Losing a bag while you’re traveling can mean going days without a change of underwear — or, worse, never tasting the duty-free rum you bought drink your jet lag away.
Nightmares like this make the Bluesmart Black Edition carry-on — an app-connected suitcase designed to make it nearly impossible to lose track of — sound like a great idea.
Sized at 22” x 14” x 9”, the Bluesmart complies with the carry-on sizing requirements for most airlines.
To help you haul this tiny-but-heavy-ass bag around, the Bluesmart comes with wheels that swivel and spin as smooth as silk while you pull the suitcase around by its retractable handle.
Did I mention this thing costs close to $600? Because it totally does.
There’s nothing smart about the Bluesmart unless you take the time to charge it overnight before using it. But doing so is pretty easy, as it comes with a USB cable and a number of power adapters, all of which stow away into their own pocket.
The Bluesmart unzips flat, making it easy to pack.
There were a lot of things about the Bluesmart Black Edition that I didn’t like. First let’s talk about design:
During testing, I discovered that as much as it sucks when you have to open your suitcase for airport security, it sucks even more when your fancy app-controlled lock refuses to work.
And while we’re talking about the battery, a 10,400 mAh holds enough juice to charge a smartphone four or five times— unless you’re using that battery to power your damn suitcase.
After a six hours of driving and flying to my destination the Bluesmart’s battery reserve was drained down to 34%. At that rate, if I’d taken a long haul flight, or had a layover or delay, I doubt that there’d be any power left at the end to tell me where the hell my suitcase was if I actually lost track of it.
Oh, and this was fun: after arriving at my destination, the Bluesmart app insisted, over and over for hours, that I was walking away from my suitcase... and neither the suitcase nor my phone moved the entire time this was going on.
Finally, there’s this: the reason carry-ons are great is that YOU CARRY THE DAMN THINGS ON.
They’re meant to stay with you at every step of your journey. It’s the luggage we hand off to attendants to cram under planes or buses that tends to go missing. And both versions of the Bluesmart only come in this small, TSA-approved carry-on size.
Give me a full-sized suitcase with the ability to track it via GPS and I’ll throw money at it. But putting tracking hardware into a carry-on, where space is already at a premium, feels insanely unnecessary. You could argue that the Bluesmart Black Edition’s tracking capabilities make it harder for thieves to steal your bag? Maybe. But for $600, I’m willing to play the odds.
Given the high price of buying this thing, the middling amount of protection it affords for expensive electronics, the issues I encountered trying to use it, and the fact that a carry-on bag is seldom far enough away to warrant using GPS to track it, I just can’t recommend this thing.
Maybe, somewhere, there's a better version that has all these things solved and is a reasonable price. But until then, there are lots of other cheaper ways to keep your luggage safe.
To be clear, we aren’t actually recommending you buy this thing. But just so you know, if you do buy anything, BuzzFeed may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.