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Away Pet Carrier Review

The Away Pet Carrier is luxe, if not a necessity

Small dog with red collar sits in black pet carrier while looking up. Credit: Away Travel / Reviewed

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  1. Away Pet Carrier

    Pros

    • Meets FAA requirements

    • 5-star crash test certified by CPS

    • Durable and high quality build

    Cons

    • Minimal visibility for pets

Even if you’re in coach, there’s no reason your furry companion shouldn’t travel first class. That’s clearly the thinking behind the Away Pet Carrier, a luxe-looking and feature-rich tote that’ll make your pup or kitty—or ferret or micro pig, you do you—the envy of the airport terminal.

But is it worth the ticket price of $225? We hit the road with our four-legged adventure buddies to see.

What is the Away Pet Carrier?

On left, person inserting fur bedding into empty black pet carrier. On right, small dog with red collar sitting in black pet carrier on top of gold suitcase.
Credit: Away / Reviewed

Away now makes luggage options for humans and animals alike.

This chic and sleek carrier represents a recent wave of specialty retailers moving into the pet market. Once exclusively focused on human jet-setters, Away expanded its line of well-regarded luggage to include a pet carrier. Like its rollaboards and suitcases, Away uses premium materials and an intention to address uniquely travel-related problems to bringing along a cat or small dog. That includes making sure its pet carrier meets Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements for in-cabin stowage, as well as an automobile crash-test certification by the Center for Pet Safety, which gave it 5 stars. Of course, durability, portability, comfort, and ease of use are also top of mind.

How we tested the Away Pet Carrier

We worked with both docile and feisty dogs putting them in and taking them out a few times, to observe ease of entrance and exit. We also assessed how seamless it was to maneuver and fasten the carrier in and out of the car, and splashed water on the carrier to see how easy it was to wipe up “spills.”

What we like about the Away pet carrier

It’s very secure

Black and white dog inside of black pet carrier while strapped into leather car seat.
Credit: Away / Reviewed

With the help of Away your furry friend can accompany you on car trips and flights.

Safety is key when it comes to carriers, particularly when a road trip is in the works. So it’s no small thing that the Away model has been crash-test certified by the Center for Pet Safety—not all carriers are—and received a top score of 5 stars. Other pluses include a collar clip that’ll keep your buddy from leaping out of the carrier, latches that help fasten the carrier to a car seat belt, and mesh panels on three sides for ventilation.

It offers luxe accommodations

Inside and side of black pet carrier.
Credit: Away / Reviewed

Away luggage makes is easy for your pet to travel comfortably.

Comfort and durability are another important qualification for carriers. The Away is horizontally oriented, designed to suit dogs and cats up to 18 pounds, and lined with plush sherpa-like bedding. A common issue with pet carriers is they tend to buckle and sag once filled with a pet, or they rely on an interior skeleton of poles and rods, which can poke your furry friend and even potentially break from rough handling. The Away Pet Carrier is made of such tough stuff—extra thick nylon—that it naturally keeps its shape, yet it’s not so unyielding that it can’t be maneuvered under the seat of a plane.

It’s easy to clean

From sloshed water from bowls to in-flight “accidents” to furballs everywhere, carriers can get pretty messy. Thankfully, Away’s carrier is relatively low maintenance, given the removable and washable bedding and water-resistant interior and exterior.

It’s nice to look at

Small dog and cat playing with blue pet carrier on wooden floor.
Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Zorn

This airline approved pet carrier comes in a black and coastal blue color option, paired with nylon material.

Available in black and coastal blue, the pet carrier is designed to complement Away's human line of luggage. There's also an exterior sleeve that allows you to securely slip the carrier over your rollaboard’s handle.

What we don’t like about the Away Pet Carrier

It doesn’t offer much breathability

Empty black pet carrier with fur bedding inside.
Credit: Away / Reviewed

Unlike other pet carriers, the Away Pet Carrier doesn't offer much ventilation.

Many carriers offer mesh and zippered openings on all sides—for ventilation purposes, entry/exit options, and to allow pets to look out. The Away is fairly restricted, with only two smallish windows on the top and one side, plus another “retractable” flap, which can be opened up or covered over for privacy. You only have the choice of placing your pet in the carrier from the top or through one side, and the bag itself is on the small side, measuring 18.7 inches by 10.8 inches by 10.75 inches, with no expandable features.

It may be heavy to carry

Prepare for a bit of a workout once the 4.3-pound carrier is loaded with your pet: The bag itself doesn’t have wheels, so you’ll have to lug it by the two handles or the long adjustable strap, or clip it to the top of your own luggage. Plus, given the weight of the carrier, you won't be able to fly with a pet that weighs more than about 15 pounds, as most airlines limit in-cabin carrier-plus-animal weight to 20 pounds, in total.

Is the Away Carrier worth it?

Small dog and cat playing with blue pet carrier on wooden floor.
Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Zorn

Although Away Pet Carrier is stylish, it's steep price is a bit discouraging.

Maybe

It’s hard to put a price on safety, and many carriers aren’t crash-test certified, and few that are receive a top score of 5 stars. If attractive luggage is a consideration for you, it’s not unheard of to pay this high a price for a pet carrier, particularly if you already own the coordinating luggage for yourself.

For a furry friend that's a frequent traveler, you may want to give the Away Pet Carrier a go. But if you’re just looking to take your cat or small dog to and from the vet or on brief car trips, check out our roundup of the best pet carriers—you’ll likely find one that’ll suit your needs just as well or better, and for a nicer price.

Get the Away Pet Carrier at Away Travel for $225

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

  1. Away Pet Carrier

    Pros

    • Meets FAA requirements

    • 5-star crash test certified by CPS

    • Durable and high quality build

    Cons

    • Minimal visibility for pets

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