Is your luggage due for replacement? Well, it seems like there are much more viable options nowadays to shop for suitcases.
With the direct-to-consumer model being on the rise now, companies that manufacture luggage aren’t lacking behind. Most well-known brands which you might’ve heard of are Away and Monos, which also get compared regularly.
However, if you’ve shopped for a suitcase before, a new name might’ve popped up on your feed. This is none other than Arlo Skye. It’s not a brand which is particularly mainstream, but their catalogue is impressive.
We wanted to see how each one compares to the other and which might be your best option. You can skip the next part and get straight to the side-by-side comparison as well.
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What Do Arlo Skye, Monos & Away Offer?
There’s always that question of why you should even choose any of these three over conventional retail brands. The truth is multi-variant but the first thing that comes to mind is convenience.
I know that not all of you like to go out and look at suitcases when you can just order one online. The option to do that is great. What is even greater though is if that particular suitcase brand you’re shopping at provides quality.
Truth is, all three are very unique and are manufactured in a different way. Plus, not to mention, they’re very durable. It’s not just clever marketing, but the suitcases are actually good.
Price-wise, you’re not looking at a big price tag with all three. Arlo Skye is the most expensive one and Away and Monos are in the same ballpark in terms of pricing. Still, even Arlo Skye is not that expensive when compared to other conventional options, despite being the most expensive one.
Away vs Monos vs Arlo Skye Side-By-Side Comparison
To put things in perspective, we did a table comparison of all three brands side-by-side. The comparison is on things which we believe are somewhat most important to someone considering luggage.
Anyways, there are quite a number of differences between all three. Here is a comparison of Arlo Skye, Monos and Away:
|Arlo Skye vs Monos vs AWAY: Suitcases|
|Outer Shell Materials||Hard Shell (Polycarbonate Outer Shell & Aluminum Shells)||Hard Shell (Polycarbonate Outer Shell)||Soft & Hard Materials (Nylon & Polycarbonate Shell)|
|Unique Feature||Very Silent Wheels & Battery Charger||Four Adjustable Heights on Telescopic Handle||Battery Charger|
|Warranty||5 – Year Warranty On Suitcase & 2 – Year Warranty On Charger||Limited Lifetime Warranty||Limited Lifetime Warranty On Suitcase & Not On Battery Charger|
|Compartments Score||Good 4/5||Amazing 5/5||Good 4/5|
|Zipper, Handles & Wheels Feel||Amazing 5/5||Amazing 5/5||Good 4/5|
|Weight||Lightweight||Heavier Than Arlo Skye||Heavier|
|Capacity Per Dollar||Low 3/5||High 5/5||High 5/5|
|Return Policy||90 – Day Return Policy||100 – Day Return Policy||100 – Day Return Policy|
|Shop For A Suitcase:|
To recap, I would say that Arlo Skye is the more expensive option. It’s backed up by having very silent wheels, a durable outer shell, a battery charger, and overall, the feel of the zipper, the handles, and the wheels, feels durable and high quality.
However, in terms of value it lacks behind the others. Especially in capacity per dollar, mainly because it’s the more expensive option.
As for Monos, it’s pretty impressive. The quality and the inside compartments are top-notch. It also has four adjustable heights on the telescopic handle which is a plus. We’ll go in depth about which one makes the most sense for you in the head-to-head battles below, for now, on with the individual reviews.
Alro Skye Review
Alro Skye was found back in 2016, so it’s fair to say that they’re new on the market. Their prices have turned off a lot of people, mainly because companies like Monos and Away, with higher brand recognition are cheaper.
Nevertheless, I would say that their strongest selling point is the quality and durability. The suitcases aren’t that flashy or as sleek as some other options, but they do their job.
From the customer feedback we went through, those are mainly the most positive things customers find about Arlo Skye. That, along with the silent wheels. Seems like Arlo Skye has done a good job of making the wheels very smooth, or in other words, the turning motion of the wheels feels buttery smooth.
Arlo Skye has mostly a pretty packed catalogue with different sized carry-ons and check-in options. However, only the Carry-On Max has a version of it with a front pocket. So, if you want a front pocket on your suitcase, you’re limited to the Zipper Carry-On Max.
Another downside is outer shell material. Arlo Skye only has polycarbonate outer shells or aluminum outer shells. Unfortunately, there’s no nylon, softer exterior suitcases.
Still, I would say Arlo Skye is a great option for those which Alro Skye ticks all the boxes for. Now, we couldn’t back this up with official evidence from Arlo Skye, but it seems like all bags or suitcases that come with a charger, also come with a thunderbolt cable, or at least that’s what some portion of their customer base is saying.
If you do go with Alro Skye, here are the pros and cons:
- Very durable
- Has warranty on charger
- Amazingly smooth wheels
- Handle feels very secure and sturdy
- Very lightweight
- Only one pocket version model
- No soft exterior suitcases
Monos is very sleek. It’s one of those suitcases which many turn twice to see. It bears a strong resemblance to its main competitor Away, but in my opinion, they look much cooler than Away.
It feels cheaper than Arlo Skye, but it’s surprisingly durable. A big downside is the fact that it doesn’t have an electable power bank like the other two, but let’s be honest, you’ll rarely need one if you’re traveling airport from airport.
The best thing about Monos and what many mention in their customer reviews is the compartments layout and design. It’s probably one of the most practical layouts that I’ve used in a while. Packing is easy and while in some cases it might have less liter capacity than its rivals, it feels like more for some reason.
Once again though, no soft exterior suitcases. But you’ve got a couple of sizes to choose from with an outer pocket, like the Carry-On Pro and Carry-On Pro Plus.
The zippers, the handles, the lock, basically everything on it, feels very sturdy compared to rivals. The telescopic handle also comes with four adjustable heights which for my not-so-average height friends out there can come in handy.
Another selling point about Monos is the price, which let’s be honest, it’s super cheap. But it’s not like you’re missing out on anything for that cheap price, the quality, the durability, and clever compartment layouts, are still there. The only thing missing is the power bank.
With that said, let’s review the pros and cons to Monos:
- Great value
- A lot of liter space per dollar
- High quality zippers
- Clever layout – Easy to pack
- Four adjustable heights on telescopic handle
- No soft exterior suitcases
- No charger
Away is a great alternative to Monos. Their catalogue is more impressive than Monos and Arlo Skye. They have a couple of types of suitcases and all with different exteriors. Some hard-shell polycarbonate suitcases and some nylon/soft exterior suitcases.
The design, as I mentioned earlier is similar between Monos and Away, but some might like Away more. Mainly because it has a more minimalistic design.
The nylon suitcases aren’t as rugged and soft at the same time as some other alternatives. It is waterproof though.
Away’s prices on average are higher than Monos but cheaper than Arlo Skye. There are a couple of major flaws I want to mention though: When the zippers are fully zipped up, when pushing both sides of the case, it kind of overlaps. In other words, even though the suitcase is zipped up, it feels like the whole thing is going to open up.
So, you can move one side up and the other down, and even though the suitcase is closed, there’s wiggle room. For example, if you zip up a Monos suitcase, sides aren’t able to move on their own, both sides move at the same time.
It’s a poor explanation, but the point is that the zipper design is poor. Furthermore, the telescopic handle feels very flimsy. And if you’ve went through a lot of suitcases in the past, you’ll know that that handle or the wheels are the first thing to go.
Nevertheless, this might just be fluke with our suitcase, but we’ve seen multiple reports about the zipper and about the handle as well.
Here are the pros and cons to Away:
- Sleek design
- Comes with a charger
- A lot of different style and type of suitcases
- Soft exterior suitcases available
- Zippers are poorly attached
- Telescopic handle feels flimsy
We wanted to see practical use cases for these suitcases. If you’re still on the fence on all of them and you haven’t picked one yet, we’ll go over which ones, in our opinion, are best for which scenarios.
Arlo Skye VS Monos
These two are both very good. But there are a lot of differences between them.
First one being is the layout. If you’re a last minute packer and your packing skills are messy, if you know what I mean, then the better option is Arlo Skye. Mainly because the layout is much more open than Monos and you have more freedom about how you organize things or rather how you not organize things.
On the other hand, Monos has a very thought-out layout. Compartments are designed in a way where you have a lot of ways to organize the suitcase. It’s better in a lot of ways, but it’s not very open, even though it has the same capacity, the area isn’t very open.
The next thing is charging. If you absolutely need a charger on your suitcase, only Arlo Skye has one, which is a bummer. Also, only Arlo Skye has an aluminum option, if you’re into aluminum suitcases.
So, that’s basically my recommendation. Go with Monos if you’re an organized packer and you don’t really care about the charger thing. Otherwise, it’s worth the extra couple of bucks to go with Arlo Skye.
Which Is Better? – Arlo Skye VS Away
I’m a very big fan of Away, in some cases, I lean towards Away no matter what. Not this case though. Despite liking what they do ever since they started, I can’t find anything that would be better if you choose Away over Arlo Skye.
The only things I can come up with are the sleek designs and the social media-friendly appearance of the Away suitcases.
The main put-offs for me about Away are the zippers and the telescopic handle. Zippers feel very flimsy and not very secure. As for the handle, it feels the opposite of sturdy. It is fair to say that I haven’t experienced any issues with those things, but I’ve not used an Away suitcase for a longer period of time.
At least there’s a limited lifetime warranty on the suitcase, so if anything goes wrong, there’s that.
In our opinion, Arlo Skye is better than Away. BUT, if you’re on a budget, since Away is much cheaper, it’s a good way to go.
Last Matchup – Monos VS Away
We’ve already did compare Monos and Away in a much more detailed comparison, but the gist of it is that it comes down to what you’re looking for. They’re very similar, but they have a few things that set them apart.
One, the charger. Away has one, Monos doesn’t. If you tend to work on the go and you absolutely need a charger while you travel, go with Away.
In all other cases though, Monos seems much more high-quality, in my opinion. The layout of compartments is better, handles feels sturdier, and the zippers feel more secure.
Verdict: Direct-To-Consumer Suitcases
Gone are the days where suitcases where scarce online. All of these three are very impressive in many ways and better in many ways compared to other conventional retail brands.
You’re looking at different perks with all three and some of them can witstand a lot of hurt while others aren’t that durable. All in all though, Monos is very durable and high quality and it’s best value deal.
Arlo Skye is the higher-end option and therefore it’s a bit more expensive. However, you will get a lot of features for the extra bucks. Away is the best cheap alternative to both, but there are some things which are off-putting.