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Rimowa carry-on polycarbonate vs. aluminum?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I've seen incredibly mixed reviews of Rimowa's Topas aluminum line. It seems to me that polycarbonate would scratch/crack more easily, but I have not travelled with a Rimowa yet. I will be buying a carry-on and hopefully avoid rabid baggage handlers, but would of course like the suitcase to be as sturdy as possible.

Also, any other suggestions/comparisons would be much appreciated. $1000 or less.

Thanks!
post #2 of 21

In long term, your case will have dents (you can eventually even them out). However, they are quite strong. I think they are bomb-proofed.

 

One of my Rimowas is the exact same model that was featured in Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. Awesome bag.

 

Have you ever considered their "Salsa" line? It's not bad at all for the price.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply and advice. I'm looking for what will last the longest. Do you have Topas and/or a Salsa? If so, how have they held up? Price isn't so much the issue as is durability. Appreciate your help!
post #4 of 21

I currently have both "Topas" & "Salsa" in different sizes. I have 2 "Topas" and 1 "Salsa". One Topas is only 3~4 months old, where as the other Topas & Salsa are probably more than a year old. I do like them all and if I really had to choose one, I have to go with "Topas" because it is stronger than "Salsa".

 

As you know, the "Topas" line is more expensive than "Salsa" but there is a good reason for that. "Salsa" line is made with polycarbonate, whereas "Topas" line is made with aluminum. For an actual carry-on, "Salsa" line can be a great choice if you can actually take care of the luggage after your trip is over (cleaning the cover, fixing dents, purchasing covers, etc) and that you do not travel often. If you are quite concerned with the durability, I would probably go with "Topas". You can find them for less than $1k depending on models. Ramowa also has 5-year warranty, which is same as Tumi.

 

The only downside that I might have is that their wheels are quite small (for the 4-wheeled ones), but I really don't care that much. I also have experienced that in order to avoid any hassle on the carry-on regulations with TSA agents / gate agents, it is a good idea to actually carry the official size of the luggage. It has happened to me only twice but the first time was quite annoying.

 

Best wishes!

post #5 of 21
Been lusting after the Topas Stealth, kinda considering buying it now and never buying luggage again for the next 10 years.
post #6 of 21
The topas stealth is beautiful. Rimowa had a special type of matte black polycarbonate color with a slight sheen on it which was just pretty awesome in the polycarb but I've had trouble finding it lately, all the other colors of matte black don't look like what I remembered.

To me, I like the Topas Classic over the Topas....its more old school and has a nicer lining. Leather on the handle.

http://www.swedbags.com/art/rimowa-classic-flight?XBLG7868=d1f7df4a0377b1c10567985b29e48192

I hate the multiwheel though. But I currently don't use rollers.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xericx View Post

The topas stealth is beautiful. Rimowa had a special type of matte black polycarbonate color with a slight sheen on it which was just pretty awesome in the polycarb but I've had trouble finding it lately, all the other colors of matte black don't look like what I remembered.
To me, I like the Topas Classic over the Topas....its more old school and has a nicer lining. Leather on the handle.
http://www.swedbags.com/art/rimowa-classic-flight?XBLG7868=d1f7df4a0377b1c10567985b29e48192
I hate the multiwheel though. But I currently don't use rollers.

Yeah a German friend of mine has it. It looks sooooooo nice in person it ridiculous.
post #8 of 21

DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT. We bought an aluminum case in Honolulu. We were talked into this unit by the salesperson as the unit that would provide the most protection, etc. Was damaged first flight, shape distorted, unit dented wouldn't close. Took 20 minutes to close it. Looked years old with dents because the material is so soft. 2nd trip handle broke off. Asked Jason Schmidt who is supposed to be regional VP to region to replace it with a polycarbonate unit or refund and we were after we had given it back to the store 13 days ago told he would only repair it. So in summary the product is all fluff and no substance and is overpriced and gets damaged in normal wear and tear situations. Very disappointed with this product.

post #9 of 21
I am looking forward to seeing you guys at the Korean Air check-in with your aluminum bags wrapped in protective plastic.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Medwed View Post

I am looking forward to seeing you guys at the Korean Air check-in with your aluminum bags wrapped in protective plastic.

lol
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Medwed View Post

I am looking forward to seeing you guys at the Korean Air check-in with your aluminum bags wrapped in protective plastic.

LOL! Nothing wrong with it though.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Medwed View Post

I am looking forward to seeing you guys at the Korean Air check-in with your aluminum bags wrapped in protective plastic.

lol
post #13 of 21

Recently bought an Aluminium Topas. Thought it was a good investment for a frequent traveller...who knows!!! it was my worst investment ever! Right after my 1st trip traveling, there is a hole and dent on the body!! where is the QUALITY!! i am so disappointed ;( i think Samsonite has a better materials and better deals.

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcLouie View Post

Recently bought an Aluminium Topas. Thought it was a good investment for a frequent traveller...who knows!!! it was my worst investment ever! Right after my 1st trip traveling, there is a hole and dent on the body!! where is the QUALITY!! i am so disappointed ;( i think Samsonite has a better materials and better deals.

Aluminum dents.

If you've ever handled a soda can you'd know this.

Samsonite isn't a material. And they don't make aluminum rollers.

Lastly, luggage aren't investments. Sorry if you were mislead
post #15 of 21
Getting beat to shit is a bit of the aluminum Rimowa mystique. It hurts the first time, after that, not so much. That's why it's best to buy the stuff used.

Occasionally the aluminum stuff takes a shot that damages it. In the past, If I couldn't fix it with a hammer Rimowa fixed it for free. The only downside is that it takes them months.

I've considered replacing the stuff I have with polycarb, but honestly I just can't do it. First, if you want a plastic suitcase why pay the Rimowa premium? I like the look of the aluminum, and there aren't a lot of cheaper choices (the Zero Halliburton stuff isn't as good - I've had it pop open en route) so you can kind of, sort of, maybe justify paying the outrageous prices. But for plastic? Seems to me that one plastic suitcase is a good as another. For example, I've seen the Samsonite Black Label stuff look as good as the day it was born coming off the luggage carousel.

In my opinion, with aluminum Rimowa you are paying a borderline absurd premium for the name but you are getting a somewhat unique product. With the polycarb, you are just paying a borderline absurd premium.
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