Spinner luggage versus 2-wheel luggge

My wife and I are traveling to Europe this Spring and need to replace our luggage. We will fly to Europe and mostly train between the major cities and are considering buying spinner luggage. My question ... what has been your experience with how airlines treat spinner luggage? Unlike how the 2 wheels on our RS roller bags are somewhat embedded into the luggage frame, spinner wheels really stick out. If you've had experiences with both, I'd like to buy spinners because they seem more convenient rolling through terminals and on trains.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
8186 posts

Spinners usually weigh more, which takes them off my list - because that's valuable carry-on only weight (especially with airlines that have strict weight limits like SAS or Lufthansa). Many two-wheels have sturdy roller skate wheels that seem tougher than the four wheel versions. I"d guess they do better when you get off a perfectly flat surface.

Posted by Christi
Whitsett, TX, United States
900 posts

I find 2 wheel bags easier to travel on uneven (think cobblestone)surfaces, stairs and going up & down curbs.

Posted by Lo
1682 posts

Your question about how airlines treat spinner luggage implies that you will check your bags. If that is correct, I expect they treat it like any other luggage. Scary. I only carry on, so my spinner fits perfectly wheels first, top out in an overhead bin. There's another thread on the General part of the Helpline about the luggage topic. People there listed some "review" kinds of sources to compare types of luggage. Finding and reading that thread would probably help. The best place I have found so far for giving the weight of the empty bag is Luggage Pros. You can search for wheeled luggage, then narrow and compare from there. I prefer the spinners for the reasons you mention in your question, and because they are more stable on 4 wheels when sitting still than some of the 2 wheeled ones are, especially if you attach another bag to the handle.

Posted by Charles
Austin, Texas, USA
325 posts

I would not use the spinners in Europe. I see people pushing them around in airports, but that is on a smooth surface. That rarely exists in Europe so I would go with the traditional two wheel version. That works for me every time!!

Posted by Mona
Santa Barbara
726 posts

We replaced our carry on luggage (2 wheel for him, backpack for me) over the last 2 trips to Europe with very light weight spinner luggage. We thought it would be more convenient for train travel where it's sometimes difficult to pull 2 wheeled luggage down center and compartment side isles. We have been very happy with our decision over all kinds of terrain that European streets and sidewalks present. We recommended one for our sister in law who has a bad back and traveled with us 2 years ago. We thought that running the suitcase along side of you was kind of like walking support and wouldn't tug at her back like pulled behind suitcases tend to do. She thought it was very comfortable and easy on her back. The only tricky/negative thing we've encountered is when you are stopped on a slope and need to hold on to it so that it doesn't start rolling away.

Posted by Lo
1682 posts

To deal with the rolling away problem in a variety of situations, as well as the space cadet problem I have of walking away from the bag after buying something in the train station or airport, I got a slip lead. Yeah, one of those short dog leashes with the handle at one end and a ring at the other. It's long enough to go through the handle(s) of the spinner and around my wrist without compromising my ability to dig stuff out of my cross-body tote or purse.

Posted by Lee
1017 posts

We have a lightweight spinner large suitcase in violet and a heavier, tougher large two wheeler in black (you can figure out which is mine). After a few trips the spinner is holding up nicely. I think I prefer it. On rough surfaces one just tips it over and pulls it like a two wheeler. In airports and hotels it is definitely easier to move around. So far baggage handlers haven't ruined it and there's no mistaking it on the baggage carousel.