How to Choose a Wheeled Suitcase


Travel is always exciting. And while having the wrong luggage can put a real damper on the journey, having the perfect bag can make it easy and stress free. While there are dozens of different styles of luggage out there, wheeled luggage is the go-to for many people. But how do you choose the right style and size? Here, we'll explore everything you need to know when it comes to choosing the perfect wheeling luggage.

Consider the adventure ahead

When it comes to selecting wheeled luggage, an important place to start is by thinking about where you’re headed and for how long. For example, if it’s only a short trip of one or two days, larger checked luggage might not be necessary. A small but versatile piece of hand luggage with wheels or another wheeled small suitcase that meets cabin luggage regulations might just be the perfect choice.

On the other hand, a large 4 wheel suitcase will be more appropriate for longer adventures. Headed off for a week in the mountains? A gear-loaded getaway in the tropics? If you’re away for any length of time, or if you’re carrying any special equipment or clothing, you’ll likely need the extra room.

Number of wheels

It’s an often overlooked fact, but the number of wheels on your suitcase can affect the comfort and ease of your journey. Most wheel hand luggage comes with either two or four wheels.

Two-wheel luggage

The traditional wheeled luggage, they're tilted and pulled behind you. Great for uneven terrains, these have been the go-to for many travellers for many years.

Four-wheel luggage

A more modern style, a piece of 4 wheel luggage can stand easily on its own and spin 360 degrees. This makes it highly convenient in crowded places like airports and train stations. When it comes to cabin luggage, a 4 wheel case can make it far easier to negotiate aeroplane aisles thanks to its slimmer profile. Plus, having only a 4 wheel suitcase with you can help you speed through check-in if you don't need to check a bag.

Size matters

When it comes to wheeled luggage, size is a key factor to think about. When it comes to cabin luggage, having a great piece of roomy hand luggage with wheels is a great way to keep essentials close on flights. But most airlines have strict size requirements for the bags you keep with you.

For this reason, always check with your airline for size restrictions ahead of your flight. If you plan to buy a new piece of wheel hand luggage, make sure it will be accepted by multiple airlines to ensure you are set for future trips.

Headed on an extended trip? A large 4 wheel suitcase should have room enough to fit all your travel gear. And for those who can't decide, having both a wheeled small suitcase and a large 4 wheel suitcase can mean you’re covered for any adventures now and in future.

Durability is key

Your luggage bag with wheels needs to stand up to the rigours of travel. From being tossed into overhead compartments, loaded into cars and dumped onto luggage carousels, having durable wheeled luggage is key. Hardshell suitcases in particular are known for their resistance to rough handling.

Storage and compartments

The internal structure of your 4 wheel suitcase is as important as its outside. Travel often means you need an essential at a moment’s notice. But rifling through your bag can undo all your careful packing work in an instant. So to help, look for suitcases with multiple compartments. Most high quality bags come with dedicated pockets for laptops, shoes and toiletries.

Plus, don’t forget easy-access outer pockets. These can be a big help for things like books to read en route, travel documents or snacks.

Easy to handle

Too often, travellers find themselves weighed down by a cumbersome or difficult-to-manoeuvre piece of luggage. Having a piece of wheeled luggage makes travelling easy. But additional factors to think about are overall size, weight and even handle height. 

That is, make sure your 4 wheel cabin luggage or other wheeled suitcase has a handle that’s extendable to a length that's comfortable for you. It’ll be a big plus when it comes to navigating the hustle and bustle of airports, train stations, or just busy city streets.

Lock it up

Safety is key whenever you’re travelling. And making sure that your luggage is safely locked up is a big part of that. From combination locks to key locks, there are dozens of options out there. 

Flying? Think about choosing a TSA-approved lock. These high-quality locks ensure your belongings stay secure en route, while still allowing TSA agents to check your bag.

Style and aesthetics

Wheeled luggage is a great way to showcase your style. If you prefer minimalist vibes, a compact and sleek black 4 wheel cabin suitcase might just be the choice for you. Or if you love all things maximalism, patterns and bright colours, a vibrant, large 4 wheel suitcase might be just the ticket. 

Remember, distinctive luggage is easier to spot on the carousel. But you can also add colourful straps or locks to a plain bag to make it stand out.

Weight of the suitcase

Whether you’re making your way through the airport or running for the train, a lighter bag is always easier to manage. Which is why the weight of your 4 wheel suitcase or other luggage bag with wheels is something to always keep an eye on.

Airlines also often have strict weight limits, and a heavy suitcase can eat into your allowance. So look for bags with lightweight construction that don’t compromise on durability.


Sometimes, you need a little extra space, especially if you’re packing in a rush or trying to find room for all those gifts and souvenirs. To help, some styles of 4 wheel cabin luggage and larger suitcases come with an expandable option, helping boost the depth of the bag. If your cabin luggage comes with this feature, make sure it still fits within airline size limits once expanded.

Price and warranty

When it comes to choosing the perfect wheeled bag, budget usually plays a big role in the decision. While it might be tempting to opt for a less expensive 4 wheel suitcase or hand luggage with wheels, it’s crucial to consider the true value for money. Often, investing a bit more can mean a suitcase that lasts far longer. Warranties are key, too. A good warranty can save you money in the long run, ensuring your suitcase is ready to go for many trips to come.

Eco-friendly options

Conscious of the impact of your travel on the planet? Consider suitcases made from recycled or sustainable materials. At the North Face, we offer a range of luggage which incorporate recycled materials, without ever compromising on quality or durability.

Ease of maintenance

Rain, mud, dust and spills: on your adventure, your luggage might face these and many more. Which is why it’s essential to consider how easy it is to clean and maintain your luggage bag with wheels. 

Some materials are more stain-resistant than others, and certain suitcase designs are easier to wipe down or vacuum. Depending on your needs, look for luggage with removable linings or those made from water-resistant materials. 

The perfect wheeled luggage for the adventure ahead

Whether you’re looking for a roomy hardshell 4 wheel suitcase or fabric cabin luggage with wheels, we’ve got everything you need at The North Face. 

Plus, we’ve got a vast range of duffel bags, backpacks, messengers and totes and other travel accessories. So whatever the journey ahead holds, you can grab all the gear you need.