Despite the fact that I’ve always travelled – in fact I sometimes feel that I’ve spent half my life in airports – I’ve never really spent a lot of thought, time or money on that essential piece of travel equipment, my suitcase.
So the opportunity to try a top-of-the-line, quality suitcase on a long-distance trip came as a welcome surprise; who knew a decent suitcase could make life so much easier?
The Rimowa Limbo Travel Multiwheel suitcase is, quite possibly, one of the best of its type in the world.
The Rimowa Limbo suitcases are available in three colours; black, grey and blue.
You get the practicality of lightweight polycarbonate – a material first used by Rimowa in fact to create light but durable travel cases – with the security of an aluminium magnesium alloy frame, lever action combination locks built into the frame and with the special TSA locks (the American Transportation Security Administration approved locks that can be opened with a universal key so US Customs don’t cut open your suitcase), four wheels for super manoeuvrability, a bag holder so you can clip other luggage to your suitcase and adjustable interior divider system.
This is a serious suitcase. Available in some serious colours – black, night blue and seal gray – a Rimowa Limbo is a fabulous tool for frequent travellers, or anyone looking to protect their things while on the move.
The first Rimowa was produced in 1898 at the Paul Morszeck luggage factory in Cologne, Germany, and even then the designers was trying to create a lightweight case that was still secure, despite having to use wood. From the 1930s the brand started experimenting with materials developed for the aviation industry; it was Richard Morszeck – the founder’s son – who came up with the idea of using aluminum for a suitcase in 1937. From the 1950s onwards Rimowa continued to develop the material using structural aluminum for the flight crew cases and eventually the professional transport cases for photographers and film crews that made the brand’s name.
Rimowa suitcases are the creme-de-la-creme of travel cases; less obvious than a monogrammed trunk, watertight and more sturdy than a leather or canvas suitcase, Rimowa suitcases are used by everyone from professional photographers, stylists and journalists, to celebrities and the super-rich looking to protect their precious possessions.
The move to using practically indestructible polycarbonate shells for the suitcases in 2000 allowed Rimowa to increase its range of colours – you can now get the Salsa range in red, gold, violet, light blue, light pink, white or navy – and to make cases that are amazingly light.
USING THE RIMOWA LIMBO TRAVEL MULTIWHEEL SUITCASE
Used to a basic no-name canvas pull-along suitcase, my first reaction to the Rimowa Limbo Travel Multiwheel suitcase was that it seemed rather large. I tried the 74cm version with the four wheels, aluminum frame and TSA lock; it looked enormous on first viewing but after using it to travel I think I should have tried the 77cm one!
Unlike a basic canvas case with a zip, and sometimes with an expandable section, the Limo is what’s known as a “hardcase” so there’s no expanding going on here and you have a limit to how much you can actually stuff inside.
Which for an inveterate shopper like myself is it’s only drawback; mind you, it also stops you from going crazy with the credit card. After all, if you can’t fit it in, you can’t buy it, right?
But really, this is such a minor issue when it comes to the benefits of using a case like the Rimowa Limbo. The multiwheel system is absolutely amazing – no, really, it is. You don’t ever drag your bag so you won’t feel like you’re dislocating your shoulder and you never need a trolley.
With the Rimowa Limbo you can attach you extra bits and pieces like a laptop bag to the suitcase thus freeing your hands; you don’t have to be concerned about anyone slitting the case and stealing stuff; the “stageless extendable telescopic handle” will go to any level you need it to and not slip back; the aluminum frame means you can prop your immensely heavy handbag on top of the case and keep your hands completely free … basically this suitcase is perfect.
Until you use a Rimowa you just can’t understand why people spend so much money on a suitcase – all this technology and convenience doesn’t come cheap – but if you fly every month, or even just twice a year, you will discover that your money has been very well sent. A Rimowa suitcase really is an investment; and since they last so long you’ll probably be handing it down to your kids.
Now … Should I get the Rimowa Limbo Travel Multiwheel in a larger size? Or should I go for a Cabin Multiwheel? Decisions, decisions.
The Rimowa Limbo range of travel cases cost from $1,250 to $1,420; the lightweight polycarbonate Rimowa Salsa range of travel cases are priced from $850 to $1,025; the full aluminum Rimowa Topas range of travel cases cost from $1,500 to $1,755, the most luxurious ranges the Rimowa Topas Titanium and Topas Stealth are priced from $1,950 to $2,260; and if you want to be super-stylish and “in-the-know”, try the original aluminum Rimowa Classic Flight range of trolley cases that are priced from $980 to $1,175 for the current two-wheel version; a new multiwheel version will be available later in the year. Rimowa stores are located at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, #B1-148, Tel: 6688 7104; Mandarin Gallery, #02-19, Tel: 6735 2051 and Millenia Walk, #01-68. The cases are also available at Takashimaya Department Store, Level 3, Tel: 6741 0020 and Isetan Scotts, Level 3, Tel: 6741 0020. For more information about Rimowa, go to www.rimowa.de or email email@example.com.