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Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner Review

A low priced expandable suitcase with enormous storage capacity but dubious durability
Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner
Credit: Amazon
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $119 List | $79.38 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, rolls easily, large capacity
Cons:  Low-grade materials, poor craftsmanship, sticky zipper
Manufacturer:   Amazon
By Myrha Colt ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 27, 2022
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 13
  • Storage & Organization - 25% 5.0
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 7.0
  • Reliability - 25% 6.0
  • Weight - 15% 8.0
  • Style - 10% 7.0

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 notably substandard straight out of the box — from flimsy interior liner fabric and fragile zippers to wobbly spinners and low-grade handles. For long journeys requiring worry-free luggage, plan to invest more. But, if low-key design and basic function at a low price point are top priorities, you’ll find them here.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award  
Price $119 List
$79.38 at Amazon
$279 List$289 List
Check Price at REI
$260 List
$239.88 at Amazon
$250 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Inexpensive, rolls easily, large capacitySmooth ride, sensible features, excellent organization, great styleDurable construction, large capacity, rolls with ease across mixed terrainCavernous main compartment, scratch- and water-resistant, easy-roll spinnersUltra-lightweight, large wheels, useful organizational features
Cons Low-grade materials, poor craftsmanship, sticky zipperZippers could be smoother, low clearanceLimited interior organizational features, easy to overpackTough to transport on mixed terrain, easy to overpack, limited organizational featuresSmall storage capacity, jiggly awkward handle, dubious longevity
Bottom Line A low priced expandable suitcase with enormous storage capacity but dubious durabilityA durable, stylish, and high-value suitcase suited for all types of travelThe perfect all-terrain rolling duffel with substantial storage capacity and useful organizational extrasAn oversized yet lightweight mega-bag with spinner-tight roll and control over smooth surfaces and surprisingly tough exterior constructionAn ultra-lightweight roller duffel great for road tripping but less useful for airline travel
Rating Categories Amazon Basics 30" H... Timbuk2 Copilot REI Co-op Big Haul... Samsonite Omni PC H... Osprey Ozone 75L Wh...
Storage & Organization (25%)
5.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Ease of Transport (25%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Reliability (25%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Weight (15%)
8.0
6.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
Style (10%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Amazon Basics 30" H... Timbuk2 Copilot REI Co-op Big Haul... Samsonite Omni PC H... Osprey Ozone 75L Wh...
Measured Weight 11.6 lbs 9.4 lbs 9.6 lbs 10.3 lbs 5.2 lbs
Volume 127L 80L 109L 145L 75L
Liters per pound 10.9 8.5 11.1 14.1 14.4
Construction Clamshell, hard-sided Clamshell plus topside u-shaped zip access, softshell Zip open, duffel Clamshell, hard-sided Zip open, duffel
Measured Packed Dimensions 30.75" x 21" x 12 26.5" x 14.5" x 13" 33.75" x 16.25" x 14" 30.5" x 20.5" x 13" 26.5" x 17" x 12"
Expansion Zippers? Yes No No Yes No
Number of Wheels 4 2 2 4 2
Number of Large Interior Compartments 2 2 1 2 1
Interior Storage Features One-half clam with elastic restraint straps, one-half large zip enclosure with 2 zip mesh pockets, hanging zip accessory pocket 2 mesh clam panels with 2 organizational pockets 2 mesh organizational pockets on inside of opening panel (one with key hook), 2 internal compression straps Elastic restraint straps in one-half clam, zip enclosure over opposite half; hanging zipper accessory pocket Compression panels with 2 straps
Number of Exterior Pockets None 1 pocket on top, 1 large sleeve 1 side exterior zip pocket. 1 small top zip pocket with piggy-bag strap attachment, plus daisy-chain gear loops None 1 liquid pocket, 1 media-sized slide pocket, 1 small top containing tuckaway carry-on strap
Compression System 2 elastic straps for restraint but no functional compression No 2 external and 2 internal compression straps (4 in total) 2 elastic straps for restraint but no functional compression 2 external compression straps, 1 internal panel set
Handle Height from Ground Low: 36.75"
High: 40.5"
40.5" 42" Low: 36"
High: 41"
39"
Built-In Lock No No No Yes, TSA Approved No
Main Exterior Material Extra-thick ABS, hard shell Nylon and polyester Recycled 400-denier nylon/recycled 1,680-denier nylon (bluesign®-approved) Polycarbonate 210-denier nylon honeycomb plus 450-denier packcloth
Unique Features 150D-polyester zippered clamshell enclosure, 3 organizational pockets Liquids pocket and padded front pocket to fit 13" laptop; skateboard wheels Oversized wheels, rugged chassis, full-length bumpers, 2 internal and 2 external compression straps, stopper-stand, carry-on piggyback clip, 6 haul handle options, daisy chain lash points, water-resistant Built-in TSA-approved lock; large packing capacity; impressive water resistance, expandable, anti-scratch exterior Ultralight, large, treaded wheels, exterior slide document pocket, carry-on tuckaway strap

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 the category. But like many inexpensive items, this low-cost bag comes paired with an equally low set of expectations. While we were surprised by its decent performance, we would not count on the case for its reliability long term. But if your needs are short, simple, and/or infrequent, it's got all the basics to navigate in the short term.

Performance Comparison


Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner suitcase - the amazon basics expandable spinner keeps up on flat terrain and...
The Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner keeps up on flat terrain and rolls across cobblestone and seamed concrete with ease.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Storage & Organization


At 127L with an expandable zipper option, this clam-shaped suitcase is massive and well-suited to a long journey or a big move. We tested the 30-inch case. It also comes in a 21 and 26-inch option.


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 at you upon arrival or 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 suitcase - 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 Amazon Basics Hardsided 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, the case struggled alongside all of its spinner companions. If off-road adventures fill your calendar, we'd point you toward a two-wheeled bag as a better choice. But if such needs are few and far between, with a bit of added muscle and a concentrated drag, you'll still land on target with this case. Plus, the spacious 2.75 inches of clearance will help protect the bottom of the bag from bang-ups with direct obstacles.

Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner suitcase - side view with haul handle on the amazon basics expandable spinner...
Side view with haul handle on the Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner suitcase.
Credit: Myrha Colt

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 suitcase - 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

The other thing to keep in mind with the expandable Amazon Hardside Spinner is that the smooth-rolling performance can work against you should you neglect to keep the bag underhand at all times. As with all spinners in the group, there's no built-in stopper to brake the bag. So even at partial weight, it's apt to roll off down an incline or across smooth surfaces on its own accord. Fully weighted, it's got the momentum of a bowling ball, slow and steady with increased speed the farther away it moves. But for most, this minor inconvenience is easy enough to disregard in the face of the significant value it delivers otherwise.

Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner suitcase - the amazon basics expandable spinning away from the body to travel...
The Amazon Basics Expandable spinning away from the body to travel at a 45-degree angle - a very common occurrence at full weight in nearly every spinner we tested.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Reliability


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 toss and stair testing with flying colors and showed no cracking and only minimal scratching and scuffing for the effort. 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. And although certainly not impervious to water — we did have pooling inside the main compartment with testing, just as we did with almost every other bag in the test group — the hard-shell exterior stood up against shower-like conditions equivalent to others in the category.

Water beaded to the outside of the Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner...
Water beaded to the outside of the Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner after water testing.
Water pooled at the base of the Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner...
Water pooled at the base of the Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner suitcase after water testing.

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 surface. But the cheap, unprotected plastic wheel housings and caster attachments don't breed much confidence. And without a doubt, any wheel popping off while walking down the street or coming off the luggage carrousel is sure to put a real damper on even the best-laid travel plans.

Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner suitcase - 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.

Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner suitcase - the amazon basics expandable spinner is a tall bag with a...
The Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner is a tall bag with a telescoping handle offering 2 different height options.
Credit: Myrha Colt

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. With a bag sized to easily accommodate more than 50 pounds, it seems likely you'd be stretching all features to max capacity soon enough.

Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner suitcase - load handles on top and side of the amazon basics expandable spinner...
Load handles on top and side of the Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner Suitcase help to ease the strain when moving it in and out of any vehicle.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Yes, there's more to this bag than meets the initial eye. And at such a low price, the value is there for anyone straddling the line between a tight budget and the need for a big, easy-to-roll city bag. But cheap craftsmanship and a slew of user reviews noting wheel failure, exterior cracking, and fabric disintegration — among several other failing design features — leave us unconvinced this is a suitcase truly game for any long haul. If you are roaming beyond the smooth hallways of airports and hotel rooms, we would suggest dialing up your spending to ensure your case has the longevity to serve.

Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner suitcase - capacity testing the amazon basics expandable spinner with a...
Capacity testing the Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner with a 7-gallon water jug.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Weight


At 11.6 pounds, this suitcase is far from featherlight. But given its expandable 127L capacity, there's no question it's set up to swallow any heap of clothing and gear you may need to move from home to hideaway.


Easy-rolling spinners make this an easy bag to travel with, and exterior haul handles will aid you in loading trunks and baggage carts. No question, there are lighter cases out there, but few among them offer the same amount of storage at such an extraordinarily low price point.

Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner suitcase - toss testing the amazon basics expandable spinner on concrete to see...
Toss testing the Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner on concrete to see how it will handle air travel abuse.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Style


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 suitcase - the amazon basics expandable spinner comes in several colors and a...
The Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner comes in several colors and a classic style to make it an easy choice for urban travel.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Value


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.

Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner suitcase - loading up the amazon basics expandable spinner for a road trip.
Loading up the Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner for a road trip.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Conclusion


The four-wheeled Amazon Basics 30" Hardsided Spinner is just what most deal-seekers are looking for. It's got a variety of key features to support a big haul journey once or twice a year, all at a price that won't cut deeply into your precious travel budget. With solid urban maneuverability, unexpected out-of-the-box durability, and helpful organizational extras, it's a great option when price outweighs function over the long term.

Amazon Basics 30" Hardside Spinner suitcase - hauling the amazon basics expandable spinner upstairs requires...
Hauling the Amazon Basics Expandable Spinner upstairs requires muscle when packed full.
Credit: Myrha Colt

Myrha Colt
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