June 18, 2015
When we’re travelling to the ends of the Earth, the first and last thing on our minds should be our bags. There’s nothing like a broken suitcase to spoil the mood, or “not enough space” to frustrate us with a game of suitcase Tetris with our belongings. Let me make the case for better luggage. Photos and text by Adele Chan.
It’s clear that luggage handlers at the airport throw our suitcases around – we see them doing so when we look out onto the tarmac (YouTube is also very eye-opening). And as the pieces roll out on the luggage belts, we pray that the locks and zips are intact, and that our things are not broken. We also shake our heads at the ones we see with heavy dents – but with a case like Rimowa’s, it is these dents that end up being beautiful, adding character to each bag. In fact, once upon a time, the brand brought back from customers really badly beaten up suitcases to be part of their window display.
Rimowa (pronounced REE-MOH-VAH) luggage are crafted from aluminium and ultralight polycarbonate – high-tech materials that can withstand force; the bags are extremely resilient, and can even bounce back to shape when deformed. The multiwheel system spins the bag 360 degrees, and gives a smooth, effortless glide. Every piece also features the iconic grooves that every Rimowa owner is proud to brandish. But it’s also the little details that count: like the recessed-lever bolt locks and “add-a-bag” holder on the Topas models, the smart removable divider system, and the TSA combination locks. Best of all, there’s a five-year warranty on the cases.
I am particularly sold by the Beauty Case (read more below). It’s not an obvious buy (because honestly, unless you have a porter, are you really going to travel with that?), but serves more than its purpose by being able to store and transport fragile equipment, like camera gear, watches and jewellery. And since it is lockable, it’s a good place to house important personal belongings like medicine, passports and certificates. While it may not be heavy enough to be a safe, it’s bulky enough to be obvious when it goes missing.
Topas Stealth Cabin Multiwheel 32L, $1,800
Topas Stealth Multiwheel 64L, $1,900
Topas Stealth Multiwheel 82L, $1,950
Classic Flight Beauty Case, $385
How many eyeshadows and makeup brushes can one pack into the Rimowa Classic Flight Beauty Case? Well, more than we’ll ever need in this lifetime. This sturdy piece of luggage has an integrated TSA combination lock, is crafted from the brand’s iconic aluminium material, is reinforced with rivets and corner guards, and has a vintage leather handle that provides a solid grip. On the outside, this box may seem like one serious piece of luggage, but the interior is anything but; it features a transparent acrylic tray for easy sorting of smaller items, while the lining has a retro airplane print monogrammed throughout. An elastic band on the band of the exterior fits snugly over the extended handle of any of the Classic Flight or Topas suitcases, allowing the Beauty Case to sit neatly on top. And if this box feels rather luxurious for your daily makeup needs, it surely makes a fine carrier for camera equipment, jewellery, and other precious accessories.
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