How Smart Is the Genius Pack?

We tested to see whether a popular carry-on suitcase with built-in organizers could eliminate the hassle of checking a bag, and here's what we found out.

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January 09, 2020

Packing cubes have been all the rage lately, but what if you could just buy a suitcase that does the organizing for you? With labels and pockets for every little thing, Genius Pack luggage takes the guesswork out of packing a suitcase. But do built-in organizers make for an easier trip? We took this trending bag for a spin to see if all of its convenient pouches make it worth the money.

The Details: Genius Pack Luggage

Each suitcase by the brand features pre-labeled mesh pockets designating spots for socks, undergarments and chargers while an attached packing checklist ensures nothing is forgotten. In the main compartment, a separate bag stores and compresses dirty laundry. Beyond that, the suitcase has pockets for an umbrella, a water bottle and a laptop. There's even a pocket with a charging port for small devices.

Interior Pockets of Genius Pack Suitcase

Interior Pockets of Genius Pack Suitcase

The Genius Pack suitcase features labeled mesh pockets and a laundry bag insert for easy packing and unpacking.

Photo by: Jalynn Baker

Jalynn Baker

How Much Does It Cost?

Prices range from $178-$239 on the retailer's website and up to $258 on Amazon.

How Big is It?

The most popular size is the 22" carry-on, but there is also a 30" checked bag size.

The Reviewer: Producer Karen Webb

HGTV's associate video producer, Karen Webb, travels about once a month for work usually for a week at a time. A self-proclaimed overpacker, Karen was eager to see if the Genius Pack carry-on had enough organizational power to convert her from a checked-bag traveler to one of those unicorns who can always carry on.

The Review: Pros

By far, some of the best features have to do with convenience for life in and out of airports. "It really has the airport traveler in mind with things like a cup holder and pouch for a battery pack," Karen said.

But the feature Karen especially liked was the compression laundry bag. "To be able to separate dirty clothes from clean is a lifesaver! The laundry shoot is what really sells me on this bag. I always wash all my clothes after a trip, but I like that this feature separates clean from dirty before arriving home and you can do [it] throughout your trip."

Genius Pack Laundry Compression Bag

Genius Pack Laundry Compression Bag

Removable bag in Genius Pack suitcases holds dirty laundry until you get home.

Photo by: Jalynn Baker

Jalynn Baker

The Review: Cons

While she had mostly positive things to say about the bag, Karen did have a few critiques. "I wish the area [where] you put your laptop had a bit more padding. It is something you'd want to be really careful with and make sure you were cautious of puddles and rain."

And the pre-labeled pockets weren't helpful in all situations, she said. They aren't removable or customizable, so Karen ended up packing additional items in the pockets that didn't match the label. "I'm a perfectionist," Karen said, "and it annoyed me when I threw something in a space that was labeled something different. I wish you could customize the labels to fit with what you travel with most."

Karen also noted concerns about the quality of the bag for the price. "I would be nervous to see how it would hold up if I checked this bag. This is a great option for people who travel often and like a bag they can hop on and off of planes with, but I think it's a little pricey [for that]."

Genius Pack Suitcase Laptop Pocket

Genius Pack Suitcase Laptop Pocket

The Genius Pack carry on suitcase features a convenient exterior laptop pocket as well as a strap to hold jackets and a hidden pocket for drinks.

Photo by: Jalynn Baker

Jalynn Baker

The Takeaway

Karen reported that while she loved the pre-labeled pockets and several other features, they weren't quite enough combined to take her from a checked-bag-girl to someone who can fit all the things in a carry-on.

"If you are taking a weekend trip or just need a bag to carry on with necessities, this is a great option," Karen said. But, she admits, "I really prefer a bigger bag for longer travel."

"This bag really fits business travelers — it is great for quick trips when you need to carry something on," Karen concludes. For those who want more flexibility and space when traveling, like Karen, the Genius Pack carry-on may not be the best choice.

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