I am a handspinner who likes to travel with my spinning wheel to workshops, camping, parks, the beach, just about anywhere. So I spent a little time looking for the perfect portable wheels that would fit most of my needs. Notice I said “wheels”. In my search I have found (for me) that one wheel does not fit all. For instance, if I’m just driving to a local workshop, I prefer to take along my Ashford Traveler or Louet S10 DT. They both sit very nicely in the car with a seat belt. But I sometimes I also take the Ashford Traditional and lay it flat in the back of the jeep. If I’m flying coast to coast I prefer a foldable wheel with a padded carry bag and is airline compatible. My Ashford Joy or the Kromski Sonata are my favorites for air travel. I have a friend who takes cruises with the portable electric mini Spinner by Hansen Crafts.
Many of today’s spinning wheel manufacturers have a travel wheel model. So how do you select the best one for your needs? This guide will answer these questions and provide reviews on what I consider to be the best travel wheels to consider. Let’s start with a few common questions
What is a travel wheel?
A travel wheel is any type of wheel that is easy to transport. As I described earlier, it can be a Castle style, Saxony, or a folding wheel. Some basic features are, it is:
- easy to transport in a vehicle
- easy to carry on bike
- lightweight and easy to carry when hiking
- airline compatible as carry on
- able to fit small spaces
- stable for use on rugged terrains/surfaces and the beach
How will you use your travel wheel?
When making a decision to buy, you also need to consider how you will use your wheel. If you can only afford to buy one, you want to select a wheel that will satisfy your primary needs so you can enjoy it for many years. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself and respond to:
- Will the majority of my traveling be by car or plane? Or maybe you like to cruise.
- Do I need a lighter weight wheel with a carry bag that’s easy to transport when hiking or walking between air terminals? Yes, getting to the next air terminal in the larger airports feels like hiking sometimes.
- Do I need a folding wheel that will fit in small spaces?
- Do I really need a new wheel? Why don’t I just carry a drop spindle instead? Sorry, I had to throw that one in for various reasons.
Why are travel wheels so expensive
This is a common question I get asked and you may be asking it as well. You will find that many of the wheels are over $500 and here are a few good reasons why.
- They require additional engineering and specialized skills to build.
- Better momentum and stability is needed therefore, more expensive dense materials are used to produce.
What handspinners want in a travel wheel
- Sturdy – No wobble
- Easy to transport
- Easy on the budget
- Outdoors stability
What are your thoughts?
Do you have a favorite travel/portable wheel? If so, what is it and what makes it a good wheel to travel with. What other portable wheels would you recommend? Which travel wheel would you like to own?