Travel Bags: Invest in These 2 Quality Brands

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Investing in quality travel bags never crossed my mind. I used to grab anything I had in storage and start packing–the night before my flight, of course.

Truth is, I only bought my old travel bags because they were on sale & looked cute. I never cared enough to do my research.

I ended up with bags that did nothing more than carry my things, and I knew that travel bags should do more than that.

This past year, I’ve been traveling more than ever. My boyfriend got a job in Seattle this past December (literally on the opposite side of the US from me in Florida). I also recently went on medical leave from pharmacy school, so I finally have time to travel outside the US! (In case you’re wondering, I’m doing better now & will be back in pharmacy school in August πŸ™‚ )

Thankfully, I decided to finally do my research last summer and stumbled upon two amazing brands I now love and trust! I’m so amazed at the quality, appearance, & functionality of their travel bags. I’ve become a loyal fan! So much that I will continue to stalk their websites for new products…

Find my favorite travel bags below & pin this post for future reference!

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Away

Away luggage has a Lifetime Limited Warranty! If that’s not enough to ease your mind, you also get a 100-day trial. After 100 days of use, you can return any luggage with no questions asked AND free US-shipping! (Monogrammed luggage isn’t included in the 100-day trial, but the Lifetime Limited Warranty still applies)

The Bigger Carry-On (Blush pictured)

Features I love & adore:

Travel-Bags-Away-Bigger-Carry-On-Blush

  • The color: Sooo cute!! Blush used to be limited edition, and I was ecstatic to find that it’s here to stay! My friend has the white one, and it’s super cute, too!
  • Hard outer shell: No serious dents on it, and I’ve traveled with it on 8 flights domestically and 5 flights internationally. There are scratches on it, but I’ve been able to wipe off most with mild soap & water like they recommend. The rest of the scratches don’t bother me because I always imagine them tossing around my luggage for fun anyways… The company does recommend a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for more stubborn marks. I’ll update you once I grab ahold of one!
  • Nylon laundry bag: All luggage should have this! I’ve put wet clothes in it, and it didn’t stink up my luggage! (Wouldn’t recommend doing that for too long though)
  • Compression pad: You can easily compress your clothes/laundry bag by tightening the buckle that holds down the compression pad. It adds more space & your clothes won’t fall out of your luggage when you open it!
  • Mesh zippered compartment for shoes, toiletries, and other hard objects: I’m a chronic over-packer, and I’m impressed with how much I can stuff in this compartment without the mesh ripping.
  • 360Β° rotating wheels: I love this luggage because it’s so easy to roll around. When my back gets tired of carrying around my backpack, I put it on my Away luggage & roll it upright with no problems. I even roll around my mini-dachshund in his pet carrier, and he never complains! (Unless I’m late for a flight, then he definitely complains)
  • TSA-approved lock: I was relieved to find that the lock is super easy to set up. It also makes me feel safe when I unexpectedly have to check in my carry-on.
  • Ejectable battery: It’s nice to have, but I usually keep it in my backpack. Recently, airlines have become more strict about carry-on & checked-in luggage containing batteries, so I play it safe and leave it out. I still love it because it lasts a really long time!

Update (1/1/19): Been on at least 15 more one-way flights, and I’m still in love with this luggage. Marks are easily cleaned with a magic eraser. No dents & still rolls beautifully.

The Large (Blush pictured)

This luggage can fit a lot, so remember to weigh it after packing to make sure you didn’t go over any weight limits!

Features I love & adore:

  • The same as above except the ejectable battery (only the carry-ons have it)
Travel-Bags-Away-Bigger-Carry-On-Blush-Tom-Bihn-Synapse-25-Navy

TOM BIHN

TOM BIHN‘s bags are all made in Seattle, and they get their quality fabric from Korea, Japan, and the USA. Like Away, they have tons of beautiful color options.

TOM BIHN has a Lifetime Guarantee, which is reassuring because their bags can be costly.

Pro tip: Do NOT expect any sales from TOM BIHN! TOM BIHN prides themselves on selling quality products at a reasonable price, and they wouldn’t sell their products for any more or less! Makes you think of all those products you bought on sale that became outdated quickly…

After tons of research (& trying to find discount codes to no avail), I decided to finally invest in a quality backpack, and I’m so glad I did!

SYNAPSE 25 (Navy/Wasabi pictured)


The SYNAPSE 25 is everything I’ve ever wanted in a backpack: POCKETS. LOTS OF POCKETS. It also has sturdy material that is easy to clean. My poor pup had a stomachache and his accident got on the bottom of the bag. After some quiet sobbing & cleaning, it came off with no odor!

I always opt for a big backpack because I tend to overpack and any backpack looks large on me anyways. If you prefer smaller backpacks with awesome functionality, you should go for the SYNAPSE 19, which is the smaller version of SYNAPSE 25.

I use the SYNAPSE 25 as my school & work backpack as well. I always bring my heavy 2012 MacBook Pro, and I haven’t seen any tears yet. Wouldn’t expect any either because the fabric looks like it can hold up for years to come!

Features I love & adore:

  • Top, center, front pocket: Deep enough to hold a 1-liter water bottle. I love that I don’t have to worry about my water bottle tipping over & spilling anymore!
  • Center, front pocket: Perfect to hold anything you’d want to quickly grab out of your backpack. I put my passport, keys, headphones, iPhone charger, a granola bar, some hair ties, and a few sanitizing wipes in here.
  • Bottom, center, front pocket: It’s a long pocket that’s deep enough to fit the SIDE EFFECT (see below). Lately, I’ve been putting my SIDE EFFECT inside the main compartment so that it’s more accessible. Instead, I’ve been placing my rolled-up travel pillow, an umbrella, and pencil case in here (I bring my bullet journal everywhere, so I need my pens!).
  • Two side, front pockets: One has pockets for pens & the other has a small pocket inside. I use the latter for miscellaneous items, such as band-aids, a lint roller, and deodorant. These pockets are perfect for organization. I no longer have loose items at the bottom of my backpack!
  • Laptop sleeve inside the main compartment: I can fit my 2012 Macbook Pro (with a hard shell case) & 10.5-inch iPad Pro (with a case) in it.
  • O-rings in every compartment/pocket: O-rings are conveniently placed, so you can attach any smaller organization bags with key straps (see below). You can see they really thought of everything when making their products!

I included my organization pouches & accessories below, so you can start building your TOM BIHN collection now! You have to pay for shipping, so I ended up buying all the TOM BIHN products I have now in one order. I put a lot of careful consideration into color-coordinating & deciding which products worked best for me. I have no regrets because I love all my bags & use all of them to their fullest (literally, I stuff the crap out of them).

SIDE EFFECT (Black/Wasabi pictured)

Travel-Bags-Tom-Bihn-SIDE-EFFECT-Black

The SIDE EFFECT comes with a strap, so you can wear it as a cross-body bag. You can also remove the strap to use it as an organizer pouch.

Pro tip: Use a 16-inch key strap to attach the SIDE EFFECT to an O-ring in the main compartment of your SYNAPSE 25. With this, you can easily find your SIDE EFFECT by tugging on the key strap. Gone are the days of digging through your backpack!

I use the SIDE EFFECT to hold everything I always want with me: extra headphones & an iPhone charger, a portable battery pack, a lotion bar, lip balm, tampons, tissues, sanitizing wipes, a hair tie, and my Epi-Pen.

I could plop my SIDE EFFECT into any backpack/purse I’m using. It’s super convenient, and I can be confident I always have what I need!

Features I love & adore:

  • Front zippered pocket: I keep my iPhone charger & portable battery pack here
  • Two inside pockets for organization: I use one pocket for my sanitizing wipes, and I use the other for my lip balm & hair tie (and any eyeliner or liquid lipstick I’m using).

It also has 4 O-rings in the main compartment and 1 in the front zippered pocket. I haven’t found any use for them, but it’s definitely nice to have the option!

GATEKEEPER Waist Strap

I bought this for my SIDE EFFECT. It’s only $10, and it’s useful for when I’m traveling and just want to carry around a fanny pack.

3D Organizer Cube, Clear (Wasabi 200 Halcyon pictured)

I was so happy to find a cute & durable pouch that meets the TSA 3-1-1 liquids-program requirements!

Pro tip (when going thru security check at the airport): Use a 16-inch key strap to attach the SIDE EFFECT to an O-ring in the main compartment of your SYNAPSE 25. You can easily find your liquids bag just by tugging on the key strap. Also, the 3D Organizer Cube stays attached to your backpack, so you won’t lose it in the rush of security!

See what I put in my 3D Organizer Cube here.

Key Straps

I got two of the 16-inch key straps. I switch out my organizer pouches depending on if I’m traveling or going to class.

Let me know if you have any questions about these products below in the comments! I’d love to answer them!

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PIN ME FOR LATER
This post is for you if you’re tired of replacing luggage sets or backpacks constantly. Away Luggage and Tom Bihn are two high-quality brands with functional travel bags. I feel confident in buying from them because of their quality, warranties, and honesty! #awayluggage #luggagesets #luggage #travelbags #tombihn #synapse25 #backpacks #backpackbags

Shop my fave travel products below:

TOM BIHN SYNAPSE 25
Henri Bendel – Jetsetter Mini Convertible Nylon Backpack
Away Travel Luggage – The Bigger Carry-On – Blush
Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrier
Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25
S’well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, White Marble, 17 oz.
First Aid Beauty – Vital Greens Face Mist 2 oz.
Herbivore Botanicals Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Face Mist, 4 oz
Moon Valley Organics – Coconut Lemon Melt Lotion Bar 1.9 oz.
Sand Cloud Towel
Travelrest – Ultimate Travel Pillow
TOM BIHN SYNAPSE 25
Henri Bendel – Jetsetter Mini Convertible Nylon Backpack
Away Travel Luggage – The Bigger Carry-On – Blush
Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrier
Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25
S’well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle, White Marble, 17 oz.
First Aid Beauty – Vital Greens Face Mist 2 oz.
Herbivore Botanicals Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Face Mist, 4 oz
Moon Valley Organics – Coconut Lemon Melt Lotion Bar 1.9 oz.
Sand Cloud Towel
Travelrest – Ultimate Travel Pillow
I’m sharing my two favorite travel bag brands that never let me down (and the products I use and recommend!). I feel confident in buying from these 2 brands because of their quality, warranties, and honesty. This post is for you if you’re tired of replacing luggage sets or backpacks constantly! #awayluggage #luggagesets #luggage #travelbags #tombihn #synapse25
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