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Lionel Hutz

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I'm in the market and wanted to see if anyone had experience they would like to share.

As near as I can tell the primary players are

HIGH END

Rimowa (carry on $1100 checked 1300-1500)
rimowa.jpeg

https://www.rimowa.com/us/en/home

Zero Halliburton (carry on $950 checked $1200)
ZH1.jpg

https://zerohalliburton.com/collections/aluminum-luggage

Tumi 19 degree collection

https://www.tumi.com/c/19-degree-aluminum/

MID MARKET

Away (carry on $475-95 checked $575-95)
away.jpg

https://www.awaytravel.com/shop/luggage

BASIC

Travelking and Sindermore (china brands available on AMZN but links aren't working) ($350ish carryon and $450ish checked)

Travelking
travelking.jpg


Sindermore
sindermore.jpg


I plan on buying a carry-on and large checked bag so Away seems to be a pretty compelling value proposition. Though the reviews on the AMZN "china price" brands (Travelking/Sindmore) are good a $100 price premium per bag for the away brand's warranty and customer service seems to be a reasonable deal.
 
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chobochobo

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I always associate Rimowa Aluminium carryons with fake Thai monks.
 

Gus

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I love the look of the original Rimowa aluminum roll on and was ready to buy one. But I saw a gate attendant measure one and it was too large to fit in the box by the gate, so they checked it. The major US airlines can, when they want, and they often do on crowded flight, strictly enforce the 9x14x22 max. Only one measurement needs to be off, it isn’t the total dimensions. The cabin Rimowa measures 21.7 x 15.7 x 9.1 inches, just large enough to be "off" if the gate attendant wants to check bags.

I also hear from loyal Rimowa customers and frequent travelers that ever since LVMH acquired Rimowa the warranty repair just isn't the same and many say they are going back to their former brands.

Another practical thing - I used to head cross country regularly for a couple nights. I could just get everything into a soft roll on that maxed out at 9x14x22. The interior of a hard Rimowa is just that much smaller that I would have to take a larger checked case to handle the same amount of clothing. So, I'm sticking with B&R ballistic nylon. But, Rimowa in the aluminum, looks more "rock star" any day of the week.
 
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Gus

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Two other things:

I've traveled about 1.5 million airline miles and never had a bag stolen from an airline, in a hotel or train. But, I always chose high quality non-descript luggage on purpose (black ballistic nylon, no obvious branding) to remain stealth. I figure the thieves will go for the expensive looking luggage first.

If you do get fancy luggage, check to be sure you have full coverage on your insurance plan. It really adds up fast if you have a suit case wort $1K+, a pair of Lobbs at $1.6K, a few custom shirts at $1.2K, etc., etc. and before you know it you are well over 6-7 grand, even with a carryon size. Without the right insurance, good-luck getting a full settlement.
 

Medwed

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It appears every second or third bag in Switzerland is REMOWA in either plastic or aluminium. Aluminium gets crushed badly, I saw bags on the carousel last weekend with corners bashed in. Aluminium is only suitable for private plane travel or for check ins, imho. Plastic Remova (not the zipper one but the solid edge) is good to survive abuse.
Nothing beats the nylon though as long as the bag has 4 wheels. Usually nylon bags have two wheels only and that is a pain.
 
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TheFoo

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We use a set of aluminum Rimowa Topas luggage--two full-size and one carry-on. We also have two plastic Rimowa carry-ons made for Porsche.

Yes, the aluminum gets dinged up, scuffed, scratched, etc. So what? Not expecting luggage to stay in pristine condition.

I quite like how easy it is to pack them, too. The organizer straps work extremely well. Our old soft-sided luggage theoretically could fit more, but did not in practice.
 

Lionel Hutz

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Went with away but only bought large carry on and large checked. Waiting to buy the medium until I see how I like traveling with these. Of course for my first trip I'm going fly fishing in Montana next week so it will be a pretty atypical trip

I am returning the garment sleeve, the damn thing is too narrow to hold a suit. I know the company was started by two women but WTF. I've never had that issue with a carryon before

Pretty to look at though. Usually going for form over function doesn't end well for me. I
bought aluminum luggage tags as well but swapped them for silicon so the tags won't scratch the bags. I know I have to be Wabi-Sabi about scratches and dents but self-inflicted damage seems a bridge too far.
 
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MrLau8999

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Went with away but only bought large carry on and large checked. Waiting to buy the medium until I see how I like traveling with these. Of course for my first trip I'm going fly fishing in Montana next week so it will be a pretty atypical trip

I am returning the garment sleeve, the damn thing is too narrow to hold a suit. I know the company was started by two women but WTF. I've never had that issue with a carryon before

Pretty to look at though. Usually going for form over function doesn't end well for me. I
bought aluminum luggage tags as well but swapped them for silicon so the tags won't scratch the bags. I know I have to be Wabi-Sabi about scratches and dents but self-inflicted damage seems a bridge too far.
Greetings, Mr Hutz.
If I may offer some of my advice, regarding criteria for choosing a Aluminium suitcase. This thread deserves to be far more popular than it is. The first criteria should be construction and frame material. Those that may think there is only one type of material, aluminium, as structure is wrong. Your options are 100% aluminium, or a variety of alloys, from Al/Mg to Al/Ti, with ductility, strength, weight and thickness all factoring in to an educated choice.

The advantage of alloys with the two examples stated above, are usually higher ductility, higher strength, and lighter weight. 100% aluminium dents easily and quickly, with thickness required to compensate, compromising the weight category. Rimowa utilizes a Al/Mg alloy with a strong weight and strength advantage, while Ito (japan-ito.com/) utilizes a Al/Ti alloy, with the same advantages as before but slightly heavier and marginally less ductile.

All the other brands I am aware of including Away and Arlo Skye use 100% aluminium as a cost-saving measure, at the expense of their product's craftsmanship. As a Westerner, I am sure you are familiar with Rimowa, but probably not so familiar with Ito, which is fairly popular in the domestic market and can be spotted rather easily at Haneda, Narita or any Shinkansen stations with a sharp eye.

Your second consideration should be special technology used. So far, there is no aluminium luggage on the domestic or international market with a wheel stopper; of similar or identical type to that patented by Proteca (its Hokkaido factory is an excellent polycarbonate manufacturer of luggage and I recommend more than Rimowa for polycarbonate due to higher rigidity and more advanced technology, as well as the superior warranty).

Luggage handles are another consideration, they should utilize a multi-position handle, as opposed to the easily counterfeited, structurally weak two-position handles. Wheels should use ball bearings as a matter of durability, smoothness, and noise. This wheel technology is severely lacking in other brands. Locks should not be flimsy, as shown on the Rimowa Classic and other polycarbonate models with zipper locks. The Rimowa Original does sturdy locks very well. Keys, TSA, Numerical Locks, or Hybrid Locks are a matter of taste.

Where the luggage is made is important as well. Often outsourcing occurs to cut costs, or meet high demand, rather than to improve the product. Quality control is a major issue. Rimowa outsources most of its lines, except for the flagship model Original that is the Made in Germany version not sold in Canada or the United States. Ito makes its aluminium alloy luggage in Japan entirely and no outsourcing is used, Proteca also.

If you would like a Rimowa now; there is a sale going on. Since we are in economic recession, the luggage industry has taken a hit and much surplus stock has been passed off to unofficial parallel-import channels to sell at a loss. I have confirmed that pk-luggage sells authentic Rimowa luggage, the serial can be registered on the original Rimowa site. I recommend you stick to the Original line as a matter of quality and value-for-money. You will hear from Candy or Kay by the support email on the site. I purchased a Original Cabin Twist with Brown Leather Accents, Made in Germany, from pk-luggage. At 60% off or more, you may not get another opportunity like this to purchase Rimowa at 2016 prices. The LVMH prices are insane and I would never pay that much for Rimowa.

If you would like an Ito luggage; who provides aluminium/titanium alloy luggage as well as polycarbonate luggage, all made in Japan, you will have to go to Japan to an official store to purchase. It is not available for online sales anywhere. If you are more adventurous, I recommend you go to a shop and purchase from Ito, there is a sale currently.

If you would like a Proteca polycarbonate luggage, there is a big sale going on now as well: I recommend the Peanuts Cocoon model in Beige (store.ace.jp/shop/g/g01953-05/), or the Staria (store.ace.jp/shop/g/g02954-05/). Both ones I have recommended are very beautiful, with the latest wheel stopper technology and multi-stage handles, as well as ball-bearing wheels, more silent than Rimowa. Bear in mind when choosing, not all Proteca luggage models have all the new technology, so be sure to confirm first. Highly recommended.
 
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Gus

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Wow, amazing price on these. Original Cabin Twist with Brown Leather Accents, Made in Germany, from pk-luggage. At 60% off

I never remember seeing them at this price.
 

MrLau8999

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Wow, amazing price on these. Original Cabin Twist with Brown Leather Accents, Made in Germany, from pk-luggage. At 60% off

I never remember seeing them at this price.
I would never pay more than that. That is a suitable MSRP to me. Go ahead and buy them up, they are surplus stock that couldn't sell as result of pandemic, and now they are being sold at 2016 prices. They are "parallel imports", genuine products that are sold off through unofficial channels without Rimowa's permission. This creates competition and opportunities for savvy people like us. Parallel import Rimowa is incredibly popular in Japan, most businessmen know this trick.
 

MrLau8999

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Wow, amazing price on these. Original Cabin Twist with Brown Leather Accents, Made in Germany, from pk-luggage. At 60% off

I never remember seeing them at this price.
If you prefer a Aluminium Titanium alloy, retaining the bag holder feature of Rimowa, then I would direct you to Ito (japan-ito.com). It makes pure Titanium and Al-Ti alloy luggage. very similar to the reputable Topas except a change of alloy and made in Japan, there's a discount there as well. You need to visit the Ito Shibuya shop in Tokyo (〒150-8319 東京都渋谷区渋谷2-24-1 西館2F)
 

Darkside

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Greetings, Mr Hutz.
If I may offer some of my advice, regarding criteria for choosing a Aluminium suitcase. This thread deserves to be far more popular than it is. The first criteria should be construction and frame material. Those that may think there is only one type of material, aluminium, as structure is wrong. Your options are 100% aluminium, or a variety of alloys, from Al/Mg to Al/Ti, with ductility, strength, weight and thickness all factoring in to an educated choice.

The advantage of alloys with the two examples stated above, are usually higher ductility, higher strength, and lighter weight. 100% aluminium dents easily and quickly, with thickness required to compensate, compromising the weight category. Rimowa utilizes a Al/Mg alloy with a strong weight and strength advantage, while Ito (japan-ito.com/) utilizes a Al/Ti alloy, with the same advantages as before but slightly heavier and marginally less ductile.

All the other brands I am aware of including Away and Arlo Skye use 100% aluminium as a cost-saving measure, at the expense of their product's craftsmanship. As a Westerner, I am sure you are familiar with Rimowa, but probably not so familiar with Ito, which is fairly popular in the domestic market and can be spotted rather easily at Haneda, Narita or any Shinkansen stations with a sharp eye.

Your second consideration should be special technology used. So far, there is no aluminium luggage on the domestic or international market with a wheel stopper; of similar or identical type to that patented by Proteca (its Hokkaido factory is an excellent polycarbonate manufacturer of luggage and I recommend more than Rimowa for polycarbonate due to higher rigidity and more advanced technology, as well as the superior warranty).

Luggage handles are another consideration, they should utilize a multi-position handle, as opposed to the easily counterfeited, structurally weak two-position handles. Wheels should use ball bearings as a matter of durability, smoothness, and noise. This wheel technology is severely lacking in other brands. Locks should not be flimsy, as shown on the Rimowa Classic and other polycarbonate models with zipper locks. The Rimowa Original does sturdy locks very well. Keys, TSA, Numerical Locks, or Hybrid Locks are a matter of taste.

Where the luggage is made is important as well. Often outsourcing occurs to cut costs, or meet high demand, rather than to improve the product. Quality control is a major issue. Rimowa outsources most of its lines, except for the flagship model Original that is the Made in Germany version not sold in Canada or the United States. Ito makes its aluminium alloy luggage in Japan entirely and no outsourcing is used, Proteca also.

If you would like a Rimowa now; there is a sale going on. Since we are in economic recession, the luggage industry has taken a hit and much surplus stock has been passed off to unofficial parallel-import channels to sell at a loss. I have confirmed that pk-luggage sells authentic Rimowa luggage, the serial can be registered on the original Rimowa site. I recommend you stick to the Original line as a matter of quality and value-for-money. You will hear from Candy or Kay by the support email on the site. I purchased a Original Cabin Twist with Brown Leather Accents, Made in Germany, from pk-luggage. At 60% off or more, you may not get another opportunity like this to purchase Rimowa at 2016 prices. The LVMH prices are insane and I would never pay that much for Rimowa.

If you would like an Ito luggage; who provides aluminium/titanium alloy luggage as well as polycarbonate luggage, all made in Japan, you will have to go to Japan to an official store to purchase. It is not available for online sales anywhere. If you are more adventurous, I recommend you go to a shop and purchase from Ito, there is a sale currently.

If you would like a Proteca polycarbonate luggage, there is a big sale going on now as well: I recommend the Peanuts Cocoon model in Beige (store.ace.jp/shop/g/g01953-05/), or the Staria (store.ace.jp/shop/g/g02954-05/). Both ones I have recommended are very beautiful, with the latest wheel stopper technology and multi-stage handles, as well as ball-bearing wheels, more silent than Rimowa. Bear in mind when choosing, not all Proteca luggage models have all the new technology, so be sure to confirm first. Highly recommended.
What's the difference between the Rimowa Carry On Classic vs. Original? At this price, I might take a chance on this.
 

MrLau8999

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What's the difference between the Rimowa Carry On Classic vs. Original? At this price, I might take a chance on this.
Classic is heavier, some models outsourced, more bulky, slightly more space, the ribs go under the corners, rather than end before the corners like Original, more rigid, locks are less sturdy, handles are less sturdy. Original is a more modern, streamlined take compared to Classic, aimed at higher-end market.
 

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