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The Ultimate Rimowa Carry-On Suitcase Review: Is it Worth the Money?

Rimowa Aluminum Carry-On Suitcase

When it comes to carry-on suitcases, few brands can match the prestige and quality of Rimowa. This German company has been crafting premium luggage since 1898, and its iconic grooved aluminum cases have become a symbol of luxury travel. In this comprehensive review, we’ll take an in-depth look at Rimowa’s carry-on offerings, exploring their design, functionality, and overall value. 

We splurged on the Rimowa Aluminum Carry-On with our own money, have taken it on hundreds of trips, and put it through extensive testing so we can offer our honest opinion of whether this suitcase is worth it.

Rimowa Aluminum Carry-On Review

The Rimowa Aluminum Carry-On is the brand’s flagship product and a true icon in the world of luggage. Constructed from high-quality aluminum alloy with a distinctive grooved exterior, this carry-on exudes a timeless elegance that has made it a favorite among frequent travelers and fashion enthusiasts alike.

One of the standout features of the Rimowa Aluminum Carry-On is its exceptional durability. The aluminum shell is incredibly resistant to scratches, dents, and the general wear and tear that comes with frequent travel. This means your carry-on will maintain its sleek, polished appearance for years to come, making it a worthy investment for the discerning traveler.

Inside, the Rimowa Aluminum Carry-On boasts a spacious main compartment with a flex-divider system that allows you to organize your belongings with ease. The interior is lined with a high-quality fabric that looks luxurious and protects your items from shifting during transit.

Rimowa Carry-On Size

Rimowa carry-on suitcase colors

When it comes to carry-on suitcases, size is a crucial factor. Rimowa offers several carry-on options to cater to different travel needs and airline regulations.

Almost all of Rimowa’s cabin bags are 21.7 x 15.8 x 9.1 inches, except the Rimowa Original Cabin Plus Aluminum Carry-On, which is the brand’s largest carry-on suitcase, measuring 21.7 x 17.8 x 9.9 inches.

The other carry-on bags mainly vary by weight. 

Regardless of the size you choose, Rimowa’s carry-on suitcases are designed with a focus on maximizing interior space while minimizing overall weight. This balance between capacity and portability is a testament to the brand’s commitment to traveler convenience.

Rimowa Original Cabin Plus Aluminum Carry-On10.4 lbs11.9 gallons21.7 x 17.8 x 9.9 inches$1,430
Rimowa Classic Cabin Carry-On9.5 lbs9.5 gallons21.7 x 15.8 x 9.1 inches$1,525
Rimowa Essential Cabin Carry-On7.1 lbs9.8 gallons21.7 x 15.8 x 9.1 inches$900
Rimowa Essential Lite Cabin Lightweight Carry-On4.9 lbs10.1 gallons21.7 x 15.8 x 9.1 inches$760
Rimowa Hybrid Cabin Carry-On Suitcase8.4 lbs9.8 gallons21.7 x 15.8 x 9.1 inches$1,075
Rimowa Essential Sleeve Cabin Carry-On Suitcase8 lbs9.8 gallons21.7 x 15.8 x 9.1 inches$1,050

How We Tested the Rimowa Carry-On

As travel writers, we take hundreds of trips every year, accumulating miles on trains, planes, cruises, and road trips. We sent the Rimowa Carry-On along with our intrepid editors, giving them a scorecard to evaluate how the suitcase did in many categories, including durability, ease of use, organization, and whether or not it fits into the overhead compartment. 

Our editors packed the carry-on to its maximum capacity to see if it could hold everything they needed for trips of various lengths. We then took it on multiple trips, both domestic and international, to gauge its maneuverability and ability to withstand the rigors of travel. From navigating crowded airports to being tossed into overhead bins and baggage claims, the Rimowa carry-on handled it all with ease, emerging unscathed and protecting our belongings.

In addition to real-world testing, we also conducted controlled experiments to evaluate specific features. We dropped the carry-on from various heights to test its shock-absorbing capabilities and rolled it over uneven surfaces to assess the smoothness and stability of the wheels. The Rimowa carry-on consistently impressed us with its resilience, rolling effortlessly and showing minimal signs of wear and tear, even after our most strenuous tests.

Rimowa Carry-On Pros

  • The last suitcase you’ll ever need to buy: comes with a lifetime guarantee
  • The interior divider system helps keep things organized and compress items to create more room
  • Durable
  • Built-in TSA-approved combination lock
  • Trademarked Multiwheel system utilizes wheels mounted on ball bearings for a smooth ride
  • Three-stage adjusting telescoping handle
  • Interior zippered pocket for extra storage

Rimowa Carry-On Cons

  • Aluminum exterior is easily scuffed and scratched
  • Some carry-on models are heavy, with the Original Cabin Plus Aluminum weighing over 10 lbs.

Rimowa Carry-On Features

Rimowa Carry-On Suitcase interior

Rimowa’s carry-on suitcases are packed with thoughtful features that help making packing easier.

We appreciated the integrated TSA-approved lock system, which means we don’t have to use a separate lock. 

We’d never put too much thought into the wheels on our suitcase until we tried out the Rimowa carry-on. The brand’s trademarked Multiwheel system features smooth-rolling ball-bearing wheels that make the suitcase noticeably easier to pull, even over cobblestoned streets. These four wheels keep the bag upright, even when it’s heavy. 

Our testers also raved about the carry-on suitcase’s built-in flexible divider system that works wonders for compression and keeping everything organized. The interior zip pocket provides a great place to store smaller items like chargers or accessories.

Rimowa Sales

The Rimowa website and stores do not have sales. However, you can still score discounted Rimowa suitcases if you know where to look.

Rimowa sells pre-owned luggage on its website at a much cheaper price than new suitcases—you can find Rimowa suitcases for more than 50% off. All Rimowa pre-owned bags are authenticated and then fully refurbished. Pre-owned Rimowa suitcases come with a two-year warranty.

If you’d prefer to buy a new Rimowa suitcase, the brand is carried at Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, and Amazon, where it will occasionally go on sale. 

Is the Rimowa Suitcase Worth It?

It’s important to acknowledge that Rimowa’s carry-on suitcases come with a premium price tag. However, when you consider the exceptional craftsmanship, durable materials, and thoughtful design features, it becomes clear that this is a “buy it for life suitcase.” If you invest $1,000 in a Rimowa suitcase that will last forever, it will be a better purchase than buying two cheaper suitcases that fail after a few years. 

Affordable Rimowa Dupes

If a Rimowa Carry-On is out of your budget, there are plenty of other aluminum carry-on suitcases that can be found for significantly cheaper. Here are our favorite Rimowa dupes:

Or, if you’re just looking for a stylish carry-on, check out our review of Roam luggage, a completely custom suitcase company.

For a lightweight and durable affordable carry-on, read our review of the Samsonite C-Lite Suitcase.

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