As part of Travel + Leisure's new technology and innovations vertical, The Grid, we're rolling out a video series all about the ideas, products, and people shaping the future of travel. Next up: T+L’s news director on the innovations shaking up the luggage industry.

By Melanie Lieberman
Updated: January 21, 2017

New and evolving technology has finally begun to affect one of the most tired industries in the travel sphere: luggage. Luggage innovations are about more than just a new color, and the rolling suitcase is no longer the most revolutionary product on the assembly line.

Many of the innovations are coming from creators outside of traditional luggage companies. Kickstarter, in particular, has been a powerful platform for people who need funding for a new idea.

Travelers can now find useful suitcases that will weigh themselves (like the tech-packed Trunkster with its built-in scale) and bags that will charge your cell phone (like the AMPL SmartBag, which can charge up to seven devices).

There are also carry-ons with oversized, all-terrain wheels, and bags that you can actually ride across the airport, at a breezy 8 mph. (The world isn’t ready for airport Mario Kart races just yet, unfortunately.)

Of course, not all suitcase and carry-on innovations require sensors, wires, and newfangled contraptions. From the outside, Wool & Oak’s new duffel-suitcase hybrid looks like a traditional leather and canvas weekender. But inside, travelers will find a designated space for absolutely everything. There’s a tie pocket, a shoe bag, removable interior walls, and a slot for your tablet and laptop. For the organizationally obsessed among us, it makes packing satisfying.

Perhaps the best part about all of these new products hitting the market is the pressure they put on traditional luggage retailers. It’s no longer enough to produce a chic, durable suitcase or carry-on.

Now your luggage should improve the experience of traveling. And that’s something we can all applaud.