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Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Skyroll Spinner Carry-on

Okay, so you probably already know that I have a collection of bags, including the original Skyroll garment bag. Any bag that’s going to make traveling easier for me is a plus in my book, so when I found out that they were making a new spinner case, I was definitely interested in checking out. A carry-on that also features a garment bag sounds pretty awesome, right? Skyroll was made for the business traveler who needs to pack professional clothing that doesn't get wrinkled. A garment bag is the only way to go when you need to bring suits, but most aren’t carry-on friendly. When you have to go straight from the plane to a meeting, you don’t have time to wait for the baggage carousel to deliver your luggage.

Many of us budget travelers don’t want to waste time waiting around either. Not only that, but baggage fees can be ridiculous. Carrying everything you need for casual and dressy occasions is a must, but it helps if you can get it all in one bag that you can carry with you on the plane. If you’re a frequent cruiser, you might have more need for dress-up clothes than the rest of us leisure travelers, but we still need a garment bag for different types of vacations. In fact, our upcoming trip to London will see us going to the theater and a few fancy meals, so Eric will need a suit jacket. We know from previous experience that packing one in a carry-on is not optimal, so probably having to pack more than just one item like this would not work out well. Enter the new Skyroll Spinner.


I am never optimistic about a bag’s internal space. Most seem bigger than they really are, and don’t hold everything you need without a lot of packing and repacking. The Skyroll was the exact opposite. I scoffed at the size when I opened the box, but I once I started adding things to it, I found that it had much more interior space than anticipated. Check it out!

There are three separate compartments in the new Skyroll: The main compartment, the upper compartment for things you want to get to right away, which also has a slot for your laptop, and the garment bag that wraps around the whole thing and is totally detachable.

I have been making my packing list for a while now and have whittled down my travel wardrobe to three pair of shoes (more than I usually take, but necessary), three pair of pants and five tops (and two tanks). For the purposes of this review, I also added a blazer and a dress. I honestly was a bit skeptical about getting all this in there, including my boots, but I was able to fit it all in and more.

Obviously, I rolled everything, making it easier to pack and when I was finished, I still had some room leftover in the body of the bag. I could use this for my makeup and other toiletries. The bag comes with a toiletry bag, which I maybe could have packed in the extra space with my clothes and shoes. It may have been a tight fit though. I love the two pockets on the “lid” of the Spinner. I used one for my undies, and socks and/or other undergarments could go in the second. Pretty snazzy, right?

It fits, even if the flap won't close - the top still zipped shut just fine
The netbook fits with tons of space left
The top compartment is really versatile. Not only does it have a pocket for your laptop – Yes! They have thought of everything! – but also room for your electronics, pens, credit cards, sunglasses and your 3-1-1 bag. Now, I’m not a business traveler, so I packed my netbook into the laptop pocket, but just for the sake of seeing if I could, I stuffed my 17” laptop in there and it fit, though pretty snugly, which means your normal 15” one would fit perfectly, allowing you to close the compartment fully. I also packed a card game, my iPad mini, a puzzle book, some gum, facial wipes and then my small purse. Again, there was still room left in the top, so my 3-1-1 would be handy for security. In the top flap, I had my sunglasses, a pen (for my puzzle book) and my flat iron. If I didn’t need a bigger purse for my destination, everything would have fit in this bag, with no need for a “personal” item that I wouldn’t be able to take on a flight within Europe anyway.

If you find that you need more room in the main compartment of the bag, you’ll see that you can totally unzip the top portion, push the bottom down into the side of the Spinner and, voila! You have a larger interior space for clothing and other stuff. I love this versatility.

The big attraction to this bag is with the detachable garment bag. It doesn’t fit inside the main bag as you have seen with other carry-on bags, scrunching it up against all your other items. To keep your business and dressy duds from getting all creased and wrinkled before you even get to your destination, the Spinner garment bag minimizes folds by wrapping around the outside of the case. It attaches/detaches with clips. If you pack more in your garment bag, you can loosen the belts attached to the clips to help it fit. It also stays in place with Velcro on the top and bottom, so it doesn't slide down and end up under the wheels on on side. Smart construction!

There are a few zippered pockets on the garment bag that can be used for accessories, like ties, tights, scarves or belts, so you have everything you need right in one place. The only thing it doesn’t do is hang in the closet at your destination, but you can easily just pull out the contents and hang them as soon as you arrive. You’ll have to remove the garment bag from the main bag in order to get at your other stuff anyway. I like that this makes it harder for people to try to steal things out of your suitcase, too.

Besides the main compartment being inaccessible while the garment bag is attached, the zipper for the top portion of the bag is also somewhat concealed as well, giving the Spinner really easy, but still useful safety features. Of course, you can use this bag all alone without the garment bag if you feel you don’t need it on a trip, making it even more flexible for all your travel needs.

I think the spinner wheels make this bag way more awesome. They easily could have just put in-line wheels on this thing like many other carry-on bags feature, but the spinners make this super-easy to maneuver and will probably be a great bonus for getting down the tiny airplane aisle without having to try to carry it and not hit people already in their seats – don’t you hate that? The telescoping handle is comfortable for shorter and taller people, so Eric and I will both be able to pull/push it along with no problems.

I also like all the handles on this bag. One on top, one on the side, and a hidden grip pocket on the bottom all help you to maneuver your bag into the overhead, the car trunk, that rack on the airport shuttle and carrying it up the stairs. There really are no downsides to the new Spinner, that I can see. We'll be taking this as our second bag to Europe, so we'll see if that changes, but the bag is heavy-duty, has convenient pockets/compartments/interior space and wheels around like a dream. We are both looking forward to a hands-on test. Even though it only comes in black, you aren't going to mistake it for another bag, because the design is pretty unique. You just might find this popping up on my must-buy list for travelers this holiday season!

Check out the roomy hanging toiletry bag!

More information:
What is the Skyroll made of? Extra-tough 1200 denier ballistic fabric
How big is it? The Spinner comes in men’s and women’s. The women’s has a longer garment bag for dresses, and has silver details. The men’s has gold details and a shorter bag for suit jackets and pants. Empty, it weighs 9 pounds and measures 22 x 12 x 7 inches, with stuff in the garment bag, approximately 22 x 14 x 9. The garment bag measures 20 x 48 inches (20 x 58 on the women’s version).
Where can you buy it? Skyroll website 
How much is it? You might think the Skyroll is spendy at $299.99, but with the durability of the structure and fabric, plus the ability to use this bag in several different ways, I believe it will last you many, many trips. It also comes with a limited lifetime guarantee. 

Disclosure: I was provided with a Skyroll Spinner bag for the purpose of this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.

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