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Luggage startup Away quickly established a strong social media presence upon joining the world of smart luggage in 2015. It became a favorite of influencers and the brand’s perfectly-curated Instagram advertising put it on just about everyone’s “want” list. About two years ago, I gave in and purchased my first piece of Away luggage, The Bigger Carry-on. Since then, I have purchased The Medium and The Everywhere Bag.
The luggage produced by Away is relatively simple and at first glance, there doesn’t seem to be anything extraordinary about it. So why the $200+ price tag? Is it worth it? Absolutely. I waited to write this Away luggage review until my bags had gotten a fair amount of use and I can confidently say it’s one of the best purchases I have made.
I have not been paid to write this Away luggage review, although if you use my link (and I really appreciate it, if you do), we will both receive a $20 credit towards purchase.
About Away Luggage
Away was founded in 2015 by two former Warby Parker executives. They used their startup experience at Warby Parker and crafted an even greater business model for Away. Away is primarily an online retailer but the brand does have stores located in a handful of cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, and London. Away produces quality luggage that is high in function and minimal in appearance. The company uses top-quality materials but its direct-to-consumer approach allows it to keep costs relatively low. The result is an extremely well-made bag at a great price. Many luxury luggage companies charge upwards of $500 USD for their bags. An Away suitcase starts at $225 for The Carry-on and goes up to $295 for The Large. Considering what you get for the price, the bags are totally worth the cost and are a great investment.
The luggage is available in four different sizes; all of which are incredibly lightweight. Dimensions and weights are as follows:
- The Carry-on: 21.7” x 13.7” x 9”, 8.1 lbs
- The Bigger Carry-on: 22.7” x 14.7” x 9.6”, 8.4 lbs
- The Medium: 26” x 18.5” x 11”, 9.9 lbs
- The Large: 29” x 20.5” x 12.5”, 11.6 lbs
The Bigger Carry-on is technically larger than what most airlines allow for a carry-on, but I fly often and have never had an issue, even on economy airlines. The brand also carries a collection of day bags and interior organizers, including packing cubes (more on that later).
Exterior Luggage Features
Durable Polycarbonate Shell
Away suitcases are made of a hard polycarbonate exterior shell. The shell is lightweight and although it will bend with pressure, it is extremely durable and guaranteed not to break. The brand currently carries nine standard colors in addition to a few celebrity collabs and limited editions. My bag has been through a lot and has held up incredibly well. My only complaint is that they do scuff and scratch somewhat easily. Away now sends a magic eraser with each bag which helps with the removal of minor scuffs. Despite the visible scratches on my bag, I still think it’s a great and smart-looking piece of luggage.
360° Spinner Wheels
The luggage has 360-degree spinner wheels, making it an incredibly easy bag to roll. The wheels glide effortlessly and turn smoothly. I’ve cut it close with a few flights and have found myself running through the airport with this bag. It is a piece of luggage that you can move quickly with.
TSA-Approved Combination Lock
All of Away’s suitcases come with a built-in TSA-approved lock. The lock is a three-digit combination of your choosing. I love the convenience of this lock. I used to fumble around with luggage locks, which I would often lose so it’s great having one that’s built-in. I don’t have to worry about anyone getting into my bag, except for the TSA.
Leather Details & Dust Bag
Each piece of luggage comes with a black leather luggage tag and leather detailing. This really adds to the aesthetic and gives the bag a more polished look. Each piece of luggage also comes with a dust bag for storage.
The carry-on bags come with a removable battery that can charge your phone. The TSA-compliant battery can easily be ejected if you prefer to check your bag. I love having this backup battery. It’s nice to know I can freely use my phone on my flight and still have battery when I land. It’s capable of charging any device that uses USB and is quite powerful. I’m able to get a couple of complete phone charges from it.
Interior Luggage Features
Interior Compression System
The Away suitcase opens like a clamshell with two separate sides or compartments. One side is meant for clothing and the other is for hard objects such as shoes and toiletries. A piece of mesh zips over this second compartment to hold the hard objects in place. A compression pad divides the two compartments and has a zippered pocket for smaller items, such as a book or tablet. The pad buckles across the clothing compartment and when the straps are tightened, everything is compressed and space is freed up. This is probably my favorite feature of this bag. Its design allows it to hold a surprisingly large amount and due to its lightweight shell, I can usually keep it under allotted carry-on weight limits.
Hidden Laundry Bag
Each bag comes with a hidden laundry bag that rolls up and neatly clips into place. It’s great for separating dirty clothes and is completely removable/washable.
Away Customer Service & Guarantee
Away offers a lifetime guarantee on all their luggage. This includes any damage to the shell, wheels, handles, zippers, and pretty much any part of the bag, except the battery. Away will either repair the damaged part or replace the bag entirely. The battery, which is not covered by the lifetime guaranty, is covered by a two-year warranty. Away also offers exceptional customer service. Responses to emails are timely and every time I’ve visited a store, I have had a great experience.
Every Away product comes with a 100-day trial, with the exception of monogrammed items. If you have any uncertainness about purchasing, go ahead and order, use it and if you don’t love it then you can return it for a full refund or exchange any time within that first 100 days. No questions asked.
Overall, I have had a great experience with Away. I can pack so much in this bag! If I utilize Away’s packing cubes with their compression system, I can pack for a two-week trip in The Bigger Carry-on. If you have never used packing cubes before, you are missing out. They allow for further compression by rolling clothing and packing it tightly within the cubes. They also keep your bag much more organized. I also recommend purchasing The Everywhere Bag, a great tote that slides over your suitcase handle. It complements the suitcases well and is great for those items that I need to keep handy at the airport.
About eight months into having The Bigger Carry-on and repeatedly testing its limits, I did manage to overstuff it and break a compression strap. Away was great! Even though it was entirely my fault, they fixed my bag. They didn’t ask any questions and simply sent me a pre-paid mailing label to ship it to them. The whole process was incredibly smooth and I had the repaired bag back within a week.
As you can probably tell from this review, I really can’t recommend Away products enough. Their luggage is lightweight, looks great, and performs well. Please use this link if you enjoyed my Away luggage review. You”ll receive $20 off your first Away purchase! Do you love your Away bag as much as I do? Please leave a comment below.
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