As I got ready to attend my first ever blog conference I knew there were some things I needed to get to make the trip to Sandusky, Ohio for Bloggyconference. Realizing that unless I wanted to carry all my clothing in my arms through the airport getting a carry-on suitcase was essential.
Out with the Old, in with the New
It has been quite a while since I’ve flown, so my old carry-on suitcase exceeded the carry-on restrictions and one of the wheels has a huge chunk out of it, to be honest I do not know how that happened. So unless I wanted to clunk clunk clunk through the airport and then be forced to check my bag due to being over the size limit, I went to Pinterest looking for a suitcase.
Finding one linked to Amazon, I used Amazon Prime to order the highly rated hard shell carry-on suitcase. When it arrived the material was cheap, there were scratches on the hard shell of it, and the wheels got stuck whenever I tried to spin them 360 degrees. To say the least, if I had to run through the airport with the suitcase it would become me carrying it through the airport. So back to the drawing board I went.
While I may be a college student, I am more willing to spend a little more for something that is higher quality and will last longer. Just like when I bought a pair of Tieks, while they are more expensive than a cheap pair of shoes, I wear them every day and they don’t hurt my feet. So that is a success for me!
Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that sometimes spending more money—results in higher quality and longer life of the product. That’s when Pinterest threw the Away Carry-on into my feed. While the Away carry-on has a hefty price tag compared to the $40 dollar one I originally purchased off of Amazon the quality is ten times better.
100 Day Return Policy
I am sure you are curious as to what promoted me to risk $225 on a carry-on suitcase, well let me tell you. Away has a 100-day return policy where if you are not happy within the first 100 days you can return it. And this is not one of those policies where you can only return it if you have not smudged it, used it, traveled with it, breathed on it, etc.
No, they encourage you “to live with it, vibe with it, travel with it, Instagram it, whatever. If at any point in the first 100 days you decide it’s just not for you, return it for a full refund—no questions asked.” according to their website. A company that believes so highly in their product that they will let you return it after traveling with it really says something to me as a consumer. Because what do I have to lose if I have a 100 days to try it out?
Compared to how the Amazon suitcase arrived in a beat up box flimsy cardboard box with no other protection, it’s no wonder it had scratches. Away’s carry-on arrived in a sturdy cardboard box with their logo widely displayed on the box. Then, upon opening the box, the suitcase was in a cloth bag to keep it protected from any shifting during its journey. The cloth bag was nice enough material to be a fancy laundry bag!
Immediately, I began spinning the suitcase to see how well it moved in a 360 degree circle and then back and forth, so much better than the other one. Opening it up the zippers moved smoothly and did not have any problems. What I was really excited for on the Amazon carry-on purchase was the fact that you could expand the carry-on with a second zipper but the Away carry-on does not have that option. However, it does have a patent pending compression system for over packers like me. If I could pack my whole wardrobe I probably would find a reason to include every item.
On the flights
The Away carry-on is also extremely light, making it easier for me to lift it up into the overhead bin area on the flight. With my old monstrous suitcase, I use to have to ask someone to help me or risk taking off someone head should I drop it. I like to be an independent woman traveling and having a lighter suitcase means once I stuff all that crap into it, it won’t be as heavy as it could be.
My favorite part was being able to roll it down the plane aisle sideways in front of me instead of straining my shoulders lugging it off the plane.
Besides the awesome compression system for over packers the Away Carry-on also has a battery connected to a USB port to keep your phone charged up, because nothing is worse than having a dead phone and needing to call an Uber. The battery is approved for carry-on and checked use. Should you run into any problems there is a sticker on the bottom of the suitcase that will get you through with no problem. Here are some references and if you want to double check:
There is a nice laundry bag to keep those dirty items separate from your other items and it is easily compacted. I know for me this is perfect because I hate having to put my smelly post-workout socks in with all my other clothes.
Truly, I really think the quality and features of this bag makes up for the higher price tag. If you are someone who travels often for business then this would be perfect for you. However, the airports I travel out of are small meaning that my carry-on is almost always put under the plane. This posed a problem as I had to take the battery out continually, so I wasn’t as able to enjoy that benefit. I truly wanted to love it but I really needed an outside pocket for my liquids and snacks so I did not have to shove everything into my Vera Bradley bag you see above.
I made the decision to use their 100-day return policy due to the lack of space and it also got a lot of scratches from being put under the plane. I will still keep my eyes peeled for any future versions of this suitcase that has the option not to have the battery.
I do want you to know that Away Travel provides free return shipping and their customer service was extremely easy to work with, so I would watch them because they are on the right track just not for me at the moment.
Back to the drawing board for a new suitcase!
Update 12/16/16: Away Travel has created a larger carry-on version, check it out here. They are definitely moving with the times!
This review is completely my own. I was not given the product for free or at a discount to review, it was bought with my own money.