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Spinner Experience

I'm going to preface my writing by saying this post will make some of you VERY angry but it does not break any of the rules.

I have been a one bag traveler for 28 years if you don't count the years of traveling with garment bags. I started with a convertible backpack (the original Back Door Bag from Europe Through the Back Door.) Then as back issues and age caught up with me I switched to a rolling bag.

But everywhere I looked, I saw spinners. Especially in Europe. But we all know that spinners are terrible in Europe. As least that's what many of the people here say. (And most of them have never used one.)

But since I like to test luggage I thought I would try one. My needs were carry on size (no more than 55 x 35 x 23 cm) and I would prefer hard shell over soft. Trying to find one of those dimensions in the U.S.A is difficult.

But I did find one. However, it was being hyped too much. It was talked about too much. It was loved too much. And that turned me off. It was the Away Carry On. Anyway, I had never seen or touched one.

Last summer, while in London, Away opened a store there so I thought, why not go check one out. By coincidence, that same morning two guests checked into my hotel with that luggage. They both liked it.

So away I went (no pun intended) and looked at it. (I feel sorry for the young lady at the store trying to help me for I was consumerd with measuring--I always carry a keychain size tape measure--unzipping, rolling etc.) I was actually impressed. Sure it had gimmicks like a removable battery, an included laundry bag and a unique compression system. But it also had a 100 day return policy. If I didn't like the bag, even if used, I could return it for a full refund. So I thought, what the heck. I arranged to have one waiting for me when I returned to the U.S. (Not cheap at $225.)

I also bought an Ebags Fortis to check out. When I compared the two, the Fortis was packed for return in less than an hour. It was just too flimsy.

I took the spinner on a three month European trip including 5 countries, 3 airlines, numerous trains, buses, subways, and terrain. I just got back.

The verdict.....it worked just fine. Yes, on rougher terrains like cobblestones, uneven pavement and carpeting, I did flip it and use it as a two wheel roller. The "gimmicks" I mentioned earlier actually came in handy.

The only real downside is the weight. It weighs slightly over 7.5 lbs. But no gate agent gave it a second look and I was flying on airlines that had size and weight limits.

If you do want to use a spinner, I will make one suggestion. Pay a little bit extra for better wheels. The best wheels are attached directly to the inside of the bag. If you see a bag where the wheels are attached to a plate and that plate is either screwed or riveted to the bag, it will probably have a better chance of a wheel failure than the other type.

By the way, my shoulder and arm felt the difference using a spiiner over a roller. The spinner on smooth surfaces like those found in airport terminals and train stations was a breeze.

I am in no way promoting the Away brand luggage. It just happened to be the one I chose. (And since they are marketed to millenials I am far from being their target audience.) I just wanted to give my experience with a spinner.

I will continue to use it.

Posted by
2526 posts

Haters going to hate? Whatever. Good summary and this from a backpack preferred traveler and/or tourist or current term today. I'll consider a bag with wheels as possibly required in the future. The weight concerns me a bit thinking checking it may be demanded, but your experience reveals it was not a problem. I recall being on a flight a few years ago and a nearby passenger appeared with some sort of rolling bag. The passenger was clearly unable to place it in the overhead bin and scanned the crowd for a willing porter, er passenger, to hoist the bag into the overhead bin. Accomplished. If you self identify with that passenger, sharpen your skills at selecting a strong and eager assistant or check your bag.

Posted by
92 posts

Thanks for posting your review. It’s always helpful when people say specifically what worked and didn’t work for them and why. I have also recently switched to using a spinner bag and have noticed a difference in how my arms and shoulders feel when doing long treks with my bags. I was a little leery about the added weight of a spinner bag because I do prefer to carry on, but so far have not been asked to check it, even on low cost airlines such as EasyJet. My spinner is now about 3 years old and has held up nicely so far and it’s been bounced over rough cobblestone streets in Stockholm and Prague and Rome. Will check out the added features of the Away Carry On when it gets close to time to replace mine. Thanks for the review.

Posted by
2576 posts

Yes, the weight is a problem. It’s gotten better as materials have improved. I suspect carbon fiber and the like will eventually make it into luggage when the cost comes down. Right now the better bags weigh more, and as Frank II points out, the extra money you spend on a spinner buys reliability. I have several Travel Pro’s which I like but my go to for Europe is a Briggs & Riley wide body international spinner. Cost a fortune, will last me for life and go to my kids when I’m gone.

Posted by
11443 posts

I try to never check in at the airport thus bypassing the airline people there and the scales. Usually, at the gates, there is a sizer but no scale. Not everywhere but in most situations.

At some point I will probably have to check the bag. But will I change my way of traveling for one flight? No.

Posted by
3172 posts

Welcome to the dark side Frank II. I have been using one for several years and don’t plan to go back to a 2 wheeler. I love how it glides down airplane and train aisles. My new one is a light weight Samsonite hardshell ~7lb. The hardshell split opening was what I struggled with last year but after 6 domestic and 2 European trips with it in 2018 I have declared a truce.

My previous spinner was given to a DIL who loves it. I’ve not had any wheel issues and I wish you all the back and shoulder ease that comes with a well made spinner.

Posted by
136 posts

Frank II,
can a battery be removed to lighten the bag?

Posted by
154 posts

I've read some good reviews of Away luggage, and Frank II reinforces them. I waver between two and four wheeled bags, particularly on the wheel durability issue. But solidly mounted wheels like those on this brand would make me consider buying one. IMO, the spinners are a lot easier to move around airports, and they are much easier getting down an airplane aisle compared to the two wheeled models. (And I don't buy the "European cobblestone" argument, either, unless you're really off the beaten track for an extended period.)

One thing I look for is the ease and availability of wheel replacement should one go south. I don't really feel like paying a luggage repair shop to fix a wheel if I can do it myself. I've seen some brands (Amazon Basics, Travelpro) that sell replacement kits, so I gravitate toward those on the off chance that I might lose a wheel, which hasn't happened yet, thankfully.

As for a previous poster's question, you can order the Away with or without the ejectable battery. And the carryon comes in both domestic and smaller sizes, the smaller presumably for international carriers, though I"m not sure of the exact dimensions.

Posted by
7991 posts

I have been considering an AWAY suitcase as I need new luggage and am constantly receiving their ads and I like what I see. I am happy to hear from a real AWAY user!
Thanks.

Posted by
1179 posts

Hey Frank

I’m glad you found a bag that worked for you!

But I do want to caution some conclusions.

You found one brand that worked, and it came at a cost (weight). As you yourself stated, that doesn’t mean all brands work.
Conclusion? Still be cautious of spinners

You weren’t challenged this time on weight. But that doesn’t preclude you from being challenged in the future. Maybe this is a risk you are willing to take.
Conclusion? It is a risk with consequences ($$). Eyes wide open and all that.

The fact that your bag worked for 3 months is a good testimony.

Posted by
2927 posts

Oh, Frank...I didn't need to want another suitcase. How do you recycle your used suitcases? I can't buy another (although I did just justify a little EC tote) until I manage to recycle the ones I have. Away bags pop up on my screen all the time. I thought they were a new company as I'd never heard of them before.

Posted by
3250 posts

@Bruce I agree we should be able to lift our own bags and put them in the overhead compartment. But for those of us who are height challenged, it's not just a matter of being able to lift our bags over our heads-we also have to be able to throw it above our heads. Fortunately, I don't travel alone but I do appreciate those who help me when my companion is occupied with his/her own bag.

Posted by
5262 posts

Thanks for the helpful review, Frank II. I'm a spinner skeptic based on the wheels' weight and fragility, I use a rollling Travelpro which I like fine. But I can see the advantage of a spinner on flat smooth surfaces. Maybe I'll try one like yours when my present one gives out and/or I need something friendlier to the arms and shoulders (any day now?.....).

But I don't get why there's a battery -- for what? Are we moving toward the self-rolling bag? Will it propel itself into and out of our self-driving cars?

Posted by
6793 posts

Thank you Frank II. I am a backpack user, but I don't hate spinners or the people who prefer them (if they actually fit the bins). I appreciate the info in order to give advice to others who are looking for spinners.

Posted by
12988 posts

Very true...spinners can be "terrible in Europe." Very true too that one does see spinners everywhere in Europe.

I use a spinner and it certainly does have disadvantages when traveling in Europe.

Posted by
4370 posts

I don't know why some people get testy on some of these topics. People should keep in mind that an OP is reporting ONE person's experience and in the end, many things are a matter of personal choice. That said, I have a spinner suitcase, supposedly an excellent brand. (Olympia) The wheel that failed was not a front wheel! It was a back wheel, the supposedly more sturdy ones. It was super nice to use until the wheel issue. So much handier than the original wheeled suitcases. I tried a quick fix and brought it on my last trip. Not a great idea. My husband got frustrated with my struggles so we swapped. He pulled using the "fragile" front wheels. I cringed and thought he was going to make matters worse. But end of story, the "fragile" front wheels are still intact. One thing I did learn is that it is relatively easy to order and replace wheels IF the wheels are screwed on. Mine have grommets and require professional repair. I still haven't decided what I'm going to do for the future. It was much easier on my shoulders to have the spinners but I'm not sure I want to take a chance again. It also annoys me that the cheap $40-$50 rolling carry ons that I got about 15-20 years ago when airlines started to charge for checked luggage are ALL still functional. Not convenient in terms of features but the wheels all function.

Posted by
4370 posts

And thank you cala! I can lift my suitcase quite easily, I make sure I can. But I'm 5-3. Most often a taller person will help me, but I am always self conscious that maybe other passengers are judging me. I can get it in if I need to. I always hope that someone that appears physically strong but maybe for some issue really shouldn't be hoisting luggage leaves the bag to me or others.

Edited to add--In terms of checking my luggage, at the start of my trip, I am pretty hesitant to check. Especially, when I'm not staying in my arrival city. On my last trip I flew into Madrid and immediately took a train to Sevilla. If my luggage were lost or delayed, I feel like it would be following behind me on my vacation and I'm not sure how obligated an airline is in terms of getting luggage to passengers when they've moved to another city.

Posted by
6877 posts

How has anyone here who is a spinner fan or owns one deal with the issue of it rolling away (for example, when on public transit)? I recently had a chance to try out a spinner for the first time and it was a royal pain in the neck. It worked fine in the airport, but what about the real world outside the nice glossy flat airport floors? I have brick sidewalks where I live (that I have to walk on to get on the metro) and the spinner's wheels don't do it justice. Setting it down in some places doesn't mean it will actually stay in place (it rolls away). The pavement and the rolling issues made it a big thumbs down for me. It was also awkward trying to control it, but that's probably because I'm just not used to four wheels spinning in different directions. I still prefer a 2-wheeler with more sturdier wheels, or a backpack, for the types of travel I do.

Posted by
3789 posts

I used my first spinner over Christmas. As it was a formal 2 week cruise, it was a checked 25 inch. Weight, under 6 pounds, brand IT. I walked it around town over brick, mosaic pavement, pebble concrete, flat, smooth and glossy finishes. I came up with a method to still use 4 wheels on the difficult surfaces...pushing slightly ahead rather than pulling or at my side. Easier, given the taller bag. I did find myself a little concerned with some of the drag, as I didn't want to lose a wheel, but all worked fine.
I did 'lose it' on the London bus when I let go of it thinking it was wedged in well. I remember thinking it really needed a brake like a baby stroller has.
I went to the spinner because of shoulder and upper back issues and I noticed a big improvement. Not sure I can go back to a 2 wheel for prolonged travel.
I also have the 21 inch size so looking forward to seeing how that improves my travel aches and pains. With that size and monitoring the weight, I can carry it over worst surface patches, but need to ponder how to keep it from going walkabout without me.

Posted by
21304 posts

I saw some IT bags at a Steinmart store in Raleigh NC over Christmas. They had single spinner wheels; based on the online photos I've seen, I believe the company has switched to double wheels on current models. I hope the new wheels are sturdier.

The bag I priced at Steinmart was either 22" excluding wheels and handle (so really about 23.5", I'd guess) or perhaps one size larger. Sorry that I don't remember, but I wasn't going to buy another spinner with those wheels after my experience in 2017. My trips are long and probably involve rolling the suitcase over 30 to 50 miles of sidewalks and cobblestones; that's a lot to expect of spinner wheels on an inexpensive bag. Edited to add: I meant to say that Steinmart had the bag priced at $60.

However, the light weight of the IT bags is a big plus. Anyone who wants to try one out should check Steinmart if there's one nearby. The bags I saw were a wild tropical print, and not (to me) an attractive one, but you could heft the bag, see how it's made, etc. I think there were 3 sizes in stock.

Edited to add: Yes, Agnes, I found roll-aways an issue, but I was more than happy to keep my hand on the bag in exchange for its light weight. If only the wheels hadn't failed--in Europe beginning on Day 1 of a 130-day trip.

Posted by
3345 posts

How has anyone here who is a spinner fan or owns one deal with the
issue of it rolling away (for example, when on public transit)? I
recently had a chance to try out a spinner for the first time and it
was a royal pain in the neck. It worked fine in the airport, but what
about the real world outside the nice glossy flat airport floors? I
have brick sidewalks where I live (that I have to walk on to get on
the metro) and the spinner's wheels don't do it justice. Setting it
down in some places doesn't mean it will actually stay in place (it
rolls away). The pavement and the rolling issues made it a big thumbs
down for me. It was also awkward trying to control it, but that's
probably because I'm just not used to four wheels spinning in
different directions. I still prefer a 2-wheeler with more sturdier
wheels, or a backpack, for the types of travel I do.

I never thought about spinners rolling away but it makes sense. Yet another reason I would never buy one. I live & work in a very touristed part of NYC and see visitors (business people AND tourists) with spinners who, when in a rush, drag their spinner as if it were a 2 wheel pullman so they can walk quickly and by doing this, the 2 dangling wheels taking all the weight break on them.

Posted by
2349 posts

Spinning away bags- on an airport parking shuttle that took a sharp curve, all the bags on the bottom rack rolled across the aisle and all over the place.

My vote- I have a Travelpro 22" spinner and love it.

Posted by
3172 posts

RE the problem is spinners spinning away... It does happen but you can mitigate the issue by laying luggage on it’s side on airport shuttle/train luggage racks and standing in front of your luggage when it’s standing room only on public transportation. When standing on a hill waiting for a bus or taxi you do have to keep one hand on the handle.

Posted by
6877 posts

When the spinner ran away from me, I should have just waved goodbye and set it free :-)

Posted by
3789 posts

I checked my IT bags. Double wheels that are inset into frame with screws inside, so look to be replaceable. Now that I have it unzipped, I can see the framework. Though I am not as confident with the weight of it as older sturdier ones, this framework looks much more solid than I would have guessed. There are a whole number of sources for replacement wheels out there, but one nees to do some meaurements and analysing as they seem to ve generic rather than specific to make or model.
I chose the bright pink and blue floral print luggage. As well as being well discounted, I can't lose it in a crowd.

Posted by
3713 posts

I have a Lipault spinner like this one. So far I've had no problems with pulling it like a 2-wheeled bag.

Early on it became readily apparent that it liked to go roll-about on its own. I use a 6 foot dog slip lead like these to keep it from doing that. These are the kind of leads that groomers and vets often use for dogs in their facilities.

I run the lead through the bag handle and the hand loop through the O-ring. I reach through the loop to pull the bag by the handle. It's not going anywhere unless I'm going with it. The lead is long enough to keep my hand through the loop while buying something, the most likely time for the bag to get impatient and want to roll away.

I do agree that spinners are very convenient, partly because they can be turned sideways to roll easily as you push the bag down a plane aisle. My two Eagle Creek 2-wheeled bags (U-handle 22" Load Warrior Duffel, T-handle International 20" Load Warrior) also push down the aisle easily. They are smaller than the Lipault spinner and I guess they are just narrow enough to fit.

Posted by
11443 posts

Regarding Away luggage...

You can order the bag without the battery and its housing. It's the same price with and without. Without you would probably save about 10 oz.

The reason for the battery is the reason for having a backup battery itself. The luggage has a 10,000mah, dual port battery. It pops out if you want to use it outside the case or if you have the check it. The battery can't be checked. But since I travel with a backup battery anyway, I just use the one that comes with the luggage.

I haven't had too much of a problem with the bag rolling away but have found that on inclines it's sometimes better to roll it on two wheels.

No bag is perfect. There are pros and cons with all of them. What we have to do is find the bag and style that works best for each of us.

For those who want to try a spinner, Away gives you 100 days to try one out. If within that time you don't like it, you can return it for a full refund and they pay return shipping. They also come in lots of colors. I got one in a color you rarely see with bags--black. :) (On the airtrain last night, I saw one in pink.)

I should add for reference that the bag weighed about 22 lbs and I also had a Tom Bihn Pilot riding on top of it. I spent much of the trip in colder climates--Iceland, Sweden, Switzerland, Ireland and England so the clothes were a little heavier. And the PIlot carried my electronics and prescription meds. Of course, the heavier weight meant more effort in moving the bag.

Posted by
2349 posts

Lo, if you keep your luggage on a leash people will think it's your emotional support suitcase.

Posted by
11443 posts

That;s a good idea.....the next time a gate agent wants to check my bag I'll tell him it's my emotional support luggage and we can't be separated.

Posted by
1277 posts

Norma and Karen, great responses, you two.
Agnes, you are responsible for the theme to "born free" now running through my head

Posted by
8868 posts

I bought an ‘It’ spinner at either Ross or TJ Maxx. It was 24”. Or 25”? Can’t remember. A nice solid navy blue. I was looking for a larger bag to take some items to family in Germany and the price was right, around $50. It came with a 10 year warranty. The bag was lightweight and worked out well. I hated having such a large suitcase, but the spinner wheels were very convenient. I may look for a carry-on size.

Posted by
15046 posts

Yes, occasionally the spinner can spin away from you. Some airports have inclined ramps (stationary or rolling). On the stationary ones, I can hang on to it in front of me as I walk down, or pull behind me uphill. On the rolling ones, I have to use my body to keep it from rolling. I had the runaway spinner on the Athens metro from the airport until I finally just tipped it on the side. Luckily the train was nearly empty so it wasn't in anyone's way.

Posted by
3789 posts

Well, I finally took a look at their website, and I must say, this looks like one that would suit my needs if I was ready to move to a solid sided one..and make the investment. The external pocket version is well designed with a big enough gusset to make it functional, though you need to watch any added depth for the accumulated items.
FrankII, I can see this being a great long term traveller type bag. Glad it works for you.
Oh, and Wray, they will send you a free shipping label to send your old luggage to a local charity.
If you really want to offload you current accumulation, thing Craig's list - to either sell or list as free to good home, local woman's shelter or homeless shelter.
I also picked up free luggage on the curb in my neighbourhood when I needed a bag to take and leave in Africa.

Posted by
6877 posts

I think the "leash" is a great idea, but I'm more of a cat person

Posted by
254 posts

When my trust carry-on Lipault was soaked after a crowded US domestic flight ( I was made to gate- check it) I replaced it with an Away small size carry on about a year ago. I wanted hard sides after the Lipault loss. And it meets the more stringent overseas size dimensions.
I take out the battery charger and just use one I already have. On domestic flights, especially tipped on its side it is visibly smaller than the usual 22" cases loaded nearby. I love the color options, and the interior design is really clever. Also love the spinners, or just use 2 wheels if needed. At 5'2" I can easily get it into the overhead bin.
That all said, my intent was for its inaugral trip to be on a NA flight to Scandinavia and Finland for 3+ weeks. With a 10kg (22lb) weight limit at their lowest fare, for both carry on and personal item, I was stymied. Empty it weighs almost 7 lbs. So all my usual tried and true packing methods weren't an option, I kept being overweight despite repeated paring if items.
Since my itinerary couldn't chance a waylaid bag, after weeks of trial and lots of error I ended up going with a 2 lb Eddie Bauer duffel. No wheels at all! Painful!
If weight ever starts to factor into domestic US carriers, and you consider the Away as your "forever" bag, just something to consider...

Posted by
173 posts

Frank II, your thoughts please on packing a 2-sided hard case vs a 1 compartment soft side case. Also, do you miss an outside pocket? Thanks.

Posted by
3713 posts

I've had many cats, but never took them for a walk on a leash. I've known only one person who did. Perhaps I should have, as this article says. In Sevilla I did run into a little girl with a rabbit on a leash. I got permission to take a picture of her from her mom. It's one of my favorite pictures from all my trips.

Comfort luggage? The way some of us, including me, talk about our favorites certainly indicates that. Unfortunately, we do have to be separated from it far too often.

Posted by
2927 posts

Oh, and Wray, they will send you a free shipping label to send your old luggage to a local charity.
If you really want to offload you current accumulation, thing Craig's list - to either sell or list as free to good home, local woman's shelter or homeless shelter.

Thanks Maria. I'll make some phone calls to some local charities!

Posted by
4370 posts

I am told that sometimes foster children show up at foster homes with their belongings in a garbage bag. That sends such a sad message to those children. I wonder if county agencies could use carryon luggage looking for a home.c

Posted by
11443 posts

As I boarded my Delta flight today, the gate agent asked to look at my bag. She wanted to see if the bag had a battery. It did. She popped it out and said batteries could not be loaded in the overhead. This was new to me. Nowhere else was I asked to do this. (I popped it back in as I walked down the jetway.)

Frank II, your thoughts please on packing a 2-sided hard case vs a 1 compartment soft side case. Also, do you miss an outside pocket? Thanks.

I don't miss the outside pocket as everything that has to come out at security is in my personal item.

I prefer packing a two sided case over a one compartment one. It just seems I pack better. It did mean rethinking my packing butthe two sided hard side seems to hold more than my one compartment soft sided bag that bulged.

On the left side, I pack pants and sweaters in an eBags Ultralight Large Cube, my toiletry kit, pouches with laundry supplies and my immersion heater and cup.

On the right side that has compression, I pack shirts in a Bago Medium cube and two Bago slim cubes--one for socks and undies and one for everything else.

Electronics, prescription meds, paperwork and my 3-1-1 bag are in my personal item.

Posted by
11443 posts

Customers checking a smart bag with a removable lithium-ion battery must remove it and take it with them into the cabin. Customers carrying-on a smart bag containing a removable lithium-ion battery must remove it from the designed enclosure prior to boarding the aircraft. Once the battery is removed from the bag’s designed enclosure, the battery may be placed inside the carry-on bag. The removable battery does not need to be carried separately from the smart baggage.

The old style "smart" bags had batteries that needed a screwdriver to remove them. But look at the last two lines:

Once the battery is removed from the bag’s designed enclosure, the battery may be placed inside the carry-on bag. The removable battery does not need to be carried separately from the smart baggage.

Today's batteries pop out in less than a second. It is faster to remove them from their housings this way than to have to open up the bag. The rule was written with the old style batteries in mind but not updated. Think about it, they are saying you have to take the battery out of the bag and then can put it in the bag.

Posted by
1179 posts

Think about it, they are saying you have to take the battery out of the bag and then can put it in the bag.

I agree it doesn’t make sense. The only reason for putting it inside the bag is so the connectors don’t come in contact with the plane or other luggage.

As for me, I just have my own portable battery that I carry. These things do get old with use, and they also could get broken if you manage to charge with brown power. The Away charger is a specialty item that will be expensive to replace.

Posted by
4740 posts

Was it Ryanair that made you remove the battery? They had an overhead bin fire related to a mobile phone battery a few months ago.

Posted by
123 posts

Frank II, thank you for such a detailed review. I’ve been eyeing those bags for a while. Glad to have your assessment. I’m assuming you got the Carryon bag, not the Bigger Carryon. I currently have a Costco spinner (sturdy, with exterior pocket)— as much as I love my old RS 21” roller bag (now 12 years old?), a spinner makes a huge difference for my shoulder issues. Costco bag works well, and was $99, but I hanker for the Away.

Do you find the clamshell style to be more annoying in tight hotel quarters than a standard carryon bag? Does the compression mechanism live up to its hype? Thanks, Sherry

Posted by
11443 posts

It was Delta that made me remove the battery.

Do not believe's AWAY's claim about the bigger carry-on. Even they, in small print, admit the regular carry on is best for "international" travel.

The compression system worked very well.

I have stayed in small rooms but have never had a problem opening a bag.

One other comment....while I never had a problem rolling it on smooth surfaces, the heavier the bag the harder it was to roll on rough surfaces (as a spinner.) In those cases I pulled it like a two wheeled bag.

Posted by
68 posts

Frank, what are the dimensions of your Away carryon, including wheels, handles, anything that sticks out? Thanks!

Posted by
11443 posts

Exterior measurements 21.7” x 13.7” x 9” (55.1 x 34.8 x 22.86 cm)
Interior measurements 20” x 13.5” (50.8 x 34.3 cm)
Weight 7.6 lbs
Capacity 39.8L

0.1 cm equals 0.04 inches. I tried the bag in several sizers without a problem.

Posted by
11443 posts

Yesterday, while walking through the crowded streets of NYC, I found the spinner lagging when it was at my side.

But by keeping it slightly in front of me it rolled easier. I guess more pushing than pulling.

Posted by
7701 posts

I took my 55cm Bric's spinner with me to Turin last week and was reminded of why i still prefer two-wheeled suitcases.

I find the spinner takes more energy for me to push along than my two-wheeler does for me to drag along (of course, I can also drag my spinner in most situations, which is what I ended up doing). The additional stress on my arm/shoulder and need of energy to expend is noticeable for me. again, this is my experience and I don't mean to suggest that others will have the same problem.

I also seem hardly ever to be in a situation where I’m magically gliding my spinner down a marble smooth airport floor or a narrow plane aisle. I always seem to be on a bumpy surface, even the platforms at the Gare de Lyon are paved rather unevenly.

Anyway, my two cents.

Posted by
31521 posts

Frank II,

That looks like a very well built piece of luggage, but certainly pricey (the Canadian price is $325 for the carry-on model). I've always been a bit leery about hard-shell luggage as I've seen too many people trying to stuff these into overhead bins, even when it was obvious they wouldn't fit. I imagine the Away carry on would easily fit into bins on the larger transatlantic planes without too much trouble, but what about smaller aircraft such as the Q-400 turboprops?

Thanks for posting this. If I ever have to resort to using roller bags, I'll definitely look at the Away models.

Posted by
11443 posts

I have never taken it on a q400 but have on regional jets. On some it fit with no problem and on others I left it at the door of the plane and it was returned to me as I walked off the plane. I never had to wait more than five minutes. I know, however, that even having to wait five minutes would make some people here feel their entire trip was ruined.

The good thing about hard shell luggage is that you know how thick it will be. With soft sided it can be packed so it bulges and then it could be hard to fit. I've seen this often.

The only problem I've had with this luggage is on city streets where large sidewalk cracks can slow you down. In those cases, I just pull it like a two wheeler.

Posted by
31521 posts

Frank II,

Thanks for the additional details. I've always had the impression that the Swissgear luggage has been fairly good quality. Is the Away carry on about the same?

I've often thought about the idea of using a TB Tri-Star for a European trip, but I usually come to the conclusion that it simply isn't large enough.

Posted by
3250 posts

Frank, I appreciate your posting this since I just saw the ad for the Away bag and liked it. I immediately came to the forum, typed in "Away Luggage" and your thread came up. @Lo We take our Tonkinese cat out on a leash but we don't walk him-he walks us. @ Ken, I use TB Tristar on any trip where I'm using public transportation. I confess to taking a chance by not taking a second pair of shoes, but so far it hasn't been a problem. I also have invested in quick-drying Rohan jeans. Of course, I also have a large purse for my carryon item. When I take my RS rolling luggage as my carryon(for longer trips or when I'm taking the easy group bus tour with luggage handling, I use the Tri-Star as my personal item and just make sure I don't put much in it so it can fit under the seat.

Posted by
11443 posts

Ken, are you talking about Swissgear as found in Target or Victorinox that is the name of the parent company of Swiss Army Knives. The Away is closer to the latter.

It's a well made bag and very popular. My biggest negative is the weight.

I, am however, looking at a four wheeled version of my favorite two wheeled bag. It only weighs 4 lbs. (1.8 kg.) Unfortunately, it's not available in North America so I will try it out when I head back to the UK in a couple of months.

Posted by
31521 posts

I'm not sure which version of Swiss gear the luggage was? It was on display at one of the local stores and I had some time to browse while I was waiting for a prescription. The case appeared to be molded aluminum.

One other method I've been considering is a combination of the TB Tri-Star and the Red Oxx Safari PR-4 for my camera gear, etc.

BTW, I'm starting to see TV adverts for Away luggage now, so they must be doing well.

Posted by
254 posts

I have been using my smaller Away ( the carry on size) domestically in the US for 2 years. It always looks smaller than the others in the overhead bin. The clever design enables me to pack more into the space, but that becomes not a good thing if your intent is for international travel with weight limits. For example, it perfectly held everything for a nearly month- long trip to Scandinavia and Finland, but because it weighs about 5 or 6 lbs on its own I was well over the Norwegian Air carry on limit- the case on its own was half my allowance. Another consideration is packing and traveling style. It opens like a book, so you have to lay it on the floor, bed, etc, you can't just easily grab something out. I like the hard shell for protection, although it has picked up some scuff marks ( in dark blue) and I do like the speedy wheels. I am also far from my 20s and 30s but feel very chic as I roll along and then buff when I hoist it into the overhead compartment 😀.

Posted by
154 posts

I’ve read a lot of really good reviews about the Away luggage, and the only semi-consistent knock about the bags seems to be the weight. But based on experience, if you’re looking to seriously minimize weight, it’s probably better to go with a soft sided suitcase in the first place.

I really like the new model with the front pocket, though, and am surprised more hard sided luggage doesn’t have this as a feature. I have a Rockland 19 inch hard sided spinner with a front pocket, and while there’s a sacrifice in interior space, it’s still fine for a 3-4 day trip without using a laundry and with strategic packing. And at that size, carryon limits are a non-issue.

The Away line must be doing pretty well, if my Facebook feed is any guide. I’m seeing more and more startup and other ads featuring bags that closely resemble the Away ones. Looks like they’re doing something right.