a phone charging from a suitcase
The Final Verdict
Inside Space
Device Charging

Whenever you read a review on the internet, the first question that pops to mind is…

Who are we listening to here?

The next totally fair question is usually along the lines of…

Have they even tried the thing they’re talking about?

I bought my Away Travel Carry On more than three years ago, and as an incredibly frequent traveler, have put it through its paces on every continent, on countless planes and over every kind of bumpy street you can imagine.

It’s still with me, still completely functioning, and in a one word review, it’s outstanding. In fact, I added a couple to the repertoire, which are much newer and still fantastic. No problems, yet. Here’s everything you need to know…

a phone charging from a suitcaseBuying My Away Travel Carry On

The first thing I loved about the Away Travel Carry On was price. At $225 it’s a lot more than the $40 carry on I once used from Amazon, but it’s still less than half the price of many more popular high end carry ons, which if anything, have largely compromised on quality.

It’s worth noting that my old budget carry on eventually broke, didn’t carry a lifetime guarantee, spin on four wheels, have USB charging capabilities or at all compress my luggage, let alone conform to perfect airline bin dimensions.

I bought my carry on as a two piece set, in combination with the full sized piece of luggage. If you’ve got the bandwidth, this is a savvy move to save a bit, if you foresee a time when you’ll need both.

At the time, I purchased the Away Carry On because it looked cool, but mainly because it had USB charging ports. Now, they’re a hindrance to some, but that’s easily solved, because you can eject the power bank with one button. In other words, you can make the case compliant with one touch. You can even buy it without a battery at all in the first place now.

If you do want the battery, it can be incredibly handy in transit, and can just slip into your personal item during flight, to stay above board.

These days Away Travel does some pretty cool colabs, and that means standard colors are not always the limit. One week it might be a Serena Williams collaboration and the next something totally different. I got a really cool limited edition camouflage leather backpack to add to my set.

I say this, because these bags have rightfully become incredibly popular, and I love the limited edition stuff as a way to take advantage of truly great luggage, without looking the uniform travelers of old.

a group of people with luggage

When I opened mine for the first time, I was somewhat surprised by the material. I knew it was a semi hardshell, but unzipped and unfilled, it felt more giving and maybe even a bit more flimsy than I expected. It turns out, this is entirely by design and is the reason you’d need seriously impressive skills to ever crack it.

Don’t judge it until you actually pack it and use it.

The case is designed to protect your stuff via extremely durable edges but  give enough to keep it from snapping. Ever. I may or may not have tried. And maybe a few times.

I’ve shipped wine, glass and other valuables in it, and they’ve always come back in tact. Even better, the case does too. I can’t help but find it amusing when I see a $1000 carry on from a famous competitor which looks like it got stomped out in a prison riot after just a couple uses.

a man and woman standing next to luggageTraveling With The Away Carry On

A lifetime guarantee is great, but a carry on which doesn’t break is better.

The wheels, handle and zip on the carry on have been simply remarkable. Even when jamming things to the brim the zip has always been extremely resilient and has never come closes to tearing. Again, I’ve really tried.

I always fit in more than I can imagine.The wheels are also smooth as silk.

As a four wheel spinner, I can have it up right or angled and it rolls straight, without any clicking, catching or slow down. You can give it a quick shove, and effortlessly pass it to a valet.

Properly packing a carry on is life changing, and I make every effort to always travel carry on only by rolling my clothes and maximizing my additional personal item. I personally use the standard sized version and the space is phenomenal.

I know people love the oversize version, but I find the sizing just a bit too risky for me, since I occasionally end up on budget airlines in Europe and Asia with very-very tight margins and sometimes no sense of humor! I’ve never seen one turned away in the US though.

Hot tip: When packing, always unlatch the toggle and spread them outside the case. Once you’ve finished packing a side: roll, push down and then pull the toggles over. When you pull on the tab you’ll compress your gear down as much as possible.

Final Thoughts On Away Carry On

This case has flown around the world more than 35 times, been in rain, snow, heat and frozen tundra and is still going strong. I actually find myself feeling bad for it when I walk over cobbled or bumpy streets, but it never seems to mind.

Storage and functionality is a treat, it looks great and its highly dependable. The only other case which I occasionally take on the road with me is the ROAM luggage, because I like the ability to customize colors. I’d try to think of something controversial to say, but my family likes my Away stuff so much, they bought their own.

Check out the Away Travel Store, where this built in code (should) get you $20 off.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. I never found the appeal for Away. Their options are limited, the looks is very flimsy and cheap. I don’t think designer luggages are ideal either but the mid-range options, Tumi, Brics, etc just look and feel so much sturdier.

  2. Interesting..as a travel nanny I am about to buy my “last suitcase” and Away has caught my attention. I have never spent much as almost all last 3 years regardless of abuse. By then I will see a new feature introduced and have no qualms giving up the old suitcase. If I spent ridiculous sum for a Bric or Tumi, I would be “stuck with them”. Men reviewers may mock me but a woman who has more than one pair of shoes will understand. Hopefully, when stock is back I shall go and take a look at Away options. They will let me test their packing abilities from the common traveler’s view. They are not with flair, maybe a bit dull in look but I can dress them up with a Coverlugg. It is the inside that counts. Mostly, it is there try it for a 100 days that excites me! Only TravelPro has a similar deal. So hopefully in a month I shall see how much it can really pack!

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