Good luggage is hard to find, but if you’ve ever heard of the company Away Luggage, then you’ve noticed their 4.7 rating for their products on their own site, as well as the good reviews found in a simple Google Search.
I had the opportunity to get my hands on their Medium model which costs around $275 on their website and I immediately put it to good use for two back-to-back trips out-of-town. Available in Sand Brown, Black, Navy Blue, Green, Brick Red, Asphalt Grey, and the Pop Brown; I received the Navy color which looks absolutely phenomenal.
It weighs 8.5 pounds, which is pretty practical for a suitcase with 25″ x 17.5 x 10.5″ dimensions. That being said, to my disappointment, this is too big to be a carry-on bag. There are certain things that I enjoy about the Medium by Away, and some that I wish could be improved, but let’s get into exactly what I liked about the Luggage.
This midsize bag has a rugged polycarbonate shell with a compressed interior that allows you to store about 4-5 days’ worth of clothes if packed correctly. On each side of the bag, there is enough storage space for necessities such as shirts, socks, undergarments and even two to three pairs of shoes, depending on their size.
Away specifies that the left-hand side is designated for shoes, toiletries and other items that might shift or move while in transit, while the right is for your clothes. I have no rhyme or reason when I pack clothing (and should honestly take lessons), so things go in as I can fit them.
What makes the Medium suitcase by Away so special is that there’s space for almost everything. For a bag that’s less than $300, the simple inclusion of a laundry bag helps when bringing home dirty laundry so it doesn’t mix and mingle with the clean clothes.
The laundry bag is made of nylon, and it sits at the base of the lower right side of the Away Medium. It’s fairly large in size, and I was able to fit a couple of sweaty gym clothes and worn clothes that I wanted to separate from the clean so that when I got home they would be easy to distinguish and sort through.
There is even a mesh compression pad that doubles as a compartment for putting clothes such as a nice pressed shirt into, or even things like extra socks or clothes that you’ll want to keep from getting wrinkled when bundled with your regular t-shirts.
Away Luggage prides themselves on not just the design of their luggage but the security as well. Each piece of luggage comes with a TSA-approved lock.
You zip both zippers up to the top of your luggage, snap them into the lock, and it will click to lock. Obviously unlocking uses the three number code that you designate after you’ve changed it from the traditional “000” code that comes on all brand new luggage.
The Medium sized Away Luggage is certainly not meant to be a carry-on, and let me be the first to tell you, there’s not much of a chance you’ll find an airline that will allow it onboard. When flying JetBlue, even though I was told by TSA that it “should” fit overhead (after the agent attempted to press down on the luggage to get it to fit into the under scaled model that sits in front of the TSA Pre-Check lines at the terminal), but eventually he let me pass with it. I got all the way to my gate, waiting to board, only to be told by the attendant that it wouldn’t fit into the overhead bin and would need to be checked.
Now sure, I knew this due to the size, but I think that a lot of airports and airline companies see a hard shell suitcase and instantly think that they are all created equally. I wish I could say that were the case with the Medium Away. And as someone who dreads hanging at the luggage pickup, I really would’ve much rather gone with the carry-on size which is a bit smaller, but from the looks of it, can still fit the things that I typically travel with.
Now, what would I improve? Well, there’s not much. The design of the luggage is super nice, and although I did not mention this earlier, the wheels on the Away are absolutely fantastic. Featuring Hinomoto wheels that rotate 360-degrees, I was able to go from pavement to gravel to brick road with the Away, and the travel of the luggage held up. The wheels themselves are a bit small, but nothing to be worried about getting stuck into grates on the sidewalk.
The Medium Away luggage doesn’t take up too much space in the trunk of your car headed to the airport, and the handle for the Away is as sturdy as they come. I’ve purchased way too many various travel pieces from Groupon to know the difference between quality and a “good deal” (at the time).
In terms of improvements, the one thing that I missed on the Medium Away that the carry-on sizes have is the built-in battery.
Not everyone travels by plane, and there are some cases where I do take the train, so the Medium actually suits my needs. Having that built-in battery on a train where a 6-8 hour ride could be helpful because an outlet is not always handy; having a built-in battery is actually something that would be really nice in this case (although it would have to be removed when used as checked luggage).
You’d think that since the Medium costs a bit more, that it would come with the battery just for the sake of the price, but unfortunately the built-in battery seems more geared towards the carry-ons. But hey, Away Luggage was nice enough to add in an additional luggage tag so I wouldn’t have to go and purchase one, right?
That being said, if you are a fan of checked bags, the Medium luggage by Away is a great suitcase, and it will last you years if taken care of. Obviously the darker the color you get, the fewer scratches will show, but if you get the Navy, Green or that Pop Pink, it’ll be more recognizable when you’re standing and waiting for it to come off the conveyor belt.
If you’re interested in the Medium suitcase or any other sizes made by Away Luggage, you can head directly to their site for more information.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: Scuff-resistant; Wheels are 360-degrees and roll without locking up, and the storage space is enough for a week of clothing
What Needs Improvements: Should come with battery pack like carry-on versions do