ISO: The Perfect Carry-On


Happy Friday!! Who is taking off for the weekend? 

While I won't be earning any flier miles, I am packing my bags for a weekend back home in Dallas. Funny to still call it home when neither of my parents reside there anymore. But it is home to my adorable sister, childhood friends and sweet sorority sisters. This weekend I get to see all of them!!

So today's as good a time as any, and actually well past due, to share with you what I believe to be the perfect carry-on. 

Akin to finding the perfect mate, one must go through rigorous trial and error before determining the right combination of qualities in your travel companion. The one that's always by your side. The one that takes the stress and weight of traveling off your shoulders. I'm talking about your carry on!

A new luggage set had been on my mind for a while. Given the amount of time and energy it took for me to decide on a new travel pack ( as evidenced here) I really wasn't up for the challenge. As luck would have it, my analytical ally, Kacie, had put in a great deal of research in search of her own new luggage. She shared with me an incredibly detailed spreadsheet and asked for my opinion. 

As it turns out, we were looking for slightly different things yet Kacie's research aided in finding my new accompaniment. These Away luggage sets combine my top priorities in a chic, fun fashion. Away collaborates with various artists to come up with new, exciting colors on a continual basis. This can actually prove frustrating as I first fell in love when they introduced a pink collaboration that disappeared before I could order it. I waited for six months until this clay collaboration struck my fancy. Ironically, Away has now added the pink to their permanent collection, but the clay remains my favorite after a soul-awakening visit to New Mexico

So here is why this luggage blows me AWAY....

1. Color Coordination

I'm a sucker for anything in a matching set. With Away luggage you can mix and match your pieces of varying color and size or choose to stick to one. I fell hard for the clay tone and decided to keep both pieces in the family. There are about ten staple colors that are always in stock and then a rotation of special collaborations that add some spunk to the mix. There's also a selection of luggage stickers on the site that can add some funk and variety to your set. 

2. Size Matters

The Away collection comes in 4 distinct sizes that can be compared at this link. They have a carry on that can fit most airlines and a slightly larger one that will fit the majors. I went with the smaller of the two, knowing that James and I have previously and plan to continue to travel to places that require smaller planes. I frequently fly Air Canada, one of those who necessitate the smaller carry on.

There are also two checked bag sizes, of which I chose the larger to make up for my smaller carry on. My previous checked bags have not had near as much space and the Away has the added benefit of a detachable laundry bag. 

3. Light As A Feather

The thin shell of these pieces make them incredibly light weight. They are also extremely flexible. At first I was worried the casing was flimsy as the zipper can sometimes be difficult to fasten, but once zipped the bags are strong. I love that I can worry less about what's in my bag, since the luggage itself isn't contributing much to the weight. 

4. Power Play

The most exciting feature of my carry on is the rechargeable battery pack located under the handle. This was a must-have in my next suitcase. In comparing with other brands with a similar feature, this one takes up less space than its competitors. I did not want to have to forfeit room in my already smaller-sized carry on. This one is just right!

*Just the other day Away sent out an email to their customers stating that some regulation changes may make it necessary to remove your battery while going through security or customs. Don't worry as this is easily accomplished with the newer bags and can be popped right back in once you're through security and sitting at the gate with your Starbucks. 

5. Smooth move

The four-wheeled structure makes maneuvering multiple pieces a breeze and is a must for all luggage. I stand by that statement. I'm not sure if anyone even makes two-wheeled versions anymore, but if they do, count me out.  

Cover Your Ass(ets)

If reading this you're as sold as I was, let me throw another little suggestion your way; luggage protectors. Cheap and available from many Amazon vendors, these stretchy luggage huggers keep that hefty purchase safe from the brutal exchange with airline baggage handlers. I have to say that I was overall disappointed in the purchase I linked because they tore after two trips. They are much larger than the sizing chart specifies, which led to my wheels locking up while trying to roll through the airport and eventually the wheels tore through the fabric. These specific carry on protectors I ordered, on Amazon Prime, yet they took over a week to arrive. This caused me to fly my first trip without them and earn a few scratches on my checked bag. I wrote them a terrible review, but the concept is still worth investing in. They don't cost much, but be prepared to buy them multiple times. 

PRO TIP! If you do get scuffs on your precious cargo, don't fret. I discovered the Magic Eraser cleans these babies right up!

So there you have it. New luggage for many new travels. I hope my review and the research of my thorough comrade help you to find and fall in love with your next travel sidekick.