The Away The Carry-On is generating a lot of buzzes. Influencers, celebs, and practically everyone else on the internet like this rolling baggage that fits neatly within an airplane’s overhead bin.
We’ve been eager to get our hands on this luggage as gear testers and see whether the excitement is warranted or not. To discover out, we purchased the Away The Carry-On and put it through its paces for two weeks, including a week in Mexico.
Aesthetics & Materials
Because it’s ugly, the Away the Carry-On hasn’t taken over your social media page. This suitcase, on the other hand, is sleek and contemporary. And the leather accents provide just the perfect amount of vintage elegance.
It’s now available in nine colors, with eight further limited edition designs on the way. While the lighter hues are attractive and sophisticated, keep in mind that they will reveal scratches and flaws more prominently than their darker equivalents. We’ve been putting the Navy to the test since it seems to be a popular option (we don’t have statistics on this because we spotted so many throughout our travels).
Polycarbonate makes up the Away The Carry-On. The rigid sides are solid and robust, but the central zipper provides a lot of movement and flexibility…not in a reasonable manner. The center of the zipper seems floppy, almost as though the two firm panels are floating on it. It isn’t easy to describe, but it’s not a pleasant sensation.
However, this isn’t so much a comment about the Away The Carry-On as it is about hard-sided baggage in general. If you travel with a bag regularly, as we do at Pack Hacker, you’ll notice this unusual floating/floppy structure.
However, the zipper itself—indeed, all of the zippers in this suitcase—are from the well-known YKK brand. We’ve had mainly positive encounters with YKK in all of our testing, so we don’t anticipate any issues with them.
We should also mention that this bag has leather details, which may be a deal-breaker for you. A vegan version of the Carry-On would be fantastic, mainly since the leather embellishments are solely for cosmetic reasons.
Components from Outside
You probably don’t give it much thought, but the telescoping handle on hard-sided luggage is likely the most feature you’ll use when traveling. The Away The Carry-handle On’s is, in a word, exquisite. It’s a little soft and gripping, so it’s easy to handle as you roll through the airport or your cab to your hotel. It’s much more comfortable than the old slick harsh plastic handles.
You may also lock it in two positions: all the way up and about two-thirds of the way up. (And, of course, all the way down.) We appreciate the two alternatives since they allow the bag to fit a variety of body shapes and scenarios.
The detachable 10,000 mAh battery that comes with the Away from the Carry-On if you choose the “Battery” version is located under the handle (the Carry-On is also available in a Standard version that does not include a battery). We’ve been testing the battery variant since having a battery bank on the road is quite useful. Let’s face it: a dead phone makes travel days a lot less enjoyable.
We nearly always travel with a battery bank, so the presence of this one, which has a built-in home and doesn’t take up any valuable packing room inside the luggage, is a welcome addition. During testing, the battery has also worked well.
The battery is hidden behind a door. It’s also simple to take out—just press down on the battery and it’ll come out. This is a newer feature introduced by the firm in response to consumer concerns that the former design made it too difficult to remove the battery. If you check this suitcase, you’ll have to take it out.
A charger and international plug choices are included with the battery version, which is a nice touch. If you’ll be traveling to many countries, you may simply pack all of the international plugs, or just take what you need if you’ll be staying in one location for an extended period of time.
Regrettably, the battery does not seem to be particularly secure. It wiggles within its slot, and the door has opened at random owing to the usual shaking of transit (without us having touched it).
The battery disengaged and popped up a couple of times (still sitting in the slot, but not locked in). Yes, it’s not ideal. If you lose a battery bank in the overhead bin or on the floor at gate G16, it’s useless.
To be clear, the battery bank hasn’t totally separated from the rest of the system…yet. However, it has been concerning throughout testing.
The suitcase also has two grab handles, one on the side and one on the top, which are common on rolling baggage. However, it might be difficult to slip your hands beneath both handles since they are narrow and close to the bag. When you do, though, they expand and become relatively comfortable to handle over short distances (like on and off the plane or up a flight of stairs). They’re also helpful for dragging luggage into and out of a taxi/overhead Lyft’s bin or trunk.
The Carry-On Lockable Zippers Have Been Removed
The zippers can be locked using TSA-friendly locks, a beautiful feature for added security. They’re also simple to use—slide both zippers to the top and close them. To unlock them, just input your three-digit code, move the mechanism, and the zippers will pop out. It’s as simple as that.
The leather luggage tag that comes with the Away The Carry-On makes it more likely that your baggage will be returned to you if anything goes wrong.
The four wheels are the last but certainly not least. You don’t have to roll the bag behind you since the wheels revolve 360 degrees. You may move it next to you, swing it between your legs, spin it around your body, and do various other tricks with it. They roll relatively quickly, but only if you’re on level terrain.
We had no trouble rolling through the airport, but longer distances on sidewalks or highways (or uneven stone paths) have proven complicated. This is more of a problem with roller baggage in general (which is one of the reasons we choose backpacks), but some other suitcases or rolling duffel bags have bigger wheels that may be better suited for rougher terrain. Unfortunately, these wheels didn’t perform well on carpet or metal strips/groves seen on airport floors.
Let’s have a look at this thing. It opens clamshell-style, much like a regular suitcase. This is quite useful since it enables you to pack and retrieve your belongings from some angles while also viewing and arranging all of your goods. Of course, to get to your interests, you’ll have to splay it open. This suitcase has no quick-access pockets (if this is a deal-breaker for you, Away does offer the Carry-On with bag, which has a front quick-grab pocket).
Two compression straps may be seen on the right side. These straps are great since they’re easy to tighten and keep everything neat and compact. There’s also a compression pad with a zipper. The stiffness of the cushion (it includes a frame) helps compress your garments even more. A zipped mesh pocket on it is perfect for flatter things like socks, underwear, notebooks, and paperback novels. The battery charging cable is located here. As a result, we are constantly aware of its whereabouts.
The remainder of the right side is comprised of an open bucket. We put this luggage through its paces using the Away Packing Cubes, which, unsurprisingly, fit flawlessly. However, any packing cubes will assist you in making the most of the available space (and keep your clothes from descending into a chaotic jumble). On this side, we utilized the Away Packing Cubes in Medium Wide and Large Slim sizes to arrange shirts and bottoms/pants, respectively.
A zipped pocket may also be found on this site. A shoe bag/laundry bag/whatever-you-want-to-use-it-for is folded inside. It can contain a lot of stuff—you’ll probably be able to put several pairs of shoes (depending on your foot size) and many dirty clothes in it. It’s attached to the zippered pocket with a snap button, making it simple to remove if needed.
A large bucket of space on the left side of the bag is sealed by a zipped mesh partition, basically forming a massive pseudo-packing cube. The separation prevents your belongings from spilling out. This is where we keep our more miniature goods, such as a Gravel Explorer Toiletry Bag, a packable rain jacket (just in case), a Merino Wool Kerchief, and a compact Away Packing Cube with other pieces.
Overall, if you pack light, there’s enough capacity for short excursions or long-term travel (we fit everything needed for a week-long vacation to Mexico and had plenty of room to spare). However, Away can accommodate you if you need a little extra space. The Bigger Carry-On is, as the name implies, larger. The Bigger Carry-On will fit in the overhead bins on most US carriers, but on smaller flights, it will most likely have to be gate-checked.
Testing & Durability
We’ve been testing the Away The Carry-On for two weeks, including travel from Detroit to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with multiple layovers along the route, as we noted at the start of this review.
Overall, it’s a reliable piece of baggage. It’s well-made and comes with a plethora of valuable functions for traveling. So it leads us back to the original question that prompted the review. Is the Away from the Carry-On deserving of all the acclaim? Maybe. We recognize that this isn’t an adequate response, but it is the reality. If you’re searching for fashionable rolling baggage that you’ll only use for short trips and won’t be walking with, this is your bag. On the other hand, this luggage is probably not for you if you want a more adventurous travel style that includes negotiating tricky terrain.
Everything seems to be holding up very well in terms of durability. A few scuffs were spotted, but nothing disappointing or, to be honest, surprising for hard-sided baggage (which tends to scuff up faster than soft-sided luggage).
And Away luggage is backed by a limited lifetime guarantee that covers any damage to the operation of the baggage (note that the battery is only covered for two years). We haven’t put this guarantee to the test since we haven’t needed to, but we’ve heard nothing but positive things about it from reliable sources.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is away a good luggage brand?
A: Away is an excellent luggage brand.
Is away luggage durable?
A: Yes, most baggage is entirely durable.
Is Away bigger carry-on too big?
A: No, the Away backpack is not too big. You can fit all your things in it and still have room for more. It’s also adjustable to adjust how you want to wear it on your body to feel comfortable while carrying it with ease.
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