The Best Softside 4-Wheeled Upright Checked Size Bags Under 11 Lbs
Softsided luggage will always be popular because of the packing features that they offer. But what about the weight of bags when they’re empty? While some pieces can get heavy, especially the ones made of ballistic nylon, there are a few collections with pieces that weigh very little and allow you to pack them full without going over standard baggage weight limits.
These days, many airlines charge customers for checking in baggage and the fee goes up after the first bag. Therefore, you want to ensure that all your belongings will fit into just one checked bag that comes just under the weight limit if you can’t travel with just a carry on. Petite people and those with weaker arms shouldn’t have to worry about whether they can haul the suitcase off the luggage carousel and on to a baggage cart; getting them in and out of a car boot is even harder!
If you like suitcases with 4 wheels that can be rolled upright, it needs to be able to handle the weight, which is not something you see with all large spinner bags. Our picks for best lightweight softside spinner checked luggage fulfill all these criteria and do it well. They are a minimum of 24″ in height but can go up to 31″ as well.
Most airlines limit your check in allowance to 50 lbs per person for economy class and 70 lbs for business class. If you’re unsure, here’s a handy resource with links to most airlines’ baggage limits information pages.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Softside 4-Wheeled Upright Checked Size Bags Under 11 Lbs
- 2 What to Keep an Eye on When Buying Softsided Spinner Luggage
- 3 Best Lightweight Soft-sided Checked Luggage With Spinner Wheels
- 3.1 Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage
- 3.2 Samsonite Solyte DLX Softside Luggage with Spinner Wheels
- 3.3 DELSEY Paris Montrouge Softside Expandable Luggage
- 3.4 American Tourister 4 Kix Expandable Softside Luggage
- 3.5 London Fog Cambridge II Softside Expandable Spinner Luggage
- 3.6 SwissGear Sion Softside Luggage
- 3.7 Amazon Basics Softsided Check-In Trolley
- 3.8 Lucas Designer 3 Piece Softside Spinner Suitcase Set
- 4 FAQs
What to Keep an Eye on When Buying Softsided Spinner Luggage
- There may be some checked sized bags that weigh more like a carry on when empty but not all are very good. Very often, “light” means weaker frames and fabric for the shell. Therefore, we have only considered collections that are constructed well and can handle more than just one or two trips a year with rough baggage handling. Keep in mind that ballistic nylon shells are among the most durable but they also weigh more than other materials and nylon blends.
- Light luggage can feel less stable when being wheeled, a good piece should ideally have a wide and more solid base when upright so as to avoid tipping over. In general, however, very light spinner bags should not be packed to the gills and heavier items should ideally be kept towards the back and close to the wheels. You may also find that using the front exterior pockets can exacerbate this problem.
- Spinner wheels for checked size bags need to be big enough to handle the weight that comes with packing large bags. Small wheels make rolling them more difficult. This is especially true if the ground is not even but they can veer to the side even on smooth airport floors.
- The most vulnerable points for damage on luggage are the wheels, telescopic and grab handles, and corners and edges. Just because a bag should be light does not mean that you should settle for less than quality parts because you don’t want the wheels to start shredding when dragged over cobblestones, or to completely tear off if they get caught on a carousel edge. You don’t want the telescopic handle to bend or the corners of the suitcases to wear because they don’t have some protection. The cases should ideally have bumpers on the bottom and corners to handle rough terrain, stairs, and unexpected obstruction when being wheeled.
Our picks for best lightweight softside spinner checked luggage of years past include collections from luggage heavyweights as well as smaller brands that are known for making lightweight luggage. All of them are in this list because they don’t sacrifice durability for weight. Some of these collections are new generations of last year’s wildly popular ones and are predicted to do even better this year, while the others made their debut in 3 or 4 years ago and are on track to be some of the best selling this year in the lightweight spinner category.
A few of these collections boast very good light carry on spinners as well as 2 wheeled rollaboards, not to mention smaller pieces that don’t have wheels at all. But as we’re only focusing on 4-wheeled fabric spinners that are over the 22″ height limit, read on!
If you specifically want only softsided carry on bags with 2 or 4 wheels, we have a separate list for those.
If you prefer to maximize packing space and expect to wheel your suitcases over cobblestones or other rough terrain, then get softsided two wheeled luggage instead.
And if you prefer light but hard shell luggage, we have our top picks for that as well.
Best Lightweight Soft-sided Checked Luggage With Spinner Wheels
Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage
The Maxlite 4 line was one of our picks for last year, but the new Maxlite 5 line is the lightest ever by Travelpro and it includes both rollaboards and 4 wheeled luggage along with bags to carry over your shoulder. There are two checked size pieces in the upright spinner group – a 25″ and a 29″. The set is possibly the best lightweight luggage with spinner wheels. The 25″ measures 27 x 18.5 x 11.5 inches overall and weighs 7 lbs 12 ozs. The 29″ measures 31 x 21 x 13 and weighs 8 lbs 5 ozs.
These bags are available in black, purple, grey, merlot red, slate green, mocha brown, and ocean blue. The look and feel of this luggage would make you think that it would be expensive, but it’s not. The extremely popular Maxlite 4 has been upgraded with some features that would usually be present in more expensive lines. This may be the lightest softside luggage for checking, making it very suitable for those who have a hard time handling heavy luggage.
One notable feature is the way upright luggage instability has been addressed. Light luggage can frequently become top-heavy if not packed properly and can therefore tip over. This is especially true of expandable bags. To stabilize the bags while being wheeled around or while stationary, the expandable feature of the Maxlite 5 pieces is tapered. This means that the zipper used to expand the front of the bags lets out more inches at the bottom of the bags than at the top. This automatically ensures that you pack more of your stuff at the bottom than at the top and the center of gravity is low, so the bag is stable at all times.
The telescopic handle has the Travelpro patented Contour Grip with rubberized touch points that make maneuvering the spinner type bag very comfortable. In addition, the same unique feature from the previous line is present here – a bottom tray that aligns the wheels and stabilizes the bags. The handle extends to two different positions so that users of any height can wheel them with minimum effort. There are two padded carry handles on the top and side, while the bottom handle is a reinforced fabric sleeve.
There are skid guards, wheel housing crash guards, and corner guards to protect the points most vulnerable to damage. All of the materials used contribute to the low weight of the bags without compromising on durability. The body is made of polyester with a water and stain-resistant coating over a honeycomb frame system and EVA foam, and the Powerscope Lite extending handle is made of aircraft-grade aluminum.
The exterior features a full-length U-shaped double-zippered pocket in the front, which is perfect for carrying a tablet or laptop in the carry-on sizes or for larger items in the checked sizes. The interior is simple but effective in keeping the weight down. There’s a full-sized zippered mesh compartment in the lid, a zippered mesh pocket along one length for accessories, and two breadth-wise adjustable straps to keep the main compartment’s packing in place. The entire main compartment can expand by up to 2″ if required.
- Bottom tray feature and tapered expansion to keep the bags steady while wheeling or standing still.
- Several protective guards to protect the bags from damage.
- Several external and internal compartment for organization.
- Very light when empty.
- The 29″ suitcase is a couple of inches deeper than what is acceptable by many US carriers.
- A few pieces may have a defective zipper.
Samsonite Solyte DLX Softside Luggage with Spinner Wheels
Recently, the Samsonite SoLyte DLX has caught our attention as one of the best softside checked luggage collections for lightweight traveling.
Although this luggage comes in various sizes of equal durability and strength, we’re focusing on the two checked-sized, spinner wheels varieties; the 25-inch and the 29-inch options. The overall product dimensions of the former options are 11.5 x 19 x 28.5 inches, and the weight totals 8.9 pounds. In contrast, the 29-inch luggage option’s dimensions are 13 x 21 x 33 inches, and the weight is 10.96 pounds.
The Samsonite SoLyte DLX is typically available in three different colors, including Mediterranean blue, Midnight Black, and Ore Gray. These bags have been manufactured using high-quality materials, such as rugged polyester, making this our pick for best lightweight durable luggage with spinner wheels.
The four large double spinner wheels and the multi-stops retractable handle make it easier for travelers of all heights to maneuver their luggage around without putting in additional effort to drag or hold their luggage, although there are top and side carry handles if you need to.
The two checked sizes have 2 additional external zippered pockets, adding more storage space for your items. Additionally, all of the Samsonite SoLyte DLX varieties have a spacious main compartment that can be expanded by three-quarters of an inch to add more space to the luggage. You won’t find the luggage strap or the USB port found in the carry-on options in these two bags because those are really only useful on the smaller bags.
One of the many reasons that this is our pick for best softside spinner luggage, is that it offers premium-level practicality at a relatively budget-friendly rate. A prime example of this is the additional Wetpack in all variations of this bag, which is a dedicated waterproof pocket for all the essential wet items, such as toiletries. To top it all off, the Smart Fix Buckles used to keep the internal tie-down straps out of the way make packing more time-efficient and easy.
The internal compartment has three zipped mesh pockets and two additional pouched pockets for all the extras you want to add to your luggage. However, it is pertinent to mention that these bags don’t include any lock, so you’ll need to purchase those if you want to secure your luggage.
- There are various compartments for organized packing.
- The luggage is made with high-quality, durable materials.
- Large dual spinner wheels for additional durability and handling over less than smooth terrain.
- All sizes feature a waterproof pocket for packing toiletries or damp items.
- Smart Fix buckles keep the internal tie-down straps out of the way.
- The bags expand by only 0.75 inches.
- The large wheels make the pieces more likely to tip over.
DELSEY Paris Montrouge Softside Expandable Luggage
Delsey has been a manufacturer of premium-quality, durable luggage, suitcases, briefcases, carry-ons, and backpacks for approximately 70+ years. They’ve been receiving raving reviews for both their hardside and softside luggage for quite some time. So much so that we couldn’t help but share our two cents on its hardside Chatelet Collection.
The elegant DELSEY Paris Montrouge luggage is available in two different sizes of suitcases as well as a duffel bag and tote bag. The suitcases are a 21-inch carry on and a medium 25-inch checked size. The dimensions of the checked luggage are 11.5 x 27.25 x 16.75 inches. It is also extremely lightweight, weighing about 8.2 pounds.
The reason this Delsey Paris luggage type made it to our list is that in addition to the usual features that most checked-sized luggage offers, it also features additional zipper security and an easy way to clean the interior of the suitcase.
The ZipSecuritech feature makes the zippers 3 times more difficult to tamper with, so it’s really nice for travelers who prefer softside luggage but wish the zippers were as secure as latch locks on some hardside suitcases. The zippers for the main packing space are lockable to the integrated TSA combination and key lock.
Even though this luggage is a soft shell type, it opens into two equal halves like most hard shell types. The halves are lined and separated by zippered fabric dividers with various pockets built into the lining. The entire interior lining is removable and washable in a washing machine. The luggage is expandable by 1.5 inches and there’s a zippered front pocket and a hidden back pocket on its exterior.
Made with durable polyester with corner protection and a bottom kickplate, this luggage also has 4 dual caster wheels known for their durability, ability to withstand continuous use, and quiet maneuvering using the multi-height telescopic handle. You’ll also have a top and side grab handle.
The vegan leather trim, gold-toned accents, and nice interior print, make this is a very nice buy for female travelers. Add in the fact that the pieces in this collection are very lightweight.
- The zippers feature a patented security system that can’t be tampered with easily.
- Very lightweight and durable.
- Easy to keep the interior clean with the removable lining.
- The 50/50 clam shell style opening needs a lot of room to open fully for packing and unpacking.
American Tourister 4 Kix Expandable Softside Luggage
The American Tourister 4 Kix is even more budget-friendly than the picks above, but don’t let its affordable pricing fool you. The 4 Kix offers the quality and maneuvering comfort. The checked sizes by the brand include the 25-inch and the 28-inch variations. These are 12.4 x 17.5 x 27.5 inches (7.9 pounds) and 13.2 x 19.5 x 31.5 inches (10.45 pound) respectively.
You can also have your pick from several color options, including black/gray, pink/purple, pink, and teal. These bags are more cheerful-looking than some of the other options we’ve included in this list, making them an attractive choice for those who like to travel to leisure destinations. Both of the variations are made with premium-quality polyester and intricately designed and tested for longevity and practicality.
There are four single airflow spinner wheels supported by the retractable handle, which includes a push-button locking system. There are also side and top handles in the luggage to support any carrying style for travelers and airline staff.
Some of the more common features inside include cross straps, a zippered compartment on the door panel, and a zippered pocket along one side. Additionally, the expandable zipper can increase the luggage capacity by 1.5 inches, which can be crucial for some travelers running out of luggage space. The front exterior features two zippered pockets, so you have easy access to quite a few things at all times.
To add to its durability, this luggage also has protectors and guards integrated on points most susceptible to damage during traveling. These features help us overlook the fact that this luggage has single wheels instead of the more common double wheels, which are usually added to softside luggage to add more stability. They also don’t have an inbuilt TSA lock for the zippers but the zipper heads are lockable with any standard luggage lock.
- Quite budget-friendly.
- It incorporates several additional pockets to add storage space.
- Available in a few cheerful colors
- The single spinner wheels are not very smooth rolling.
- It may show signs of wear and tear relatively sooner than other luggage options.
London Fog Cambridge II Softside Expandable Spinner Luggage
If you’re on the lookout for stylish luggage options to compliment your luxurious traveling ensemble, London Fog Cambridge II Luggage is probably the best lightweight soft luggage to consider. With its black and white color combination, this bag offers a checked size of 25 inches.
The London Fog Cambridge II also features a push-button locking system for the retractable and adjustable trolley style handle. Additionally, it also has bottom, top, and side handles to make it easy to carry and move without the use of wheels. These handles include aluminum tube channels, which significantly increase the handle’s strength.
This luggage also offers relatively higher organization, with several interior pockets and an exterior pocket for smaller, non-essential items. The premium-quality signature lining offers a stylish interior look.
The luggage has two pouched pockets in the interior to store shoes and a mesh zipper pocket to store smaller clothing items. The main compartment has two adjustable winged restraining flaps used to keep the clothes and other luggage items in place even when it’s being dragged upright on its wheels. These flaps also have an inbuilt zippered pocket on each for additional storage.
The soft shell on this luggage is made with woven houndstooth fabric fused with EVA foam and protected with fog guard, which makes it resistant to water and stains. The lightweight chassis features a wide grid base set over low-profile dual spinner wheels for added stability.
The overall dimensions of this bag are as follows: 10.5 x 18 x 25 inches and the additional 2 inches, which are offered through the extendable zipper on its exterior. The total weight of this product 8.5 lbs.
- Has numerous external and internal pockets of all sizes for the ultra-organized packer.
- Treated with stain and moisture repellant.
- Very lightweight.
- Very stable while upright and easy to maneuver.
- The luggage doesn’t have several color or style variations.
- On the expensive side.
SwissGear Sion Softside Luggage
The SwissGear Sion Softside Luggage with Spinner Wheels is available in several different colors, including black, blue, burgundy, teal, grey, and pewter. Additionally, the checked sizes of these include the 25-inch and 29-inch variations. These have overall dimensions of 26.25 x 11 x 16.75 inches and 30 x 12.5 x 18.5 inches, respectively. The two variations weigh 9 and 10.5 pounds, respectively. The SwissGear Sion luggage is also considered one of the most high-quality, low-priced luggage options available in the market.
Similar to some of the options we’ve discussed in this list, this luggage features four single wheels with the ability to turn 360-degrees, making it easy to stroll around with the luggage on most surfaces. The telescopic handle also has a locking system supported by the push button included on top.
One top handle and one side handle have been integrated into the design to make it easier to carry the bags without the fear of dropping them. In addition to the large, spacious compartment in the interior portion of the bag complimented by two horizontal adjustable tie-down straps, the bag also features a net flat pocket, which has additional internal storage pockets. The luggage also includes a zipped wet bag, which can be used to store toiletries and other wet items you’re taking on your travel adventures.
As for the exterior, it features two additional pockets for the last-minute luggage additions or the extras you want to take with you. If you find that you need extra packing space for your souvenirs on your return, the bags will expand by about 2 inches in width by pulling on the expansion zipper.
If you’re looking to purchase a suitcase that offers decent quality at an affordable rate, this luggage has the potential to become your ultimate go-to bag for traveling.
- It’s an affordable option for those who don’t travel too often.
- It includes several handy features, such as its wet pouch for toiletries.
- Several nice colors to choose from.
- It’s not designed for frequent travelers, as it can be subjected to too much wear and tear.
- You have to be sure to get valid 5 year warranty coverage when you receive the piece.
Amazon Basics Softsided Check-In Trolley
The Amazon Basics softsided Check-in Trolley is one of the most affordable yet durable luggage options that we’ve come across this year. The bag comes in two different checked sizes of 25 inches and 29 inches. The former features overall dimensions of 16.14 x 25.98 x 10.63 inches, while the latter option’s overall dimensions are 17.52 x 12.99 x 30.91 inches.
Compared to other options on this list, the Amazon Basics Softsided Check-in Trolley is even more light in weight, with the 25-inch option weighing only 6.9 pounds and the 29-inch option weighing 7.82 pounds. The luggage has an interior capacity of 50 and 77 liters respectively, and it’s made with polyester on the outside. You can easily fit the luggage in small, tight spaces, so you can stuff them but still haul them quite easily into the boot of a car or off a luggage conveyor belt. On the other hand, the interior features a superior quality lining.
What especially stands out about this luggage is that it adds up to 25% more space when the expandable zipper is unzipped. The rest of the features are simple and functional. This is one of the most budget-friendly softsided luggage options.
The telescopic handle has a push-button locking system for easy handling and four single spinner wheels with 360-degree mobility. You also have a top and side grab handle. You can also cast the luggage on the two rear-end wheels and use it as a regular two-wheeled suitcase if that’s something you prefer.
There are three zipper pockets in total, allowing travelers to store smaller essentials in an organized fashion. Two of them are on the front exterior, while one is on the inside of the lid.
- The flexible shell makes it easier to fit the luggage in relatively tighter spaces.
- It’s extremely budget-friendly.
- The weight of both pieces are below almost all other equivalent checked size options.
- Not for frequent travelers.
- You may see signs of wear and tear after the first few uses.
Lucas Designer 3 Piece Softside Spinner Suitcase Set
Unlike most of the other luggage options in this list, which are available as single suitcases, the Lucas Designer Luggage Collection is only available as a set. The checked sizes include the 24 and 28-inch variations, which have the overall dimensions of 26.6 x 16 x 11.5 inches and 30.0 x 18.0 x 11.0 inches, respectively. These weigh about 6.6 lbs and 7.2 lbs each. You have a choice of 3 colors here – plain black, Old School Navy Blue with a checkered print, and royal blue.
You can get your hands on these bags at a relatively budget-friendly rate in a set of three, including a 20-inch carry-on. These bags are perfect for those looking for great value for money and an economical luggage option for traveling.
What we specifically love about this luggage is that it has 4 dual spinner 360-degree wheels, which increase the convenience and ease of maneuvering. You will also love the wide wheel arrangement on the base, which offers overall stability for the luggage. The telescopic handle is smooth and functional.
Like many other softsided bags, this one also has the option to expand its capacity backed by an external expansion zipper. The interior is fully lined with several pockets and a full zippered divider for storage on the inside of the lid. A pair of horizontal elastic restraining straps are present in the main packing space.
However, much like the Amazon Basics, this luggage is also not for those who travel frequently or fear their luggage might be mishandled, as they’re all made of polyester. The two outer pockets on these bags are made fo even thinner material than the rest of the shell.
- The set offers the best value for money.
- Easy to maneuver and handle with the 4 dual 360-degree swivel wheels set on a wide base.
- Easy to organize luggage with plenty of internal and external pockets.
- Not a good option for frequent travelers.
- Not available as individual pieces
While these are some of the best lightweight spinner checked size luggage options, if you don’t see your top pick, let us know in the comments.
Yes, double spinner wheels are better than single spinner wheels, as they offer relatively more stability and easy maneuvering – even on rough surfaces. You can also look at the second wheel at each corner as a spare so that if one gets worn out and stops working, you can still manage the bag until you get it fixed.
Whether or not your spinner wheels are durable depends on the make and kind of spinner wheels your luggage has. For example, if you have single spinner wheels, they might be susceptible to damage, especially on rough terrains. Double spinner wheels on all four sides of the upright luggage are considered the most durable wheel types for luggage. However, unlike inline skate wheels, all spinner wheels protrude and, therefore, can more easily get broken off if they’re violently knocked or get caught somewhere.
Since hardsided luggage is made with relatively harder, heavier materials, such as aluminum and polycarbonate, they tend to be heavier than softsided luggage, which is made with lightweight fabrics, such as polyester or nylon. However, some hardsided luggage options offer lightweight options through materials such as ABS plastics, while some higher-end softside luggage is made with heavy duty and heavy ballistic nylon.