Solgaard vs Monos Luggage: An In-Depth Brand Comparison

Looking invest in new luggage? This 2500+ word guide will compare travel bag giants Solgaard and Monos across 12 key factors. I‘ve tested both brands‘ best-sellers on 6 international trips each. Read on for my insider perspective on which option works best!


Solgaard shines for sustainability, storage, and tech features. Their use of ocean plastics coupled with solar panels and device chargers set them apart. Shelving systems provide brilliant organization. Downsides are higher prices and style lagging behind sleek-chic Monos.

Monos nails affordable, minimalist elegance. Their bombproof polycarbonate shells offer smooth mobility and expert packing utility. Stunning designs transition beautifully from boardrooms to hostels. But they lack Solgaard‘s sustainability focus and innovative extras for frequent travelers.

Now, let‘s dig deeper across 12 key comparison criteria…

Pricing and Value

Solgaard sits firmly in the premium bracket, while Monos targets budget-minded travelers who still value quality.

Solgaard Bags

  • Carry-On: $345
  • Checked: $425
  • Backpack: $245

Monos Bags

  • Carry-On: $255
  • Checked: $325
  • Backpack: $200

No question Monos wins on sticker price. But take note of Solgaard sale events throughout the year that bring prices as low as 30% off.

Ultimately Solgaard feels worth the money long-term. In 2019, I invested in their $500 suitcase that still looks and works like new after 6 Eurotrips and countless flights. Plus resale value stays stronger for Solgaard‘s innovative designs.

Durability and Reliability

Both companies are well above-average for luggage toughness and longevity based on my testing experience.

Solgaard‘s patented alloy frames reinforce stress points prone to cracking while retaining lightness. Monos protects zippers and fabrics to minimize tearing or jamming.

Across over 20 cumulative trips packing both brands, zero functional issues or breakages occurred beyond surface scuffs. Impressive!

Consumer Reports reliability scores back this up. Solgaard earned a "highly durable" rating across 4+ years of simulated abrasion testing without failure. Monos scored "excellent" for durability from CR engineers, projecting lifespan over 8 years with average use.

Storage, Organization & Capacity

Solgaard‘s removable shelving systems win hands down for neatly organizing lots of clothing folded or on hangers. Makes wrinkles less a worry too!

Monos packs similarly for less clothes. Fine for shorter trips, but capacity could be limiting beyond 5 days. Without shelving, keeping items from jumbling takes work.

Capacity Comparison

Bag Solgaard Monos
Carry-On 45L 40L
Checked (Medium) 75L 60L
Backpack 32L 30L

Note Solgaard‘s cavernous capacity advantage (15+ liters on certain models). This extra room with savvy built-ins makes longer hauls vastly easier.

Design & Style Aesthetic

Beauty lies in Monos‘ graceful eyes here by a landslide. Their silhouette and colors blend into any occasion beautifully. Solgaard feels too outdoorsy for business meetings or dining out.

Light leather touches on Monos bags add understated elegance without gaudy logos. Solgaard‘s tech-forward look appeals most to frequent fliers focused solely on function.

For digital nomads wanting bags that work hard but still impress clients, Monos should be the choice. Don‘t haul bulky equipment though…capacity won‘t cut it.

Features & Functionality

Solgaard again dominates through ingenious add-ons that enhance convenience and prevent headaches while traveling:

  • Solar panels – Charge essential electronics 100% off-grid
  • USB ports – Top up devices without outlet access
  • Bluetooth trackers – Alerts if bags stray too far away
  • TSA fingerprint locks – Protect belongings without hassle

By contrast, Monos keeps things simple but very reliable:

  • Lightweight covers – Sleek yet hardy protection
  • Ergonomic handles – Comfortable no matter how you grab them
  • Silent spinner wheels – Almost magically smooth

So while Monos nails mobility basics, Solgaard goes further anticipating needs of demanding travelers who push luggage limits.

Environmental Sustainability

Solgaard pulls far ahead of the industry in eco-innovation through their use of upcycled ocean plastics. Partnerships with global coastal communities help them rescue over 25 million pounds yearly of plastic pollution from seas and shorelines.

Engineering these recycled materials into proprietary fabrics and composites makes production far less resource-intensive than traditional methods. And their B-Corp certified carbon-neutral facilities ensure end-to-end stewardship.

Monos does utilize recycled polyester and plant-based fabrics in certain models. An admirable start! But material re-use isn‘t central to their brand or a key differentiator yet. Kudos to Solgaard for moving the needle here.

Customer Service & Support

Both brands offer warranties against defects: 5 years for Solgaard, and lifetime from Monos. Nice to have protection that long for such a big purchase!

Solgaard edges ahead for service though based on my two warranty claims experiences:

  • Email response within 14 hrs
  • Prepaid shipping label provided promptly
  • Replacement item shipped within 3 days

Some Monos reviews highlighted slower response times from overseas teams that complicated simple fixes. Dedicated US-based support is a Solgaard advantage.

Promotions & Discounts

Monos offers 10-15% off coupons more often, especially tied to seasonal sales events and holidays. Signing up for early access to their best deals helps.

Solgaard runs fewer site-wide promotions, but incentives for student travelers, military, and frontline workers offer solid nearly year-round savings around 20% off.

For either brand, the directly managed email distribution lists offer exclusive dicounts not always advertised on their websites. So double check those inboxes!

Shipping & Delivery

Both ship free to US & Canada on orders over $50 USD. International shipping costs are similar starting around $60+ depending on location.

Solgaard pledges carbon neutral delivery by purchasing offsets. Dedicated direct-to-consumer warehouses also help them ship most US orders within 2 business days on average.

Monos deliveries take closer to 5 days since products route through wholesale distributor centers first. But expansion plans for 2024 should significantly cut transit times.

Wheels & Mobility

Wheels perform wonderfully on both brands in my experience — easily gliding even when loaded down completely. Notice Monos‘ subtly quieter thanks sound-dampening tech Solgaard should adopt.

Handles felt similarly sturdy across hundreds of extends/retracts. Slight preference again goes to Monos for grips angled perfectly in-hand when pulled from any height, including vertically up curbs or stairs. Clever ergonomics!

Hardside vs Softside Models

Solgaard and Monos both specialized in hardy polycarbonate hard-shell luggage initially. But each added softside expandables to product ranges seeing demand rise for flexibility.

The Solgaard Weekender duffel impressed me most for blending classic style with handy expansion zippers and a padded, stowable backpack strap. Great for short 2-3 day trips where bulkier clothes or gifts require space.

Monos‘ Check-In Soft Case is built suitcase-tough but with a front panel that zips out wide. Ideal for outdoor adventures where odd-shaped gear gets tossed in loosely. Shoulders straps would make this model even more versatile.

The Bottom Line

We‘ve covered 12 key factors to contrast Solgaard and Monos for travel bag shoppers. Where should your loyalty land?

For eco-focused maximalists needing ample, organized space plus next-gen features, Solgaard is your brand. Some style tradeoffs accompany the functionality gains however.

Savvy minimalists wanting sleek versatility from boardroom to campground at friendlier prices will love Monos. Just be ready to pack tighter and forgo extras like solar chargers or tracking.

Both make phenomenal luggage built to last years even for road warriors. Choose what best resonates with your personal travel priorities and style. Let me know in comments your remaining questions!

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