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A couple of months ago, Monos invited me to their launch event in Vancouver and gifted me their check-in luggage for review. It was the perfect timing since I was just leaving for my Europe trip to London, Berlin, and all around Italy. Having read up on their immaculate quality testing process and seen their beautifully designed luggage first hand at the event, I was super excited to be trying out their luggage on my two and a half week trip.

I picked out the storm grey check-in large and it was the perfect size for all the different climates I was packing for.

monos large check in storm grey details
monos large check in storm grey details
monos large check in storm grey details

What I Loved

I loved the grey colour because it was still a light neutral, while not being so light that it looked old and scuffed up immediately. It’s made with a tough polycarbonate shell and has super quiet but nimble wheels, and I’m so glad I got to use this as my main luggage during my travels.

I was able to fit several jackets (a wool coat and a leather jacket), a bunch of sweaters and sweatshirts, TONS of little tops (like probably close to 12 tops), couple pairs of pants, some dresses, 5 pairs of shoes, toiletries bag, make up bag, 2 purses, 2 hair tools, and it still had space to be filled.

I know typically a normal person wouldn’t travel with that many articles of clothing, but since we were visiting cities with varying temperatures (freezing cold and rainy London to Rome which was 25-27 degrees everyday), it definitely made it a little harder to pack light.

Not to mention with the nature of being on Instagram and having a blog, I had to have options (I can feel the eye rolls).


I dragged my very heavy check-in luggage through several blocks of both concrete and cobblestoned streets in rainy and sunny weater. Seems like the wheels were super durable, and never did I have to question whether the weight of my baggage was going to be an issue.

The shell held up really well in all weather conditions and even being tossed around through the check-in process, actually maintained realtively clean.

As a part of the package of what you receive with the luggage, they actually send you a little sponge resembling a more cubular Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which is supposed to help you clean off any scuffs and dings that you collect while you’re adventuring. I thought that was such a cute touch, and a great way for the brand to say “your luggage WILL get dirty, that’s INEVITABLE, but here’s a solution“.

Standout Features

Something that was pretty unique in the Monos luggage is the handle. Instead of having the push to unlock button for the extendable handle on the top of the handle like most luggages, it’s actually under the handle. Initially I could instantly see why this makes sense. When you’re going to pull your luggage, or extend the handle, instead of having to push down on the button with the palm of your hand while pulling upwards (two contradicting actions), all you have to do is reach under the handle and pull up in on swift movement.

While this was a very innovative idea, I quickly discovered that this cool feature didn’t always make sense. With their smaller check-in luggage or even their carry-on luggage, I can see this being a very useful feature to have. But with their large check-in packed full of stuff, the weight made the feature counter-productive.

With the handle extended and luggage tilted onto it’s back wheels for quicker pulling, I found that I often accidentally pressed the button while I was manuevering the very heavy luggage which would unlock the handle and allow it to detract. I found myself having to stop a couple of times, while I was trying to hurry somewhere, just to lock the handle at it’s extended position again.

With the smaller luggages, or just less weight in your luggage, I feel like this wouldn’t be an issue. But with the large check-in, it’s definitely something to keep in mind.

I also found that the inner organization and dividers were very useful, especially with the amount of stuff I was carry. All the straps and divders are adjustable which ensured that my things were secured into the luggage and I didn’t have to worry about things knocking around in there while I was travelling. This is a common feature in most new luggage brands, but it was something I really appreciated.

My baggages used in europe

The Verdict

Overall, I’m super happy with my Monos check-in luggage. It really is super durable, and I love the minimal design of both the luggage and the brand. Everything feels really high quality and I’m super impressed with how well it lasted throughout my 2.5 week in Europe. I brought this check in, my Herschel carry-on, and my Herschel backpack with me on the trip, and it was the perfect amount of baggage for my needs. I was still able to shop a bit and bring back souvenirs with the extra room in my luggage.

I also have the Monos carry-on in the olive green colour, but opted for the Herschel carry-on for this trip since it was a little smaller (more on that soon). However, I’m heading away for a 2 week trip in May 2020 where I’ll be able to really test out the Monos carry-on so come back then for another review!

Even with the handle clasp/button being slightly counter-intuitive at times, I still think this is an amazing luggage overall and would highly recommend it to my fellow travellers.

They seem to be running a discount on the luggage right now, which brings the cost of the luggage to be $352 cad. Compared to one of it’s bigger competitors, Away, their large check-in luggage is $395 cad and is actually 2 inches smaller than this one. So between the two, I would choose the Monos luggage over the Away any day (especially since I’d be supporting a local Canadian brand!)

Have you head anything about the Monos luggage? What are your thoughts?

Angel Zheng

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