Sometimes half measures won’t do. Since Bluesmart collapsed with the banning of integrated battery bags in 2017, there has arguably been a void in fully-featured smart luggage development.
Bags have trended towards less smart features, with loosely integrated removable batteries. And, there has been a trend away from all-in-one featured packed bags — with manufacturers instead providing features through smart accessories and add-ons.
Not any more.
With every Series One bag packed with smart tech, Plevo is arguably the most high-tech luggage you can buy in 2021.
Who are Plevo?
Starting life as an Argentinian-designed, kickstarter in June 2018, Plevo is now a fully-fledged smart luggage company.
They have a wealth of products from smart backpacks and accessories to their original Series One smart luggage.
The brands mix of ultra-high-tech smart luggage was wildly successful in crowdfunding rounds. Aiming to raise $50,000 they hit their funding targets in just under 30 hours and went on to raise over 6 times that amount with their campaign for the Series One luggage.
The brand is based in Miami, Florida but ship their products globally.
The top Plevo pick — The Runner
There are 3 suitcases in Plevo’s Series One range:
- The Runner
- The Infinite
- The Up
While The Up is arguably the most innovative — it combines and inbuilt hanging system for your clothes — our top pick has got to be The Runner.
I’ve made no secret of my preference for carry on bags, and Plevo’s The Runner is a carry-on, 4-wheeled spinner absolutely packed full of tech.
The Runner — 3 Smart features
Inbuilt smart locking
Both compartments on the Plevo Runner — the main section and the slimline rear device storage section sport Plevo’s inbuilt smart locks.
This locking system is arguably the smartest of any bag on the market.
There are a total of 5 ways to unlock your bags. Yes, FIVE.
- Physical keys
- TSA approved lock
- Fingerprint unlocking
- Morse Code
FaceID and Fingerprint unlocking are used via the app with devices that support those features. To use Morse Code there is a dedicated button by the lock, alongside a flashing LED indicated. You tap the morse code e.g 1, 4, 4, 1 while waiting in between digits for the light to extinguish to tap the next digit. It’s slightly cumbersome but easier than it sounds — there’s a good explanatory video here.
A really useful smart feature, the entire Plevo smart luggage range have a self weighing feature:
- Simply open the bags app, and it will direct you to lift the bag by its top handle
- The inbuilt sensors then detect the weight of the bag
- The bags latest weight is stored and displayed on the app for you
With virtually all airlines having very hefty charges for overweight luggage, this is arguably my favourite feature of the Plevo Runner, and something that you will use all the time.
It’s nice to know that your bag falls under weight limits before you travel — and avoids last minute repacking on the airport floor!
Anti-theft alerts and GPS tracking
There’s no need for a GPS bag tag or add-on smart accessories here.
The Plevo Runner comes with an inbuilt sim card, and offers a very advanced set of bag tracking features.
Using GPS, local Wi-Fi networks, or Bluetooth the Plevo Runner app gives you the ability to track your bag anywhere in the world. The sim works in 190 counties, so unlike some bags that offer crowdsourced locating — only working in busy places — you get pinpoint GPS accuracy wherever you are.
The downside to this — and indeed all GPS tracking — is that the added accuracy involves an ongoing cost. While the first year of tracking for Kickstarter backers was free, for those buying directly from the Plevo shop there is only 3 months free, and after that, the subscription costs $9.99 a year for GPS. That’s actually quite reasonably though, and cheaper than many add-on GPS tracking subscriptions.
Another bonus is the bluetooth tracking allows you to set luggage alerts. Useful when you’re in the airport and loosely keeping an eye on your luggage. Your phone will immediately alert you with an alarm if anybody begins to walk off with your Runner.
Aside from the wealth of smart features, Plevo’s The Runner bag is thoughtfully designed to ease your travel experience.
- Stay topped-up with inbuilt battery packs
- Securely lock away your smart devices
- Prolong your bags life and easily swap out the wheels
Plevo The Runner — Review Summary
This is arguably the most high-tech luggage available on the market today.
Plevo luggage truly is featured packed, and this level of tech is rarely found among other smart luggage brands. As a result, Plevo won the reddot smart product award in 2020.
There are a few minor downsides, as an example, the case weighs nearly 5 kg which is quite heavy. However, this is a trade off for the level of features The Runner has. Equally, while the dedicated device storage is great — it is only really suitable for 13-inch devices and below.
The rear pocket adds a key feature that I missed on the Horizn Studios luggage, the ability to safely lock your devices away. This smart lock combined with the polycarbonate exterior of the device pocket means that your smart devices are not only easy to access, but they feel very safe and secure.
GPS tracking and self-weighing luggage are two of my top smart luggage features, and they really help to make travelling with the Plevo Series One luggage a breeze.
The Plevo Runner is costly, but overall, it’s a great product. While The Runner and the rest of the smart luggage products offer fantastic innovation, the brand are also expanding into smart backpacks and smart luggage accessories. This can only be a good thing, and as a smart luggage brand, it’s exciting to see where Plevo go next.