Millennial direct-to-consumer suitcase purveyor Away is looking further afield. The brand on Wednesday is launching FAR, short for For All Routes, a product line that considers how tourism has changed during the pandemic with styles geared toward nature-goers.
While the brand’s signature hard-case suitcases will “continue to be the majority of revenue,” according to chief executive officer Jen Rubio, those styles are designed with more city destinations in mind.
“I think people have a heightened enthusiasm to return to travel but the type of travel has changed. There’s more of an outdoors focus, more rural with a desire to reconnect with nature and have adventures,” said Rubio.
“We realized we weren’t really making bags to support that kind of travel. People are going to national parks and camping — they’re not taking a four-wheel hard suitcase on a trip. So we are excited to do something in a very Away way and meet the needs of a new kind of journey,” she added.
Made of entirely recycled materials down to the zippers, FAR includes durable backpacks, duffles, messenger bags, packing cubes and totes — offered in a variety of colors. Ripstop nylon duffles range from 40 to 70 liters in packable volume and backpacks from 26 to 45 liters — designations similar to established outdoor brands like Patagonia and The North Face. Prices range from $25 for a small pouch to $220 for a large backpack.
It’s a shrewd move for Away, particularly as tourism winds up again post-pandemic. The luggage gear departments of outdoors stores like REI and L.L. Bean are running low on stock at the moment — owing to a rush in demand as well as supply chain issues.
“I think that speaks to the demand for this kind of gear as people travel more. The travel rebound came back in a big way, and with more outdoor destinations,” Rubio said of the phenomenon.
But with FAR, she is hoping to take the category a step further. “If you think about the outdoor space, everything is super technical and functional but is also kind of ugly. I think that’s a little daunting to some people. I think we found an incredible balance of really durable designs that are versatile but are sleek and attractive,” she said.
“We are excited to attract new customers and see how existing customers build on their collections with F.A.R. — it increases the lifetime value of an Away customer.”