When it comes to travel, I consider myself an expert. This is not so much a flex as it is a fact: I fly about two times a month for both work and fun, and I took my first international flight at the ripe age of two. (And yes, I have Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, and I have my eye on adding CLEAR in the new year.) All that’s to say that I have generally high standards for my travel gear and have put many rolling suitcases through the ultimate feats of strength: Clomping through uneven cobblestone streets during a semester abroad in Paris, rumbling through the long tunnels of Tokyo’s metro system, and — the worst — checking a bag with Am*rican A*rlines. So naturally, when Béis, the lifestyle and travel brand founded by actor Shay Mitchell, launched, I clamored at the chance to try a suitcase. Judging purely by the website’s photos, the luggage, weekender bags, pet carriers, toiletry cases, and more are chic as can be. But, as we know, durability is everything when it comes to a good suitcase, so I set out to see how Béis' luggage stacked up.
Béis makes rolling luggage in three sizes: a 21" carry-on, a 26" medium check-in, and a 29" large check-in. The medium was just enough room for me to pack for a two-week trip — and that’s taking into account bulky winter items like puffer coats and sweaters. (If you’re a light packer, then you may be able to make the carry-on work.) At $278, it’s expensive, but not because Béis is another cool startup. Its origin story was born from Mitchell’s own frequent traveling, and it’s clear that the pieces are designed with intention and utility top of mind.
Since I’m already well-stocked with carry-ons (I have a ROAM and Away — more on that later), I decided to splurge on a larger suitcase for longer trips. The roller came just as I was gearing up for my first trip back to visit family in Tokyo since the pandemic, and I gleefully unboxed it immediately. There was minimal packaging — always a plus — and the bag arrived in flawless condition. The dove gray colorway I picked was honestly stunning, and I loved how lightweight it was given its ample size. (Béis also offers black, beige, navy, pink, and terracotta colorways.)
The Béis roller comes with all the standard features you would expect from a premium luggage brand: a TSA-approved locking mechanism, smooth AF wheels, and the option to expand it if sitting on your luggage isn’t enough to zip it shut.
However, it wasn’t until I started filling up my suitcase (thanks in no small part to these absolutely game-changing vacuum-sealed bags I got on Amazon) that I realized the small but impeccably thought-out features that take it from good to great: a padded handle to keep your hand happy, built-in organizer pockets that worked well with my trusty Calpak packing cubes, and a weight-limit indicator to avoid having to sift through your bag at the counter to get it down to 50 pounds. (Definitely not speaking from personal experience here whatsoever.)
Anyone who knows me (and therefore is familiar with my trust issues) knows that I will avoid checking a bag whenever possible. When I see my bag glide on the conveyor belt away from me, a piece of my soul goes along with it and doesn’t return until I’m reunited with my belongings at the carousel. Anyway, I was cautiously optimistic about how my new Béis would handle her maiden voyage through the United checked-bag universe, and I was shocked and delighted to receive her on the other end with minimal scratches and scuffs. The wheels glided (glid?) through the airport like a knife cutting through butter, and they are definitely a step up from my first-generation Away Bigger Carry-On that’s served me well for over five years. (I will say, the wheels feel comparable to my ROAM suitcase, which is my most used.)
One feature the Béis luggage deliberately does not have is a built-in battery to charge your phone. Given all the other numerous fine details, I can't help but feel like this is by design — and TBH, I never really used the smart battery enough to justify getting yelled at to remove it by a disgruntled gate attendant. With 2023 just around the corner, Béis is inspiring me to travel more. But if I'm being completely honest, it doesn’t hurt that I'll inspire luggage envy at baggage claim.
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