This Luggage Will Deliver You From Bag-Check Hell

Raden: Smart luggage. Smart-looking, too.

By The Editors
March 30, 2016 9:00 am

“If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.”

Yes, Charles Lindbergh was talking about conservation.

But he could have been talking about modern air travel, land of shrinking seats, longer (and less safe) security lines and whatever stupid thing this guy had to do.

Fortunately, now there’s Raden, a handsome line of smart luggage that aims to solve everything you can control when it comes to flying the unfriendly skies.

Essentially, Raden bags are designed to offer a combo of smart tech, durability and style, all presented in the most efficient way possible. Outside, each bag features a strong polycarbonate shell with a bit of give. The “smart” part includes a suite of embedded electronics, such as two USB charging ports, a swappable battery and a Bluetooth-engineered app.  

The app is where Raden really differentiates itself. After pairing your phone with the bag, the app will stream relevant travel information: weather, closest airport, public transportation options and a direct link with Uber. Even an estimated security line wait.

The bags also feature a built-in digital scale that gives you a weight reading and notifies you if you’re over the weight threshold for your airline.

As for packing, that’s more of a blank slate. On purpose. “We removed everything you don’t need,” says Josh Udashkin, Raden’s CEO, describing the bag’s minimalist interior. “We wanted to maximize the lightness of the bag and feature a very clean design.”

That said, the bags do sport some nice details: an integrated TSA-approved lock, four recessed wheels, a strong side handle and, as Udashkin said, very, very little weight (starting at 7.5 pounds).

Right now Raden only offers a carry-on ($295) and a check-in ($395), both using the same tech and features. Each bag is available in eight colors.

The limited choices? Also by design. “We wanted to do make a standard global bag,” says Udashkin. “Nothing is confusing. We removed all the fluff from the e-commerce experience.”

As for those who preferred a softer, nylon shell, there’s a reason the company opted for a harder exterior.

“Nylon is dirtier and heavier,” says Raden Head of Product Justin Seidenfeld. “Plus, you can’t overpack these. Our instinct is to pack too much. These will always fit within TSA guidelines.”

The bags went on sale this week. Buying a set will save you $100.

And a little peace of air-travel mind.

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