Updated on January 10th, 2023

Essential Cabin and Hybrid Cabin are similar carry-on luggage with identical grooves, interiors, and wheels. While the Essential is 100% polyester, has a zip, and comes in many fashionable colors, the Hybrid combines polyester with aluminum, has a sleek locking system, and comes in contemporary looks.

Looking for the perfect suitcase for a short weekend or business trip? You cannot go wrong with a Rimowa Cabin.

Rimowa is the go-to brand for luxury suitcases. Rimowa suitcases feature high-end materials, making them strong and durable yet lightweight. They provide the best in high-tech functionality with plush interiors, TSA-approved locks, easy-steering wheels, and more.

Rimowa suitcases are available in different sizes. The Cabin is one of the carry-on sizes of Rimowa luggage. Cabins are designed to fit in the overhead compartments of most airlines. So, they are excellent for purposeful short trips.

There are different Rimowa models, so knowing what Rimowa cabin to choose can be confusing.

This article aims to reduce the selection confusion. We’ll do this by outlining the differences between the Cabins of Rimowa Essential and Rimowa Hybrid.

At the end of this article, you’ll know whether you should make the Rimowa Essential Cabin or the Rimowa Hybrid Cabin your travel buddy.

Main features of the Rimowa Essential Cabin

The Rimowa Essential Cabin is a lightweight polycarbonate carry-on luggage from the German brand for traveling with minimal stress.

In recent times, Rimowa has made many changes to the Essential, giving it a desirable facelift.

The main features of the Rimowa Essential Cabin are as follows:

Size of the Rimowa Essential Cabin

The Rimowa Essential is available in cabin, check-in, and trunk sizes. So, the Cabin is one of the smallest Rimowa Essential models.

There are two Essential cabin options. The main cabin measures 55 x 39 x 23 cm (21.7 x 15.8 x 9.1 inch), weighs 3.2 kg (7.1 lbs), and has a storage capacity of 36 L (9.8 Gal).

Rimowa Essential Cabin vs Rimowa Hybrid Cabin: Detailed dimensions of the Rimowa Essential Cabin

The other Cabin is the smaller Essential Cabin S, ideal for packing for shorter trips.

Essential Cabin SEssential Cabin
Dimension55 x 39 x 20 cm (21.7 x 15.4 x 7.9 inches)55 x 39 x 23 cm (21.7 x 15.8 x 9.1 inches)
Linear Dimension 114 linear cm (45 linear inches)117 linear cm (46.6 linear inches)
Weight3.1 kg (6.8 lbs)3.2 kg (7.1 lbs)
Storage space34 L (9 Gal)36 L (9.8 Gal)

Materials of the Rimowa Essential Cabin

The Rimowa Essential Cabin has a strong but lightweight polycarbonate shell. It also has plush polyester insides, plastic handles, and hard plastic wheels. 

The exterior of the Rimowa Essential Cabin

Rimowa Essential Cabin is the first polycarbonate suitcase from Rimowa. 

Rimowa is the first company to design and manufacture polycarbonate suitcases. So, the Essential is a pioneer in the luggage industry. Polycarbonate is a virtually unbreakable plastic that is an essential component of body armor and bulletproof glass.

Thus, the outer shell of the Essential Cabin is not only incredibly strong, but it is also super light.

Also, the lightweight cabin case reacts elastically under load. It means the Rimowa Essential Cabin slightly expands to let you pack more. When the external pressure diminishes, it springs back to its original shape.

Lastly, the Essential Cabin exterior is available in both matte and gloss finishes. There are two color options for matte exterior cabins and over a dozen colors for gloss exteriors.

These range from contemporary colors (like white gloss and black gloss) to exciting colors (like raspberry, citron yellow, azure blue, bamboo green, etc.).

Rimowa Essential Cabin Matte Black 83253634
Rimowa Essential Cabin Matte Black 83253634
Rimowa Essential Cabin Matte Blue 83253614
Rimowa Essential Cabin Matte Blue 83253614
Rimowa Essential Cabin Pine 83253594
Rimowa Essential Cabin Pine 83253594
Rimowa Essential Cabin Raspberry 83253584
Rimowa Essential Cabin Raspberry 83253584
Rimowa Essential Cabin Slate Gloss 83253834
Rimowa Essential Cabin Slate Gloss 83253834
Rimowa Essential Cabin White Gloss 83253664
Rimowa Essential Cabin White Gloss 83253664
Rimowa Essential Cabin Black Gloss 83253624
Rimowa Essential Cabin Black Gloss 83253624
Rimowa Essential Cabin Green Gloss 83253684
Rimowa Essential Cabin Green Gloss 83253684

The interior of the Rimowa Essential Cabin

The Rimowa Essential Cabin has luxurious interiors featuring polyester fabric. 

The soft fabric keeps your materials safe. The suitcase inside also has two polyester flex-dividers that hold your clothes in place when moving with the suitcase.

Rimowa Essential Cabin Interior
Rimowa Essential Cabin Interior

The handles of the Rimowa Essential Cabin 

The Essential Cabin has plastic handles that offer easy gripping. The suitcase also has a telescopic handle with a plastic grip area. 

The telescopic handle slides in and out of the suitcase easily. It makes it easy to navigate the suitcase, as it allows you to pull the case behind you on two wheels.

The wheels of the Essential Cabin

The Essential Cabin has sturdy wheels made of hard plastic. This means the wheels will handle any terrain and will not give up on you.

The wheels are durable and allow easy steering of the case as they are ball-bearing mounted wheels with cushioned axles.

Design of the Rimowa Essential Cabin

The Rimowa Essential Cabin features the iconic Rimowa grooves on its exterior. The cabin has a TSA-approved lock integrated into it, and its two shells are connected through a strong plastic zipper.

The grooves

The essential Cabin features the exotic parallel grooves that Rimowa is known for. The grooves run along the length of the suitcase, terminating about half an inch at the edge. This makes the exterior very impressive.

Grooves of the Rimowa Essential Cabin stop before the edge

The locks

The two shells of the cabin connect through a zipper. The zipper has two pull tabs for closing and opening the case.

To close the case, pull the two tabs to meet beside the TSA-approved combination lock on the top right corner of the case. Then slide the hook on the underside of each tab head into slots in the combination lock.

zipper-based TSA-approved  locks of the Rimowa Essential Cabin

Opening the Essential cabin is also easy. You push a lever on the combination lock to release the zip pullers. Then you pull them away from each other to open the case.

Main features of the Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

The Rimowa Hybrid Cabin is a carry-on suitcase from the German brand that combines two of the world’s most advanced suitcase materials – resilient aluminum and lightweight polycarbonate.

Size of the Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

The Rimowa Hybrid Cabin is available in cabin and check-in sizes. The main cabin measures 55 x 40 x 23 cm (21.7 x 15.8 x 9.1 inches), weighs 3.8 kg (8.4 lbs), and has a storage space of 37 L (9.8 Gal).

Size of the Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

There’s a smaller cabin for an even shorter trip (Hybrid Cabin S).

Hybrid Cabin SHybrid Cabin
Dimension55 x 40 x 20 cm (21.7 x 15.8 x 7.9 inches)55 x 40 x 23 cm (21.7 x 15.8 x 9.1 inches)
Linear Dimension 115 linear cm (45.4 linear inches)118 linear cm (46.6 linear inches)
Weight3.7 kg (8.2 lbs)3.8 kg (8.4 lbs)
Storage space32 L (8.5 Gal)37 L (9.8 Gal)

Materials of the Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

The Rimowa Hybrid Cabin uses polycarbonate for its main body and aluminum for its corners and handles. It also features a polyester interior and hard plastic spinner wheels.

The exterior of the Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

The Rimowa Hybrid has a body made of two materials. The case’s main body (exterior shell) is made of polycarbonate. But it has some metal parts, as its corners and handles are aluminum-magnesium alloy.

Being mostly polycarbonate, the Hybrid Cabin is also lightweight and easy to carry.

The Hybrid Cabin is available in matte and gloss exteriors. However, the color options are limited. Only white is available for the gloss exterior, while all black and blue are available for the matte exterior.

Rimowa Hybrid Cabin All-Black 88353674
Rimowa Hybrid Cabin All-Black 88353674
Rimowa Hybrid Cabin White 88353664
Rimowa Hybrid Cabin White 88353664

The interior of the Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

The interior space of the Hybrid Cabin also features polyester fabric and a flex-divider system.

The soft flex dividers will keep your items safe. They also create good interior laptop compartments.

Rimowa Essential Hybrid Cabin Interior 88353664
Rimowa Essential Hybrid Cabin Interior
Rimowa Hybrid Cabin Interior
Rimowa Hybrid Cabin Interior

The handle of the Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

The Rimowa Hybrid Cabin has two handles. The top handle is polycarbonate, while the main handle (at the side) is made of aluminum. The big aluminum handle offers a comfortable grip.

Rimowa Hybrid Cabin Lock
Rimowa Hybrid Cabin Lock

The Hybrid Cabin also has a telescoping handle that extends from the top. It makes maneuvering the suitcase a breeze.

The Wheels of the Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

The Hybrid Cabin has a multi-wheel system. The spinner wheels are made of hard plastic. Thus, they are sturdy and offer effortless steering when gliding on different terrains. 

Design of the Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

The Rimowa Hybrid Cabin has polycarbonate shells with the iconic Rimowa grooves, reinforced aluminum corners, and two TSA-approved locks that sit in dedicated slots.

The grooves of the Hybrid Cabin

The Rimowa Hybrid Cabin also has an impressive grooves design. Similar to the Essential, the grooves of the Hybrid stop just before the edge of the case.

The locks of the Hybrid Cabin

The Rimowa Hybrid has locks identical to those of the Rimowa Original. The two TSA-approved locks are in dedicated slots.

Opening the Hybrid Cabin is relatively easy as it does not use zippers. You simply bring the two halves of the suitcase together and snap in the locks.

The locks can act as leverage to close the suitcase if it is slightly over packed. The locks can hold the two halves in place while you force the case to close.

Opening the case is also very easy. You push a button on the combination lock, then pull the lock upward and outward.

Comparison between Rimowa Essential Cabin vs. Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

The Rimowa Essential Cabin and Rimowa Hybrid Cabin are similar in many ways.

They are both high-end pieces of German engineering. They are similarly-sized suitcases that fit in most airline overhead compartments (including jumper planes).

Also, the Essential Cabin and Hybrid Cabin are both status symbols for travelers. Both cabins have identical grooves design, high-end multi-wheel systems, luxurious interiors, and TSA-approved locks. 

But despite their similarities, the two cabins differ in the following:

  • Material
  • Carrying handle
  • Color options
  • Weight
  • Locking mechanism

Here’s a breakdown of the difference between the Rimowa Essential Cabin and Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

Rimowa Essential Cabin Rimowa Hybrid Cabin
MaterialIt’s made of 100% polycarbonate, making it super lightThe main body is polycarbonate, but the corners and the locks are aluminum-magnesium alloy 
Handle The carrying handles (on the side and top of the case) are similar, and both made of polyesterThe main handle (on the side) is relatively big and made of plastic. It’s heavier and more sturdy then the handle on the Essential
Color optionsThere are 12+ color options for the gloss-finished exterior Only one color is available in the gloss-finished exterior 
WeightSuper-light suitcase weighing just 3.2 kg (7.1 lbs).Also, super light. But because of its metal parts, it weighs 3.8 kg (8.4 lbs), which is slightly heavier than the Essential Cabin
Locking mechanismIt has a zipper system and a combination lock that “sits” on the case.It does not use zippers. The two halves snap shut automatically. It has combination locks in dedicated slots

Pros and cons of Rimowa Essential Cabin

The Rimowa Essential Cabin is an incredibly strong super-light suitcase. It has a plush interior and easy-steering wheels. However, it has a zipper system, which is not optimal for closing a suitcase.

Pros of Rimowa Essential Cabin

  • It’s a carry-on that fits into the overhead bins of most airlines.
  • It has a relatively strong shell, which is very durable.
  • It’s a super lightweight suitcase that you can easily carry around.
  • The shell reacts elastically (slightly expands) under load to make you pack more.
  • It’s available in both matte and gloss finishes.
  • The gloss cases are available in a wide range of colors.
  • It has a TSA-approved lock.
  • It has a telescopic retractable handle that makes the case easy to maneuver.
  • It has a luxurious interior with flex dividers that keep your items organized.
  • It has four wheels that spin 360 degrees, making the case glide effortlessly on floors.

Cons of the Rimowa Essential Cabin

  • The polycarbonate shell of the Essential Cabin may scratch more easily than hard aluminum cases.
  • The handle has lips on the edges, which often hook soft bags placed on the suitcase.
  • It uses a zipper system, which is not optimal for closing and opening a hard case.
  • The 36 L (9.8 Gal) storage space of the Essential Cabin would be insufficient to pack items for a long trip.

Pros and Cons of Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

The Rimowa Hybrid Cabin is the best of two worlds, as it is a lightweight suitcase featuring strong aluminum alloy at the right places. 

It also has a luxurious interior, spinner wheels, and impressive locks. However, limited color options may be a turn-off.

Pros of the Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

  • It is a carry-on suitcase that fits virtually every airline overhead bin.
  • It’s a super light case as its main body is polycarbonate.
  • Its corners are reinforced with aluminum-magnesium alloy, making the case extremely durable.
  • It has a relatively big and strong main handle, allowing easy carrying.
  • It has a telescopic handle for maneuvering the case when trotting it behind you.
  • It’s available in matte and shinier gloss finishes.
  • It has very impressive TSA-approved locks that sit in dedicated slots.
  • It has a plush polyester interior with flex dividers to keep items in place.
  • It has spinner wheels that easily move the case on different terrains.

Cons of Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

  • The polyester shell may scratch easier than the aluminum cases of some other models.
  • For long trips, the 37 L (9.8 Gal) storage space of the Hybrid Cabin may not be enough to hold all your travel essentials.
  • On the Hybrid models and Essentials a like there is this V-shaped stripe or ridge. I’ts on all the polycarbonate models so no worries, but it’s not clear what is causing this.
Rimowa Hybrid Cabin Close up look
Rimowa Hybrid Cabin Close up look

Which suitcase is best suited for your needs?

The Essential Cabin or Hybrid Cabin will serve you if you want the prestige of traveling with a luxury suitcase. This is because they are both status symbols carrying the prestigious Rimowa name.

The Essential Cabin or Hybrid Cabin will serve you if you want a high-quality suitcase perfect for a short trip. This is because their 37-38 L (9.8 Gal) space will hold all your travel essentials for a 1 – 5 day trip. 

The Essential Cabin or Hybrid Cabin will serve you if you want a super-durable suitcase that’ll last a lifetime or a super-light suitcase that is easy to carry. This is because their main body features an incredibly strong but lightweight material – polycarbonate.   

The Rimowa Essential Cabin and Rimowa Hybrid Cabin are well-designed, functional, and prestigious. Personal preference rules when determining which of the two to go for.

For example, the Rimowa Essential will appeal to you more if you want a cabin that spots exciting colors. However, if you don’t like zippers, you’ll tilt toward the Rimowa Hybrid Cabin and its sleek snap-and-close locking system.

Takeaway

The Rimowa Essential Cabin and Rimowa Hybrid Cabin are both luxury carry-on suitcases from the iconic German brand.

They are similarly sized and have identical grooves design, interior, wheel system, and more. However, they differ in their material make-up, carrying handles, locking mechanism, and color options.

  • The Essential Cabin is 100% polyester. But the Hybrid combines polyester and aluminum alloy. The Hybrid has a bigger aluminum main handle and has corners reinforced with riveted aluminum plates.
  • The Essential uses zippers. But the Hybrid has a more impressive locking system that snaps close when you bring the two halves together.
  • The Essential Cabin is available in various fashionable colors. But the Hybrid Cabin is available in only a few contemporary colors.

Outlining the differences between the Essential Cabin and Hybrid Cabin should make it easier for you to choose.

It’s the Essential Cabin if you want a fashionable cabin. It’s the Hybrid cabin if you want a more impressive lock system.

Want to know more about Rimowa suitcases and accessories? Check Gracefuldegrade for everything Rimowa.