If you’re a traveler who’s been on Instagram at all in the past two years, you’ve likely heard of Away, the luggage brand that’s quickly catapulted to “must-have” status. Not only does it seem like everyone has an Away suitcase — but the brand itself advertises pretty aggressively on the platform. Meaning that once you curiously click through to see what it’s all about, you can’t escape.
Away offers sleek but simple suitcases that are “thoughtfully designed, and guaranteed for life.” After seeing the brand on Instagram, I read a positive Away luggage review online, checked the $225 price tag for the carry-on size and thought, hmm… maybe someday!
I usually travel with a mid-size backpack. But since my job increasingly requires travel, I figured it was time to level up to something a bit more professional.
Fortunately, before I had to make the decision to splurge, I received an Away suitcase for my birthday last year (thanks, boyfriend!).
After owning the suitcase for more than a year, I’m sold. This thing is worth $225 and more. And if you’re wondering why, read on for all the details in my Away luggage review.
Away Luggage Review: Why This Carry-On Suitcase Is Worth Every Penny
Away luggage really is “designed thoughtfully.”
Away keeps it simple — there are no bells and whistles, just exactly what you need in a suitcase. The carry-on features:
- A sleek and seemingly impenetrable hard outer shell
- One compartment for clothes
- One compartment for shoes, toiletries and other hard objects that zips closed so things won’t flop around
- A nylon laundry bag
- A compression pad that gives you even more space
- A TSA-approved lock to thwart thieves
Its simplicity is actually quite genius – I’ve been able to pack for a week-long trip to the east coast in winter (think lots of sweaters) in this one compact little bag. Because the compartments are organized so well, it saves me a ton of time trying to figure out where best to cram stuff.
It’s basically luxury luggage, minus the luxury price tag.
Away suitcases are sold direct-to-consumer. The company claims this means they can produce bags made from the same high-quality materials you get from premium luggage brands, for less. From what I can tell, this rings true. My Away luggage looks and feels great, and after a year, I’m starting to think it really is unbreakable.
The carry-on comes with a battery pack so you’ll never be left scouring the airport for an outlet again.
This is one of my favorite features and ranks high on the list of reasons why I’m giving a positive Away luggage review. While I tend to carry multiple back-up battery packs anyway, it’s nice to have one right in my suitcase to easily charge my phone at the airport without having to dig through my handbag.
The battery holds quite a significant charge, and I’ve been able to fully charge my phone with it more than three times before having to plug it in (they claim it can charge any phone up to 5x). Plus, it pops out very easily if you’d rather toss it in your handbag once you reach your destination.
One quick note: recently, the TSA banned lithium batteries from checked baggage. You’ll need to remove the battery from your suitcase if you’re planning to check a bag.
It passes the spin test.
There’s nothing worse than janky luggage that doesn’t roll smoothly. A year into my Away suitcase ownership, I can guarantee that’s not the case here!
My carry-on is always a smooth companion thanks to premium 360-degree wheels made by the Japanese designer Hinomoto. Rumor has it, these wheels don’t appear on any other luggage that costs less than $1,000.
The company is dedicated to social impact.
Not necessarily part of my Away luggage review but more of an observation: the company has prioritized social responsibility from the start which is nice. In fact, one of their first hires was a social impact strategist whose job was to figure out what cause they should focus on.
That led to a partnership (established before a single suitcase was sold) with Peace Direct to raise awareness and provide humanitarian support for people who live on the front lines of conflict zones in places like Nigeria and the Congo.
Beyond providing financial support to the organization, Away empowers every employee to donate their time and skills to work directly for Peace Direct. Their social team helps create content calendars for the nonprofit, while the design team might help them create presentations or a page on their website.
As travelers who can afford to spend $225 on a carry-on suitcase, we’re often separated from some of the bad things happening in the world. I appreciate that Away is dedicating money, time and other resources to shed light on Peace Direct’s important stories and mission.
Away luggage really is for life.
Ok, so I guess I can’t really conclude my Away luggage review backing up their claim that these suitcases are for life after only one year. You’ll have to check back with me in my 80s or 90s.
But what I can tell you is that Away makes good on its promise to repair and replace anything that gets damaged. About 11 months into my Away suitcase love affair, my trusty battery gave out on me. It would no longer recharge. Disaster!
I was dreading having to get on the phone with customer service or fill out long warranty forms to get a new one. But the process was incredibly simple.
I literally messaged Away on Instagram and shared my woes. They asked for my order number and confirmed later that day that my new battery was en route.
How amazing is that? So amazing, that it inspired me to write an Away luggage review right away, that I’d otherwise been sitting on for nearly a year!
The one con: everyone has this suitcase.
Ok, so clearly I’m singing the praises of Away from the rooftops but this post wouldn’t be complete without this caveat: Everyone. Has. This. Suitcase.
Seriously, next time you’re in line to board a flight, look around. I guarantee you you’ll spot at least 5!
Concerns about individuality aside, the real issue is the possibility of getting your suitcase mixed up with someone else’s.
To avoid this, you could buy one of the bolder colors (almost everyone has black or navy, like me!). Or you could slap on a fun, bold luggage tag that screams “NOT YOURS!” to everyone else.
Here are a few suggestions! (Disclosure: Contains affiliate links)
Do you have an Away suitcase? Would you buy one?