Last updated: August 23, 2021

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A 4-wheel suitcase makes both holiday and business trips more comfortable and practical. It doesn't matter how well planned your trip is, carrying a suitcase can be an unpleasant burden. That's where a 4 wheeled suitcase comes in handy, as it's not only stylish, but also adds a lightness to heavy luggage.

With our big 4 wheeled suitcase test 2021 we want to help you find the best suitcase with 4 wheels for you. We have compared 4 wheeled suitcases with a hard shell and a soft shell and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




Summary

  • Suitcases with 4 wheels have the advantage that they are much more manoeuvrable and can be pushed without much effort.
  • Basically, you have the choice of purchasing a 4-wheel suitcase with a soft or hard shell. Both types are available in numerous variants and price ranges as well as different designs and sizes.
  • Soft-shell suitcases are particularly suitable for car journeys, as the outer material is hard-wearing and flexible. They can usually be expanded with integrated expansion gussets. Hard-sided suitcases, on the other hand, are more suitable companions for air and business travel. They are characterised above all by their robustness.

The Best Suitcase 4 Wheels: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a suitcase with 4 wheels

Who is a suitcase with 4 wheels suitable for?

A suitcase with 4 wheels is suitable for anyone who likes to travel comfortably. The stylish design also makes it an eye-catcher.

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A suitcase with 4 wheels is the perfect companion for your travels.
(Image source: unsplash.com/ Anete Lūsiņa)

Especially when you're standing in a queue, the 4-wheel suitcase is a lifesaver, as you can push it along with your foot without any problems. The situation is different for suitcases with 2 wheels. You have to hold on to the telescopic handle so that it doesn't tip to the side.

Which size is ideal for my travels?

4-wheel suitcases are available in a wide range of sizes and features. The answer to the question of which size is ideal for your trip depends on the duration of the trip.

For a short city trip, you usually only need a small amount of luggage.

In this case, a suitcase in sizes S and M is perfectly adequate. However, if you are planning a long trip, you should rather buy a suitcase with a larger volume.

Size volume travel duration
S up to 49l suitable as hand luggage suitcase for short trips and business trips
M 50-69l suitable for trips of up to 7 days
L 50-69l suitable for a travel duration of between 1 and 2 weeks
XL 90-119l suitable for a travel duration of between 2 and 3 weeks
XXL from 120l suitable for a travel duration of 3 weeks and more

What does a suitcase with 4 wheels cost?

There is a wide price range between the different 4-wheel suitcases, depending on the choice of size, material and features. Small sizes are available from as little as 30 GBP, while large and high-quality models can even cost up to 500 GBP.

If you want to use your suitcase regularly, we recommend spending a little more money. That way you get more out of it and don't have to replace it in a short time. Especially on baggage carousels, a 4 wheeled suitcase can be tossed around quickly. This process puts a lot of stress on the suitcase and if it is not made of high-quality materials, it can be severely damaged.

However, if you only travel a few times, a suitcase in the lower price range is perfectly adequate. However, we recommend that you clean the wheels after each use.

What are the alternatives to a suitcase with 4 wheels?

It is not absolutely necessary to buy a suitcase with 4 wheels. Alternatively, you have the option of reducing the number of wheels to two. Which number is better for you depends on the levels on which you will later drive your suitcase.

Suitcases with 4 wheels are particularly suitable for smooth floors such as airports. The 360° swivel wheels make them turn effortlessly and give the suitcase a lightness of touch. However, if the floor is uneven, it will be more difficult to use as the suitcase will not be able to bear weight. If you will be using your trolley mainly at the airport, the particularly flexible rolling suitcase with four wheels is suitable for you.

Rolling suitcases with 2 wheels are a little more stable, so you can pull them over uneven areas without any problems. If it is important to you that your suitcase can also be moved on cobblestones and pavement edges without any problems, then you can also use this alternative.

Decision: What types of 4 wheeled suitcases are there and which is the right one for you?

When choosing the right suitcase with 4 wheels, you have to make a decision between the following alternatives:

  • 4 roll suitcase with hard shell
  • 4 Roll Suitcase with Soft Shell

These different types of shells can in turn be divided into different materials. We cannot say exactly which type is better for you. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

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Hard shell suitcases with 4 wheels are suitable for air travel.
(Image source: unsplash.com/ Ina Carolino)

What are the characteristics of a hard-sided suitcase and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

If you decide on a hard-shell suitcase with 4 wheels, you have a wide choice of different outer materials.

Most inexpensive hard cases are made of ABS. This is characterised by its scratch-resistant surface and its light weight.

Another material is polycarbonate. Compared to ABS, this is significantly heavier and has a higher tare weight. One advantage of polycarbonate is its break resistance.

Aluminium cases are also heavy in terms of weight, but are characterised by their hardly destructible outer surface.

Advantages
  • Clothing does not crease
  • Robust
  • Shock-resistant
  • Water-repellent
Disadvantages
  • Hardly stretchable
  • Heavy empty weight

What are the characteristics of a soft-sided suitcase and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Soft-sided suitcases with 4 wheels can be made of durable nylon, polyester and leather. Suitcases made of nylon have a long life due to their high abrasion resistance and can be used more often without wearing out immediately.

Since polyester is produced very cheaply, most soft-sided suitcases are made of this material. Polyester is mainly characterised by its stretchability and its resistance.

Leather also belongs to the group of soft-shell cases. Due to its noble appearance, it is mostly used for business trolleys with 4 wheels. However, leather is very susceptible to scratches and can quickly show signs of wear.

Advantages
  • Resistance
  • Elasticity
  • Flexibility
Disadvantages
  • Not robust
  • Not water-repellent

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate suitcases with 4 wheels

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to decide between a variety of 4-wheel suitcases.

The criteria you can use to compare 4 wheeled suitcases with each other include:

Shell type

Hard shells are suitable for air travel, whereas soft shells are suitable for car travel.

As already mentioned, we distinguish between hard and soft shells for 4 wheeled suitcases. If you often want to take your suitcase with you on air travel, you should choose a 4 wheeled suitcase with a hard shell. This is characterised by its robustness and gives the contents protection. Especially at many airports, luggage is not treated squeamishly. A soft-shell suitcase could be damaged more quickly.

If you prefer to travel by car, then the soft-sided suitcase with 4 wheels is the perfect companion for you. Its flexible and stretchable surface makes this suitcase much easier to stow in the boot.

Total volume

Depending on the choice of luggage size, the volume also differs.

4 wheel suitcases are available from 20l upwards.

While the volume of hard shell suitcases with 4 wheels is fixed, the volume of soft shell suitcases can be increased if necessary. Some of these models have an expansion fold that can increase the volume by up to 25%.

In general, we recommend that you choose a 4-wheel suitcase that corresponds to the length of your trip. That way you won't have any problems with excess luggage later on.

Dimensions

The 4 wheel suitcase is available in different sizes. If you want to buy several sizes, we recommend buying a set. The prices are significantly lower than if you buy the suitcases individually.

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Airlines have individual requirements for the dimensions of the luggage.
(Image source: unsplash.com/ Nils Nedel)

If your 4-wheel suitcase is to be used as hand luggage, the dimensions are very important. Many airlines strictly control the weight and dimensions. Unfortunately, the airlines do not have uniform values for the allowed hand luggage. We therefore recommend that you check with the airline in question before departure.

Type of lock

To ensure that your valuables are well secured, integrated locks are attached to your 4-wheel suitcase. But not every lock is the same. There are three different types: a combination lock, a TSA lock and a lock with a key.

Type Travelling to the USA
Combination lock X
TSA lock
Lock with key X

Both the combination lock and the lock with key are at risk of being broken by staff when entering the USA. The TSA lock is designed specifically for this case, as airport staff have a master key for this lock.

Facts worth knowing about the topic of 4-wheel suitcases

How can I replace the wheels of my suitcase?

Through frequent use and numerous trips, the wheels of suitcases often become worn and limit their function. Instead of replacing the suitcase, you have the option of replacing the wheels. However, this is not feasible in all cases.

Here we distinguish between castors that are screwed and those that are riveted. In the former case, replacement is possible without any problems, whereas the riveted castors are somewhat more difficult to manufacture. In this case, you would have to remove the rivets and attach new ones if necessary.

For the replacement of bolted castors we recommend:

  • Many suppliers offer replacement wheels on their websites. If you can't find any, you can also use the wheels from inline skates.
  • Now you can unscrew the worn, defective wheels.
  • Now screw the new wheels of the same size onto the same place.

How do I care for the wheels of my suitcase?

For light dirt, it is sufficient to tap the wheels of the suitcase with a brush. Then wipe with a damp cloth. However, if some stubborn dirt has accumulated on the wheels, we recommend that you place the suitcase upright in a tub of warm water to allow the dirt to soak. Afterwards, you can repeat the steps described above.

Basically, we advise you to clean the wheels regularly.

This way they will be less stressed and you will most likely not have to change to new wheels.

Image source: belchonock/ 123rf.com

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