Best Personal Item for Airline Travel: Away Luggage Review

May 16, 2020

Okay, guys, I came up with the idea to start this blog based on my LONG search for the perfect personal item for airline travel. (Unfortunately, I didn’t think to snap photos since I hadn’t started this blog yet. Forgive me!)

After several long, grueling trips using a backpack that couldn’t attach to my rollaboard bag, I knew I wanted a bag with a luggage sleeve (also called a trolley sleeve; I did not know any of this before beginning my perfect bag deep dive) to save my poor aching back. 

Today, I’m sharing where I started. Stay tuned for more reviews of the GAZILLION other options I researched and tried.

The Away Everywhere Bag (and I got the Away Carry-On too — because you get a discount if you bundle them — and let’s be real, they’re beautiful!): Not being able to see this stuff in person was agonizing to me when considering such a big-ticket purchase. Especially since I already had a perfectly good rollaboard. But it’s not nearly as pretty. Away offers a 100-day trial period, and we had two trips planned that would fall within that period, so I took the plunge. 

My overall thoughts: It’s pretty. So pretty. My Away luggage was MUCH more fashionable than anything else I’d ever used. I wanted to love it. But I didn’t.

Pros of the Carry On:

  • Pretty
  • Durable hard shell
  • Cool pouches and zipper areas
  • Fit into overhead storage very easily

Cons of the Carry On:

  • Heavy. Like, I really wouldn’t have thought it would feel that much heavier than my other carryon, but it was SO heavy to me. I almost could not lift it.
  • Wobbly. I felt like my Samsonite rollaboard is much sturdier when fully packed.
  • Hard to zip. So, my Samsonite is a softside. I thought I’d like how durable the hard shell felt, but it was so difficult to close, even when packed with fewer items than I could easily fit into my Samsonite (and I’m truly not a heavy packer — I took the Away Carry On to the beach, so all I had was swimsuits, coverups, tees, and shorts… nothing crazy).
  • Scuffed in the course of one use (My Samsonite still looks as good as new after lots of use, whereas my gorgeous Away bag was scuffed up after one experience of being thrown under the plane.)

General thoughts about the Away Carry On: It’s gorgeous. If you don’t already have a rollaboard bag that you have gotten used to OR if you care more about fashion over function, go for it. You likely won’t be disappointed. I’m just too practical to spend THAT much on something I don’t need, when I don’t really even enjoy using it.

Pros of the Everywhere Bag:

  • Size: Smaller than I was expecting, but very easy to manage, and fit nicely under the seat.
  • Roomy: It fit everything I wanted to access quickly (books, phone, headphones, sunglasses) and has lots of pockets and compartments to keep everything organized.
  • Shape: I loved how it is a short/wide setup vs. the backpack shape I’d been used to. It was nice to know everything was upright, and I could easily see each item inside, rather than having to dig deep for things that slipped down in my backpack.
  • Trolley sleeve/luggage sleeve: Loved how easily the bag slid right onto the handle of the Carry On.

Cons of the Everywhere Bag:

  • Material: For such an expensive bag, I was just underwhelmed by the material. It’s probably fine. I just didn’t like it.
  • No luxury feel: This is much the same as the above; it just didn’t feel luxurious for the price. If paired with the Carry On, it works beautifully; if I had just wanted to keep the bag, it wouldn’t have added any pizzazz to my already lackluster Samsonite. So it went back.

General thoughts about the Everywhere Bag: If it had paired better with my Samsonite or come in at a lower pricepoint, I might have kept it. It’s a nice bag with smart pockets and compartments, and getting to everything I needed on the flight was easy peasy.

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