At long last, a proper carry on luggage case for travelling. Up until very recently I was using a travel duffle bag for all my travels, no matter how much stuff I had to bring with me. Whether I was on a weekend getaway or a week-long trip all of my belongings had to fit in a duffle bag that my shoulder then had to hold the brunt of. I moved slowly through airports, had constant neck and back pain while travelling and had to completely unpack the entire bag to be able to find anything.
I had been interesting in buying a proper carry-on suitcase for quite some time but overwhelmed by the multitude of options available. Do I go budget friendly and opted for a soft shell or is hard shell the way to go? A house brand from a department store or one of the many Instagram-hyped brands? Do I need one of those fancy schmancy suitcases that also has a portable charger?
Because of who I am as a person, I naturally wanted something Instagramable aka: one of the stylish hard shell luggage carry-ons I had been seeing online. When Monos gifted me one of their carry-ons I was excited to take it with me to California to see if it was really worth all the hype.
Also I recognize that this might not be the typical luggage review because: a) I've never written one and b) I've never read one before. So I am sure there are some features I should be speaking to that I am missing, but this is what I kept an eye on when it came to deciding what I want in a carry-on case.
The case itself is made out of a German polycarbonate which is a lightwave, aerospace-grade material that is apparently nearly impossible to break. It has some give/flexibility to it and that it can absorb energy from impact while being able to spring back into shape which makes me think it's probably the same thing that Black Panther's suit is made out of (not saying that polycarbonate is Vibranium, but the description does sound remarkably similar.) I will say that photos do not do it justice and in person the case has a soft touch finish with a slight texture. I found it also really easy to keep clean with the magic eraser that came with it. Like anything, it's not 100% resistant to wear and on it's first flight United Airlines did a bang up job of literally banging up my new luggage that did leave some scratches. Purely aesthetic though and there was no damage to the actual functionality.
The wheels are super smooth. They have 360 degrees of range and they're made with a material developed with Mitsubishi. That's pretty fucking fancy. They rolled over cement as easily as it rolled over carpet and hardwood.
The handles are study AF. They are apparently made of high-grade aluminum and locks from underneath the handle instead of on top like most luggage carriers which makes it more ergonomically sound. I am sure y'all have seen the Monos sponsored Instagram video of the luggage on a treadmill to show mileage (and if you haven't, you probably will now) with a load of 24 kg (plus 7 kg on the handle) just to showcase how it performs on uneven terrain.
Just for fun, you really should check out these videos of them putting the luggage through the various scenarios here.
IS IT SMART LUGGAGE?
One of the questions I get asked the most about my new luggage is about the portable charger. While a portable, external battery pack is all the rage with Instagram-hyped luggage brands Monos has opted NOT to have a built-in charger, which I actually prefer. While a charger may seem like a nice perk to have chargers tend to increase the costs which is then reflected in the price plus with Apple dropping a new phone every other month charging outlets become outdated quickly. (Anyone else still occasionally using that stupid looking dongle?) As a gal on the go, trust me when I say that anyone who needs a portable charger has one and doesn't need their luggage to have one as well (plus knowing me I would always forget to charge my suitcase.)
ALSO, while I am sure that smart luggage is travel safe (I think it just have to have an ejectable battery?) on my last trip both airports in the States asked me if I was travelling with smart luggage saying that they would prohibit me from travelling with it for safety reasons. It seems easier to avoid all those security issues just by not having a smart luggage carry on and just have a portable charger in my purse.
There is a long list of cool features. These are a few of my favourites:
Right now the cost of the carry-on is $277 (marked down from $369) CAD which seems like a fair price for its warranty which covers the piece for any broken parts of the suitcase and you have 100 days to return your case, no questions asked.
It is also worth noting that Monos is significantly more affordable than other Instagram popular luggage brands plus they're a Vancouver-based brand. I love how sleek and lightweight this carrier is plus with the exterior materials being so easy to clean I feel like (minus the scratches I already got, thanks United) it'll be easy to keep this carry-on looking fresh. I am travelling again later this month to colder climates and I can't wait to stuff all of my winter wear into my new Monos.
The fine print: the team at Monos was kind enough to gift me their carry-on however this post is not sponsored and as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.
None of the above links or codes are affiliate links. :)
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