Having been a satisfied Away suitcase owner for a few years, I’m a believer in luggage with USB chargers built in. Sure, you could pull a power bank out of your bag while sitting at your gate, but having an easily accessible charging port on the outside of your suitcase is so much simpler. Away’s charger is removable with a screwdriver, so it doesn’t technically run afoul of the new airline regulations, but emptying half your bag and performing minor electronic surgery when you’re minutes away from boarding isn’t exactly a pleasant experience.
Travelpro’s solution is simple: You provide the battery, they provide the power routing. Just slip any of the USB battery packs you’ve bought from Kinja Deals into the dedicated power bank pocket (anything roughly 20,000mAh or smaller ought to fit), plug in the built-in USB cable, and the bag will route power to a USB port on the outside of the bag. Functionally, it works just like a suitcase with a built-in battery, except that you can swap in new chargers as needed, and easily remove them if you have to check your luggage unexpectedly.
As for the bags themselves, Travelpro is a popular choice among flight crews, and the company’s Maxlite 3 is our readers’ favorite rolling suitcase, so they have a good pedigree. Travelpro sent me the hardside Crew 11 to test out, and while it feels a little less spacious on the inside and looks a little uglier on the outside compared to my beautiful, spartan Away Carry-On, it maintains the Away’s built-in TSA lock, has more pockets, and features a more comfortable handle. In other words, it’s perfectly nice luggage that should last you a lot of trips.