Spinner vs. Rollaboard Luggage: What is the Difference?

Last Updated: November 8, 2021

Whether you travel once a year or very often, a good piece of luggage is worth every penny. It’s hard to know where to spend those pennies with all the luggage options.

Wheeled luggage is definitely preferred among most, being that it is so much easier to travel with than heavy bags that you have to carry.

Not all wheeled luggage is the same, though. There are two main types of luggage with wheels, and it may be hard to choose which type is better for your specific travel needs. There is rollaboard luggage and spinner luggage, and while both are pretty nice options, there are distinct differences between each that may sway you towards one or the other.

Before making your decision, there are some things to consider. You want to think about how often you travel, what types of climates and terrains you travel to, what you can lift or carry, and how much you need to pack. Knowing these things will help you understand more about rollaboard and spinner luggage so you can make your own choice.

What is Rollaboard Luggage?

Rollaboard luggage is luggage that has two wheels that are both towards the back of the suitcase at the bottom. This type is also sometimes called upright or inline luggage. In order to roll the luggage, you’ll pull up the retractable handle, lean it back, and roll it.

On most roller luggages, there are two feet at the bottom that lets your suitcase stand upright. You end up having to pull it at an angle to get it to move, which can be tough if it’s a heavy suitcase. However, the sturdy and durable wheels help.

Those who like to travel for long periods, might enjoy a rollaboard suitcase for its durability and ease of movement. It’s easy to push and pull against many types of roads, and can be rolled onto busses and subways without much of a struggle.

What is Spinner Luggage?

Spinner luggage has four wheels that are attached to each corner at the bottom. These wheels have the ability to rotate in a full circle, making it easy to navigate around corners and turns with ease. You don’t have to lean the luggage to make it move; it simply stays upright and rolls.

There are some spinner luggage options that have more than four wheels, making it easier to navigate rougher terrain. There are also options with magnetic wheels that can be removed or placed on a different part of the luggage.

The spinner is a little newer of an invention than rollaboard luggage, and is probably what you’ll see most often in stores these days. They have become quite popular for their sleek designs and ease of movement. People with mobility concerns can also find using spinner luggage less labor intensive.

What Are the Differences Between Rolling and Spinner Luggage?

4 wheel vs 8 wheel luggage

Some of the most obvious differences between rolling and spinner luggage are the number of wheels on each. They are also different in the way that they travel. Both types are definitely much more user-friendly than non-wheeled luggage, as they are easier to push and pull even if they are heavy.

Spinner luggage tends to be a touch heavier than roller luggage, considering it has extra wheels. The weight difference should not make or break whether or not you are charged more for your luggage, however. Rollaboard luggage also tends to have a little more space than spinner of the same size, as the wheels are integrated into the body of the suitcase.

Which Type of Luggage is Easier to Move Around Various Surfaces?

Throughout your travels, you’ll be pulling your suitcase on so many types surfaces. You want luggage that will be easy to pull no matter what.

Rollaboard luggage tends to be easier to pull over stoned walkways and driveways. The wheels tend to be bigger, and more sturdy. A rollaboard can also be easier to manage if you’re traveling on a subway or bus, as it tends to stay put. They can also be pulled up stairs easier, though it’s not usually recommended that you do that.

Spinner luggage, on the other hand, is easier to pull on carpet and smooth surfaces, since the spinning wheels allow for smooth gliding. As long as a gravel or stony walkway isn’t too rough, a spinner suitcase should be okay as well. Because the wheels are smaller, they can get caught easier on rough surfaces.

Which Type is More Durable?

There are two things that make rollaboard luggage a bit more durable than spinner luggage. The first is the wheels, and the other is the ability for one to tip over more than the other. That being said, being careful with your luggage, no matter the style, can ensure it lasts a long time.

Rollaboard luggage has larger wheels that are sometimes partially inside the luggage. It’s not as easy for them to break off. With spinner luggage, the wheels are smaller and more delicate, thus they can break more easily.

While some spinner luggage has been updated to have locking capabilities, spinners can easily tip over and roll around if they are not held. Rollaboards usually have feet that allow them to stand upright and stay still.

Which Type Would Fit My Budget?

Thankfully, no matter which type of luggage you prefer, you won’t see a major difference in price points. Both types of luggage can be found in different sizes, made with different materials, and can be found at both affordable and luxury price points.

Sometimes spinner luggage will come at a slight price difference for the simple fact that they have extra wheels. When it comes to maintenance, they can cost a little bit more as well, considering that the wheels may have to be replaced more often than with upright 2-wheel luggage.

What Kind of Traveling is Rollaboard Luggage Suited For?

Rollaboard luggage is ideal for frequent travelers that travel to and from a variety of destinations, all with different terrains. It is a durable suitcase that is easy to pull, and can take a lot of the rough and tumble frequent travelers may experience.

With rollaboards having a little bit of extra space and being a bit more durable, someone who is traveling for a long period might enjoy having a rollaboard. They can pack more with them to carry with ease throughout their trip, no matter what weather or what mode of transportation they are using.

What Kind of Traveling is Spinner Luggage Suited For?

4 wheel suitcase

Spinner luggage can be an optimal choice for frequent travelers who may be traveling to multiple destinations within a time period. This is because they are so much easier to navigate through crowds, and they can move a lot quicker. For example, people who travel for business and have to lug their belongings to various meetings and such may prefer the ease of spinners.

On the other hand, spinners can also be a top choice for infrequent travelers because the small differences between the two types of luggage won’t make much of a difference to them. Kids may also find spinners easier to pull around. People who have back issues will also find spinner luggage easier to move.

Are Spinner Wheels Better?

Spinner wheels are much smaller than the wheels on rollaboard luggage. Due to their smaller size, they don’t always navigate rough roads very well. That being said, they are more prone to breaking than the wheels on upright luggage.

This doesn’t need to deter you from spinner luggage if you like it, it’s just something to keep in mind. These wheels are fairly easy to replace if necessary. Check if your suitcase manufacturer provides a warranty that may assist you in replacing the wheels if needed.

Spinner wheels can also be difficult to use on rocky roads and snowy sidewalks. You can attempt to tilt the spinner to turn it into a rollaboard, but that could be very bad for the wheels. Putting too much strain on the wheels will guarantee they break faster than they should. It’s best to carry the suitcase by its handle if absolutely necessary.

Final Thoughts

Before making that purchase, after reviewing the differences between rollaboard and spinner luggage, test out the different types of suitcases in the store. Roll them around and see how comfortable they are for you to maneuver. This could possibly make or break your decision regarding which style you would prefer to get.

Ultimately, the type of rolling luggage you choose is about preference and convenience. There are pros and cons to each type of luggage. If you are a frequent traveler, you may want to pay closer attention to the difference between each. Other than that, both types make traveling a much easier endeavor.