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RS store now has a spinner

The Rick Steves store now has a spinner bag. There must be a demand for it.

Posted by
4862 posts

If only they would get some more attractive colors.

Posted by
2297 posts

He caved! But honestly, after many years of using the RS rolling bag(and replacing my first one when the handle stopped working), I have used spinners on two trips to Europe this year and love them.

Posted by
2761 posts

I see that now. I have no interest in Spinners, but it's clearly become the rolling bag of choice. Whenever I search a particular brand, there are far more spinners than two-wheel bags.

Posted by
1135 posts

As long as he keeps his Classic Back Door Bag, I'm good with it.

Posted by
16596 posts

I stop in at Macy's and (more often) TJMaxx and Marshalls from time to time to see what's on the luggage shelves. For at least the last 18 months it has been extremely rare to see a two-wheeled bag that was over 19" or 20"; the two-wheeled bags look like the sort of thing people use to carry laptops and files back and forth between their homes and offices. I am not happy about the situation, but it is the reality.

Actually, I don't know how many wheels they're putting on the large bags (25" and up), because I never pay any attention to those. I want something around 23". It's pretty clear I'll have to order online or settle for a spinner.

Posted by
30893 posts

Frank II,

Based on what I've seen in airports, spinners seem to have replaced the two-wheel versions as the most popular luggage. As with most wheeled luggage, I suspect the weak points will be with the wheels and the telescoping handle. I'd be interested to see some reviews and user tests on this bag.

Posted by
3280 posts

I have a spinner. In terms of use, I loved it. Now it has a bad wheel and is pretty much worthless. The spinner wheels seem much more fragile, especially in Europe with rough pavement and cobblestones. I would make sure to get a lifetime guarantee from a company that will stand behind it and not claim "normal wear". I would also only consider ones with screw on wheels, not grommets. For my damaged suitcase (that actually had a life time warranty, that in the end was worthless) they agreed to send me the wheel, but I had to pay to have it replaced since it was attached with grommets. I might have paid to have it done if the other wheels weren't looking ready to go. And BTW, the suitcase had been used for 2 trips.

Posted by
8496 posts

Wheels attached via a metal plate are more likely to break than ones screwed on directly.

I switched to a spinner a little over a year ago. It has been all over Europe, the U.S and Japan. No problems.

Posted by
570 posts

Frank II, what brand spinner do you have?

I think everyone settles on a luggage style that works best for them. Because I don’t want any problems with a suitcase, I opt for the bag with the fewest external parts: two large wheels, sturdy two part telescope handle, one pocket the full length of the front. Of course I reached this after eliminating a variety of bad choices over the years that are still living in my closet.

Spinners are truly easier for people with wrist and shoulder problems to manouver on flat smoother surfaces. I’m not going to rule them out because I may need one! Eagle Creek would be my choice because of their generous return policy...I’m suspicious of spinning wheels.

BTW I believe spinners have had a resurgence in part because of the intense marketing campaigns of luxury spinner brands like Rimowa...the department store brands are trying to follow the trend.

Posted by
7109 posts

I used a RS 22” (2 wheel) carry on for 7 yrs before i had to replace it. Two and a half years ago, i bought the RS 20” (2 wheel) carry on - but didn’t use it because for my next trip a year ago i needed a 24” suitcase.
I could not find suitcases that were not spinners so i bought a 24” Travel Pro (ultra light) spinner.
When i used it last year, i found out i love spinners.
This Sept-Oct i took the 24” spinner and the 20” RS (2-wheel) carry on. I found out quickly that i do not like 2 wheels anymore. The spinner has worked really well everywhere for two trips now - including cobblestones and rough pavement. The 2 wheel RS carry on was a pain in the neck to maneuver.

Posted by
8496 posts

I use the Away carry on. It is heavier than I would like but it is well made and has an excellent warranty.

As an example, the included battery wasn't charging correctly. I was in London and went to their shop there and exchanged it for a new one.

With spinners, you need to spend a little more for quality if you don't want problems. Cheap spinners mean cheap wheels.

Posted by
150 posts

I'm seriously considering an Away bag based on Frank II's reviews. He knows what he's talking about when it comes to luggage, and with the new Away variations (expandability and a front pocket), that's tipping the scale more in the "buy" direction for me.

Overall, I prefer two wheels based on the space and weight angle, but there's no question that the spinners are a lot easier to maneuver in a crowded airport or hotel. My big thing is the quality of the wheels. Can they be easily replaced? Durable? For that reason, I think it's probably wise to spend a few more bucks on a good quality bag, especially if you're a frequent traveler.

I own a couple of carryon spinners, one a Travelpro and the other an inexpensive Rockland 19 inch. Both have been pretty durable, and you can buy spare wheels for the Travelpro in case one goes south. Not sure about the Rockland, but it's cheap enough that if it was too expensive to repair, I'd just 86 it.

I rarely check bags but needed a slightly larger one last year for a trip that required carrying a couple of business suits. Since I knew it wouldn't get much use, I went for a very affordable 24-inch spinner from Amazon Basics. I've only used it for two trips so far, but this is a nice bag at a good price. And Amazon sells replacement wheels, too. Rolls smoothly, spacious and a solidly built handle. So far, so good.

Posted by
7109 posts

“spinners are a lot easier to maneuver in a crowded airport or hotel”

I find them easier everywhere, especially crowded sidewalks. We arrived in Paris during a transportation strike on 9/13 and had to walk for 2 hrs on crowded sidewalks, up and down curbs, gravel-y portions, uneven pavement, etc, to our apartment. The spinner was great, the 2 wheel Rick Steves carry-on was a pain.

As Frank II and wildcat said, i think the key is getting a good quality spinner. Good quality doesn’t mean expensive. I got mine (Ultra Light Travel Pro) on sale at Macys for around $100.

Posted by
217 posts

I have had both spinners and 2 wheeled suitcases in Europe, and I've had wheels break on both. For the last at least 10 years,our family of 4 has traveled with Victorinox brand spinners and they have been great. The one smallest suitcase did finally have a ruined wheel after two months of cobblestone travel, but the suitcase continued to function (roll) as a spinner, and Victorinox repaired it for the cost of shipping. I watch the Macy's sales and get these suitcases on closeouts or great sales.

Posted by
6037 posts

Was at the RS store today and the spinner is decidedly taller than the other rolling bags RS sells.( I stood them side by side in the floor.... no, I did not have a tape measure)

Posted by
8496 posts

Was at the RS store today and the spinner is decidedly taller than the other rolling bags RS sells.( I stood them side by side in the floor.... no, I did not have a tape measure

According to their given measurements, the spinner is 1/2 inch taller than the rolling carry on. Decidedly taller means the RS folk should re-measure.

I once found a measurement error with one of their products. They measured again, admitted I was right and fixed it. Why not send them an email about this?

Posted by
30893 posts

Another question about Spinners just occurred to me. How well do they work on carpeted surfaces, especially with thicker carpets? I'd also be interested to know the failure rate of the wheels between spinners and the two wheel models.

Posted by
433 posts

Ken wrote: {Another question about Spinners just occurred to me. How well do they work on carpeted surfaces, especially with thicker carpets? I'd also be interested to know the failure rate of the wheels between spinners and the two wheel models.}

Performance on softer surfaces is mostly a function of the diameter of the wheel. Failures? Difficult question. A wheel failure is a disaster but many spinners can limp along on three wheels. If you go to a luggage shop (go ahead, they're fun) and look at the wheeled items, you will see there is a wide variety of wheel sizes, tire construction, attachment systems, swivel types, and other mechanical design decisions. /don't forget to look carefully at the handle and its retraction system.

My REI 28" roller has two, wide, three-inch diameter wheels with traction tires that are attached to a beefy axel, and the transmission is protected by a sturdy frame. There's a spinner at Macy's that has four, 1-1/2" hard plastic wheels that look more like furniture casters. I don't think they'd last on cobbles.

If you are shopping for a spinner, read the user reviews carefully. It's easy to filter out the useless observations from the helpful information. You're going to get what you pay for, for sure, but, if you find a model you like and can wait, it will eventually go on deep discount. ,

Posted by
8496 posts

For carpets, I just tip it and drag it like a two wheeled bag but I'm usually not going very far on carpet.....mostly just in a hotel.

As for failure rates, it depends on the spinner. Well made ones won't have a high wheel failure rates. Cheap spinners are more likely to.

I've been using my current spinner for over 15 months full time. It has visited England, Scotland, Italy, Iceland, Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland, Japan, New York, California and North Carolina. And numerous places in each country. Except for a few scuff marks I have had no problems.

Why not go to a store that has them, put a few items in, and try them out. Packed they do wheel differently than when empty.

....There's a spinner at Macy's that has four, 1-1/2" hard plastic wheels that look more like furniture casters. I don't think they'd last on cobbles.........

The ball type wheels are probably the worst you can get for a spinner. They are attached via a plate and those are more likely to break than regular wheels attached directly to the bag.

Posted by
30893 posts

Thanks for the feedback! I've always favoured backpacks for travel for a variety of reasons. However as I'm getting a bit older and the aches & pains are increasing, the thought of trying wheeled luggage has entered my mind. This would only be used for European trips, as I still prefer my venerable Tom Bihn Tri-Star for shorter domestic trips.

The next question to consider would be what size of wheeled luggage to buy. I normally check one bag on trips to Europe so something a bit larger would be fine (however not too large). As I'm on a Pension, cost is also a factor.

Frank II, have you done any reviews on Eagle Creek wheeled bags?

Posted by
8496 posts

Ken.....I have reviewed Eagle Creek luggage but none of their spinners. They are well made and handle well. They also have a lifetime warranty.

The spinner I have been using is the carry on from Away Luggage. (http://www.awaytravel.com)

Don't go cheap on spinners. Cheap ones have cheap wheels and handles.

As for size, only you can decide on that.

Posted by
30893 posts

Frank II,

Thanks for the reply.

"Don't go cheap on spinners. Cheap ones have cheap wheels and handles."

Have you found Eagle Creek to be "cheap"? I really like the design and features on their packs, so that's what prompted me to look at their wheeled luggage. The quality of their backpacks has been great and they've served we well for many years.

What type of Away luggage are you using? The soft sided expandable Bigger Carry On looks good, but the price of US$400 is not so good. With shipping that's going to be about C$525 or more.

Posted by
8496 posts

No, the Eagle Creek bags are well made. I have never had a problem with one and I've owned quite a few.

I use the basic Away Carry On (US$225)

What I mean was that the cheap bags would have lesser quality wheels and that is a big red flag. If they look like balls rather than wheels stay away from the luggage.

Posted by
30893 posts

Frank II,

Thanks again for the feedback. I'll have to give this some further thought and look at sizes and prices to see what might work for me.