Why I Got Carried Away with Away Luggage

Compact, easy to maneuver and stylish - my away luggage hard at work in the San Jose International Airport

Why I Got Carried Away with Away Luggage

I first heard about Away luggage from a former colleague who travels the world for work. He was super excited about his new Away suitcase and posted it on his IG feed. I immediately felt a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). This is not a typical feeling for me, so I knew it was serious. On his feed, I asked, if it is worth the price tag. “Yes! I seriously love this luggage,” he responded.

I travel a lot: for work, for pleasure. One of my jobs was as the recruiter for a graduate school program, which required I travel all over North America. I spent 6 months out of the year traveling to schools, sometimes three a day and was usually in a different city each night. When not working, I visited friends and family. I lived out of a suitcase, so I know how important good luggage is.

Away Luggage Battery

Away Specs

The suitcase I’d been living out of was a Samsonite carry-on roller bag that I picked up at an outlet. But that bag, which had served me well over the years, shrank before my eyes as I started to read Away’s features:

  • Tough zipper; TSA-approved lock
  • 360-degree wheels that allow you to move in any direction
  • Many different colors to choose from/mix-and-match and limited-edition colors
  • The hard case

  • The laptop pocket
  • An injectable lithium ion battery for charging devices on the go
  • 100-day trial; return the bag with no questions asked
  • Lifetime guarantee

That’s EIGHT features that piqued my FOMO. With my annual Professional Organizer’s Conference looming on the calendar, I needed to act fast.

Luckily, I live in one of the three US cities (New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco) that has an Away retail store. The store was clean, well-organized, and energizing. The sales people (Brianna Berumen, the manager, is my contact) were incredibly helpful and walked me through all options. I will now do the same for you.

The Goods:

Away offers several travel bags in various colors and materials (basic hard plastic or the aluminum collection, which is higher priced and more durable).

1. The Carry-On:  $225

“Meet the perfect carry-on. Unbreakable, thoughtfully designed, and guaranteed for life.”

2. The Carry-On with Pocket: $275

This model comes with a built-in nylon front pocket for the items you reference most in transit.

3. The Bigger Carry-On: $245

Away describes this as: “The perfect carry-on, sized up. Unbreakable, thoughtfully designed, and guaranteed for life. Made to fit the sizes of major US airlines, ideal for those flying on big planes or with extra outfits.”

The Bigger Carry-On with Pocket: This model comes with a built-in nylon front pocket for the items you reference most in transit.

***I got the one with the pocket in Navy. The pocket makes ALL the difference – trust me! 

Away Luggage with Pocket

4. The Medium: $275

Away describes this as: “A midsize checked bag with an unbreakable polycarbonate shell, interior compression system, and removable laundry bag.

5. The Large: $295

Away describes this as: “An enormous checked bag—big enough for a full wardrobe—with an unbreakable polycarbonate shell, interior compression system, and removable laundry bag.”

***I got this one in Navy. It’s BIG!


  • I have also heard (but have not verified personally) that Away’s Here Magazine is an awesome travel mag.
  • The store even carried my favorite candle in travel size! And yes, it’s worth the price tag.

What I LOVE about Away Luggage:

  1. Away has a 100-day trial period. Return the bags with no questions asked. I tested this out (for proper product review) by returning my carry-on. Seriously, no questions were asked. I then immediately bought the carry-on with the pocket, which was out of stock when I first bought my bags.
  2. Away bags are incredibly stylish and come in a variety of colors. Beware, the lighter colors may show more scuffmarks and wear/tear. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are helpful for getting some of the scuff marks out, but it’s luggage. Luggage gets scuffed, especially if it’s checked. I also love that it’s a hard case, which makes it waterproof and easier to clean.
  3. The luggage moves with you. I can spring like a gazelle through airports, one hand barely pushing the bag while the other hand holds coffee or my phone. 99% of the time I maneuver the bag upright on all four wheels, with my everywhere bag over the handle. Other luggage felt clunky and awkward on a dash. But this summer I ran from one end of a terminal to another, my large Away suitcase sliding along effortlessly with my carry-on/everywhere bag combo, and my dog on a leash. I thought to myself, I could not have done this with other luggage. Last Spring, I was able to glide through the L (subway system) in Chicago with my carry-on/everywhere bag combo. Seriously, I love this luggage! It makes you feel like a professional traveler – if there is such a thing.
  4. The front pocket on my carry-on makes it so easy to grab or stash my laptop when on the go. It’s also easy to retrieve at security.
  5. The lithium ion battery makes it easy to charge your devices while on the go. I never have to search for outlets. And I’ve even been known to grab it out of the suitcase and use it on regular basis. Just remember: you need to remove the battery when you check the bag, or security will confiscate it. It’s for carry-on luggage only, which is why it’s built-in only on the carry-on models.
  6. The built-in lock is awesome – and TSA approved. I love that it locks my zipper into place, and I don’t have to worry about a separate lock. In the event you forget your combo, the company will replace the lock. That’s included in your lifetime guarantee!
  7. Freebies: cord/charger for battery and carrying case (in the carry-on bag); laundry bag in the larger checked suitcases. Also, each bag comes with a matching leather luggage tag.
  8. Finally, I love the lifetime guarantee. True story: my large bag was damaged on its maiden voyage from CA to FL. I was super bummed when I got my bag off the belt and saw that the zipper was broken and could no longer use the lock. I immediately emailed my contact at Away who assured me that they would take it back at any time that was convenient for me. I don’t always get into that part of the city, let alone with a giant suitcase, so it took a few months before I finally returned the bag (see I’m just like you). Despite it being after my 100-day trial, they exchanged the bag, no questions asked. I did wonder what they would do with the broken bag (I said I would keep it if they would just replace the zipper; sadly they could not). The employee mentioned that the bags that are returned are used for parts, so they do attempt to be eco-friendly and not wasteful by sending bags to the dump. As an eco-organizer that makes me happy.

Be honest – are there any cons?

Price. Some people would consider the price a con. Honestly, this is quality luggage with a lifetime guarantee, so I considered it an investment. If you travel a lot, your luggage needs to last. You don’t want to be replacing luggage every few years. Remember the saying “you get what you pay for?” This luggage is worth the price.

There aren’t many retail stores, so you have to rely on online ordering, which also means paying shipping. And if you need to return the bag for any reason, that means paying for shipping, too. That could add up. I would consider that a con.

I had to pack in a different way than I’m used to. Normally, I pack using packing cubes, but that system didn’t work in with my Away luggage. Away has built in pockets, and the company also offers their own packing cubes, which I have yet to test out. So far, I’ve easily adapted.

Comment Away

If you have Away luggage – share in the comments why you love it or your favorite feature. What was the game changer for you? Why will you never go back to other brands?

If you don’t have Away luggage – do you have any questions that I haven’t answered?

What are you waiting for? This is definitely worth the investment. Use this link to order and you’ll receive $20 after your first purchase: http://fbuy.me/kE4zm

Lauren Mang
  • Caitlin Theisen
    Posted at 19:25h, 21 May Reply

    Hi! I’m considering either the medium or the large. Which one would you choose? Everyone I talk to says the large is HUGE and I’m wondering if I’m going to be overwhelmed and should just go with the medium?

    • Lauren Mang
      Posted at 17:51h, 22 May Reply

      Caitlin, Great question! It depends on the type of packer you are. I find the large to be VERY LARGE. For example I was gone three weeks over Christmas break and needed to pack winter clothes for laying around, for dressing up, and for a wedding. I also had to pack stuff for my dog who traveled with me, and have room to bring some Christmas presents back with me (I shipped the large majority of the gifts out way in advance). So that large suitcase came in handy, but I find it too big for shorter trips. I plan to buy the medium one soon and use it as my go-to checked back, reserving the larger one for longer trips. So again it’ll depend on your personal preferences but I’m thinking the medium will be good if you are not a big over-packer. If you are a big over-packer and like to be prepared for everything, get the large. I hope this helps! Thanks for commenting.

  • stella crane
    Posted at 00:10h, 06 December Reply

    Does anyone have experience with the new Expandable Soft Luggage line? Wondering if the Large Expandable is too large for most airlines such as United that has a max of 62 length + width + height inches. The large expandable comes in at 62.7 inches. Wondering if I will have to pay for oversized checked bag fees or if you have experienced checking this bag in?

    • Lauren Mang
      Posted at 01:07h, 09 December Reply

      Hi Stella! Thanks for your comment. I have not yet tested out the new expandable soft luggage line but am hopeful that someone else who has will comment. Have you reached out to the people at Away or looked for reviews on their website? I don’t blame you for your concern! Oversize bag fees are pricey these days. I recently was on a United flight and I was shocked at how little room there was: leg room, seat room, overhead bin room, etc. So I could imagine that they’ll be very strict with luggage. From the video I saw, I think the bag expands by a few inches so you might not want to do it. Again, my advice would be to check with Away to see what they say. I’m also hopeful someone who has the luggage will share with us here. Thanks again for coming by!

  • Jen C.
    Posted at 20:58h, 14 January Reply

    I just used my expandable large bag for the first time for a 6 week trip. Based on my experience, I would go with the medium. The large bag is MASSIVE. I didn’t even fill it to capacity, and I was pushing the weight limit. Also, the handle broke during the first part of this trip, which I’m assuming was related to the size/weight. Unless you will hardly need to maneuver this bag, and only fly first class where you typically have greater weight allowances, I would recommend the medium. I have the large expandable, the carry-on, and the everywhere bag, and I’m looking to add the medium to my collection to use as my go-to checked bag.

    • Lauren Mang
      Posted at 21:12h, 14 January Reply

      Thank you for sharing this feedback Jen! Away will fix/replace your bag. Southwest busted the lock on my bag on its first trip and they replace it no questions asked. So reach out to them for sure. And I agree – the large checked bag is MASSIVE. I took my medium on a monthlong trip to Bali and it was good, maybe even a little big.

  • Christine Vee
    Posted at 12:44h, 04 February Reply

    I live in AZ and own several pieces and have bought them as gifts for my adult children. I have the blush in medium for carryon and the oversize carryon, also the blush everywhere bag and the latitude bag in black. I own the away packing cubes and the garment bag – I love away luggage but these two are not really worth the spend. I own other luggage cubes and do use them with my away luggage because I like the organization upon destination arrival. My hubby has the same carry on and checked bag in navy, I bought the same two sizes for my kids because they kept borrowing ours. I do use luggage sleeves to cut down on the cleaning for the blush cases. They do not charge shipping for the returns and are incredibly helpful. I returned the large suitcase after a trial run with it. It is simply too easy to overpack it and end up over weight. That’s a stress I don’t need…lol I love the battery packs and skip one into my purse during our travels as a charging source!

    • Lauren Mang
      Posted at 03:34h, 05 February Reply

      I agree with you on the packing cubes and garment bags! Although I did recently purchase the one for shoes and I love it. I also got the toiletry kit which is a bit small for my needs but is nicely made. I do love their luggage and appreciate your comments on this blog!

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