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.