Aug. 9, 2016 - Austin Grandt
Take a second and picture the last carry-on you saw. It probably looked something like this. Black, rectangle, pilled fabric with a broken wheel or two. Most of us carry something similar and it works just fine, but often I wonder to myself, isn't there something more? This is where companies like Arlo Skye come in.
Arlo Skye is leveraging their backgrounds in design to build elegant products for the modern traveler. Their first product focuses on what luggage should be. Sturdy, easy to use, and useful. The founders have taken it upon themselves to not include 10+ different features like many "smart" bags are focusing on. Instead, they want to get the core things nailed down to improve the way we interact with our luggage. This focus on minimalism is an interesting approach in an age where everything seems to get increasingly complicated.
The company has an interesting mantra around "the art of daydreaming" which is outlined in the video below:
When I got in contact with the co-founder, Mayur Bhatnagar, about Arlo Skye I noticed he was very focused on materials. Most hard luggage, I found out, use a traditional polycarbonate hard shell. This material can be prone to cracking and has a similar look no matter if you are buying a high end or low end bag. The Arlo Skye chose to instead focus on using an anodized aluminum-magnesium alloy. This alloy is lightweight weight and increases durability over the life of the bag.
I have to admit, it was refreshing to hear that the team was so focused on the core materials. Many bags I've used in the past have ripped, torn, or broken after a few uses. Yes, it was nice that my bag had useful compartments or storage features, but I wish they would've gotten the materials right in the first place. Most bags seem to overlook this incredibly important aspect of product design. This makes sense given the back ground of the founding team. Mayur, who was a former retail exec at Louis Vuitton, joined forces with Denielle Wolfe, who previously led design at TUMI, and Mauricio Issa Llano, an award-winning industrial designer and engineer.
We are going after a design-conscious audience. They want “fewer, better things” in their lives.- Mayur Bhatnagar, co-founder of Arlo Skye
This was an issue I actually wasn't too aware (even though I once was a bagagge handler) of as I try to never check luggage when traveling. It is a law that you have to carry on spare lithium ion chargers with you when traveling. If you decide to check your bag, newer luggage brands with chargers require you to open your bag, remove your belongings, and remove the battery. With the Arlo Skye carry-on you are able to instead easily remove your battery without all the hassle. I suspect this feature will become increasingly important as overhead bins get progressively fuller and more people are forced to gate side check their bag.
While most luggage uses polyurethane wheels, the Arlo Skye carry-on uses a new material called Lisof that they say reduces noise by 15%. While I don't think this is a critical feature, it could be nice for the conscientious who wants to reduce their noise when walking through the airport.
Nothing on this bag is cheap materials wise, hence the high sticker price. I am normally a believer that quality materials will save you money in the long run. The team chose to focus on only using the best of materials and I think that translates well across the entire bag. The design, materials, and overall potential usefulness of the bag seem to be a step above an average entry-level bag.
Click here to order your Arlo Skye. They are currently accepting orders for October as their August pre-order shipment has already sold out.