I’ll never be a part of the community that insists on putting an airplane emoji in their bio, but I know the who’s who of the travel retail market. I was familiar with Away on a more general level; everyone I knew who used one of their products was pleased enough with it to sing its praises. I’ve come to associate the brand with professional class women who don’t “get Twitter” and actually understand the rules and regulations of a 401k, so I was surprised to see Away shift gears with their latest collection of outdoor-focused travel essentials, F.A.R. — For All Routes — which deviates from the established Delta Sky Club regular to weekend camping trip in the Berkshires. Would the same functionality the brand had become lauded for still apply to this new zone of travel?
What is F.A.R.?
At its core, Away’s F.A.R. collection encompasses everything you could possibly need for a trip to the outdoors. The designs are meant to be durable yet lightweight, easy to maintain, and offer technical performance without being too heady about it. The line uses recycled materials and features the F.A.R Duffle (in 40L, 55L and 70L size options), the F.A.R Convertible Backpack 45L, the F.A.R Tote 45L, the F.A.R Backpack 26L, the F.A.R Messenger 16L, the F.A.R Organizational Cubes, and the F.A.R Pouches. The line may be designed with the outdoors in mind, but you don’t need to be in the woods every weekend to make use of the collection — some routes very much lead into the city.
As a person who’s had the same banged up carry-on luggage for over a decade, I was beyond overdue for an update, yet still filled with trepidation regarding the F.A.R. silhouettes. I am adamantly not a duffle kind of girl, and the lack of structure stresses me out. However, I’m pleased to report that F.A.R. is not your brother’s amorphous, dingy duffle. While the larger sizes are best for throwing in the back of a car before a road trip, the 40L size is ideal for an airplane carry-on. What I liked most about this size of the F.A.R. duffle was the lightweight, flexible material, which feels impossible to rip and is a breeze to keep clean. Crucially, the zipper is crisp, which bodes for a future of zero snags, even when the duffle is stuffed to the brim.
Prior to using the line, I was most intrigued by the F.A.R. organizational cubes. I consider myself a Type A packer; I have separate packing lists for different climates and trip durations, in case you were curious how annoying I can be. I wondered just how much the F.A.R. organizational cubes would streamline my process, and it turns out, it’s by a lot. My packing has hit a new, galaxy-brain level. The days of rummaging around looking for a specific piece of clothing are fully behind me; I now use a different F.A.R. organizational cube for different styles of clothing, throw my dirty clothes into a different F.A.R. organizational cube, and throw them all into my F.A.R. duffle. Everything stays organized, and I feel unstoppable.
My initial thoughts on how much I’d actually use the F.A.R. line beyond travel were answered with the collection’s messenger and pouches — they’re now among the most functional products I own. The F.A.R. messenger is big enough to easily slip in my laptop and daily essentials for a trip into the office, and on weekends, I stuff it with my towel, sunblock, and an enormous Hydro Flask and hop on the ferry to the beach. The F.A.R. pouches, which are made from a 100-percent recycled nylon ripstop, keep smaller products organized, and eliminate the annoying process of fishing through every crevice of my bag to find my lipgloss. Getting out the door this summer has never been easier.
The ultimate bonus?
What sets F.A.R. apart from the competition are the collection’s juicy colorways. Unlike traditional outdoor-focused brands who subscribe to the belief that functional products must double as camouflage, the F.A.R. line features robust pops of color, including an acid green, tomato red, and bright blue, along with classic neutrals. If the Kardashian-ification of various shades of nudes and earth tones bores you beyond belief, get ready to be refreshed.