Travel tech: The best smart luggage for frequent flyers
by Zoe Dickens
While there’s no denying a Louis Vuitton trunk or classic Globe-Trotter are the most luxurious cases to fly with, frequent fliers yet to discover the benefits of the latest wave of smart luggage are surely missing out. Aimed at solving the issues and annoyances of modern air travel – lost cases, dead phone batteries and security concerns – their usefulness extends far beyond merely safely carrying your possessions.
Due to recent security restrictions that ban lithium ion batteries in the hold, it is important your case of choice has a removable battery. Most brands have already taken this into consideration and it is less of a concern if you are using your case as cabin baggage (or flying private). Scroll down for our edit of the new smart cases worth investing in.
Possibly the best known purveyor of smart cases, Away prides itself on offering stylish and practical solutions for those constantly on the go. The case itself features two compartments to divide clothes from shoes and toiletries and an ‘unbreakable’ outer shell to keep everything safe. A USB port at the handle base connects to an ejectable battery that holds enough power to charge a smartphone five times while a TSA-approved combination lock ensures your valuables are going nowhere. All Away cases are also designed to fit neatly inside each other so once you’re unpacked they won’t take up unnecessary space and for summer 2018 the brand has introduced two new limited edition colours - Coast (pictured, inspired by the Adriatic Sea, and Lavender, based on the hue of the blooms in Hvar.
From £225, awaytravel.com
The product of a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, Barracuda cases feature an innovative collapsible design that means they take up far less storage space when not in use than traditional hard cases. A clever rotating ‘halo’ handle also makes them easy to travel with and features a fold down laptop tray with integrated cup holders to make working on the go hassle-free. Barracuda’s cases also come with a 10,000 mAh battery for device charging and can be upgraded with a location tracker to help find lost luggage and a carousel proximity sensor.
From $273, barracuda.co
The recipient of no fewer than three international design awards in 2017, Arlo Skye was founded by former designers for Tumi and Louis Vuitton and offers cases that are as functional as they are stylish. Every detail has been considered. The hard shell of the carry-on is created from aluminium-alloy with back bumpers to protect against curb crashes while the hold version is created with a polycarbonate shell for weight saving. The brand’s patented Silent Run Lisof wheels are 15% quieter than traditional wheels while the integrated charging port can be removed entirely so you can continue charging your devices even if your case is stored in an overhead locker.
From $450, arloskye.com
Not willing to sacrifice too much on luxury but want a small smart upgrade? Most of Rimowa’s instantly recognisable cases are now available with an electronic tag which does away with unsightly (and easily torn) paper airline tags. Controlled via an app which works in conjunction with the app of your chosen airline, when you check in using your phone so your bag is checked-in as well. The tag automatically appears on the case’s display ready to simply be handed in at the airport. If you choose not to use the tag, the display can also be personalised with your name, address or chosen motif. Currently only available for use on Lufthansa, Swiss, Eva Air and Austrian flights, Rimowa is working to expand its airline partners for the future.
From £529, rimowa.com