If you think that today’s suitcases are nothing more than hard-cover boxes made to carry your belongings from point A to point B, think again. The last few years have seen great innovation in the field of luggage, spearheaded by creatives who are looking to make traveling easier than ever. No, the shape of suitcases hasn’t changed, but the features and functionalities with which they’re equipped have been upgraded to address the lifestyle needs of a modern traveler.
These days, most suitcases don’t just carry clothing, they act as charging stations for your multiple devices. And to assuage our greatest traveling fear — losing our bags – many high-tech new suitcases are tricked out with GPS tracking systems so we can find our precious possessions at the touch of a button. And that’s just the beginning. Below, six game-changing cases you should consider picking up before your next trip.
Don’t be fooled by the no-fuss aesthetic of these lightweight, monochromatic cases from Raden; they do quite a lot. First, all of the tech requirements are there: bags come with a free app that can tell you how much the luggage weighs once packed, and can also track its location. There are also USB charging ports for your electronics, all built into a really durable shell made of Makrolon® Polycarbonate. Lastly, we love that it comes in all sorts of colors — from practical black to whimsical pink.
Away: The Bigger Carry-On
Like most “smart” luggage out there, Away’s bags feature a charging functionality. But this is bigger and better – when this one is fully powered up, it can charge your iPhone up to five times. We also really like that the case comes with a removable laundry bag and plenty of compartments for organized packing. But its designers have added a patent-pending compression system to give you more room, not only for the things you can’t go without when you’re on the road but also for the fabulous new things you find when you’re there. And when they realized that their customers need more space, the Away team created The Bigger Carry-On. It’s slightly bigger than the original design but still small enough to fit in major airlines’ overhead compartments.
On first look at Issara’s sleek leather weekender, you would never guess that it’s equipped with technology that allows you track it. Embedded in the bag is a teeny-tiny tracker powered by Bluetooth and Crowd GPS technology. With a matching app, you’ll be notified of your bag’s location – extremely useful if ever your bag doesn’t reach your destination. The twill-lined duffel is made with the same high-quality leather as many top fashion labels. And because its founder is so committed to sustainable, fair-trade business practices, the artisans who craft these minimal weekenders are ensured fair, livable wages.
Trunkster Roll-top Suitcase
USB charging ports, tracking, and built-in scales seem like standard features by now, right? But can you imagine a piece of luggage that doesn’t have zippers? That’s this carry-all’s claim to fame — the world’s very first zipperless suitcase. It sounds perplexing, but the technology behind Trunkster’s construction is actually fairly simple: It has a sliding door that allows you to access everything in one go. Plus, it’s water resistant, impact resistant, and drop resistant.
It’s not out on the market yet, but for travelers who prefer to carry their hauls on their backs, AMPL’s backpack has been making waves in the press with its built-in laptop and mobile phone charging station, and bag-tracking capabilities. This lightweight pack may not offer enough space to tote around your entire wardrobe, but it is fully designed to protect all your tech gear: the fabric is water resistant and the bottom of the bag features a shock-absorbing sole.
Vocier C38 Luggage
Luggage innovation is not all about technology. Some inventions out there focus on making the most vital part of a suitcase more cutting-edge: packing. The streamline design of Austria-based Vocier’s C38 model makes it a sophisticated choice, but what makes it really special is that it comes with a clever compartment that prevents suits and jackets from creasing. The patented Zero-Crease System keeps garments tucked inside a compartment that curves around the interior of the bag — allowing clothing to keep its shape during travel. Genius!
Dreaming of your next getaway? How about a weekend in Barcelona?