The History of Rimowa Luggage: German Brilliance Since 1898

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You’re getting ready for that big vacation, or maybe it’s a trip for work—either way you need to stuff all your necessities in a suitcase and lug it from home, to the taxi, to the airport, to the plane and so on.  This is by no means a new way of travel, since the dawn of vacations and travel there have been ways to bring your things with you.  So why are so many people still doing it wrong?

As you sit there and stare at that beat-up suitcase your wife is letting you borrow for your trip (or maybe it’s that same Donald Duck one you’ve had since your grandma gave it to you for Christmas in ’92) you know this suitcase looks neither adult nor professional.

You know you are going to get smirks from your colleagues while chasing them through the airport when that one wheel that never works quite right starts acting up.  Why put up with this?  Why use the same old, cheap, pain-in-the-ass suitcase as the kids one gate over on their way to Disney World?

It’s time to grow up.  We’re going to throw a little history at you, show you exactly why you should be using a Rimowa case, and explain why you should toss your old luggage in the dumpster and never look back.

A Brief History of Rimowa

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Hand trunk, 1927

Rimowa luggage was first introduced in 1898 by Paul Morszeck in Cologne, Germany.  Morszeck had the brilliant idea to make sturdy, lightweight luggage, and his idea turned into a goldmine.  After years of the wooden cases gaining a considerable following of worldly travelers, Morszeck’s son, Richard, took over the company, switching the luggage from wood to lightweight metals in 1937.  This proved to not only be a tremendous innovation in weight and durability but added a sense of style and elegance that could not be duplicated at the time.

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Aluminum trunk, 1956

As time went on and new technologies were brought to light, Rimowa stayed ahead of the competition, moving to aluminum in 1950 (which caught the attention of flight crews everywhere) and on to being the first company to build polycarbonate luggage in 2000, which offered even lighter suitcases (and has helped serious travelers combat the ridiculous fees for weight limits on checked bags).

Rimowa has been ahead of the game before other companies even realized it was a competition, and that won’t be changing any time soon.

Rimowa Today

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Today you can find Rimowa luggage, with its distinctive lined metal cases, in the movies, at high-end stores and in any serious travellers closet and here’s why: Rimowa not only looks bad-ass and sleek but is completely practical.

The polycarbonate exterior has an elastic like ability to stretch and spring back as needed to cram that extra souvenir in at the last minute.  Each case comes with a five year guarantee on locks, fittings and castors (unless the airline breaks it, then you get to foot them with that bill), the case’s multi-wheel roller is far superior than the cheap suitcase you got at Target before your last trip and the lightweight exterior makes it that much easier to put the smaller sizes in the overhead compartment without dropping your entire vacation wardrobe on your head.

We know you’ve been attached to that old thing you call a suitcase for some time now, but trust us when we tell you it’s time to let go and invest in something that will still turn heads in twenty years, they will just be envious turns instead of laughs.

Should You Really Spend $1,000 On A Suitcase?

…Actually, Yes. Let Us Explain.

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While luggage may not have been the first thing you planned to spend that extra $1,000 on you’ll be damn glad you did in the future.  Ever heard the old saying “buy it cheap, buy it twice”?  This is especially true with luggage.  Cheap suitcases break, the zippers stop working (which means the rest of the case is pretty useless), the wheels fall off, the handles break; I have yet to have a $50 suitcase last me more than a handful of trips.

Rimowa cases withstand the test of time, spend the money now and never have to worry about one wheel darting off in the opposite direction while you sprint to your gate.  Not to mention that having a few extra inches in your suitcase can often feel worth $1,000 all on its own.

Of course on the off chance your case doesn’t happen to stand the test of time, Rimowa offers a Worldwide 5 Year Guarantee and Manufacturers Warranty on all their luggage.  No matter how you look at it, you really can’t go wrong here.

Where to Buy Rimowa On Sale

How Not to spend $1,000 on a suitcase…

While we fully endorse Rimowa and feel it is worth every penny no matter which case you get, we understand that the price is steep and not everyone wants to spend that on luggage (no matter how amazing the luggage may be).  For these people we offer a few suggestions.
First, set up an alert on Ebay for when new items are listed (not sure how? Click here) this will allow you to find deals on Ebay you likely wouldn’t find on new luggage.  Don’t like used things?  Keep your eyes peeled (and remember to check Life, Tailored) for deals, coupons and promo codes for retailers that carry Rimowa, like this one from Neiman Marcus

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Neiman-Marcus-Coupon

(promotion not current)

A Case for Every Occasion

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The Quick Getaway, Carry-on Option

Our top choice for a quick getaway is the 22” Cabin Multiwheel from the Rimowa Salsa Collection.
This perfectly sized wheeled case fits all your necessities while still fitting it in the overhead compartment.  At 22” the polycarbonate case is perfect for every long weekend or the quick overnight conference.

22” Cabin Multiwheel Review

Available for $525 at Zappos this case is not only the perfect luggage for your trip, but also your wallet.

The Tropical Vacation

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For your tropical paradise trips Rimowa offers their Topas collection, available in 26” or 29” cases.
Specially designed with an aluminum-magnesium alloy shell to keep out humidity and protect against strong fluctuations in temperature these cases will keep your belongings happy no matter what the islands throw your way.

Rimowa Topas 29″ Review

Available at Zappos for $1,020-$1,130.

The Constantly On-The-Go Traveler

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For the business traveler who is always on the go and doesn’t want to lug around extra weight each week we suggest the Rimowa Salsa Air Ultralight.

Designed from the same polycarbonate material as the rest of the Salsa collection, the Air Ultralight is designed to be up to 26% lighter than its counterparts.

Rimowa Salsa Air Review

Available in a variety of colors at Zappos for $475.

For The International Man of Mystery

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If you find yourself overseas for long periods of time, the smaller cases just might not cut it for you.  For a man like this we suggest the 32” Salsa Trunk.  This case will last you years worth of trips around the world.  Large enough to fit whatever you may need, you can be ready for dinner in Paris, a night out in Milan or business in London all in one trip.

Rimowa Salsa 32″ Multiwheel Trunk Review

Priced very reasonably for its size (only $725 at Zappos).

Rimowa Review Summary

Rimowa is a product that truly lasts a lifetime. From their origins in 1898, they have been producing the most modern luggage with an emphasis on luxury and innovation. Rimowa suitcases are bulletproof, and come with a 5 year warranty to backup their fantastic build quality.

We personally recommend the Rimowa Topas Cabin Multiwheel. It is small enough for domestic and International carry-on, and will keep you packed for day. Current price is $980, right in line for a birthday gift (if anyone’s listening).

If you’re looking to buy Rimowas at a discount, watch for Neiman Marcus sales, and keep your eyes peeled on eBay.

Check out the entire Rimowa collection from Mr. Porter. Our preferred Rimowa dealer.

How To Pack Your Rimowa

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Details.com

The Flat Pack Technique

1. Always tart with underwear. Place the smallest items on the bottom to create a level, even surface.

2. Find the longest piece of clothing and lay it down first. This may be the pants, rain jackets or blazers. (we recommend wearing on blazers whenever you fly to save space) So start laying them in: pants, dresses, shirts, shorts, etc. Allow the items to hang over the edge of the suitcase. You’ll fold it back in at the end.

3. Once all of the larger pieces are laid over the bad, now is time for smaller items to get squeezed in. Tuck in bras, socks, scarves and any other accessories into the corners. It’s especially important to have shoe bags, because we’re going to put the shoes in on the sides of the bag.

4. Almost done. Now flip the hanging pants and dresses back onto themselves. Make sure to do it neatly, this is the key to keeping your clothes crisp and organized.

Thanks for the flat pack tips, FathomAway.

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