I Never Travel Without The Away Bigger Carry-On Suitcase—Here’s Why

You've seen it trending all over your TikTok and Instagram feeds. I'm thrilled to report the Away Bigger Carry-On really does live up to all the hype.

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As someone who spends roughly 90 nights a year on the road, I’ve spent a lot of time studying popular luggage brands. As you can imagine, I’ve witnessed or experienced it all: people dragging broken trolly handles, wonky wheels caving under heavy weight and even holes in dented suitcases. There’s nothing worse than having to make an emergency suitcase purchase while traveling because yours couldn’t do its job.

For years, there’s been one carry-on luggage bag that always catches my attention in airports because of how sharp and durable it appears: The Bigger Carry-On from Away. From the distinctive horizontal lines to the way the wheels deftly maneuver through crowded hallways to how easily it stows away in overhead compartments, I just knew I had to get one. Sure, it’s a bit more expensive than my previous bags, but don’t I deserve an upgrade I can count on?

My Away suitcase has since traveled all over the world with me. It certainly lives up to the social media hype and it’s the travel companion I can always rely on. In fact, I also bought the Away Medium Flex for longer trips, because the brand has completely raised the bar on my travel standards.

What is the Away Bigger Carry-On?

Img 0093 Away Carry On Courtsy Jill Schildhouse Jveditcourtesy Jill Schildhouse

Away boasts that its luggage is designed by travelers, for travelers. As a frequent flier, I can attest to the unmatched durability, genius design structure and chic style this brand’s suitcases, bags and accessories deliver. The Away Bigger Carry-On is the slightly bigger cousin to The Carry-On (15% larger to be exact) and that extra room makes a big difference while packing. Yet, like magic, it still squeezes into those overhead bins on domestic carriers with ease.

I initially had a more subdued color. But Away recently released two limited-edition colors as part of its summer Neon Collection: Kiwi and Paradise Pink. Any shade of pink absolutely lights me up, so I just had to grab the new hue, too. I’ve lost track of how many people have stopped me to compliment the shocking shade of my suitcase. I can guarantee nobody will ever accidentally mistake it for theirs on the rare occasion I check my luggage (like when I fly on a small, regional plane, for instance).

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Away Bigger Carry-On features

Away Carry On protective sleeve courtesy Jill Schildhouse

My hot pink Away Bigger Carry-On arrived in a sturdy box and canvas bag to help protect the shell, and I still use the bag to store the suitcase in my closet between trips. I immediately noticed how light the suitcase was, which was a welcome change from the heavier bag I’d been using. Affixed to the bottom of the polycarbonate shell is a set of four spinner wheels to help ensure a smooth ride.

The handle is sturdy and extends to multiple lengths (I use a shorter setting since I’m only 5’1″, and it’s really nice to have that option). I love that the carry-on comes with a matching leather luggage tag and built-in TSA-approved combination locks.

The bag opens like a clamshell to reveal two halves. One side is an open compartment complete with a laundry bag that folds neatly into a pouch and a pad-and-straps compression system to help you pack more into the space. The compression pad has a zippered pocket to keep smaller items organized.

On the other side, you’ll find another open compartment with a zippered cover to help prevent things from spilling out. It’s a simple interior without many organizational features, but that’s precisely why it holds so much more. You can also use packing cubes to configure the space however you’d like.

How I tested it

Away Carry On with everything hat can fit in the suitcase spread out around it on the floorcourtesy Jill Schildhouse

The interior has a surprising amount of room. It measures 21 inches by 14.5 inches inside, with a capacity of 47.9 liters. I was able to fit the following:

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 3 dresses
  • 2 jumpers
  • 1 romper
  • 1 skirt
  • 5 shirts
  • 1 pair of heeled sandals
  • 1 pair of flat sandals
  • My toiletries bag
  • A makeup bag
  • Travel hair dryer
  • International adapter
  • A bathing suit
  • An evening bag

With everything packed, I still had room to spare (I left space for my undergarments and a few other knickknacks). Had I used compression packing cubes and rolled my clothes more carefully, I probably could have squeezed in another couple of outfits.

I always pair this bag with my favorite travel backpack, which holds my belt bag, iPad, Bose over-the-ear headphones, book, snacks, water bottle, chargers, AirFly Pro, medications and supplements, umbrella and jacket.

My older Bigger Carry-On suitcase has seen a lot of action over the years. I’ve dragged it through cobblestone streets in Europe, gravel and dirt roads, potholes, high curbs, broken sidewalks and other unexpected obstacles. A few cosmetic marks notwithstanding, it’s no worse for wear. This Paradise pink version will take her inaugural trip in just a couple of weeks (and the bigger Away Medium Flex will join me in Europe this summer for 12 days).


  • Meets the carry-on requirements for most major airlines
  • Only weighs 8.4 pounds
  • 360-degree wheels glide like a dream
  • Built-in TSA combination lock
  • Interior compression straps
  • Durable polycarbonate hard shell
  • Comes with a leather luggage tag and a water-resistant laundry bag
  • Test and return within 100 days if you don’t love it
  • Lifetime warranty covers functional damage to the shell, wheels, handle and zipper


  • Some scuffs and scratches won’t buff out, so consider them proof of a life well-traveled
  • With few internal compartments, you may want to use packing cubes to help stay organized
  • At $315, it’s one of the more expensive options on the market


hot pink Away Carry On lockscourtesy Jill Schildhouse

Does the Away Bigger Carry-On fit in overhead bins?

The Bigger Carry-On was made to fit perfectly in the overhead bin of most major U.S. airlines, but you may need to check it on smaller airplanes (including regional or international flights). But, according to the brand, it fits on American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, Frontier, easyJet, Allegiant, United and WestJet. They say it also fits on Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, AeroMexico, Air Baltic, Air France, Air India, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, KLM, Norwegian, Scandinavian Airlines and Wizz Air.

Airlines that it will not fit on include Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Air Europa, Alaska Airlines, Alitalia, Iberia, Icelandair, Lufthansa, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic. Be sure to check the TSA carry-on rules before you head to the airport; fees may vary with some budget airlines.

Will the Away Bigger Carry-On get scratched and scuffed?

This bag is made from a durable polycarbonate hard shell that takes random bangs and bumps like a champ. But, as with any hard shell luggage, it’s bound to get a bit scuffed up with use. The bag comes with an eraser that minimizes some of the obvious superficial wear and tear. Don’t be shy about getting it damp and using it to gently rub away scuff marks and dirty spots.

And remember, a suitcase is only pristine the day you buy it. This bag is built to take a beating and each blemish serves as a sign that you’re living your best life.

What other reviewers had to say

I’m certainly not the only one who thinks the Bigger Carry-On is one of the best carry-on luggage bags for any type of trip. This bag actually has a near-perfect rating among more than 3,300 reviews on the brand’s website.

Beth P, a verified buyer, says she did 10 days in Italy with this bag, impressed that it, “held five dresses, ball skirt, six pairs of shoes, spare jeans, multiple tees, pool and loungewear, plus all the foundational garments I needed!”

Verified buyer Suzanne F. says, “I had been eyeing this suitcase for over a year and finally purchased it. If you’re thinking about it, don’t hesitate, you won’t be disappointed.”

And Kristy S. now owns several Away bags. “I am so excited about my Bigger Carry-on! I am a big fan of my Carry On, but decided it would be nice to have a little extra space for some trips! This bag doesn’t disappoint. I’m telling you, the couple extra inches makes a WORLD of difference. I can easily fit a week’s trip in this bag. So now I have both and am not upset one bit about it!”

Product comparison

The Away Bigger Carry-On is one of the most recognizable bags you’ll see at airports and hotels, but there are similar bags that offer some of the same features.

The Monos Carry-On Plus weighs a bit less, yet holds roughly the same number of liters of contents. It’ll also cost a bit less ($306) and comes in a wider variety of colors. Monos offers a 100-day trial, a lifetime warranty and an interior compression pad. Its slightly smaller version, the Monos Carry-On, is another worthy contender.

One option that’s no doubt trending on your TikTok and Instagram feeds is the Beis Carry-On Roller. It’s priced at $218, expandable and has 360-degree wheels and TSA locks, too. One stand-out difference on this bag is the built-in weight indicator on the handle, which will alert you to a bag that’s over the limit (goodbye extra fees!).

Final verdict

If you’ve spent any time on the road, then you know that when it comes to travel, you usually get what you pay for. This bag is slightly more expensive than its closest competitors. But for the splurge, you’re treated to a quality suitcase that should last for many years (and many road and air miles) to come. Now check off the rest of your travel essential checklist.

I’ve spent money on less durable bags over the years and had to replace them frequently (sometimes at very inopportune times, like at an airport after one bag literally fell apart). I can attest to the peace of mind that comes with The Bigger Carry-On’s sturdy construction, lifetime warranty and thoughtful design details.

Where to buy the Away Bigger Carry-On

Away The Bigger Travel On Suitcasevia merchant

Ready to explore the world with your new bag in tow? Grab the Away Bigger Carry-On on the brand’s website for $315. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to stock up on multiple.

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Jill Schildhouse
As an editor-at-large for Reader's Digest, Jill Schildhouse regularly covers travel, wellness, food, beauty, consumer products and product reviews. She has more than 20 years of experience as an award-winning lifestyle writer and editor, and she frequently contributes to Travel + Leisure, Bride’s, Southern Living, Taste of Home and Insider. Jill has traveled to 36 countries and is always planning her next domestic or overseas adventure.