A number of companies design smart suitcases but airlines are wary of passengers bringing them on board. Most will not accept them if the lithium-ion batteries cannot be taken out and this has been putting travellers off buying them.
Jenny Southan reviews Away’s Aluminium Edition Carry-on, which is safe to have in the cabin with you.
Globetrender is always a supporter of innovation, so while it respects airlines for doing everything they can to ensure passengers are not at risk, we lament the loss of smart luggage companies such as Bluesmart and Raden, which have had to shut down operations.
Away, on the other hand, is going strong. Now three years old, the US brand has come up with truly cutting-edge designs in fashionable colours (everything from Sky blue to Blush pink) with the all-important built-in but ejectable batteries that keep your devices powered on the go. (Some of them are also available without a battery.)
Away Aluminium Edition Carry-on
Away’s regular Carry-on is priced at £225 and comes in ten different colours including Sand and Brick, but the more expensive Aluminium Edition is the futuristic version that Globetrender liked the look of. It is incredibly sturdy (if a little on the heavy side) and feels indestructible. In fact, it comes with a lifetime guarantee.Also available in limited-edition Rose Gold and Steel, it’s a real head-turner as you pass through the airport. Its durable aluminium alloy shell is smooth and cool, and manoeuvres well on its four 360-degree spinner wheels.
On the top and the side are ergonomic handles for lifting the case into lockers, and a telescoping handle slides out beautifully for pulling it along.Even though you are probably not going to check it in, the Aluminium Edition features a pair of TSA combination locks for added security. One of my favourite design elements are the clips that keep the case closed – just press the keyhole buttons and they pop open. It’s great not to have to faff with a zip at security.
Inside, there are two clip-in pocketed panels for a laptop or iPad and smaller accessories, plus a water repellent laundry bag (good for damp swim wear) in a small zip-up pocket, which is a nice detail.In terms of its all-important smart functionality, Away says the 10,000-mAh battery (located under the telescoping handle at the top) holds enough energy to power your phone five times.
There are two USB outputs (1A and 2.1A for faster charging devices), one micro USB input for charging the battery, and four white indicator lights to show how much power it has left.
The case also comes with a mesh wallet with a USB plug with slim US, EU, AUS and UK adapters to clip on.
Beyond that, there is nothing else to make it “smart” (no GPS luggage tracking, for example).
It’s not vital to have a smart suitcase when portable battery packs are so easy to pack but the design of Away’s Aluminium Edition Carry-on is so pleasing that it’s a desirable piece of luggage to have in its own right. The fact that it will also charge your laptop is a bonus.
DIMENSIONS 54.5cm x 34.5cm x 22.8cm