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Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner Review

A low priced expandable suitcase with great storage capacity but dubious durability
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Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner Review
Credit: Jason Wanlass
Price:  $142 List
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Manufacturer:   Amazon
By Myrha Colt and Jason Wanlass  ⋅  Nov 14, 2023
59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 17
  • Capacity - 35% 6.7
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 6.2
  • Construction Quality - 20% 5.0
  • Design and Functionality - 20% 5.0

Our Verdict

The keyword here is inexpensive. Striking a balance between size, weight, ease of use, and organizational features, there is no question that the Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner is a value buy. If you are on a tight budget with significant packing and storage needs, it ought to do the trick in the short term. What is called into question is its durability. Although the case hung tight even during our harshest trials, its material structure is less robust than many of the hardshell models on our list. But, if low-key design and basic function at a low price point are top priorities, you'll find them here. This was one of the most affordable models in our luggage review.
REASONS TO BUY
Inexpensive
Rolls easily
Large capacity
Smooth zipper
REASONS TO AVOID
Lower-grade materials
Not water-resistant
Wobbly trolley handle
Cannot be locked
Editor's Note: We updated this article on November 14, 2023, to include new information from, and new comparisons to other models from our latest round of testing.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $142 List
$122.23 at Amazon
$470 List
$450.49 at Amazon
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$203.95 at Amazon
$140 List
$139.99 at Amazon
$150 List
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Bottom Line Large in size and great in value for short-term needsThis well-organized bag works admirably and has good organization features, but it's hugeOne big bag (probably too big for most) of quality build, limited organizational features, and high transport performance over smooth urban terrainA solid enough bag with a reputable namesake, ample space, a few convenient accessories, and an appealing price tagA basic spinner composed of basic materials ready for very basic travel plans
Rating Categories Amazon Basics 30" H... Travelpro Platinum... Samsonite Omni PC H... SwissGear Sion Soft... Kenneth Cole Reacti...
Capacity (35%)
6.7
8.8
9.0
7.0
8.0
Ease of Transport (25%)
6.2
9.0
5.9
6.0
5.5
Construction Quality (20%)
5.0
9.0
6.0
6.5
4.5
Design and Functionality (20%)
5.0
9.5
6.0
6.8
3.0
Specs Amazon Basics 30" H... Travelpro Platinum... Samsonite Omni PC H... SwissGear Sion Soft... Kenneth Cole Reacti...
Weight (Measured) 11.6 lb 12.2 lb 10.3 lb 11.1 lb 9.2 lb
Exterior Dimensions 30.75" x 21.0" x 12.0 29.5" x 20.0." x 12.75" 30.5" x 20.5" x 13.0" 28.5" x 17.25" x 12.5" 29.5" x 20.5" x 11.75"
Main Compartment Volume (Measured) 84 L 117 L 108 L 87 L 82.5 L
Exterior Material Extra-thick ABS, hard shell High-density nylon fabric with DuraGuard Polycarbonate Polyester ABS, hard shell
Number of Wheels 4 4 4 4 4
Pull Handle Heights 3 (32", 36", 40") 1 (42") 2 36", 41") 2 (37", 41") 2 (37", 41")
Opening Style Half shell Top lid Half shell Top lid Half shell
Locking System None Combination/TSA lock Combination/TSA lock Zipper loop Zipper loop
Number of Exterior Pockets None 2 None 2 None

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner is as simple and straightforward a four-wheel suitcase as you could imagine at one of the lowest price points we've seen in this category. But like many inexpensive items, this low-cost bag comes paired with an equally low set of expectations. Still, we were surprised by its decent performance, though we would not count on its reliability in the long term. But if your needs are short, simple, or infrequent, it's got all the basics to navigate in the short term.

Performance Comparison


amazon basics 30" hardside spinner - slow and steady: rounding the last corner as we near zipping victory.
Slow and steady: Rounding the last corner as we near zipping victory.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Capacity


Based on our interior measurements, the Hardside Spinner's main compartment offers 84 liters of packing volume, with an expandable zipper option, that makes this clam-shaped suitcase even more massive and well-suited to a long journey or a big move.


We tested the 30-inch case. It also comes in 26- and 20-inch options.


The main compartment is large and ready to accommodate any mountain of clothing or gear you can toss at it, including bulkier items. One-half of the clamshell is restrained by a full-sized zip panel featuring a set of mesh zip pockets for interior organization. A small hanging zippered accessory pocket marks the split.


While the restraint straps that sit on the other half of the clam serve little value in terms of compression, they do ensure items are held in place well enough to keep things from popping out upon arrival or during an unexpected airline inspection. And if your shopping habits run hot, rest assured the bag is ready. Just unzip the expandable fold of fabric around the middle of the suitcase and gain 15% more packing room for your effort.

amazon basics 30" hardside spinner - organization within the amazon basics expandable spinner includes...
Organization within the Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner includes extra mesh pockets and a restraint strap system.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Ease of Transport


This case surprised us with how smoothly it moved over hard surfaces. With four 360-degree spinners, each built of a rubberized outer layer covering two wheels that connect on a single axis, the Hardside Spinner glides reasonably well alongside you when covering distance at the airport or maneuvering furniture in a hotel lobby. That said, it does tend to move away from the body at around 45 degrees when fully loaded and on the move, a strange performance result that seems to be tied to internal weight redistribution once in motion and discovered in several of the hard-cased spinners we tested.


Like all other spinners in our test group, technical terrain doles out some trouble in transport. Cobblestones and light gravel slowed us down just a bit in testing. For average use, you ought to have no problem. But when presented with aggressively irregular pathways featuring rocks, grass, mud, potholes, or foliage, this suitcase struggled.

This bag's wheels are surprisingly smooth when rolling on flat surfaces, like the airport floor.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

The telescoping pull handle is of average appearance and performance, with its single-button operation serving us well enough around town. The addition of two well-placed haul handles at the top and side of the bag provides good grab-and-grip options when loading up a car trunk or settling in on the shuttle bus at the airport. However, they appear notably weak in design and leave us questioning how long they'll serve before breaking, particularly if the bag is packed to full capacity.

amazon basics 30" hardside spinner - load handle in use on the amazon basics expandable spinner bag.
Load handle in use on the Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner bag.
Credit: Myrha Colt

As we continued to test the Hardside Spinner, we found that, although smooth, its wheels do tend to drift a little, which requires a little bit of course correction from time to time. Although not overwhelming, it was noticeable, and it became even more apparent during our simple rolling test.

It rolls smoothly but it doesn't always stay on track.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Contruction Quality


Where this low-priced case scores positive points in transport, it disappoints when evaluated for quality of construction. And even though the materials and features held up during initial testing without notable failure, the combination of visual inspection and negative past client reviews gives us pause and leaves us questioning how well it is likely to perform over the long — or even short — term.


At first look, all the critical parts are in order, though they are not individually or collectively impressive. The unassuming ABS outer hard shell withstood our drop and stairwell testing with flying colors and showed no cracking and only minimal scratching and scuffing for the effort.

Getting pushed around. We were pleasantly surprised with this bag's overall response to our drop and tumble tests. However, was still wonder about its long-term resilience to extreme contact and repeated abuse.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Similarly, the 150D polyester interior liner held up to several packings at full weight without suffering. Even the zipper and pulls are far more substantial in size than what we saw in some other cases within the test group. The Hardside Spinner is certainly not impervious to water. During our water tests, we did have considerable pooling inside the main compartment. Since the shell itself doesn't leak, this lack of water resistance is due to the lower-quality zipper and zipper tape.

Having a waterproof shell is irrelevant, if the zipper, and zipper tape, cannot effectively resist water.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

All in all, testing gives the impression that there may be more life to this bag than the price indicates. But with inspection, it seems equally chock-full of vulnerabilities. To start, the four wheels function remarkably well on flat urban terrain, similar to other high-quality cases, even if they jiggle a bit in their housings. We attribute this smoother-than-average ride to the double “tire” construction of each spinner and their rubberized outer surfaces. But the cheap, unprotected plastic wheel housings and caster attachments don't breed much confidence.

amazon basics 30" hardside spinner - close-up of the large two-wheel spinners on the amazon basics...
Close-up of the large two-wheel spinners on the Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner suitcase.
Credit: Myrha Colt

The aluminum pull handle is average in appearance but slides well between positions and doesn't flex even when the bag is fully loaded, although it does jiggle a good deal within the housing. Still, the quality is much of what you'd expect from a budget suitcase, and after reading numerous reports of failure, we are left wondering how many trips we'd log before having to address a similar concern. Still, we didn't have any issues during our testing period.

Shake, rattle, and roll. This bag's trolley handle is the stuff of 50s song lyrics.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Likewise, the two rubberized loading handles are comfortable in hand and well-placed for use, even if they appear weak and unlikely to hold the weight of a full bag. A simple plastic fitting affixes each into the top or side of the case without much give, leaving the impression that both are flimsy and easily breakable. And, although very smooth, the Hardside Spinner's zippers also raise some concerns regarding their long-term durability. Additionally, the zipper pulls are void of locking loops, so there's no possible way to lock the suitcase. This is unfortunate when traveling by air, but also if you arrive early to the hotel and need to store your luggage before check-in.

amazon basics 30" hardside spinner - your fly's open. cheap zipper pulls and no loops to lock them...
Your fly's open. Cheap zipper pulls and no loops to lock them together is not an ideal combo.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Design and Functionality


What comes to mind when you say roller suitcase? This is probably it: simple, generic, and just a touch little less shiny than some similarly boxy spinner options out there.


While the old luggage staples of black and navy won't ever go out of style, this suitcase is unlikely to last well into your world-traveling future. So why not give a bright orange or sea blue a go? You'll draw eyes cruising through the airport to check in and then spot your bag easily coming off the carousel when you land.

amazon basics 30" hardside spinner - trying to blend in: failing miserably at baggage-claim hide and...
Trying to blend in: failing miserably at baggage-claim hide and seek, but a win for never losing your luggage in a crowd.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Should You Buy the Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner?


Despite questions of longevity due to its lower-quality materials and craftsmanship overall, this low-priced suitcase offers all the volume you'll need to pack a complete all-season wardrobe for any long-distance move or future urban getaway. If you don't plan to ride hard or to push any of the bag's features to their max, this inexpensive yet surprisingly durable beast of a case should carry you through at least a few trips without problems.

Heading out to the the airport shuttle.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

What Other Suitcases Should You Consider?


The four-wheeled Amazon Basics 30" Hardsided Spinner is just what most deal-seekers are looking for. However, if you prefer higher construction quality, we recommend the Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable 28" or the SwissGear Sion Softside Expandable Roller 29". Both are reasonably priced and offer a better quality. The Delsey Paris Titanium Hardside 29" also has a decent price tag, is made well, and comes with more stylish features.

amazon basics 30" hardside spinner - one thing is for sure, we could always find our hardside spinner in...
One thing is for sure, we could always find our Hardside Spinner in a crowd.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Myrha Colt and Jason Wanlass