Review: Skyroll Spinner

If you’ve been a frequent traveler for a while, you’ve probably heard of Skyroll.  They make luggage designed for people who travel with suits or other clothing that needs to be hung. Traditional suit hanging or folding compartments in the interior of a suitcase lead to creases and wrinkles. Skyroll was the first to actually wrap the hanging portion around the outside of a suitcase, greatly reducing wrinkles for suits and other wrinkle-prone garments. It’s basically the “bundle packing method” taken to an extreme.

They recently released their Skyroll Spinner, which is designed for women traveling with suits or longer dresses. They sent me one to try out, and here are my thoughts.

Configuration. It is very obvious to me that a ton of thought went into creating this suitcase. The first thing you notice is that it’s completely non-traditional in its configuration. Instead of having one large compartment for your belongings, along with a few pockets, there  are very specific places for things. For example, the top of the suitcase is designed to hold your toiletry bag. The inner compartment is the largest but not nearly as big as in a typical suitcase. Then there is a hanging component that wraps around the entire suitcase. I’ve added pictures below because it’s hard to imagine if you’re not seeing it in front of you.

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If you just need a normal suitcase and have no need to hang things, I can see how this wouldn’t be ideal for you. But if you need to travel with hanging items, like suits or dresses, this suitcase is a dream. I had a rare week of business formal meetings that required blazers (crazy right? Me, the queen of business casual!), and this suitcase was amazing. The hanging portion is incredibly long to accommodate women’s dresses. I simply placed my dresses and jackets in the hanging bag and secured it around the suitcase. When I arrived and was hanging things up, my clothes were far less wrinkled than when I’ve used suit hangers inside a normal suitcase. The Home Warrior used it for one of his suits on a different  trip, and he had  the same experience.

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Note: This bag is designed to fit within the 14x22x9 carry-on dimensions, therefore the garment bag is only 19” wide. This means for guys with a suit over size 40 it may be a tight squeeze.

The top portion designed for your toiletries was odd to me at first, but I realized that I could fit the included toiletry kit, my makeup, and my hairbrush inside. That’s all I need for most trips! And I  love  that your toiletries are separated from your clothes in case of a spill.

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The middle section of the suitcase is the perfect size for shoes and a packing cube with all of your foldable clothes. It is definitely smaller than a normal suitcase, but since so much of  your packing list is in the other sections it doesn’t need to be huge. There is plenty of room for the essentials that aren’t in the other compartments.

Because of the unusual configuration I was positive I wouldn’t be able to fit all of the normal clothes I travel with for one week. Nope, totally wrong. In fact, I had room left over. You can see in the picture below that the middle section isn’t completely filled–yet it has two pairs of shoes, jeans, four shirts, and PJs. (A suit, two dresses, and extra pair of pants were in the outer section.)

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Handling. On normal hard suitcases the spinners work  great—smooth and easy to steer. Unfortunately the first trip I took with this suitcase I was in an airport that had almost all carpet—not ideal for spinners! That being said, it was certainly easier than maneuvering my two-wheeled suitcase, so I’ll take it!

Size and weight. Empty, this suitcase weighs 10 lbs. That is not super light, but unsurprising considering the fact that it is both a garment bag and suitcase in one. The dimensions are 14x9x22, and even with the outer compartment filled it fit perfectly in the overhead bin of all of the airplanes I flew on—both Super 80 and 737. That being said, like any bag I’m sure if you overfilled the outer bag it would be a tighter fit.

Honestly, even if you didn’t need to pack hanging clothes the suitcase part (without the wrap-around garment bag) is big enough and well-designed enough to hold everything you need for a 3-4 day trip.

Extras. In addition to the item-specific pockets I’ve already mentioned, there are several others. One of the hidden extras that I didn’t actually discover until my third trip with this bag is the internal laptop pocket. Plenty of suitcases have an external pocket designed for a computer or tablet but when it’s inside there an extra layer of protection. As a bonus, it definitely makes your laptop harder to steal. There are also shoe pockets in the middle section, which I love.

The puzzle. To keep the whole package together there are clips and velcro.I have to admit, the first couple of times I rolled the garment bag around the suitcase I felt awkward and had to redo it until everything lined up right. However, once I got a feel for it putting it back together went super fast and was no trouble.img_8923

Overall, if you are a woman who travels frequently with suits or other hanging items I definitely recommend the Skyroll Spinner, and if you’re a guy who travels with suits check out the Skyroll on Wheels. These suitcases are designed for people like us, road warriors who need to look their best while traveling. People are extremely loyal to the brand (which I now totally get) and as a result it has an almost cult-like following. I have gotten so many emails, comments, and messages over the years about Skyroll and am so glad I finally got to try one! Anytime I have to travel with suits or wrinkle-prone dresses I will absolutely use my Skyroll Spinner.

Readers, if you’re interested in trying out a Skyroll suitcase, use code RW16 for 15% off through the end of November.

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