Spinner vs. Roller Luggage – Which should you buy?

Luggage is a crucial part of your travel. You need something sturdy, reliable, and will last through many flights, train rides, and transfers through pavement, cobblestone, or dirt. While there have been many innovations when it comes to luggage design and material, a big debate surrounds the wheel: spinner or roller?

There is no perfect type of luggage, but there are pros and cons to both spinners and rollers.

Comparing the Important Stuff

Carrying the weight

The best thing about spinner luggage is how much less weight you need to deal with. The luggage glides effortlessly on smooth surfaces. There is little strength or control needed as the four corners of your luggage are stabilised and mobilised by four (sometimes eight, with two on each corner) wheels. Spinners take pressure off your joints and wrists.

Rollers, on the other hand, put pressure on your joints and wrists as you pull the bag behind you. This is especially troublesome for long-haul flights where you are carrying up to 30 kilograms of weight with just one hand.

Stability and Manoeuvrability

This is where it gets a little tricky.

If you encounter uneven terrains, you will most likely have to tilt your luggage and pull it like a roller luggage. A slight incline will also cause the spinner to roll off.

Roller vs Spinner

Rollers are better on tough terrain

However, spinners can move in every direction, so Spinners are stable on flat surfaces, but they’re not that reliable on rough terrain. Because the wheels spin, they are more likely to get caught in cracks and bumps. it will be easier to push the spinner through narrow aisles or alleys. They can move sideways and backward without much difficulty.

Rollers, on the other hand, are more reliable on different terrains. Since the wheels are fixed, it is less likely to get caught on crevices on the floor. However, because of its fixed wheels, roller luggage will only move one way, and that is towards where you pull it. It won’t be able to move sideways and rolling it back will be difficult. Since you’re also pulling the luggage behind you, you are more likely to trip other people walking behind you or get you bag caught on chairs or other obstacles when you turn a corner.

Maximising Space

Spinner wheels usually stick out from the luggage, which means it is counted in the dimensions when you travel. This is a big deal especially for those who live out of a suitcase because you’re wasting precious centimetres on the wheels alone.

Roller luggage have wheels that are somewhat cut into the actual luggage. This means there is more usable space for your items than for the wheels themselves. Because the luggage doesn’t need to stand upright, there are also roller luggage that are designed to function as duffle bags as well, adding more functionality to your luggage.

Durability

There’s a difference between a spinner and a durable spinner. More things can go wrong with four (or eight) wheels than two, and wear and tear on wheels is a serious issue. Since spinner wheels stick out and spin in different directions, they are more vulnerable to breakage.

Roller wheels are more durable in the sense that it doesn’t do as many movements as spinner wheels. Since roller wheels are fixed and built close to the luggage, there is less stress placed on the wheels themselves. If your roller wheels are cut into the luggage, it’s almost impossible for the wheels to break off from the luggage.

Price​

As with all travel essentials nowadays, you can find spinners and rollers fit for every budget. Generally, spinners from the same maker and model will be more expensive. This is because of the extra materials and parts needed to accommodate the two extra wheels on the luggage. However, there are great options right now for both spinners and rollers depending on the design, budget, and material you want.

Which One Should You Buy?

Getting a spinner or a roller depends largely on where and how you travel.

If you’re an easy-going traveller, or you’re the type who often goes on business trips, spinners will be great. You can walk through miles of airport halls or office buildings without much trouble as most of the weight is taken off your burden. For as long as you will be traveling on predictable terrain, spinners will be your best bet.

Rollers are great for people who travel to many different places. Rollers are more likely to survive a rugged trip. However, it is still up to the personal preference of each individual shopper and their budgets.