The $13 billion luggage industry reinvents itself for a new generation of traveler
With 61% of Gen Zers seeking the travel the world, according to Cassandra Report's State of Gen Z, luggage is an absolute necessity. Thankfully the days of fighting over whose black luggage bag revolving around the baggage carousel is actually yours may be over. Several travel startups are completely reinvigorating the luggage category with technology enhancements and fashion-forward style.
Following the likes of the best-known Away which makes luggage that include an in-built, USB charging pack as well as a detachable zip-up waterproof tote, Raden builds upon this foundation by upping its technology capabilities so travelers can monitor where their bag is at all times via a smartphone. The line of pastel-colored cases still comes with a built-in battery charge your phone, as well as a built-in scale that communicates how much the suitcase weighs via an app, ensuring the embarrassment over overweight fees at the counter. Raden costs slightly higher than Away's $225 price point at $295-$395, depending on the size.
Keep in mind, however, some airlines, such as American Airlines do not allow passengers to check smart luggage unless they first remove the batteries that fuel the high-tech features.
Moving further up the price scale, Canada's Ebby Rane isn't focused as much on technology as design and internal details. The $995 luggage's premium touches include cognac leather flourishes across the handle and strip, as well as an elaborate internal system of accessories. After the brand captured high-profile female fans like Sophie Trudeau, the First Lady of Canada, as well as Prince Harry's fiancé actress Meghan Markle, Ebby Rane expanded to a men’s Quatermaster that costs $925.
Lastly, Steamline seeks to return travelers back in time with its old-fashioned trunks that harken back to the days of the Orient Express and Greta Garbo. The hand-crafted luggage collection doesn't come with all of today's high-tech gadgetry, but instead features artistic detailing and quality. A carry-on bag starts at $430 and, depending on the materials, can go up to more than $1,000. Until now, quality leather trunks were only available from luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Hermès, which are generally priced at $5,000 to $20,000.
Regardless of what luggage sways you, the good news is that airline baggage handlers are less likely to lose your bags: fewer than 6 bags per 1,000 passengers were mishandled in 2016, the most recent year they tracked the data, down 12.5% year over year, according to airline information technology company SITA.