carry-on luggage


Best Carry-on Luggage with Spinner Wheels for Long Distance and International Travel

The days of simple bags for luggage when traveling are over. Technical advancements have given us a lot of options when it comes to what hold our stuff while we jet around. One of the most popular new types of bag has spinner wheels, but even these bags have a lot of variation. We’ve selected a few products on the market that might be the best carry-on luggage with spinner wheels for you.

Our Top Carry-On Luggage Picks:


A Distinguished History

They’re not in a Witness Protection Program, but the classic toiletry bag goes by many different names, so when you search for one that suits your budget and sensibilities, give your search engine a choice of these keywords: best travel toiletry bag, dopp kit, hanging toiletry bag, body hygiene kit and ditty bag. This portable product is designed to hold essentials you need to survive when you’re away from your bathroom.

The original name of this product was the Dopp Kit, named for Charles Doppelt despite the fact that his nephew Jerome Harris was the actual inventor. These organizational bags were first produced and sold around 1919 for soldiers deployed to Europe during World War I. By World War II, they were standard issue for members of the military. The original Dopp brand was acquired by Samsonite in the early 70s and again by Buxton in 1979. The expansion of this niche has been dramatic and in keeping with the worldwide increase in travel for business and pleasure.

How to Choose the Best Carry-on Luggage for You

Your luggage is something that you want to stay with you for a long time. After all, it's not often cheap. You want the best bag for you, but that can change depending on your habits, the kinds of things you pack and your frequent destinations.

Carry-on luggage especially needs to fit your style and needs because it's you that has to carry it around and handle it as opposed to the baggage handlers working the checked bags. Let's take a look at some things to consider when choosing the best spinner wheel carry-on luggage for you.

Material

One of the first things you want to look at is what your bag primarily consists of. Three materials are most commonly used when making carry-on bags, and each has its unique attributes.

  • Polyester: A relatively inexpensive synthetic material. Polyester is lightweight, but not particularly durable. The main draw of this material is its price. Luggage made from this material is cheaper, but won’t last as long. This material is best if you are on a budget, appreciate flexibility or don't travel as often as others, so durability isn't a big concern.
  • Nylon: Luggage made from nylon is much tougher than polyester without compromising on weight because it is made of specially constructed ballistic nylon. It’s also quite flexible, allowing for expansions and more “give” when squeezing in the last few items. Travelers who often shop wherever they visit enjoy nylon bags because they can expand easily. Returning with more than you brought isn't a problem because of the extra room and reduced weight. Frequent fliers also enjoy nylon's military grade ruggedness.
  • Polycarbonate: This is a rigid material used in the making of “hard-shell” luggage. It is stronger and more resistant than its flexible counterparts, and luggage made from carbonate is sometimes waterproofed. On the downside, it is not very flexible, shows wear and tear more obviously on its shell and usually is more expensive. Hard-shell luggage made from polycarbonate is great for fliers who often pack precious or fragile things and want a little extra protection. Also, travelers who fly frequently and expect their bags to take a beating will appreciate the material's high resistance to damage.

The Handle

One of the most important parts of a piece of luggage, spinner wheel bags, in particular, is the handle. If it breaks or malfunctions, you may be stuck carrying it in your arms for an uncomfortable amount of time. The best handles are made from high quality aircraft aluminum that is lightweight and durable. Multi-position handles are useful if you find yourself needing to adjust the height of them, but they also add another thing that can go wrong onto your bag. Any wobbliness flimsiness can be a bad sign for the life expectancy of the handle.

carry-on luggage

Extras

There are a lot of little things that new bags come with to try and entice buyers. These cater to personal preference but can have a significant impact on your travel experience. Some extras may include:

  • Built-in TSA Locks: Some bags have TSA approved locks built into the construction of the bag. These are useful on the off chance that you have to check your bag or it must be examined by the TSA for some reason while you are nor present to open it. The locks keep your things safe, and all TSA inspectors (and only them) have a special key that unlocks these locks. That way, they can quickly open and inspect the contents of your bag without having to resort to breaking the locks or worse, cutting open the bag. It's a rare scenario, but one that can potentially ruin your bag
  • Separate Outer Compartments:  These extra compartments are found mostly on soft bags can allow easy and quick access on the go. They are a convenient place to store wallets or travel documents. Alternatively, they can just be a good way to separate your dirty clothes from your clean ones.
  • ID Tags: Integrated ID tags make sure your luggage finds you if your third party luggage tags get separated or removed.
  • Interior Cross Straps and Organization Pouches: Good for internal organization of your things.
  • Expansion Zippers: Unzipping these will add space to the interior of the bag, and can be zipped shut again to compress items inside.  Expansions are great for adding capacity but take care that you don't expand your bag too much and exceed the size limit for carry-on bags.
  • Hinomoto Wheels: The best carry-on luggage with spinner wheels have their wheels manufactured by the Hinomoto Company. They are considered the gold standard among luggage wheels. They are lightweight and extremely durable. This isn’t to say other wheels are bad, but Hinomoto is on the top shelf.

The Products

Here are our picks for some of the best spinner wheel carry-on luggage out there. We’ll take a look at some of the pros and cons so you can decide what’s best for you.

1. Delsey Luggage Helium Aero Carry-On Spinner Trolley

Delsey is a trusted international brand of luggage, and this hard-shell carry-bag is one of their most popular products. This bag is sturdy and has excellent carrying capacity with its two-inch expansion. Unfortunately, the extra space comes at a price. At 15.2 x 10.2 x 24.8 inches, it is barely small enough to be considered a carry-on. Indeed, some of the stricter airlines will reject it if inspected and force you to check it. This is not the norm, however, and will only just barely fail if the airline ends up inspecting it.

While the Helium Aero Carry-on is tough and will protect your belingings, the hard outer shell is easily scratched and scuffed. This may alarm the more aesthetically minded, but if you value protection above all else, this bag fits the bill. On the flipside, the wheels are attractive and run silent, but since they are double spinner wheels, they sacrifice durability for mobility.

Delsey Luggage Helium Aero Carry-On Spinner Trolley

Pros

  • Expandable up to two extra inches.
  • Internal 50/50 compartment separation.
  • Tough polycarbonate shell.
  • Built-in TSA approved zipper locks.
  • A wide variety of color and finish options to suit different styles.
  • Silent-running double spinner wheels.

Cons

  • “Open book” design can make it difficult to access frequently.
  • Slightly heavier than fabric models.
  • The 10-year warranty is limited.
  • Outer shell scratches easy.
  • Double spinner wheels likely won’t last as long>
  • Barely small enough for a carry-on.

2. Samsonite Omni PC Hardside 20-Inch Spinner

Another hard-shell carry-on bag, this Samsonite model has many features you might expect from a high-end polycarbonate model at a lower price. Samsonite is a well-known and storied luggage, bag and carrying case company. The company is not known for fancy couture luggage, but rather they pride themselves on offering functional, elegant and affordable ways to carry your things.

The Omni PC Hardside is durable and scratch resistant. The diamond textured finish won’t scuff or crack easily like glossier finishes. It is missing some notable features, however, such as a side handle or an internal organizer for your things. The lower price point is attractive, but its wobbly handle and smaller wheels may be the reason why. Overall a well-priced bag for the infrequent traveler.

Samsonite Aspire Xlite 20-Inch Expandable Spinner

Pros

  • Expansion zippers increase capacity.
  • Internal cross straps for separation.
  • Scratch-resistant polycarbonate shell.
  • Built-in TSA approved zipper locks.
  • A staggering array of color options for any style.
  • Fits perfectly in most overhead compartments.
  • Very affordable for its design and features.

Cons

  • No internal organizers.
  • Slightly heavier than fabric models.
  • 10-year warranty covers only defects and manufacturing errors; accident insurance is extra.
  • The handle is wobbly and might not last as long as the rest of the bag.
  • Smaller wheels do not afford much mobility, especially on carpet.
  • No side handle so it may be difficult to put into overhead compartments or other vehicles.

3. Victorinox Avolve 3.0 Large Expandable Carry-on Spinner

This carry-on bag is a cut above the rest, but you do have to pay for its superiority. While it doesn’t have a large share of the luggage market, Victorinox is an internationally trusted brand of accessories, knives, watches and travel equipment. This bag has a lot of Victorinox's signature Swiss craftsmanship on display.

The Avolve 3.0 Expandable Carry-on is a hybrid soft and hard-shell. The front is high-grade nylon, and the back (the side with the handle, that you normally place the bag down on) is a polycarbonate shell with a nylon covering so the bag’s appearance is uniform. It has a some of the best features of a hard and soft shell as well as a bevy of extras. An excellent bag if you have some extra money to spend on it.

Victorinox Avolve 3.0 Large Expandable Carry-on Spinner

Pros

  • Zippered expansions and soft nylon front allow extra space and flexibility.
  • Internal cross straps and organization pockets for separation.
  • Hard polycarbonate back adds structure and protection from the bag; nylon covering removes the risk of scratching.
  • You can register the included combination lock with Victorinox in case you forget the combination.
  • Extra easy access pouch on the front has padding for laptops and other devices.
  • Top notch Hinomoto wheels.
  • Lightweight and compact compared to other hard-shelled bags.
  • Integrated ID tags.

Cons

  • Relatively more expensive than other models.
  • Padding on outside laptop compartment may not be sufficient for larger or more fragile devices.
  • The 10-year warranty is limited; accident insurance is extra.
  • A lock is included, but not integrated, so it is possible to lose it.
  • Only two color options.

4. Samsonite Aspire Xlite 20-Inch Expandable Spinner

This model is another one from Samsonite, but this one is a soft-shelled bag. It is made of polyester which is not the most durable of materials, but it does allow for a lot of flexibility when packing it out. The Aspire Xlite 20-Inch Expandable might not be the best carry-on luggage with spinner wheels, but it strikes a good balance between quality and affordability.

This Samsonite soft-shell distinguishes itself with its wide array of pockets and compartments. The interior includes wetpak and mesh pockets for increased organization, and there are two separate exterior pouches for easy access and more organization. So, if you like a lot of separation between your things, this bag will do that job pretty well. Frequent fliers may find the construction quality lacking as with the previous Samsonite model, but it is by no means chintzy or low quality.

Samsonite Aspire Xlite 20-Inch Expandable Spinner

Pros

  • Expansion zippers and polyester material give a high potential for increasing capacity.
  • Many and varied pouches and pockets both internal and external for exceptional organization.
  • Affordably priced.
  • Padded top and side carrying handles for ease of stowing in overhead compartments or other vehicles.
  • A wealth of color options.
  • Compact enough by most airline’s standards.
  • Solid wheels for decent mobility but increased durability.

Cons

  • The polyester material won't last as long after heavy use; may wear and tear sooner.
  • Extra pouches add a little weight, despite it being soft-shelled.
  • Extendable handle not as sturdy as it could be; may not last after frequent use.
  • No included or integrated locks.

5. American Tourister Ilite Max Softside Spinner 21

American Tourister is a well-known brand of luggage that enjoys a large market share. Their bags are very affordable, as evidenced by this model. The Ilite Max Softside Spinner 21 is a polyester and nylon blend soft-shell bag with a lot of useful features that won't set you back all that much. It's a good option if you don't foresee your luggage going through rough conditions often.

The Ilite Max Softside Spinner 21 has several organization pouches both on the inside and outside. They are a bit small and not as varied, but they get the job done. The design is also sleek and elegant, with integrated side and top handles that are tough but don’t impact the silhouette or get caught on things.  Unfortunately, this model does not have much in the way of expansions, but its flexible material still has some give.

American Tourister Ilite Max Softside Spinner 21

Pros

  • Very affordable for the budget minded.
  • Several different pouches on the inside and outside for easy access and organization.
  • Polyester is blended with nylon to increase durability.
  • Top and side carrying handles for ease of stowing are integrated seamlessly into the design.
  • A good number of color options.
  • Compact and light yet spacious.

Cons

  • Materials and construction aren't particularly high quality; the zippers especially seem to have a few problems.
  • Wheels are a bit small and not very sturdy.
  • No expansions.
  • No included or integrated locks.

Conclusion: and the Winner Is…

The bag that best meets a traveler’s demands is the Victorinox Avolve 3.0 Large Expandable Carry-on Spinner. We know it's quite pricey compared to others on this list, but luggage is a big purchase, and your bags should last you a long time and be stress-free to use. The other bags on this list either won't last as long like the softer models or are too bulky and lacking in extra features like the hard-shell ones.

You’re going to pay a little extra, but you’ll be glad you sprang for the higher quality and didn’t compromise to save a few bucks. The extra money is well worth the excellent durability, exceptional craftsmanship and wealth of extras. We think the Victorinox Avolve 3.0 Large Expandable Carry-on is the best carry-on luggage with spinner wheels for you.