For as much as I travel for my job, it’s been only recently that I’ve really put thought and effort into curating a collection of cool luggage that is high quality, cohesive as a set, and easy on the eyes. Yes, I was that person that had family hand-me-down soft suitcases that looked like they’d weathered a war and many, many, moves.
But I realized at some point that if I was going to be traveling for work multiple months out of the year, I needed to invest in some better luggage—not just for the sake of my belongings, but also for my dignity.
At one point I jumped on the Away craze, but after both those cases cracked within a year of use, I went back to the drawing board in search of a better option.
Then I stumbled upon Monos…
This Canadian-based brand is still a bit under the radar, but their designs are timeless, minimal in the best way, and they care about running a company that treats humans and our planet better. In fact, they’re the first luggage brand out there to become climate neutral certified.
For me, the most important features of great luggage are quality (I mean, can you even imagine the havoc of your zippers bursting in the middle of LAX?!), good design, and ethical practices. When I discovered Monos, I felt like I found the holy grail, and I’m honored to be working with them this year to share their amazing products with my readers and fellow travelers.
If you’ve yet to hear about Monos, let me introduce you to all the ways that this brand is standing out from the crowd.
PS – If you’re interested in shopping Monos, don’t miss my discount code at the end of the post!
10 reasons this cool luggage brand needs to be on your radar
1. Timeless Designs
Unless money is no object and you’re buying up luggage each season the way you buy a new pair of shoes, I’m guessing you want your luggage to last. When I look for products that are going to stand the test of time, I look for quality but also for designs that will transcend trends.
For me, travel gear isn’t the kind of thing I want to have to keep switching up with new trends, which is why Monos is so great. Their designs are beautiful, but not at the expense of timeless appeal. Simple, beautiful, and made to be loved for years.
2. Light and Unbreakable
As I mentioned before, both my Away cases cracked after a year of use, which is why durability was so important to me this go around. With so much travel for work, I really can’t afford that happening to me during a big trip.
Monos firmly stands behind their unbreakable shell. Each Monos suitcase is vacuum-formed with German Makrolon polycarbonate—which is a fancy term for a virtually impossible-to-break aerospace-grade material. The crazy thing is for how high quality their luggage sets are, they are SUPER lightweight. I was shocked when mine arrived in the mail and I picked it up.
Of course, I’m still personally testing the quality out for myself and with the pandemic I haven’t had the chance to beat up these cases too much quite yet. I’ll be doing a full review in the coming months of all my Monos pieces after I’ve had the chance to wear them down a bit, so stay tuned.
3. Cruelty-Free Materials
When it comes to Monos’ day bags and accessories like luggage tags, they swap traditional animal-derived materials for cruelty-free alternatives. This is all part of their commitment to sustainability for the planet and for the animals and humans that live on it. No matter what product you love most from Monos, I love that you can be assured every design detail and how it affects the planet was thoughtfully considered.
Check Out More of My Favorite Travel Products
4. They Are Rigorous With Quality Testing—and Super Transparent About It
Monos doesn’t just tell you that their products are rigorously tested—they show you. Visit this page and you’ll see a list of 40 tests that their suitcases go through, from vibration and crush tests to tear strength, water repellency, drop testing and more.
Plus, there’s actually video footage for several of them to show you what some of these tests actually look like and how they mimic all the battery your suitcase goes through in the travel process. I’m not gonna lie, they’re pretty fun and fascinating to watch 🙂
5. All the Essential Features…and Then Some
Research any luggage brand these days and you’re bound to come across all the standards like TSA-approved combination locks to secure your belongings, interior pockets, compression straps, and laundry bags. But Monos has included all that AND gone the extra mile.
First off, their interior pockets are some of the most luxurious to the touch I’ve felt. They’re made from a super soft 350 denier polyester, which is anti-microbial, durable, waterproof and easy on the fingers.
But here’s where they really went above and beyond. Included with every luggage purchase comes a vegan leather luggage tag to personalize your piece PLUS a special scuff sponge meant to help you scrub off the inevitable wear and tear to your bag from life on the road.
6. A More Ergonomic and High Quality Handle
Rather than adopting an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset, Monos has rethought every design detail for the better. As it turns out, the handle of our suitcases had a lot of improvements to be made.
For example, you’ll notice that most luggage brands place the handle release button on the top of the handle; Monos on the other hand builds theirs on the underside, where it’s more ergonomic. They’ve also upgraded to sturdier materials, utilizing high-grade aluminum, and custom designed the handle’s telescopic assembly to reduce movement.
7. A Commitment to Sustainability Practices
Continuing their commitment to sustainable practices, Monos is a member of 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of all revenue to non-profits dedicated to tackling our environment’s most pressing issues. Plus, they’re the first luggage brand to be Climate Neutral Certified by achieving net zero carbon emissions.
8. Less Waste
One thing that makes this cool luggage brand even cooler? They’re actually thoughtful in their packaging, eliminating plastic and reducing waste wherever possible. It drives me crazy when some brands who claim to be sustainable package their products in the most wasteful materials.
When you order Monos products however, you’ll notice they arrive in recyclable cardboard and are often nested within one another if you purchase multiple items to cut down on excess packaging and emissions from shipping multiple items.
9. Lower Markups, More Accessibility
With all the top notch materials they use and thoughtful details, it’s a wonder that these cool luggage pieces are actually still affordable. By selling directly to the consumer, Monos is able to use the same quality materials as the top luggage brands but at a fraction of the cost.
For reference, Monos luggage pieces range from about $220-$365 depending on the size, while luxury brands like Rimowa are twice as expensive, with the same features, only a 5 year guarantee, and little commitment to true sustainable practices in their production.
10. Guaranteed for Life
Beyond their 100-day trial period, Monos guarantees their bags for life. So if something happens to break, Monos will fix it or replace it as new.