The Best Medium Sized Checked Suitcase for Your Next Travel Destination
When I set out to travel the world for a year's time, I decided that I was going to do it backpacker style. I scoured the internet and sports supply shops to find what I thought would be the perfect bag and bought myself an awesome Osprey Women's Ariel 65 Backpack, Deep Sea Blue, Small. And for 7 months of traveling it was a great bag. That is until I couldn't stand carrying all of my stuff on my back anymore. This bag is awesome and I still love it, but on a hot summer day in Sydney, Australia I made my way to a Tumi store, bought a new 19 Degree Aluminum small checked size suitcase, and subsequently made my way to a post office to ship my backpack back to the United States. Win!
At least I thought I was winning. The Tumi suitcase seemed like a dream at first. It had the right dimensions to fit in most hostel lockers, it looked really classy and easy to spot when I looked for my luggage on the carousel and it seemed super durable for the long haul ahead. But I made two very big mistakes. One, the bag was way to heavy while it was empty and I often looked like a mess when trying to get it upstairs in subway stations (thankfully there were very generous men who stopped to help me carry it!) and two, because it was a trunk style case, there was ZERO room to fit anything extra in there as there was ZERO expansion. Both of those things made traveling as a 'maximalist' extremely challenging and frustrating. I also learned the hard way that with the amount of traveling I did, this bag was not up to the challenge. The inside lining wore itself apart from the bag and the metal corners cracked open exposing sharp pieces of metal. Thankfully Tumi was willing to send me a brand new bag, but instead, I decided to return it.
Once again, I found myself in need of the right bag for a long trip. I learned I couldn't have anything too heavy. I couldn't carry anything too big on my back. I wanted it to still be stylish and functional and also give me the right amount of space for what I needed, but still be able to fit on all airplanes and not go over on the weight restrictions. And then it dawned on me! Everyone seemed to be raving about their carry-on bag with Away Travel and I decided why not give the checked medium sized luggage a try? And voila! Perfection!
Not only is the Away medium checked size bag stylish and classic to aesthetically stand up to the test of time, but its internal compression system and polycarbonate casing help make the bag both indestructible and spacious for packing exactly what you need for an extended trip - like months on months on months.
The Away medium checked size bag does not come with a charging system for your phone like that of the carry-on bags to make TSA approvals much easier for you, but it does have some additional awesome features that make this bag so enjoyable and dependable.
1. TSA built in approved lock
This may seem obvious, but there are a lot of bags on the market that still don't include it. And when I was hauling my backpack around I had to get a separate lock to keep the bag secure. On one occasion the lock ended up going missing after a flight en route to Antarctica and I had to buy another one in Buenos Aires. On this Away bag, the zipper easily fit into the locking system and you're also secured and set!
2. A hidden laundry bag
If you use packing cubes that don't come with a separate dirty laundry side, if you don't use packing cubes, or if you use both but end up with wet clothes that need to be separated, this little extra feature is such a plus. It saved me a couple of times when traveling with wet stuff on my departure day.
3. 4 360 degree wheels
Prior to owning this Away suitcase, I never owned a suitcase that had 4 wheels. I only owned bags with two wheels and I didn't realize how sweet it would be to be able to push my bag along-side me, even with a backpack or laptop bag or purse resting on it. The wheels are smooth and tough, allowing travel and wondering how your bag will arrive on the carousel to be less burdensome and worry-free.
4. It's only 8.5 pounds
You may find bags that are lighter and you will find plenty of bags that are heavier, but this 8.5 checked bag hits a sweet spot. I don't have to worry about over-packing because with the weight of this bag coming in where it is, it's much easier to fit what you need, not worry about going over the weight limit for your airline, and not as intense to pick up and place into your transportation or luggage rack or wherever you're needing to pull it over or place it onto.
5. This is your bag for life and at a great price
Because Away does direct to consumer sales, the prices of the bags are extremely competitive. It's amazing what you're able to get at the price-point. The Medium checked size bag is $275. In addition, the brand wants you to have your bag for life, so your bag is covered by a lifetime warranty. For real. You can read all about it here. Away also has sustainable practices. For example, if you purchased a carry-on bag before their new removable battery was created, you'll be able to send your original bag in to have the battery replaced, at no cost to you. How cool are they?! Oh, and added bonuses? Not only can you also get it monogrammed, but two ladies started the company!
And after all that good stuff I just mentioned, the bag also allowed me to comfortably fit everything I needed for my travels. I can pack in my tri-pod, two pairs of shoes, 3 weeks of undies, 2 weeks of socks, all of my toiletries, and 2 weeks of versatile clothing. Yes!
At this point, I hope you're as excited about this bag as I am. If you're ready to try it for yourself USE THIS LINK FOR $20 OFF YOUR FIRST AWAY PURCHASE!
I hope you enjoy your new suitcase and I can't wait to hear all about it!
Happy packing and a bon voyage!