Bags. Tricky little (or big) things. Do we want to spend our dollar bills on something that simply, hold our other, more valuable things? When they do it in a novel, efficient, and double duty (!) way — I think the answer has to be a YES. Allow me to introduce you to a bag that is changing the way we look at packing.
I love planning and taking vacations. Packing comes naturally to me. Editing my belongings down to the necessities, folding them neatly, then tucking them into a bag turns me on.
Could Away’s carry on bag (size 21.7” x 13.7” x 9”) meet my needs for a weeks stay in Madrid?
The bag arrives in a sturdy box. Upon opening you’ll find your luggage wrapped in a canvas bag. Bonus points: I’ll be recycling mine into a laundry bag, thank you very much. Inside the luggage is printed material. Packing tips written in a cheeky tone that you expect all web based “disruptor” companies to employ (“The mesh pocket is perfect for your laptop, tablet, or actual book (#throwback). More companies should employ copywriters to capture their brand voice like this! These would have made cool post cards. Lost opportunity (please do not steal this idea for version 2.0.)
PREPARE FOR DEPARTURE
Zippers: After opening the bag, I find the zippers could have a smoother move. Nothing awful, but for a brand that prides itself on “thoughtful luggage for modern travel” this does not bode well. However, points are gained when the zippers click neatly into a built in combination lock. Gone are the days of fishing that tiny useless travel lock onto your zipper ends. Now I’m starting to crush hard on this bag.
Exterior: The shell is made from “Makrolon polycarbonate” or as I call it, plastic. The material has a slight give to it, but seems like it will hold up in the cargo bay. The color selections are on trend, but I’m not sure why anyone would choose “snow” (aka white).
Wheels: Four “Hinomoto 360° spinner wheels” mean business. They helped the bag sail along my kitchen floor with no problem.
Interior: The bag comes with three compartments. On the left is an area to store shoes and other hard items. The right side is for your clothing or anything soft. There are straps and a compression to cram in one more pair of jeans. There is also a mesh pocket for an iPad or magazine. Down below is a pouch that unrolls into a laundry bag which is a nice touch.
PRO TIP: roll everything (pants, bathing suit, sweat shirt) but fold your shirts. Underwear and socks get crammed along the sides.
Bonus Points: The bag can charge your phone. Yup, you read that correctly. Your suitcase is playing double duty. Did I use this feature? No. But if my flight were delayed and I was out of juice, I’d be all over it. Total game changer. Crush is evolving to love.
The hard shell and wheels are sturdy. They stood up to multiple transfers on the NYC and Madrid subway system, gliding along like a boss. Nothing says “outta my way” like a rolling maroon suitcase.
The suitcase has no breaks. Not a deal breaker, but with my husband’s bag from Muji he could spin a dial and all 4 wheels would lock and stay put. This feature is handy when you ride public transportation.and want your bag to stay put. The bag was constantly knocking into other people. The extend-a-handle was a bit shaky and could use some re-thinking. Now I’m rethinking the love. Maybe we’ll just date?
For a bag that claims “first class luggage at a coach price” my expectations were pretty high. What’s nice about the bag is you can tell someone wanted to re-invent the cary-on. Did they? Lots of thought has gone into what can enhance a modern suit case. For $225 you get a solid bag. Is it first class? Hardly. But I appreciated any company or product that tries to shake up a category. I’m excited to take Away on more journeys and see how our relationship evolves.
Hinesighted readers can save $25 when they enter the code SUBWAY at check out. Check them out and start packing.