Photo: Away

Having diverted the flight path of the luggage industry, Away is back with a stunning Aluminum Edition that will wear the airline industry’s turmoil like a badge of honor. We covered the announcement of the bags last week, but now that I’ve had a chance to try them, I’m suitably impressed.

There are a lot of interesting players in Away’s competitive set, but none of them have made the kind of... dent that Away has. While Away just gave their carry-ons a huge upgrade with their With Pocket option (more on that very shortly), they didn’t reinvent their wheels with the Aluminum Edition.

Starting at $475 and 10.7 lbs. and going all the way up to $595 and almost 16 pounds, the Aluminum Edition isn’t light on the wallet or the scale, but it sure is easy on the eyes. The aluminum upgrade adds $200 to the price of each bag and doubles the weight. There are numerous factors that inform how much weight you can check, from airline to fare class to status to which credit card you bought the tickets with, but an airline like Spirit can set the bar as low as 40 pounds.

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Aluminum aside, this is still an Away bag, with great wheels, a well-organized interior, and dual TSA-approved combination locks. Away has, for better or worse, chosen not to follow the competition in adding features like app-controlled locks and location tracking, USB-C, or a built-in scale, choices we’ll dig deeper into when we cover their new With Pocket carry-on.

Away won the latest round of the luggage wars with simplicity, and they’re staying that course with the Aluminum Edition, which is notably cheaper than peers like Rimowa. I personally wouldn’t choose the Aluminum Edition for my carry-on, both because of the added weight, and because I’m actually going to be telling you to buy their With Pocket option instead. On the other hand, their Aluminum Edition is my new favorite checked bag, and a new status symbol for frequent flyers.