- Buyer's Guide
Thule Revolve Carry On Spinner Review
When you think of luggage, the Swedish brand Thule may not be one of the first companies that comes to mind, but that may soon change. The company has a rich history that spans over 75 years in product engineering specializing in plastic and metal. So it comes as no surprise that they finally entered the hardshell luggage game and have applied their knowledge and expertise to their new Revolve collection.
I was excited to get my hands on something from the hard-sided luggage collection after seeing it shown at OR last year. After previously testing their soft-sided Subterra Carry-On, I knew that Thule would not disappoint. I brought the Revolve Carry On Spinner on a couple of trips and this is what I came to find.
Who It Suits
Anyone looking for design-driven, understated style, and quality hardshell luggage. The business traveler looking to make a statement, the educated consumer, and the casual trip taker who wants a reliable and easy-to-use carry-on solution.
Who It Doesn’t
Those who tend to overpack or need flexibility with storage space, business travelers who want a one-bag solution, and the price-conscious traveler. Also, those looking for a high-end brand name.
The first thing that commands attention is the sleek lines of the luggage’s exterior shell. The vertical contours are reminiscent of modern architecture. Each of the handles tucks neatly into place without distracting from the overall shape of the vessel. The overall design is clean, modern, and tasteful. Even the vertical and centrally placed emblem emblazoned with the Thule logo is just right with its brushed finish. It suits both genders alike without being too masculine or feminine.
The luggage is made in Europe at Thule’s in-house manufacturing facilities, is comprised of 100% virgin polycarbonate and uses no recycled materials, which ensures supreme strength without compromise. The materials are not only rugged enough to withstand the abusive nature of travel, but also lightweight, with the carry-on weighing a mere 8.6 pounds. The luggage has a reinforced front panel and corners to protect from drops or other distress. Thankfully, I haven’t had to check the bag in yet to test the treatment in the hands of the dreaded TSA worker, but if I did I would be confident my contents would arrive unscathed.
The design is clever and thoughtful. One highlight is the built-in feet on the side of the luggage that could easily be overlooked. These feet allow the luggage to sit upright on its side without toppling over in the event you need to save space or in places where the luggage won’t fit vertically.
The hidden integrated ID slot feels like a secret compartment keeping your contact info safe from view and it utilizes the space functionally, although it does stick a bit and requires a little effort to slide open.
A key factor to any rolling bag are the wheels. Thule has incorporated an eight-wheel system complete with oversized rear wheels and smaller front wheels. This allows for easy two-wheel maneuverability over rough terrain or for speeding through an airport to catch a flight. The wheels are constructed from polycarbonate and ABS with a TPR tire and provide a nice and quiet roll. The smaller wheels help to maximize the internal space of the main compartment while maintaining upright stability. This is one of the smoothest rolling luggage pieces I’ve ever used. In fact, I almost lost the luggage when I decided to let go of the handle for a second on a slightly inclined sidewalk curbside at the airport and didn’t notice until it was a few feet away from me. I found it to be very nimble while navigating through the airport on both tile and carpet.
Functionally, this luggage performs outstandingly. The two grab handles are incredibly strong, have a nice feel for grip, and most importantly are easy to use. The top grab handle makes it simple to carry up a staircase or grab from an overhead bin, in which it fits seamlessly. The telescoping handle has an ergonomic grip and opens with the push of a button to slide up quickly and efficiently and locks into one of three positions. I found the handle lightweight and felt that it provided ample support to push and pull the luggage around at will and in unison with the wheels.
The luggage is packed with security measures, from the TSA locks to the puncture-resistant YKK zippers. A frame is found around the opening of the case to help protect contents and keep the structure sound while traveling and safe from would-be thieves. As a fail-safe, in case one of the zippers were to break the TSA lock and frame would keep valuables secured. Sticky zippers are a pet peeve of mine, but thankfully, I found the zippers zipped incredibly smoothly to open the clamshell-type luggage.
Storage is as abundant as can be from a hardshell carry-on with a 33L capacity or enough for a long weekend’s worth of clothes. The luggage opens wide as a clamshell to unveil an open side with a compression strap and a closed zippered pocket.
The internal compartment maximizes packing space due to the design details. The interior is lined with soft felt that contours as close to the shell as possible to provide the most space available. The compression strap adjusts easily and keeps items in place. The zippered divider adds more organization to separate the two sides along with a zippered pocket within the divider. I tend to use packing cubes as an additional organizational tool for travel as the organization is minimal within the carry-on.
Thule put their products through rigorous internal tests before they make their way into the public’s hands and confidently offers a limited lifetime warranty on their luggage.
The Not So Good
I struggled to find any notable cons to this luggage. It’s a brilliant design and works wonderfully; however, the cost for some may be a little steep at $399.95.
The dark exterior of my black carry-on does show dirt and scuffs a bit more than I would prefer, as well as my kid’s french fry grease-induced fingerprints from playing with the luggage as if it was a large Hot Wheels car. However, it wipes clean pretty easily with water and a soft towel.
The handle works fine but is hard plastic. A rubber or soft covering would be great for a better handfeel.
As a hardshell, there are standard limitations compared to their soft-sided counterparts. No expansion for additional storage capacity, no external pockets for quick access and organization, and the potential for more visible damage such as scratches or dents. I’ve yet to come across any major battle wounds, although I’ve only taken the luggage on a couple of trips. For those who like to travel with more than one pair of shoes, the space is limiting and even a size 9.5 doesn’t quite fit horizontally due to the lack of give from the rigid exterior.
For those who travel with laptops or camera gear, you’d be hard-pressed to use this luggage as an all-in-one solution and may want to pair it with a backpack or messenger.
Thule as a brand sits in a precarious position. On one side of the extreme, many people are bargain hunters and simply look for the cheapest luggage they can find. On the other side of the spectrum are consumers simply looking for luxury brand names and logos. And in the middle, you’ll find the discerning, educated shopper who wants both form and function and understands that quality materials and craftsmanship can come at a cost. This is the Thule consumer and the Revolve luggage will appeal to those with refined taste.
Overall, I dig this carry-on for its stylish good looks, lightweight construction, and extremely smooth roll. I’ll continue to use it for my shorter trips and overnight stays in place of a duffel and pair it with a backpack for traveling. For those looking for more options, the Revolve collection is available in multiple sizes and in three colorways.