Diamond

      Sounds like you're completely over travel, @FED UP !

  25. Leila Guest

    I’m also firmly in team 2 wheels. I used to have 2 checked spinners and finally got rid of them after 5-7 yrs. I took them to Russia for a study abroad and London for an internship in parliament. It was torture getting those suckers across anything but the smoothest surface. I was always a sweaty mess by the time I got to the checkin counter. Never again.

    I replaced all of our checked...

    I’m also firmly in team 2 wheels. I used to have 2 checked spinners and finally got rid of them after 5-7 yrs. I took them to Russia for a study abroad and London for an internship in parliament. It was torture getting those suckers across anything but the smoothest surface. I was always a sweaty mess by the time I got to the checkin counter. Never again.

    I replaced all of our checked bags and a carryon with eagle creek 2 wheelers. They have a built-in straps to connect smaller luggage like Ben does with his backpack. It’s the way I’ve been able to easily move 2 check-in sized suitcases easily while also dealing with other things. Those wheels also made walking the sidewalks of Athens to our AirBnB much easier than my mother-in-law’s spinner trunk. Made it over curbs and uneven cobbles and such with ease.

    So yeah. Team 2 wheels for life.

    1. Foo blah Guest

      Eagle Creek is by far the best built and most practical luggage! Very well designed.

  26. Hobbs Guest

    Spinners: Low speed, high drag, thunk, thunk, thunking in Venice.

  27. Wapiti Guest

    LuggageWorks Stealth or Stealth Premier or nothing.
    I just want my stuff to get where it's going without breaking wheels or shell.
    NEVER been let down.
    Could care less how it looks.
    Functionality is everything.

  28. Dora Guest

    I love the spinners but not hard side. No flexibility to add to or get something out last minute. Hard-side, imo, is more durable but I can’t give up the flexibility of soft side. For under my seat I use a roller bag but really want the spinner. Afraid it wont fit under the seat with four wheels though

    1. Nick Guest

      @dora. You might like the away carry on that offers a hard exterior with a pretty large pocket

  29. AdrienH Guest

    Well I agree with Larry … spinner is the best of both worlds … on uneven you use 2 wheels, on flat it rolls by itself on 4.
    The only con is they are fragile and can break.

  30. McFaddan Guest

    Being disabled with multi reconstructive spinal surgeries both my wife and I can replace our cane/walker with a spinner suitcase temporarily. It gives us enough support to negotiate from the curd to check-in. As for uneven surfaces, if the bag cant go neither can we. Great article. Include the disabled point of view in a future article.

  31. Miles Guest

    Regarding stylish luggage: Depending upon where you are going and who you hope to impress, you may not want to have stylish luggage. I had a very-well-off friend who traveled to some sketchy places. She put duct tape on her nice bags so nobody would steal them. Stylish? No. Smart? Yes.

    1. Tizzette Guest

      My theory too. Blue painters tape on mine, even shabbier lookimg now 'cause it is worn.

    2. Tizzette Guest

      My theory too. Blue painters tape on mine, even shabbier looking now 'cause it is worn.

  32. WD Guest

    I will only go two wheel bags. First, the 4 wheels take up packing space (about equivalent to a pair of shoes.) Besides the durability of two wheel mentioned, I watched a friend’s 4 wheel Tumi roll down the slope of a sidewalk and down subway steps. You have to hang on to them at all times. Further, someone said they blew a disc with a two wheel in Paris pulling it down the street....

    I will only go two wheel bags. First, the 4 wheels take up packing space (about equivalent to a pair of shoes.) Besides the durability of two wheel mentioned, I watched a friend’s 4 wheel Tumi roll down the slope of a sidewalk and down subway steps. You have to hang on to them at all times. Further, someone said they blew a disc with a two wheel in Paris pulling it down the street. If it was enough to do that - a 4 wheel wouldn’t have glided along. I see people with spinner suitcases pulling them on two wheels way more than rolling then on 4. Just watch them!

  33. Mark Schweitzer Guest

    I'm
    Backpack-->2 wheels-->Spinner
    I traveled heavily for work in the past, generally with far less expensive luggage brands than those you usually mention on this site.
    I'd supplement my eBags Professional backpack with a small 25L duffle and be able to last a week or more. When I had big, bulky or heavy items I'd use a 22" carry on, at first it was my Eagle Creek 2 wheel until I broke...

    I'm
    Backpack-->2 wheels-->Spinner
    I traveled heavily for work in the past, generally with far less expensive luggage brands than those you usually mention on this site.
    I'd supplement my eBags Professional backpack with a small 25L duffle and be able to last a week or more. When I had big, bulky or heavy items I'd use a 22" carry on, at first it was my Eagle Creek 2 wheel until I broke one of the wheels, and then it was a 4 wheel spinner.
    I hate the spinner style luggage with a passion. As mentioned, in anything but the smoothest surface they suck, especially if you have any weight in the bag. I generally tend to walk fast and attempting to push the bag in front of me will result in me falling over the bag. If I have the bag behind me, it only uses the two wheels. The only benefit I have ever seen with a spinner is on narrow aisle aircraft, I can spin the bag sideways and not have to worry about getting stuck rolling the bag to my seat.

  34. Bagoly Guest

    Am I the only person who finds the spinners strain the muscles in my lower arm.
    Maybe I have the technique wrong.

  35. D3kingg Guest

    2 things Ben doesn’t like. Spinner luggage and non revs in First class.

  36. NedsKid Member

    I can tell you this from experience on the ramp: Spinner bags get more abuse. The four wheels sticking out make for great grab points to yank a bag off a belt or out of a cart. Depending on size/weight they may get dragged over the lip of the bag belt catching wheels. Standard rollers don't have such prominent wheels with the whole assembly outside of the bag.

    Wheels also count in baggage sizers...

    I can tell you this from experience on the ramp: Spinner bags get more abuse. The four wheels sticking out make for great grab points to yank a bag off a belt or out of a cart. Depending on size/weight they may get dragged over the lip of the bag belt catching wheels. Standard rollers don't have such prominent wheels with the whole assembly outside of the bag.

    Wheels also count in baggage sizers for carry-ons.. I've seen people snap the wheels off their own spinner bags to buy the extra inch or two for the bag to fit correctly.

  37. u600213 Guest

    I own 2 B&R 2 wheel carry on bags, but they are too large to carry on under current sizer rules. I mostly use a Rimowa Hybrid Cabin Small spinner now. The only issue I have is the bag rolling around on buses/rail. Occasionally I use one of the B&R for capacity but generally prefer the Rimowa.

  38. Ed Guest

    Whilst you’re doing posts on luggage I’d be really interested to know what kind of pushchair/stroller you have bought for Miles.

  39. Larry Guest

    If you're on an incline or uneven surface, just tilt your spinner so it rests on just two wheels, and presto! you have a roller.

    1. LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS Guest

      Not really. Roller wheels are much larger and more nimble.

    2. beachfan Guest

      Agree, when I'm on carpet, I pull the bag behind me just like a roller. When on smooth hard surface, I use it like a spinner.

      Briggs and Riley soft side spinners are what I use for both carryon and checked luggage

  40. Never In Doubt Guest

    Team 2 wheel.

    Haven’t checked a bag in recent memory

  41. Greg Guest

    Neither.. I'm on team backpack. I have an osprey porter 46L which is great for a week or a 4 day ski trip. Fits in overhead and if you're going to a location with snow, uneven streets, etc it is so much easier than a roller bag.

    I'm also downsizing some to a smaller back in the 25-35L range for quicker overnight trips. Unless I'm traveling with children there is no more roller luggage...

    Neither.. I'm on team backpack. I have an osprey porter 46L which is great for a week or a 4 day ski trip. Fits in overhead and if you're going to a location with snow, uneven streets, etc it is so much easier than a roller bag.

    I'm also downsizing some to a smaller back in the 25-35L range for quicker overnight trips. Unless I'm traveling with children there is no more roller luggage for me.

    In general though I highly recommend Eagle Creek/Osprey for luggage - the hiking type material holds up so much better than anything else.

    1. L Lau Guest

      A 46L bag?!? It might fit in the overhead but does it fit in the carry-on sizer? In case you run into a GA who actually cares...

  42. uldguy Diamond

    If you have a bad back, like I do, you will appreciate the ease of the spinner. The spinner allows you to move the bag along your side whereas you need to pull a two wheeled case. I slipped a disc pulling a two-wheel through the cobblestone streets of Paris and paid the price. Ben, when you get older with a bad back maybe Ford will let you use his spinners!

    1. Alison Guest

      Yup, I have a bad back and although my old Briggs and Riley two wheeled carry-on is in great shape, we just got new spinners. I like soft-side (big B&R fan) and those spinners are just easier. That said, I am not often dragging luggage on cobblestones that often since I will take a car to the hotel when I arrive.

  43. Scudder Diamond

    My biggest complaint about spinners is that people seem to walk slower with them. Or maybe the slow-walkers chose spinners? Hurry up, folks, I’ve got a lounge to get to!

    I also hate clamshell cases. I find them indifferent to pack to maximum and cumbersome to access. But to each their own. (Though I am correct.)

    I’m 2-wheel for my carry on. I do have a large spinner, and I like the format for that size.

  44. eponymous coward Guest

    Neither. Backpack onebag 4eva (if doing business travel I concede that I don’t want to look like a backpacker with a Pakt One that looks pretty reasonable in an office).

    1. eponymous coward Guest

      But otherwise you can have my MEI Voyageur (long trips) or North Face Dyno (short trips, fits under a Spirit seat) when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands.

    2. D3kingg Guest

      I’ve rocked a suit before with a us army back pack. No doubt. No doubt.

  45. Bob Guest

    I don't get Ben's counter balance method for 2 wheeler. Can someone explain that? I have a 2 wheeler that I used for business travel - so interested to learn. For personal travel, I use spinners from Travelpro, and checked luggages are always spinners - Briggs and Riley hardsides.

    1. Billiken Guest

      I'm glad that Ben mentioned the counter balance effect. I've noticed that as well when I zip my detachable backpack to my 2-wheeled carry-on. The additional weight at the bottom seems to take weight off the handle end of the carry-on. When the backpack is attached, one can effortlessly balance the carry-on on the 2 wheels. Furthermore, there's little weight on the handle when you bend it forward to pull it. Considering that we usually...

      I'm glad that Ben mentioned the counter balance effect. I've noticed that as well when I zip my detachable backpack to my 2-wheeled carry-on. The additional weight at the bottom seems to take weight off the handle end of the carry-on. When the backpack is attached, one can effortlessly balance the carry-on on the 2 wheels. Furthermore, there's little weight on the handle when you bend it forward to pull it. Considering that we usually do a lot of walking with our carry-ons, the 2-wheel variety is definitely easier from my point of view.

  46. Anne Maurais Guest

    Most definitely roller bag for me on both check in and carry on. Especially carry on where I need every single inch for packing. Only benefit I see for spinner is when queuing at airport.

  47. ryan Guest

    I have the Briggs and Riley spinner carry on, gives all the benefits of the spinner and "fixes" the durability issues since 1) B&R bags are built to last 2) if it does break they'll fix/replace it. Sorted.

  48. Donna Diamond

    Team Spinner all the way! I’ve used everything two and four wheels, hard and soft side but for my travel situation, it’s gotta be a hard side spinner. As for inclines, I pull mine on two wheels, works just like yours! Wheels are important though. My spinner has four large wheels, that are actually two wheels each, total of eight. My system is nothing fancy, a Travelpro hard side clamshell spinner with a small backpack...

    Team Spinner all the way! I’ve used everything two and four wheels, hard and soft side but for my travel situation, it’s gotta be a hard side spinner. As for inclines, I pull mine on two wheels, works just like yours! Wheels are important though. My spinner has four large wheels, that are actually two wheels each, total of eight. My system is nothing fancy, a Travelpro hard side clamshell spinner with a small backpack with trolley handle sleeve. It’s amazing how much I can compress into that hard side spinner. And as for scratches, after three years of nearly monthly use, mine looks like the day it arrived from Amazon. I never check it, however.

  49. CJH Guest

    I use the Briggs & Riley hard sided 4 wheel spinner bags. For my carry on, I use the international size which made me realize how small a true international carry on bag is.

  50. Michael Anisfeld Guest

    I've been using a 2-wheeler bag for over 30 years of travel (1/4 million miles annually), and I never, ever, check my bags. What goes on the plane with me gets off the plane with me. The best thing is that I can hang my backpack from the 2-wheeler.

  51. yepnope Guest

    Rimowa spinner check in bag. A two wheeler check in bag sounds like a nightmare to move around. I've seen enough soft sided bags get ripped apart by a baggage carousel to never use those. That depends greatly on your airport though.

  52. Tom Guest

    I primarily use a Briggs and Riley roller, but I do have a TravelPro spinner which I use on occasion. I use the roller for most trips (particularly when flying), but if I'm just doing a long weekend somewhere (particular if we're just driving) I'll use the spinner.

    In both cases, I have soft sided bags, however. I don't like hard-sided bags at all, personally, since they don't have any give at all and seem...

    I primarily use a Briggs and Riley roller, but I do have a TravelPro spinner which I use on occasion. I use the roller for most trips (particularly when flying), but if I'm just doing a long weekend somewhere (particular if we're just driving) I'll use the spinner.

    In both cases, I have soft sided bags, however. I don't like hard-sided bags at all, personally, since they don't have any give at all and seem to show scratches and debris way easier that soft sided bags.

  53. LEo Diamond

    But spinners take up less space when walking in congested areas as you can push them sideways as opposed to having to drag them.

  54. DenB Diamond

    Your system is better than anyone else's. It's the same as mine.

  55. Bandmeeting Guest

    The Rimova spinner quite easily accommodates a hanging second bag. There is even a built in retracting strap.

    1. David Diamond

      That's true for the older Rimowas. LVMH removed that in their new Rimowas.

    2. Bandmeeting Guest

      Ah. Didn’t know that. Mine’s about 8 years old and still going strong.

  56. pstm91 Diamond

    What does "too practical" even mean? That just sounds like someone with common sense vs. someone who just wants something flashy...

    I can't stand 4-wheels and think they are actually harder/more akward to roll, and I totally agree that soft is so much better since it can expand and squish. I have used the same Eaglecreek carry on (2-wheels) for 10+ years. Beaten the hell out of it on every surface imaginable and it's...

    What does "too practical" even mean? That just sounds like someone with common sense vs. someone who just wants something flashy...

    I can't stand 4-wheels and think they are actually harder/more akward to roll, and I totally agree that soft is so much better since it can expand and squish. I have used the same Eaglecreek carry on (2-wheels) for 10+ years. Beaten the hell out of it on every surface imaginable and it's traveled who knows how many millions of miles. It's a beast, fits tons of items, and I will never give it up until something busts. The only time I change is if I'm going on a hiking/backpacking trip, or a place where a roller will not be practical, in which case I'll use a large backpack.

  57. BA from BWI Guest

    For families with young kids, spinner bags makes airport experience much easier. With spinners, one parent can look after kids while the other can easily manage and check-in 4 bags, which is practically impossible with 2-wheel bags.

    1. Ernesto Guest

      The fact that you can carry 2 large bags in eacj hand is a definite plus. I make full use of a generous baggage allowance for shopping trips to destinations where the dollar is strong and we get a bunch of stuff to bring home (or as a courier carrying bulky items from the US to places like Brazil). Typically stick a full carry-on inside an empty large suitcase depending on direction of travel. And...

      The fact that you can carry 2 large bags in eacj hand is a definite plus. I make full use of a generous baggage allowance for shopping trips to destinations where the dollar is strong and we get a bunch of stuff to bring home (or as a courier carrying bulky items from the US to places like Brazil). Typically stick a full carry-on inside an empty large suitcase depending on direction of travel. And then in the other direction it becomes two full bags, plus another carryon or full-size luggage. So I end up checking 2-3 bags (free on Delta with elite status and Amex card), and sometimes deal with a total of 4 spinners, 2 in each hand back-to-back, and no problem moving them the short distance from curb to check-in counter or carousel to curb.

    2. Greg Guest

      This is an excellent point and I agree.. traveling solo I prefer backpacks or my eagle creek 2 wheel bag but with kids it's 100% spinner.

  58. Matt Guest

    Curious as to how traveling with Miles will affect your preference. I'm a roller bag all the way, but I feel like when you have a kid in one arm, a spinner might be easier to handle.

  59. Eric Guest

    I also only have two wheelers, and my wife thinks I’m crazy and will only use spinners. Anytime I roll her spinner I’m reminded of why I hate it - it actually hurts my wrist more and any sort of uneven surface is a huge struggle

  60. Buzz Guest

    I have a travel pro spinner with the magnetic wheels that keeps them straight. I like the spinner because I can briefly go hands free if I have to (like when my phone rings). The spinner will continue to roll alongside me while I'm walking. You can also drag a spinner behind you on two wheels if you need to. Cheap spinners are like bad shopping carts but the magnetic wheels are awesome.

    1. Donna Diamond

      Buzz - I love the magnetic wheels on my Travelpro spinner. Best new travel invention!

  61. Jason H Guest

    I use a spinner bag because it also allows my daughter to ride through the airport on the bag. Which saves on taking a stroller along. So, in that respect a spinner serves two great purposes for me.

  62. Lee Guest

    Helpful hint: Depending on how much room one needs in a carry-on, Briggs & Riley has one model of the spinner type that just conforms to under-seat size specs. It is NOT one of those micro-cases. It is just like any other wheeled carry-on, just two inches shorter. Maybe the size works for you and maybe it doesn't. But, I'll tell you that the under-seat option has been a lifesaver a couple times . ....

    Helpful hint: Depending on how much room one needs in a carry-on, Briggs & Riley has one model of the spinner type that just conforms to under-seat size specs. It is NOT one of those micro-cases. It is just like any other wheeled carry-on, just two inches shorter. Maybe the size works for you and maybe it doesn't. But, I'll tell you that the under-seat option has been a lifesaver a couple times . . . even in first class. Especially on pint-sized regional aircraft with little overhead space. Happy hunting.

    https://www.briggs-riley.com/collections/luggage/products/compact-carry-on-spinner

  63. Grey Diamond

    I find it interesting that you mention the Rimowa bags getting scratched. That seems to be something I hear a lot when I am in the states. ('Oh such a pity it is so beaten up') But I think most people who like Rimowa love that well-worn look. You can always tell your own case, even though there will be loads of Rimowa bags coming down because you know the stickers and bumps and bruises that your bag has. And it gives it character.

  64. Creditcrunch Diamond

    Iam in the 2 wheel camp for carry on and light luggage needs but definitely appreciate 4 wheels on my larger checked luggage.

  65. Ron Wijkowski Guest

    Spinner w/small overnight bag stacked. Travel Platinum Elite series.

  66. Lune Gold

    I'm still in the 2-wheel camp, precisely for the reasons you state. The wheels are sturdier, and they're easier to drag on uneven surfaces, which can include sidewalks and streets in the typical city these days; we're not talking about offroading or cobblestone streets here.

    Also, I find that spinners don't stay still on trains and buses. If there's any movement (start, stop, turn, accelerate, etc.) the suitcase starts moving, since there's no natural brake....

    I'm still in the 2-wheel camp, precisely for the reasons you state. The wheels are sturdier, and they're easier to drag on uneven surfaces, which can include sidewalks and streets in the typical city these days; we're not talking about offroading or cobblestone streets here.

    Also, I find that spinners don't stay still on trains and buses. If there's any movement (start, stop, turn, accelerate, etc.) the suitcase starts moving, since there's no natural brake. In contrast, the 2-wheelers, because the other 2 corners have stands on them, don't move. This means with a spinner I always have to have a hand on it, whereas a roller, I can usually leave it alone (unless it's a really severe motion like a sudden stop).

    The only benefit I could see is having a spinner for a carryon so that you can navigate sideways down aisles. I generally just pick up my carryon as soon as I enter the aircraft and carry it to my seat. But this is enough of a benefit that I'm genuinely thinking of getting a spinner for my next carryon. Or else, does anyone have recommendations of 2-wheel carryons that fit in most aisles?

    Either way, I'll be sticking with 2-wheels for my checked bags though.

  67. classcair New Member

    I'm team Ben. Its all about maximizing the space for me.

  68. Emily Guest

    Definitely in the carryon backpack camp. More versatile, takes less space, allows more version and is better when rushing for tight connections in a crowded terminal. These hard cases are just annoying especially as they waste tremendous volume in the overheads.

    My go to is my 20+ years old Osprey Farpoint 40.

    1. Emily Guest

      *freedom not version

  69. Chris Buchanan Guest

    Team two-wheel for sure. I recently needed to get a new large B&R baseline and all I could find were spinners. Bought it and love the bag except for the stupid wheels. As you noted, the moment there's an incline you have a problem. I spent most of my trip using it like a two wheeled bag, which works but put a lot of strain on the back wheels (fortunately with that lifetime warranty I'm...

    Team two-wheel for sure. I recently needed to get a new large B&R baseline and all I could find were spinners. Bought it and love the bag except for the stupid wheels. As you noted, the moment there's an incline you have a problem. I spent most of my trip using it like a two wheeled bag, which works but put a lot of strain on the back wheels (fortunately with that lifetime warranty I'm choosing not to worry about that). Spinners are great in airports or places with flat, even surfaces - so basically anywhere but the real world.

    Plus on escalators they're outright terrifying.

  70. skimegheath Gold

    I'm team fForf BUT I don't like my Rimowa. I think Tumi's wheels are much better.

    1. skimegheath Gold

      Sorry bad internet as crossing Drake Passage *** Ford

    2. Todd Gold

      This you? /s

      https://www.reddit.com/r/interestingasfuck/comments/zs8cjd/dinner_with_a_view_near_drake_passage_antarctica/

    3. Lee Guest

      I've had a fair number of Rimowa suitcases and repairs are not unfamiliar to me. About a year ago, I brought in a suitcase to a Rimowa store (Manhattan) for a wheel repair. While waiting, I got to talking with another customer. He said that he and his wife had four sets of Rimowa over the years . . . they were always breaking . . . and their next purchase would be something other...

      I've had a fair number of Rimowa suitcases and repairs are not unfamiliar to me. About a year ago, I brought in a suitcase to a Rimowa store (Manhattan) for a wheel repair. While waiting, I got to talking with another customer. He said that he and his wife had four sets of Rimowa over the years . . . they were always breaking . . . and their next purchase would be something other than Rimowa. Separately, I was recently at a repair shop to have a leather purse cleaned for my wife. Stacks of Rimowa suitcases in for repair. We've switched to Briggs & Riley.

  71. Anthony Diamond

    I am in the spinner camp - I also use Rimowa. I think the bags look cool, the wheels are sturdy, and I like the clamshell design. I also have briefcase type bags (Tumi, LV) with sleeves (for lack of a better word) that integrate with the handles of the carry on spinner bags. Even a regular briefcase (say a leather one without such a sleeve) fits perfectly on top of the spinner check-ons while...

    I am in the spinner camp - I also use Rimowa. I think the bags look cool, the wheels are sturdy, and I like the clamshell design. I also have briefcase type bags (Tumi, LV) with sleeves (for lack of a better word) that integrate with the handles of the carry on spinner bags. Even a regular briefcase (say a leather one without such a sleeve) fits perfectly on top of the spinner check-ons while they would be tough to put on a two wheeled bag.

    FWIW I am amazed at he number of Rimowa bags I see now versus five years ago - they aren't cheap, they must have gained a ton of market share.

  72. breathesrain New Member

    I have a soft-sided 4 wheel carryon. Feels like the best of both worlds - the casters are in a position that I can move it around like a 2-wheel bag, which is most of the time because of how fast I walk, and then when I'm walking slower or need to do some maneuvering I can use all four wheels so it's not stuck behind my body. It's a TravelPro, if I remember correctly

  73. DCJoe Guest

    Neither. Backpack carry-on for the win. More space, less weight, more flexibility, both hands free, and don't have to think about stairs, surfaces, etc. Also less likely for an overzealous gate agent to flag you for a gate check.

    Personally love my Peak Design 45L, but have heard good things about Osprey also.

    1. Lee Guest

      Osprey has a hybrid backpack with wheels. The Sojourner. Comes in 45L and other sizes.

  74. Johosofat Guest

    I also prefer non-spinners as a passenger, but having loaded baggage into the bulk hold of non-containerized aircraft like the 737, the spinners are frankly way easier to put into position in the hold and thus less likely to be damaged from dragging/heaving it around in the compartment. Usually one guy can stand a spinner luggage up after it comes in off the conveyor belt and roll it to the guy stacking them at the...

    I also prefer non-spinners as a passenger, but having loaded baggage into the bulk hold of non-containerized aircraft like the 737, the spinners are frankly way easier to put into position in the hold and thus less likely to be damaged from dragging/heaving it around in the compartment. Usually one guy can stand a spinner luggage up after it comes in off the conveyor belt and roll it to the guy stacking them at the other end of the pit with a light push.

    That said, the wheels of spinners protrude a lot more making them susceptible to damage especially on the baggage carts and because the wheels often get used as handles to pick the suitcase up and off of the conveyor belt.

  75. LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS Guest

    I use neither. I carry a backpack. There’s no need to change clothes as often as westerners do. Wear the same outfit several days in a row. You won’t contract a disease from it. I promise.

    1. Anameofaguy Guest

      Disease? No, but you truly smell awful. Inconsiderate to those around you. I change so I'm not the stanky jerk on crowded transit.

    2. LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS Guest

      I don't smell but the stench of your self righteousness is unbearable. You inconsiderate fuck.

    3. Heathrow_LHR Guest

      "I don't smell"

      Sure ya don't, champ...

    4. LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS Guest

      I don't smell, but the stench of your self-righteousness is unbearable, you inconsiderate phucktard.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

EK_engineer Guest

@Michael_FFM Imagine, my dearest Michael, if a complete stranger turned up out of nowhere and abused your spouse, calling her a "stupid snob" and labelling her possessions "trash". I imagine that it would not be a pleasant thing for you and your children to witness, no? I too dislike Rimowa; but you need a sense of perspective here (it's merely luggage, not a Faberge egg) and to learn the fine art of expressing your opinions intelligently and without unwarranted aggression like....a mature adult.

5
Larry Guest

If you're on an incline or uneven surface, just tilt your spinner so it rests on just two wheels, and presto! you have a roller.

4
BA from BWI Guest

For families with young kids, spinner bags makes airport experience much easier. With spinners, one parent can look after kids while the other can easily manage and check-in 4 bags, which is practically impossible with 2-wheel bags.

3
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