The best Modern Luggage for travel

Updated 1 year ago

Anything you can do, we can do better. At least that's what a few modern luggage upstarts thought when they burst onto the scene a few years ago using the same disruptive crowdfunding and direct to consumer strategies popularized by brands like Casper and Warby Parker. This generally meant smart features like integrated batteries to charge devices, trendy designs, good quality, and more hip branding at a less marked up price.

It's not for everyone, in particular we think some of the smart features are more useful as separate products, but there's a definite appeal to younger travelers.

What we look for

Same as Classic Luggage but with additional scrutiny on smart features, design, and branding.

Think a product deserves to be listed here? Suggest it


Quality and hip branding at a reasonable price

Away is the Warby Parker of luggage, not just because a founder worked there but because their direct to consumer model results in a thoughtful and quality product without the typical retail markup. They're all built with Makrolon polycarbonate (aka the best) and come with a TSA lock, compression system, and removable laundry bag. The carry on integrates a battery for charging any USB device and can nest within bigger Away luggage like Russian stacking dolls. Their beautiful Instagram account also does a great job selling the travel lifestyle.

  • 100 day trial with limited lifetime warranty
  • 21.7" carry on: 7 lbs, 38L (unboxing video)
  • 25" checked: 8.5 lbs, 62L
  • 28" checked: 9.9 lbs, 86L

Bluesmart One

The ultimate smart carry on for connected travelers

The Bluesmart One is luggage reimagined for today's connected age with smartphone enabled features like a worldwide location tracker, digital scale, digital TSA lock, integrated battery for charging, and easy access compartment for a laptop/tablet. Its hubless wheels are quieter than others while also adding to its slightly geeky looks. An interesting approach that'll appeal to many, but not all.

If you can wait, Bluesmart is launching their new Series 2 luggage series launching in December.


The Apple of luggage

Raden uses an Apple-esque approach to luggage that combines a sleek design with the latest technology and the best materials. It boasts similar smart features as the Bluesmart with a companion smartphone app, but from its minimalist and polished exterior you wouldn't think this luggage was so teched out. The polycarbonate hardshell comes in a beautiful array of colors, but we'd only recommend the lighter colors if you're proud of visible scuffs similar to how Rimowa owners love the stickered patina of the Topas.

Internally it is a bit sparse: few pockets and no compression but that isn't too hard to rectify with the right accessories.

Incase NoviConnected

Sleek smart luggage with USB-C charging

While technically not an upstart, Incase has always made high quality, tech focused bags and their take on smart luggage is definitely modern. The NoviConnected hits all the right notes: high quality materials like Makrolon polycarbonate, sleek looks with removable hubless wheels, and app connected battery that can charge USB-C devices. Most modern luggage can't charge USB-C yet.

If you want to add tracking, Incase does offer a separate smart luggage tracker.

  • Limited lifetime case warranty and 2 year battery warranty
  • 22", 41L

Wanderprep curates the best travel gear, apps, and tips. Our goal is concise recommendations that respect your time and help you travel better and more responsibly. To fund these guides and our giving back goals aka make money, we sometimes use affiliate links. Learn our story and approach. For Gear & Products, we believe in “buy less, but better” so we can simplify our lives and travel lighter. See what we evaluate besides quality, packability, and design.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.