It’s hard to imagine anything more crucial for frequent travelers than a good carrying case, but does the bag need to be smart as well? There is a cottage industry of connected luggage makers who believe this is true. A startup called Raden is trying to take a more measured approach to packaging, rather than spamming their bags with components like some other companies. There’s no better way to achieve that than with its A22 connected carry-on I find it fascinating that this innovative luggage blends technological convenience with the comfort of high-end suitcases. Just what are you getting for $295?
Polycarbonate suitcases lack pockets, external compartments, or the rugged appearance of other suitcases. However, the A22 is an adorable and funky looking item. A set of USB ports on the back, directly behind the telescoping handle, is the first thing to signal the fact that this isn’t your average USB drive. The chargers are connected to a 7,800mAh battery, which came in handy for charging my gadgets at the airport gate. A battery in the bag is connected to a processor and Bluetooth module, which, in turn, connect to an iOS application. slated for introduction in the near future.) If it sounds basic, that’s because it is — and that’s how the company likes it to be. Josh Udashkin, the CEO at Raden, said that the company takes care not to overwhelm travelers with too many connected features, preferring instead to use tech as a “lure” to attract people to a well-designed and stylish
It is only right to give credit where it is The bag was beautiful, and Raden did a great job assembling it. Despite being nearly eight pounds while empty, the A22 remains surprisingly heavy, but not so heavy that you can roll it around on four wheels without it toppling over. A handsomely nondescript glossy black finish comes standard on my test unit, although more colorful skins are available for those who prefer a little more flair. Buyers should be aware of the following It doesn’t take long for scratches and scuffs to appear after a few flights where the overhead compartments are full and A22 must be checked in the cargo hold. The finish looks great initially, but don’t expect it to last. Besides a scale, the case’s weight is reported directly to the app when it is weighed. The luggage scale has proven to be a very accurate feature so far (compared with the old handheld luggage scale I use), but it’s less effective as a carry-on in this carry-on model than it would be on Raden’s full-sized There’s no escaping the fact that airlines are extremely finicky about luggage weigh limits, and trying to stand your suitcase on a bathroom scale is nothing short of frustrating. It is also worth noting that most US airlines do not have restrictions on how heavy your carry-on is The bag does not need to fit in an overhead compartment as long as it can be hoisted. Even so, if you’re still paranoid about the weight of your carry-on, you can consult the app for information about specific airline
In addition to helping you locate your bag if you have lost it, Raden can also give you directions to That sounds necessary, doesn’t it? I tend to agree, but there are some snags that hinder the system from being as effective as it could be. The only way to locate your missing bag when you can’t feel it would be if another Raden owner near you had a low-energy Bluetooth signal is for another Raden owner to stand in the range of your bag. By doing this, the other Raden fan’s phone would have seen the bag and sent time-stamped location information to a server, and eventually to However, since there was no one else in my local airport who had a Raden, I would’ve been out of luck if it was stolen. I am not sure if the brand will ever be popular enough to actually make this feature useful. Although I can understand the company’s ambition, I find a more cost-effective alternative to be preferred. The technology in use here isn’t impressive, but it does its job most of the time. It is the amount of stuff you can fit inside that will determine whether the A22 is a success or failure for most people. It doesn’t help that one side of the suitcase is mostly filled with the telescoping handle assembly and the removable battery pack I find the 35L/2136 cubic inches of volume too small for anything more than three days, four at the most. A thick pair of pants or a thicker layer is hard to put on. In addition, the bag’s design, which consists of four wheels, makes it easier to glide across asphalt or airport linoleum, but since the wheels take up most of the bag’s body space, the bag has Some may not have an issue with this. On the other hand, during work trips, I typically lug around cameras and computers in addition to clothes, so the smaller A22 isn’t very practical for me. For those who like to travel constantly, a more utilitarian bag might be a better choice. Raden’s first attempt at a connected suitcase shows some promise, even if I’m not personally interested in it. It blends a beautiful design with a premium production process and some clever tech. It would be great if the startup were to have enough momentum to start a second generation of the company. There are a lot of good ideas here that could use a little