The Hidden Cost of Spinner Suitcases

Spinner suitcases are very popular these days. Characterized typically by four 360 degree rotation wheels, this type of suitcase allows effortless movement along smooth surfaces with minimal strength and maximum maneuverability. The ability to take the weight off your arm to move the luggage is a big benefit for those looking to travel with ease. This article is to tell you that before you buy a spinner luggage, that there are some things you have not yet considered.


Typically spinner suitcases come in polycarbonate hard cases, occasionally cloth exterior. The hardcases are always marked up due to the hardness of the exterior. They are also prone to cracking. where the cloth is prone to tearing. However, this affects all luggage. The big problem with spinner luggage in particular are the wheels. The 360 rotational wheels you love so much also protrude quite a bit, and are very prone to breaking during baggage handling. You only need one wheel to break or be faulty for the entire suitcase to be useless. Regular luggage of the two wheel plus stand variety has a recessed wheel and are far more durable. The first to break on these types of luggage is actually the handle.

Additionally, over longer walk, because the wheels are designed for 360 rotation flexibility, they do not stand up to the long walks over rough terrain. What ends up happening is that the wheels shear off and become rough. When you tilt the luggage over for two wheel diagonal use, the wear on the back wheels is much quicker than the front, causing imbalance and the usual “turning” of the suitcase when back on all fours.

We noted previously that this was a strength. However, if you have every used a spinner luggage for longer periods of travel, you would also know that it is a weakness. A smooth surface is required for easy movement. If it is bumpy, rocks, gaps in the road, or if you need to walk a long distance, typically rolling it on all four wheels is not only difficult but dangerous. The alternative is rolling it on two wheels like a typical suitcase. However, the design of the wheel is optimized for upright movement, not diagonal movement, and the wheels are typically smaller and less durable than standard suitcases.

These are two of the main problems we have found with spinner suitcases. However, please don’t discount the value proposition of this type of suitcase, as there is still a big reason to get it. We recommend the LuggagePicks a resource to help you chose the luggage that is best suited for your travel needs.