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Away luggage-- The bigger carry on flex

Hello all.

Do any of you have Away bags, and are they worth twice the amount I currently pay for carry on luggage?

Is the Away hype worth it???? The advertising seems to feature Millennials who travel full-time with no job, who can somehow justify a $400 suitcase. I don't get it. But I'm a hard @ss, so...maybe I need some reality testing.

I would like to pack lighter but tighter. Not necessarily carry on ( I know, totally anti-Rick! Don't rub it in...) I may choose to check the small bag. BUT I need a spinner, and want bigger size than my basic Samsonite. carry on. I wonder if the hard-sided bag would compact my things but still offer me space to (gasp!) over a wee it heavy?

Thank you for any input,,,

Posted by
15682 posts

I have the Away carry on and used it for awhile. It is heavy, doesn't roll that well and would only compact if really packed tight. It also scuffs very easily.

Honestly, it is mostly hype. It was marketed heavily to millennials on social media and became trendy.

For checking a bag, I would go with soft sided. Baggage handlers have said in interviews that hey saw more damage on hard sided luggage than soft.

Posted by
2267 posts

I can’t speak to the Away, specifically, but I find “clam shell” luggage a pain. Opening it like a book means the open case takes twice the space in a hotel room vs a case with just a lid.

Posted by
2765 posts

Are you planning to be an Instagram wannabe and be an influencer? if not then you don’t need away luggage (by the way you might want to read up on how they treat their employees before you buy their luggage)

A friend of mine bought one, neither one of us were actually all that impressed with it and she sent it back. Getting the refund required involving her credit card company. They claimed it was because they were overworked with returns. Draw your own conclusions

Years ago I did travel with a checked hard bag. I can’t remember how many times Delta paid to repair that piece of luggage.

Posted by
2768 posts

I don’t have away luggage, but I do have the target knock off. Therefore I can’t speak to the quality of Away brand, but I do know the style. Contrary to what others are saying, I love a hard shell spinner. I find it fits more than an equal sized soft shell and doesn’t get weirdly shaped when things shift and settle. Also the separation - clamshell 2 compartments - is helpful. Shoes and misc items on one side, not mixing with clothes.
I don’t have trouble rolling it on most surfaces, at least not more than any other roller and it’s super easy in airports.

The one thing I miss is an outside pocket for things I need handy.

Posted by
6 posts

My husband and I both have Away carry-ons, he has the regular one and I have the smaller one. We have been very happy with them, and have used them on many flights. The primary draw for us was they are lightweight and easy for us to lift overhead. We are both in our 60s, and tossing a bag in the overhead bin is not as easy as it used to be. I have found also as a 60 something-year-old woman that random strangers are not as eager to help me with my bag as they used to be 20 or 30 years ago (LOL!) I also use my carry-on when I travel for business and even though it is not expandable, I have no trouble packing 3-4 days worth of business attire, and can breeze through airports quickly without needing any help. We never used hardside luggage before we got these, and the lack of expansion capabilities definitely discourages overpacking. That said, I’m sure there are many brands of similar luggage that would be good options. Our Away bags show no signs of wear and tear after many trips so we feel like they were worth the investment.

Posted by
302 posts

I am over 65 and love my navy blue Away (smallest) carry on- it was early on in the company's ( yes, before I knew the behind -the- scenes story) beginning. At the time the charging thingee was novel- and still allowed in the cabin. It was heavy and I only used it once.
There are so many look-alikes now, and more color choices. Still, the compression features are great and it's been very durable.
However, there's weight when lifting to the storage bin and weight for the international allowances. At nearly 6 pounds empty I used a sift- sided duffel pre-Covid to meet the requirements. Something to consider.

Posted by
195 posts

I am a Gen-X business and leisure traveler who still loves Facebook and loves to check a bag.

I LOVE my Away luggage. Pre-pandemic, I traveled 3 weeks per month for work (now it's a bit less) and my sturdy Sampsonite has the scars and repair stitches to prove it. I got tired of having to take my "lifetime guarantee" Sampsonite in for repairs. I was attracted to Away because they are cheaper than Briggs & Riley and Tumi and their return/replace policy is quite generous.

I have owned the carry-on and the medium suitcases for about 2 years and am quite pleased with their durability. They are very light allowing me to pack what I want. The wheels are the best part - I can push my medium suitcase up to the check in counter with one finger. I've carried on a few times and the case rolls effortlessly down the aisle and is easy to place in the overhead bin. (although an underside handle would be great)

They get scuffed but they've been tossed onto about 30 flights in the last two years so that doesn't bother me since I don't Instagram my luggage. :) The hardest part was getting used to packing a clam-shell style case.

My old Sampsonite was soft-sided and I like the hard-sided Away luggage. I haven't broken a bottle of wine yet. Yay!

Posted by
1259 posts

Brand-named luggage is like any premium/luxury item: Might be higher quality materials, hip styling, better manufacturing techniques, attention to details, better finishing. Might not; you could be paying only for the badge.

Buy the luggage you want. Do the research. Get the features and conveniences you want. Watch out for features that add cost without function. Get big wheels and sturdy handles. Keep track of the total mass and size. Shop your local department stores to check for clearances and Labor Day promotions.

Useless anecdote: My old REI backpack/duffle ($100) was a totally adequate carryon and it went to Scotland with me. Still, I wanted to support Tom Bihn's business so, when the opportunity presented, I bought an Aeronaut30 AND an Aeronaut45. Fabulous bags but, sheesh, I spent w-a-y-way-w-a-y much more money than I did on the (cheap and perfectly functional) REI duffle.

Buy the luggage you want. Try NOT to regret the purchase.

Posted by
906 posts

We only fly a couple of times a year so I can't see the investment in expensive luggage. My current checked bag is a softside Travelpro picked up at Tuesday Morning for about $50. It's done well, has outer pockets where I want them and piping at the corners for wear and tear.

For a couple of reasons this year we're planning to go carryon only. I've ordered a Travelers Club 20" hardside from Amazon. Hoping to get it next week. What I liked was the corner reinforcement and that it has handles both top and side. Also the price - $53 but there were cheaper ones depending on color. I got the red to match an existing boarding bag I already have. My husband ordered a 3 piece set with the spinner, boarding bag and dobkit for $57. Just hoping it works out.

The soft vs hard side to me depends on whether it's checked or carryon because of the space it takes up when open. Like someone else said, for the carryon I like the idea of the two sides making it easy to organize. I also think it will handle better when expanded. I think soft side bags that expand at the lid can get unbalanced.

Posted by
290 posts

I bought two Away cases for my daughters and have been very impressed. It comes down to whether you want something to last for many years or simply buy another when the cheaper products fail. I always pay up front for better quality. This means stronger zippers, better case materials, better wheels and stronger telescoping handles.

I do think that the case are worth the money. A couple friends use these several times a month for business travel with no problems. I did make sure that the company had changed leadership before buying their product.

I do agree that nice luggage can be found at substantial savings at TJ Maxx and Tuesday morning but I have never had luck finding something nice there. It seems my local stores usually only have 28-30” cases or some super low quality smaller pieces.

Costco used to have a great soft-sided Kirkland brand roller but I have not seen these in a couple of years.