Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Products
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 24, 12, 10:27 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Programs: UA 1K SPG Gold
Posts: 137
Question Deciding between Rimowa Limbo and Samsonite spinner (or something else?)

Howdy, I'm wondering if I can ask some advice on a new bag purchase. I havent been able to find any bag that meets my exact criteria, so I have the top two choices, which I'd like to ask people's opinions on.

First, my Ideal bag:

-NOT instantly recognizable as expensive / designer/ something that wants to get stolen or broken into
-However, high quality
-Given high quality, won't be cheap, but not inordinately costly (avoiding "designer" tends to solve this)
-As light as possible
-26 inches for checking in
-Prefer no zipper, rather, latches are better (can't poke open with pen)
-If uses a zipper, should be immobilized zipper so the poke-open-with-pen and then close again by moving zipper trick wont work (the closing part wont work)
-Hard-sided
-Can use a non-TSA lock with it

The closest I have been able to find is the Rimowa limbo.

Pluses:
-Sturdy, light, latches closed, no zipper, hard-sided, two locks rather than one (makes picking take twice as long??), sturdy

Minuses:
-Can only lock with the built-in TSA locks (I examined one)
-A bit expensive (About $890 online, apparently a bit cheaper if imported by mail to US)
-Rimowa states that their bags are "Instantly recognizable as a status symbol". Uhm.... big minus.


I was also looking at a samsonite 26" spinner.

Pluses:
-I think it's sturdy
-Not too expensive (about $350)
-Can use non-tsa locks
-Not "instantly recogniable as a status symbol" (=something that wants to disappear from luggage rack)

Minuses:
-Uses a zipper rather than latches (I really prefer latches)
-I do have some doubts about the samsonite brand.... is it really super durable?


I'm pretty stuck between these two choices.

Anyone have any insights, or alternatives to suggest?

Thanks-
flyster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 12, 11:43 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,186
Good morning flyster,

Let's take a look at this logically:

Your Ideal bag:

First, it sound like you actually describe a case, and a spinner or multi-wheel at that. Further reading in your post is a check-in case. All good information-

NOT instantly recognizable as expensive / designer/ something that wants to get stolen or broken into
OK. A case that is not flashy subjectively, or connotating brand name recognition by a catalogue reader.

-However, high quality
OK. A well made, practical case, manufactured to current, most modern standards and materials.

-Given high quality, won't be cheap, but not inordinately costly (avoiding "designer" tends to solve this)
Usually well manufactured cases of higher quality equal a higher expense.

-As light as possible
Light weight would suggest in polycarbonate, aluminum, or another metal.

-26 inches for checking in
26 inches minimal for checking in. With today's limits, checked luggage can go up to 32 inches, more or less.

-Prefer no zipper, rather, latches are better (can't poke open with pen)
-If uses a zipper, should be immobilized zipper so the poke-open-with-pen and then close again by moving zipper trick wont work (the closing part wont work)
OK: No zipper. Actually you have very few exceptions here given a determined thief with a good ballpoint

-Hard-sided
As above. Polycarbonate, or a metal alloy. Rodger that

-Can use a non-TSA lock
OK, but a puzzler ? Non-TSA capable locking, subsequent of course to TSA first passing your case for inspection.

Considerations:

A. The term sturdy and light weight have cross-limitations at some point. That excludes the Pelican cases unfortunately.

B. The subjectivity of a flashy, status symbol. To whom: The man in Berlin or the woman in Quito ? Does a dark, no-name fabric case make you less of a target in New York ? Thieves today are so desperate they are stealing copper wire from live transformers.

C. Locks and Security: The larger metal Rimowa cases have a third locking latch. But you have a choice when it comes to TSA: Leave it locked, or leave it unlocked. One can add a third or fourth lock in the form of a locking band around the case, but these are usually sold with TSA locks.

Using the very good historical information here with FT threads, if you make it too difficult for TSA to open your case ( Non-TSA locks, locks not working, metal cut-off ties, cable locks, or too many straps and locks ) your case could be forced open and thus destroyed. Square one.

Suggested solutions:

1. Rimowa Topas - Stealth version. Non-glare black, locks, sturdy, good manufacturing standard, metal alloy, and as yet not very well known. I've opened one in a store and observed it to have a nice stealthy, diplomatically dull, flat black-grey colour.

2. Rimowa Topas + Rimowa Topas LH model: Same as above but considerably less expense. The Alu metal could be painted or coated, as it would be yours to treat as you wish. That artistic touch might also void the warranty, and still be noticed somewhat skeptically by many of us.

And I must tell you, there might be even more significant consequences to consider. Some of the more serious luggage collectors out there might even be compelled to attack you.

Unless of course, you wear a suit, crew cut, Ray-Bans, and speak into lapel or shirt cuff in a low voice. Then this all makes sense.

Last edited by Swissaire; Mar 25, 12 at 12:02 am..
Swissaire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 24, 12, 11:59 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Programs: UA 1K SPG Gold
Posts: 137
Hey thanks for the advice. I'm going to check out the Rimowa Topas.

As far as TSA is concerned, for flights originating in the US, I will use only TSA locks. However, for flights outside the US, I will add my own lock that is better than a TSA lock.

26" is more or less an ideal size for me, however, if the larger Rimowas have a place for your own lock, I'd be willing to go for a larger size on that basis.

I have one other concern about the latch-locking bags, wonder if the latch mechanism is more susceptible to breaking than the zipper-based locks. Hmm? Food for thought.
flyster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 25, 12, 12:34 am   #4
Moderator, Air Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: YVR
Programs: AC E75, SPG Plat, HH peon-by-choice (ex Gold)
Posts: 7,935
The Topas is a great case but perhaps far above your ideal price. However, the shiny Alu case is anything but stealth. In fact, it screams for attention. Even if you paint it, it's bound to scratch off and reveal the shine underneath.

The "old" Samsonite Silhouette 12 hard-side spinner used latches and not those cheap polyurethane case with zippers that it's now become. If you can find one, that may be your best bet.

As for durability, it's almost bulletproof. I bought one of the original hard-sided spinners back in 04/05, brought it through hell and back, and only through the very diligent inspection of a Japanese baggage boy did I find a tiny start of a crack at the bottom of the case. If he didn't find it, I'd probably still not know about it.

Just did a quick search. If you can't find the old Silhouette 12 models anymore, it looks like the Cruiseair Elite is the successor, although it uses a key lock rather than a combo lock. RevJim is right in that virtually all of them will open in "half". That's one fact that you'll have to accept.

Last edited by Braindrain; Mar 25, 12 at 1:00 am.. Reason: Found updated models
Braindrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 25, 12, 12:46 am   #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: CEB & LAS
Programs: CX DM, TSA Pre✓ Afflictions: TSASS
Posts: 605
I've had a Rimowa Salsa for years, and although I really like it a lot, it has one giant flaw that they don't tell you about. It zips in the middle.

So when you get to your destination with a suitcase full of clothes, you can't just set it on the luggage rack and live out of it for a week. Every time you want to open it and get out a clean shirt, you have to lug it over to the bed, flop open both halves at once, fiddle with the divider, get your shirt, reset the divider, then flop it closed and lug it back to the rack. It's something I wish someone told me before I plunked down $400-ish for a Rimowa.

This is a very common design flaw in "spinner" luggage, especially hardside spinners. That's why I eventually broke down and switched to a Briggs & Riley soft-sided spinner like this one.

Yup, the Briggs is subject to the zipper-pen attack. You can partially thwart that one with a lock like this if you want to. As has already been noted, nothing is perfect, everything is a trade-off.
RevJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 25, 12, 1:30 am   #6
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Programs: UA 1K SPG Gold
Posts: 137
Rev jim, I quite like that triple lockdown lock. I'm going to get one.

I just went to a shop & checked out the rimowa topas. It looks pretty darn bulletproof but also looks too valuable. The larger size Rimowas do indeed have a third latch, but the third latch doesnt accept a lock. So we are stuck with the built-in TSA locks for both the limbo and the topas. Having to decide between the limbo & topas, I'd take limbo as I think the limbo is sturdy enough for my needs, plus it's cheaper and looks cheaper too, both pluses.

Rimowa needs to have someone rewrite some of their literature... I was browsing a printed catalog in one of the shops and they actually wrote something more or less like this "At first glance, the Limbo luggage line is clearly very valuable." Uhm, who the heck thought that would be a good sales point, and can they be fired?

I almost bit the bullet and bought the 27" Limbo, but it's priced a bit higher than in the US, so I decided to take pause and keep considering things a bit.

Does anyone agree the latches might break more easily than a regular zipper based lock mechanism? WIth the limbo, if the latch lock breaks, there's no way to lock it, except a strap, which a pair of scissors could remove.

Also perhaps I am being too paranoid about luggage theft. How often do people flat out steal bags? Has anyone had this happen to them? Maybe the limbo would be a good purchase for me.
flyster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 25, 12, 1:52 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,186
You should take theft into consideration, but it shouldn't ruin or occupy your trip. Be smart, aware of how thieves operate, and just be careful. It is hard to imagine a clear morning in Zermatt, looking up at the stunning Matterhorn in the blue sky, flowers nearby in bloom, and someone next to you quietly muttering " I know that guy in the bakery is out to get my bags. "

Look at the posts reported here on FT.

Checked luggage appears to be more of a theft of valuables issue, involving a few bad apples in the inspection process these days. Three years of daily stealing by an inspector and his wife results in just being terminated with probation. My, my, what ruinous severity. Laughable.

One hopes that given a year or 5 in prison instead, that trending would dramtically diminish. And being federal employees, why not make said thefts a federal crime, to be served in a federal penitentiary like Leavenworth, Kansas ?

But the facts are that the luggage cases and bags are just rummaged through, and rarely stolen outright as they remain under the care, custody, and control of the airline once checked. That thief wants your Ipad, hidden cash, or packaged Rolex to fence as it is stuffed quickly into his pants, and not your luggage case.

Luggage in your possession and control is another matter. Unattended luggage, even for just a quick moment, can be stolen. Leave your your luggage alone on the curb, in a unoccupied car, or by your side at Milano Centrale train station for two seconds and it vanishes, very quickly. That quick panini or espresso diverting your attention just cost you your case and your clothes.

Same on the train down to Venezia, Roma, or Rimini: Keep your luggage in view at all times. Don't leave it out in the luggage racks in the aisle. Keep it close. I mention these examples for a reason.

I met two different couples, one from the US and the other Canada, who had this happen to them. One was ready to call off the month vacation they had planned and return home immediately. Everything looked negative, and the nice locals were all suspects. My wife and I talked them out of leaving, and helped both find replacment clothing, etc, which one does when these situations arise. We stayed in touch for a few years afterwards and they were most appreciative.

Again, there is no evidence that thieves discriminate by luggage type, colour, or model. No thief pondering " I think i'll wait for a new blue Sampsonite, or a Limbo today. " Think about it for a moment: A nice alu Topas would actually be a liability for any thief if it were reported stolen to the authorities, especially if the owner provided the serial Nr. stamped on each Rimowa case. These thieves also want the contents of your luggage.

Thieves look, create, and wait for opportunities, which distracted and jet-lagged travellers in unfamiliar surroundings can present. Make it impossible or difficult for them, or slow them down, and they lose interest.

When such an opportunity does arise, they move on the luggage immediately, no matter the make, colour or model. The big orange or pink case may get your attention at the airport or bus station, but the unattended case or duffel nearby has the full attention of the thief.

I like to think that a luggage case gets me to a destination with items protected inside that will allow me to either work or vacation there comfortably. By making it easier to inspect my belongings using a TSA lock all these years without incident, I have facilitated my own ability and that of others to travel quickly, efficiently, and safely. Theft is really secondary, and never an obsession.
Swissaire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31, 12, 7:36 am   #8
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Programs: UA 1K SPG Gold
Posts: 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swissaire View Post
You should take theft into consideration, but it shouldn't ruin or occupy your trip. Be smart, aware of how thieves operate, and just be careful. It is hard to imagine a clear morning in Zermatt, looking up at the stunning Matterhorn in the blue sky, flowers nearby in bloom, and someone next to you quietly muttering " I know that guy in the bakery is out to get my bags. "

Look at the posts reported here on FT.

Checked luggage appears to be more of a theft of valuables issue, involving a few bad apples in the inspection process these days. Three years of daily stealing by an inspector and his wife results in just being terminated with probation. My, my, what ruinous severity. Laughable.

One hopes that given a year or 5 in prison instead, that trending would dramtically diminish. And being federal employees, why not make said thefts a federal crime, to be served in a federal penitentiary like Leavenworth, Kansas ?

But the facts are that the luggage cases and bags are just rummaged through, and rarely stolen outright as they remain under the care, custody, and control of the airline once checked. That thief wants your Ipad, hidden cash, or packaged Rolex to fence as it is stuffed quickly into his pants, and not your luggage case.

Luggage in your possession and control is another matter. Unattended luggage, even for just a quick moment, can be stolen. Leave your your luggage alone on the curb, in a unoccupied car, or by your side at Milano Centrale train station for two seconds and it vanishes, very quickly. That quick panini or espresso diverting your attention just cost you your case and your clothes.

Same on the train down to Venezia, Roma, or Rimini: Keep your luggage in view at all times. Don't leave it out in the luggage racks in the aisle. Keep it close. I mention these examples for a reason.

I met two different couples, one from the US and the other Canada, who had this happen to them. One was ready to call off the month vacation they had planned and return home immediately. Everything looked negative, and the nice locals were all suspects. My wife and I talked them out of leaving, and helped both find replacment clothing, etc, which one does when these situations arise. We stayed in touch for a few years afterwards and they were most appreciative.

Again, there is no evidence that thieves discriminate by luggage type, colour, or model. No thief pondering " I think i'll wait for a new blue Sampsonite, or a Limbo today. " Think about it for a moment: A nice alu Topas would actually be a liability for any thief if it were reported stolen to the authorities, especially if the owner provided the serial Nr. stamped on each Rimowa case. These thieves also want the contents of your luggage.

Thieves look, create, and wait for opportunities, which distracted and jet-lagged travellers in unfamiliar surroundings can present. Make it impossible or difficult for them, or slow them down, and they lose interest.

When such an opportunity does arise, they move on the luggage immediately, no matter the make, colour or model. The big orange or pink case may get your attention at the airport or bus station, but the unattended case or duffel nearby has the full attention of the thief.

I like to think that a luggage case gets me to a destination with items protected inside that will allow me to either work or vacation there comfortably. By making it easier to inspect my belongings using a TSA lock all these years without incident, I have facilitated my own ability and that of others to travel quickly, efficiently, and safely. Theft is really secondary, and never an obsession.
Your post involves a lot of common sense, I like it.

The one bone I will pick with you is regarding this:

Quote:
By making it easier to inspect my belongings using a TSA lock all these years without incident, I have facilitated my own ability and that of others to travel quickly, efficiently, and safely. Theft is really secondary, and never an obsession.
The flaw in this statement is the implicit proposition that the TSA's inspection of baggage (and the TSA in general) has any relationship of any kind to "safety". That's false. Baggage inspection does not make us "safer", nor do full body scanners, or requiring travellers to provide birthday, gender, etc., when travelling. What these things accomplish, actually, are just allowing the government to keep closer tabs on the populace, catch people with outstanding arrest warrants, or in violation of silly rules such as possession of certain illegal plants, etc., and it enables law enforcement to ratchet up its degree of control over people and alter the balance of power between government and the people. I'm not afraid of terrorizers. They are vanishingly rare, a rounding error, really. They don't exist. Over 3,000 people (the # who died in the tragedy of 9/11) die each month in car wrecks in the US. We don't have a "war on auto accidents", do we? That would make more sense, than a war on terrorizers who basically don't exist.

I'm more afraid of institutions such as governments, really. What does the future hold for the US? Looks like we're headed to a police state, with the government trotting out these "Terrorizer" strawmen as the excuse for us surrendering the bill of rights to them. Want to defeat a full body scanner? Strap a knife to your leg, so it's perpendicular to the imaging plane. It works, google it. The TSA was pressuring news organizations not to cover that story. Don't want the embarrasment of admitting all the money being spent is accomplishing nothing (but police state goals). Or stuff the weapon in a body cavity. It's easy. The "terrorizers" (who do not exist, anyway), if they did exist, know what the security measures are and obviously can devise their plans to go around them. But that's fine by the government. In fact, it's welcome, because any workaround the "terrorizers" (who don't exist, anyway, statistically) come up with gives them a good excuse to demand that the people surrender more sovereignty to the State.

So unfortunately your use of TSA-openable locks actually does nothing whatsoever to facility "safety". It just offers the government the right to rummage through your personal belongings for no good reason whatsoever, and without a warrant, without them breaking your bag or locks. So you could rephrase your last sentence as follows:

My use of TSA locks has enabled the US government to rummage through my things, looking for illegal plant material, or pornography, or whatever it is they currently, or in the future, will feel like chasing after, without probable cause or a warrant, without breaking my locks or my bags.

That'd be more accurate.

Last edited by flyster; Mar 31, 12 at 8:32 am..
flyster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 31, 12, 1:17 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,186
I think you missed my point. I fly a great deal on business, and it is getting through the security process I was remarking on. An example in North America.

I waited for a connection flight on to Japan at LAX in 2002. A very long wait.
I sat near the TSA security check, just ahead of the escalator at the United terminal, or the one United was then using, at the last terminal.

About one hour later a tall fellow in black jeans and a black t-shirt was suddenly the subject of attention, and passengers in line rapidly pulled away from being near him. TSA had found a gun in his hand bag, and he was then swarmed by other police officers and customs agents which he towered over.

Some of the TSA agents were struggling to open his other bag, which 4 of them finally did. For some reason then and only then he was handcuffed, and finally then escorted away.

Total time about 15-20 minutes, and yes, quite a show.

As to my previous comment, I think it was pretty clear.

By using a TSA lock that was assembled onto the luggage case, I can open it and close it quickly, without fumbling around with a cable tie, or larger combination lock that might be dropped and lost.

That translates into a fluid, smooth entry and exit from the security process, and does not hold up, or stall other passengers in the process, a courtesy we should all expect and strive for. If my TSA locks facilitate that orderly process, then I am all for them. As most of us already know they really aren't going to slow down a determined and experienced thief from breaking into a travel case. They are for the TSA process alone.

I have experienced 10-12 flights with security checks with passengers directly in front of us holding up the process with anything from stereo and evidentally valuable recording equipment packed nicely in a loose hand-carry soft bag falling everywhere due to the broken zipper, to large hack-saw type knife being found in carry-on bag of a passenger returning to the Netherlands. Or so he thought.

For these reasons I want to get through the security process as quickly as possible. The former I can accept, but the latter I really do not want to fly with.

There remain a large number of brain-dead zombies out there that will try and attempt to hand-carry or pack weapons, drugs, laundered money, drugs and other contraband in flight luggage. And those are just the "normal" flyers, not the really bad guys.

And I have been flying to North and South America, the Mid-East, and Asia since 1965. I can remember the days in Germany and Europe with far more invasive security checks ( guns, dogs at the leash, testing of calculators, etc) with Baader-Meinhof, Brigatisti Rosse, and the Tupamaros, than the methods observed today.

Like " Up in the Air " hopefully one learns to get through the process like the other experienced travellers do. Samsonite or Rimowa, functioning TSA locks are part of that process.
Swissaire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 12, 4:15 pm   #10
Ory
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NYC
Programs: Marco Polo Gold
Posts: 133
If you want quality, longevity and lightweight classic luggage, with stealth, get the Salsa in black. You will not regret it.

If you are traveling only to first world countries and staying in the cities and can risk having luggage that is less innocuous, then get the Topas or Topas Stealth, however note that these will dent and scratch every time you put them in the trunk of a cab or place them down.

If you prefer the clasp locks to the zipper locks, then get the Limbo, but remember that the Salsa is a lot lighter and still very sturdy.

If you are checking luggage, forget the aluminum Topas, because it will dent and scratch in no time. If you are going for 26", consider a 22" cabin trolley and a messenger bag for your laptop etc or Scottevest, you will not regret the time saved and ease of mind of having everything in the cabin with you.

If you take cabin luggage you can risk the Topas over the Salsa a little more. Still, the black polycarbonate Salsa will still look brand new in 5 years; the Topas will not. The zipper lock is good, those zippers can take 250+ psi of pressure (if I remember the specs correctly).

Get a two-wheeled version, not the four-wheeled one.
Ory is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 12, 11:49 pm   #11
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: LAX/OXR/BUR/YYZ/YKF/BUF
Programs: COdbaUA 1K, AA EXP, Hilton Gold, Omni Platinum, Hertz 5*, NEXUS and GE
Posts: 3,976
How about door number 3? Rimowa Classic Flight. Light, well priced if you order from Germany, beautiful without drawing too much attention.
__________________
So mad about WEDONTCARE infiltrating United's customer relations department that I created a signature.
N1120A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 3, 12, 4:04 am   #12
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 830
Oh the Rimowa Classic Flight looks superb nice. How come I never heard of this before, only Limbo/Salsa/Topas?
chx1975 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 3:53 am.




SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.