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It Seems Like Everyone Either Has an Away or Rimowa Suitcase But Which Brand Is Better

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Out of all of the bags I’ve collected over the years, from designer satchels to cool duffels, the one I really can’t see myself living without is my trusted carry-on suitcase. I mean, who doesn’t love a great carry-on bag? I don’t have to worry about the airline I’m flying with carelessly damaging or throwing my precious luggage or, worse, accidentally losing my bag during a connecting flight. I know I’m not the only one who has had a mini panic attack when waiting at the baggage claim carousel.

Of course, there are hundreds — maybe even thousands — of carry-on bags to chose from. But the two brands that seem to be getting major buzz right now are Away and Rimowa. Every time I see a picture of a celebrity dodging the papparazzi at the airport, they’re pulling one of the two hardshell bags behind them.

Both luggage companies are in high demand right now. But with any major purchase that’s going to cost a couple hundred dollars, it can be tough to figure out exactly which one is really worth it.

To help guide your shopping, here are all of the details on Away and Rimowa’s most popular carry-ons.

Away is definitely a newcomer to the luggage scene; it launched just four years ago. But that hasn’t stopped big names from taking notice and quickly becoming fans. It’s even rumored that Meghan Markle gave guests at her baby shower thank-you gifts housed inside Away suitcases.

Shop Now: Away the Bigger Carry-On, $245; away.com.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have Rimowa. You can think of the LVMH-owned luggage brand as the luxury O.G. in the industry; it dates back to 1898. That means Rimowa has had more than a century to perfect the art of the well-made carry-on, capturing the attention of stars like Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Julianne Moore. Flight attendants and pilots rely on the brand’s bags, and with as much traveling as they do, you know they aren’t going to waste money on anything that won’t hold up.

Speaking of money, Rimowa bags are quite the investment. The brand’s high-quality styles include luxe collaborations with must-have brands like Dior, Off-White, and Supreme. Those coveted, limited-edition suitcases aren’t cheap either, with re-sales on StockX going for as much as $5,500 for a small carry-on.

Rimowa’s popular Essential Lite Cabin carry-on has dimensions of 21.7″H x 15.8″W x 7.9″D and only weights four and a half pounds. But it’s super durable (I accidently dropped one down a flight of subway stairs rushing to the airport once), and fits enough clothing, shoes, and accessories for a fashion editor traveling for five days. At $540, it’s an investment. But if you’re a serious traveler and looking for top-of-the line luxury, it’s worth every penny.

Shop Now: Rimowa Essential Lite Cabin, $540; bloomingdales.com.

Away’s carry-ons have racked up a large fan base thanks to more approachable price points and an ejectable battery pack for charging cell phones. The brand’s carry-ons come in two sizes: a traditional carry-on style for $275 that weighs eight pounds and a roomier carry-on for $295 (22.7”H x 14.7” W x 9.6”D), which weighs seven pounds. While the pricing is lower than what most luxury bag companies offer, don’t think that they’ve skimmed on the quality. The Away bags can also take a beating.

What’s inside the bag is just as important. Both have zip-up mesh dividers on either side of the suitcase interior, so you can keep your shoes separated from your clothes. Away also wins bonus points for including a waterproof laundry bag that’s perfect for tossing dirty clothes into.

I definitely feel like a professional traveler when I’m whipping my Rimowa bag around, but if you don’t travel that often, I’d recommend saving a few dollars and going with the Away bag.