THE PRODUCT: Carry-on luggage
THE COMPANY: Away
THE LOWDOWN: Nifty, thoughtful carry-on bags that combine practicality, simplicity and modernity to give you the perfect organizational tool and travel companion
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I‘ve been in desperate need of a new carry-on for a while, so when I stumbled across an ad on social media for a luggage company called Away, I found myself scrolling through its website on my phone.
The New York City-based company is simple; it offers suitcases in four sizes – the Carry-On, the Bigger Carry-On, the Medium, and the Large – and retails each option for less than $300. As they like to call it, it’s “first class luggage at a coach price”.
Instantly, I was curious. The simplicity yet modernity of each suitcase – not to mention, the abundance of color choices – tempted me enough until I caved and purchased the $225 Carry-On in Green (which I obligatorily had monogrammed for an additional $50.)
After an anxious three weeks (the extra shipping time allocated so a New York artist could hand-paint my initials onto the bag), my anticipated little packing partner finally arrived.
And needless to say, I. Was. Excited.
I immediately unwrapped the bag from its dust cover (nice touch) and twirled it around my apartment, surprised at how lightweight it felt and impressed by the gorgeous detailing of my initials’ black-and-white letters atop a luscious green hardcover body.
The size I chose is the smallest one on offer at Away. At 21.7” x 13.7” x 9”, it fits the specified carry-on size restrictions for all major airlines – something I desperately needed, as my other carry-on suitcases all fit to size constraints of days past, which means I’ve only been 60% successful sneaking them onto planes without having to check them.
I digress. With my new Away suitcase in hand, I was ready to break it in on a holiday weekend trip cross-country. Four flights and a combined total of fifteen hours of travel later, I can confidently give the new bag two thumbs up.
Throughout the journey, here are five of my favorite things I found about getting away with Away:
1. The premium 360-degree rotating wheels
I know, I know, most modern suitcases have this technology. That being said, this was my first bag with the-limit-of-rotation-does-not-exist wheels, and they’re honestly a bit life-changing. Gone are the days spent dragging heavy carry-ons down airport terminals of the world – now I can glide mine smoothly in front of me and give off the impression I have things way more under control than I do.
2. The built-in charger
The bag has a built-in battery and comes with a USB cable and wall adapter, so you’ll never have to worry about fighting for a seat next to an outlet again. I loved how nifty the charger was; it’s located right below the adjustable handle, so it doesn’t take up any unnecessary space in your already-precious cargo. Not to mention, it’s so convenient being able to charge your phone while you’re literally on the go.
The battery can hold up to five iPhone charges, and each suitcase is equipped with a mini screwdriver so you can easily pop out the battery if need be.
3. The combination lock
I love this! The bag’s zippers snap into the lock, and can only be freed once you’ve put in the correct code (or if you’re a member of the TSA – the lock is agent-approved!)
Though I can see the lock getting frustrating when you need instant access to your bag, it grants peace of mind to know that thieves will have a hard time meddling with your belongings.
4. Its weight
For being a hardcover bag, I was genuinely surprised at how lightweight the carry-on is (it weighs 7 pounds total!) I was worried that the material would be flimsy, but it proved quite flexible throughout my travels. On top of that, it was genuinely amazing having a bag that didn’t nearly throw my back out every time I lifted it into the overhead bin (or cause me to accidentally drop it onto an unsuspecting passenger’s head. I’ve had some close calls.)
5. The design
The Carry-On is compact, sleek, and practical – and I managed to fit a whole lot more into it than I was expecting (we’re talking 5 days of outfits plus half a load of laundry into a weekend-size suitcase).
The bag is organized into two main compartments; one for clothes, the other for shoes, makeup, accessories, etcetera, complete with compression straps. Rolled up into a discreet pouch on the inside is a nylon laundry bag (amazing).
I got complimented by a TSA officer inspecting my bag that it was extremely well-packed, which is humorous considering I’m usually the type to throw my belongings inside haphazardly to avoid having to do extra work (I see the irony in that statement, too.) The nifty layout of my Away bag and the simplicity of its design genuinely allowed me to be more organized than I’ve ever been while packing for a trip. In fact, it might actually have made me – dare I say it? – excited to pack for my next one.
Now for the final verdict…
My only gripe with the product pertained to its adjustable handle. Even fully expanded, the handle was a bit wobbly, which cheapened the feel of it. Additionally, you have to push the button at the top fully down in order to adjust it – that took me a few tries to internalize and also felt like lower-tier quality.
Despite that, my first trip with the Away Carry-On bag was a success and I fully recommend it to anyone in search of their next overhead compartment companion. Think of it as the practical plane accessory for the modern, savvy traveler.
As an added bonus, snag $20 off your own Away suitcase by using this link! (Please note: the discount will not show up until after you start the check-out process, so don’t worry if you can’t see it immediately!) If you decide to try one out, let me know what you think in the comments below. Happy traveling!