In a 2019 AFARgument about the superiority of hard vs. soft luggage, AFAR’s digital director Laura Dannen Redman insisted, “Soft-shell has one big thing going for it that hard-shell doesn’t: It expands.”
Now fans of the durability and sleek good looks of Away’s hard-shell suitcases also have the option to pack as much as they’d please. Nearly two years after Away debuted its first line of expandable soft-shell suitcases, the luggage company just released a line of expandable hard-shell bags.
Available now on awaytravel.com and in brick-and-mortar Away stores across the country, the new Polycarbonate Flex line looks nearly identical to Away’s popular polycarbonate luggage. Zoom in a little and you’ll realize it has included a built-in zipper expansion that adds an extra 2.25 inches of packing space to the carry-on sizes and 1.75 inches more to the checked bags. One thing to keep in mind: Like many expandable roll-aboards, the two carry-on bags must be checked once fully expanded because they exceed airline size restrictions.
Other thoughtful new additions to these suitcases include a removable, washable interior lining plus an underside grab handle to make loading them in and out of cars or overhead bins easier.
As with Away’s original line of hard-shell luggage, these new suitcases feature the same durable polycarbonate shell, smooth-running 360-degree spinner wheels, and TSA-approved combination lock, as well as a compression pad and water-resistant laundry bag for keeping things organized inside. These bags also come with a 100-day trial policy, in which you can return your bag for any reason within the first 100 days, as well as Away’s limited lifetime warranty that covers any damage to the shell, wheels, handles, zippers, and more.
These new bags come in four sizes—including two carry-ons as well as medium and large checked sizes—in both black and navy. The Bigger Carry-On and Large suitcases are also on sale in Coast (a dusty blue) and Petal (pale pink) colors.
With prices starting at $255 for a small checked suitcase and going up to $355 for the large checked bag, these bags are anywhere between $30 to $60 more expensive than the corresponding Away suitcases without the expandable zippers. But who can put a price tag on not having to Tetris all your belongings back into a too-small bag?
- Buy now: The Carry-On Flex, $255, awaytravel.com
- Buy now: The Bigger Carry-On Flex, $275, awaytravel.com
- Buy now: The Medium Flex, $325, awaytravel.com
- Buy now: The Large Flex, $355, awaytravel.com