Monos Luggage vs Away Carry-On: Which Stylish Suitcase Wins Out?

Away’s huge success in introducing premium quality luggage without the hefty price tag paved the way for more startups creating sensible and sturdy suitcases. One of the latest to enter the market is Monos, a Canadian lifestyle brand being hailed as the “Apple of Suitcases.” Below is a look at how the Monos Carry-On Plus stacks up against the Away Bigger Carry-On, each being their current best-sellers.

Monos Luggage vs Away Carry-On Comparison Chart

ModelMonos Carry-On PlusAway Bigger Carry-On
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Height23”22.7”
Width15”14.7”
Depth9.5”9.6”
Weight8 lbs8.1 lbs
Capacity48 L47.9 L
Ejectable BatteryNoOptional
TSA-Approved LocksYesYes
Compression PadYesYes
Hidden Laundry BagYesYes
360 WheelsYesYes
Colors913

Design

The Monos Carry-On Plus has a more premium appeal than the Away Bigger Carry-On.

Monos Luggage vs Away Carry-On Design
The Monos Carry-On Plus (left) improves on the best design aspects of the Away Bigger Carry-On (right).

Looking at the two side by side, it seems like Monos took the minimalist approach that Away popularized and made it even better. The most prominent difference is in the textured finish of their polycarbonate shells. Monos powder-coated its matte finish for a smoother, more metallic sheen, while Away chose a subtly grainy feel. Monos chose an asymmetric progression of ridges inspired by nature’s visual rhythm and its logo is a bit larger and more prominent.

Viewed from the top and side, it’s noticeable how the zipper gaskets of the Monos Carry-On Plus makes it look like a single, solid unit given how well the two halves fit together. In contrast, there’s a clear distinction between each compartment of the Away Bigger Carry-On.

RELATED  Away Carry On vs Bigger Carry On: Which Size Is Right For You?

There are a couple more differences on the handle and wheels of each carry-on which are discussed in more detail in the Handling and Durability section below.

Storage Space

The Monos Carry-On Plus has a more impressive interior.

Monos Luggage vs Away Carry-On Storage
There’s a lot of room in both the Monos Carry-On Plus (above) and the Away Bigger Carry-On.

Taking a look inside, it’s even more apparent how hard Monos strived for a beautiful suitcase. The silky anti-microbial textile used in the interior of the Carry-On Plus features subtle pattern detailing. Size-wise, both carry-ons have nearly identical dimensions and storage capacity, so they’re pleasantly roomy to hold enough clothes for around 3-7 days of travel.

Both feature a compression panel that will help keep soft items compact. In fact, you’ll find that they save a lot of space when packing bulky clothing. Monos opted to place its straps lengthwise while Away has its straps running along the width of the suitcase. Either works equally well in securing the bottom compartment and cushioning the harder items intended for the top half.

Monos added two shoe bags and made its laundry bag anti-microbial, upping the ante over Away’s much-appreciated hidden laundry pouch.

Handling and Durability

Both carry-ons offer similar durability but the Monos Carry-On Plus feels a bit easier to handle.

Monos Luggage vs Away Carry-On Handling
Small touches make the Monos Carry-On Plus easier to, well, carry.

Away and Monos picked polycarbonate as it’s durable enough to outlast previous hard shell materials. It’s also lightweight enough to make hard-sided luggage actually lighter than same-size soft-sided suitcases. It easily bounces back to its original shape and is very difficult to crack. Plus, wiping off spills and scuff marks is simpler.

Monos innovates on its high-grade aluminum handles, though, by shifting the entire assembly so that the tubes are aligned at opposing 45-degree angles. This reduces movement and wobble significantly, which makes the Carry-On Plus feel more solid while rolling it along. The brand also moved the release button from the usual location at the top, hiding it underneath where it feels more ergonomic to press while also reducing design clutter.

RELATED  Away Expandable Luggage Review: Why Get It Over The Classic

Moreover, Monos opted for the Hinomoto Lisof Silent Run wheels, which are even more quiet than the similarly Hinomoto-designed wheels of the Away Bigger Carry-On. As a result, the Monos Carry-On Plus simply feels much smoother to handle.

Other Features

The Away Carry-On has an optional built-in ejectable battery.

Monos Luggage vs Away Carry-On Features
The accessible battery port in an Away Bigger Carry-On can save the life of a dying phone.

One of the features that set the Away Bigger Carry-On apart from other luggage when it was launched is its built-in ejectable battery. Conveniently placed under the handle, it can be easily reached so you can plug your mobile device in. Even if you prefer to keep a power bank in your travel bag or backpack, having an extra backup can be crucial especially if you tend to run your phone dry.

You can simply choose the non-battery-included model so it’s not a big consideration if you don’t need it. However, it’s a plus if you do, as you’ll definitely appreciate having it when you need it.

Verdict

The Monos Carry-On Plus outperforms the Away Bigger Carry-On.

Monos Carry-On Plus

The Bigger Carry-On from Away

It should be no surprise that we recommend the Monos Carry-On Plus in this comparison, as it feels like a souped-up version of the classic Away model. It has the edge in design, durability and overall handling, and truly feels like a deluxe suitcase though it’s set at the nice mid-range price point where Away found its home.

Still, Monos is a much younger brand than Away, though the latter isn’t that old either. What it can tell you is that Away luggage has been around for a while and they’re proven to hold up well over time. The grainier texture of the Away Bigger Carry-On does improve grip, and an ejectable battery can be handy indeed when your timetable isn’t very forgiving.

RELATED  Away vs Samsonite Carry-On: Which Is Better To Bring On A 3-Day Trip?