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Frequent travelers know all about luggage frustrations. Cheap suitcases rip, jam and even split down the middle. When you’re living out of your bag, having it damaged or lost by an airline is the last thing you need. But, it happens all too often. That’s why so many business travelers choose to invest in arguably the best luggage on the market, the Rimowa suitcase.
Rimowa is a German company specializing in high-end, anodized aluminum suitcases. These rolling cases often cost $1,000 or more, but they are still incredibly popular thanks to their impressive durability and eye-catching style. Celebs, such as Jessica Alba and Elle Fanning, have been spotted toting the Rimowa Topas. And, this high-end luggage brand also called upon the likes of Rhianna and Patti Smith for a recent fashion campaign, which is something we can’t imagine Samsonite or AmazonBasics doing.
You might be wondering what sets a Rimowa suitcase apart from others, and ultimately we’d say it comes down to quality and design. These pieces of luggage are made with total precision and the best materials. They also boast the following features:
- Appearance – It’s arguable that Rimowa suitcases have the most iconic appearance in the entire luggage world. The sleek aluminum finish and signature grooves make them recognizable across the airport terminal. Plus, they instantly associate the user with quality, wealth and style.
- Lock – You won’t find a Rimowa suitcase without a TSA-approved lock. This is great for frequent fliers, as they’re a security measure recognized by airports across the USA.
- Wheels – Rimowa suitcases have four patented Multi Wheels to allow for easy movement in all directions. These wheels make it possible to smoothly guide your suitcase by your side when it’s stood up straight or when you tilt it slightly forward to follow behind you.
- Organization – Inside a Rimowa suitcase, you’ll find organizational features, such as compression straps for packing in all your required garments as well as zipped pockets for separating your valuables. These suitcases also feature a patented Flex-Divider system, which is unique to the brand and useful for staying organized on the road.
- Weight – The aluminum construction of a Rimowa suitcase makes it both lightweight and highly durable. The smaller of these bags are ideal as hand luggage, as you can pick them up using the attached side or top handles while your belongings stay protected inside the hard casing. Equally, you can feel confident knowing your belongings are protected when opting for one of the larger models and checking it into the hold.
The thing about the iconic Rimowa suitcases is the airplane-sleek aluminum lasts for years without giving out. Plus, the multi-wheel system rarely jams, and the telescopic handle remains smooth, even after miles of use. These tough cases are made to last for decades.
It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that many companies have taken the qualities of the Rimowa case and used the design to inspire their very own carry-on and check-in bags. Perhaps best of all, these cases are available at far more budget-friendly prices. Take a look through 17 of the best Rimowa suitcase alternatives available now.
1. AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage
Inexpensive yet well-made, the AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Luggage fulfills your travel needs. The 20-inch size is ideal for weekend getaways or as a carry-on suitcase for international flights. The lined interior boasts three zippered pockets and is expandable up to 15%. Plus, the bag features a telescopic handle and four multi-directional spinner wheels.
2. Coolife Luggage Expandable Suitcase
While it isn’t made from metal like the Rimowa, this Coolife case is about a tenth of the price and still boasts a metallic exterior. Plus, you can increase the capacity of the Coolife Luggage Expandable Suitcase by 15 percent when you unzip its otherwise hidden strip of extra material. Although this case is available in 20-inch carry-on size and a slightly larger 24-inch version, it’s only this 28-inch suitcase that has the capability to expand. Inside the case’s spacious interior, you’ll find two fully lined compartments with additional mesh pockets for organization. If you’re one for getting carried away with shopping on vacation, then this suitcase is a great choice for you.
3. Kenneth Cole Reaction Renegade
With its aluminum frame and tough ABS exterior, the Kenneth Cole Reaction Renegade is ready to take on even the toughest adventures. The case’s rigid design helps minimize the appearance of scratches that occur naturally over time. This luggage case is available in a wide variety of colors, but we recommend the silver version if you’re trying to imitate a Rimowa suitcase. Plus, this luggage features a retractable push-button handle, making it easy to transition from pulling it behind to storing it in the overhead bin in one smooth motion.
4. Coolife Luggage Aluminum Frame Suitcase
The Coolife Luggage Aluminum Frame Suitcase is again almost identical in appearance to the Rimowa and the Newest Trolley Luggage. The main difference is that this suitcase boasts a brushed finish on the PC material, which makes it look less shiny and more matte than the Rimowa. Another nice feature is the protective bumper corners, which protect this suitcase from denting easily. The Coolife Luggage is available in three different sizes from carry-on to giant.
5. American Tourister Breakwater Hardside Spinner Suitcase
If you often find lifting your rolling suitcase a bit awkward, the American Tourister 28” Breakwater Hardside Spinner Suitcase might be the best choice for you. It features two easy-lift handles on the front of the bag in addition to a retractable handle. Plus, this bag comes in a metallic-styled, patterned exterior, but it’s actually made from lightweight ABS plastic. Inside, you’ll find a material lining with a cross strap for holding your belongings securely in place. Furthermore, this durable suitcase features a four-wheel spinner system which provides easy rolling in every direction.
6. LEVEL8 Luminous Textured Carry-On Luggage
BEST POLYCARBONATE ALTERNATIVE
Although the LEVEL8 Luminous Textured Carry-On Luggage isn’t made from metal, its polycarbonate construction still makes it extremely durable. Plus, it’s less likely to show scratches and marks than a traditional metal suitcase would. This textured suitcase is available in five different colors to suit all styles as well as two different sizes, one of which is sized to be a carry-on. You can also order both sizes as a two-piece set, which is ideal for vacation.
7. DELSEY Paris Titanium Hardside Expandable Luggage
Built with the business traveler in mind, the Delsey Paris Titanium Hardside Expandable Luggage is both fashionable and functional. The polycarbonate shell is complemented by four double spinner wheels, and the handle features a one-button locking system for ease of use. In addition, this luggage features a modern, TSA-approved, recessed lock. But the best part of this bag is its compact size and quality metallic finish that give it a super chic appearance.
8. SWISSGEAR Hardside Suitcase
The SWISSGEAR 28” Hardside Suitcase is probably the closest thing to a Rimowa at under $200. The exterior boasts the same groves and silver, metallic exterior as the pricey Rimowa, but it also goes above and beyond with eight spinning wheels, a dual-locking, retractable handle and wrapped grab handles for easy carrying when it’s not relying on the smooth wheels. Furthermore, the polycarbonate case is expandable, allowing you to pack all those extra souvenirs when you return from your vacation.
7. Samsonite Centric Expandable Hardside Carry On
BEST FOR FREQUENT FLIERS
Samsonite is a huge name in luggage, and it could be argued that their Centric Expandable Hardside Carry On is excellent value for the money. The bag is built from a lightweight yet durable polycarbonate material and has been given a stylish twill exterior to prevent scuffs and scratches. In addition, the roomy shell design can be expanded up to one inch, and the smooth-rolling wheels make dragging this bag actually enjoyable. Overall, this Samsonite luggage is a safe bet for frequent fliers.
10. DOMINOX All Aluminum Carry On Luggage
The DOMINOX All Aluminium Carry On Luggage offers the choice of four patterns to choose from when purchasing a new suitcase. Although the silver aluminum edges and corners remain the same throughout each design, the large flat panels are available with either a star-studded, striped or industrial appearance. This suitcase is a fun alternative to a Rimowa suitcase because it still has many of the same premium features, including a TSA-approved lock, four 360-degree spinner wheels and interior organization straps.
11. Samsonite Winfield 3 DLX Hardside Luggage
BEST RANGE OF COLORS
With eight different options to choose from, you can be confident that the Samsonite Winfield 3 DLX Hardside Luggage is available in a color you’ll love. It’s constructed from a tough and durable polycarbonate that can withstand the rigors of regular travel and resist scratches along the way, too. This smart luggage option includes a 1.5-inch expansion which is ideal for travelers who love to pick up souvenirs on their travels. Inside the case, you’ll find two sets of adjustable braces for holding your clothes in place as well as a central wall with zippered pockets for smaller items.
12. Newbee Fashion Cloud 9 Aluminum Hard Case
By sporting two built-in, TSA-approved locks, you can be sure that the Newbee Fashion Cloud 9 Aluminum Hard Case is going to keep your belongings secure. The case itself is made from 100% Aviation Series 5 Grade Aluminum-Magnesium Alloy which gives it a lightweight and durable build quality. The inside of the case has been fully lined, while multi-use organizational pockets make the task of packing much easier than with standard, open-space luggage options. Additionally, if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, this case is available in an attractive champagne color which gives it a solid, gold-like appearance.
13. YUEMAI Aluminum Alloy Luggage
BEST ALUMINUM ALLOY
From the very first time you set eyes on the YUEMAI Aluminium Alloy Luggage Hard Shell, you’ll see that it’s built to last. Looking a little more like a tank than a suitcase, this aluminum alloy case will hold strong throughout your travels. It comes in a classic silver color similar to that of a real Rimowa, and it sports a handy, keyless, TSA-approved lock built into the case. The aviation quality of the aluminum, the double bearing spinner wheels and the step-less shift lever add to the durability of this case.
14. Travelking Aluminum Luggage Carry-On Suitcase
Coming in a choice of gray or silver, the Travelking Aluminum Luggage Carry-On Suitcase ticks all the boxes for a durable and reliable carry-on suitcase. Its attractive appearance is also very easy to pick out from a crowd. The sturdy design includes an all-aluminum construction with extra reinforcement around the corners and an alloy bumper. It boasts a 50-liter capacity which is ideal for weekends and short stays away. Furthermore, for near-unbeatable comfort through the airport, the dual-blade rubberized spinner wheels are exceptionally quiet, while the three-step handle sits at whichever height suits you best.
15. Monos Carry-On Pro Plus
With about 200 existing customers awarding the Monos Carry-On Pro Plus five out of five stars, you can feel confident in this suitcase as the best alternative to a real Rimowa. Plus, while it’s still one of the more expensive bags on our list, it’s still a fraction of the cost of the real deal. This solution to traveling in style is available in a wide variety of colors, including two attractive special edition designs. You’ll also find that Monos makes their suitcases with the same attention to detail as a Rimowa, which is why this newer suitcase brand has a growing popularity and a sparkling reputation.
16. The Jaunt by Roam
Roam is another newcomer to the luggage industry, but the brand is quickly making a name for itself thanks to its lightweight, feature-heavy bags. The Jaunt weighs just 7.3 pounds, making it one of the lightest on our list. It’s also one of the most waterproof, thanks to its water-repellent zipper and water-resistant fabric lining. Other features include a telescoping handle with four height settings, smooth ball bearing wheels and a TSA-approved combination lock. And while it doesn’t feature the aluminum, grooved exterior that makes the Rimowa famous, the dual-color appearance of this Roam case is equally as attractive.
17. Tumi Aluminum International Expandable Spinner
Tumi is one of the hottest names in luggage at the moment. They make quality cases that can last a lifetime, much like a real Rimowa. However, a Tumi case is about half the price of the $1000+ bags. This attractive bag is made from durable aluminum and comes in three muted colors. The case itself is expandable thanks to the brand’s Lever Lock System, and it comes fitted with a TSA-approved combination lock to keep your belongings safe throughout your journey.