Review: AWAY Carry-On Suitcase

AWAY Carry-On Review

I’ve been using the AWAY suitcase since May for every trip – a week in France, multiple jaunts to DC, an extended San Francisco/Napa long weekend. It’s joined me in planes, trains, automobiles, and even helicopters.

And it is, without a doubt, the best suitcase I’ve ever had.

While I still love my Tumi, the AWAY carry-on has replaced it as my go-to luggage. Here’s my detailed review on this suitcase:


Why is it so hard to find a suitcase in an elegant neutral – that’s not black?

You can sometimes find a gray or silver. Red is popular, but I’m not a fan of the color in my luggage.

AWAY stands apart first with its subtle color offerings – the navy // hunter green // tan (and yes, black) staples, but also their seasonal white and graphite offerings.I have the navy. It stands out nicely without being too conspicuous (i.e screaming “hey, steal me!)

Virtually any hard case suitcase will scratch or dent. It’s the payoff for having a significantly lighter suitcase. My AWAY carry-on has a handful of scratches and neat dent in the top corner, but I’ve also been using it once a month (sometimes twice!) over the past 7 months. It still looks fantastic, despite the wear-and-tear, and AWAY’s excellent warranty will cover more extensive damage (cracks in the exterior or broken hardware), which is on par with other luxury luggage companies.


This suitcase opens up in two equal halves, with different closures. Which is intentional.

The built-in compression section, secured with a zipper, has replaced the need for packing cubes. I pack all my clothes in that section, neatly rolled and folded, and the section helps keep everything in place while minimizing the bulk.

It’s basically Spanx, for your belongings.

The second section in the AWAY suitcase is closed with two fasteners on a flat zippered section (a great place to store laundry sheets and feminine hygiene products), and has slightly less room as it shares real estate with the suitcase’s handle and battery. I typically pack my shoes, non-liquid toiletries and makeup, and the all-important steamer in that section.


One of the AWAY suitcases’ signature details is the in-suitcase battery. And it’s a game changer.

I’ve gotten 2 full charges (and sometimes more!) out of this single battery. Virtually all of my devices are charged with a USB cord – my phone, Kindle, iPad, and even my headphones – and having a heavy-duty backup power bank while in transit has been a delight.

And now, a downright necessity.

The suitcase comes with its own laundry bag, which neatly rolls up and sits in a zippered pocket in one corner. While I overlooked it during the first few times I used the suitcase, it’s become one of my favorite details of the AWAY carry-on.

Like the battery charger, it becomes a necessity only when you have it.

What AWAY has done superbly well is building their brand. Everything they do on digital, in print, and in-person is consistent with their products. The company has combined convenience, quality, and luxury at an attainable price point perfectly.

Which is no surprise, given their previous roles at Warby Parker.

I know luggage is a popular holiday gift idea, and that the AWAY suitcase has been popping up on gift guides everywhere. If you’re thinking about adding this to your list or gifting it – DO IT.

You won’t regret it. And I won’t blame you if you buy it for yourself.

The fine print – AWAY did gift me the suitcase, but all opinions are my own. I’d been holding off on reviewing the suitcase until I’d put it through the full HOTG test. AWAY aced it.

More luggage recommendations here, and all my travel tips can be found here.