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Upright vs Spinner luggage

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NM

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I am looking to purchase both a medium size suitcase (around 71cm type size, or 150cm total dimensions) and a wheelaboard/carry-on bag (55cm or 115cm total dimensions) that I can use as carry-on or checked as needed.

I have always used 2-wheel "upright" type bags (boith for larger checked bags and wheel/carry-on. However, most manufacturers are now concentrating on the 4-wheeled "spinner" type designs.

I understand that the 4-wheel design generally means the space inside the bag is more "open" than with 2-wheel design where the wheels take up space inside the bag. However, I am concerned that the wheels on the 4-wheel spinner cases look vulnerable to breaking off when treated the way airline baggage handlers often treat checked bags. I am also concerned that the small wheel size can make it difficult to navigate uneven or rough surfaces, or high-drag surfaces like carpet.

So should be steer clear of teh 4-0sheel spinners, or am I just stuck in my old-fashioned ways and need to get on-board with current trends and the future of luggage design?
 

robd

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I purchased an additional suitcase last year to add to my others, and bought an Antler 4 wheel spinner. I love it! I chucked the old 2 wheeler in the rubbish, even though it was still in very good condition.
Excluding my cabin bag, all my suitcases are now 4 wheel spinners.
 

moa999

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I'm sort of like you in that I have always preferred 2-wheels,
and my 55cm expandable Samsonite is 10yrs old and showing it (think it was an ultralite 4 or 5).

Looking around the airport the 4-wheelers can be somewhat easier to move on hard surfaces, although struggle in plush carpet (think SIN), and are downright dangerous on non-flat surfaces (rolling off).

Also given the crackdowns on domestic luggage weight - the weight of the bag becomes an issue.

My other must is for a two handle bag - so you can slip a laptop bag or trifold garment bag on top.

Have been thinking about the Samsonite 72hrs purely for the 1.5kg weight
72 Hours 55cm Spinner
 

robd

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Why would a 4-wheeler be any harder to move on plush carpet? You would wheel it the same as a 2-wheeler in that instance.

As for weight, my Antler suitcase, being very new (the latest design), is the lightest suitcase I own.
 

mushez

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I use to be a two wheel convert, but got sick of having to hold the weight while in ques while being envious of others with 4 wheel spinners.

Got Antler 4 wheel spinners and never have looked back.
 

MEL_Traveller

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re carry on: some four-wheel bags don't accurately include the wheels in the total dimensions. I was looking at one a while ago - Samsonite IIRC - and their max cabin bag would have exceeded overhead bin zise by about an inch or so.

So might be worth checking before purchase, or going for the smaller size to guarantee no problems.
 

codash1099

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Four wheeler, any day. Easier to push around on most surface, but less controllable on cobbled streets. I agree that plush carpets can be a bit of a problem, largely because of lower wheel diameter, but more than made up for by generally easier handling.
 
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Steady

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My vote would be for one of the many light weight spinner designs.
I have had one wheel fail (a nut came off the axle bolt) and the set of 4 complete wheel and base assembly's were replaced without even needing to show POP.
The case had done about 300 sectors before the failure and the nut used for a temp fix is still going strong.

I find it just as easy to drag the 4 wheeled spinner in the rough as it was to drag a 2 wheeled case.

The down side for me on the model* I chose is that the different sizes I have now collected don't pack inside one another so they are not as easy to store as most of the 2 wheeled cases I have had in the past.

*Samsonite Cosmolite
 

burrco

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I've got a couple of Rimowa Topas spinners and the wheels always look extremely vulnerable - but have held up very well through some very harsh treatment. I did have one wheel busted by Qantas but as each corner has two wheels it didn't impair movement at all.
 

dajop

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Three of us travelled in Europe travelled on Europe with two 2-wheels and one spinner. The spinner was easier around airports, the 2 wheelers easier (and more robust) for streets/subways etc. Also on the tube in London (more than once) have seen spinners end up at the opposite end of the carriage to its owner.

So if just getting and out of cars, taxis and buses at hotels and airports - the spinner. If traipsing around streets and public transport, still a big fan of the two wheeler.

Also the two wheeler does eat a little into luggage space, but for the overall volume that the bag takes up (in a car boot or oh locker) the two wheeler has more space inside the case (as opposed to air outside the case between the wheels at the bottom)
 

NM

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Thanks for all the comments and recommendations.
So if just getting and out of cars, taxis and buses at hotels and airports - the spinner. If traipsing around streets and public transport, still a big fan of the two wheeler.
Yes, this is my biggest concern. I often end up with quite long walks from hotel to office etc when traveling, and sometimes over surfaces that are not as smooth as one would expect to find in an airport or inside the hotel. This sometimes involved hills, roads, tram tracks, curbs, grass/lawns, steps etc.

I think if I was sticking to just the airport and hotel, then 4 wheel spinner may be great. But I am still leaning towards the traditional 2-wheel case. I want to be able to carry-on when its light, but be able to check it in when its heavier or I just don't want to have it with my onboard. I want to know its likely to survive a flight as checked luggage, but also not consume half of my carry-on weight limit.

The Samsonite 72 hour is certainly light (just 1.5kg), but I am concerned about how well it will survive the checked luggage voyage. Their Duranxt 50cm or 55cm look to be a reasonable compromise between weight (2.6kg) and sturdiness. But it just takes one heavy drop for even the best bag to be damaged.

The TravelPro Maxlite has been recommended as a sturdy 4-wheel spinner, but its 3.3kg.

Oh well, I have the weekend to keep thinking about it and weighing up the options.

What are people's experiences with damage to the wheels on 4-wheel spinner cases when checked-in on flights? I have had two 2-wheel cases with damaged wheels upon arrival at the destination, so am nervous about the 4-wheel ones where there seems to be less protection of the wheel.
 

lastrow

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I have been considering purchasing a new 4 wheel spinner case however my worry would be how it stays put on slightly sloping ground, especially in many car parks where the pavement is slightly sloped to assist water run off. I am reminded of a shopping trolley in our local supermarket.
 
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I'm not able to add much to NM's original question, but when I trundled a spinner around The Ross shop (hoping to get a great dea), and try it out on the escalator, I found that as I'm not very tall, I had my arm bent the whole time and it got tired quickly. So, I surprised myself by deciding to stay with the 2 wheeler for a bit longer.
 

lastrow

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100_0034.jpg

After our first Jetstar flight. We went on the Honolulu, our case went to the tip.
No luck with a claim on Jetstar
 

aaflyer

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I have recently been forced to buy a new suitcase after my trusty many-year-old Antler is about to be put out to pasture.

Walking into a massive luggage shop I asked 'are there any two wheel bags anywhere?' to be told "We have one, and it's our last one".

I *detest* the four wheel 'spinners'. I have actually hurt my arm with the one I was forced to buy. I'm a tall person and find that these just don't work. Personally, popping it on an angle and dragging it behind me has always been a lot easier.

The comment about the carpet and spinners is also true. The wheels are a lot smaller and I have to exert a lot of energy to push them down a hallway in a hotel.

I'm now on a hunt for a 2 wheel bag. Apparently, every luggage store I went into said "a lot of people hate the 4 wheel ones, we don't know why they stopped making them!".

Definitely a case of companies forcing a decision on us. I'm willing to bet these are a lot cheaper to build than the older style.
 

maninblack

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Spinners are great but...cases like Cosmolite are awkward once at your destination because of the 50/50 opening which requires you to unpack on a large space like the bed or floor otherwise everything on one side will fall out or alternately not be accessible. I think that they are best avoided in favour of the cheaper B-lite type spinner designs with a flip open type lid.
 

MEL_Traveller

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re carpet: I thought the idea was the spinners could be dragged in the same fashion as 2-wheelers?

That aside, I like 2-wheelers if you are carrying multiple pieces of luggage - easy to strap piece #2 onto the main bag and be able to wheel them both with one hand. I wonder about the stability of a spinner in those situation?
 

aaflyer

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Spinners are great but...cases like Cosmolite are awkward once at your destination because of the 50/50 opening which requires you to unpack on a large space like the bed or floor otherwise everything on one side will fall out or alternately not be accessible. I think that they are best avoided in favour of the cheaper B-lite type spinner designs with a flip open type lid.
Yes! That! Only the top part has a zip up compartment, and i've already opened it the wrong way about 4 times and had the content of my bag spill over my bed.

The against-the-wall-lid was great on the old style.
re carpet: I thought the idea was the spinners could be dragged in the same fashion as 2-wheelers?

That aside, I like 2-wheelers if you are carrying multiple pieces of luggage - easy to strap piece #2 onto the main bag and be able to wheel them both with one hand. I wonder about the stability of a spinner in those situation?
You can sort of wheel them like a traditional 2 wheeler, but they don't wheel well as they are tiny little wheels that do not like carpet. I likewise used to strap a bag to my main bag (it had a strap for the express purpose of this, on the handle of the big bag).
 

Major

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I have recently been forced to buy a new suitcase after my trusty many-year-old Antler is about to be put out to pasture.

Walking into a massive luggage shop I asked 'are there any two wheel bags anywhere?' to be told "We have one, and it's our last one".

I *detest* the four wheel 'spinners'. I have actually hurt my arm with the one I was forced to buy. I'm a tall person and find that these just don't work. Personally, popping it on an angle and dragging it behind me has always been a lot easier.

The comment about the carpet and spinners is also true. The wheels are a lot smaller and I have to exert a lot of energy to push them down a hallway in a hotel.

I'm now on a hunt for a 2 wheel bag. Apparently, every luggage store I went into said "a lot of people hate the 4 wheel ones, we don't know why they stopped making them!".

Definitely a case of companies forcing a decision on us. I'm willing to bet these are a lot cheaper to build than the older style.
The 2 wheelers are still around

2 Wheel Luggage
 

Wezza

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Strandbags are having a sale at the moment. Picked up 2 x 82cm Samsonite Brightlite spinners for $299 each & a 55cm for $199.
 
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