Identify and/or recommend aluminium luggage
March 15, 2012 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone identify the aluminium luggage shown in this photo?

The photo is a Mercedes promo photo for one of their station wagons, but the luggage looked very good. Additionally, is aluminum luggage a good idea? What brands do you recommend?
posted by Joakim Ziegler to Shopping (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: They look a lot like the Rimowa Topas line. I don't have any experience with aluminum luggage, but I love my Rimowa policarbonate suitcases.
posted by clearlydemon at 3:59 PM on March 15, 2012

Zero Halliburton?

Aluminum luggage is bomb-proof, but it gets scratched. It's also a bright, shining look-at-me target for thieves.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:00 PM on March 15, 2012

Best answer: On second look, it's definitely Rimowa Topas.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:01 PM on March 15, 2012

Response by poster: Which is lighter, aluminium or polycarbonate? I assume aluminium is tougher.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:21 PM on March 15, 2012

Best answer: I sell luggage for a living.

Aluminum is not bomb proof, sadly most of it is very thin. Zero Haliburton luggage is fairly durable, but it does scratch easily. Zero does tend to weight about 50% more than Rimowa.

Polycarbonate luggage is nice, but it also scratches very easily. If you're wanting polycarbonate, you want a virgin 100% poly, no blends. Blends tend to be brittle and crack easier on impact.

Is it a good idea?

Well, that depends on how you pack.
- Do you over pack? You can't over pack a hardside bag.
- You ever use the front pockets? There's no outside pockets. Heys makes a hardside case with an outside pocket, but I'd recommend a GLAD bag first.
- Are you OK with stacking your clothes and then closing the case? Hardside cases open in the middle rather than at the top like a Nylon case.

For Aluminum: Go with Zero. Better quality materials, actually cheaper than the Rimowa. (the carry-on in Topas Titanium clocks in at about $1500... it's still just aluminum with a titanium like finish)
For Poly: Tumi's Vapor or Victorinox's Spectra. Spectra is far lighter (carry-on is under 6lbs.)
For Nylon: Briggs & Riley's Baseline or Victorinox's NXT. Seriously. It's got a warranty that covers everything, including airline damage.
posted by aristan at 5:45 PM on March 15, 2012 [23 favorites]

I'm a very frequent traveler and I used to be a huge advocate of Tumi, but I've been using Victorinox for the past 4 years and have been absolutely thrilled with the stuff for a lot less cash. Based on that, I'm convinced that aristan's advice is solid.
posted by Lame_username at 11:44 PM on March 15, 2012

Best answer: Lifetime warranties only cover the case, not any of the contents.

Nylon and Polycarbonate will bounce back from minor abuse but are more likely to break open if really thrown around (as will anything thats held together with just a zip.)

Aluminium is almost impossible to break open, but they will get scratched and dented - airports can damage them to the point they won't open and close properly again.

I think Aluminium is great for briefcases and carry-on sized luggage (anything valuable I carry on), then I use cheaper Hard Poly cases for checking in. Aluminium does look very shiny when new, but over the years will dull down and build up a nice patina of scratches and small dents.

The Rimowa Classic flight range is simple old style aluminium, similar to the Haliburton Zero.
posted by Lanark at 10:17 AM on March 17, 2012

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