The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

Away Travel Large Review

The best spinner luggage option out there.
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $295 List
Pros:  Stylish, simple, reliable construction
Cons:  Expensive, drags up stairs
Manufacturer:   Away Travel
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 21, 2020
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78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 11
  • Reliability - 25% 8
  • Storage & Organization - 25% 8
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 8
  • Weight - 15% 5
  • Style - 10% 10

Our Verdict

The Away Travel Large is one of the most thoughtful suitcases that we've had the pleasure of testing. Omitting all the bells and whistles that any seasoned traveler knows that they don't need, this simple case wraps functionality and style into one simple package earning an Editors' Choice Award for Best Overall Spinner. The hard case clamshell design is the most durable that we've seen, while the four-wheel architecture makes navigating the airport with a full load a breeze. It features just the right amount of organizational pockets on the interior, with enough volume (~110 liters) to pack even the bulkiest of items. This suitcase is reliable, stylish, straightforward, and best for any traveler who will be sticking to paved city streets.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Away Large suitcase features a beautiful and durable hard case, loaded with ample storage and amazing portability. It stands out as a suitcase that is built to last for many years to come. It is our favorite four-wheeled spinner, earning it one of our Editors' Choice awards.

Performance Comparison


Beautiful and sleek style  the Away Travel Large spinner case offers great reliability and performance  especially for a hard case product.
Beautiful and sleek style, the Away Travel Large spinner case offers great reliability and performance, especially for a hard case product.

Reliability


What can we say? We love and trust the Away Travel for all of our trips. The craftsmanship of this piece stands out when compared to other hard cases and four-wheeled luggage items. The wheels are well-built and very durable, and the outer polycarbonate shell is surprisingly scuff and abrasion-resistant. If you want a hard-case spinner piece to trust, this is our favorite.


Wheels are typically the weakest point in on any piece of roller luggage. We appreciate the durable rubber construction of these smooth-rolling wheels and the fact that the housings secure flawlessly to the body. Nothing looks cheap or poorly crafted.

Here we look at the high-quality housing and wider two-wheel construction on the Away Travel suitcase. The wheels are rubberized and especially durable to rolling over rocks and other obstacles. Compared to other roller options  you can see the superior craftsmanship.
Here we look at the high-quality housing and wider two-wheel construction on the Away Travel suitcase. The wheels are rubberized and especially durable to rolling over rocks and other obstacles. Compared to other roller options, you can see the superior craftsmanship.

The swivel that the wheels are fastened to offers the best construction we've seen. There are no exposed areas for dirt or sand to collect, and the ball bearings are well protected. In comparison to two-wheeled models, these wheels aren't nearly as large or oversized, which is usually cause for concern with heavy loads. However, we tested this case fully loaded, and the wheels performed well over a series of surfaces, bearing the load well.

This hard polycarbonate shell is a heavier weight and provides exceptional durability.
This hard polycarbonate shell is a heavier weight and provides exceptional durability.

While most hardshell cases are prone to scuffs, scratches, and cracking, this one stands out as supremely durable. After tossing it around in the dirt and gravel for an entire week while on a climbing trip in Red Rocks, it still looked pretty new, with only minor scuffing near the bottom.

The Away Large being tested on a camping trip  taking a beating in Red Rocks  Nevada.
The Away Large being tested on a camping trip, taking a beating in Red Rocks, Nevada.

The exterior is also waterproof; however, the zippers are not, so be careful in a downpour. The handle is durable and doesn't bow or flex under pressure. Overall, we love the excellent craftsmanship, performance, and reliability offered by this case. Our only caveat is the recessed zippers that can be a pain to zip up when the case is filled to the brim.


Storage & Organization


Storing and organizing items is pretty simple with this hard case. It doesn't feature a plethora of pockets or organizational components, nor does it offer an expansion zipper. But the features it does have suffice for any traveler going to visit family or head out on an urban vacation. While the volume isn't advertised, we calculated it to be roughly 110 liters, with 55 liters of space on each side of the case.

The Away Travel case comes in a carry-on size and medium size if you don't need as much space.


The simple clam shape design of this suitcase allows you to pack to the brim. During our climbing trip, we were able to fit all of our clothing and ultralight camping gear into it without a problem. When packing it up, we liked the zippered mesh that keeps one side of the case altogether.

Here  we use the zippered compartment for storing some hard gear on our climbing trip. While it doesn't look pretty  we like how easy it is to throw our gear in  when time is limited.
Here, we use the zippered compartment for storing some hard gear on our climbing trip. While it doesn't look pretty, we like how easy it is to throw our gear in, when time is limited.
Here we see clothing for about a weeks worth of explorations in the desert. We definitely used the laundry bag that comes with the case on our climbing trip.
Here we see clothing for about a weeks worth of explorations in the desert. We definitely used the laundry bag that comes with the case on our climbing trip.

The open side of the Away features a removable compression organizer that links into the compression straps of the case. You can fill this area, then place the organizer lid over the top to help compress the entire load. We really like this feature, but keep in mind that if you don't use it and open the suitcase in the wrong direction, all the contents will fall out.


This actually happened to us quite a bit, so we used the compression organizer more then we thought we would. This system also has a couple of mesh pockets that help to organize items even more. In addition, there is a small zippered pocket that easily fits things that might get messy while flying, such as shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc.


Overall, this case earns high points for storage simply because it's got a significant amount of volume and the depth to take on everything from bulky gear to simple clothing. It's our go-to for almost any vacation or trip, whether we're traveling via plane, boat, or car.

Ease of Transport


The Away Large makes it easy to navigate over small obstacles. This suitcase features four wheels which offer easy movement in all directions.


On smooth surfaces, the wheels have minimal sound or vibration, allowing you to effortlessly moving over small cracks in the pavement. This suitcase navigates well in the airport and has just "okay" performance on more technical terrain.

This case travels nicely on super-smooth surfaces in its spinner orientation. However  on rumbly pavement riddled with cracks  be prepared to pull it along  like most spinner luggage options.
This case travels nicely on super-smooth surfaces in its spinner orientation. However, on rumbly pavement riddled with cracks, be prepared to pull it along, like most spinner luggage options.

When rolling this luggage around while fully loaded at the Las Vegas airport, we were impressed at how well it handles. Each axle has two rubberized wheels that offer a very wide base for stability. Where a single tire would normally be vibrating, the Away provided a smooth ride. The bearings of the wheels spin with ease and without any friction points that would otherwise compromise movement. We especially love that this is one of the only cases that doesn't pull in an odd direction and goes exactly where you want it to go.

Pushing it forward while fully loaded is no problem. It doesn't have a mind of its own and stays the course of travel.
Pushing it forward while fully loaded is no problem. It doesn't have a mind of its own and stays the course of travel.

On more technical terrain, it's basically impossible to push this case alongside you on all four wheels — no big surprise there. In this situation, we simply tipped it up on two of the wheels to pull it along. Since this suitcase has pretty small wheels and the distance from the bottom of the case to the floor is minimal, it, unfortunately, gets stuck on larger objects more easily than cases with more substantial wheels and a larger distance to the ground.

Testing rolling capabilities at the campground in Red Rocks. While this isn't ideal terrain for a rolling suitcase (gravel never is)  the Away was still able to move with relative ease due to its small  but burly wheels.
Testing rolling capabilities at the campground in Red Rocks. While this isn't ideal terrain for a rolling suitcase (gravel never is), the Away was still able to move with relative ease due to its small, but burly wheels.

Going up stairs isn't easy, given the smaller wheelbase — the back of the case drags on the stairs. Luckily, the exterior material is super durable, but integrating some bumpers here, or making the wheels a bit bigger, would help with this problem. In most cases, when we needed to head up a large flight of stairs, we turned the case on its side and used the handle to carry it up.

It's easy to pack around the rigid square shape of this suitcase.
It's easy to pack around the rigid square shape of this suitcase.

The handles on the top and side of this suitcase make it easy to load in and out of vehicles. We just wished there were two more handles, one on the bottom and the other side, to make it even easier to throw around.

There are two handles  one on the top and on the side. We just wish there were more carry options.
There are two handles, one on the top and on the side. We just wish there were more carry options.

Overall, of the four-wheeled cases we tested, this one offers the smoothest ride when in spinner mode. However, in two-wheel roller mode, it doesn't perform as well as other suitcases that have oversized wheels and bumpers to help get up stairs. That being said, it's stable, doesn't tip over, and stands on its own when fully loaded. All good things.

Weight


Even though this is a heavier case at 12 lbs, it honestly doesn't feel particularly heavy. You can fill it with 38 lbs of gear for flights — more, if you're in the car or willing to pay for oversized luggage at the airport. The case is perfectly balanced, and even with lots of weight inside, it doesn't tip over.


Checking to see how much the Away Large weighs.
Checking to see how much the Away Large weighs.

Style


This case is super cute and stylish with a simple yet elegant design. We received compliments from complete strangers at the airport, earning it big points in this category.


The front and back feature a continuous, but subtle, horizontal line pattern while the top and bottom of the case offer an uninterrupted matte finish. The Away is definitely one of the most stylish that you can find at luggage claim, making it a great option for work trips or casual travel alike. It was typically our first pick out of the pile and there are several different color and pattern options to choose from.

Elegant and simple. A perfect option for both casual and formal trips.
Elegant and simple. A perfect option for both casual and formal trips.

Value


While the price tag might seem high, this suitcase is a worthy investment. It is well constructed, offers great organizational capability, and is incredibly versatile. It also comes with a limited lifetime guarantee.

Away is a small company that is reputed to have great customer service. It's important to know that, while you will be well taken care of, a limited guarantee only covers manufacturers' defects and not issues caused by usual wear and tear.

Even though it weighs 12 lbs on its own  we still managed to pack a tent  sleeping bag  pad  and a whole mess of clothing and stay underweight.
Even though it weighs 12 lbs on its own, we still managed to pack a tent, sleeping bag, pad, and a whole mess of clothing and stay underweight.

Conclusion


The Away Travel Large is elegant, stylish, and functional. We love its easy organization and hearty level of craftsmanship. This hard case is exceptionally durable to scuffs and scratches while the wheels, even though they are small, are extremely well built. If you're seeking a suitcase that is easy to navigate and will last you on all your adventures, this is the creme de la creme and our Editors' Choice for Best Overall Spinner. Whether you're a frequent flyer or road tripper, it has a little bit of something for everybody.

We love the Away Travel Large case. It travels easily and provides great organizational storage. As one of the most reliable options out there  you simply can't go wrong.
We love the Away Travel Large case. It travels easily and provides great organizational storage. As one of the most reliable options out there, you simply can't go wrong.


Amber King