If you know anything about me or read this blog, you know I’m all about traveling with a backpack. For many situations, I will still always choose a backpack while I’m young enough to handle the weight on my back because it is much more portable and convenient than luggage with wheels. However, I decided to upgrade my wheeled luggage for my upcoming Europe trip in June because I will have a rental car for a large portion of it.
Now if you haven’t been living under a social media rock, you’ll know that the Away luggage brand is the new favorite of bloggers and Instagrammers alike. I didn’t choose to buy an Away bag just because it’s trendy, though it does help that the bag I chose is super cute. I bought it because it really is that great of a suitcase, and I’m here today to tell you why.
After doing a good amount of research on the carry-on options, I decided to purchase ‘The Bigger Carry-On’ as apposed to ‘The Carry-On’, which is obviously smaller. The Original Away Carry-On is 21.7” x 13.7” x 9” while The Bigger Carry-On is 22.7” x 14.7” x 9.6”, and those few extra inches really allows you to pack so much more. I haven’t personally tested the smaller Carry-On but I have read that the Bigger Carry-On allows you to easily fit 2 more pairs of shoes and around 2-3 more outfits.
While I have read that Asian airlines will make you check the Bigger Carry-On as well as some European budget carriers like RyanAir and EasyJet, that didn’t sway me from my decision. I am planning on a several month long trip to Asia in 2020 but I will be bringing my Osprey backpack, and I tend to stay away from RyanAir if I can. I am still a little paranoid about the few intra-european flights I have booked for June but I’m flying with big national airlines that are usually only concerned about the weight of your bag and not a couple of inches of extra size. Regardless, I will come back and edit this post to share my experience with you because it’s hard to find a clear answer in the Away reviews currently published.
As for flying within the US, I took this pink baby with me to New Orleans and had no problem carrying it on the plane. Away actually created The Bigger Carry-On because while the legacy carriers like Delta and United and American Airlines say that their carry-on bag dimension allowance is 21.7” x 13.7” x 9” (the smaller Away bag size), the actual physical sizers at the airports are slightly bigger. I tested this out while waiting for my flight to NOLA and my Bigger Carry-On fit perfectly, as you can see in the photos below.
Some of the features of the Away bag include:
- A built-in battery with 10,000 mAh that can charge any USB device (I got three full charges for my iPhone 8 Plus) and easily pops out in case you decide to check your bag
- A foldable nylon laundry bag that keeps your clean clothes from mixing with your dirty laundry
- A compression pad that helps create more space when your belongings have magically grown at the end of your trip
- 360-degree Hinomoto double-wheel spinners that are incredible quality - they took curbs and cobble stones like a dream
- A TSA-approved lock for security
The hard outer shell of the bag is strong while still remaining flexible and lightweight, which I appreciate when I have to pack with a weight limit in mind. Like any bag, it does get a bit scuffed up through security or when I had to gate-check it on a small regional plane, but the scuffs easily come off with a warm wet hand towel and a little bit of dish soap. If you’re concerned about keeping your bag looking fresh, I recommend getting the black color but I have had no problems so far with this blush pink.
I am going to do a more in-depth packing post in a few weeks to show every single thing that I pack for a two and a half week European trip, but I wanted to give a you general idea how much fits in this bag. You can see that I fit three pairs of shoes, a hair dryer, a curling wand, my make-up bag, and a smaller purse all on the left side, with plenty of room to spare. On the right side, I was able to fit 8 dresses, a denim jacket, a small drawstring pouch with undergarments, and a pair of lounge shorts and tank top for sleeping or working out in. I could have squeezed more in there even before compressing it all down with the straps and pad. I also have a pair of flip-flops and some nicer sandals in the zippered sleeve of the compression pad.
Before I close out this post, I can't forget to mention the amazing lifetime warranty that Away provides for its customers. From their website, they state that the warranty covers:
- Cracks or breaks in the shell
- Wheels, handles, or telescoping handles that break off and are no longer usable
- Zippers that can no longer be opened or closed
- Fabric tears that render front pocket fabric non-functional
It does not cover:
- “Cosmetic Damage” which is defined as scratches, dents, dings, scuffs, stains, color changes, normal wear and tear, technological obsolescence, or other non-functional changes in the appearance of the product that occur during normal handling and use of Luggage by any party and which do not impair the functionality of the product as luggage. Aluminum Luggage is particularly susceptible to Cosmetic Damage.
- Loss of functionality of the battery, which is covered solely by the Electronics Two Year Limited Warranty.
Additionally, shipping was free and my package arrived on my doorstep not even 48 hours after my purchase, which is perfect for impatient people like me. You also get a dust bag for your suitcase and a charger for the ejectable battery.
All in all, I highly recommend this bag if you're looking to upgrade. While it is a little pricey, it's only slightly more expensive than your standard Samonsite and lasts longer and comes with a lifetime warranty. You can also get $20 off your purchase by using this code http://fbuy.me/iXmTu. This post is not sponsored (I wish!) but we do get a $20 credit if you end up purchasing a bag through that code.