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Carry Awards

The Carry Awards – Best Check In

by , January 9, 2013

Best Check In – Rimowa Salsa Air

“A hard case spinner that is lighter than most soft case wheelies”

Voting was surprisingly even in this category, but it was the Rimowa Salsa Air that finally came out on top. For checking bags in, weight restrictions are the new black, and the Rimowa walks the lightweight vs durability compromise better than any other spinner we’ve tried.

Spinner cases let you wheel your case through crowds and concrete without supporting the load vertically. However their design has generally been plagued by small wheels and weight issues. The Salsa Air reduces lining and hardware weight, while leaving the polycarbonate shell strong enough to resist most knocks. So you get a 3-odd kilogram case that can haul gear without creating excess luggage fees.

Styling looks, ‘just enough’ design, and some really well considered details (like the inset TSA lock) all reinforce why Rimowa is a favorite with the frequent traveller set.

  • Chuck

    Great luggage, also happened to chose it. How did the others fair compared to it? Can you please share the votes, or their percentages?

  • S-R

    Hey, first of, I’m one of the silent fans out there, really digg your work at carryology 🙂

    That said, I’m surprised to see a hard case winning this one, so far I thought that “While Hard cases offer a little more protection (but fail more radically), and generally offer better security, they also come with big compromises. They are heavier, and if you need to jam it in to a taxi boot, squeeze extra content in, or store it when not travelling – they suck.”

    • http://www.carryology.com/ ando

      Heya S-R,
      Hadrien makes some great points below. I’d love to expand on one other key factor, and that is ‘how strong do you want to be’.

      If you’re really fit, and not carrying too much weight, keeping your luggage on your back gives you great flexibility to run up stairs/catch trains/go down dirt roads.

      If your a little bit fit, and moving across a variety of sealed floors, then a large wheeled roller works pretty well. You still have to support some of the weight (like a wheel barrow), but it takes a chunk for you.

      If you are carrying loads, or only moving across very smooth surfaces, a spinner removes the need for supporting any weight, and lets you stack more bags on top.

      Each type of luggage has pluses and minuses. For instance, I used to use duffel bags (figuring I was strong enough), but after a 5 hour midnight trek across London, I swore I’d consider other options.

      Our goal is to encourage more of the benefits of each format, while also reducing the issues with each. For instance, we think that in 5 years, spinners are going to be under 3kg, have large wheels, a retractable strap for stairs, and will squish into a taxi boot when you need them to. Well, that’s our dream anyways…

  • Hadrien

    HI S-R.
    the question soft luggage vs Hard case luggage is a very interesting topic. It pushes to see, question and get to the essence of our expectations towards the products. To many bags / carry products are made the same way they have been made because that’s the way we make them.
    I feel that the hard cases have come a long way since the 70’s. And a long way in a short time, probably 3-5 years.

    The fact that they are heavier is not quite accurate anymore, Most are because they fall in the ‘that’s the way we make them’ category and some like the Rimowa are actually lighter than most bags soft or hard cases. It is 3.6 kg vs 5kg for most 85cm luggage. the only carry bag similar to this in weight is the samsonite cosmolite (ugly as) but 3.4 kg for the same size is pretty good.

    Soft cases are good to store when not traveling. But the feeling that you can always put more in the bag because it is soft is decisive. I have been deisgning bags for many years and I have learned one thing, Those fabric use on travel bags don’t stretch mostly because, to be durable they have a backing in PU / PVC / or other laminated sheet making the fabric impossible to stretch. the volume move around instead. So if you add more to the bag it will expand somewhere and contract somewhere else. like a plastic bag. So what do we really compress when we add stuff is the actual content. hard cases can do that too.

    Where I feel they are failing is the wheels construction (how durable they are?) and the ‘need to squish it in the boot’. that won’t work with a hard case. I think people that want the spining style won’t need to have strong wheels as they won’t get under massive stress between the car and the chek in – and carroussel to the taxi.
    Now if you are the kind of traveller that will take subway with strairs, or if you are not sure how to get from airport to the destination and walk around, then stronger wheels will be necessary.

    I think voting the Rimowa shows that weight in travel, durability, style and details are a massive components that most travel check-in luggage fail at. The mono telescopic handle is interesting too. for such a large bag common sense would be to question it. But it does work and not annoyingly spin around,. The plus for me is in the packing. 2 telescopic handles always make the bottom of the bag awkward to use. mono divide the volume in two and help increasing volume capacity.


  • Esperanza

    I prefer the Cosmolite by samsonite. Do you kown that this trolley doesn’t pass the standard tumble test?
    And his components are terrible, old, standard? You can buy all the components of the trolly from the chinese market and assemble them in your house.

  • http://donnielaw.com Donnie Law

    love me some rimowa!


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