Rimowa Tops Cabin Multiwheel 32.0L
The Rimowa Topas Cabin Multiwheel (92352004) is the smallest aluminium IATA carry-on from the Topas series. The case measures 21.7 x 15.7 x 7.9 in (55 x 40 x 20 cm). The Topas series is a real classic model, the silver aluminium luggage with the famous grooves. The price differs per region and range between 700 to 1000 usd. A pre-owned one in good condition is somewhere between 400 and 600 usd. Comparing prices, using coupons and checking Ebay for new or pre-owned cases could save you a considerate amount of money!
Purchasing a Rimowa is something special. The case will stay with you a lifetime and will only get more beautiful the more you travel with it. So let’s start with unboxing. The label on the box reveals already a lot about the case inside.
An important thing to look for is where the suitcase is manufactured. The label says DE which means the case is manufactured in Germany. I have also seen Topas Cases made in Canada (CA). Some people prefer to have a case that is made in Germany, so if that has any added value to you, ask your vendor where the case has been manufactured. I can imagine people expecting every Rimowa case to be made in Germany. If you don’t want to be disappointed first ask where the case is made.
The label also holds the serial number and the EAN/UPC number. You can check the Rimowa website for the serial number to see if you have purchased the correct one.
The box is made of a double layered carton and is closed with Rimowa labeled tape on both sides. When you purchase a Rimowa online, the box could have been opened already. The vendor could have inspected the item before shipping or if you purchased abroad the customs could have checked the item. No worries. The luggage itself has more indicators to see if the item is new and genuine. When opening the case you should find some extra protection cartons and the case is wrapped in a plastic bag.
Instinctively I check the case for dents and scratches. The case looks great to be honest and feels really sturdy and premium. The double layered carton and the extra protective carton really keep the case in place and protects it quite well. The first thing to look for is the label attached to the top handle. The label should be attached and sealed as shown on the picture.
The aluminum-magnesium material feels and looks great. It’s a real piece of art. I wouldn’t mind leaving it in the living room to display. I can’t imagine doing that with another cabin trolley. The corners show some matte area’s which is probably from bending the aluminium. It could be easily mistaken for some kind of damage. I don’t find it really disturbing but it really caught my attention when inspecting the surface.
Starting from the top. The top and side handles are flap back handle, which is really convenient, because the handles stay in place and don’t make noise when travelling with the case. Previous models didn’t had these flap back handles, so this is a real improvement.
Both shelves dont close with a zipper system like most cabin trolleys do but with 2 TSA-combination locks on the side. In comparison with a zipper system this is a really easy and hassle free system of locking and opening the trolley. What I like about the system is that you don’t need to look for the zipper and you don’t have to zip it up around the whole case. What I think is really confusing is the fact that the TSA lock has very clearly visible keyhole. Many people who are not familiar with the TSA-system will be assuming the trolley has to come with a key and won’t be able to find it of course. Only TSA employees at customs can open the case with a masterkey. You can only secure it with a combination lock.
The two shelves join really well. It looks almost airtight. A rubber insulation makes the case splash proof. As I understood from the Rimowa website, the case is only splash proof and not water proof.
The three hinges have a polished look, which compliments the trolley. It has Rimowa and made in Germany engraved to it. What I’ve noticed is that when the luggage is made in Germany or in Canada it is engraved on the hinges. However, when it is manufactured in the Czech Republic, the Classic Flights for example, the hinges don’t show made in Czech Republic. I don’t know if this is because it’s less cool or if the words Czech Republic are too long for engraving on the hinges. It’s just something I noticed.
Between the hinges a unique serial number can be found. The Rimowa service provider can identify the case with this serial number. The manufacture date and genuinity of the case can be validated with the serial number.
The Add-a-Bag holder on the front of the case can be used to strap on another smaller bag. In the Rimowa advertisements a Rimowa Beautycase is often used to demonstrate the Add-a-Bag holder. I have never used the Add-a-Bag holder and also can’t imagine me using it. On my travels I also have never seen anyone using this feature. If I have a extra bag, and that’s usually a backpack which holds my laptop and other stuff I often need to take out, I mount it to the telescope handle. This is much more sturdy and stable. Adding a bag to the Add-a-Bag holder will also increase the change of unnecessary scratching the surface.
The maneuverability of the Rimowa Topas Cabin Multiwheel is maybe its biggest asset. I’ve never owned a carry-on that maneuvers this smooth. Instead of dragging you can just push the case forward with one finger even if it’s a fully loaded case. I think this where Rimowa really stands out from competitors. All other features are nice but in the end you really want a carry-on that can be transported from A to B with the least effort.
The telescopic handle is solidly built. It can be retracted to two different length. When fully extended it reaches 44 inch (112 cm) from the ground to the top of the handle.
The interior has the signature classic blue color. The Flex-Divider system is like a sort of a plate which you can use to squeeze and divide your clothes and travel items with. What I really can appreciate is that your clothes don’t explode out of the suitcase when you open the case. Aside of that I think it takes up too much space for a relatively small suitcase. For check-in luggage this system would be more suitable.
What I found striking is that interior is mounted to the aluminum shelf with double sided tape. You won’t notice it unless you start pulling on the edges of the interior. This is not the kind of thing you would expect in a high-end premium product.
Compare and Contrast
So why choose the Rimowa Topas Cabin Multiwheel 32L? Why don’t choose the Rimowa Topas Cabin Multiwheel 34L which is 2 liter larger. Or the Topas Cabin Multiwheel 45L which is even larger but not an official IATA cabin size. Or the Rimowa Topas Stealth and Titanium? Both also made from aluminium and also come in 32L and 34L.
So why this model. I will first tell you why I choose this model. First of all this model is the original classic. It’s like the Porsche 911 among cabin trolleys. The aluminum silver color, the grooves, it’s a true classic. You will immediately recognize that this is a Rimowa. What I like about Rimowa is that is a real travel companion. It will get scratched and it will get dented but that will only make the suitcase more beautiful. It will give it character so to say. Some people like to keep their Rimowa spotless. I’m not one of them. So aside from the robustness and functionality, it’s just a aesthetically beautiful suitcase. For me this was enough reason the purchase this model. The functionality is debatable. But you also don’t buy a Porsche for it’s functionality.
Why not the 34L or the 45L?
The 32L can hold luggage for trips no longer than 3 days. The 34L is 2 liter larger and can hold hold an extra shirt and trousers. Most people choose the 34L because it’s a little bit larger and is still an official IATA cabin size. Both cases can fit in the overhead compartment of smaller and larger aircrafts. Because the case isn’t flexible, you won’t be able to squeeze it in somewhere.
The 45L is considered a cabin trolley but it’s not an official IATA size. Which means that IATA employees can request you to check in your luggage. If you are a person that like his or hers Rimowa spotless this can be a real issue. Little chance that your Rimowa will survive check in without getting scratched or dented.
Most people who consider purchasing the 45L mostly travel intercontinental or travel first or business class. Chances are slim that you need to check in this luggage if you fly first or business class. The overhead compartments are also larger than on domestic flights, so the 45L can fit easily in there.
- Beautiful aesthetic timeless suitcase
- Excellent maneuverability
- Great service
- Lasts a lifetime
- Easily scratched and dented
- No 100% certainty it’s manufactured in Germany
- No outer compartments