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TripSavvy / Charlene Petitjean-Barkulis
360-degree spinning wheels
Smart clamshell design
Hard to maneuver on uneven surfaces
Lighter colors may not be easy to clean
From its smart clamshell design to its mobility, Away’s The Large suitcase has everything you want in a luxury suitcase, but for half the price.
We purchased the Away The Large suitcase so our reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it while traveling with her family. Keep reading for our full product review.
If you have an Instagram account, chances are that your feed is filled with images of Away suitcases. The company originally gained momentum with its Carry-On suitcase, which boasts an ejectable battery to charge your phone, but has since launched other, bigger suitcases. My family traveled with one of the brand’s latest additions, The Large, to find out if it was worth the hype. Read on for our insights.
Made of a hard polycarbonate shell, The Large suitcase is sleek, durable, and thoughtfully made. With a capacity of 99.2 liters, the design allows users to pack a surprising amount of stuff.
More specifically, the clamshell design helps optimize its packing capacity. It has two big compartments: one to store clothes and one for items like shoes and toiletries. For example, using packing cubes on one side, I was able to pack 10 days’ worth of clothes for my kids and myself. On the other side, I brought four pairs of adult shoes, five pairs of toddler shoes, my toiletries, and two curling irons.
Using packing cubes on one side, I was able to pack 10 days’ worth of clothes for my kids and myself.
Away also includes a compression pad that sits on top of the clothes compartment. Once I was done packing my clothes, I buckled it down to compress them, which freed up some space. This was particularly helpful on our way back home when we had to pack dirty clothes in the laundry bag, which is included in the suitcase and tucked away to the side of the clothes compartment. The dirty clothes took up a lot of room, but I was able to flatten the laundry bag with the compression pad, which allowed me to add a few items (kids’ books and toys) that I’d purchased during my trip. Overall, I loved how sturdy this suitcase feels, and though it doesn’t actually have an extension zipper, it has enough flexibility to allow for even more packing.
Color-wise, the suitcase comes in nine different hues: black, navy, green, asphalt, coast, white, sand, blush, and brick. All the color options are neutral, muted, and timeless. Away also offers special-edition varieties, like black trimmed with leather.
I’d recommend choosing a darker color, especially if you like to keep things looking new.
I’d recommend choosing a darker color, especially if you like to keep things looking new. For my testing, I chose sand, which is a gorgeous lighter color but got scuffs and nicks after the first flight. Overall, though, the suitcase withstood the ins and outs of airport travel, and I was able to wipe it clean with the included scuff eraser—a magic eraser of sorts.
The Large Away measures 29 x 20.5 x 12.5 inches. Although it’s a big, hard-case piece of luggage, it’s also lightweight, weighing just 11.2 pounds. Even when filled, it was pretty easy to carry around.
Although it’s a big, hard-case piece of luggage, it’s also lightweight.
In addition to the telescopic retractable handle, the Large features two other handles: one at the top, and one on the side. This is pretty standard, but it allowed me to transfer the suitcase from the baggage carousel to the airport cart with ease. When maneuvering it up and down the stairs, my husband had to flip it 90 degrees.
The Large, like other Away suitcases, comes with four 360-degree spinning wheels. All four of them rotate without snagging for a smooth ride on almost all surfaces. The wheels, along with how light the suitcase actually is, made it a breeze to steer it from my New York City apartment to my parents’ place in Paris.
That said, the suitcase was a bit more challenging to steer on uneven surfaces, like cobblestones or cracked streets, because you don’t have the option to lock the wheels. It also would be convenient to have lockable wheels so that the suitcase doesn’t roll down a slanted street or the floor of a moving subway.
Away thought of everything—even a TSA-approved lock to secure your belongings while also giving access to security personnel, as needed. Once you get your suitcase, you’ll want to set up your lock, which is a cinch; simply come up with your own combination code. After you finish packing, you can slide the two zippers into the combination lock, and voilà—your suitcase is locked and ready to go. Once you get to your destination and are ready to unpack, all you have to do to release the zippers open is enter your combination.
If you decide that The Large suitcase isn’t for you, you can return it up to 100 days after your purchase. All Away suitcases also come with a limited lifetime warranty (aside from the Mini, which, according to the brand, isn’t subject to the same wear and tear as its full-size suitcases). This warranty covers any damage to the shell, wheels, handles, zippers, or anything else that functionally impairs your luggage. This doesn’t concern The Large, but the electronic components (found in models like The Carry-On) all have a two-year warranty.
Sure, $295 seems like a lot of money for a suitcase. After all, there are many options out there for a lot less. But the Large suitcase feels and performs like a piece of luxury luggage—so, given that high-quality luggage can sell for more than $600 and up, we vote it’s absolutely worth the price.
The Away and Tumi’s Worldwide Trip Packing Case have a lot in common. They both feature four 360-degree rotating wheels for effortless maneuverability, a clamshell design for easy and optimized packing, and a TSA-approved lock. Overall, they’re both big, hardshell suitcases, though the Tumi is slightly bigger and can thus hold more than the Away (130 liters instead of 99.2 liters). For their size, both suitcases are remarkably light, though the Away is lighter than the Tumi (11.2 pounds versus 12 pounds).
The Tumi features a hanger bracket in one of the clamshell compartments, which is a nice touch for those who are traveling for business or a special occasion. On the other side, the Tumi boasts a tie-down strap, which is more conventional and less useful and practical than the Away’s compression pad. Overall, the Away comes complete with smarter features to keep travelers organized, and considering that it’s much cheaper than the Tumi packing case, it is a better investment in the long run.
Interested in reading more reviews? Check out our list of the best checked luggage.
Away has developed a cult following, and with good reason. From its smart design to its good looks, Away’s The Large has all the attributes that you’d want in a luxury suitcase, but for half the price (at least). Overall, it’s an excellent and stylish investment.
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