Melbourne-based startup July first registered its business name in July 2018, before launching its initial range of chic, hyper-functional luggage a year later. To celebrate its birthday month, the company is offering free personalisation (normally $65) on its backpacks, totes, weekend and carry-on bags. Each bag can be printed or embroidered with up to five letters or emojis (if you want to do something fun for your child. Or yourself – we won’t judge).

July was originally conceived as a “Samsonite killer”. Just like Koala and Ecosa’s direct-to-consumer mattresses have undercut the traditional retail market, July’s digital model is designed to get tough, travel-ready bags into your hands for less – much less. The flagship July Carry-On (40 litres) goes for $295, compared with $775 for a comparable Samsonite model. Two larger cases measure 80 litres and 110 litres, respectively.

These pieces are also attractive – colourways include in burgundy, charcoal, navy, emerald, white and beige – all with a scratch-resistant, matte finish. The handles have more than 20 different stops (as opposed to the usual three or four) to accommodate people of all different heights. The cases have combination locks, and the outer shells are made of German polycarbonate, which can handle any sort of punishment rogue baggage handlers can dish out.

Inside each case there’s a water- and smell-resistant laundry bag, two compartments and a Y-shaped compression strap (the over-packer’s best friend). The Carry On also contains a USB-C port and removable battery, so you can charge your phone and laptop while travelling. Each case comes with a lifetime warranty.

Newer additions to the line-up include a tough, minimalist, nylon tote bag with spots for a laptop and water bottle; and backpack and weekender version of the same. If you personalise one of these soft pieces, it’ll be embroidered, rather than printed.

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