With a few years of not being able to travel, it’s only natural that there’s such an increase in traveling, with the restrictions being lower than they were.
If your luggage is scuffed, you might’ve looked around for some luggage. Away and Monos are quick to pop up for anyone in the market for higher-quality luggage. On first glances, both Away and Monos seem like great alternatives to conventional luggage brands.
But are they really that good? If so, which one of the two is better? To find that out, we did a comprehensive analysis of the two most well-known luggage brands.
We also compared them side-by-side.
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Everything About Away & Monos
Despite popular belief, these aren’t as expensive as many people would think so. They sure have flashy ads and more modern marketing, which gives off the vibe that they might be out of your budget. But the truth is, they aren’t.
Away suitcases range anywhere from $235 – $355 (at the time of writing), depending on what size, model, or color you go for. On the other hand, Monos is slightly cheaper, but they’re still in the same price range. On average, you’re looking to save a couple of bucks with Monos.
Both of the companies’ suitcases sizes range from small to large suitcases. Apart from the suitcases though, they also have a bag category.
We have to admit, Away’s bag repertoire is far richer than Monos, with a couple of travel bags to choose from, a few backpacks, a few women’s bags, and a pet carrier as well.
The point is, if you’re looking for bags, your best bet is Away. They look cooler, feel more versatile, and there’s more to choose from. For the suitcases though, it’s a bit more challenging to decide. We’ll keep comparing it as we proceed.
As a TL;DR, we wanted to compare the two brands side-by-side. This way we can get a clearer picture of what’s what before going further. We compared them on what we think most travelers look for in suitcases.
Here is a side-by-side representation of Away and Monos:
|Away VS Monos : Suitcase|
|Outer Shell Materials||Soft & Hard Materials (Nylon & Polycarbonate Shell)||Hard Material (Polycarbonate Shell)|
|Special Feature||Ejectable Charger for phones or other portable devices.||Four adjustable heights on telescopic handle.|
|Warranty||Limited lifetime warranty, excluding the ejectable USB charger.||Limited lifetime warranty.|
|Compartments (Size, Layout, Quantity)||Good 4/5||Amazing 5/5|
|Zipper, Handles & Wheels Feel||Alright 3/5||Great 5/5|
|Return Policy||100 – day return policy||100 – day return policy|
|Which One Is Heavier?||Heavier due to the charger.||Less heavy.|
|Recommendation Score||Recommended 4/5||Very Recommended 5/5|
Away is possibly amongst the top players for luggage, especially amongst direct-to-consumer retailers or manufacturers.
Their suitcases have a signature design, and even if you haven’t shopped for luggage before, there’s a chance you might’ve heard about this company.
The suitcases are the pinnacle of hard-shell suitcases. Even if you’re not into hard-shell suitcases, your best bet into liking them is trying Away. They are super easy to clean when they get scuffed after long time usage. Only soapy water, and your luggage will be looking fresh.
Now, this may not be particularly important for a lot of people, but what is important is versatility and practicality. Most of their suitcases come with a pin lock and they have an ejectable USB charger with a couple of ports.
They also come with handles on the sides and on the top, with wheels on the bottom. All in all, a great package for such an affordable price.
You’re looking at around 3-6 compartments within the luggage, with some models, like the Carry-On With Pocket and the Bigger Carry-On with outside compartments. They also have normal suitcases which are cloth from the outside. In other words, non-hard-shell suitcases.
The hard shell doesn’t mean indestructible though, with some customers noting big dents from harder hits. This is completely normal, and Away doesn’t necessarily suggest that these suitcases can withstand everything. They will, for the most part, at least better than most hard-shell luggage brands out there.
Let’s review the pros and cons of Away suitcases:
- Amazing quality
- Very sleek suitcase design
- Pretty durable
- A lot of compartments inside luggage
- An ejectable charger
- Combination lock
- Not many compartments
- Flat colors
Many disregard completely Monos when compared to Away, and I have to admit, I was the same thing. The suitcases felt or bared a strong resemblance to the Away suitcases, which made me feel like Monos was an Away copycat.
But that can’t be farther from the truth. And the truth is, the Monos suitcases are in some ways more practical with their inside compartments. Not to mention that the Monos suitcases are more affordable. Sure, it’s only a few bucks in most cases, but hey, gives you some options for accessories.
They have a hard polycarbonate shell, which users have mixed feeling about, in terms of its durability. But in my opinion, it’s definitely up there with Monos, it’s just with these things, you can’t really tell. It’s subjective.
They’re basically the same with Monos in terms of their design choices. They have locks for the zippers, one handle on the side, one on the top, wheels at the bottom.
The only thing they lack is an ejectable charger, which is unfortunate, especially for all of my millennial friends out there, including myself. But I would assume the price difference is the USB charger. So, you’re still not overpaying, for less features.
NOTE: At the time of writing, there are no chargers in the suitcases. But with the current trend of USB chargers in luggage, Monos might consider adding one in the future.
Anyways, Monos is impressive overall. They also have more flamboyant color options, especially limited time colors.
With that said, let’s go over the pros and cons of Monos:
- Unique color and design options and limited time ones
- Amazing practicality
- A lot of pockets within the luggage
- Handles feel high-quality
- Combination lock
- No ejectable charger
Away VS Monos – Which Is Better?
Let’s go over the differences, because most of the things on both suitcases is very similar.
First differenece is the telescopic handle. Monos’ handle has four adjustable heights, whereas Away has only two. In terms of the handle’s firmness, we did notice that Monos handle is a lot firmer, sturdier, and Away’s handle has a little wabble to it.
Compartments and materials inside. For us, the clear victor for the quality of the insides and number of compartments is Monos. The materials have a much more luxury feel to them, and Away’s materials feel like your bog-standard suitcase.
As I mentioned before, Monos has more compartments inside of the suitcases, but in my opinion, Away has a much more practical layout for them. For example, the compression compartment is always connected within the luggage and can be folded to one side when packing.
On the other hand, Monos’ one is a bit weird as you’ll need to fold it upwards when packing. Overall, Monos materials feel more high-quality and the suitcase has more compartments than Away.
Size-wise, there are many options to choose from both brands, and there are same-sized suitcases with both, with only a couple of inches difference at best.
Of course, as we mentioned, Away comes with a charger, which is definitely a plus, and a deficiency with Monos. Durability-wise, they’re about the same. The shell is made from the same material, but there may still be differences thanks to the different layouts and the design of the suitcase, but those differences cannot really be distinguished.
The standard handles and zippers felt relatively the same. However, the way that the zipper is constructed on the Monos suitcase is better, in my opinion. To elaborate, it feels much more secure than Away, when fully packed and the zipper is closed.
Both luggage brands are TSA-friendly.
Bags From Both Brands Compared
How about bags? Is it the same case for bags, or are there more differences here? It’s not the same case.
Away has much more models to choose from, whereas Monos has one big travel bag honestly. Now, there are some cool models from the Monos Metro lineup which we love, but there’s only one travel bag really. The products we love are: the Metro Sling, Metro Backpack, and Metro Duffel.
But if you’re looking for bigger travel bags and backpacks, your best bet is Away. There’s just so much more to choose from, and each backpack or bag is different.
For example, one bag might be opening a different way than another, different handles, different storage options, and so much more. Away’s bags and backpacks are designed perfectly. The intent to make the best possible travel bags is seen in these bags.
We don’t fully disregard Monos in this category. If some of the models fit your criteria and you like them, it’s not a bad choice at all.
But on average, Away’s bags and backpacks have more compartments, a better storage layout, more models to choose from, different opening designs, and so on.
The Verdict: Which One Is For You?
It depends. It depends solely on what you’re looking for. Yes, there are a lot of similarities between the two suitcases, but there are some differences that set them apart.
The big one is the charger. If you absolutely need a charger, the only option is Away. I say absolutely need, because I am aware that there are a lot of creative workers or some that may require charging on their phone or laptop when waiting at the airport.
There are outlets and battery banks which can fix this problem, but the convenience is there. Whenever you need a quick charge, simply plop your laptop in the suitcase charger.
On the other hand, if we’re talking about overall quality, practicality, craftsmanship, and design, Monos takes the ‘W’ for us. So, if the charger thing is not a huge dealbreaker to you, Monos might be the more superior option.
As a last note though, in terms of travel bags and bags in general, Away is better. Monos lacks options, and the models they have aren’t satisfactory for most.