Away The Large Review
Cons: Expensive, easily scuffed, poor performance off-road
Manufacturer: Away Travel
Compare to Similar Products
Away The Large
|Price||$375 List||$289 List|
Check Price at REI
|$279 List||$260 List|
$239.88 at Amazon
$79.38 at Amazon
|Pros||Stylish, smart packing features, reliable construction||Durable construction, large capacity, rolls with ease across mixed terrain||Smooth ride, sensible features, excellent organization, great style||Cavernous main compartment, scratch- and water-resistant, easy-roll spinners||Inexpensive, rolls easily, large capacity|
|Cons||Expensive, easily scuffed, poor performance off-road||Limited interior organizational features, easy to overpack||Zippers could be smoother, low clearance||Tough to transport on mixed terrain, easy to overpack, limited organizational features||Low-grade materials, poor craftsmanship, sticky zipper|
|Bottom Line||A heavyweight, thoughtfully designed, luxe spinner suitcase ready to travel from boardroom to a resort vacation in a single day||The perfect all-terrain rolling duffel with substantial storage capacity and useful organizational extras||A durable, stylish, and high-value suitcase suited for all types of travel||An oversized yet lightweight mega-bag with spinner-tight roll and control over smooth surfaces and surprisingly tough exterior construction||A low priced expandable suitcase with enormous storage capacity but dubious durability|
|Rating Categories||Away The Large||REI Co-op Big Haul...||Timbuk2 Copilot||Samsonite Omni PC H...||Amazon Basics 30" H...|
|Storage & Organization (25%)|
|Ease of Transport (25%)|
|Specs||Away The Large||REI Co-op Big Haul...||Timbuk2 Copilot||Samsonite Omni PC H...||Amazon Basics 30" H...|
|Measured Weight||11.6 lbs||9.6 lbs||9.4 lbs||10.3 lbs||11.6 lbs|
|Liters per pound||8.6||11.1||8.5||14.1||10.9|
|Construction||Clamshell, hard-sided||Zip open, duffel||Clamshell plus topside u-shaped zip access, softshell||Clamshell, hard-sided||Clamshell, hard-sided|
|Measured Packed Dimensions||29" x 20.5" x 12.5"||33.75" x 16.25" x 14"||26.5" x 14.5" x 13"||30.5" x 20.5" x 13"||30.75" x 21" x 12|
|Number of Wheels||4||2||2||4||4|
|Number of Large Interior Compartments||2||1||2||2||2|
|Interior Storage Features||One-half clam zippered mesh enclosure, one-half clam compression pad with laptop-sized mesh zip pocket, 1 hanging pocket with enclosed snap-attached laundry bag||2 mesh organizational pockets on inside of opening panel (one with key hook), 2 internal compression straps||2 mesh clam panels with 2 organizational pockets||Elastic restraint straps in one-half clam, zip enclosure over opposite half; hanging zipper accessory pocket||One-half clam with elastic restraint straps, one-half large zip enclosure with 2 zip mesh pockets, hanging zip accessory pocket|
|Number of Exterior Pockets||None||1 side exterior zip pocket. 1 small top zip pocket with piggy-bag strap attachment, plus daisy-chain gear loops||1 pocket on top, 1 large sleeve||None||None|
|Compression System||Removable internal compression pad with 2 straps and mesh zip pocket||2 external and 2 internal compression straps (4 in total)||No||2 elastic straps for restraint but no functional compression||2 elastic straps for restraint but no functional compression|
|Handle Height from Ground||Low: 37.25"
|Built-In Lock||Yes, TSA Approved||No||No||Yes, TSA Approved||No|
|Main Exterior Material||Polycarbonate||Recycled 400-denier nylon/recycled 1,680-denier nylon (bluesign®-approved)||Nylon and polyester||Polycarbonate||Extra-thick ABS, hard shell|
|Unique Features||Interior compression pad with extra pocket; hanging accessory pocket; snap-in laundry bag; built-in TSA-approved lock; reinforced single axis, 2-wheeled spinners||Oversized wheels, rugged chassis, full-length bumpers, 2 internal and 2 external compression straps, stopper-stand, carry-on piggyback clip, 6 haul handle options, daisy chain lash points, water-resistant||Liquids pocket and padded front pocket to fit 13" laptop; skateboard wheels||Built-in TSA-approved lock; large packing capacity; impressive water resistance, expandable, anti-scratch exterior||150D-polyester zippered clamshell enclosure, 3 organizational pockets|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Away Large suitcase wraps functionality and a clean, modern style into one streamlined package, with a durable hard case, ample storage, and sturdy four-wheel architecture sure to deliver an easy, reliable, responsive ride for your valued cargo over many years to come.
Storage & Organization
Clamshell designs are not universally known for their extraordinary organizational features. Simple is the name of the game. But when such extras do appear in a thoughtfully designed manner, they can take an otherwise acceptable bag to a far more celebrated level. We found the Away Large strikes just this right balance.
At 99.2L, this versatile case can serve most travelers' needs for one to two weeks without growing so large you'll hesitate to grab it again for shorter weekend jaunts. Plus, a few extra features on the inside ensure you'll have smart organizational options at your fingertips to keep your load balanced and your items safe and accessible throughout each journey.
To start, one-half the clamshell is standard fare, with its mesh zip panel enclosure set to restrain loose items within. The other side is where things get creative. Here you'll find a full-size removable "compression pad" featuring a zippered mesh sleeve inset into the hollow. With this tool, you can securely lock down clothing, electronics, or other miscellaneous items while maximizing baggage space and limiting opportunities for damage to the contents within. This is by far the best hard-sided clamshell organizational strategy we came across in the test group. In fact, it's one of the very few that asserted any real effort.
A couple of other sweet additions to the inside include a second interior toiletry-sized zippered pouch containing a snapped-secure, water-resistant, reusable dirty clothes bag within. And on the outside, a built-in TSA-approved combination luggage lock is available to secure the case in transit with a leather luggage tag to help track your bag on the go.
We'd still argue packing cubes work wonders for organizing any two-sided hard shell (even with compression). But with the addition of just these few small organizational extras, we were left confident we could squeeze every possible combination of clothing or gear we'd ever need into the space available, cubed or not. All with the added pleasure of knowing the contents of the entire case would not explode across the room each time we arrived in a new location.
The single feature missing is that there's no option for expansion. For big shoppers or those loading up for an entire family, that means you'll need to approach your pack job with greater care. But for our urban travel needs, we found the overall dimensions of the Away Large quite sufficient, with room enough to easily find ourselves in airline overage territory. Anyone aiming to scale back their luggage needs may prefer the downsized carry-on or medium versions. Or, for those who just can't do without an expansion features, take a look at Away's Flex line.
Ease of Transport
The wide, two-wheel-drive spinner architecture at the base of the Away Large sets the stage for firm control and easy navigation, whether you are charging through the airport toward your next flight with a full load or meandering along the water's edge with a featherlight bag full of trunks and bikinis. Two rubberized wheels meet on each axle, forming a solid base to deliver stability, grip, and a notably smooth ride. The 360-degree bearings spin easily, leaving the wheels to run fast and responsive across polished flat surfaces, providing effortless movement between furniture and people.
Where this suitcase does well is urban settings: planes, trains, automobiles, long flat stretches of asphalt, carpeted hotel lobbies, and the polished elevators and gateways of airports. And the Away gets a special consideration for being the only hard case spinner that didn't pull away from us in an odd direction when moving at full weight. It goes exactly where you want it to go and sticks with you, even if extra pounds may require a little extra muscle from behind to keep it moving uphill or over breaks in the road. Just be sure to keep a firm grip on the bag when standing, or the weight may also take the bag on a stroll of its own.
Heavy off-road activity is where the Away Large is sure to disappoint. With only 2-inches of clearance to the bottom, anything resembling a pothole, rock, construction zone, or just a simple set of stairs becomes a deal-breaker, and you're left trying to strongarm your case using just two thin, low-profile side load handles. Although these are well-suited to a quick lift-and-load scenario, the undersized handles are barely solid enough for even a small set of hands to gain a good grip for longer distances. At full capacity, or even less, this hand-held strategy becomes unsustainable. But tipped up onto its side, a two-wheeled Away ride will suffice long enough to traverse short distances over the stairwells, small gravel, dirt, or sand found in less extreme terrain.
Sure, when matched against hefty, two-wheeled suitcase models, there is just no comparison. A spinner just isn't designed to challenge all-terrain conditions with any great success. But the Away Large stepped up as well as any other four-wheeler in the suite and scored quite high in all hotel hallways, city streets, and coastal pathways. If a stable, well-balanced, durable bag offering a smooth, body-parallel glide for city adventures is what you're after, this reliable case has the range and versatility you'll need.
The general consensus of our testers is that this is a great bag. And we would be happy to have it in our luggage quiver as a go-to option for any future urban adventures. The craftsmanship of the Away Large stands out when compared to all other four-wheeled luggage choices in our test group. When zipped and standing tall, the hard polycarbonate shell holds its structured form, with little flex or give to the exterior casing. The solid assurance of external protection — not only to the bag but to contents as well — went a long way in supporting the argument for a higher price. For some, this will balance. Particularly when equally matched by the well-fortified construction of the spinner wheelset below.
On first look, we were pretty impressed by the base of the Away. Wheels are often the weakest point on any piece of roller luggage, most especially spinners. Yet these well-architected, smooth-gliding, two-inch, double-wide rubberized rollers give every indication of durability, securing flawlessly to the body, swiveling with ease, and leaving little exposure at sensitive connection points. Nothing cheap or poorly crafted in this set.
Like most all bags we've tested, the exterior of the Away Large is water-resistant but not waterproof. This vulnerability comes into play when the exposed zippers and handle housing attachments are hit heavily by the elements — so you'll still need to be careful under the threat of a downpour. The topside telescoping pull handle feels strong, if not also a bit lightweight, yet it doesn't bow or flex under pressure. And the heavyweight zippers do a great job of keeping everything tightly closed, even if their recessed placement might prove difficult to pull around corners when the bag is full.
We have one complaint about the Away: its outer polycarbonate shell is surprisingly scuff and abrasion prone, so much so that the case comes packaged with a sample set of scuff-cleansing wipes. Although strikingly durable in construction overall, this irksome feature of the external surface treatment does notably detract from the otherwise sophisticated vibe. The term "dirt collector" actually came up in testing. And even after several exterior wipes to remove standing traces from our previous thrashing efforts, lasting scuff marks remain. Not a deal-breaker for some, but an important consideration before committing to an expensive case for the long term. Similarly, much to our surprise, this was one of only two bags to show any tears in its internal liner after testing. Given the brand's attention to quality overall, we would expect more here. In total, we still love the excellent craftsmanship, performance, and reliability and would consider this a top choice among hard case spinners.
At 11.6 pounds, the Away Large was among the heaviest bags in our test suite while simultaneously showing up among the lowest in volume. That's an odd combination, and perhaps the perfect demonstration of the fine line luggage walks between durability, features, and capacity. But since you can still fill the heavyset case with more than 38 pounds of gear for flights-- and certainly plenty more if you're road tripping or willing to pay oversized luggage fees — it's hardly out of the running as a top choice among all our spinners. Even at full load, it impresses with its perfect balance and easy transportability.
A modern take on sophisticated urban chic, this case was the most stylish in the bunch, showing up with an understated yet elegant design that subtly gathers rather than demands attention. A front-to-back horizontal line pattern sweeps around an uninterrupted matte finish to keep it fresh, while the case's color choices trend the final package toward a more classic, if not even mid-century vibe. The Away Large could settle comfortably into the backdrop of any business meeting on the road or play a striking accessory for a vacation or lifestyle photoshoot in whatever cityscape or mid-modern desert location you happen upon next.
The biggest hurdle to this case is the price tag. It seems high compared to several other similarly suitable options in the test series. And truth be told, we found this a hard point to argue. You can get a reliable, strong beast of a spinner bag for much less. So why spend more? In our mind, it really comes down to resources and purpose. If a handsome go-to bag that checks all the organizational, performance, and reliability boxes is what you need, and you have the budget, this is a well-crafted hard case and a worthy investment. It also comes with a 100-day moneyback guarantee followed by a limited lifetime warranty to account for unexpected damage to the shell, wheels, handles, zippers, and other functional elements (outside of usual wear and tear, of course).
If you want a hard-case spinner piece to trust, the Away Large is a winner. It's everything you've been looking for — elegant, reliable, functional, and straightforward — and impressively well-suited to the paved city streets and long, carpeted hallways of nearly any business or leisure destination. Where the case lacks in off-road capabilities and disappoints in scuff-readiness, it more than makes up for with its combination of smart organizational features and hearty craftsmanship. For those with a budget to match, this is an elegant, masterful suitcase you can pull off the shelf without hesitation and expect to enjoy over a long lifetime of frequent flyer and road trip adventures ahead.
— Myrha Colt
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