Smooth Travels: Away’s Carry-On Suitcase

Reviewing luggage dreamt up by Warby Parker alums

Planning a trip is fun, but hell breaks loose the night before departure when you try to jam a week’s worth of clothing into your decade-old suitcase, kicking yourself for spending hours online looking at new bars instead of realizing one of your zippers is stuck. And when fancier luggage costs the same amount as a plane ticket to the Caribbean, something’s got to be done—especially when the price seems to reflect brand name rather than the quality of materials. Vanquishing the stress of packing and traveling is a new kind of suitcase that tackles the modern traveler’s woes—regardless of how frequently they travel—at an attractive direct-to-consumer price and appearance. Away’s debut product is a carry-on suitcase that allows for multiple outfit changes a day, charges phones and tablets, and will weather a lot of worst-case scenarios.

Coming from Warby Parker alums Jen Rubio and Steph Korey (who also consulted part-time at Casper), Away follows the movement of direct-to-consumer products that offer higher quality goods at fairer prices by cutting out the middleman. Its beautiful, clean exterior, funnily enough, had quite a few different people mistaking it for a MUJI suitcase on our test-run this past weekend. The hard-shell carry-on is incredibly lightweight (7.2 lbs) and sturdy, though the 100% Bayer Makrolon polycarbonate is not impervious to scratches and fingerprints; it’s looking a little scuffed up after our excursion. The 360° Hinomoto double-wheel spinners conquered the rough, unpredictable NYC sidewalks with ease in near silence. Space-wise, we easily loaded two six-packs of beers in the carry-on on top of all of our clothing and winter boots; and tossed it easily into the car trunk. During the trip, the removable laundry bag (seen in the photo above, located at the base) came in handy for dirty socks. Overall, there was significantly less time spent worrying about packing and unpacking—and we got to focus on actually enjoying ourselves.

The suitcase also houses a built-in rechargeable battery to keep your phone or tablet juiced—both a potential life-saver and inconvenience. If you make a last-minute decision to check in the Away carry-on (or are forced to because of weight limits) the battery has to be unscrewed, removed and taken onboard due to airline safety regulations—the battery can’t be checked in. Luckily, the suitcase includes a TSA-approved screwdriver to cover that situation, but hopefully it never boils down to unpacking at the counter. The stronger upside, however, is Away’s limited lifetime warranty that will cover cracks in the shell, stuck zippers, broken wheels and more.

Available in four colors, Away’s carry-on can be purchased online for $225. They’re currently working on their second product: check-in luggage.

Images by Cool Hunting