Last updated on April 10th, 2021
We live in a time when traveling for leisure has become the norm. With a surge in discretionary income and exponential development in technologies, today, the decision to take a holiday and create an itinerary is as simple as clicking a button.
While many travel articles talk about having the best vacation, traveling cheap, and picking out the most exciting experiential activities, not enough articles speak about one of the most important aspects of traveling: luggage.
Imagine you’re running late for your flight. You are whizzing across the airport when suddenly, the strap of the backpack you’re carrying snaps, or the two-wheeler luggage you’re taking, wildly swings out of control, or worse still, the wheel breaks.
Now assume you’ve checked-in your luggage. After reaching your destination, you wait at the luggage carousel to pick up your checked-in baggage with increasing dread because each luggage that rolls off the carousel isn’t yours.
At these times, we’re forced to believe Murphy’s Law: whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
This is why it is of utmost importance that you be smart about the kind of luggage you buy and carry. If you pack smartly, you can fit your luggage in a carry-on bag. They’re always with you, so you know you can walk out of an airport without worrying about your luggage being anywhere in the world.
It is smarter to travel with carry-on whenever possible. But which carry-on baggage should you choose? How many wheels? What type?
The answers are even more varied than the questions. Here, we’ll try to answer some of the concerns and give you some useful luggage options.
Softside vs Hardside Luggage
The debate between softside vs hardside suitcases has been ongoing with no clear end in sight. This is simply because whether you want a softside or a hardside depends on your personal preference. Both have their pros and cons.
The outer shell of a hardside suitcase is made of polycarbonate material, which nearly guarantees protection of your contents from the usual wear and tear of airport transportation. Suppose your suitcase contents need protection from rain or liquids. In that case, a hardcase suitcase is your best bet because it is more water-resistant than softside luggage. Remember, your luggage, including your carry-on bags, can be waiting outside in the rain before aircraft onload or after offload.
The downside of hardside luggage is that it is rigid and not easy to stuff into overhead cabin bins or under your seat if the compartment size is too small. Its rigid structure also allows for a limited number of regular-shaped items to be placed inside.
On the other hand, softside luggage is made of fabrics that allow for more belongings to be placed inside. Some softside baggage also has extra space on top that can be zipped or unzipped depending on one’s requirements.
It is also definitely easier to fit a softside cabin luggage in an overhead bin or placed under your seat when space is scarce because of its flexibility. They also have extra compartments in which you can throw in the last-minute-remembered stuff.
However, it is far easier for the toll of travel to show on softside luggage, including tear. And if you have anything fragile or valuable, softside luggage may not be a wise option. Neither does the bag provide adequate protection against rain and moisture.
Therefore, while choosing your luggage, it would be best to weigh your pros and cons, depending on your needs.
2-wheel vs 4-wheel Carry-on
Which is better?
There’s little doubt that a four-wheeled carry-on is a better option than a two-wheeled one.
Of course, two-wheel carry-ons also have their advantages:
They are slightly more spacious on the inside; they are lighter than four-wheel luggage.
They are more economical and can be dragged over most terrains. The drawbacks are that they can be challenging to maneuver in the narrow airplane aisles.
You’ll be pulling it behind you, so it may not be the most comfortable way to walk in airports. It becomes even more uncomfortable when you have more than one piece of luggage to carry with you.
In contrast, four-wheel carry-ons glide exceptionally over smooth surfaces. Even if you’ve packed several things and the suitcase is heavy, rolling it alongside will not be a herculean task. It can turn easily in any direction, so it’s effortless to carry even on airplane aisles.
The only drawbacks are that four-wheelers will be slightly more expensive, have slightly lesser space, and be comparatively heavier than two-wheelers. But it is definitely more convenient (almost a pleasure) to drag around in an airport and take it with you.
Now you know what kind of carry-on luggage will suit your traveling needs. To make your decision easier, we made a list; here are our choices for the best carry-on luggage with spinner wheels (softside and hardside).
Best Carry-On Luggage with Spinner Wheels
1. AmazonBasics Hardside Carry-On Spinner Suitcase Luggage
The AmazonBasics Hardside can safely be said to be a favorite among travelers. The luggage is an easy carry-on and is available in four different colors. The suitcase is expandable by as much as 15 percent. With a telescopic handle and four double spinner wheels, this suitcase should be easy to carry across the airport without too much hassle.
The hard outer shell ensures that contents inside are protected from damage that can occur while traveling. The inner linings provide further protection to the contents inside. While one side has a zipped cover, the other side contains luggage straps that hold the items in their place.
In case you don’t have an electronic organizer for travel, the AmazonBasics cabin luggage includes three zipper compartments inside to store documents, gadget wires, and other miscellaneous accessories. While it does have a secure zip closure, it does not have an integrated TSA lock. AmazonBasics has a three-year warranty on its luggage.
2. Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels
When you search for this on Amazon, the first thing that strikes you is the unique choices of colors you can buy this carry-on suitcase in — charcoal, deep blue, purple, orange, and brushed anthracite.
Made of polycarbonate material, the suitcase is expandable and comes with a ten-year warranty. To make your contents inside the suitcase less susceptible to theft, it also comes with a side-mounted TSA lock.
With a lightweight body, the inside of the suitcase is fully lined. It has cross straps and additional organizational slots to make your packing easier. It comes with a retractable handle and four-directional wheels, making walking through the airport an easy and fun affair.
Its elegant outer finish, its easy-to-carry feature, and durability make this a favorite among frequent travelers. It easily fits in overhead bins and under the seats on flights.
3. Travelpro Maxlite 5-Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage
An ultra-light suitcase, Maxlite Expandable Carry-on Spinner comes in seven different colors — with hues that pop — such as dusty rose, imperial purple, and sapphire. With its four-wheel rotating spinners and its patented contour grip on its handle, carrying this suitcase on your journeys is sure to be a breezy affair.
It has two zipper compartments on the outside that have easy access and can be used to dump last-minute materials you forgot to pack. On the inside, it has an accessory slot and straps that are adjustable.
As for its expandability, its expandable zipper gives a space of almost two extra inches. Maxlite Expandable Spinner Wheel Carry-on’s softside material is stain and water-resistant, which means the usual wear and tear of airport travel will not be easily visible. Its size makes it ideal cabin baggage and a perfect travel companion.
As for warranty, Maxlite has a ‘Built for a Lifetime’ Limited Warranty that covers wheels, extension handles, carrying handles, and zippers. This is valid for as long as the original buyer holds the luggage.
4. Travelpro Platinum Elite-Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage
Available in four stately colors: true navy, Bordeaux, vintage grey, and shadow black, this softside luggage is your perfect travel companion.
With convenient interior compartments, not only does it have a tie-down system to keep your belongings in place. It also has two built-in accessory compartments and a wet pocket that is TSA compliant.
The Travelpro Platinum contains a lid pocket that can help you further organize your belongings. In addition, it also has self-aligning spinner wheels for easy roll and maneuverability.
What’s more, it also has a USB Port with a specifically meant pocket for power banks. It also has padded laptop and tablet sleeves to protect up to 15-inch gadgets. Its unique RFID-block pocket keeps safe credit cards, your passport and protects against loss and identity theft.
The fabric is also water and stain-resistant, which means it can withstand the damages that can occur while traveling. It comes with a ‘built for a lifetime’ limited warranty, much like the Travelpro Maxlite softside spinner luggage.
5. AmazonBasics Premium Hardside Spinner Suitcase Luggage with Wheels
Available in six different colors, the protective outer cover of this hardside suitcase is made of polycarbonate material, which makes it durable and flexible. The luggage also has a scratch-resistant finish.
The Premium Hardside provides maximum protection for the contents inside from external damage and theft and comes with a TSA lock. It also comes with fully lined interiors and has extra compartments in the form of three different zipper slots. These slots can store important documents, small electronics and chargers, and miscellaneous items.
Apart from this, it has the usual straps on one side of the divider and a zippered cover on the other. Not only does this have a compress-pad that helps create more space, but it’s also expandable by about 15 percent.
With four double spinning wheels and a solid telescopic handle, gliding this suitcase along the airport is sure to be an easy affair. It also comes with the usual three-year AmazonBasics limited warranty.
6. Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bound Lightweight Durable Hardshell 4-Wheel Spinner
A suitcase that’s small enough to fit into the overhead cabin in an airplane and spacious enough to fit clothes required for one week (more, if you’re a frugal packer) is what best describes Kenneth Cole’s Out of Bounds carry-on suitcase.
The interior is divided into two with inner linings. One half contains garment restraints and the other a U-shaped zipper compartment that helps keep your clothes and other items organized. It also has an accessory compartment that can be used to store toiletries, medicines, and miscellaneous items.
Its durability also makes this luggage a favorite among overnight travelers as well as those going for week-long vacations. It’s multidirectional four-wheeler spinners also makes this carry-on a comfortable travel companion. It makes maneuvering as easy as walking with sturdy easy-grab side handles and a telescopic, retractable trolley handle. It also works on uneven terrains.
Available in around six different hues, carrying Kenneth Cole is sure to make you look uber casual and fashionable as you walk down the airplane aisle.
7. Travelers Club Chicago Expandable Spinner Carry-On Luggage
With a textured, embossed finish that is scratch-resistant and has low-scratch visibility, the Travelers Club Chicago expandable spinner carry-on luggage is what travelers use for light traveling.
Including lined interiors, one half of the suitcase has a closed, zippered compartment, while the other has elastic tie straps that hold your contents in their place. It also has an accessory pocket, and the luggage is expandable by 20 percent.
The Travelers Club’s four-wheel spinners and a sturdy handle allow for one-hand use. Its easy weight rolling will put no additional pressure on your arms when you drag it across the airport.
As a carry-on, it stands out with its availability in nine different colors, with some unique such as rhubarb, Fuschia, teal, and charcoal. With its lightweight, durability, and breezy appearance, this luggage is preferred by all kinds of travelers for their vacation.
8. American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels
American Tourister is one of the most trusted, famous names in the luggage industry. With elegant designs and durable suitcases and bags, this brand has almost become a household name. American Tourister’s Moonlight spinner suitcase is a lightweight, easy option for travelers.
Available in unique colors and patterns — palm trees, ascending gardens rose gold, iridescent black, and iridescent white, carrying this luggage is sure to grab eyeballs whenever you travel. Not only is it easy to spot, but its multidirectional four-wheel spinners also make moving it across the airport a breeze.
It has a mesh zipper compartment on one side with a book-opening case style, while the other side has cross-strap garment restraints. In addition to sturdy top and side handles, this carry-on also has an expandable zipper that increases packing capacity by 1.5 inches. It also comes with a 10-year limited warranty, protecting your baggage from material and workmanship defects.
Travelers that appreciate minimalist, durable, and functional luggage that is also fashionable go for this carry-on.
9. Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage
Made from ABS, the Rockland Melbourne hardside spinner luggage is extremely lightweight and durable. With a multidirectional four-wheel spinner, this luggage is perfect for those who are usually in a hurry to catch their flight.
What makes this stand out from other brands is the sheer number of colors and patterns to choose from: two-tone green, two-tone navy, two-tone blue, black wave, gold wave, and quilt, apart from the usual hues such as pink, black, lime and charcoal.
The Rockland Melbourne has elastic cords for clothes restraint and a zipper compartment on the other side with a book-opening case design. It also has an elastic compartment on the inside. It is exceptionally roomy and can fit clothes, accessories, and toiletries for one week — and easily fit into the cabin compartment or below your seat on the airplane. It expands up to two inches, giving you more space to pack your belongings.
Fox Luggage Inc, which owns Rockland, provides a warranty of five years. But we suggest you read up more about the warranty before deciding to purchase the luggage.
10. DELSEY Paris Titanium Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels
With a lightweight, durable polycarbonate exterior, DELSEY Paris brings you an extremely functional carry-on, hardcase luggage. Breakage and crack resistant, the suitcase comes with an easy-access front compartment that has a padded sleeve and can hold up to a 15.6-inch laptop or tablet.
The matte finish makes the suitcase look elegant, and it is expandable up to two inches, giving you more space to pack. To further protect your content, it also comes with an integrated TSA lock. With a bookcase opening design, it has elastic tie-down straps on one side and a zippered mesh compartment. This ensures minimal movement of the content.
It comes with a ten-year limited warranty. Its eight multidirectional spinner wheels make movement effortless, putting no pressure on your arms. The luggage easily fits inside an overhead cabin in airplanes, making travel a pleasurable experience.
11. Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels
Built to withstand harsh elements, the Samsonite Omni PC is constructed from polycarbonate and is combined with scratch-resistant textures that ensures normal wear and tear does not show up on your luggage.
Available in seven colors, the luggage is built to look urbane and stylish. The push-button handle and multidirectional spinner wheels make walking with this luggage through the airport a breeze. With a built-in side-mounted, TSA combination lock, this durable luggage keeps your belongings secure from external damage and theft.
A book-opening style, it has cross straps in the main compartment and a mesh zipper on the other side that keep the contents organized and non-messy. It also has an additional accessory slot for miscellaneous items such as toiletries.
After going through Samsonite’s testing standards, the luggage comes with a ten-year warranty. Easily fitting into the overhead compartment on flights, this luggage can be your go-to if you want durability, elegance, and functionality.
When travel and leisure became a high-demand business, the market increased for building suitcases that could withstand air-travel. It was only natural for numerous companies to offer better luggage and features such as TSA locks, USB ports, and laptop compartments at competitive prices.
Today, carrying a suitcase is more than just taking clothes. It’s carrying with you a tiny part of your world. And it is essential that you purchase a carry-on that is safe, secure, and durable.
Now you know the options and features that are available in the market. Depending on your requirements, you can choose any brand or type of carry-on: softside or hardside, two-wheeler or four-wheeler spinner wheels (we strongly suggest four-wheeler ones); a standard, functional cabin bag or ones with special compartments and other features.
The list mentioned here is by no means exhaustive and is only indicative. Before buying any of the luggage discussed here, we strongly advise you to carry out your research.