Rimowa Classic Flight Cabin: Taking the Classic Flight for a spin
Rimowa Classic Flight Cabin Multiwheel 33.0L
The Rimowa Classic Flight Cabin (917.52.00.4) combines the best of both worlds. It combines the classic recognizable aluminium look with the price of the polycarbonate models. The Classic Flight models have a retro look but is equipped with modern techniques like the TSA-locks and the Multiwheel system. The suitcase is the smallest IATA cabin trolley from the Classic Flight models. The dimensions are 21.7 x 15.7 x 7.9 in (55 x 40 x 20 cm) and can hold 33 liter.
This Classic Flight Cabin was my first Rimowa I owned and travelled with. I can remember it felt pretty cool to own my first Rimowa and travelling with it. What I also remember is that I was just too careful with the case. I was too afraid it got scratched or dented. It’s like when you have new white sneakers. If somebody steps on them you have to neutralize them. But there is no escaping, your Rimowa will get scratched and dented anyways.
Ok let’s start from the top. I will unbox this one again. An important thing to look for is where the suitcase is manufactured. You can find it on the label on the box. This one says CZ, so it’s made in the Czech Republic just like the polycarbonate models. The Classic Flight I used to own was made in Germany. I don’t know why they shifted production to the Czech Republic. I guess because the labour costs are a lot cheaper. I’m always a bit disappointed when I buy a Rimowa and it’s not made in Germany.
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.
After removing the plastic bag from the suitcase the Classic Flight Cabin reveals itself. I have to say it looks great. The silver aluminium alloy really gives that premium look and feel. The handles on the side and on the top are made from leather. The leather complements the silver aluminium and adds to the retro look.
Because the Classic Flight models are lower priced than the Topas, Rimowa had to save on some features. The first thing that strikes me is the different kind of locking system. It’s still an IATA combination lock but it’s a totally different system than on the Topas. It doesn’t come with an Add-a-Bag holder and the corners are less rigid than the ones on a Topas. The corners also have a polished look. Personally I prefer the matte look. Another thing is that it only has one Flex-divider. Which isn’t an issue to me, because I think two Flex-dividers is too much for a cabin case.
The Multiwheel system is great. The Multiwheel system on the Classic Flight models are the same as on all the other Rimowa models. You won’t find another trolley that rolls as smooth and steady as a Rimowa does. The hinges strangely enough don’t say “Made in Czech Republic”. It’s says Rimowa and the other side of hinge is just empty. However the cases that are made in Germany or Canada have “Made in …” on the hinges.
I don’t like the locks on the Classic Flights. Or I should say I prefer the locks on the Topas Models. I will break down why I don’t like the locks. First off all many people don’t even know how to open the locks. They don’t understand how it works. They see a metal square and don’t know what to do with it. Should they press it? Twist it? To open the lock they first need to have the combination correct and then they should slide it outwards. It’s not that hard, but I can understand that people just don’t get it. Secondly, when you slide the lock, the metal flap is released with so much force that you will wake up everyone in the house.
The leather handles are great. I really like this leather accent. Leather tends to look even better when it gets older and used. This is the one thing that I think Rimowa did much better than on the Topas. The Topas handles are robust, no question about it. But aesthetically really dull. The handles on the Classic Flight really fit the retro look. The leather handles also have a much better grip than the handles on the Topas.
The design on the interior is really cool. The Junker plane, which was the inspiration for the famous grooves, is printed all over the interior. It adds up to the retro feel. The design is stylish and playful. Like I mentioned before the interior has only one Flex-divider instead of two, like the Topas has. To me this isn’t an issue and I even think two Flex-dividers is too much for a small cabin case.
What I can really appreciate is the attention to detail. The small aircrafts on the rivets is something I only noticed after a few months. Luckily this case is still handmade and every case is inspected before leaving the factory. This inspector’s name is stamped in the warranty booklet.
I already made some comparisons with the Rimowa Topas Cabin Multiwheel 32.0L. Somehow I feel like the Topas is it’s bigger more serious brother. The Classic Flight is a great suitcase, the only real drawback is the locking system. What still is great about the locks is that you don’t have to go all around the suitcase with a zipper. That system is the worst in my opinion. But the locking system on the Topas is just better than the one on the Classic Flight. It’s a great and stylish (and aluminium!) suitcase for a reasonable price.