Denielle Wolfe designed for many brands that were “small” at her time of employment. Coach, Kate Spade, and Tumi were likely doing around $100M in revenue when she joined their growing businesses. Arlo Skye, the year long project that comes to fruition next month, has reset her sense of what small is and she’s loving it. The two-and-a-half person company, where Wolfe is co-founder and chief design officer, delivers its first line of carry-on luggage this August. Ahead of their pre-order launch, we got a look at final samples this week and it’s gorgeous. The aluminum forms have an elegant simplicity, with every detail refined and scrutinized to serve its functional purpose. And given Arlo Skye’s direct-to-consumer business model, the bags are surprisingly affordable.
To step back and look at Arlo Skye as a whole requires digging into their name. Arlo hails from book about a boy who travels the world. It was combined with Skye; inspired by flight and daydreaming. Despite the reasonable price point, there’s something aspirational about the brand and its initial piece. It aims to make travel easier and within reach and still encourage lofty ambitions. According to CEO and co-founder Mayur Bhatnagar, however, it’s all about simplicity.
It’s important to address a feature that seems to be required in all new carry-ons. Arlo Skye’s luggage comes complete with a built-in 10,050 mAh portable charger. The charger has two USB charging ports and has been engineered to recharge devices up to 75% faster than conventional batteries. It’s seamlessly tucked underneath the handle and can easily be removed, in the event one has to gate check the bag at last minute. For travelers always looking for power, this is an effective, well-placed solution.
Everything else comes down to details. The hand-stitched full-grain leather handle offers a comfortable grip—Wolfe noted the choice for hand-stitching was made because all the machine samples she tried were just too rough on the hand. The silky gliding wheels are a patented system called the Silent Run Lisof and they’re 15% quieter than polyurethane iterations. The case itself has been composed of a lightweight, anodized aluminum-magnesium alloy. It’s strong and durable, but not heavy (9.2 lbs) and all of the bag’s corners have been reinforced.
The luggage sports ribs, not for looks but for extra strength—as we learned, bent aluminum is much stronger than a flat sheet. Inside, there are packing inserts for organization and one helps for compression. An anti-microbial high-density lining covers everything. It’s got a volume of 36 liters and fits all the carry-on size parameters for US airlines. To keep everything safe, the case has integrated TSA-approved locks.
The debut Arlo Skye carry-on is available for pre-order now, for $495 with initial deliveries being made next month. It’s available in three colorways—silver (as shown), black and a monochrome champagne.
Images by Josh Rubin