This cult-favorite carry-on is up to 50% off right now — here’s why we love it

Sep 9, 2020

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Luggage retailer Away is currently offering its first-ever sale. Called “We’re Having a Sale,” the company is offering up to 50% off its suitcases, bags and travel accessories, including some limited edition items from past collections. The sale ends Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 11:50 p.m. ET, and you can shop online or at any of the brand’s 12 brick-and-mortar locations.

Given the popularity of Away’s products and that it’s the first time they have gone on sale, people were excited when the sale began on the morning of Sept. 9. The website crashed, and some TPG staffers reported receiving an error during checkout, so patience is key if you want to score a deal.

Last year, TPG put one of the most-popular Away bags to the test. Long story short: This bag is worth purchasing if you don’t already own an Away carry-on, but the differences are not significant enough to justify a bag upgrade if you already own the original. Let’s break it down.

View of the new Away Carry-On bag. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
The new Away Carry-On bag. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

In This Post

The details

Regularly price at $225 (as low as $112 during this sale), you get a thoughtfully designed, sleek piece of luggage in a wide variety of colors, sized to fit comfortably into the overhead bins on most airlines with:

  • A durable polycarbonate shell
  • Ejectable battery that charges your phone or tablet
  • TSA-approved combination lock
  • 360-degree spinner wheels
  • Leather detailing
  • Black leather luggage tag
  • Interior compression system
  • Hidden laundry bag

In action the bag felt durable. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
The bag felt durable while traveling (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Durability

This bag can be thrown in and out of a cab and dragged off a carousel without worry, but be prepared for some scratches on the shell. (If you really want to see the durability in action, jump to the 3:00 mark of the Kids Away Luggage review video at the end of this article to see how we tried to destroy that bag.)

But with normal wear and tear, even with the matte material, scuffs can be seen. Lighter colors show black marks as well. The wheels roll smoothly (except on cobblestone, but that’s tough for any suitcase), and the zippers are relatively sturdy and effortless to use. The handle sometimes feels a little flimsy, but it does the job. The TSA-approved combination lock is easy to set and will be a comfort to those who worry about people rifling through their clothes.

TSA-approved lock. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
TSA-approved lock. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Strong zips. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
Strong zips. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

I purchased my original Away carry-on in August 2016, and it’s definitely held up well over time. It’s scuffed, sure, but still looks slick.

Side view of the Away Carry-On. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
Side view of the Away Carry-On. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Size and space

With a 39.8-liter capacity and some tight rolling, you will be able to fit approximately five-days worth of clothing in an Away carry-on, if you’re not taking big coats. It has a zip compartment for shoes, accessories and toiletries, as well as a water-resistant laundry bag to pack away your dirty clothes. If you’re not into a capsule wardrobe, there’s a compression pad to help you out. The bag measures 21.7 x 13.7 x 9 inches, which will easily pass major domestic carrier’s carry-on bag size rules.

Fits around 5 days of clothes and accessories. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
Fits enough clothing and accessories for five days. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Fits snuggly in the overhead bin. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
Fits snuggly in the overhead bin. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Compelling features

With the original carry-on, the process of removing the lithium-ion battery was extremely cumbersome — and after one experience of frantically trying to take out the battery with house keys at the boarding gate, while my underwear fell over the feet of impatient passengers, I vowed never to use the battery again.

But with the newly upgraded carry-on, the ejectable 37-watt battery makes life a whole lot easier. Not only could I charge my phone (up to five times) at the airport without sitting on the floor next to an outlet, but I could also relax knowing the TSA-compliant battery could be removed without a screwdriver if I had to check it in. Just press down and it pops out. The hardest part now is just remembering to charge the battery fully before a trip.

USB plugs on the ejectable battery that can charge any phone up to 5x. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
USB plugs on the ejectable battery that can charge any phone up to 5x. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Easily ejectable battery. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
Easily-ejectable battery. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

The most exciting feature for me was that the Away carry-on came with a selection of international plugs, which came in handy when I landed in the U.K.

International plugs for your travels. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
International plugs for your travels. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Using the UK plug in London. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
Using the U.K. plug in London. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Hot tip

If you’re buying an Away suitcase, skip the black or white bags in favor of a more unusual hue, as more than once I have grabbed someone else’s Away bag from the carousel and nearly walked away with it. I purchased my bag in “brick” red, but there are plenty of other colors to pick from, including limited-edition shades. If you do opt for black or white, add a very identifiable tag or something to stand out from the baggage carousel crowd.

How to buy

So you’ve decided this is the bag for you? Well, whether you want to check out the bag in real life at one of Away’s brick-and-mortar stores or shop online, be sure to purchase the bag using a card that will earn you bonus points on retail purchases.

Buy: Away.com, from $225 (regular price)

If you are debating between the full-size Away bag or the child version for your little traveler, here’s a video review of the children’s Away bag.

Overall impression

Even with the scuff marks, and slightly flimsy handle, this suitcase looks good. I enjoy taking it on trips, and especially when I combine with packing cubes, I feel like an organized “professional traveler.” And with a lifetime warranty and a 100-day trial period, during which you can return your luggage with no questions asked, it’s a pretty safe bet for frequent travelers.

Featured photo of the new (left) and older version (right) of the Away carry-on side by side by Isabelle Raphael.

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