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RS spinner carry-on v RS rolling carry-on

I have used the RS rolling carry-on for several trips. It's great; holds a lot and is very sturdy. But it hurts my back and shoulder to pull it behind me so I'm thinking about switching to the spinner for our Italy trip in September. It must be new because I can't find any reviews of it. Has anyone got experience with the spinner? It looks like it holds a little less than the roller which could be a problem. Also Rick Steves says spinners are bad in cities. Opinions? Thanks in advance.

Posted by
1224 posts

No to the spinners. They are only good for smooth floor surfaces like in an airport and break off more easily.

Posted by
25 posts

I agree that the spinners in Italy do not work that great. We just returned and there are so many cobblestone roads and walkways that they are difficult to roll. Just returned and we had one spinner and the other was a roller. We ended up having to pull both most of the time.

Posted by
960 posts

Agree - NO spinners in Europe - too much cobblestone to roll over - spinners won't go on cobblestone - they will tip over - it will be miserable. For Europe, we get the luggage with the 2 wheels so you can 'drag' it behind you - get the ones with the bigger sturdy wheels - it's all we take to Europe.

Posted by
218 posts

I second (and third and fourth) the above comments about spinners. I live and die by my RS Ravenna rolling carry-on. It's very sturdy and roomy!

Posted by
1259 posts

Try searching the packing forum, plenty folks been talking about the spinners. You will get both solid recommendations and vehement oppositional opinions. You might research the more robust two wheelers that have larger or outboard wheels. They will be far easier to pull and can even be pushed in most situations because of the lower rolling resistance. But you will give up carryon sizing.

Posted by
23411 posts

Just to continue the drum beat -- Spinners are great, terrific, in airport, train station on on smooth concrete as you find nearly everywhere in the US. I don't even like my two wheel in Europe because of crowds, and rough sidewalks and streets. But I can tolerate the two wheel in Europe when I have yo. Trust Rick -----

Posted by
15510 posts

I have been using a spinner for three years. On all types of surfaces.


Most who say they are no good have never used one. Here's the long as the wheels are good, you can always turn the spinner and use it like a two wheeler.

Before people start yelling that "they've heard" that's bad, be aware I am a Certified Travel Goods Specialist by the Travel Goods Association. They represent most travel bag and goods manufacturers and retail outlets. The certification was to help retail workers learn about what they were selling. I took it because I used to write about travel goods and wanted to have some extra expertise.

The key to a solid spinner are the wheels. I can't comment of the RS spinner because i have never seen one up close.

I gave up two wheelers for the same reason--back and shoulder pain. Plus I've often nearly tripped over people lugging their two wheelers way behind them in crowded airports and train stations.

Posted by
6994 posts

I can't say anything about the RS model, but I use both a lightweight spinner and a bulkier roller, and they both have their pros and cons.
The spinner is definitely easier to pull. For example Paris has a lot of tiled (big tiles, not cobblestone) pavements and yes, on those the spinner is louder than the roller, but it is still easier. And it is much better when I walk through train stations, subways, etc.
If I had to pull it extensively on rough cobblestones, as may be found in small, old villages, then I would reconsider the spinner, but it depends on your actual itinerary and mode of transportation!

Posted by
18493 posts

A1) I used the RS Back Door Bag for about 10 years, then the last 10 years its been a spinner; I have no problem anywhere with it.
A2) Like Frank says, it you have to (rarely) pull it, you pull it; no issues at all; but a good one will go over 90% of the surfaces with no problem.
A3) Recently I broke another RS Forum rule by purchasing a hard sided spinner; G-d forbid; but it stands up straight and doesn't fall over with my personal item hung over the handle, allows me to bring things back that dont break in the bag, slides in and out of the overhead on the plane cleanly and simply without a bunch of pockets and flaps hanging up on things..... love it.
A4) its been to Europe 3 times now and my only complaint is why didn't i buy it sooner.
A5) Unless you walk from the train station to your hotel room in old town Prague (not even then), not sure why road surfaces would even be a consideration.
A6) My bag does 90% of its road time from the house to the car, from the car across the parking lot to the airport, through the airport and on the plane, off the plane through the airport to the taxi and from the taxi 50 feet across a drive to the entrance to the hotel.

Posted by
18493 posts

B1) The issue with spinners and hard sided bags is more mantra that reality.
B2) But do buy a good one and "good" doesn't mean a name brand or the most expensive.
B3) Do buy a light one as a few airlines have weight limits (Turkish Air 8kg) but you can get around that to a significant degree by packing all the heavy stuff in your no weight limit Personal Item; realizing this you realize that lifting my 8kg hard sided spinner into the overhead is no harder than someone else lifting a 8kg paper bag full of clothes.
B4) Give it a try, Go To The Darkside:
B5) Combined with the personal item that slips over the spinner's handle and you are good for a 3 week trip between washings.
B6) And its not like I do Paris and London; my spinner has done perfectly in Ukraine, Slovakia, Hungary, Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia, Albania, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey.

Posted by
6787 posts

I'm with Frank II and James E - I've been using a spinner for years in Europe and they work very well. As the others mentioned, if the cobblestones get too bad, just use them as a roller bag. However, I haven't really had the need to use them that way much.

I've traveled through many streets in Germany this month-long trip, and while there are many cobblestone streets, I have yet to find a city (or even a small town) that doesn't have a sidewalk or pavement alongside the cobblestone streets for pedestrians and bikers. So the actual amount of time you are on an actual cobblestone street is negligible compared to the time spent at airports, train stations, pavements and so on. I'm usually walking on cobblestone just to cross the street.

It has really made things much easier for me as I travel - I'm getting older and not in great shape so my TravelPro MaxLite5 spinner has been a godsend for me.

Posted by
4280 posts

I have been using a spinner for about 7 or 8 years. My first one, which is still just fine, has been all over all kinds of pavement - including, as James said, the cobblestones of Prague AND all the cobblestones of Croatia. When I can’t roll, I pull. And it was a cheap $50 TJ Max 21 inch. (Nothing wrong with it but I wanted something smaller.)

I recently moved to a hard sided 19 inch TravelPro Max Lite 5 (5lb 3 oz) probably just like Mardee’s (unless she has the 20in expandable). It has only been on one 3 week trip so far, but I loved it. If you are worried about space, get a 20 or 21 inch spinner. But a spinner is DEFINITELY easier on my back and shoulder.

Posted by
15510 posts

This is the spinner I've been using for awhile.......It's not available in the US but Selfridges will ship it to you for 25 pounds. It only takes a few days.

It will fit most international airlines and weighs 4 lbs.

With all the spinners out there, why are you limiting yourself to RS bags?