The more connected we become, the harder it is to unplug, even, or sometimes especially, when traveling. You need your phone for photos, maps, work calls, and to keep in touch with family and friends back home. Enter smart luggage, luggage that comes with USB-charging abilities, so you never find yourself with a dead phone or tablet battery again. Some smart luggage also includes tracking via bluetooth, helping you keep track of your luggage even when airlines fail to do so.
Because smart suitcases are fairly new, they are still a bit pricey. However, we did some research and narrowed down the options to ensure you get the best bang for your buck. Whether you think price, functionality, durability, or design is most important, we have a smart luggage pick for you.
Here are our favorite options, from an adventure-ready bag to luxury designs:
1. For Adventure Travelers: G-RO Smart Carry-On Luggage
This smart luggage comes with trademarked Gravity Wheels, which are guaranteed to last for life and allow you to take the bag over curbs, cobblestones, snow, dirt roads, and other rough terrain. Because the wheels are large on on the side of the bag, they allow for extra packing space inside, perfect for stuffing in some extra layers.
The Bluetooth luggage locator means you’ll never lose your bag, and the dual USB power ports ensure your phone will never die on the road. The bag also has an expandable handle, TSA locks, and a garment bag.
While users generally like the durability and how easily they can charge their devices, some found the bag heavy even when unpacked, and said it has a tendency to tip over.
- Gravity Wheels
- Two USB ports
- Bluetooth luggage locator
- TSA locks
- Some users found it unstable
2. For the Stylish Traveler: Away
Away is one of the most recognizable smart luggage brands out there, thanks to a marketing campaign that was heavy on Instagram. You’ve probably seen the sleek bags rolling through your feed. Aside from being photogenic, the smart luggage is useful too.
Away bags come with a lifetime warrantee and you can try any bag for 100 days before committing. This is a great feature for someone who’s not sure they need smart luggage, but want to try it out and see how often they use things like the built in battery that can charge any USB device. The battery is removable to help you comply with TSA regulations.
More standard features include 360-degree spinner wheels, a nylon laundry bag, a TSA lock, and a durable outer shell the brand says is “unbreakable,” though some reviewers disagreed. The bag comes in six sizes and variations, and an array of colors.
Price: $225 to $495 depending on size and style (standard carry-on is $225)
- Starts at a lower price than other brands
- USB charger
- Laundry bag
- 360-degree wheels
- Lifetime warrantee
- Not as durable as advertised
- Wheels don’t work well on cobblestones or rugged areas
3. For a Bargain: DUKAP Intely Smart Luggage 3-Piece Set
The lightweight PC/ABS material of this bag belies its durability. The suitcase is incredibly strong, and also has corner bumpers and a water and scratch resistant finish. It also has an integrated digital weight scale, so you can say goodbye to unexpected baggage fees.
Each suitcase can expand 1.2-inches for extra space, and comes equipped with dual spinner 360-degree wheels. There’s a TSA-approved combination lock, so you can keep your items safe throughout your trip. The set comes with a 14.5 x 9 x 19.5 inch suitcase, a 19 x 11.25 x 27.25 inch suitcase, and a 21 x 13 x 31 inch suitcase–these three sizes give you the ability to pack for any type of trip.
While these are great suitcases for someone looking for a durable, well-functioning piece of luggage with the ability to charge devices, it should be noted that the bags come with USB and Micro-USB cords, but the actual power bank is sold separately. Still, it’s a great deal for three well-made pieces of luggage.
- Durable exterior
- Three pieces included
- Comes with USB cords
- Great price for a three-piece set
- Power bank sold separately
- No side handle to help with lifting
4. For the Design Oriented: Arlo Skye Smart Luggage
Designed by former Tumi and Louis Vuitton alums, the Arlo Skye bags are pricey, but worth it. A reviewer for Forbes gushed about the smart luggage, saying he was pretty sure he “never had such a big crush on a carry-on bag.”
The aircraft-grade aluminum alloy exterior is more durable than polycarbonate or nylon, which is what many other bags are made of. (Some reviewers said though it was hard to dent, it did still get scuffed). Inside, antimicrobial lining keeps your items clean. The brand uses premium products, like Japanese Silent Run wheels that are 15-percent quieter than regular polyurethane wheels, and European leather hides for the handles and other accents.
The carry-on size is spacious enough to bring a few pairs of shoes and outfits for a week, and the bag comes with smell-proof pockets for dirty clothes, as well as a toiletry bag. Enclose it all with TSA-approved locks. Of course, because it’s a piece of smart luggage it also comes with a removable high-speed USB charger that charges phones or tablets four times, 75-percent faster than traditional charges. The bag comes with a 21-day trial period
Price: $450 to $495 depending on style
- Aluminum alloy exterior and antimicrobial lining
- High-speed USB charger
- Silent wheels
- Comes with laundry section and toiletry bag
- Exterior can be scratched
5. For the Playful Traveler: Rebecca Minkoff Smart Luggage
If you like your luggage to be distinct, opt of this Rebecca Minkoff design. Colorful, playful letters adorn the exterior (which is made of hardshell polycarbonate), and “Let’s Get Lost” is embroidered into labels inside. It’s not all fun and games though–the luggage is actually very well made. The ergonomic design includes a telescopic handle with four locking positions, and 360-degree wheels that maneuver effortlessly.
It has a 10,050 mAh battery that can charge laptops, tablets, and phones on the go. It also comes equipped with bluetooth technology so you can monitor your bag’s battery and location using the Rebecca Minkoff Always On App.
The inside of the bag is fairly basic, with one large mesh pocket and secure straps. Lock everything in with TSA-approved locks.
- Bluetooth-enabled for tracking and battery monitoring
- Removable USB charger
- Ergonomic design
- Distinct exterior
- Some users don’t like the design
- Battery requires a screwdriver to be removed
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