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Old Oct 21, 11, 6:30 pm   #1
 
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large checked bag Rimowa. Topas or Limbo?

I have a Topas now and love the lightweight and strength. The size I have is the 29" (xxx.70) But the aluminum gets banged up bad everytime I fly and recently one of the solid metal bumpers got the rivets knocked out. However the bag protecs the contents better than any nylon bag could. (wine, other fragile items, etc.) Plus I love no zippers.

Its a great size for 1-1.5 weeks, but too small for 2+ weeks. I'm looking at getting a bigger bag. I always fill my bag to maximum capacity on the return, and the maximum weight of 50 lbs. Rimowa just released a new size xxx.73 or 30" which is supposed to be the maximum linear inches allowed by airlines.

The Rimowa authorized repair shop that I just used said that he sees Salsas coming in regularly for repairs and that after 5 years the polycarbonate can't be fixed and can't be replaced out of warranty. However a Topas is aluminum and can always be banged out as long as it isn't punctured.

I'm not considering any nylon luggage because I'm done with fragile zippers. And nylon bags are heavier at the same size by 2-5 lbs. (ie, no B&R)

I like the Limbo since it seems to a Topas with no zippers and a metal frame, but with Salsa polycarbonate halves.

What do you all think?

Topas-Repairable indefinitely, stronger. But more expensive slightly heavier and dents easily, and more expensive.
or
Limbo-Lighter, cheaper, no dents. But not as strong and can crack and not be repairable.
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Old Oct 22, 11, 1:04 am   #2
 
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Topas cases do dent, but can be repaired. Dents are nothing to lose sleep over.

Our German neighbors across the frontier are not bothered by dents. They seem to take it is stride, with some covering the dents with travel stickers. Even if you fly first class, are taken to and from your aircraft in a Panamera by a driver wearing soft grey gloves, your case will nontheless get dents. TSA, your hotel staff, faeries in Ireland, it still happens.

When I bought my first alu case, more than a few stated it looked very smart, but the case seemed " too light-weight. " Today, with new weight and size restrictions that has all changed 180 degrees, and is now the desired configuration. I have both the alu and polycarbonate cases and like both, including experience with an early Rimowa Lufthansa XXL poly case damaged permanently on an LH flight. That was replaced by a Rimowa Silver Integral XXL, paid for if you will by Lufthansa as compensation. Dented, it is still flying, taking sizeable loads, and going strong. It just does not look exactly like the catalogue advert foto on the day I bought it. That is not a reality, given many air miles each year.

Nonetheless, a Salsa Air carry-on poly was my latest purchase, previous to that by a Salsa Air XXL Sportstrunk/Reisenkoffer. They have flown 3x transatlantic this year without problems.

Other than general cleanliness, I am not as concerned about the appearance of the case as much as the contents inside being protected. Your comments by the way, regarding Topas and Limbo are very accurate.
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Old Oct 22, 11, 2:48 am   #3
 
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Well, I'm looking to by a limbo (once I decide which size), for exactly the balance of reasons you mention.

I think it has the best balance between strength and light weight, ie it fits nicely between the Salsa and the Topas.

The two damaged suitcases I have had (samsonite ABS plastic) have both been damaged by dropping on the corner, which I think the Limbo protects well against. Also, I would think (hope?) that the split-polycarbonate problem might be less likely due to the aluminium frame.

However, I still have to get over the fact that my new $700 suitcase could get broken on its first trip, something I'm not altogether reconciled with.
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Old Oct 22, 11, 12:59 pm   #4
 
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Good point you make for everyone travelling with new luggage.

I would add the following:

1. Always carry a copy of your original sales receipt for the new luggage, when travelling.
2. If luggage damage is found upon arrival, go immediately to the airline counter to file a claim. Be patient, polite, and be prepared to discuss your claim with the airline station manager, if needbe. You will be successful in the end.
3. Do not go your Hotel to check in, and then report the damage. Don't be in that much of a rush to delay reporting your loss. Do your reporting on the spot, in writing, at the Airport.

Remember the airline you fly on is the responsible party in this situation, not the luggage manufacturer, or the warranty you have from them.

4. Photo document the damage: Cellphone or digital camera. Take multiple photos.
5. You may be offered a replacement case from the stock of the airline airport counter. This was our experience upon arrival with LH in Frankfurt, but there was nothing available in the larger XXL size we originally had. But we did appreciate the very professional gesture from LH.

We elected to go with the cash offer ( the exact amount on our receipt ), which in the long run was better for us. LH gave us some large plastic bags for our packed clothes, which we then put into storage at the airport. We then took the tram into town ( 10 Minutes ) found what we wanted at KAUFHOF ( 30 minutes ), and returned to the airport to repack our clothes. Total time spent 1.25 hours.

We had time to then enjoy a good dinner at the Sheraton airport, followed by our original connecting flight back later to Geneve. The replacement XXL Silver Integra has since logged many transatlantic flight miles.
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Old Oct 23, 11, 7:29 am   #5
 
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Are Salsa's really that fragile? I got a fairly big one a few months ago and am just starting to travel with it. I am finding that I do not particularly like the "clamshell" design and that it sometimes seems to get a little contorted looking when it is not packed up full - but I at least thought it would be pretty resilient. Do I need to worry about this thing cracking during a trip?
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Old Oct 23, 11, 1:58 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troyb:17321300
Are Salsa's really that fragile? I got a fairly big one a few months ago and am just starting to travel with it. I am finding that I do not particularly like the "clamshell" design and that it sometimes seems to get a little contorted looking when it is not packed up full - but I at least thought it would be pretty resilient. Do I need to worry about this thing cracking during a trip?
Oh, don't get me wrong, I like the Salsa, and the Salsa Deluxe (but I think the Salsa Air seems a trifle too lightweight for anything over about 26 inches (65cm or so).
Any suitcase can be damaged, but I think that these polycarbonate cases are much more resilient than most (they flex greatly, rather than crack). But stress it enough, in the wrong place/direction and it will crack. I get the feeling this is most likely if they are under-packed, so giving more distance to flex.

I also think that corners of luggage are particularly susceptible to damage from dropping. On the Rimowa the corners are reinforced by thicker plastic on both the salsa and salsa deluxe (I don't think they are on the salsa air) but I'm particularly taken by the metal corners on the Limbo, as in "every little helps".

Take heed of the tips posted earlier in this thread; keep the receipt and the airline will replace a damaged case.
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Old Oct 23, 11, 2:40 pm   #7
 
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Just brainstorming here:

Salsa Air:

I wonder if the Limbo corner protective plates could not be riveted onto a Salsa or Salsa Air case if it became damaged and cracked on the corner ? Either alu or poly plates ?

That minor repair if possible, would save an intial investment made of 450 CHF or EURO.

Yes, you are correct, the larger the Salsa Air case, the more it can flex. I noticed that when packing in April for Brasil, and found that by repacking, and thus spreading the weight outequally inside the large Sports Trunk solved that condition.

One good point on the Salsa Air is that it does not scratch easily. The Rimowa Porsche case I received is well built, excellent interior, great matching car colour, can travel as legal flight carry-on, but does unfortunately scratch. On the return flight we hit turbulence, and the folding rolling cart wheel (metal axle ) of the passenger across from me performed its' artwork on the poly side of my case. Looked like an electric etching device gone wild, so another " roadmap line " of travel earned along the way.

Salsa Air does not appear to scratch that way.
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Old Oct 24, 11, 10:32 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dko3tgk View Post
I have a Topas now and love the lightweight and strength. The size I have is the 29" (xxx.70) But the aluminum gets banged up bad everytime I fly and recently one of the solid metal bumpers got the rivets knocked out. However the bag protecs the contents better than any nylon bag could. (wine, other fragile items, etc.) Plus I love no zippers.

Its a great size for 1-1.5 weeks, but too small for 2+ weeks. I'm looking at getting a bigger bag. I always fill my bag to maximum capacity on the return, and the maximum weight of 50 lbs. Rimowa just released a new size xxx.73 or 30" which is supposed to be the maximum linear inches allowed by airlines.

The Rimowa authorized repair shop that I just used said that he sees Salsas coming in regularly for repairs and that after 5 years the polycarbonate can't be fixed and can't be replaced out of warranty. However a Topas is aluminum and can always be banged out as long as it isn't punctured.

I'm not considering any nylon luggage because I'm done with fragile zippers. And nylon bags are heavier at the same size by 2-5 lbs. (ie, no B&R)

I like the Limbo since it seems to a Topas with no zippers and a metal frame, but with Salsa polycarbonate halves.

What do you all think?

Topas-Repairable indefinitely, stronger. But more expensive slightly heavier and dents easily, and more expensive.
or
Limbo-Lighter, cheaper, no dents. But not as strong and can crack and not be repairable.
I was in the same situation as you and found that biggest Rimowas hold up 104litres. I ended up with Samsonite Cosmolite 85cm/32'' which holds 131,5litres weights 3,8kg, has four wheels and 10year warranty. It is absolutely gorgeous!
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Old Oct 24, 11, 4:14 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joorinainen View Post
I was in the same situation as you and found that biggest Rimowas hold up 104litres. I ended up with Samsonite Cosmolite 85cm/32'' which holds 131,5litres weights 3,8kg, has four wheels and 10year warranty. It is absolutely gorgeous!
I was looking at the xxx.73 models because they are designed to be the maximum linear inches that airlines in the US allow now. It is a new in-between size right below the largest Rimowas. Its listed at 92 litres of space.
I have an old Atlantic Professional luggage that is an extra large sized bag but is so heavy I can only pack it about 3/4 full before I'm over the weight limit.
I would get the largest Rimowa if it wasn't over the max size limitations of US airlines. I wouldn't want to get charged for oversized luggage randomly.

I'm leaning towards the Limbo. I have an early morning transit through FRA next month and I am considering picking it up at the LH Worldshop. Although my flight lands at 5:30AM and the next departs at 8:20AM. Is that enough time? For VAT refund, immigration, customs and checking in the bag?
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Old Oct 24, 11, 6:32 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troyb View Post
Do I need to worry about this thing cracking during a trip?
Mine did, after less than a dozen trips:

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Old Oct 24, 11, 8:25 pm   #11
 
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Given your 08:20 departure, I do not think your idea would be successful. The LH Worldshop does not open that early.

If you could take a later flight it might work, but you know what your schedule allows. I suggest that you call the Frankfurt Worldshop, order and pay for the item ahead of time, and see what they can then do to accomodate your schedule.

Perhaps a courier service delivery of your case to the LH CS desk ?
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Old Oct 25, 11, 10:26 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swissaire View Post
Given your 08:20 departure, I do not think your idea would be successful. The LH Worldshop does not open that early.

If you could take a later flight it might work, but you know what your schedule allows. I suggest that you call the Frankfurt Worldshop, order and pay for the item ahead of time, and see what they can then do to accomodate your schedule.

Perhaps a courier service delivery of your case to the LH CS desk ?
That sounds like alot of trouble and the price savings vs. ordering from a koffer24 or koffer direkt would only be about $50 USD.

I can't change my second flight, as its an award ticket. I think I'll just order it online and have it shipped at a later date.
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Old Oct 25, 11, 1:24 pm   #13
 
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That sounds better.

On another thread there is some discussion underway regarding Rimowa selling currently at better prices in North America than in Europe. I agree with this premise.

There is also EBAY and Rimowa products carried in North American stores for new products.
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