The best spinner luggage
If your luggage is too heavy or cumbersome to tote around an airport, it's time to invest in spinner luggage. Spinner luggage features 360-degree swivel wheels for effortless navigation around busy airport terminals -- you can drag it behind you, roll it by your side, or push it in front of you. With adaptability like that, spinner luggage is a smart purchase, no matter your destination.
To start comparing different styles, take a look at our buying guide on spinner luggage, which includes reviews of a few of our favorites at the end. Our top choice is Samsonite's Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage. Its attractive glossy shell is available in more than a dozen colors.
Considerations when choosing spinner luggage
Because airlines have strict size restrictions for carry-on luggage, most spinners in this category are 22 inches in height or smaller. Size restrictions can vary between airlines, so make sure you check their website with the most recent information to buy the right one.
Larger spinner luggage used as checked baggage can be anywhere between 24 and 30 inches in height. Going with the largest spinner you find might seem convenient, but depending on the airline, it could result in oversize baggage fees.
Sets vs. single pieces
You can buy spinner luggage individually or as a set with two to four pieces. Of course buying a set is far more cost-effective, but only if you intend to use more than one of them regularly. If you travel alone or only occasionally, it's a better value to buy an individual spinner.
Soft- vs. hard-sided luggage
Soft-sided spinner luggage is usually made of durable fabric with high tensile strength, such as nylon or Cordura. Despite their tough construction, they can still sustain rips and tears with the rough and tumble of travel.
Hard-sided spinner luggage has a dense plastic, polycarbonate, or ABS shell. These are considered far more durable, not to mention much easier to clean. There are lightweight varieties, but some of them can be a bit too flimsy for heavy handling.
If you need some extra room when you're packing -- or you come home with more souvenirs than expected -- expandability is an attractive feature in spinner luggage. By unzipping the hidden compartment, you can add between 1 and 4 inches to your bag.
To travel stress-free, look for spinner luggage with a high level of organization. Some pieces feature multiple compartments to divide garments, and others have a series of external compartments to keep essentials readily accessible. There are also spinners that come with removable dividers or pockets.
Premium spinner luggage is outfitted with built-in TSA-approved locks. These can be opened by a TSA agent's universal key, making inspection quick and easy. Not only does it mean you can forego a separate purchase of TSA locks, it can save your bag from being cut open.
Individual soft-sided spinner luggage costs between $25 and $160 per piece. Hard-sided luggage, on the other hand, can cost between $40 and $260. If you're interested in purchasing a spinner luggage set, expect to spend anywhere between $50 and $700.
Q. Does it matter what color my spinner luggage is?
A. Not really, but sticking to basic colors like black or navy blue means it's going to be a lot harder to identify on a carousel. In fact, because so many pieces look alike, it could be taken accidentally by another passenger. That's why many travelers opt for bold colors and designs, or even decorate their spinners to spot them more easily.
Q. Is spinner luggage waterproof?
A. Both soft- and hard-sided spinner luggage is generally weather-resistant, but unless otherwise marked, they're not waterproof. Hard-sided spinners tend to be waterproof by nature of their materials. Soft-sided spinners often require treatment with a waterproofing spray.
Spinner luggage we recommend
Best of the best: Samsonite's Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage
Our take: Reliable design featuring more than 10 organization features.
What we like: Available in a variety of vibrant colors. Built-in TSA lock. 10-year limited warranty.
What we dislike: Can sustain scuffs, but they're easy to remove with a damp cloth.
Best bang for your buck: Rockland's Expandable Two-Piece Hardside Luggage Set
Our take: Affordable option for budget-conscious travelers in need of checked and carry-on pieces.
What we like: Well-made spinner wheels. Lightweight and durable. Ergonomic telescoping handle.
What we dislike: Mixed reviews reported with warranty claims.
Choice 3: AmazonBasics' Hardside Spinner Luggage
Our take: Smooth-moving across the airport. Wallet-friendly at all sizes.
What we like: Expandability up to 15%. Superior protection from hard-shell exterior. Quality lining.
What we dislike: Lightweight, but some comparable models are lighter.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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