Solgaard vs Monos Review
Table of Contents
Solgaard is a sustainable lifestyle brand known for its innovative and eco-friendly products. The brand gained recognition for its focus on creating stylish and functional luggage, bags, and accessories while emphasizing environmental responsibility.
One of their notable products was the Lifepack, a solar-powered backpack that incorporated features like a built-in lock, Bluetooth speakers, and a solar charger.
Monos is all about simplicity and durability. They create travel luggage and accessories that outlast trendy travel crazes by focusing on timeless design and careful craftsmanship.
By putting quality first in their lightweight and hard-shell choices, they keep prices competitive while using tough materials. Even though they might not have tons of options, each bag they offer follows the same cool style.
Monos embraces the beauty of fleeting moments. They’re all about making style and practicality stick around in today’s fast-paced world.
Both Monos and Solgaard offer what most customers want out of their luggage in 2023, that being sleek designs, reliable durability, and modern styles.
Deciding between the two can get a little hairy, but don’t worry, my Solgaard vs Monos review will give you everything you need to know about the brands so you can see which one is best for you.
What To Consider
You have to look at what each one offers before you can stack them head-to-head. That’s what I’ll do in this section to you can see where they differ.
Solgaard offers a range of products focused on sustainable travel and lifestyle solutions. Their product lineup includes solar-powered backpacks like the Lifepack, travel bags, phone cases, wallets, and accessories. They often incorporate eco-friendly materials and innovative features, such as solar panels for charging devices on the go.
Meanwhile, Monos specializes in minimalist travel essentials, primarily focusing on luggage and travel bags. Their product range includes carry-on suitcases, checked suitcases, travel backpacks, and travel accessories like packing cubes and garment sleeves.
Monos also has some unisex and women’s clothing that I’d love to speak about here, but alas, I’ll save that for another day.
Solgaard’s target audience includes eco-conscious consumers, urban commuters, travelers, and individuals looking for sustainable lifestyle products.
People who value functionality, innovation, and environmental sustainability in their everyday items are likely to resonate with Solgaard’s offerings.
On the other hand, Monos caters to frequent travelers and individuals who prioritize quality and aesthetics in their luggage and travel gear. Their products appeal to those seeking minimalist designs, durability, and efficient packing solutions.
Materials and Durability
When it comes to durability and materials, both companies stand on relatively equal footing. Solgaard products often incorporate recycled and eco-friendly materials in their construction.
Durability is a key factor in their products, as seen in features like anti-theft mechanisms and robust designs.
Monos are similar in that regard as their focus on durability ensures that their luggage can withstand the wear and tear of travel. They also implement anti-theft features and use recycled materials on the inside and outside of their bags.
Sustainability is one area that Solgaard holds over Monos as the latter do not outright brand themselves as a sustainable brand. Their focus on durability and quality contributes to a longer product lifespan, which aligns with sustainability principles, but it’s not the same as Solgaard.
Sustainability is a core value for Solgaard, evident in their use of recycled materials and solar-powered technology. Their commitment to sustainability extends to eco-friendly packaging and initiatives to reduce plastic waste. Many of their practices positively affect the amount of plastic in the oceans of coastal communities.
Both brands have similar accessibility in that both of their products can be purchased through each brand’s respective site. Solgaard is slightly easier to find, though, because they also sell their products through authorized retailers.
Something I should note before I continue; all the suitcases in my Solgaard vs Monos review have proprietary TSA-approved three-digit locks. They look and function the same, so there’s no need for me to repeat that every time I talk about a bag. If it has four wheels, stores clothes, and is in this article, it has one of these locks.
Solgaard Carry-On Closet vs Monos Carry-On
The first set of items I’ll look at are arguably each brand’s most popular products. Seeing as how most travelers prefer to keep their luggage close to them, it’s no surprise that both Solgaard and Monos have solid carry-on options.
First up is the Solgaard Carry-On Closet, which measures 20”. That’s short enough to make it onto the cabins of nearly all international airlines including European budget airlines like Ryanair, who are notoriously stingy with their regulations, but large enough to house a five-layering shelving system to organize all your items.
The outside boasts a rigid polycarbonate shell and an aluminum frame, all but ensuring the suitcase and your belongings will remain safe. It has a USB port so you can charge your phone or other small device while you’re waiting. As for transportation, the frictionless wheels make commuting from gate to gate in the airport a piece of cake.
Lastly, the Solgaard Carry-On Closet is made from recycled materials. Each suitcase cleans up 6 pounds of plastic from communities that live on the coast. Plus, its interior is made from that same recycled plastic.
Monos’ option is the Monos Carry-On, which has less shiny features but is an overall worthwhile choice. It’s slightly taller at 22”, so it may have slightly more space than the Solgaard Carry-On Closet. Its interior is also more open, though it still has straps, zippers, and pockets for easy organization.
Speaking of the interior, it’s made from recycled polyester. The exterior is a polycarbonate shell that’s partially constructed using recycled materials.
The handle is a telescopic, aluminum handle that has four preset heights, so it can adjust to whichever situation you’re in.
Both the Monos Carry-On and the Solgaard Carry-On Closet come in a variety of mature yet charming colors, and they’re both made with recycled materials. Solgaard’s has the slight upper hand, though, due to its more robust organization and USB port.
Solgaard Check-In Closet vs Monos Check-In
Now that I’ve looked at the luggage for weekend trips, let’s look at the carrying cases that are designed for larger expeditions.
The Solgaard Check-In Closet lives up to its name. When fully opened, it looks more like you took your closet and brought it with you on your trip than it does a suitcase. This piece of luggage has a built-in shelving system that far exceeds the Carry-On Closet’s, and it’s fully removable.
It’s 28” tall and has five internal pockets for all your belongings. As such, you can place your shirts, pants, underwear, socks, and shoes all in different pockets. It boasts many of the same ingenious design features as the Carry-On Closet, like the 360-degree frictionless wheels, a single-pinching opening mechanism, and the shell made from recycled materials.
The Monos Check-In is nothing to turn your nose up at either, as it’s also a respectable large-load suitcase. It stands 26.5” tall, so not nearly as large as Solgaard’s item, but it shares many of the same great aspects as the Monos Carry-On, aside from one.
The important difference between the Monos Check-In and Carry-On is that the former has small yet attractive vegan leather details on the sides and near the wheels. They’re nice touches that accent the product’s style.
Like with the previous comparison, both suitcases here are definitely worthwhile, but you are getting a bit more for what you pay for with the Solgaard Check-In.
Solgaard Lifepack Backpack vs Monos Metro Backpack
Solgaard advertises the Lifepack Backpack as the “most versatile backpack you could ever own,” and for good reason. It has a USB port and works with all Solarbanks (and, depending on your purchase, includes one of its own), so you can charge all your electronics. The bottom of the backpack is waterproof so your electronics will stay safe.
It also has four secret pockets where you can store your most delicate and private items. Adding onto that, it has an anti-theft lock that secures the multiple zippers safely. In terms of pockets, the Lifepack Backpack has two sections, one for laptops and other work gear, and another for clothes or other belongings.
The Monos Metro Backpack has a tough task as it challenges Solgaard’s most famous product, but it seems up to the challenge. It’s made from vegan leather and water-resistant nylon twill. Looks-wise, these materials are much easier on the eye than Solgaard’s techie aesthetic.
The backpack also has a small compartment made for wet gym clothes. It’s ideal for raincoats, food, or anything else you don’t want leaking onto your laptop. Style-wise, you can carry it by the top hands for a tote bag-like look, or sling it over your shoulders for the classic backpack look.
Solgaard vs Monos Quality
Quality is where you’re going to start seeing the difference between Solgaard and Monos, though not in terms of the fact that one is superior to the other. The difference lies in the different materials each brand uses.
Solgaard has, as of August 2023, saved over 1,4 million tons of plastic from polluting the oceans. Instead, these plastics have been recycled into their products, and used to make their materials like Shore-Tex, Shore-Plast, and recycled polycarbonate. Their in-house materials are strong, sturdy, and comfortable.
Monos, meanwhile, is less sustainable but just as focused on quality. They divert more of their time and attention into developing ergonomic suitcase handles, optimizing the balance between weight and durability for their suitcases, and maximizing how their spinner wheels function.
Like I said, both brands thoughtfully manufacture their products, so you’re guaranteed to get a good quality regardless of which one you shop with. The difference is that Solgaard favors sustainable materials.
Solgaard vs Monos: Price & Value
Prices are the easiest aspects to compare between two companies, but they don’t always represent a product’s value. For example, a can of chickpeas costs less than $2 while a few pounds of dried chickpeas costs $7.
You’re getting more bang for your buck with the dried chickpeas, so even though they’re more expensive, they’re the smarter purchase in the long run.
- Carry-On Closet: $345
- Check-In Closet: $425
- Lifepack Backpack: $245
Now here are Monos’ prices:
- Carry-On: $255
- Check-In Medium: $325
- Metro Backpack: $200
Right off the bat, it’s inarguable that Monos is the less expensive brand. Their luggage is up to $100 less expensive than Solgaard’s while the competition is closer when it comes to backpacks. However, that doesn’t represent everything, as you should pay attention to the quality of each item.
Overall, Solgaard’s items have more functionality, and shopping with them will have a higher net positive effect on the environment thanks to their sustainable materials.
Solgaard vs Monos Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
Thankfully, both Solgaard and Monos received above-average customer reviews on various websites. For instance, Solgaard held a 4.3/5 stars average on Trust Pilot from more than 810 reviews while Monos earned a 3.8/5 stars score there from more than 600 customer reviews.
Most consumer Solgaard reviews pointed to the brand’s sustainable practices and intelligent storage systems as being worthwhile reasons to shop with them. Buyers said that the bags were easy to travel with.
“The Solgaard bag design very well thought out. Sturdy, great wheel design, & easy to handle, and the locking system is smart. The closet system is sturdy & I’ve already tested it’s capacity to hold 10 days of Autumn clothing. It is stylish and I also Love the fact that my bag is helping this planet I travel by reducing/recycling plastic!” wrote one customer on Trust Pilot.
Here’s how one another shopper described their Solgaard suitcase on Reddit. “Granted we have only used the suitcases for a handful of trips, but they feel very sturdy. The way the suitcases were designed just made travel so much easier. You can tell a decent bit of thought went into figuring out what features to include and how to incorporate them.”
That being said, some Redditors took umbrage with how Solgaard bags held up in the long term. They said the bags began to fray and disassemble after repeated use. Thankfully, this was not the case with most Solgaard reviews.
On the other hand, Monos received their fair share of compliments, especially regarding the durability and longevity of the products. However, some customers did knock Monos’ customer service, saying that the brand didn’t stand by their products. Thankfully, most agreed that the products were fine by themselves and that they never faced any issues with performance.
“I purchased the Monos Medium and was so pleasantly surprised by what a difference it makes to have durable and beautiful luggage! I traveled to İstanbul and South Africa and went into some rugged terrain in Greater Kruger. My luggage held up so well!” wrote one shopper on Trust Pilot.
Another customer praised Monos’ lifetime warranty, writing “I had a large checked bag that was damaged on a recent flight. Sent the pictures, and a new bag was sent thereafter. The lifetime warranty is legit, and this level of service is not something that I am accustomed to seeing in today’s economy. Highly recommend.”
In summary, Solgaard and Monos earned praise from shoppers for their visual and functional designs, but customers had criticisms for both companies. The former’s bags were said to be less durable in the long term while the latter’s customer service left something to be desired.
Solgaard vs Monos: Promotions & Discounts
Unfortunately, it seems that both Solgaard and Monos are conservative with their discounts and promotions. They didn’t have any available at the time of writing this review, and neither company published much information about when shoppers can expect to see discounts in the future.
Solgaard vs Monos: Shipping & Returns
Solgaard‘s shipping process involves order processing within 1-2 days, followed by 24-48 hours for customs clearance. UPS Ground shipping usually takes 7-10 days for delivery within the U.S., depending on location.
The company offers free UPS Ground shipping to the contiguous U.S. and Canada for orders over $100, while Alaska and Hawaii orders under $150 have a $20 shipping fee, and orders over $150 have a $35 fee.
Solgaard offers a 30-day return policy for products in like-new condition. Customers can initiate returns through their Returns Center, although shipping and restocking fees will be subtracted from the refund amount.
It’s important to return items with all accessories and packaging to avoid deductions from the refund.
Monos offers free shipping to Canada and the United States, though they ship internationally for a fee. Their standard shipping takes anywhere from 4 to 6 business days. They have a longer return window than Solgaard, offering a 100-day trial period in which they’ll accept returns on any undamaged pieces of luggage.
Who Will You Shop With?
As I wind down my Solgaard vs Monos comparison, I’ll leave you with this closing thought—consider what you deem most important in luggage. Both companies have nailed the fundamentals, but it’s the smaller details that differentiate them.
For some, Monos’ visual flair and pricing will attract them, while for others (myself included), the multi-functionality, sustainability, and stronger customer reception will lead them toward Solgaard. At the end of the day, it’s your choice.
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