Well-Traveled: The Aluminum Suitcase

3 / 5
Billy Reid suede jacket, Levi's jeans and Oliver Peoples sunglasses.

The HSS aluminum suitcase of choice: the Rimowa Topas Multiwheel.

Try as you might to be an efficient and versatile packer, there are going to be times when a duffle bag or carry-on suitcase isn’t going to cut it. You’re going to need a large suitcase in your arsenal. And here at HSS, there’s one in particular that we prefer.

Here’s a rundown of some of the pros and cons as well as my experience with the Rimowa Topas Multiwheel.

rimowa topas multiwheel aluminum suitcase review

Pros: Very stylish and distinctive; fits more than you think; rolls extremely easily; mesh dividers keep clothing secure; option for various dividers, including a suit bag; TSA locks are a plus; takes on a healthy dose of character and looks better with age (but see below).

NOT HOW YOU ROLL? Try a leather duffle bag, then.

Cons: Dents and scratches easily (that first one really hurts…ouch!); hard to roll on hotel carpet (or cobblestones); did I mention the dents?

rimowa topas aluminum suitcase luggage review

| WEARING | Billy Reid suede jacket, Al Bazar shirt, Levi’s jeans, Oliver Peoples sunglasses, Rolex Datejust watch, To Boot New York boots | LUGGAGE | Rimowa Topas suitcase | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

Perfect For: World travelers, the jet set, the modern rake, guys who like to keep things for a long time and who appreciate them more when they’re broken in properly.

Our Pick: Rimowa Topas Multiwheel suitcase

rimowa topas aluminum suitcase luggage review

Rimowa Topas Multiwheel: My Experience

I bought my Rimowa Topas Multiwheel just about two years ago. I was looking for a new suitcase and I didn’t want another cookie cutter, department store fabric number – I wanted something with a distinctive style from a reputable brand that would last, get better with age, and yes, be super functional.

I flirted with the idea of a Globe-Trotter, but decided against it for a couple reasons, including the price point and practicality (or lack thereof). I travel a lot so while a Globe-Trotter would definitely fit the “distinctive” part of what I was looking for, I had concerns that it wouldn’t hold up over time and continue looking good and not beat up in a bad way.

I also wanted something that would roll. When I travel with a large suitcase, I invariably use all the space it has, which can make it quite heavy. Dragging a heavy suitcase through an airport terminal or around city streets is just plain awful. I’ve been there. So I knew I needed a four-wheel version.

rimowa topas aluminum suitcase luggage review

As is my nature, I embarked on some serious research, combing many luggage forums, reading reviews and comparing and contrasting various opinions I came across with what I was ultimately looking for.

I finally decided on a Rimowa Topas Multiwheel for its striking combination of form and function.

Honestly, this is my favorite suitcase I’ve ever owned. It’s very practical and functional, and of course, extremely stylish. You will definitely get some double-takes at hotels and airports rolling this around. It’s a great conversation starter.

PACK IT UP: How to fold your blazers, shirts and pants.

Although I love it, it has had a couple of issues. On my very first trip with it, it was damaged pretty badly. When I retrieved it from the the luggage carousel, one of the rivets on the corner fixture had been ripped off causing the fixture to also come almost completely off.

I had bought it from Zappos and after complaining that I didn’t think this should happen after one trip, they sent me a brand new one the very next day. Good on them.

rimowa topas aluminum suitcase luggage review

Since then, the only issue I’ve had was having one side of the wheel come off. It was an easy fix. I just called the Rimowa store on Madison Avenue, sent an email with photos, and a couple days later I had a replacement wheel. This kind of service is what the brand is known for.

I’m usually annoyed by these types of things to a point where I give up and move on to something else. But with the Rimowa Topas, I’m able to easily look past it. Why? Well, I love the way the suitcase feels: the way it rolls, how nimble the wheels are, how easy it is to maneuver. And from a style point of view, it’s remarkable.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

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Chime In

  • DJ Hargrave

    Style goes well beyond the man – even to his luggage.I always found aluminum options interesting..but at my age (20) I’m always iffy as to whether they’re a good fit for me.

    DJ H. |Menswear Enthusiast

    http://www.tailormade-style.com

  • Seth Nelson

    I have also been impressed with the customer service at Zappos. Glad they fixed the rivet.

    We splurged on a Samsonite Firelite. It is not cheap, but very light, easy to maneuver, and very durable. After a few trips it has a few scratches (affecting the color), but I like it. It adds character.

  • BTG88

    Better built and more stylish – http://shop.fpm.it/categorie/hardsideshell/36/

  • Neil Fowler

    “…decided against it for a couple reasons, including the price point…”

    I think you mean just “price”.