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Rimowa - Anyone Have Experience With the Limbo or Topas?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I've owned Briggs & Reily for many years. As durable as it is, it does need repair from time-to-time and it is heavy. I saw the Rimowa Limbo recently. It seems much lighter, it has four wheel sets, looks nice.

Has anyone here had any experience with the Limbo (verses the aluminum heavier ones that dent).

post #2 of 37
Thread Starter 
Any road warriors out there have any thoughts?
post #3 of 37
i use topas, not the limbo, but i can atleast chime in.
the appeal of rimowa is the alum shell and its look.
for durability, ballistic nylon is the way to go.
so poly kind of sits in the middle of nowhere. and as far as rimowa is concerned, the salsa poly has a bad reputation for developing cracks. not sure how the hybrid construction helps in this regard
post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that input. I guess all luggage will eventually get some damage. I enjoyed B&R ballistic nylon but it is rather heavy empty. My wife and I were looking at the poly versions for the ultimate light weight, four wheels and sleek shape. We find all of that appealing when hopping on trains in Europe.

I am conflicted right now. I could be heavy and practical with ballistic nylon B&R or lighter and cool but 2x $ with Rimowa Topas.

Let me ask you Topas owners:

If you were going to recommend to someone to get one piece of Topas, would it be the in cabin carryon IATA or one of the larger checked sizes?
post #5 of 37
checked. for the spinner model, the 4 wheels eats away at the already-small capacity of carryon.
for carryon, where you're not at the mercy of luggage handlers, then it makes sense to get the 2-wheeled poly luggage if you favor weight, or a duffel (like porter boston) if you favor volume
post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 
Makes sense. Thanks Trompe.
post #7 of 37
I have had the Limbo IATA, 2 wheeled trolley for about 6 months. Up to ten flights, two intercontinental, numerous bus and car rides, checked in on smaller flights. Its corners are scratched, maybe a few scratches on the body but you can't really see them in seal gray. Latches work great, I like the packing system, wheels are perfect. Seems fairly sturdy, not b&r (which I also own) sturdy. It is way prettier and lighter. Not entirely worth the price but at that price point nothing is. Oh and yeah limbo and topas are European made vs Canada made if that makes any difference.
post #8 of 37
I have the largest aluminum Topas. I find the interior organizers kind of a hassle but they have a function I guess. I have three black Muji hardshell ballistic nylon cases the same size as well, which are honestly better for harder traveling, and they're cheap ($200 or so). The Rimowa's detailing and solid feel are awesome, but if I was flying to America or Europe where they're likely to throw your case around, I'd just use the Mujis. I've done like 50,000 miles on one and it still shows great. The Rimowa I prefer to use when traveling within Asia as the baggage handlers use a bit more care, and the Rimowas tend to be a status quo thing in Japan and Hong Kong and you needn't worry about them looking too flashy or stealable - everyone else has one too.
post #9 of 37
Better late then never... Here are mine and my Girlfriend's collection:

- Rimowa Salsa .70 (Made in Canada)
- Rimowa Salsa Deluxe .63 (Made in Czech Republic)
- Rimowa Topas IATA (2013, Made in Germany)
- Rimowa Topas IATA (2010, Made in Germany)

and here are my thoughts...

There's always an ongoing debate between Rimowa fanatics over polycarbonate vs aluminium for checked in luggage. I for one will give you my opinion based on my own personal experience from owning and using them. I've had the Rimowa Salsa .70 for nearly six years now. It's been around the world, UK to USA and back over a dozen trips. UK to Western Europe and UK to Asia (Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore etc.) countless times. I can tell you now it has never ever caused me any problems from all the airports I have departed from and arrived at. Admittedly there are minor surface scratches on the case, but I have not experienced any cracks or missing wheels *touch wood*. The only thing that has happened during its six year service is a single hub cap popping off - an aesthetic problem that did not impede the functionality of the suitcase. This was instantly and freely replaced by an authorised Rimowa workshop in the UK. As you can see the photos above speak for themselves.

The Rimowa Salsa Deluxe is my Girlfriend's main suitcase, which she uses frequently on her business trips from UK/Taiwan to China (Beijing, Shanghai, Ghaungzhou, plus a few other remote cities), Vietnam and Thailand along with her recently acquired Topas IATA. Despite the abusive baggage handlers you see featured in videos on YouTube from these aforementioned city/country airports (and others across the world, let's not discriminate now), she hasn't experienced anything severe that would affect the functionality or performance of the suitcase. There are your usual scratches but nothing more.

My thoughts on polycarbonates cracking is I believe that they often occur when the case is half full. For example, when it's full at least inside there is cushioning/padding, when half full, it's almost hollow and has some empty space, therefore when it is dropped or something heavy lands on it, the force isn't absorbed and distributed as efficiently or effectively as if it were full.

Personally, and this is my own opinion, I would only use the Topas for a carry on. There are pros and cons to owning either but I have formulated my opinion based on the following. The polycarbonate has some "give" so you can really cram your suitcase if you so wish, plus there's the weight advantage. I've used the Topas IATA for European weekend city breaks and trying to cram things in, is actually impossible as there is no give. Further cons of the aluminium Topas is that sometimes if the damage is too severe, the main structure of the case can be compromised, which means you can no longer shut the suitcase, this of course is repairable, but if you've just landed at your destination, on holiday and there's no nearby Rimowa workshop, you're pretty much screwed on your return leg. Which is why I have only purchased the IATA carry on versions. The trade off with the polycarbonate is of course it can crack, a simple temporary fix on the go is to use duct tape but there's no permanent fix. Also it is prone to the pen in the zip trick attack, but it is made a little trickier due to the fact that the zips remain immobile when locked, due to the TSA locking mechanism - giving it a one up from your usual padlock through the zippers.

As for the Limbo, my Girlfriend is seriously considering purchasing one herself, she would like a bigger case for longer trips because the .63 doesn't really cut it for anything over 10 days. I would also like to see how it performs (combination of Topas locking mechanism, aluminium lid lip and reinforced corners, with a polycarbonate shell) against the Salsa series when it comes to checked in luggage.

My final comments are, if you do decide to get a Topas, do not bother with the Topas Stealth, carry on or check-in. I was close to getting the Topas Stealth IATA and passing my one down to the Girlfriend, but the problem is it's anodised aluminium, and as you can see (like with the iPhone 5), when scratched it reveals the silver aluminium underneath. Something you can get away with, with the regular Topas. Rather than looking sleek and stealthy, it starts to look shabby very quickly. Additionally, when it comes to checked in luggage, especially large checked in luggage, multi-wheels; do not settle for anything with less than four wheels.
Edited by rirawin - 8/24/13 at 11:49pm
post #10 of 37
Oh aren't the Muji hardshell suit cases made from polycarbonate as well?

These ones:

Unless Japan offer a different range from Europe...?
post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 
rirawin, the Topas, why did you select the 2 wheel and not the 4? Do you get more room in the 2 wheel?
post #12 of 37
My thoughts on aluminum vs poly are the same as Rirawin's. Aside from looks, there is really no advantage to owning the aluminum for check-in. Actually the polys are more functional because they are lighter, which means you can pack a bit more without going over the weight limit (this is not important if you travel with medium case...we travel with 2 of the largest size). Also as Rirawin pointed out the polys have a bit of flex (almost like a nylon case) so you can cram quite a bit more if needed.

The 2 wheelers might have slightly a bit more space inside, but we travel with the 4 wheeler carry-ons. The 4 wheels make it easier to walk around in the airport and you can put handbags and additional small bags on top of the carry on. Either way, there are built in hooks for additional small bags you can use.

The problems we have had with the polys so far are one wheel cap falling off and one of the locks broke. I think the lock broke due to TSA handling.
post #13 of 37
I went for a two wheel carry on because:

1) It has slightly more capacity than a four wheeler. This is vital to me for weekend breaks especially when I don't want to check in any luggage.

2) In European airports I've found that many check in clerks query the suitability of four wheel carry ons having previously owned one. They never seem bothered by two wheels. You can easily dispel their doubts by showing them the product spec sheet or getting them to measure it, but I find this is sometimes troublesome and if not a tad embarrassing!

If point one wasn't important to me, I would go for a multi wheel model as navigating them down an airplane aisle is a lot easier than a two wheeler.

Dragon, get in touch with your local authorised Rimowa workshop and ask them to send you a replacement hub cap. They should send you one free of charge, which you can snap back on. If you haven't already done so smile.gif
post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 
As an option, I also was looking at Zero Halliburton's aluminum luggage. It seems that a few issues about wheels and locks from 5+ years ago have been resolved. There new Geo line is cleary designed to go head-on with Rimowa.

Their 20# Geo ALuminum case specs out as:
14" x 20" x 8"
10.4 lbs

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80

I think it looks pretty good and should be worthwhile checking out in person. Most of my research shows no price deals in Rimowa these days but there seems to be a lot more flexibility with Zero Haliburton.

They also make a Zeroller with a facinating four wheel system. I'd like to see these side by side to compare.

13 x 21 x 9
13.50 (getting heavy)

Anyone have experience with the current, updated Zero Halliburton luggage?
post #15 of 37
I highly recommend looking at German online webstores such as Koffer24, Koffer-direkt etc. They offer the cheapest prices, what with them being from the "source". I'm aware some retailers offer seasonal discounts on Rimowas (which is actually against their selling policy), but even with the odd 20-30% off it often isn't as cheap as from Germany due to the high mark up to begin with.

Have a look on:

They offer (as do the other two retailers) VAT free purchases for those outside the EU, you'll have to pay duty upon arrival, but I guess it all balances out. Additionally, there is a 11% discount code kgcp11713 (expires end of August)

I can personally vouch for Koffer24 and Koffer-direkt, having purchased the Salsa Deluxe and Topas IATAx2 from the aforementioned. I used PayPal to checkout, Google Chrome to navigate/translate and put the order through. Do note Koffer24 even has a dedicated English site. I know a lot of posters across the world on Flyertalk order from these German websites without any problems or hassle.

EDIT: Apparently German stockists are now being restricted to selling within Germany only and aren't allowed to export, as they're undercutting (quite significantly) official distributors around the world. Having said that, I've just put in an order for a Limbo .70 and it has been dispatched today...
Edited by rirawin - 8/29/13 at 12:49pm
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