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Away Luggage Review: Hype or Worth It?


Away Luggage is probably the most disruptive luggage brand on the market today. They offer beautifully designed, high-quality, durable suitcases that come with one of the best warranties currently offered by any luggage brand out there.

They gained immense popularity through their strong social media presence, with a myriad of influencers and celebrities promoting the brand on social media platforms.

But is Away Luggage really worth the hype? Or are they just really good at marketing?

In this Away Luggage review, I put their products to the test to determine whether or not they’re a good investment.

(Spoiler: if you’re looking for a suitcase designed with clean lines and smooth surfaces that is ALSO incredibly practical and will last the test of time, Away is absolutely worth it!)

Away Luggage First Impressions

I first learned about Away via my Instagram feed. Their marketing is undeniably great! They are notoriously known as the suitcase brand that took over Instagram.

I was drawn to their products even before I knew much about the brand. They do a great job of communicating their vision of thoughtful travel and the way their suitcases can help you live out that vision.

The company positions itself as offering innovative luggage and carry solutions, created by travelers for travelers. Everything the brand puts out communicates their belief that travel should be more seamless and less stressful, full of intention and purpose.

The aesthetics are top-notch, with simple and modern designs. They offer a variety of sizes and colors. It’s clear the designers paid a lot of attention to the appearance, but I wasn’t sure if the quality would hold up to other, more established brands.

My experience with the carry-on luggage, specifically their original Away Carry-On, exceeded my expectations. After over a year of use, the luggage still looks practically new! This really shifted my perspective of the brand; it’s more than just a nice-looking suitcase.

Away uses high-quality construction techniques and high end materials for all its products that stand the test of time. Their suitcases and bags are made from polycarbonate, aluminum, and water-resistant nylon.

Yes, their designs are sleek, but they are also durable and high-performing.

On top of that, their attention to detail and creativity in things like the built-in USB ports for charging devices, strong and functional internal compression, and removable laundry bags, make for an overall smooth user experience.

Away Luggage Pros and Cons

Okay, let’s talk specifics.

Like many suitcases on the market, Away offers a sturdy design (a non-negotiable for the modern traveler). All their suitcases have smooth multi-directional spinner wheels, which make it easy to navigate through tight spaces. The wheels are also very quiet, which is a must in my book.

The Away Carry-On and Checked bags come with a TSA-approved combination lock to help you keep your belongings secure. Again, pretty standard these days but great to have. 

Outside of the products themselves, Away’s has a reputation for top-notch customer service, an impressive return policy, and a solid limited lifetime warranty. If you ever damage your suitcase, they will repair or replace it for you. I respect companies that stand behind their product: it shows a lot about their commitment to building the best suitcase possible.

At the same time, however, Away might not be for everyone.

Away luggage is heavier than most hard-shell suitcases on the market. If you’re looking for something ultra-lightweight this may not be the best choice.

The prices can also be higher compared to other similar brands like Monos and July. The style options Away offers are limited, so if you’re not a fan of their overall brand look and feel, don’t expect to find something radically different when digging through their website.

Pros

  • 100-day trial period
  • Amazing warranty on defects and damage
  • Modern and sleek design
  • Variety of sizes for carry-on and checked luggage
  • Durable materials like aluminum and polycarbonate
  • Smooth multi-directional spinner wheels that make it easy to navigate
  • TSA-approved combination lock for security while traveling
  • Internal compression straps to fit more in your suitcase
  • Comes with a custom black leather luggage tag
  • Hidden laundry bag to help you stay organized while traveling

Cons

  • Not the most lightweight option on the market
  • A limited selection of designs available
  • Can be more expensive than other suitcases on the market.
  • The carrying handle can be slightly stiff

Who is Away Luggage?

The company was founded in New York City by two women, Jen Rubio and Steph Korey. In fact, it’s one of the highest-funded female-backed startups to date.

After Jen had a suitcase fail catastrophically in a Swiss airport, she started searching for more reliable luggage. When she couldn’t find anything that met her expectations, Jen teamed up with Steph Korey from Warber Parker to develop a hard-shell suitcase that is both beautiful and durable: Luggage for the modern traveler.

Away’s approach to luggage design is influenced by their real-world experiences as travelers. They aim to understand the needs of modern travelers and create products that cater to these needs.

Away Luggage Review

Materials

Away Luggage Material

Away suitcases are primarily offered in two materials: polycarbonate and aluminum.

Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic that is highly resistant to impact and scratches. It is a lightweight material that is also flexible, which means it can absorb the shock of bumps and knocks during travel.

Polycarbonate suitcases are lightweight and highly durable, making them ideal for frequent travelers who want a reliable suitcase that is easy to carry. 

Aluminum is a lightweight metal that is highly resistant to damage and wear. It is heavier than polycarbonate, but it provides a level of protection that is unmatched by other materials.

Away’s aluminum suitcases are heavier and very expensive, but they provide more protection and a more premium appearance. They are ideal for anyone who wants the most luxurious and sophisticated suitcase for their travels.

Aesthetic

Away bags are known for their stylish and modern appearance. The brand has become a popular choice for anyone who wants luggage that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

There are nine standard colors to choose from—navy, petal, and asphalt are my favorite. With all the options it’s pretty easy to find a color that matches your personal style.

The brand’s signature suitcases have a hard-shell exterior, with a minimalist design and a smooth and ribbed finish that gives them a sophisticated look.

Organization

Away Luggage Organization

Away luggage is designed with a thoughtful organization system intended to make packing and traveling more efficient. And it works great!

The suitcases are designed with a variety of internal compartments and pockets, which you can use to keep everything organized and accessible.

The interior of the suitcase features a zippered compartment, which you can use to store smaller items such as toiletries, socks, and underwear.

There is a mesh panel on the interior of the suitcase to separate items and prevent them from shifting during travel.

Away luggage also includes compression straps. This is great for maximizing space in your suitcase.

In addition to the interior compartments and compression straps, some Away carry-on bags also have an exterior pocket, which you can use to store items that need to be easily accessible, such as passports, boarding passes, or electronics.

Durability

In the past few years, Away luggage has built a reputationfor its durability and high-quality construction, in addition to its design. 

The brand’s signature hard-shell suitcases are made from high-quality polycarbonate material. This material is designed to withstand the wear and tear of travel. It is lightweight yet strong. It is also resistant to scratches and dings, which can help the suitcase maintain its appearance even after frequent use.

The smooth-rolling 360-degree spinner wheels are designed to stand up to impacts and use on rough surfaces.

Away luggage is also designed with reinforced corners and zippers. These help prevent damage and ensure that the suitcase can withstand the rigors of travel.

On top of this, Away offers a limited lifetime warranty for its suitcases, which is a testament to its confidence in the durability and longevity of its products. 

Away Luggage Dimensions & Specifications

Away’s core collection is available in 5 different sizes. This includes The Daily Carry-On, The Carry-On, The Bigger Carry-On, The Medium, and The Large. 

To get technical, here’s the exact comparison of models based on their dimensions:

The Daily Carry-On The Carry-On The Bigger Carry-On The Medium The Large
Best for  in-flight essentials or for use as a weekend bag. business travelers or short trip under a week travelers who need a little more space than the standard Carry-On provides longer trips, such as week-long vacations travelers who need a lot of space for extended trips
Accommodates 1-2 outfits 5 to 7 outfits 6-9 outfits 1 week of travel essentials 2+ weeks of travel essentials
Fits in overhead bin Yes Yes Yes No  No
Exterior measurements 16.5 in x 17.3 in x  9 in 13.0 in x 11.0 in x 1.0 in 22.7 in x 14.7 in x 9.6 in 26.0 in x 18.5 in x 11.0 in 29.0 in x 20.5 in x 12.5 in
Interior measurements 16.1 in x 15.0 in x 7.5 in 17.0 in x 13.3 in  20.9 in x 14.6 in 24.0 in x 17.3 in 26.8 in x 19.3 in
Weight 8.16 lbs 7.05 lbs 7.50 lbs 9.92 lbs 11.68 lbs
Capacity 9.76 gal 10.51 gal 12.65 gal 18.18 gal 26.21 gal
Pocket 13.0 in x 11.0 in x 1.0 in None None None None

Several of the models are also available in a “flex” size. For example, you can purchase The Carry-On Flex. This means that the suitcase can be expanded using an exterior zipper to accommodate more items when needed. 

Away Luggage Features

When I think about luggage features, I want to find elements that enhance the use of the luggage. These could be unique storage or packing systems, different handles, and straps, or any creative solutions the manufacturer adds to the product.

Smooth-Rolling Wheels

Away Luggage Rolling Wheels

Away’s 360-degree spinner wheels are a key feature of the brand’s checked and carry-on luggage. They are designed to provide a smooth and quiet rolling experience, and can rotate in any direction. 

If you’re coming from more basic luggage brands, you’ll immediately notice the difference with these wheels. These high-end wheels are whisper-quiet and very well built. They feel very premium compared to the flimsy plastic wheels you’ll find on cheaper luggage.

Compression System

Away’s interior compression system allows you to pack more efficiently and with less effort. It consists of a folding divider with a set of straps that can be tightened to compress the contents of the suitcase.

By compressing your clothes and other items, this system holds them securely in place and helps create more space in your suitcase, allowing you to pack more efficiently. This was especially helpful when I was packing bulky items like sweaters or jackets, which tend to take up a lot of room.

I found the Away compression straps in my carry-on very easy to use. I simply packed my items in the suitcase as I normally would, then covered them with the interior divider and used the straps to compress the contents.

Removable Laundry Bag

Away Luggage Laundry Bag

The Away removable laundry bag is a special feature of Away’s larger suitcases (checked luggage bags). This removable laundry bag is a convenient way to keep your damp or dirty clothes separate from the rest of your packed items.

The laundry bag is basically a removable pouch that attaches to the interior of the suitcase. It’s made from a water-resistant material to prevent any moisture or odor from spreading to other items in your luggage. It’s perfect for holding any dirty or damp clothes, such as bathing suits or workout clothes.

Built-In Battery

The built-in battery pack is probably my favorite feature. The battery pack is built directly into the Away carry-on bag and can be accessed through a convenient external USB port.

With this feature, you can easily charge your phone, tablet, or other electronic devices while on the go. It has enough capacity to fully charge a phone several times. I can’t tell you how much more convenient this is than hunting for an open outlet in the airport. I love being able to plug in my phone no matter where I am.

It’s worth noting that this feature is available only on the Away Carry-On and Bigger Carry-On models. 

The battery pack is designed to comply with all major airline policies and is TSA-approved. You can take it with you on your travels without any concerns about security or restrictions.

In the case that you decide to check your Away carry-on, the battery pack can be removed. The system is very easy—it comes out by simply clicking the eject button.

Exterior Pocket

Away Luggage Exterior Pocket

If you’re looking for a luggage model that has an exterior pocket, you’ll want to go for the aptly named Away “Carry-On with Pocket.”

This carry-on suitcase includes an exterior pocket to provide additional storage space for anyone who needs quick access to essential items during their journey. The pocket is located on the front of the suitcase and is secured with a durable zipper.

There is a padded sleevefor a laptop or tablet, which can hold a device up to 15 inches in size. This pocket is lined with a soft, protective material that helps to keep your device safe and secure during transit.

In addition to the laptop sleeve, the exterior pocket also has a range of smaller compartments for storing items like phones, chargers, passports, boarding passes, and other travel essentials.

Away Luggage Accessories

If you’re interested in adding more functionality and style to your travel gear, Away has an assortment of accessories that can help you optimize your travel experience.

Packing Cubes

Away Insider Packing Cubes

One of their most popular accessories are the Away packing cubes, which come in sets of four or six, and are designed to fit perfectly inside their suitcases. 

The sets include cubes of different sizes. This is important since you’ll want different options for your pants vs. your socks. 

They are designed with a mesh panel on top, making it easy to identify the contents inside without having to unpack or open everything. This is great for when you’re in a hurry or don’t want to disrupt the rest of your packed items.

The biggest advantage of the packing cubes is their compatibility with Away suitcases. The cubes are designed to fill an Away suitcase and work with their compression straps, so you can really maximize your packing space.They can also be stored flat when not in use, which is a great space-saving feature.

Although packing cubes are not necessary for everyone, they definitely make the packing process more convenient and less stressful for me. 

Pros

  • The Away packing cubes fit perfectly inside their suitcases, making packing more efficient and convenient.
  • The set includes cubes of different sizes, allowing you to organize your items according to category and pack them more efficiently.
  • The mesh panel on top of the cubes makes it easy to identify the contents inside without having to unpack everything.
  • They can be stored flat when not in use, saving you storage space.

Cons

  • The packing cubes are an additional expense that not everyone may find necessary.
  • The sets of four or six may not be enough for those who require more organization and packing options.

Garment Sleeve

Away Centerfold Garment Sleeve

Another accessory offered by Away is the garment sleeve, which you can use to store and transport formal wear or other delicate clothing items. 

Made with water-resistant nylon, this garment sleeve is perfect for protecting  suits, dresses, or any other hanging clothes that you want to keep wrinkle-free. The material also feels durable and well-made, giving me confidence that my clothes will be safe and protected during transit.

One of the things I appreciate about the garment bag is its ability to clip inside The Bigger Carry-On luggage. This is a game-changer for those of us who like to keep our luggage organized and tidy. No more struggling with multiple bags or having to carry an additional garment bag. 

The organizational details of the bag also help keep everything in its place, with tiered loops that can fit multiple hangers and two zippered pockets for storing accessories or jewelry.

Another feature I love about this garment sleeve is its internal structure. It helps to keep clothes secure and wrinkle-free during transit. The bag opens vertically, making it easy to pack and access my clothes without having to dig through layers of clothing. 

The metal hook on top also comes in handy for easily hanging the bag up upon arrival.

Pros

  • The garment bag is perfect for storing and transporting formal wear or other delicate clothing items.
  • Made with water-resistant nylon, the garment sleeve helps protect clothes from spills and moisture during transit.
  • The garment bag is well-made and feels durable, providing confidence that clothes will be safe during transit.
  • The bag clips inside The Bigger Carry-On bag, making it easy to keep luggage organized and tidy.
  • Features tiered loops that can fit multiple hangers, as well as two zippered pockets for storing accessories or jewelry.
  • The internal structure of the bag helps keep clothes secure and wrinkle-free during transit.

Cons

  • The bag may not be large enough for certain types of formal wear, like certain dresses.
  • The bag is specifically designed to clip inside The Bigger Carry-On suitcase, limiting its compatibility with other bags.

Shoe Cube

Away Shoe Cube

If you’re like me, packing shoes can be a bit of a challenge when traveling. That’s why I was excited to try out the Away Shoe Cubes

Like the packing cubes and garment bag, the shoe cubes are also made from water-resistant nylon.

One of the features I appreciate about the shoe cubes is the collapsible divider, which allows you to store and separate multiple pairs of shoes. This makes it easy to keep your shoes organized, clean, and easy to access when you need them. The handle is also a nice touch, making it easy to carry or hang the cubes when needed.

I’ve just used a plastic bag for years, and this is a huge upgrade overall! 

The last thing worth noting is that the shoe cubes can be stored flat when not in use. Although, I find myself using the storage bag in my closet at home, even when not traveling. 

Pros

  • Are perfect for keeping shoes organized and clean during travel.
  • The collapsible divider allows you to store and separate multiple pairs of shoes, making it easy to keep your shoes organized and easy to access.
  • The handle is a useful addition, making it easy to carry or hang the cubes when needed.
  • Can be stored flat when not in use.
  • Fits conveniently in carry-on luggage

Cons

  • May not fit all types of shoes, especially larger sizes or bulkier styles.
  • May take up space in your luggage, reducing the amount of space available for other items.
  • The Away model may not provide as much protection as a hard-sided shoe case or other more heavy-duty options.

Toiletry Bag

Away Small Toiletry Bag

The Away Toiletry Bag is a small zippered case that exhibits Away’s functional design and attention to detail. It has an array of features that make it perfect for keeping your toiletries organized on the go.

One of the features I appreciate about the Away Small Toiletry Bag is its exterior zip pocket. This is great for storing grab-and-go items, making them easily accessible during your travels.

The water-resistant nylon body and coated wipeable interior make this bag easy to clean in case of any spills.

Inside the bag, there are two separate transparent and mesh interior pockets, perfect for keeping your products organized and easy to access. The clamshell opening also makes it easy to pack and access your essentials quickly and efficiently.

While this is the small version of the toiletry bag, it still has plenty of space for most of my travel-sized toiletries. It’s also lightweight, which is important when you’re trying to keep your luggage weight down.

It’s worth noting that Away also sells a larger version and a hanging version of this toiletry bag. These are great if you travel frequently or needs a bit more space for your toiletries.

Pros

  • The exterior zip pocket is convenient for storing frequently used items.
  • Water-resistant nylon body and coated interior make it easy to clean and prevent leaks.
  • The transparent and mesh interior pockets help keep toiletries organized and easy to find.
  • The clamshell opening makes packing and accessing toiletries efficient.
  • The small size is still spacious enough for most travel-sized toiletries.
  • Other options are available for those who need more space or prefer to hang their toiletries.

Cons

  • The small size may not be sufficient for those who need to pack larger toiletries or multiple products.
  • The zipper may be prone to breaking or jamming if overpacked.

Where to Buy Away Luggage

Overall, purchasing from Away’s website is the easiest and most direct way to buy their luggage. Their suitcases can be purchased directly from their website

Away offers free shipping on all orders within the United States, as well as free returns within 100 days of purchase.

While Away is primarily an online store but they do have retail locations in major cities around the US and UK. If you happen to be in a large city like New York or London, it can be fun to pop into the store and get a feel for the luggage in person. You can check out the full list of their physical locations on their website.

Away Luggage Alternatives

Away has become a popular luggage brand in recent years, but there are several alternative options available if you’re looking for similar products.

The top brands I would recommend looking into as alternatives are Monos, July, and Samsonite.

Away vs. Monos

Away and Monos are two popular luggage brands that offer similar products. Both brands sell sleek, hard-shell suitcases with spinner wheels.

One of the main differences is in their design. Away has a more minimalist and sleek aesthetic with a focus on streamlined functionality, while Monos has a more classic and elegant design with a focus on durability.

In terms of materials, both brands use high-quality materials such as polycarbonate for the hardshell exterior of their suitcases, but Monos also uses aircraft-grade aluminum reinforcement for added strength.

Both brands’ suitcases are remarkably similar in the features they offer. Both have interior organization systems with folding dividers and compression straps, well-engineered spinner wheels, integrated TSA-approved locks, and sturdy aluminum handles.

Away is generally a bit more affordable than Monos.

Ultimately, the choice between Away and Monos comes down to personal preference and travel needs. Both brands offer quality luggage options with unique features, so you may want to consider factors such as design, color, and features when making a decision.

Away vs. July

In terms of design, Away and July bags have a similar look but there are some subtle differences between them as well. For instance, Away suitcases are ribbed while July suitcases are less textured and have a smooth exterior with one dividing line. Additionally, July luggage has a wider range of color options available and a little bit of a sporty feel, while Away offers a minimalist subdued color pallet.

Both Away and July bags come with several convenient features such as built-in USB chargers and TSA-approved locks.

One feature that sets July apart is personalization. When you purchase a bag from July, you can request a custom personalization printed on your carry-on or checked bag. This could be your name or a fun word to be printed on your bag. The personalization will always make it easy to find your bag on the baggage carousel.

When it comes to cost, Away’s products are slightly cheaper than those from July.

In my eyes, there’s no clear winner when it comes to comparing Away and July luggage – it depends on your individual needs and preferences. 

Away vs. Samsonite

Away and Samsonite are two popular luggage brands with distinct differences in price, design, and features. 

Samsonite is a well-established brand that has been around for over 100 years, while Away is a newer brand that has gained popularity in recent years.

Samsonite tends to be more affordable than Away. Samsonite offers a wide range of luggage at different price points, including budget-friendly options. In contrast, Away’s luggage tends to be more expensive, with prices starting around $200 for their most basic carry-on suitcase.

Design-wise, both brands offer a range of options, but their aesthetics are very different. Samsonite’s designs tend to be more traditional and conservative, with a focus on durability and functionality.

Away’s designs are more modern and stylish, with a focus on minimalism and practicality. Away’s luggage features hard-shell exteriors in a range of colors, while Samsonite offers both hard and soft-shell exteriors and comes in more old-school styles and colors.

Overall, Samsonite luggage is a good option for those looking for affordable, traditional luggage with a focus on durability. Away is a good option for those looking for stylish, modern luggage with unique features to make travel more convenient.

Away Luggage FAQs

Is Away checked luggage worth it?

Yes, the Away checked luggage is worth it if you are looking for a durable modern suitcase. The hard shell exterior and convenient features like built-in USB chargers, and compression straps, make it a great choice.

Is Away really worth it?

If you are looking for stylish and modern luggage with convenient features, then Away is definitely worth it. The hard shell exterior provides great protection for your belongings and will withstand frequent use.

Which is better, Samsonite or Away?

Samsonite is a good option if you are looking for affordable, traditional luggage with a focus on durability. Away is a good option if you are looking for stylish, modern luggage with unique features to make travel more convenient.

Why do people love Away luggage?

The main reason is design. People love Away luggage because it’s stylish and modern. Plus it has convenient features like built-in USB chargers and internal compression, and a hard shell exterior for extra protection.

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