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Hard-Side Suitcase Keeps Gear Safe for Travel

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We at GearJunkie do a lot of traveling, and as such we put serious wear on our luggage. That’s why we jumped at the offer to review a model from eBags’ EXO Hardside rolling luggage line.

The $125 24” Spinner model actually stands 27 inches high (too large for a carry-on) and swallows 4,000+ cubic inches worth of gear. That’s enough space for some gear and a week’s worth of clothing if you pack right.

EXO Spinner rolling luggage

There’s not one fancy thing about this luggage — it’s a basic case with a single burly zipper that splits the box design. It opens to a simple nylon liner that has a mesh compartment to separate “worn” items from clean ones. There’s a single Velcro divider.

Don’t expect something like a Pelican Case with this model. The eBags case is tough, but you cannot stand or sit on it. Its exterior is flexible, not rigid like a Pelican.

As a photographer, I would not trust my gear inside the eBags case unless it was also wrapped in other padding really well.

The suitcase’s polycarbonate shell is thin, and, to be honest, it felt cheap and flimsy at first. But it has proven tough after repeated abuses of baggage handlers. The textured, abrasion-masking diamond pattern exterior still looks great, and you’d have to squint hard to find wear marks.

Overall, I feel the hard-side design is not as much about protecting what’s inside as it is about not getting destroyed by lots of use. It is tougher and more protective than a soft-side case, but just don’t expect crush-proof protection of your gear.

Empty, the case weighs about 9 pounds. It rolls smooth on most surfaces thanks to four swiveling wheels. A retracting handle and a built-in combination lock round out the features.

Simple space: Interior of EXO Spinner

Don’t look for extravagant touches — this case has what you need but nothing more. Its utilitarian build is perfect for the cruel life of a piece of luggage. But above all of this we like the warranty, which the company states as a “lifetime warranty — exchange, return, whatever it takes.”

With good performance while traveling and a great warranty, the EXO 24” Spinner seems worth the $125 price. It comes in six colors, a look set for every globetrotter rolling a hard case on down the concourse with gear in tow.

T.C. Worley is based in Minneapolis.

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