Is it worth the hype?

Away is pretty standard when it comes to carry-on suitcases in 2022. Just on a recent trip to Dollywood, I noticed the overhead bins were chock full of the brand. 

I’m not the first person to review an Away bag. At this point, the market is pretty saturated with this type of review. However, I did happen to fly on three different airlines (on a total of five planes), so I’ve got a unique perspective to bring to an already done review.  

On top of that, I reviewed Away’s competitor, July, over the summer and I’m able to tell you the differences between both brands with ease.

What is Away Luggage?

My Beis backpack fit perfectly over the handle of this Away carry-on bag.

Ana Suarez for Hearst Newspapers

Away, also known by its URL as Away Travel (looks like Away.com was snatched up by other travel companies) is a popular travel brand. 

Unless you’re living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard of Away luggage. The company is known for its direct-to-consumer business model and even a bit of scandal. The company’s best-known products are its suitcases. Since launching in 2015, Away has expanded its product line to include travel bags, travel organizers, and travel accessories. 

A nice added benefit of Away luggage is it comes with a 100-day trial, free shipping, and a limited lifetime warranty. This warranty covers damages to the shell, zippers, handles, wheels, and other necessary functional elements of the suitcase. Basically, if anything on your bag breaks or gets damaged, Away will fix or replace it for you.

The Carry On (Lavender)

The Carry-On

The Carry-On

awaytravel.com

$275.00


Away Carry On Luggage Dimensions

The photo on the left is the only picture I got that accurately captured the color of this bag.

The photo on the left is the only picture I got that accurately captured the color of this bag.

Ana Suarez for Hearst Newspapers

There are a few sizes of carry-on luggage from Away. I reviewed the standard size and it was very roomy.

  • Exterior measurements: 21.7″ x 13.7″ x 9″
  • Interior measurements: 20″ x 13.5″
  • Weight: 7.1 lbs
  • Capacity: 39.8L 

If you need something even bigger, you can opt for the aptly named Bigger Carry-On. For an extra $20 to $40, the Bigger Carry-On will get you an extra inch in length and 9L of capacity. 

The Bigger Carry-On

The Bigger Carry-On

awaytravel.com

$295.00


  • Exterior measurements: 22.7″ x 14.7″ x 9.6″
  • Interior measurements: 21″ x 14.5″
  • Weight: 8.4 lbs
  • Capacity: 47.9L

Away Carry-On Cost

The standard Away Carry-On luggage costs $275. As mentioned above, the Bigger Carry-On is only $20 more and costs $295. There’s a Carry-On with Pocket that will run you $325. If you’ve got over $600 to burn, there’s the Aluminum Edition bag that is $625 to $645.

Away Carry-On Luggage Review

I was able to stuff this massive pile of clothing, shoes, and hair supplies in the Away bag without needing to sit on top of it to close it shut.

I was able to stuff this massive pile of clothing, shoes, and hair supplies in the Away bag without needing to sit on top of it to close it shut.

Ana Suarez for Hearst Newspapers

On this trip, I flew on three different airlines (United, Delta, and JetBlue) between five planes. On the first two United planes, I had vastly different experiences with the bag. On a Boeing 737-900 Twin Jet, the Away carry-on luggage fit upright in the overhead bin. But the next plane (Embraer EMB-145XR Twin Jet ) was basically a puddle jumper and I had to have the bag gate checked. Thankfully, I got to pick it up at the gate upon landing at my destination and didn’t have to wait for it at baggage claim.


On the next airline and third plane (CRJ-200 ) of my trip, the bag fit overhead, but I had to place it horizontally and sideways, as the bins were smaller. The best-spaced airline I flew on this trip was JetBlue, on my last two planes (an E190  and an A21N) the bag fit sideways and up. The flight attendants even referred to the final plane as “the big plane” and talked up all the space they had.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to spot 
  • Perfect for organization and compression 

Being lightweight is an extremely important aspect of a carry-on bag. If you’re throwing something into an overhead bin, you want it to be light. Especially when you have to pull it back out of said bin after it’s shifted around during transport. It can be hard with lightweight luggage, as they can also feel cheap. That isn’t the case with Away. This bag is very light and feels incredibly sturdy. I dropped it down my stairs (oops) on my way to the airport and it didn’t ding or scratch, either. 

The lavender color makes this bag hard to miss. If I wanted to check it (or had to have it gate checked) it would be easy to spot on the baggage carousel among all of the plain black suitcases everyone else has. Away has other bright, easy-to-see colors like petal, green, and coast.

I’ve never packed better than when I used this Away carry-on suitcase. I brought several heavy jeans, a jacket, hiking boots, thick sandals, a makeup bag, and Away’s toiletry bag. I was able to bring souvenirs home and didn’t feel like my bag was going to explode. There is a zippered compartment and then a compression system on the other side. I felt like the compression straps really helped me (a notorious overpacker) squeeze everything into place. 

Cons

The only con is the cost. $275 is a lot of money for a carry-on bag, there’s no denying that. To be fair, competitors are in the same price range. July bags of similar design cost $245, while Monos bags cost $265, and Samsonite has bags for $200 to $300. While there are more expensive bags than Away (Tumi bags can set you back $700 to $1,700, there are also much cheaper bags. You can get bags from American Tourister for under $100. If you’re looking for inexpensive bags, Away is not the brand for you. 

Away vs. July

The July carry-on vs. the Away carry-on.

The July carry-on vs. the Away carry-on.

Ana Suarez for Hearst Newspapers

As I mentioned earlier, I reviewed an Away competitor last year. July is an Australian-based brand that produces the same products as Away that looks awfully similar. For a head-to-head comparison, here are the small differences between the two bags. The July carry-on is slightly wider and weighs a little more.

Away

  • Exterior measurements: 21.7″ x 13.7″ x 9″
  • Weight: 7.1 lbs
  • Capacity: 39.8L

July

  • Weight: 21.5″ H x 15″ W x 8.5″ D
  • Weight: 7.4 lbs 
  • Capacity: 42L

Away is more well known, and therefore, costs more. The standard carry-on bag from Away costs $225 in one color and is $275 in most of the other shades. That doesn’t include the $20 extra if you want the bag to come with a portable charger or not. The July bag costs $245 and comes with a charger at no additional cost. July has four different types of carry-on bags, while Away has 11 types of carry-on bags.

While the July carry-on is actually heavier than the Away bag, it feels lighter. Despite that, the Away bag feels sturdier. My July bag is certainly more banged up than my Away bag. Both bags are made with a polycarbonate hard shell, 360° spinner wheels, integrated TSA locks, and interior compression systems. The July bag features a Y-compression strap, while Away has a two-strap system (that compresses more than the July bag).

Is Away worth the hype?

The Carry-On suitcase ($275)

The Carry-On suitcase ($275)

Away

If you’re into aesthetics, the answer is yes. Away has made a name for itself for a reason. Their bags look good. They have fun colors.  Away bags are lightweight, sturdy, and reliable. For some people, buying an Away bag is just paying for the name. While I do think the price is inflated due to the popularity, I also know that Away bags are some of the best I’ve ever used. The lavender color is the prettiest suitcase color I’ve ever owned. In the last year, I’ve traveled five times and this is by far my favorite bag I’ve traveled with yet.

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