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July Luggage Review: Hands On With the Checked, Carry On, and Carry All Backpack

Disclosure: We received courtesy product from July in exchange for our honest review only. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

Matt Gulielmi
Expertise:

Style, Jewelry, Watches, Skincare, Brand Activations

Matt is a NYC-based merchandise planner in the luxury space and moonlights as a retail documentarian through his TikTok blog @retailecology. His fashion career has waltzed through styling for Michigan State's VIM Magazine, translating brand copy into Spanish for cosmetic startups, to managing inventory for some of the biggest retailers in the US. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Jun 6, 2024
13 min read
July Luggage near a train in the USA

Before touching down in palm-fringed paradise, you have to endure a gauntlet of cramped security lines, outrageous food prices, and frenzied tourists huddled around power outlets like hyenas.

July has common airport frustrations in mind with their focused lineup of baggage. I picked up a carry-on, checked suitcase, and backpack to see if they can make flying great again.

July thought of air-verything.
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: July
July Luggage

Bottom line: July’s suitcases are wheels-up winners. The Carry On’s removable power bank is a literal electronics life-saver. While less feature-dense, the Checked suitcase has plenty of room for large garments and the Y-straps squeeze out that last bit of space. However, the Carry All Backpack lacks the room and technical features needed to be my go-to travel bag.

Ratings: The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service
Pros:
  • Carry On has a long-lasting power bank
  • Suitcases glide easily with SilentMove wheels
  • Carry All Backpack has a dedicated passport pocket
Cons:
  • Carry All Backpack feels basic compared to July suitcases
  • July’s warranty only covers manufacturing defects

Packing always looks like this: pacing back and forth in front of a bisected luggage splayed out over my bed.

So many fuego sundries I want to bring. So little space.

I invested in a set of Burton Wheelie luggage. If it has one thing going for it, it’s durability. But I’ve had this thing since I was 17, and you know my teenage self sticker-bombed it to high heaven.

Between the lack of features and unprofessional barrage of adhesive logos, I need luggage that makes me both look and feel collected.

July’s mobile ads always caught my eye for two reasons: their sleek modernity with an emphasis on tech specs.

I told them “come fly with me,” and secured a backpack, carry-on, and checked suitcase to see if July soothes pre-boarding turbulence while jetsetting.

What Is July?

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It wasn’t an obsession for personal cargo or a frustrating airport mishap that triggered co-founders Athan Didaskalou and Richard Li to start the Aussie luggage brand.

Like most other entrepreneurs, they saw opportunity in the travel accessory category that was largely uncontested at that time.

Instead of being a widely-distributed brand with no real character, they aim to be a one-stop-shop for baggage with a unified design language.

Apparently their luggage is also olympic-tier.

July is the official supplier for team Australia’s on-the-road baggage as they compete in the 2024 summer olympics in Paris.

Things to Consider Before Buying

An all-encompassing warranty can turn uncertain tire-kicking into a swift purchase without looking back.

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July offers a limited lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects on the wheels, zippers, handles, nylon straps, and “specific cracks or breaks in the polycarbonate shell” (July doesn’t offer more details on what exactly this looks like).

The Adult Man July Packaging 800

The standard wear and tear from traveling is generally not covered by their warranty, which might be a deal-breaker if no-questions-asked replacement policies from other brands stirred your travel bug.

July Luggage

I sought a new set of luggage with looks that reflected the maturity of the man toting it. Turns out I got a lot more, none of which were gimmicks like those digital scales built into the handles you’d have to be delusional to trust. The power bank rules, and I don’t take its 2-year warranty for granted. It’s remarkable that upgrading the Carry On and Checked suitcase is so inexpensive.

Shop July

My Hands-On Review

Carry On

Capacity

The Adult Man July Carry On With Mesh Divider Over Clothes 800

Before scrutinizing each piece of luggage, I have to highlight the elevated unboxing experience.

Each bag shipped inside one another like Russian nesting dolls. July also threw in a dust bag to keep the checked bag in tip-top shape.

The Adult Man July Checked With Cover 800

I like that everything fits into the next largest bag. Hotel rooms can feel cramped quickly with stuff lying around, but here I get three bags that only take up the space of a checked luggage once combined.

The Carry On’s interior space measures 20″ high x 14.5″ wide x 8.5″ deep for 42 liters of storage.

If that geometry isn’t helpful, you’re looking at 5-7 days worth of clothing per July.

The Adult Man July Carry On With Backpack Inside 800

I think it can be stretched to ten days if you’re strategic, especially with shoes. I managed to pack the following on a two-week trip to Florida by packing only sandals in the carry on:

  • 8x tees
  • 2x dress shirts
  • 1x sweatshirt
  • 3x shorts
  • 2x linen pants
  • 1x bathing suit
  • 1x sandals

I’d be more constrained packing for a colder destination, but for a bag that meets the international carry-on dimensions, I know I won’t get flanked by the gate agent before boarding.

The polycarbonate isn’t as forgiving as my soft-shelled Burton carry on that I’ve knowingly overstuffed.

If your priority is a hassle-free check-in rather than saving every penny on carry-on fees, then it’s not a major concern. However, you’re limited to its boxy confines whether you’re flying under the airline’s regulations or traveling independently.

The only true downside of the Carry On’s design as it relates to capacity is the equal size of both halves.

The Adult Man July Carry On Open 800

My footwear lineup has more boots than an impound lot. I’ll bring a pair no matter where I’m going.

There’s enough depth to allow them to lay flat by themselves, but I run the risk of warping them if I pack them on top of anything else. I don’t run into this with my other luggage that has a deeper compartment than the other.

Durability

The Adult Man July Carry On Dinged Corner 800

If your passport is dripping with ink, you know that durability trumps every other aspect for luggage.

In hopes that my Carry On will be my travel buddy for years to come, I picked up the original over the essential. 

The extra $20 gets me aluminum corner bumpers and a removable power bank. Considering the upgrade comes with two meaningful enhancements while keeping the price under $300, I’d say the original Carry On is easily worth the cost.

I noticed a few scrapes on the corner bumpers after one trip. The dark color of the forest colorway I picked up might be more sensitive to dings.

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It’s just cosmetic, though. The way I see it, a nice patina is a testament to its globetrotting endurance.

Designed to withstand the pressure changes of air travel, an aerospace-grade German polycarbonate shell is the main line of defense.

Hopefully I won’t have to witness its flame-retardant properties. 

I expected it to be much stiffer, but it’s actually quite bouncy. This is very useful when it has to withstand the careless chaperoning of baggage handlers after an unexpected gate check.

I’m no material engineer, but I feel like the polycarbonate will resist any permanent dents that aluminum-shell carry-ons are prone to as well.

Function

The Adult Man July Carry On TSA Lock 800

July addressed the most relevant challenge with modern day air travel: keeping your devices charged.

The removable battery is my favorite part about the Carry On by far. And the fact that it’s included in the $20 upgrade to the original? Fuhgettabatit.

It has two standard USB ports and a USB-C for charging, and the battery itself can be charged with both USB-C and mini USB. It arrived with half a charge, but on a full tank, I was able to get roughly three full charges on my iPhone 14 Pro.

The Adult Man July Carry On Charging Port 800

The Carry On has a TSA-approved combination lock for added security. It took me a few tries to set my own code, but it worked like a charm once I figured it out.

Laundry is hardly part of anyone’s vacation itinerary, but July includes an odor-proof laundry bag to avoid any contagious stink from your unwashed clothes.

It isn’t big enough for a full outfit, but it can hold a few sets of socks, underwear, and a damp bathing suit when I need one last dip into the pool before heading to the airport.

And yes, I tested this out. The laundry bag is made out of the same water/stain-proof lining found inside the Carry On, and none of the surrounding garments felt wet once I unpacked at home base.

July Carry On

With a polycarbonate shell that withstands serious impact, smooth-moving wheels that make it seem weightless, and its own removable power bank to keep handheld entertainment flowing, this luggage doesn't bend to any aiport pitfalls.

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Checked

Capacity

The Adult Man July Checked Fully Packed 800

Coming in at 26” tall with 80L, the Checked suitcase screams “I won’t be coming back any time soon”.

Both halves are the same size, but 11” of depth accommodates any sizable footwear options that must be crease-free better than the Carry Ons 8.5”.

You can guess which I’d stow my cowboy boots in.

It’s good for roughly 1-2 weeks per July, but again, that seems like a conservative estimate. With a carefully assembled capsule wardrobe, I’m certain the Checked could house a month’s worth of basics.

Pictured below is what I could fit into the Checked before my latest trip:

  • 12x tees
  • 4x button-ups
  • 2x shorts
  • 2x jeans
  • 1x bathing suit
  • 1x casual sneakers
  • 1x tennis shoes
  • 1x huarache loafers

Dropping an extra ~$30 on the expandable for ten more liters of space did catch my attention.

Like the Carry On, treating yourself to the premium trim level hardly seems like a splurge based on what you get. While 80L is plenty for my travels, the expandable is there if you can’t help yourself from packing the whole closet.

Durability

The Checked shares the same polycarbonate shell protected with aluminum corner bumpers as the Carry On, and like that too, I did notice some minor wear upon its return from baggage purgatory.

I don’t fret over the unavoidable battle scars, but I fear this suitcase being rendered useless if the SilentMoveTM wheels break.

My Burton suitcase is equipped with skateboard wheels and bearings. Yes, I could go down to the local skate shop and replace them if need be, but I don’t think I’ll ever have to.

July’s warranty doesn’t cover incidentals that affect the wheels unlike Rimowa that will repair theirs on the house. Not only do these wheels support more weight than the Carry On, but they have to survive the twist and tumbles between point A and B.

The Adult Man July Checked On Belt 800

Even if my anxious speculation doesn’t amount to anything, a repair service for a small fee would give me peace of mind.

The Checked suitcase still feels like it takes external forces to the chin, though. Its handle expands and collapses without hiccups, the zipper lives up to YKK’s reputation for quality, and the water/stain-proof lining is here too.

Function

For something that spends most of its time chilling in the aircrafts underbelly, I won’t be flipping tables asking why it doesn’t have a removable power bank.

While true, the Checked maintains a lot of what makes the Carry On a step up from my previous luggage.

Like the laundry bag I didn’t know I needed. This one’s large enough for a full outfit and a few extra things.

The Adult Man July Laundry Bags 800

I tend to use the more often because I pack my base-layer clothes in my checked bag, where they come into contact with garments that don’t need to be washed after each use.

Both the Checked and the Carry On have a Y-strap dressed up with a leather handle that I think looks really nice.

It rests over a mesh divider that’s useful for expensive electronics or reading material that I don’t want sliding around during travel.

The Adult Man July Checked Divider Loop 800

The nylon loops are thin and bunch up inside of the plastic brackets, so I do worry about them snapping if I really muscle the Y-straps.

July Checked

It’s good for roughly 1-2 weeks per July, but that seems conservative. With a carefully assembled capsule wardrobe, I’m certain the Checked could house a month’s worth of basics. Tossing in a stowable laundry bag is also super helpful for seperating my worn and clean gear.

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Carry All Backpack

Capacity

The Adult Man July Carry All Backpack Full View 800

First off, the Carry All Backpack is the epitome of July’s style ethos–suave yet timeless.

It looks good whether I’m hustling to the gate in head-to-toe business attire or taking my sweet time in sweats, but that can be said about everything I got.

The name of this backpack is… ambitious.

20 liters of space is okay if I’m traveling with a carry-on and checked a suitcase, but it’s small for a backpack I’d deem capable for long-haul trips.

I packed my 13” laptop, toiletry kit, Nintendo Switch, 200-page book, charger, and sunglasses, but anything else makes it feel jam-packed and difficult to manage.

The Adult Man July Carry All Backpack Capacity 800

It’s cool that the water bottle pocket is secured with a zipper, but that limits it to small containers. 

The Adult Man July Carry All Backpack Laptop Sleeve 800

The padded laptop compartment is a 21st-century necessity, and the dedicated passport slot is an obvious winner. A hard-shell sunglass pocket or a few more external pockets in general would make it a lot easier to quick-access the essentials.

Durability

The Carry All Backpack strikes me as more of an elegant accoutrement than an all-terrain hauler.

Everything feels very well made. The zippers don’t slide around, the stitches are accurate and strong, and the fabric itself is water-resistant.

The Adult Man July Carry All Backpack Arm Straps 800

While I wouldn’t worry about swift dashes in the rain from the exit doors to my Uber, there aren’t any reinforcements that give the Carry All Backpack above-average durability for a travel bag like GORE-TEX panels, a stowable rain cover, or rubber zipper guards.

Function

Comparing it to my lululemon Cruiser Backpack, a travel champion of mine for over five years, also highlights its basic functionality.

Granted, that backpack doesn’t have a pass-through band that July’s does.

Offloading it to my suitcase while huffing to the gate is super convenient, but because the straps are thin and lack significant padding, I find myself doing that more often than I should.

On the other hand, it has D-rings on either side if you want to slap on aftermarket straps for tote-style lugging.

The minimal points of organization inherently hinders the function of this backpack overall. While it benefits from July’s modern visual appeal, it simply doesn’t stack up to the engineering available from other travel backpacks on the market.

July Carry All Backpack

Its minimalist design stands out against a multitude of technical backpacks in the travel category. The padded laptop compartment is a 21st-century necessity, and you can say goodbye to fumbling around in front of the TSA agent thanks to a dedicated passport slot.

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What Do Other Reviewers Say?

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Browsing thousands of reviews between the three products I got reveals that July invested in the right things.

Rarely did I see any reports of the power bank failing, and if it did, it’s covered by its own 2-year warranty. The SilentMoveTM wheels also get tons of praise from stand-up suitcase first-timers for how smooth they are.

A few users parroted my thoughts on the Carry All Backpack stating that it feels a lot smaller than a 20L bag would suggest.

July Alternatives

Nomatic

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Nomatic is a great choice if you frequently travel with expensive equipment for work or leisure.

The brand designs their own camera bags alongside their generalist travel backpacks, messenger bags, and slings. Ample organization, durability, and comfort is present across all of them.

For a closer look on their Navigator Sling, check out our roundup on the best sling bags for men.

Black Friday Sale
Nomatic
(Get up to 40% off sitewide)

If you're the kind of guy who's into capsule wardrobes, decanting your pantry goods and just all around minimalism, you'll be a fan of Nomatic. They serve up a stylish yet understated range of bags with thoughtful tech storage and hidden compartments, and we're here for it.

Shop Nomatic

Carl Friedrik

Male model wearing Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend bag

If your style leans classic and timeless, Carl Friedrik bags exude “old money” with heritage silhouettes assembled with soft Vachetta leather and metallic hardware.

We know good bags when we see them. Check out our review on the Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend Bag for a detailed rundown. 

Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend Bag

If you’re ready and able to invest in a heirloom quality bag that will last for decades, the Carl Friedrik Palissy Weekend is a very solid choice.

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My Thoughts Overall

What I Like

  • After testing July’s, I don’t think I can go back to a power bank-less carry-on ever again.
  • SilentMoveTM wheels can make even an overloaded checked bag slide like a hovercraft.
  • The stashable laundry bags separate dirty and clean laundry wherever I am.
  • I’m less worried about packing laptops or tablets in July’s luggage using the mesh divider.
  • The backpack, carry-on, and checked suitcase can fit inside the next to save space.
  • Securing the backpack to my luggage with the pass-through loop provides much-needed relief if I’m walking with several bags.

What I Don’t Like

  • The mesh divider loops seem thin enough to break while fastening the Y-straps.
  • The Carry All Backpack is priced steeply at almost $200 while lacking capacity and function that’s easy to find from other travel bags.

Who Is July For?

July is an easy pick for someone who wants a perfect balance between style and function.

Whether you mix-and-match or go with a matching set like I did, their baggage just looks so good together, and the power bank, Y-straps, and smooth-moving wheels give personality to a pretty face.

The Verdict

I sought a new set of luggage with looks that reflected the maturity of the man toting it.

Turns out July delivers lot more, none of which were gimmicks like those digital scales built into the handles you’d have to be delusional to trust.

The power bank rules, and I don’t take its 2-year warranty for granted. It’s remarkable that upgrading the Carry On and Checked suitcase is so inexpensive.

That’s huge on July’s part.

Regardless of trim level, the SilentMove wheels, Y-straps, and integrated TSA locks are a treat to use.

I wasn’t blown away by anything the Carry All Backpack had to offer, but I think the target customer exists—a full blown July devotee who needs a high-quality, matching backpack.

July Luggage

I sought a new set of luggage with looks that reflected the maturity of the man toting it. Turns out I got a lot more, none of which were gimmicks like those digital scales built into the handles you’d have to be delusional to trust. The power bank rules, and I don’t take its 2-year warranty for granted. It’s remarkable that upgrading the Carry On and Checked suitcase is so inexpensive.

Shop July