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Solution to the two-wheel vs. four-wheel condundrum

Solution to the two-wheel vs. four-wheel condundrum

Old May 28, 19, 5:57 pm
  #1  
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Solution to the two-wheel vs. four-wheel condundrum

The conundrum
4-wheel spinner bags: convenient, but ~10% space lost due to accommodating the extra wheels within the length limit
2-wheel bags: More space, but less convenient to roll

Solution: 4-wheel spinner bags with wheels that are easy to remove or retract, e.g., using a slide and lock mechanism (removing) or folding mechanism (retracting). This achieves the same space as in a 2-wheel, but the bag can still fit in the bin (if the bin is small; otherwise ~23-24" is usually fine) or sizer in case of an overzealous gate agent. In other words, take the same shell size used for two-wheelers and convert to four wheels, but make the wheels easy to remove/retract for the ~5% of the time you're on a small plane or encounter a try-hard gate agent.

Obviously this feature would cost more, and maybe there are some durability challenges to overcome, but with B&R, Rimowa, Tumi, etc. selling $600-1000 bags, surely they could figure something out...

Heys Stealth came closest, but it looks like they no longer sell it, and they didn't use the retractability to increase length (they kept it at 21").

Thoughts?
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Old May 29, 19, 1:07 am
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Where would the 4 wheels retract to? If inside the case then any inside space advantage would be lost. If outside the case then it would be too large for the sizer. Removing the wheels would be fiddly, especially if standing in the aisle.
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Old May 29, 19, 2:53 am
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I've thought about this idea when looking at my spinner. I think that it would work on a larger bag that you would check anyway. One with bigger, smoother wheels like my old Pathfinder. I'd go for two wheels folding up into the chassis and the other two retracting to serve as the two rolling wheels.

I'd like a suitably Victorian, imperturbable mechanism that uses a hex key to crank the wheels in and out, but I know everyone else would want a minimalist aluminum slidy thing.
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Old Jun 5, 19, 10:35 am
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IMHO the simplest thing would be to have the end of bags extend a bit, today many 4 wheels have the 4 wheels as extensions and you lose that 1-2 cms, the balance is edge clearance when you want to go to a two wheel drag mode. A simple solution would be to have lockable wheels, they'd have to be really solid build.

For tying to squeeze a couple extra socks/underwear and shirts and squeezing one week to a stretched two week all roller-board those little things do matter.

Retracting, really that is like the stupid BR or older internal designs, anything internal loses space, anything external with loses valuable space, nothing is free, you'd think some clever engineer would have optimized this one more time.
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Old Jun 5, 19, 12:44 pm
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The only time I need a 4 wheeler is to turn it sideways and get it down a narrow walkway or aisle. ,
How about a 3 wheeler for that ?
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Old Jun 6, 19, 3:40 pm
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Half the time a spinner wont roll in a straight enough line to push it down an aisle and you still end up picking it up. I don't think spinners are very useful and the larger the bag is..the less useful they are (my under seater spinner works ok)

Honestly i am almost to the point of wishing carriers would outlaw all roller boards on flights unless they plan to make the aisle's wider (and they don't) and force people to bring on only back packs and or laptop bags or cross bodies or dufffles. I am even starting to hate rolling luggage in the terminals...it is always every where, in the way and just generally a hazard.
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Old Jun 7, 19, 4:39 pm
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In the slightly altered words from Animal Farm, Two Wheels Good! Four Wheels Bad!

I think I'd need to see a lot of scientific evidence that says a 4 wheeled bag is ergonomically better to use than a 2 wheeled one - and it will really depend on what sort of journey you do. If you do taxi to the airport and hotel then any is fine. If you're taking public transport, then 2 wheels have more stability. I've seen several tourists struggling to hold onto their 4 wheelers on the tube while the 2 wheeled one. But the space issue wins it for me. Every bit of space is valuable to me when travelling!
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Old Jun 7, 19, 4:59 pm
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I hate four wheels. I have bought a spare of my favorite two wheeled bag in fear that they will stop making them. Everything seems to be four wheels now. I would much rather pull and find spinners uncomfortable to push, especially on anything but a smooth floor surface. And if I can’t carry it down the aisle of a plane, then I sure wouldn’t be able to lift it into an overhead bin.
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Old Jun 7, 19, 11:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Allentown View Post
Half the time a spinner wont roll in a straight enough line to push it down an aisle and you still end up picking it up. I don't think spinners are very useful and the larger the bag is..the less useful they are (my under seater spinner works ok)

Honestly i am almost to the point of wishing carriers would outlaw all roller boards on flights unless they plan to make the aisle's wider (and they don't) and force people to bring on only back packs and or laptop bags or cross bodies or dufffles. I am even starting to hate rolling luggage in the terminals...it is always every where, in the way and just generally a hazard.
If duffles and backups were superior I'd guess I'd see a lot more of them then spinners, a chicken / egg question, are there more because of what is sold, or what is offered what people most likely want?

Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
I hate four wheels. I have bought a spare of my favorite two wheeled bag in fear that they will stop making them. Everything seems to be four wheels now. I would much rather pull and find spinners uncomfortable to push, especially on anything but a smooth floor surface. And if I can’t carry it down the aisle of a plane, then I sure wouldn’t be able to lift it into an overhead bin.
FWIW I do two weeks a lot in a four wheel BR International and a Tumi backup with two laptops and a bunch of stuff. I'd not call my self feeble and more then capable to push more than 100lbs into the overhead ( no my tumi/BR don't weight that much ), but having lugged that combo thru Shanghai and Beijing and other places not having your shoulder be the bearer of all the weight is might convenient and can see the compelling popularity in this obese world, LOL
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Old Jun 9, 19, 11:50 am
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Originally Posted by chipmaster View Post
If duffles and backups were superior I'd guess I'd see a lot more of them then spinners, a chicken / egg question, are there more because of what is sold, or what is offered what people most likely want?



FWIW I do two weeks a lot in a four wheel BR International and a Tumi backup with two laptops and a bunch of stuff. I'd not call my self feeble and more then capable to push more than 100lbs into the overhead ( no my tumi/BR don't weight that much ), but having lugged that combo thru Shanghai and Beijing and other places not having your shoulder be the bearer of all the weight is might convenient and can see the compelling popularity in this obese world, LOL
I think that can be unpacked (pardon the pun). If you are older or have osteoarthritis the back pack is not an option so for that group I concede. That does not however explain why younger people use rollers. Younger people use rollers for 2 reasons 1) They are off the shelf at local brick and morter stores for cheap. 2) Most people don't understand how to properly travel and pack (look up any Rick Steves, Carryology, Bagworks or other pro traveler site and you will see that virtually none of them use or recommend roller boards...ever.. Well okay not "never" but the use of roller boards for pro travelers is a niche special circumstance case.....so the real issue for all the roller boards is the same reason the average person cant drive a car worth a crap, doesn't know anything about their own health issues, watches american idol instead of the science channel and people think the earth is flat...in short ignorance in the masses. You can hardly blame the manufactuers for keeping on making crap that people keep on buying though.

Problems with rollers
1. they take up too much floor space
2. they take up too much over head space
3. they slow you down when you want to be mobile and have a low travel print
4. they cant go with you certain places well at all....resturants shopping, on a ricksha etc when you arrive to a location early.
5. the average person DOES NOT NEED 80% of the stuff they pack period, and the realization of this means many of your arguments for roller bags simply vanish.
6. they often have to be checked which contributes to traveler stress, time waiting for the bag, lost baggage and fees
7. when they break a wheel you will have a bad day
8. when you need to cover rugged terrain ..or even side walks and cobble pavement, you will have a bad day.

I could go on but you get the point.

Problems with back packs
1) You carry some weight (largely relieved if you select back packs with a solid harness system and or simply know how to pack).
2) Cant do certain things....like long extended trips where you need more than 4 or 5 days worth of suits and no access to dry cleaning facility that you are aware of. So 10 days plus worth of suits..not going to work. But then i wont do a standard 25 inch roller board for that? Why would i when you have things like the Tumi Alpha 3 split duffle which has almost 100liters capacity and still fits under the 60 inch size limit? Of course you need to keep it under 50lbs to avoid weight fees but that still gives you 40lbs of clothes and all the capacity for things like coats and extra day bags you could ever want.

Last edited by Allentown; Jun 10, 19 at 7:34 pm
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Old Jun 10, 19, 3:08 pm
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Tbh, I think it's better to have a specialized set of bags for each trip type than try to come up with a Swiss army knife style solution.

So imo a modular packing system would be attractive but not a convertible one.
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Old Jun 10, 19, 7:40 pm
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Originally Posted by TPACjv View Post
Tbh, I think it's better to have a specialized set of bags for each trip type than try to come up with a Swiss army knife style solution.

So imo a modular packing system would be attractive but not a convertible one.
I can buy into that but I also take it one step further and invested in both modular systems and convertible systems. As you said, it is better to have specialized gear for each type of trip and each season than it is to try and make one bag do it all.

The problem is this sort of thinking is completely impractical for the person who only takes one or two trips a year. I am sure some of my talking points seem ridiculous to the either the rare to occassional traveler and the minimalists who wants just one bag vs someone like me who believes in having the right tool for every job.

At the end of the day though neither philosophy is going to solve all of your travel woes. There is no one perfect bag or system and only when you combine the right choice of bag with the right additional gear (everything from wardrobe to tech has to be well thought out) and then combine those two things with the proper trip planning do things actually start to come together in a satisfactory way.

On top of that...luck also plays a factor in how things go when traveling.
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Old Jun 11, 19, 3:20 am
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Zero Halliburton International Carry-On Case

I applaud Zero Halliburton for attempting to solve the two versus four-wheel trolley dilemma.
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Old Jun 11, 19, 2:18 pm
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Also if you are looking for a bag that does some interesting stuff for a relatively low price, check out the Genius bag G4.

Use promo code "Get40 for $40 bucks off" (drops the price to $198 US).


I don't own it but the included cup holder, laptop compartment, quick access umbrella and laundry compartment for a 22 inch carry on are interesting features to me. It's a 4 wheel spinner though.
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Old Jun 11, 19, 2:21 pm
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Also if you are interested in wheel tech, check out the Gro. A couple of the less popular colors are on sale right now. https://g-ro.com/products/carry-on-c...13601938571360

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