Aluminium or Polycarbonate Rimowa

10 replies

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

After dealing with damaged suitcases in under 2 years, I'm thinking of biting the bullet and getting a Rimowa.

  • Are they really as good as people say they are?
  • Can these bags (aluminium) be punctured? I'm not talking about nicks, but literally holes in the body of the bag (happened to me twice now)
  • Aluminium or polycarbonate?

Appreciate any input. Thanks.

FrequentFlyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Mar 2012

Total posts 194

Hi Babs,


Sorry to hear of your suitcase difficulties, they can be fickle creatures. I've had a Rimowa for a few months now and would recommend them, especially in your circumstance.

Apart from their tech features they really are a sturdy case. The trade-off is that they're heavier than most- particularly the aluminium. I went the aluminium because it seemed more robust but in hindsight the polycarbonate is still very durable and a couple kilograms lighter. The polycarb have more of a colour range too, if that's of importance.

I don't know if they're worth all the hype (still just a suitcase at the end of the day) but I don't think they're a product you'd regret spending up on. 

Cheers


TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

Thanks FF,

I'm inclined towards aluminium since in all 3 cases, it was polycarbonate bags that were damaged; 2 Samsonite (Firelite & Cosmolite) and 1 Crumpler.

  • Samsonite Firelite - A tear in the rubber zipper
  • Samsonite Cosmolite - One of 4 wheel units came off
  • Crumpler - The wheel attachment caved in and more recently the case was punctured.

Is the aluminium case sturdy enough:

  1. Not to be punctured?
  2. Integrity of the wheel units maintained under challenging situations?

jujifly

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Dec 2013

Total posts 3

The Aluminium Rimowa cases are beautiful - but beware, they are not a sturdy as the may appear! This is what happened flying Lufthansa First (if that makes a difference) one night from Dubai to Frankfurt. The case (a Topas) was less than 12 months old. It was a write off, fortunately the airline refunded most of the purchase price. Next time I would go polycarbonate :-)

FastMustard

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 03 Feb 2017

Total posts 2

The aluminium cases are very cool and once they have a few dints in them they look experienced! Definitely a fair bit heavier and guaranteed to have damage after every flight although their integrity will remain.

I literally tossed a coin between Rimowa and Zero Halliburton and picked the later. A big mistake. Zero Halliburton are woeful - poorly made, soft aluminium and disgraceful customer 'service.' That said, I believe neither aluminium brands make the same product they built their former reputation on.

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

Damn son!

Thanks jujifly...might have to reconsider...
Perhaps a cheaper soft case that can be fully depreciated and written off every few months is the solution?

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,285

I'd get the polycarbonate over the aluminium for the lightness and reduced dinging ... but honestly, if you can get a decent Samsonite softside cheaply, I'd go with that and torture it for a year.

Notso Swift

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 06 Oct 2016

Total posts 31

I have a Topas 32 carry on and a 82 check in because (frankly) I am a bit of a wanker - but not so much of a wanker that I need LV....
(Besides I couldn't get the TopasSport when I bought the 82litre, because that is a fantastic shape)

I love the little scuffs and dints you get as a badge of honour and I press them out as needed, but, I also understand that Alu is more likely to hole than Poly with the right sort of impact, pretty much down to luck, because I have had good Samsonite bags crack  if they are hit wrong as well.
I will say Alu is not for the type of person who wants the luggage to look perfect, you always seem to get some form of mark.

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

@Notso Swift


Oh such modesty! 😜
Though I appreciate the point - composites are technically more durable. 

I'm seriously questioning the wisdom of spending over a grand on something that may go bust. I should hope that I'm sufficiently secure in the belief that my ego does not need bolstering at the luggage carousel! 

jujifly

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Dec 2013

Total posts 3

If I had my time again, I would have still bought the alu. They are beautiful cases and I have seen a lot of those 'credibly scuffed' ones around the traps. I would say go for it and enjoy while it lasts (preferably next time you are in an European country with a high VAT regime/refund (I bought mine in Helsinki)... just keep the receipt and be poised to follow up if/when damage happens.

MR1961

Member since 17 Feb 2016

Total posts 9

I have three aluminum Rimowa that I have used for years and I swear by them. I feel confident in the "clam shell" closing that keeps my things secure. Yes, a few dents and scratches - I always make sure I inspect my luggage at the collection carousel and report any significant damage for claims purposes. I use the airline compliant carry-on sized polycarbonate Rimowa and love how easy it is to pack and use. So I recommend the aluminum for checked in luggage and polycarbonate for carry-on. 

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