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The Most Expensive Suitcase I Own Is Actually Worth It

Even Mary Poppins would be impressed with how much sh*t fits in here.

Suitcase, Illustration,
abby silverman

Last month, I went on a four-day trip to Paris, France. And after blowing a paycheck on airfare, your girl was not about to drop even more money on checked bags.

But because it was mid-November (read: cold) and I was going to a place where very good fashun happens, I needed to cram sweaters, coats, jeans, and boots into a carry-on.

Enter: Rimowa’s Essential Lite bag.

Essential Lite Carry-On
RIMOWA nordstrom.com

I’ve had the pleasure of testing out an assortment of carry-on bags, including an Insta-famous brand—you know who you are—and less famous, less expensive hard-shell bags, but this is by far the bougiest luggage (like, $520 bougie) to post up under my bed.

And I’m happy to report that it is indeed a very solid carry-on. Here’s why she’s my new favorite.

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It’s ideal for overpackers.

When I cracked open this beauty, I was surprised to find that both sides of the suitcase were covered with zipper closures. At first, I was annoyed with the space restriction. But as I slowly filled it with two sweaters, a few pairs of jeans, a coat, boots, sweats, a crossbody bag, and hair tools, I was surprised by how much it held. AND even though I stuffed each side, the flexible poly fabric stretched to accommodate all my sh*t.

And since the internal zippers squished all my stuff flat, zipping the shell closed wasn’t as hard as with my other carry-ons.

It’s weirdly light.

Fun story: When I boarded the plane, I was annoyed to find that the people sitting behind me took my overhead bin—and there was enough space for only one bag. So I tried to shove my lil Rimowa in there anyway. It didn’t work, so I tried another bin…same deal. Finally, a flight attendant hooked my classy-ass bag up with a spot in business class (my bag is fancier than me). All of this is to say that I had to lift my bag A LOT and had no problem at all, despite my lack of upper-body muscles.

That probably makes sense since this bag is supposed to weigh 30 percent less than the brand’s Essential carry-on bag. Go team.

Rimowa is super durable.

The people behind this brand are so confident in their bag swag that they’ll repair or replace any damage (not incurred from traveling) for two years. If you register your bag online, that warranty will extend to five years.

FWIW, I hauled this bag onto public transit and through cobblestone streets, and by the end of my trip, it rolled just as smoothly as it did when I left.

It’s so damn smooth.

The wheels on this bad boy are ball-bearing mounted and have cushioned axles, both of which help them do their thing with less friction. All of that resulted in my gliding through the airport terminal like I was carrying nothing at all.

So. Damn. Pretty.

If you say you don’t buy a bag based on looks, you’re lying to yourself.

The Verdict

This thing is not cheap. But TBH, you get what you pay for. And if you travel a ton or just appreciate a suitcase you won’t have to replace in a couple of years, it could be worth the investment.

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