Glider Vs. Spinner Luggage—Which To Choose?

Are you planning to go on a trip, and you can’t decide whether to pick up a spinner suitcase or a glider suitcase? You’ve come to the right place, for we have researched this question, and we have the answer for you.

The unique feature of a glider suitcase is its horizontal orientation. This gives the wheels a wider area of operation, making them more stable than a spinner suitcase. The stability of a glider suitcase also makes it easier to push than a spinner suitcase.

Let’s talk more about the merits of a spinner suitcase and a glider suitcase in the succeeding sections. Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each type to help you make the decision of which type to pick for your next trip.

Read on!

collab photo of a two luggage glider luggage and a spinner luggage, Glider Vs. Spinner Luggage - Which To Choose?

What is spinner luggage?

Spinner luggage is a suitcase that has four wheels that spin laterally, hence its name. This movement of its wheels makes spinner suitcases highly maneuverable. This maneuverability allows you to easily navigate with a spinner suitcase while pushing it on all four wheels and in any direction.

The maneuverability comes at a cost, however.

The same wheel joints that allow it to spin laterally also make that part vulnerable to damage — especially if the luggage is carrying a heavy load. The wheel joint is the weakest point of the bags when pulling it on two wheels only.

What is a glider suitcase?

cute photo of a furry dog on top of a glider luggage classic look old school

Instead of being a suitcase type of their own, a glider suitcase is just a subtype of a spinner suitcase.

What makes a spinner suitcase distinct from other types of suitcases is its wheels. The glider suitcase takes the same spinner wheels and puts it on a luggage body with a different shape. Well, a slightly different shape.

A glider suitcase has a squarish shape with longer sides parallel to the floor. This is reminiscent of the under seater luggage that also has a squarish shape, but the longer sides are perpendicular to the floor instead.

Since you have the longer side along the length of the floor, the wheelbase is larger than a spinner suitcase with the same capacity. The larger wheelbase gives it more stability and a lower chance of tipping over.

Since the short side of the luggage is perpendicular to the floor, the distribution of vertical weight is still close to the floor. Making it more difficult to tip over. You will need to pack a really heavy item and place it at the top area of the glider luggage to have a chance to tip it over.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of spinner luggage?

photo of a silver spinner luggage bag on the middle of the airport terminal

Spinner luggage has been around for some time, and many travelers prefer to use them over other types of luggage. Despite their disadvantages, they slowly became a popular type of luggage.

Advantages Of Spinner Luggage

Maneuverability is the biggest advantage of spinner luggage.

A spinner suitcase with well-positioned wheels is less likely to tip over than other suitcase types.

However, this advantage is specific to the design of the luggage and not to spinner suitcases. If you have a spinner suitcase with large front pockets that you fill with heavy items, then your spinner luggage will still tip over.

Spinner suitcases come in different sizes, from carry-on to check-in sizes.

Disadvantages Of Spinner Luggage

Spinner luggage has less storage space. The wheels on a spinner suitcase must stick out of the body to give the wheels enough clearance to spin 360 degrees along the horizontal.

Unfortunately, luggage measurements on planes include wheels. This means that empty space between the floor and the bottom of the suitcase gives you less cargo space for its total height.

Spinner suitcase wheels have more movable parts. More movable parts mean more possible points of failure. This makes a spinner suitcase less durable.

The maneuverability of the wheels is also a disadvantage when you need to place the spinner on an incline or in a moving bus, shuttle, or train. The spinner luggage will roll off on its own if you do not secure it.

The small wheels of a spinner suitcase become useless on non-smooth surfaces. This forces a traveler to carry their spinner luggage by hand when traveling over rough surfaces.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a glider suitcase?

photo of a woman lady wearing high heels pulling black glider luggage

A glider suitcase inherits most of the advantages and disadvantages of a spinner suitcase since it is a subtype of spinners.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a glider suitcase that are unique to it.

Advantages Of A Glider Suitcase

The horizontal orientation of a glider suitcase makes it even easier to maneuver because of the larger wheelbase. The shorter height causes the weight of its contents to become closer to the floor, giving it a lower center of gravity. This contributes to making it even easier to maneuver than conventional spinner luggage.

Another advantage of having a shorter vertical is that the larger models are still easy to carry by hand if you need to. Larger conventional spinner luggage can be challenging to carry by hand if the traveler is not tall enough and there is no one to assist in putting the luggage in the trunk of a car.

Another advantage of a glider suitcase is that the larger horizontal surface makes for a more stable surface for carry-on luggage or a laptop bag.

Another advantage of glider luggage is the fact that it is a new product line for a few luggage companies like Samsonite and Hartmann. This means that they will incorporate the latest innovations in luggage designs and features into their glider suitcase models. You can also expect manufacturers to use premium parts on some — if not all — the components of a glider package.

Using premium parts will make it easier for the glider luggage lines of these companies to introduce themselves among frequent travelers and eventually make a name for themselves. This is important because it does not have an innovative feature that can revolutionize the luggage industry and travel culture.

You can already see glider luggage models having better organization features inside compared to regular spinner luggage models.

Another advantage is that a glider suitcase will be easy to spot on the conveyor of the baggage reclaim area of airports, thanks to its unique wheel configuration and shape. You’d be able to see your luggage long before it reaches you.

Disadvantages of a glider suitcase?

The disadvantages of a glider suitcase are the same as a standard spinner suitcase.

Another disadvantage that is not too common is the width of the handle. Some designs have a wide handle. This could be an intentional change in the design to make it easier to maneuver on surfaces that you’d encounter in airports.

Since glider luggage has a wider bottom and a lower center of gravity, it can be difficult to maneuver over certain surfaces when it is full and heavy. One such surface is carpet. The weight of the luggage can push the wheels down on the floor and cause them to hug the carpet.

A wider handle makes it slightly easier to maneuver despite the added traction.

However, the wider handle makes it impossible for most laptop bags and backpacks to slide down the handle. If you have a regular laptop bag that you normally insert into the handle of your spinner luggage, the handle on some glider luggage models will make it impossible to do. You will need a separate travel bungee to bring with you on some glider luggage.

Travelon Bag Bungee is available on Amazon through this link.


collaged photo of a two luggage glider luggage and a spinner luggage

There are very few differences between a glider suitcase and a spinner suitcase. Thus, the decision between the two will not make a critical impact on your trip other than familiarity.

However, if you’d like to have an easier time organizing your luggage, you will benefit from the organization features of most glider suitcase models.

On the other hand, if you prefer to go for something more familiar or something that you’re already comfortable with, then go for a spinner suitcase.

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