So here's the thing about nice luggage - it's not an absolute necessity, but it does make life (and airport stress levels) so much easier.
I recently upgraded my luggage to the sleek, hard-sided beauties that are the Monos Check In Medium and Check In Large.
I have not yet travelled with them, but this coming Friday we're heading out of town via plane and I'll get a great chance to put them to the test.
But in case you're in the market for new luggage and are *slightly* overwhelmed like I was when looking at all the brands out there, I wanted to share a thorough first impression of the Monos brand and suitcases. Very likely, I'll also give an update after I've traveled a few times with them to share how they hold up through TSA.
Overview of the Monos Luggage Brand
If you've searched online for any sort of hard-sided luggage a few brands will immediately pop up: Away, Monos, July, Samsonite, etc. They all have nuances that set them apart, but choosing a brand can be tricky.
I gravitated toward the Monos brand over the others simply due to the fact that it was one of the first ones I saw. But upon further research they turned out to the be the brand I wanted to support and whose products I thought would stand the test of time. While this is not a comparison post of Monos to Away or even Samsonsite, I always think people's deciding factor when making a larger purchase is always interesting.
So a few quick things that make Monos different:
- they are one of the first luggage brands that are Carbon Neutral Certified
- the luggage is designed and engineered in house
- they use aerospace grade, recyclable polycarbonate
- they have a 100 day trial to see if the luggage is to your liking
- Monos luggage purchased from the brand have a lifetime warranty
- they have several sizes of both check in and carry on luggage
- they put the suitcases through 40 different tests to ensure quality
Monos Check In Large
Color: Rose Quartz
Weight: 10.5 lbs
Trip Length: 7-21 days +
Price: $376 (on sale for $320)
In full disclosure, I didn't have any intention of buying two suitcases. I first purchased the Check-In Large looking for it to replace my normal size, average trip suitcase.
It arrived and was *quite* a bit larger than I had expected. In all fairness they do say on their site that this is the perfect suitcase for a 7-21 day trip. And indeed I could pack up 2+ weeks in this suitcase.
After a bit of debate, I decided to keep this suitcase to use on some longer, larger trips coming up.
Monos Check In Medium
Color: Desert Taupe
Weight: 9.5 lbs
Trip Length: 7-21 day - probably more like 7-10 for me
Price: $341 (on sale for $290)
This is much more your 'normal sized' suitcase that I feel comfortable taking on most trips that I'm checking a suitcase. It's a bit more compact, but still very roomy on the interior with separate compartments that you'll see in a minute.
I do think I'm going to get a lot of use out of both of these suitcases but the Check In Medium is likely going to be my most used luggage piece.
Features of the Monos Luggage
- YKK zipper shut
- polycarbonate outer shell
- TSA approved lock
- both interior sides of the suitcase are lined
- one side has a large pouch and unzips to a large compartment
- the other side has two separate compartments and unzips for a large compartment
- sturdy, 360 degree wheels
- telescoping handle up to 4 inches
I got my luggage knowing we had a few trips back to back let me tell you, to have luggage this nice was a luxury I didn't even know I needed. Especially on the trip to New York where we still needed jackets and boots, I never overpacked and even with the suitcase full the weight didn't exceed 40 pounds for a check-in bag. It was so exceptionally easy to roll and on my most recent solo trip to Florida it was easy for me to lift in and out of car trucks, carry up stairs, etc.
I was so so happy with this suitcase purchase. I will say however, if you're a little OCD about your suitcase looking "travel worn" i.e. scrapes, marks, streaks, etc. you will want to get the darker colors. I did my best to clean and buff out the suitcase after the trips, but it doesn't look pristine anymore – the price you pay for checking a bag!
Overall, I'm super happy with the quality of the luggage, the sizes, even the colors are true to the site and beautiful in person. Shop the luggage on the Monos site (use this link for $25 your first order!) or on retailers like Nordstrom.