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While some people might be hesitant to travel post-pandemic, many of us are ready to explore. It was great to spend more time with our families, but staring at the same four walls gets a little old. Away, Timbuk2 and Baboon To The Moon each fill a different niche, and we are confident one of these brands will fit your needs.
From visiting new cities and cultures to experiencing unmatched beauty in nature, a reliable piece of luggage is an essential gamechanger.
For better or worse, most people don’t change out their luggage very often, which means there is a good chance your luggage is starting to look and feel a little stodgy. Old-school luggage seems to fall apart at the seams and zippers. You deserve better
Away, Timbuk2, or Baboon To The Moon?
We think each of these brands complements the others in different ways, so it’s important to understand how you intend to use your new luggage. Based on our experiences, this is what we would recommend:
So which brand should you choose? We will help you decide. Read the detailed review or see the side-by-side comparison below.
Which Luggage Is Best?
Away, Timbuk2 and Baboon To The Moon are all fairly new luggage brands that offer fresh styling and unique features compared to some of the older guard. Away offers a hi-tech and minimalist line-up, Timbuk2 makes luggage and bags with urban styling and features, and Baboon focuses on durable duffle bags with bold styling.
The three companies are unique enough that you will most certainly find something that meets your specific needs when you purchase your new luggage. We love Away, Timbuk2, and Baboon because they all provide a fresh take on a product that was unchanged and anonymous for decades.
Away Luggage Review
If you have spent much time traveling by air, you know what a pain it is to keep your phone charged while you are on the go. Some recently renovated airports have convenient outlets at every seat, but more often than not, awkward charging stations have been added as an afterthought.
I personally have sat on the floor charging my phone multiple times, and on other occasions, sat staring at my phone plugged in 15 feet from my seat. No more. Away solves this problem with a battery built into their carry-ons capable of recharging your phone up to 4 times. While this is a game-changer by itself, the best part is the battery is indicative of how thoughtfully designed the rest of the luggage is.
Away luggage has standard features such as the interior compression feature and 360° spinner wheels and has unique touches such as the hidden laundry bag and custom matching luggage tag. We also love the aesthetic design.
While there are both neutral and bold colors available, the design of the luggage itself has a minimalist inspiration. The lines are clean, and every design element is functional. There aren’t any superfluous pockets too small to fit any gear. For luggage pieces with a battery, the battery is positioned between the handlebars, so it isn’t even noticeable unless your phone or other accessories are plugged in.
The Away ecosystem is uniformly designed with minimalist inspirations, so when you purchase a new carry-on, you can also purchase a backpack or duffle bag in complementary colors and styling. So how does it compare to the other options on our list?
Away luggage is beautiful and durable and is a fantastic option for multi-city travel involving traditional hotel stays. On the other hand, you may not choose Away for road tripping or camping, since it has the most sophisticated feel of our three options.
Away Luggage Highlights
While the brand started with just a few pieces, they have steadily added pieces and personalization options. If you really like to travel in style, be sure to check out the Away aluminum edition luggage, which is not only durable but also profoundly sleek. Aside from the aluminum edition luggage, here are the other considerations you need to know before making a decision.
The Carry-On & Bigger Carry-On
Both The Carry-On & The Bigger Carry-On are designed with optional battery additions. Since the battery edition is the same price as the standard edition, we recommend considering purchasing the battery edition. There is nothing worse than scouting an outlet, only to wind up sitting on the floor next to a stranger.Are both sizes acceptable to take on a plane? If you are like me, you might be wondering if it is acceptable to take both Away carry-on sizes on the plane. I've seen too many people required to check their bag at the gate not to question this. The reality is that allowable dimensions vary by airline, but both you shouldn't have to pay a checked baggage fee for either size.
The smaller Carry-On will fit in the overhead bin on nearly any airplane and is big enough to fit five to seven outfits or to last three to five days. The Bigger Carry-On may have to be courtesy-checked on small planes, but it is big enough to accommodate six to nine outfits, enough for four to seven days.
There are also expandable versions of the carry-on bags and sleek aluminum edition carry-ons that look like they were designed in a Ritz-Carlton.
The Medium & The Large
The Away team keeps it simple with naming conventions, so the fact that their bigger luggage pieces are called The Medium & The Large should come as no surprise. These models are Away’s checked bag luggage line, and also available in expandable options, and in through the aluminum edition series.
The one big thing to note here is that neither of the checked-bag sizes includes the optional battery pack, so if that is the feature you are looking for, go with one of the carry-on sizes. On the other hand, these pieces include the interior compression system and hidden laundry bag you expect from modern luggage pieces. After all, who wants their dirty clothes mixed with their clean clothes?
All of Away’s luggage comes in a variety of colors. We’ve seen as many as thirteen color variations listed, depending on which limited edition colors are currently in stock.
While the Away team’s original vision was for luggage, they have naturally expanded to include a full line-up of compatible travel bags. The full portfolio is now too large to list every piece, but suffice it to say they have everything you might need, from daypacks to weekender duffle bags. Most pieces have a sleeve that will secure any Away luggage (by sliding over the pull-out handlebars).They even have a compatible pet carrier! As a small example of how detailed each piece's design is, the pet carrier can latch to a car seat belt. The pet carrier sports sherpa bedding, a water-resistant lining, and ample storage pockets. So look, we understand most people don't need a pet carrier, but the Away Pet Carrier is a great example of how much detailed thought goes into Away's product.
Away’s bags are mostly made from durable nylon material, and the designs are thoughtfully considerate of frequent traveler needs, such as detachable and padded shoulder straps and spacious main compartments.
More Away Customer Reviews
Review from Roxane: I absolutely love this piece. It’s lightweight, fits perfectly in the airplane’s overhead compartment, and especially the battery charger! What a “game-changer” when traveling, not having to look for electrical outlets at an airport
Review from Jamie: I heard all the hype and decided with 100 days to try or get my money back. Why not? I had our vacation planned, and I needed a new carry-on since the last one we owned. My husband let a friend borrow it, and we’re still waiting for it to be returned 10 years later. When the luggage came, I was not disappointed! The luggage is well made and makes packing a breeze even for an over-packer like me! There’s plenty of room. I also ordered one for our son, who loved the bag! It’s the perfect size for him and all of his stuff, i.e., clothes, toys & books. He packed and unpacked for days leading up to our vacation. When I thought the luggage might not come in time, customer service did not disappoint! If you need new luggage, try it! It won’t disappoint!
Is Away Luggage Worth It?
Away luggage checks two major boxes: It is durably made and thoughtfully designed. When you consider that the Away Carry-On and Bigger Carry-On can be purchased with a detachable battery pack,Away luggage is a no-brainer for frequent air travelers.SUMMARY PROS
- Optional battery pack on carry-ons
- Too refined for some
- Thoughtful and sleek designs
- Durable materials
- Bags designed attach to luggage
- Perfect for air travel
Timbuk2 Luggage Review
Timbuk2 luggage and bags definitely have the most urban feel of the three brands, so if your adventures will include trains, subways, general public transportation, or even some biking, then Timbuk2 is just what you are looking for. The sleek design is completely functional but has a few small touches that help Timbuk2 stand out from the crowd.
The wheels on the roller luggage look like they were taken off of a skateboard, and they are much more durable than the cheap and plastic-looking wheels you are accustomed to from your old luggage. This also provides a smoother ride down the streets or through the airport.
The handlebar is unique too. The company says the handle system is bike-inspired, but its grip is similar to what you would find on a baseball bat or golf club. Not only does this make it comfortable in your handle, but it also adds a better grasp when you are in a rush and weaving through other jet setters.
Timbuk2 Luggage Highlights
While our favorite luggage piece from Timbuk2 might be a roller, don’t stop your search there. If you are looking for suitable luggage for urban travel, you might consider the Impulse Travel Backpack Duffel. It’s no match for Baboon’s duffel, but if you are taking an overnight trip, Timbuk2’s lineup is hard to beat. The Impulse is slightly bigger than a backpack but functions the same with shoulder straps.
If you are traveling for work, Timbuk2 has laptop suitable backpacks and messenger bags that match the rollers’ styling. I personally traveled for work with a Timbuk2 roller/messenger bag combo for years and loved every second of it. Buy Timbuk2 if your travel frequently includes urban travel lasting a few days at a time.
If you plan to travel first class from LA to London, Away luggage fits the bill more than Timbuk2. Of course, that’s no knock on Timbuk2. I’ve owned multiple pieces from the brand, and all have been durable and functional. That said, Timbuk2 has a more laid-back, road-trip vibe, and they don’t sell larger luggage pieces (unless you count the duffle bags).
We’ve used the Timbuk2 Copilot Luggage Roller as our main carry-on for years, and it has no discernible wear and tear. It’s hard to argue with the value Away’s luggage represents; however, if you look for something a little more understated, Timbuk2’s luggage roller is a good way to go.
We also like the Timbuk2 Wingman Travel Backpack Duffel. It’s not as big as other duffel bags, but if you mainly need an overnight bag, the Wingman features a secondary pocket that is perfect for shoes or dirty laundry. But that’s pretty standard and really just the beginning. One reason we love Timbuk2 is they stuff their products with extra features. The Wingman has TWO laptop pockets, detachable shoulder straps, mesh compression panels, and concealed water bottle pockets.
Messengers & Backpacks
My affinity for Timbuk2 all got started with one of their messenger bags. As a young professional, I traveled by air monthly. I didn’t want to look like a college kid wearing a backpack to work, and I didn’t want to lug around an old-school briefcase.
Enter the messenger bag. It is great for office professionals that take their laptops to and from work with them, and it has every pocket and little detail you might need. For example, I loved the key ring clip inside a secondary pocket because I could put my keys there for the week when I was out of town for work.
The company has water-resistant messenger bags, work messenger bags, and bike messenger bags. The bike messenger bags have special add-ons like a waterproof laptop compartment, magnetic buckle closure straps that pull the bag snuggly against the body, and reflective pieces that will help ensure you are seen.
These days I don’t concern myself much with being mistaken for a college kid, so I have opted back toward the backpack. I loved my messenger bag, but on days that I spent hours traveling, the weight of the bag pulling toward one hip started to get uncomfortable. Fortunately, Timbuk2 has plenty of options here as well. They have more than ten backpacks to choose from, so whether you are headed to the classroom or on a plane, there is a style that will meet your needs.
More Timbuk2 Customer Reviews
Review from Kevin: I fly on about 75 flights per year and have been using a Timbuk2 carry-on roller bag for three years. It has been durable and reliable as well as easy to pack. And when I did have an issue with the handle, Timbuk2 sent me a new one which was easy to replace. Hence I purchased the next size bigger for my longer trips. When the airlines damaged this new bag by driving over it on the runway, they gave me 300.00 dollars to buy any bag I wanted, and I bought the same Timbuk2 bag.
Review from Margaret: We bought this for our younger (adult) daughter, and now everyone in the family has one. Simply the best carry-on ever: it’s easy to get to what you need, stuff stays where you put it, and these are so durable that they seem to last forever. When one of them eventually does wear out, we will buy another!
Is Timbuk2 Luggage Worth It?
We recommend starting with Timbuk2 if you are looking for a better way to lug your laptop and other personal belongings around. The brand has a hip flair to it, but more importantly, it gets the job done. I have never used any luggage or laptop carrier with more conveniently designed pockets and other helpful features.SUMMARY PROS
- Best organizational features we have used
- Limited checked bag luggage options
- Unique touches like skateboard wheels on the roller
- Performance durability
- Designed to work especially well for commuters
- Plenty of distinct options
Baboon To The Moon Review
Baboon To The Moon’s line-up is in many ways the most versatile, even if it is the most simplistic. Whether you are doing cross-continental traffic and staying in 5-star hotels or driving to the mountains for some family camping, Baboon is equally appropriate. That’s why we love Baboon. It is luggage made for any exploring.
Still, since the duffle bag is the brand’s cornerstone product, Baboon To The Moon is best used for road trips, camping, and pre-packing a hospital bag when you have a new baby on the way.
I am willing to bet you won’t find that option anywhere else. The colorway includes a unique dog-themed liner with creamsicle accents on the exterior. This is practical too if you need to identify your luggage at the airport baggage area quickly.
Regarding the rest of Baboon’s line-up, if you are looking for a matching fannypack, backpack, gym bag, or luggage organizer, Baboon has you covered. We recommend Baboon if your adventures are just as likely to take you to the beach or the mountains as they are to take you to Paris or New York.
Baboon To The Moon Product Highlights
The first thing you might notice about Baboon To The Moon is the prints get a little crazy. That’s ok because they have neutral black, gray, and navy tones too. Before you dismiss the brand as a random duffel bag company, keep in mind that their main duffle bags use an OM Stardust Ballistic material with double-stitch construction. This isn’t a brand made for easy travel. This brand’s products are built to withstand your craziest adventures.
The duffle bag is the Baboon line-up centerpiece, coming in a mini 32L size, a smaller 40L size, and a larger 60L size. The Go Bag - Mini and Go Bag - Small are both TSA approved as carry-on luggage. The Mini bag is big enough for a few days worth of clothes, while the Small bag will hold three to five days’ worth of clothes. All of the duffle bags feature internal mesh pockets, an internal organizational pocket, and an exterior pocket.
Our only complaint is that the brand didn’t find a way to incorporate a laptop sleeve into the mini somehow, and we say that because it would be a perfect complement to one of the larger bags if you are traveling with two personal items.
The Go Bag - Big accommodates five to seven days’ worth of clothing and would be most appropriate as a checked luggage piece if you travel by air.
While the duffle bags don’t have wheels available on some of the other options, they are much more convenient to grab and go. There are enough strap configurations that you can carry the duffle bag as you would expect or with a crossbody and backpack-type straps.
Some duffle bags lack any organizational features, but Baboon To The Moon delivers here too. There are plenty of organizational pockets, and they sell optional organizational bags if you want more. You won’t have to worry about digging through your clothes to find your deodorant as you rush out the door.
Baboon To The Moon Go-Bags come in neutral colors like Black, Navy, and Grey, but if you like to travel in style and with some personality, you need to check out all of Baboon’s options. Consider the ‘Black + Dog Dreams Creamsicle’ colorway.
And by the way, these duffel bags come with a lifetime warranty, which is hard to beat.
If you thought fannypacks went out of style, you were wrong. Or maybe you were right, but now they are back in style. Either way, fannypacks are an incredibly convenient way to keep up with your personal belongings. They are easier to hang onto than a purse, and they are as cumbersome as a backpack.
The fannypacks are made with an extra durable nylon shell with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating. The crossbody strap is made from a reinforced nylon seatbelt webbing, and most people wear it with the crossbody style rather than around the waist.
The Baboonfannypack also has a lifetime warranty, so it is an investment worth making. These are great to use as everyday products or for secure tourism travel.
The Baboon To The Moon Org Bags are great as a companion to the duffle bags or stand-alone use with a junk drawer or an electronics organizer. The heavy-duty Dopp Kit comes in one size and is made with a heavy-duty ballistic shell material.
The BaboonMonomesh Pouch Set is a set of two bags (one small and one big) and are made from a durable mesh-like material. Like the Dopp Kitt, the Monomesh Pouch Set is great as a companion for the Go Bag duffle bags (think toiletries) or whatever other use you can think of. Some people use them to hold loose change, makeup, etc.
More Baboon To The Moon Customer Reviews
Review from Erik: I absolutely love the big bag by Baboon! It’s sturdy, stylish, and has plenty of room for a week-long adventure. Every time I use this bag, total strangers gas me up about how cool the bag is. But not only is it cool, but it’s also very useful and practical. I love using it as a backpack or using the side handle to stand it up while waiting in TSA lines. Bottom line, this is a great bag!
Review from Robert: Buy this. Do it now. The product is SOLID. I just got back from Sturgis biker rally, and this thing held up through a 3,000-mile round trip all the hell I put it through. I packed 5 days’ worth of stuff plus more into it, and it held all of it. I stuck a 2 person tent in there along with all those clothes and other miscellaneous items. It withstood multiple downpours and was dry as the Nevada desert that I started the trip from. It withstood the high heat and dryness of the Nevada and Utah desert and Green River. It withstood the hail and cold up in Trail Ridge in Colorado. It endured the stress of a massive amount of weight, bangs, and scrapes from rocks, dirt, concrete, and asphalt. This bag is as strong as a BABOON! And as a bonus, the octopus and astronauts’ print is RAD.
Is Baboon To The Moon Luggage Worth It?
Their duffle bag is one of our favorite products we have reviewed. It is functionally simple but versatile and fun. I also appreciate Baboon To The Moon’s lifetime warranty. Lastly, as someone who has spent his fair share of time in airports, I love the ergonomic fit shoulder and crossbody straps. Baboon to the Moon is worth the investment.SUMMARY PROS
- Lifetime warranty
- Duffle bag is main option
- Functional simplicity
- Versatile - Do anything luggage
- Abundant design options
- Ergonomic fit shoulder and crossbody straps
So, Which Luggage Should I Choose?
Away, Timbuk2 and Baboon all make incredible luggage, ensuring you can find just what you need to meet your specific needs. Whether you need luggage for cross-continental travel or cross-country road-tripping, these three brands offer great options. As one last reminder, here is where each brand shines:
- Business Travel - Away
- Commuter Travel - Timbuk2
- Roadtrips - Baboon To The Moon
- Family Travel - Baboon To The Moon
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