Review: Travelpro Crew 11 21” Spinner Carry On

If you’ve spent any time at all in airports, you’ve seen Travelpro suitcases. They are everywhere, a perennial favorite of business travelers and flight crews. Travelpro recently released the new Crew 11 21” Spinner Carry On, their lightest 21” suitcase yet. I was thrilled when they sent me one to test out. It faced the ultimate test: a week-long trip to India. Read on to see how it fared.

Size and weight. When it’s empty, this is the lightest carry on I’ve ever held. The dimensions are 21x14x9, so it fits easily within US carry-on guidelines. On this international trip, I traveled on American, British Airways, and Etihad, with no sizing problems.img_8700

Interior and pockets. I feel like this suitcase had just the right amount of pockets, both inside and out. Outside, there were two large pockets, with one big enough for a laptop or tablet. Inside, there is one large pocket on the lid, where my toiletry kit, makeup, and snacks fit perfectly. There are also smaller pouches, one with a zipper and one designed for wet clothes. At the bottom there are straps to compress clothing, if needed.img_8698

Capacity. I took a lot of pictures to demonstrate how much stuff this suitcase could hold. I filled two packing cubes to capacity, squeezing in clothes for seven days and the gigantic tablecloth I use for expos. Two pairs of shoes, all of my toiletries, and a bunch of snacks and medicine filled out the rest. It’s amazing. I’ve never been able to get that much stuff in a suitcase before. Even filled to the brim, I was still able to slide it easily into the overhead bin of a Super 80. If carrying on is not an issue, the suitcase is expandable which allows you to pack even more.




Handling. This thing handles like a dream. They have special technology called MagnaTrac that helps keep the spinner wheels in line while you’re rolling, which allows a ton of control. It easily converted from rolling upright to pulling on two wheels over carpet, bumpier paths, and up stairs. Of course it felt heavier when on two wheels, but that’s totally normal. I was still able to pull and control it easily.

The handle is very comfortable to hold, even on the long walk from gate to customs. It also has three heights, so even if you’re tall it’s still comfortable.

The one issue I had was when I was on an incline–the spinners work so well that I had to hold the handle tightly or it would roll faster than I was walking and get away from me.

Extras. There are some additional features that business travelers may find useful. For example, there is a dedicated spot for a power bank with an external port for charging on the go. There is also a suiter that is included, but I didn’t need a hanging bag on this trip so didn’t use it.img_8696

In a nutshell, I loved the Travelpro Crew 11 21” Carry On. It was so easy to maneuver, was incredibly light, and held more stuff than I imagined. In fact, as I was packing for my trip, pulling a huge stack of clothes out my closet, I felt ridiculous and knew the enormous pile would never fit in my suitcase. I was wrong! If it could hold all of the gear I needed for seven days, packing for my normal 3-4 nights will be so easy with this bag. I highly recommend it to anyone who travels frequently, especially business travelers.


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  1. Travelpro at one time meant quality, now they are really garbage. I buy only their Platinum Series, which is the top of the line and the quality issues are horrendous. I just sent a six month old bag back that had one of the wheels peel like a sardine can. There are issues with the handle sticking at the worse times. Yes, Travelpro will fix these issues but it costs 24.00 to send the bag back each time. They are living on their name, be forewarned, the quality is horrendous now

  2. I bought one of these in October when the handle on my old Tumi failed me on a trip from London to Seattle. I am still learning how to best pack it, since it’s a different form factor from the Tumi (half-and-half clamshell) and I had a method for that bag. I agree it handles soooo well. I’m also liking having a side handle, which I didn’t have before.

  3. You didn’t mention an actual weight, and the Amazon listing didn’t give one either, although the shipping weight is listed as 10.5 pounds. That leads me to believe the suitcase itself is actually around 8 pounds. This may work for a week-long trip and flying in business class. But for those of us making extended trips lasting several weeks or months, and traveling on budget airlines with a 22 pound limit, every ounce counts and that is simply too heavy.

    I know this from personal experience, because I made the mistake of getting a smaller suitcase than I used for several months in Europe last year and assuming it would also be lighter. But I had traveled with a Rick Steves fabric bag that was only a little over 5 pounds and, with packing for 4 different seasons, I still had trouble staying under the weight limit.

    My new tiny suitcase was actually about 7 pounds. So even though I was carrying much less, the weight was about the same.

    When traveling by train, the size and weight of luggage becomes even more important, because you are going up and down a lot more stairs and the overhead racks tend to be smaller than the overhead bins in planes. So while I had planned to get this Aerolite spinner, which is 22x14x9 inches and weighs only 4.62lbs, I decided to go even smaller.

    I plan to travel with two small cases, a carry on and a personal item, and both will be on the small side. But the carry on will be a spinner and the personal item will have two wheels. The Chocolate New York 18″ Spinner spinner is 17.5″ x 15.6″ x 8.5″ inches, including the wheels and weighs only 4 pounds. My personal item will be Travelon Wheeled Underseat Carry-On with Back-Up Bag is 12 x 8.5 x 14 inches and may actually be heavier, at about 5 pounds. But it has the shape and dimensions I want, though I haven’t bought it quite yet and am still hoping to find something better. Still, it is way better than my Samsonite small under seater which weighed almost 7 pounds.

  4. I just bought the Crew 11 21″ spinner carry on. I measure this as being over 22″, approaching 22 3/8, putting tape to the floor and closely approximating where the curve of the upper edge flattens. I’m not trying to include the carrying handle on top.

    Am I measuring this wrong, or did I somehow get the wrong Travelpro Crew 11 21″ bag? I love the bag, but I bought it to minimize gate check-in issues.

    I also took a look at the Crew 11 International carry-on spinner. That measures closer to 20.5 x 15.5 x 8.5. It seems like this bag would fit a lot more airlines published specs, except that I travel United domestically more than I travel multiple different airlines internationally. I’m trying to work through whether United is really going to bug me about a 15.5″ vs 14″ width. It appears that the only Travelpro Crew 11 bags that are truly under 22″ are the rollerboard versions.

    Since I’d prefer a spinner, do people have thoughts whether the Crew 11 21″ (with actual 22 3/8″) or the Crew 11 International are overall more likely to get past the gate, or is it pretty equivalent?

  5. I bought the 21 spinner and found it very light and easy to pack. The spinner wheels made it VERY easy to maneuver whether pushing or pulling. BUT, the primary zipper failed the first time I used the case. And it wasn’t over filled or tight. Even with the case empty, the zipper easily separates. I had to purchase another case for my trip to Europe and plan to return the case when I get back.

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