I recently reviewed Raden’s A Series line, which offers two sizes: the A28 check and the A22 carry. The creators of the brand hope to make travel a seamless, user-first experience, by creating a suitcase made of the “world’s best materials and technology.”
I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to try out the A28 check in the black gloss version shortly after they launched. Overall I really liked the Raden, and am tentatively declaring it the best smart luggage on the market. It has some really cool technology that I think a lot of people will like. The tradeoff is that there is slightly less packing space because of the size of the battery in the luggage. So should you get it? I’ll try to guide you through some of the main highlights of the suitcase to help you in your decision.
Read on for my full Raden A28 Check review.
Inspired by startups such as Warby Parker and Sonos which improved eyewear and speakers respectively, Raden’s founder and CEO Josh Udashkin decided to innovate in a similarly chic, practical, and techie way for the world of luggage.
The bag itself has been conceptualized by designers from Beats by Dre and is more than two years in the making. The tech features come from the suitcase’s removable compact battery, with two ports accessible from the outside of the case, and a companion app to utilize all of its features.
The Raden A28 is very sleek and I found the black gloss finish to be eye-catching. I am personally impressed that the company is already offering other colors (my experience so far with “techie” suitcases is that they have a very specific aesthetic and there’s not much variety there!)
Color options even include pink and purple, so there is truly something for everyone here. Additionally, travelers should have no trouble spotting this checked bag upon reaching their destination, because the A28 is uniquely modern-looking. I suspect that the lighter colors will scuff more easily, so just be aware when deciding on colors.
With a polycarbonate shell, the suitcase is surprisingly lightweight for its size. I haven’t experienced many other larger suitcases that glide as smoothly, either. The inner compartments are sleek as well, with both compartments zippered and allowing for ease of organization.
Speaking of details, not one was spared here – the double-zippered lock also features a combination for extra security. The battery pack is in its own zippered case as well, and requires charging – you can either charge the battery itself directly or charge through the USB ports located near the handle. Once charged, I downloaded the Raden app.
In fact, the app’s interface, apart from being easy to use, had an oddly calming vibe, which I think is a great choice for an app associated with the inherently stressful world of travel. The app itself is very interactive, with a chat feature for any troubleshooting as well as an option to enter in your main airport, so that you can check in real-time the traffic to get to the airport, for example.
Other features include using the weight sensor in the handle to determine the weight of your luggage through the app. There’s also a Bluetooth radio in the suitcase, connected to the app, which tells you where your luggage is within ~100ft (within reach, in range, out of range).
You can also set up your home airport and the app will then tell you the estimated time to travel there by car from your location (with an option to call an Uber!) and the TSA security line wait time.
At $395, Raden’s A28 bag is decently priced, considering the high quality and the technological features. However, my only two cautions are that it may still be pricey for someone looking for a plain suitcase for travel and that the suitcase/app hasn’t been out for very long, so you may want to wait and see if there any glitches that need to be worked out. I personally encountered no such issues, however, and believe that for frequent travelers or business travelers, the sleek construction and cool features come at a good value.
Overall I really liked the Raden, it takes a step forward in terms of the tech components while matching the design quality of traditional luxury luggage brands. Its companion app is easy to use and has some cool features, including Bluetooth-enable location technology and a weight calculator. Overall, it is one of the very best pieces of luggage that I have reviewed.
At $395 the A28 may be pricey for some, but is actually competitively priced considering its technological capabilities and attractive design.