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Luggage Review: Away Kids' Carry-On

April 30, 2019
7 min read
Luggage Review: Away Kids' Carry-On
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Sure, you can probably toss your kids' clothes and travel gear in any old bag and head to the airport, but just as the right stroller or car seat makes the trip easier, having the right piece of luggage does too -- especially when the kids are old enough to take responsibility for their own things through the airport and beyond.

(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

I'd heard of the "cool" direct-to-consumer brand, Away, for years, so roughly six months ago, we decided to try the bags for our family. For our tall 9-year-old daughter, we put the full-size Away Carry-On (in a really cool limited-edition Northern Lights color) under the Christmas tree.

Full-sized Away Carry-On (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

For our 3-year-old daughter, we needed something smaller because she is starting to manage her own things -- like the tiny traveling boss that she is. I'll do a written review here but don't miss the video review above of the Away Kids' Carry-On.

For our youngest traveler, we got the Away Kids' Carry-On that sells for $195 and is smaller and lighter than the adult version. I'll get to the measurements shortly, but here are some other highlights:

  • Made of durable polycarbonate
  • Has an (easily) ejectable battery that can charge anything with a USB cord
  • There are 360-degree spinner wheels, just like our bags
  • Hidden laundry bag for those extra-dirty things
  • TSA-approved lock (which we've never used)
(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

The kids' version comes in eight colors: blush, brick, navy, (dark) green, black, asphalt, white and sand. Honestly, none of the colors really scream "super fun for kids," so we went with the navy. (I liked our older daughter's Away color better.)

The Away Kids' Carry-On measures: 18 x 12 x 9 inches and weighs 6 pounds.

Compare that to the normal Away Carry-On that is: 21.7 x 13.7 x 9 inches and weighs 7.6 pounds.

If you're curious, Spirit Airlines' maximum dimension for a free carry-on is: 18 x 14 x 8 inches, which means the Away kid version almost fits that standard to come on board at no charge. In other words, it's really small. It didn't fit under the seat in front of us when we tried, but I bet it would on some aircraft.

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(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

The Away kids' bag is the right-size spinner bag for a preschooler like ours. She can handle it easily, though wheeling it through a busy airport is a slow process and parents sometimes might need to take over to speed things along. I imagine that, within the year, she will master the process as she gets a little older.

(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

The Away Kids' Carry-On is too small for my 9-year-old, who handles the full-size bag as shown below. Since the price difference isn't significant, pick the kid version for a young (or smaller than average) child in the roughly 3- to 7-year-old range.

Older daughter with full-size Away and younger daughter with the kids' version (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

The Away Kids' Carry-On is a small bag, but it held all of our daughter's clothes for a three-night Disney Cruise, followed by three nights at Walt Disney World, so the interior space is ample for many trips (and much brighter than the exterior).

(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

My favorite feature of the Kids' Away Luggage is the ejectable battery that can fully charge an iPad or up to five iPhones. During travel you don't always find yourself near a power outlet, and this solves the problem quite well so your kids can stay peacefully entertained with their electronics along the way. The battery is easy to remove with the push of a finger for when you need to check or gate check the bag. (You can't check bags like these with the battery in place, so you have to pop it out.)

While the battery and charging capability is probably my favorite feature of the Away line, the most fun part of our test was trying to destroy the bag. Away says that the kid bag is "durable enough to stand up to anything and last a childhood and beyond." Well, let's just see ...

Not only did we take the bag on some real flights, but we also took things a few steps further. First, I jumped up and down on it -- no problem. Next, I hit it with a hammer. Several times -- no problem. Then, we might have thrown it down the concrete stairs. Still no functional problem.

Finally, it was hit with an (old) car. Believe it or not, it's still fine. (Seriously, watch the review video just for those parts if nothing else!)

Our real bag -- the one that wasn't intentionally thrown or hit -- does have scuffs after a few months of normal use. So durable means won't fall apart, not won't scuff. It likely will scuff. If the bag disappoints you, there is a 100-day money-back guarantee, and a lifetime warranty on the shell, wheels, handles and zippers. The electronic components (like the battery) have a two-year warranty.

(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

Bottom Line

Not every family needs a $195 kid's bag (here are some more budget-friendly options). However, our family travels almost every month, so it is a good investment for us. (And yes, my family and TPG bought bags to try, these were not given to us by Away.) The limiting factor of the Away Kids' Carry-On is that it is really small, so it's not necessary to select this size except for the littlest of travelers. However, by 3 or 4 years old, kids can and should take ownership in their bags, and the Kids' Away Luggage is a great way to speed along that process. Some fun, bright kid colors and a shell that is a little more scuff resistant wouldn't hurt.

Featured image by (Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

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  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
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  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees