Bon Voyage

On the Record: Arlo Skye’s Mayur Bhatnagar

Arlo Skye Luggage
Image by Michael Buckner
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* Arlo Skye’s carry-on style boasts handsome design and supreme functionality
* Includes built-in, removable charging port
* Antimicrobial lining to prevent odors

As any avid traveler knows, your luggage makes a big impact on the quality of the trip as a whole, from getting to the airport, to navigating the terminals, to getting back home. Plus, with tight restrictions and constantly evolving changes with size limits and TSA-approved items, sometimes checking a bag is more of a risk and hassle than it’s worth.

If you should find yourself in this position, Arlo Skye’s aptly designed (and appropriately sized) carry-on will quickly become your new go-to. Each hard shell carry-on is composed of sturdy (and sleek) aluminum-alloy, quiet wheels, a built-in removable phone/tablet charger, and it doesn’t have a pesky zipper closure like nearly all of its competitors on the market (read: no stuck openings here).

Each Arlo Skye carry-on meets international cabin size standards and each unit undergoes a 9-step quality test. We were lucky enough to give this neat carry-on a test run. While interior space is small, the size and storage capacity was ideal for a shorter trip, with built-in organizational compartments for clothing and smaller items like toiletries. Running from terminal to terminal during a tight connection will be a breeze with this carry-on, thanks to its lightweight feel, ergonomic design and full grain leather handles that allow for a solid grip. We found other handy uses for this hard shell suitcase as well. Our in-house photographers pointed out that its protective hard shell would be excellent for bringing expensive and heavy camera equipment on trips, making it not only easy to lug their cameras around, but keeping the gear safe and secure as well.

We caught up with Arlo Skye’s CEO and co-founder Mayur Bhatnagar to find out more about the brand’s luxury suitcases and he even shared some of his expert travel tips too.

Arlo Skye

1. Hi Mayur, how did you come up with the idea to start Arlo Skye?

Most good things in life happen unexpectedly. Before starting Arlo Skye, I was managing stores at Louis Vuitton. During my time there, Vuitton released a new luggage line called the Zephyr – the brand’s first four-wheel collection. The quality was impeccable, but the design left much to be desired. It looked similar to the two-wheel collection designed a decade ago.

So after spending two years selling suitcases, trunks and exotic handbags at Vuitton, I had a strong desire to follow my daydreams and create a new travel brand: Vuitton quality, game-changing design, and sold direct-to-consumer at an unprecedented price point.

2. How does Arlo Skye luggage differ from other travel and luggage labels on the market?

We started our journey with one question: What does it take to create something meaningful? The answer can be distilled to one word: simplicity. There are no (repair-prone) outer zippers. Instead the case opens with 1-touch. The wheels are whisper-quiet because we believe wheels should be seen, not heard. We engineered the shell in an unbreakable aluminum-alloy instead of using commonly available polycarbonate because it’s 2.3x stronger. Finally, we integrated a charger so you’ll never run out of power when on the move. What makes it unique is that it you can slip the battery out from the exterior instead of having to open the entire case. Super useful when you want to use it separately or when the TSA asks, “What’s that?” It also charges devices 75% faster than a conventional charge.

3. What did your past experience at Louis Vuitton (and Tumi) bring to Arlo Skye?

We are obsessed about quality. And this relentless attention to quality meant sourcing patented wheel materials from Japan, lithium-ion cells from South Korea and Japan, a custom developed aluminum-magnesium alloy from a U.S. company, an interior lining that has anti-odor properties, and full-grain leather from Italy.

4. How does Arlo Skye luggage satisfy the needs of a modern traveler?

The Arlo Skye carry-on is elegant, simple to use and delightful. Ultimately great design is about creating products that fit into people’s lives in a delightful way. And whenever we meet an Arlo Skye customer, we almost always hear these four words:  “I’m obsessed with it.”

5. Do you have any packing tips to share?

I rarely ever check-in luggage. So for me it’s essential to pack light and pack right. I like laying out everything I plan to take before I start packing. A visual “lay of the land” gives me a better sense of what mixes and matches well.

6. What has been your most memorable traveling experience?

Some time ago, a few friends and I rented a sailboat to go island hopping in Greece. We spent a week on the boat learning how to sail (thankfully, with the help of a full-time skipper), sleeping under the stars and cliff diving in crystal clear waters.  We had no schedule and no place to be. Such an incredible feeling. As first time sailors, we had forgotten to bring sea sickness tablets, so the first day was not a pretty sight on the boat. But I can’t wait to do it again!

This story reminded me of a quote by Andre Gide: “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore.”

Arlo Skye Interview

If you buy something because we told you about it, we may receive compensation from retail partners. While we did get to try out this product for free, Arlo Skye did not pay us for this review.