4-Wheeled Luggage vs. 2-Wheeled Luggage: Which Kind Should You Get?

luggage feature

Written by Jane Bianchi on

Jane Bianchi is a freelance writer who has worked for a variety of national magazines, including Seventeen, Family Circle, and Good Housekeeping. She lives in Tampa, Florida.

luggage feature

Whether you’re looking for a carry on or a checked bag, the big question is: how many wheels do you need? Find out the best type of suitcase for your traveling needs.

When you're figuring out which type of luggage to buy for your next trip, you're faced with many difficult choices—duffel or suitcase, checked or carry on, two wheels or four wheels? Decisions, decisions! Read on for help with that last one, to decide if you should go with a two-wheeled bag or a four-wheeled bag.

Each offers its share of pros and cons. To help you figure out which bag is best for your specific traveling needs, Jeff in the marketing department at Eagle Creek, kindly weighed in on the topic and shared everything that you need to know.

1. What are some pros to having 4-wheeled luggage?

Many people find it easier to move this kind of luggage. "Four wheels offer effortless mobility. They glide across smooth surfaces. It really helps people with joint issues, because it takes the pressure off of your elbow and wrist," says Jeff. You can roll this kind closer to your body, so you're not dragging it a few feet behind you and potentially tripping other travelers. Frequent travelers love them because they're easier to shimmy sideways down an airplane aisle.

2. What are some cons to having 4-wheeled luggage?

"You sacrifice a little room in your luggage for the four wheels, but not too much," says Jeff. "Also, wheeling a 4-wheeled bag on uneven surfaces can be quite difficult." They also tend to cost and weigh a little more. If you’re worried about space but still want four wheels, try using travel packing cubes and compression cubes to consolidate your clothes.

3. What are some pros to having 2-wheeled luggage?

A 2-wheeled bag gives you a little more packing room inside the bag. It also tends to cost less and weigh less. Plus: "You can wheel them over just about anything, because you are pulling them not pushing them," says Jeff.

4. What are some cons to having 2-wheeled luggage?

"They put a little more pressure on your joints because you are pulling the bag behind you," says Jeff. It can be harder to roll them down a slim airline aisle, because they don’t maneuver sideways. And you're more likely to run into others with your luggage while dragging it behind your body.

5. What are some of Eagle Creek's best 4-wheeled luggage options?

If you're looking for carry-on luggage, we recommend the Tarmac AWD 26, which has oversized wheels with 360-degree directional mobility and extra treads for off-road travel. If you want to check a bag, go with the Caldera 4-Wheel 70L or, for even more space, the Caldera 4-Wheel 100L, which, when expanded, has a packing capacity of 16 x 30 x 14 inches (40.5 x 76 x 36 cm) . And don't worry: All of these bags come with Eagle Creek's No Matter What™ Warranty.

6. What are some of Eagle Creek's best 2-wheeled luggage options?

When it comes to carry-on luggage, it's hard to beat the Tarmac Carry-On. "This bag is our number one seller," says Jeff. For international travel, the Caldera™ Wheeled Duffel International Carry On is super durable and made with sustainable design and responsible manufacturing. For a checked bag, check out the Caldera™ Wheeled Duffel 100L—it can hold a ton and has large wheels that can handle any terrain.. It's the winner of the 2014 Outside Magazine Travel Award for Best Travel Luggage, and is the bag that all other gear bags are measured against. These bags also come with Eagle Creek's No Matter What™ Warranty.

As you can see, in terms of which is the best luggage, there's no clear winner. There are pluses and minuses for each bag, so see which one suits your particular needs best! Ready to start packing? Check out our Ultimate Packing Checklist and packing tips for fitting it all in a carry on!

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

Buying Guide: Choosing Luggage, Travel Packs, And Carry-ons

Ultimate Packing Checklist

12 Packing Tips For 10 Days In A Carry On