Away luggage UK review: are the cult suitcase company’s bags worth the price?
Away luggage has swiftly grown popular among travellers since it first arrived in the UK in 2015. But with a hefty price tag, are their bags worth the extra cost?
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Be it the Away Bigger Carry-on cabin bag, their hanging toiletry bag, or The Large suitcase designed for checking in (and housing a full family’s clothing for a holiday) their sleek aesthetics and promise of organisational ease make Away bags easy to covet.
But if you’ve hesitated when hovering over the ‘add to basket’, wondering whether you need an Away bag when you could pick up something plastic and less pricey on Amazon, we’ve reviewed their most popular items so you can discern whether they’re the right purchase for you.
Away - the brand
Don’t worry - the notion of ‘brand values’ makes us cringe internally, we’re not going to get into too much corporate jargon. However, if you’re considering Away you are likely curious how they have become so popular within the weathered travelling community - and why owning an Away bag seems to lend you ‘travelling street cred’.
In short - they’re just really good. The bags are made to be easy to pack, with intuitive design and features. The sizes, for example, of the cabin bags are airline compliant but have a large internal capacity and clever packing pockets. The materials the bags are made of are sturdy and durable yet lightweight. Also, they look sleek and elegant.
(Having suffered the ignominy of having our old suitcase break its ahead of coming out of the luggage conveyor, and subsequently spray our clothing and intimates everywhere when we tried to pluck it up, we’ve learnt through embarrassing experience why sturdy luggage is worth shelling out for).
In addition to a spectrum of sizes depending on your requirements, they come in a rainbow of colours, and you are able to buy accessories to further their flexibility, from packing cubes, to garment sleeves, all designed to fit perfectly into Away luggage.
The smaller carry-on bags come with an ejectable portable charger - the type of wizardry that’s incredibly useful when you’re anxious about your phone dying mid-flight - and mid-podcast listen.
Each bag comes with a black leather luggage tag, international travel plug adaptors, durable handle, hidden laundry bag section, 360-degree spinner wheels, and a combination lock. Oh, and a lifetime warranty - so they’re a life-long investment. Those hefty price-tags are starting to make sense now, aren’t they?
Away: Key Specs
- Suitcases sizes available: Carry-On, Medium and Large bags with variations of each
- Luggage type: Soft and hard suitcases, accessories, travel bags
- Weight: 3.2kgs to 6.41kgs, depending on suitcase type and size
- Capacity: 39.8L to 106L, depending on suitcase type and size
- Warranty: Life-time warranty offered on suitcases
- Colours: Four to 16, depending on the suitcase
- Smart options: Removable battery for on-the-go charging included on some Carry-On styles
- Personalisation: Can have name monogrammed on luggage tag or body of luggage
- Accessories: Additional travel accessories, such as backpacks, pet carriers, toiletry bags and more
Away Luggage Pros and Cons at a Glance
Crowd-leading wheel technology - sturdy, roll smoothly, absorb shock, and durable.
Carry-on cases come with rechargeable batteries that are removable from the outside, even if the case is zipped up - very handy for if you place your carry-on in the overhead compartment or check it in last minute.
The hard-shelled suitcases are not expandable, so you can’t pack extra souvenirs into your case if it’s already full. Consider - do you come back from holiday with more goodies than you left? The soft-sided Away suitcases are your best option.
Though they’re very good, the 360-degree swivel wheels don’t lock. Be careful on moving walkways or down slopes that the bags don’t get away from you!
Alternatives to Away
Don’t believe the hype? Check out our round-up of the best cabin bags, here. Our reviewer was impressed with the Travelpro Platinum® Elite 55cm Slim Expandable Carry-On Spinner, known to be beloved of flight attendants for its convenience and adaptability.
We tested Away’s most popular pieces of luggage and accessories - here’s the breakdown
KEYS SPECS: Size: 57.7 x 37.3 x 24.3 cm
Weight: 3.8 kg
Capacity: 47.9 litres
Arriving swiftly (two days) after ordering, the Away Bigger Carry-On doesn’t use wasteful plastic packaging, but rather comes in a reusable dust bag.
The leather luggage tag was monogrammed, the chic pastel colour stylish and understated (there are 9 colourways).
Under the handle sits an airline-approved, ejectable lithium ion battery to keep your phone juiced up. The clamshell design opens up to two internal compartments for shoes, toiletries and clothes.
A compression pad is there to help protect fragile items in case you over-pack, and a case of plug adapters for different destinations. These are smart, useful touches.
The clothing compartment contains a nylon laundry bag for dirty clothes - it’s machine washable, and water-resistant, so ideal for housing any soiled or damp clothes you want to keep apart from your clean duds.
Best of all? We loved the way this baby glides. 360-degree ‘Hinomoto’ wheels offer a flexible spin, allowing the bag to slide easily over smooth and cobbled surfaces alike. It absorbs shocks well. A very happy trundler.
Is it worth the price tag, then? Absolutely. It’s an investment piece that will last a lifetime and make you wonder how you ever put up with a cheap nylon suitcase with no smart features. You can purchase it for £265 without the charger, but that seems fool-hardy.
The brand offers a 100 day free trial, so you can test it out yourself before committing.
KEY SPECS: Size: 55.1 cm x 34.8 cm x 22.9 cm
Weight: 3.2 kg
Capacity: 39.8 L
£245 for purchase without USB charger.
As above, but not, as you’d imagine, as big. Worth it if you are a light packer who wants to avoid checking your bag in.
Per our review by travel expert Jacob Little:
“This is a good hard case option that comes with 360 degree spinner wheels that work well, a variety of pleasing colour options and clever features we were really impressed by.
It has a hidden laundry bag inside the bag itself, for keeping dirty and clean clothes separate, and an ejectable USB charger with slots to charge your devices up to four times on a single cycle.
KEY SPECS: Size: 66 x 47 x 28 cm
Weight: 4.5 kg
Capacity: 68.8 litres
If you’re after a piece of check-in luggage that’s still light andveasy to cart around the airport and over rough pavements as you trundle to your hotel, Away the Medium is just the ticket.
Away the Medium was initially reviewed by one of our travel experts, Sian Lewis. Per her review:
“Away’s handsome hard-case suitcases are swish and elegant to look at, but their Instagram-worthy status would be irrelevant if they weren’t good at their job. And they certainly are.
The Medium suitcase is ideal for a decent-length holiday away - spacious enough to house multiple outfit changes and a souvenir or two for the trip home.
The inbuilt, discrete laundry bag is ideal for keeping your dirty clothes away from your fresher luggage, while the 360-spinner wheels are responsive and great for wheeling around sidewalks and through slippery-floored airports.
Alongside a 100-day guarantee, Away promises “Our suitcases are guaranteed by a limited lifetime warranty that covers any damage to the shell, wheels, handles, zippers, and many other functional elements of our luggage.”
That’s a sound investment.”
Size 21cm x 16cm x 10cm
Weight: 0.23 kg
£65 for a toiletry bag, you cry? Jeepers. And - yes. This is not a compulsory buy for everyone, by any stretch.
But if you are a make-up lover or skincare fiend, you may well know the ignominy of having your make-up explode in the middle of your suitcase. It’s a grim experience.
We once had a facial oil burst open in our suitcase and ruin our favourite, most expensive dress - never again.
Away’s the Cosmetics Bag is a solid case, with multiple compartments for optimal organisation - and no spillage.
With a wipeable interior, transparent pockets, and a detachable section for make-up brushes, it’s a smart buy if you bring a haul of product with you on holiday.
KEY SPECS: Size: 20 L
Dimensions: 41.4cm x 25.9cm x 18.5cm
Weight: 1.25 kg with shoulder strap | 1 kg without
The Everywhere Bag is a 19L nylon holdall, available in two sizes, fab for weekends away - with a large, easy-access opening, and multiple internal compartments for smart packing.
It has a 15 inch laptop pocket and detachable key clip - it’d also double as a smart bag to take to work, as you could comfortably transport both your gym kit and your laptop in one bag without doing damage to the computer.