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- I always take mineTraveller's Choice Smart USB Port Hard Shell Spinner Suitcaseon every single trip.
- It hasall the features I want — durable hard shell, sturdy wheels, and detachable battery — but only costs about $130 for the carry-on size. Depending on the size you need, prices start at $80 and can go as high as $180.
- The clever internal compartments and flaps help optimize space, allowing me to fit a week's worth of clothing and accessories.It is aAn affordable carry-on with features that would normally cost a lot more.
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I'm not someone who cares much about having the latest things, but it's important to me to take every opportunity to travel.
As much as I hate shopping, I've spent a lot of time finding the perfect luggage for everything from quick road trips to multi-week international adventures. I've tried duffel bag wheels (too soft), soft-sided carry-ons (too hard to pull), and camping backpacks (too heavy and difficult to carry).
After years of flying at least once a month, I've finally settled on a quality suitcase.
Continue reading:The best carry-on bags you can buy
TheTraveller's Choice Smart USB Port Hard Shell Spinner Suitcaseonly costs $130 but has high-end features that would normally cost so much more
Anyone with an Instagram account has probably seen photos ofAWAY luggage, the trendy travel brand loved by millennials andeven the team at Insider Reviews.
The suitcases come in a variety of pastel shades, and being hard-walled, they're tough enough for frequent travel. They also come with a detachable battery pack to ensure you never end up with a dead phone and an expandable zipper so you can add a few inches to your bag for longer trips.
The problem? The22" carry-on from $225– far too much for my budget, which is why I don’t have any.
So I did a little research to find one with the same features at a lower price. TheTraveller's Choice Smart USB Port Hard Shell Spinner Suitcasecomes with all the features I want and at a price that's more than $100 cheaper than Away.
It has aremovable battery pack,durable hard shell case, four sturdy wheels, ergonomic handle, bBuilt-in dividers
I really love this bag for one reason - it has everything I want without the high price tag.
I chose the navy blue color as I wanted a trendy colour. The design has black accents so it looks modern but professional; I could imagine walking straight from an airport to a meeting without looking out of place.
As soon as my suitcase arrived, I noticed that it had thoughtful design features that are hard to find in affordable luggage, like rubber bumpers on the corners to prevent damage and a curved, ergonomic handle that's more comfortable to drag over long distances.
While many budget suitcases have two wheels, these areTraveler's Choice einshas four, all of which rotate 360 degrees. This makes it easy to push and pull with much less effort than a regular roller bag; Even when my hands are full, I can pull the packed suitcase with just one finger. It's also easy to move forward, backward, and sideways with ease; It was nice to wheel the suitcase through airplane aisles instead of being awkwardly holding it sideways.
Continue reading:This sleek $225 carry-on case can charge your phone and weighs just 7 pounds—exactly what the modern traveler needs
The built-in partitionshelp optimize space - I could easily fit everything I needed for a week-long road trip
My favorite design feature was the zippered pockets and dividers that kept all my clothes in place.
One side of the clamshell case is just a large zipped compartment which proved to be the most useful as it kept all my clothes neatly and securely in place, especially when full.
On the other half, instead of a zipper, there is a flap with pockets and adjustable straps. The flap covers everything you have in this compartment and can be tightened to keep your clothes in place, whether you've packed six hoodies or just a few t-shirts.
Both sides have additional zippered pockets perfect for charging cords, jewelry or small travel accessories.
I combined the suitcase with packing cubes and was amazed at how much fits in there. Thanks to the clever dividers, I was able to pack a lot more than my old roller bag would fit. I packed easily for a week-long road trip, fitting four pairs of pants, four shorts, socks and underwear for a week, five t-shirts, three long-sleeved shirts, four hoodies and jackets, and two pairs of shoes.
And I didn't have to sit on top of my suitcase for everything to fit either, as I used the extra center zipper to add two inches more room.
Continue reading:Tumi vs. Away: We compared checked bags from both brands and Away came out on top
The detachable battery is also incredibly helpful
TheHightech-Piece de Resistancereally convinced me to try it - an integrated USB port that can be used with a battery pack.
You don't need to buy a Traveler's Choice branded battery - you can use any you already have as long as it uses a USB port. Inside the bag there is a small zippered pocket for the battery, saving space in your bag. The USB port is on the outside of the case, but the charging cable is safely stowed inside. It's compact, hides pesky cables, and even has a silicone cover to protect the charging port when not in use.
I've dragged it up stairs and streets and dropped it a few times, but the case has no dents and the wheels are perfectly fine
As a frequent traveler, I attach great importance to longevity. TheTraveller's Choice Smart USB-Kofferchecks this box with ease.
During my road trip, I carried the bag up to the fifth floor of a hotel, banged it around in the trunk of a car, rolled it off curbs and stairs, and knocked it over more than a few times. The case shows absolutely zero dents and the wheels work like day one despite being rolled over dirt, rocks and lots of potholes.
It has a few small scratches and marks that are only noticeable up close, so I'm sure it will withstand several years of heavy use. I haven't found many immediate downsides to this bag yet, although there are likely to be durability issues that won't show up for some time.
It doesn't come with its own battery, so you'll need to buy your own
Aesthetically it's not entirely scratch proof as I dropped it face down on a gravel path and it now has a very small mark. While I don't give a damn about scratches, it might annoy someone who cares a lot about aesthetics.
My biggest complaint is the length of the pull up handle. For me 1.70m is fine, but someone who is over 1.80m might find it a bit short.
It also doesn't come with the battery pack. For me this should have been included as it is cheaper and more convenient for travelers who don't have a backup power source.
While I think $130 is a reasonable price considering all the features, it's definitely not cheap, but depending on the size you need it can start at $80 and go all the way up to $180. But it has all the features I was looking for on a budget and the built in USB port came in handy on my very first trip with the suitcase so I would definitely recommend it to any traveller.
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Freelance reporter, insider tips
Suzie Dundas is a Lake Tahoe-based freelance writer and editor. Her primary focus is travel and outdoor adventures, although she has written on everything from van life culture to the latest high-tech coffee machines. Her work has appeared in Playboy, Fodors, Forbes, TripSavvy, SkyLife Magazine and more. When she's not writing or traveling, she can be found hiking, snowboarding, mountain biking, or otherwise in the great outdoors. Follow her on Instagram @hikeupyourskirt or tweet @suziedundas. Learn more about how our team of experts test and evaluate products at Insider here.