The Amazon Basics 26-Inch Hardside Spinner (model number N989) is perfect for travelers who are on a budget but still want to have a fairly reliable suitcase. Although Amazon Basics products have a reputation for being hit or miss, this suitcase is firmly on the “hits” list. It delivers on all the essentials you want from a suitcase and provides top-notch maneuverability for its price point.
In this Amazon Basics 26-Inch Hardside Spinner review, you’ll learn what makes it one of the best budget suitcases out there. We’ll go over its design, durability, movability, and features to see what makes this suitcase so great.
- Uses four twin double spinner wheels
- Has a divider and 3 zippered pockets
- Four double spinner wheels
- Expandable for up to 15%
- Made of ABS plastic.
- Not durable enough for frequent flyers
- Doesn’t come with a TSA-approved lock
The Amazon Basics N989 26-Inch Hardside Spinner is a decent budget suitcase that looks great and feels great to carry around. Since it’s made from ABS, one of the less durable hardside suitcase materials, it’s not the best option for people who travel a lot. It also lacks a TSA-approved lock.
That said, it’s a good-looking suitcase with a sleek, unisex design that works for leisure and business travelers alike. While you can’t expect this suitcase to last more than a year or two of constant travel, you can trust it to stay scratch-free. Add the fact that you can expand it by up to 15% to pack extra items and this suitcase becomes a better choice than most.
Dimensions & Weight (6/10)
The Amazon Basics N989 26-Inch Hardside Spinner’s exact measurements are 26.7 x 18.3 x 11.4 inches (67.8 x 46.4 x 28.9 cm), making it a medium-sized checked-in suitcase. Even though you’ll have to pay check-in fees to bring this suitcase, it also lets you pack more stuff since it can expand by up to 15% of its original size. That’s easily another day or two of clothes, depending on your destination’s climate.
It comes in at 9.4 lbs (4.26 kg), putting it a bit over the average weight of 8.97 lbs for hardside medium-checked plastic suitcases. Although airlines typically put their weight restrictions for checked luggage at a generous 50 lbs or 70 lbs, the extra weight makes it less than ideal for older or less fit travelers.
Materials & Water-Resistance (8/15)
The Amazon Basics N989 26-Inch Hardside Spinner has an ABS hardshell that keeps your fragile items safe. Since it’s a plastic checked suitcase, it’s not exactly the best in terms of quality. Plastic suitcases crack easily when they’re thrown against a hard surface or placed under the weight of multiple other suitcases.
If you decide on getting this suitcase, you can expect it to keep its textured matte-like surface pristine thanks to its scratch-resistant finish.
It will keep your clothes dry during unexpected light rains, but it won’t offer more beyond the basic water resistance you can reasonably expect from plastic-based bags.
Though ABS is one of the best plastics for many products to be made from, it’s far from being the most durable option for suitcases. It’s one of the lightest materials, but it’s also one of the least impact-resistant because of its rigidity.
Surprisingly, few users of the Amazon Basics hardside spinner suitcases mention their suitcase shells breaking. Not all suitcases made from the same material are built the same so the Amazon hardside spinner may just be designed to be a bit stronger than other ABS suitcases on the market.
However, a number of users have complained that the wheels break after a few trips. It sounds alarming, but considering how few the complaints are overall, this is likely either a QA problem or a problem brought on by overpacking.
The suitcase has four double spinner wheels that allow you to rotate the suitcase by a full 360 degrees and a sturdy telescoping handle. In terms of moveability, this puts it up there with more expensive suitcases from brands like Delsey Paris.
This wheel type also makes it great for travelers with spine issues since you can let pull it behind you at a 90-degree angle. Plus, because of its eight wheels, you can reliably roll this on rough surfaces so you won’t have to worry about straining your spine from carrying it.
The suitcase comes with a handle on the side and top to help with storing it in the trunk of your taxi or an overhead compartment. It doesn’t have a bottom handle so if you’re lacking upper body strength, you might need some help.
Additional Features (5/10)
The Amazon Basics N989 26-Inch Hardside Spinner is not a suitcase for fussy travelers. This is a very barebones bag that has picked out a few basic features and executed them well.
What few additional features it does have boils down to an expandable interior and a decent number of organization options.
It expands by up to 15%, giving you enough room for another full set of clothes or two. Inside are two separate compartments, one with an X-shaped compression strap and one with a zipper.
The zippered side has two additional zippered pockets that you can stuff underwear or a grooming kit in.
This suitcase may not be durable enough for frequent business travel, but if it’s only the occasional out-of-town flight, you’ll find this to be the most professional-looking budget suitcase out there.
The first impressions of this bag will range from minimalist to luxurious because of its textured exterior. It comes in black, blue, orange, and navy blue, but the black one is easily the most impressive looking. Until you see the Amazon Basics logo, it’s going to be easy to mistake this for a more expensive suitcase.
The hardcase has clean horizontal lines that are reminiscent of the vertical decorative lines used in some Brutalist architecture. All in all, it’s a very fine-looking suitcase as long as you don’t stare at it too closely.
Unfortunately, the Amazon Basics N989 26-Inch Hardside Spinner only has a three-year luggage warranty provided by the Amazon Basics brand.
It doesn’t cover wear and tear, cosmetic damage or cleaning, and, most notably, damage and loss caused by the airline. If this suitcase breaks in transit or while being handled by airline employees, you can’t count on getting a replacement or your money back from Amazon Basics.
If your Amazon Basics suitcase has a manufacturing defect, Amazon doesn’t give you the option to choose between a replacement or a repair. The warranty even states that should a replacement occur, it’s up to Amazon to decide whether you get a new product or a refurbished suitcase.
In the event of a replacement, you’ll also have to pay to ship the original suitcase back to Amazon or you’ll be charged the full price of the replacement which, again, may not even be a new product.
Even with its many drawbacks, the price of the Amazon Basics N989 26-Inch Hardside Spinner easily makes it one of the best bang for buck budget suitcases. Of course, you can get a better suitcase for an extra hundred dollars that you’ll get more use out of. But unless you plan on traveling a lot, this is the suitcase to buy.
With this suitcase, you get great maneuverability, decent durability, and a low-key, but very attractive design that works for male and female travelers alike.
If Amazon provides a better warranty and adds a TSA-approved combination lock, this suitcase could easily blow its competition out of the water. But again, at its price, it’s really hard to nitpick this suitcase.
How Does the Amazon Basics N989 26-Inch Hardside Spinner Compare to Similar Suitcases?
If you can double your suitcase budget, the Samsonite Centric 24-Inch Checked Bag might be better suited to your needs and tastes. It’s made of high-quality polycarbonate that absorbs force so the hard shell doesn’t easily break due to dropping or luggage stacking. It also has a TSA-compatible lock and an expansion zipper that gives you about an inch or two of extra space.
Other than that, there’s little reason to pick the Samsonite Centric over the Amazon Basics hardside spinner. Though it’s two inches smaller, the Samsonite manages to weigh about the same as the Amazon Basics suitcase and while both bags expand, the humble Amazon Basics bag does so for an extra 15% of space.
For a cheaper alternative, you can opt for the Delsey Paris Helium Aero 25-Inch Checked Suitcase. It’s still much pricier than the Amazon Basics suitcase but is cheaper than the Samsonite Centric.
The Delsey Paris Helium gives you two packing compartments, a TSA lock, and a polycarbonate hard shell. You’re losing two zippered pockets from the Amazon Basics bag with this suitcase, but in exchange, you get 10 years of warranty with more or less the same terms.
Aside from the ABS hard shell and the lack of a TSA lock, there’s really little else that you’ll want from the Amazon Basics N989 26-Inch Hardside Spinner. It’s a great suitcase for travelers on a tight budget who just need something to protect their stuff during the occasional weekend trip or a visit to their parent’s place.
Some users have complained about the wheels breaking, but so far, it seems to be a rare occurrence. It admittedly has a subpar warranty policy, but as long as you’re careful with it and understand how much use the suitcase can take, you should be fine.
The bag looks more expensive than it really is thanks to its textured hard shell and tasteful design details. You won’t have a hard time rocking this bag with a suit or your best airport outfit. Traveling with it won’t be a hassle either because of the four double spinner wheels, telescopic handle, and top and bottom handles that all make this bag convenient to carry.