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On a recent media trip to Florida I had to face the cold hard truth about one of my favourite luggage pieces. My big blue Heys Carry-on Cruiser has gone with me on many many adventures but, it no longer meets the carry-on luggage rules set by the airlines. I’m a huge fan of Heys Luggage and travel gear and decided it was time for an upgrade and thankfully they had a recommendation for me: the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00UKFB6C6″ locale=”US” tag=”dreamtravel-20″ localize=”y”]Heys Smart Luggage[/easyazon_link]™ Gateway Carry-on bag.

Heys Smart Luggage Gateway Carry-on


How to Choose a New Piece of Luggage

The decision was not an easy one for me as I had to take many things into consideration when deciding which bag to upgrade to. So many options: hybrid, soft and hard case bags, luggage that opens from the top or from the middle and will the bag fit into those small metal displays at the airport?


For my travel style I needed to consider the following:

  • Transition to carry-on only travel (no checked luggage)
  • Business travel – need a safe spot for my laptop/iPad
  • Lightweight bag but durable for frequent travel
  • Small but still can fit a lot of stuff, ease of packing
  • Stylish – does it come in purple?

Heys Smart Luggage™ Gateway Carry-on 21″ WIDEbody

One or Two Compartments

Once again, [easyazon_link identifier=”B00TJMKD02″ locale=”CA” tag=”dreamtravelmag-20″ localize=”y”]Heys Luggage[/easyazon_link] has thought about all the things we complain about in luggage and found a way to fix it! Their Heys SmartLuggage™ set divides hard case luggage into two compartments for easier packing. Instead of packing both sides of the bag from one opening, you can now pack them separately thanks to two zippered compartments. Which means you can pack your luggage from the top of the bag using the front access panel or from the middle of the bag using the main zippered compartment. The lining between the two compartments is removable so you can have one big storage space, or a divided space with an organizer built into the lining.


Wide Body Legal Carry-On Size

I don’t know how they did this, but the bag is bigger than other standard carry-on bags. With the Heys Smart Luggage Gateway Carry-on they maximized the design while still insuring the luggage meets the airlines strict rules. The bag size is 21″ x 15″ x 9″ (53cm x 38cm x 23cm), but looks bigger.


Business Travel Made Easy

The SmartLuggage™ carry-on bag  is built with the business traveller in mind. I love the ease of wheeling my traditional hard case luggage through the airport, but if I want to get something out the bag quickly, like a tablet, magazine or snack, I have to open the entire bag from the middle and rummage through everything. With this SmartLuggage™ technology I can just zip open the top compartment and pull out what I need. As a writer I often travel with my laptop and this piece has an easy to access padded laptop compartment in the top compartment which makes getting through security checkout a snap. Even with my old bulky 15″ Macbook Pro.


Very Spacious Carry-On Bag

With the two separate compartments and the wide-body design this bag feels as big as my old one, but it is sleeker. I had two packing cubes (medium and small size), and a cosmetics bag in the main compartment and there was still room in there for more.


There are also little mesh compartments to store small items you want to keep handy in the removable lining that separates the main compartment from the top compartment. In the top compartment, I had room for a packing folder and another cosmetics bag … and honestly the bag was still not full. I’m starting to think I can travel carry-on only from now on with ease!


The Heys Features I’ve Grown to Love

Heys hard case bags feature a satin lined interior, padded handles, spinner wheels and are expandable. I have travelled with Heys luggage for more than a decade and they are all durable and come with a 10-year warranty. The bag has a built in TSA approved lock on the main compartment and an additional TSA lock is included as well to be used with the top pocket.

Review of Heys Smart Luggage Gateway Carry On Bag.

Heys Gateway Carry-on Pros and Cons

Pros – What I loved!

  • Legal Carry-On sized bag
  • Two compartments (great for separating clothes and business materials)
  • Lots of space – the bag feels bigger than standard carry-ons
  • Laptop padded compartment with easy access


  • It was a bit awkward to navigate between the two compartments at first
  • With laptop in the front compartment the bag got top heavy fell over when I opened the top compartment.
  • Extra TSA lock is not attached to the bag can get misplaced
  • Front compartment doesn’t have a built in lock

Once I get used to navigating between the two compartments I think this bag will be a dream. It was a bit awkward when I had the top compartment open and then tried to get into the main compartment, there is a removable inside lining which you can unsnap and unzip from the top compartment but then you have to empty things out of the top to get them out of the way. That said, once it is all packed and you have to reach inside to grab a few items, opening that top compartment is awesome and my snacks, iPad and other items I wanted to grab quickly were totally accessible.

Giveaway: Heys Smart Luggage™ Gateway Carry-on 21″ WIDEbody

Heys Luggage has offered to give one of my lucky readers a Heys Smart Luggage™ Gateway Carry-on 21″ bag

Heys Smart Luggage™ Gateway Carry-on 21″ #GIVEAWAY

Congratulations to Wendy from Drayton Valley, AB, Canada for winning the giveaway! 

I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a product for review purposes, however the opinions are completely my own based on my experience.