The Rimowa Essential, previously known as Rimowa Salsa, is the light weight, super sturdy and more affordable polycarbonate line from Rimowa.
In 2018 not only the name changed from Salsa to Essential, the suitcase also received a facelift, a different presentation and some new colorways.
In this review the Rimowa Essential Cabin S will be examined, inside and outside.
The Rimowa Essential Cabin S is the smallest suitcase from the Essential line. Looking at the label the Essential line is manufactured in the Czech Republic. The last two digits of the serial number reveal in what year it was manufactured. This particular suitcase has been manufactured in 2018. The Essential line come in two type of finish. A gloss and a matte finish. The gloss finish comes in five colors while the matte finish comes in two colors.
- Matte Blue
- Matte Black
- Gloss Red
- Gloss Blue
- Gloss Black
- Gloss White
- Gloss Green
Surprisingly there is a dust bag included with the polycarbonate model. I was always under the impression this was only added with the aluminum, more expensive, models. What I immediately noticed after unpacking the suitcase from the box is that the dust bag is of a lesser quality than the dust bag that comes with the Rimowa Original. It’s a bit thinner and feels less rugged. Nonetheless it’s an improvement to the plastic bag the polycarbonate were wrapped in previously.
I wouldn’t recommend a boxcutter to open the box. The suitcase exactly fits the box, it’s almost squeezed in the box. So when you would try to open it with a boxcutter there is a chance you will cut the top of the suitcase. Please be careful!
The color from the Essential above is Gloss Red. The color excites me and it looks like a big red kiss on wheels. When checking the Rimowa webshop this one is clearly one of the most popular colors, since it’s low in stock.
In this review I’m using different type of color Essentials in order to show you as much of the colors the Essential is available in.
The Rimowa logo has a prominent place in the top center of the suitcase. It looks like it has been made of aluminum. The riveted logo gives the suitcase a more high end feel. If it wasn’t for the logo it would have been too much plastic to me. The aluminum is a nice diversification from the plastic.
The outside of the Essential is made out of two shells which are married together by a zipper. In the middle of the back side resided a piece of leather which holds the backside of the two shells together. The zipper contains two pull tabs which have the Rimowa log on it. You can close or lock the suitcase by clicking the two pull tabs inside the TSA combination lock. It’s very tedious to wriggle the two tabs inside the the TSA-lock. I also don’t have the feeling it’s a very safe solution. I believe that with a little force you can easily open the case. It’s only the two pull tabs that are in the way.
The wheels on the Essential are great. Rimowa haven’t made in any spectacular changes to the wheels in years and I don’t believe there is a lot of room for improvement anymore. It’s a real joy to travel with the Multi-Wheel system from Rimowa. You can roll the suitcase standing upright and you can carry it sideways.
The suitcase in general is very lightweight. It’s lighter than the aluminum Original model. If you looking for an even lighter model then Rimowa also has the Essential Lite line. The Rimowa Essential Lite are so light that I actually thought the box it came in was empty.
The interior consist of two Flex-Dividers. The Flex-Dividers are meant to hold and compress your clothes into each half of the suitcase. The Flex-Divider itself has also a compartment which can hold socks or underwear. The interior for all color Essentials are dark of color and have a water repellent cloth. Previous models had a light interior and didn’t had a water repellent cloth, this could easily result in visible stains.
The Rimowa Essential Cabin is the perfect suitcase when travelling for a weekend or midweek. With seven different color there is a Rimowa Essential for everyone’s liking. It’s safe to say it’s the most complete cabin around. It’s still pricey but compared to other Rimowa models, and then especially the aluminum models, the price is very reasonable. I believe the Rimowa Essential can be compared to the Iphone SE, Apple released a couple of years ago. It’s a great entry model Rimowa. The polycarbonate is not as beautiful as the aluminum but it’s more functional since it’s lighter and more robust.