For many travelers, having high-quality luggage can make all the difference between a seamless flight experience and one filled with headaches. Unfortunately, top-notch suitcases are often either too expensive or too difficult to find.
That's why two former Warby Parker execs—Jen Rubio, the company's former head of social media, and Steph Korey, former head of supply chain—teamed up to create Away, a travel brand aiming to create products that combine high-quality materials and innovative technology at an affordable price.
"We both love to travel and when we do, we pay a lot of attention to where we go, what we pack, and where we stay, but always found ourselves less than thrilled with our options for luggage," Rubio and Korey told Business Insider. "While working at Warby Parker and Casper, we saw those companies completely transform the previously poor consumer experiences and high prices for the eyewear and mattress industries. In January of this year, we decided the luggage industry needed similar improvements, and created Away to offer consumers the highest quality luggage for a fraction of the price with a great consumer experience."
Though the company won't launch its first product, the ultimate carry-on bag, until February of 2016, they will be taking pre-orders starting Monday morning for customers eager to get their hands on the product.
To create their carry-on, Rubio and Korey spoke with thousands of people to determine what travelers look for most. They found that many consumers want attractive, well-constructed luggage that provides organization and can charge your phone.
With that in mind, they created a carry-on that has four durable double wheels—a design detail that alone took 20 designs iterations to get right—plus a laundry separation system that keeps belongings organized, YKK zippers that provide stability, and a built-in 10,000 mAh battery that can be charged beforehand and power a smartphone up to five times during a trip.
"It's so disappointing to be bogged down by cumbersome luggage, dying electronics, or lack of organization. More than anything, we wanted to eliminate some of that so people can really focus on the joys of travel," the founders told Business Insider.
Rubio and Korey raised a $2.5 million seed round led by Forerunner Ventures and Accel Partners. Contributing investors included Andy Dunn of Bonobos, Brian Lee of The Honest Company, Jeff Kearl of Skulllcandy and Stance, and Jay Z.
They will be starting with carry-ons and move on to checked bags as their next product, but they plan to continue expanding to offer everything travelers might need.
The pre-order price is $225 and will remain the same throughout its release in February. Customers who preorder the luggage will receive a complimentary copy of "The Places We Return To," which includes personal photos and travel stories from more than 40 influencers.