Away Luggage [Reviewed]

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Banner Image: Away Luggage

For on-trend travelers, getting away isn’t enough. It’s about getting away in style. So it’s really no surprise that Away luggage’s colorful and minimalist style was an instant hit with fashion conscious globetrotters when it rolled out in 2015. 

If you’ve been eying one of these tasty suitcases as it glides by on the carousel but haven’t been able to commit yet, we’re going to fill you in on a few important details that could influence your decision. In other words, what do you really get for the premium price tag?

But before we dive into the specifics of their most popular products, let’s talk briefly about the Away brand.

Up, Up and Away

The travel gear company Away seemed to take off pretty much since its inception thanks to its hardside carry-on luggage with a pop-out battery that you can use to charge your phone. Available in a variety of fun (and sometimes seasonal or limited-edition colors), fashion forward travelers can be seen strutting through airports with it around the world.

Since the launch of the original Away Carry-On, the company’s popularity has been on the rise with the addition of other products like the Bigger Carry-On suitcase and the Flex (expandable) Carry-On.

Away also makes a variety of larger suitcases, travel bags, backpacks, packing shells and other accessories for a savvy getaway. 

Let’s Talk Price

Away is a direct-to-consumer retailer, and all of their gear is sold primarily online (although they do have a few brick and mortar locations where you can browse in person). The advantage of this business model is that it cuts out the price hikes from middlemen. Though you won’t find them on Amazon, and at $275 for the original carry-on, it ain’t exactly cheap.

Still, when you consider that other premium luggage brands like Tumi and Rimowa sell carry-ons for triple to quadruple the price, Away is a more economical option for the on-trend traveler willing to spend a few extra bucks to get away in style. 

Also, if you buy a set as opposed to a single suitcase, you can save a few bucks. For example, if you purchase a carry-on and a checked suitcase, you’ll save $50. Add both the medium and the large suitcases, and you’ll save $100. And because Away suitcases nest nicely one inside the other, you won’t have to worry about taking up extra storage room. 

Related: What is Slow Travel and How To Incorporate It Into Your Next Vacation

The Perks of Away Luggage

Away luggage set next to a stone wall

So what are some of the features that make Away luggage special? Let’s talk about what people love about these suitcases right now.

A 100-Day Trial Period

If you’re iffy about whether to invest, the Away 100-day trial period should ease your mind and wallet a bit. You can take their suitcases to another state, to another hemisphere or completely around the globe and then return them if you’re not happy.

Just keep in mind that you’ll have to ship it back in its original packaging and with your own money. And if you decided to personalize your luggage with a monogram, the offer doesn’t apply. Still, even with those caveats, it’s a good guarantee of your satisfaction.

A Limited Lifetime Warranty

If any functional damage to the hardshell, wheels, handles or zipper occurs, Away will either repair or replace your suitcase. So what’s the “limited” part? You must be the original owner or gift recipient of the luggage. If you bought it through a reseller, the warranty doesn’t apply.


Although warranties and trial periods do give peace of mind, Away suitcases have a lightweight but tough polycarbonate shell that’s been tested by institutions like Consumer Reports and given a rating of “excellent” for impact resistance. 

In other words, these babies will definitely be up for the hard knocks that traveling sometimes inflicts. 

TSA-Approved Locks

Standard on all Away suitcases is a TSA-approved combination lock that should help discourage pilfering. 

Top and Side Handles

Also standard on Away suitcases are side and top handles. It’s a small feature that makes a big difference when you’re trying to hoist your luggage into an overhead compartment and get seated before any moody travelers behind you get restless. 

360 Degree Spinner Wheels

Away luggage also gets good marks for smoothness of ride thanks to its 360-degree spinner wheels, which work well on a variety of surfaces. 

Interior Compression System and Laundry Bag

Although interior space will vary depending on the model you choose, fans of these suitcases love to rave about how much they can fit inside (even with the carry-on). Like most hardshell luggage, these suitcases have a clamshell opening with two sides. 

One side is meant for your clothes and has netting and compression straps to help you fit more in your bag and keep it in place. The other side also has a zip close and is meant for items that you can’t squish down. 

Another nice standard feature is a hidden laundry bag to keep clean and dirty clothes separate. 

Optional Ejectable Battery

Available only on the carry-on edition is an optional ejectable battery and two USB ports that you can use to charge your devices—a feature that will prevent you from desperately scouring the airport for a place to sit AND charge your phone. Phew!

Just be aware that you will have to pay an extra $20 for this little luxury which does add another pound of weight to your suitcase. 

Extra Style Points

Influencers and non-broadcasting travelers alike adore the fun variety of colors, including Petal (pink), Sky (blue) and Coast, among others. Just be aware that some colors are only available as limited editions.

We also love the leather details, including a leather luggage tag that you can have personalized. You can also personalize the shell of these suitcases, but it does nullify the 100-day return policy. 

Things to Be Aware of

Nobody’s perfect, not even a suitcase. Here are a few things that you should be aware of when purchasing Away luggage. 

Exterior Pockets Are Not Standard

If you’re one of those travelers that love a front pocket on their bag, you should know that they are not standard on Away luggage. You can, however, purchase both the Carry-On and Bigger Carry-On with an added exterior pocket, which ups the price to $325 for the original version and $345 for the bigger version. 

This pocked version is also only available in only two colors: black and navy (which may seem a little ho-hum for more flamboyant travelers).

Limited Positions for the Telescoping Handle

The telescoping handle on the Away suitcase can only be adjusted to two positions. While that’s definitely not a dealbreaker, it makes it a little less adaptable than some other suitcases on the market. 

The telescoping handle has also been knocked by some buyers for being a bit wobbly, although it does hold up well over time in general. In other words, broken handles don’t seem to be a common complaint. 

Clam Shell Design Not for Everyone

Like most hardshell luggage, Away suitcases open in the middle and spread out into two compartments. If you’re used to having a suitcase that opens only on the top, this could seem a bit awkward when you’re trying to open your bag in a really small hotel room or even at the airport for any given reason. 

However, it does give you the advantage of separating your belongings into two distinct compartments as opposed to fishing to the bottom of a suitcase that opens on the top only. In the end, it’s a matter of personal travel taste. 

Related: The 7 Best Tech Apps For The Savvy International Traveler

Aways Most Popular Suitcases

Now that you know a little more about Away luggage, let’s go into more detail with their most popular bags. 

Away The Carry-On

Away The Carry-On

Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.7 x 9

Weight: 7.1 pounds (8.1 with optional battery)

Capacity: 39.8 Liters

This is the carry-on that caused a travel sensation and was dubbed “the little black dress of luggage” by People Magazine. Lightweight and compact, it was designed to fit in the overhead of almost all major airlines. 

Although designed for trips up to five days, seasoned travelers say that they can make this suitcase work for up to a week. This durable carry-on also features a TSA-approved combination lock, a hidden laundry bag and a leather luggage tag. 

And for the added cost of $20, you can get the ejectable battery with two USB ports to charge your devices. 

The Away Bigger Carry-On

The Away Bigger Carry-On

Dimensions: 22.7 x 14.7 x 9.6

Weight: 7.4 pounds (8.4 with optional battery)

Capacity: 47.9 Liters

If you need a bit of extra space, you may want to check out the Away Bigger Carry-On. It holds 47.9 liters as opposed to the 39.8 liters of the smaller carry-on, which will add up to a few extra outfits.

It also comes with all the same features as the smaller carry-on. However, you should keep in mind that while this suitcase will fit in the overhead bin of many airlines, it won’t fit into all of them because of its larger dimensions. 

To take the guesswork of whether you’ll be forced to check it or not, Away has made a comprehensive list of airlines where it will and will not fit in the overhead. Check the list out here.  

The Away Carry-On Flex

The Away Carry-On Flex

Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.7 x 9

Weight: 8.15 pounds 

Capacity: 39.8 to 46.7 Liters

If you travel light but come back heavier (like many of us), you may want to check out the Carry-On Flex. This expandable suitcase will give you an additional 2.25 inches of packing space when you need it, which is handy for any souvenirs you’re bringing back.

However, this carry-on does not come with the option of the removable battery and may not fit into the overhead compartment of all airlines when fully expanded, which means you’ll have to check it. 

Aluminum Suitcases

Aluminum Edition Carry On

If you want a suitcase that really makes a statement, you can check out the aluminum edition of the Carry-On or one of the larger suitcases. Available in black, silver or rose gold, this luxe model will set you back quite a bit more ($625 for just the carry-on).

Besides its good looks, this edition offers a few upgrades like slow-release handles for easier carrying, upgraded wheels for an even smoother ride, and a central panel with a mesh top for items you want easy access to. 

Plus, the aluminum Carry-On comes with the option of a removable battery and has all the other standard features of the original Away Carry-On (TSA-approved locks, a laundry compartment and the compression system to help you pack more items).

Other Travel Accessories We Are Loving

Away also makes a collection of bags, backpacks, packing cubes and other accessories. Here are a few of our favorites.

The Everywhere Bag

The Everywhere Bag

Available in six different colors, this carry on bag makes the perfect travel bag. Crafted with water-resistant nylon and leather trim, this sleek-looking bag has everything you need to organize yourself, including a laptop pocket, a water bottle pocket, a detachable key clip and a detachable shoulder strap.

We also like the trolley sleeve that secures perfectly to other away suitcases. 

This bag is also available in a small, medium and large versions.

The Circle Zip Pouch

Circle zip pouch from Away Luggage

Sometimes it’s the smaller stuff that makes your life easier. Like this handy zip pouch for holding small items like keys, credit cards and your earbuds (which will save you from scouring your larger bag to find them). 

The leather pouch handily loops onto bags and can be personalized if you so desire. 

The Travel Blanket

The Travel Blanket

As we all know, airplanes can get very chilly, which is why it pays to bring your own blanket. This lightweight version folds into itself and features thermoregulating technology, which warms you up when you’re cold and cools you down when you’re hot.

It’s also machine washable and antimicrobial. 

Is Away Luggage Worth Your Money?

Sturdy, stylish and minimalist, Away bags have accrued a large fan base since its release. And it appears its reputation is built on more than good looks. Both durable and smooth riding, this is a suitcase that will stand the test of time and travel (and if not, Away will either replace it or repair it).

However, whether it’s really worth the money is a matter of personal travel taste. If you’re not a fan of the clamshell design or prefer a variety of outer packs when you’re traveling, you may want to invest in another brand.

But if you’re willing to pay a little more for a stylish suitcase that can take a few hard knocks, Away luggage will keep you rolling in fashion. 

You might also be interested in: Bluffworks Travel Shirts Reviewed [Men & Women’s]

Sherry De Alba

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