Would You Travel With Transparent Luggage?

Filed Under: Travel

Respected luggage manufacturer Rimowa has teamed up with Virgil Abloh, artistic director of menswear for Louis Vuitton (Louis Vuitton owns 80% of Rimowa), and designer of the streetwear label Off-White. Together they have produced a version of the popular and well-respected ‘Cabin Multiwheel’ carry-on bag in clear polycarbonate.

Meaning it is completely see-through.

Rimowa x Off-White. Source: Rimowa

The price?

$1,000, or €850.

The special transparent version is being released at the same time as Rimowa is making some minor changes to the Cabin Multiwheel, to celebrate Rimowa’s 120 year birthday:

  • new, lighter materials
  • (almost unnoticeable) ergonomic design tweaks
  • new wheel designs to maximize mobility
  • some practical storage features for frequent travellers

The bag is sold with packing bags, which are not even transparent.

Rimowa x Off-White. Source: Rimowa

It’s a NO from me

Even ignoring the extremely high price tag, I cannot think of a single travel situation where I would want transparent luggage. I travel Hand Luggage Only for most of my trips, and while I appreciate the quality and durability that Rimowa prides itself on (I usually use a much cheaper Rimowa cabin bag), it has everything I need for a trip in it which I don’t want the entire airport to be able to see.

The last time I went through Heathrow Airport two weeks ago, my cabin bag went through security and then was selected for secondary screening. The security officer could not tell me why the bag was selected for additional screening (the person viewing the x-ray footage seems to note something when they select the items for secondary screening, to assist the secondary screener).

He didn’t find anything, but that didn’t stop him from dumping all the items out of the bag, including my underwear (which I had not packed neatly), in front of dozens of people passing through the same security checkpoint.

That was embarrassing enough — I cannot imagine having this in a transparent bag for everyone to see the entire journey.

Other than saving you a few seconds by being able to tell exactly where in your bag a certain item is before you open it, I cannot think of a single benefit transparent luggage holds.

If there are security benefits of a transparent bag I would much rather one person open a black bag if they need to see its contents than everybody being able to see through a transparent bag.

Why do they provide black packing bags inside transparent luggage? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

Designer Virgil Abloh looking just as confused as I was when I first saw it. Source: Rimowa

Bottom line

Savvy frequent flyers are unlikely to be the target market for this bag. I imagine people going on party trips to places like Las Vegas and Ibiza may see the appeal.

It is eye-catching, if nothing else.

I have no doubt it’s very well made, but as to whether it looks good, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I would never spend $1,000 on a cabin bag anyway, but the idea of a transparent bag is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen.

Would you travel with transparent luggage?

  1. Interesting! I might consider doing it for #fashun

    Have you done a review on your Rimowa carryon? I would be interested in a review if you haven’t yet! I’m considering getting a Rimowa carry on but can’t quite seem to part with my longchamp large le pliage.

  2. No.

    I understand paying a premium for high end products/name with some things, but a carry-on is not one of them. I’ve used the same Eagle Creek carry-on for almost 10 years now. It cost a couple hundred bucks at most. I’ve beaten the hell out of it and it’s never faltered, packs tons, and looks great. No need to shell out that kind of cash for a carry on

  3. Hey James, Jyoti seems to have $$800 to $1000 to throw away for #fashun!

    You were questioning the market? there is your market right there!

    Moreover, if the correct social media team gets on behind this, it will be a success.

    Or maybe the alternative = anything that is made overly expensive, luxurious and difficult to attain easily usually generates ‘want and need’. Obv example = Hermes Birkin. need I say more?

  4. talking about airing your dirty laundry for all the rampers to see ^^^^^

    kidding aside, you can combine LH cobrand, VAT refund, and Euro weakness to get most rimowa for a lot cheaper (mine round EUR 520 at MUC, roughly US$615 / A$814), but i can’t imagine LH including this in their line up

  5. No. Not a chance. If security folks feel they need to rifle through my knickers, they are more than welcome to. But they’ll do it the old fashioned way – by dumping my case onto the table so TheEntireWorld can see, with me standing there saying yes, thats my underwear.

    As to the $1000 case – the first scratch/scrape/smudge that gets on that case would drive me nuts. Because the WILL get smudged/scraped/scratched.

  6. I don’t see a point to this – If someone gives me that bag, I’ll use it. I generally pack everything neatly and all of my undergarments go into a mesh bag. Sounds like a gimmick. Not to mention, poly-carbonate by itself isn’t a strong enough material for my liking. I like fiber reinforced thermoplastics for the material of my hand-luggage.

    Generally, I prefer my Osprey 40L backpack for my journeys instead of a wheeled case – never a problem fitting on-board.

  7. My exposed underwear experience is far worse : about 20 or 25 years ago my suitcase burst open on the old luggage carousel at MEL, leaving underwear and other clothing trailing along in its’ wake. I was beyond mortified and the situation wasn’t helped by the very evident glee of other passengers and that of my traveling colleague. She still mentions this incident even all these years later and I seem to have missed the opportunity for any payback. At least we laugh about it these days.
    No, I won’t be buying this case.

  8. I have a bag that I bought 20 years in a third world country that is really old now and is fading but still very functional. And I still use it.

    Being cheap I am so carbon positive that I always wonder the many ways I should pollute this world to get rid of the surplus “karma” I have. Carbon trading should be accounted for in the prices of the products People buy.

  9. If this is intended for use as a carry-on bag (not in checked luggage), in addition to going through TSA screening, it will be effectively “screened” by other passengers on the plane. My goal in airports and on airplanes is to move through the “experience” as smoothly and unobtrusively as possible. This type of attention-getting accessory would make that impossible.

    I suspect this is designed to generate buzz exactly like this article (and it’s certainly very Instagrammable) to drive people to look at — and purchase — more conventional Rimowa products, which, though expensive, are well-designed and durable.

  10. I use packing cubes 95% of the time anyhow, so wouldn’t bother me.

    But at that price tag – you’ll lose 35% of the value the minute you drive it off the lot!!!! No thanks…

  11. i don’t know why but if you think it’s embarrassing to have your underwear out on the table you should pack it up before leaving your house. it’s not inspector’s job to care how you feel if they are following their job requirements.

  12. ktc you have added SOOOOOOOOOOOO much to the conversation THANK YOU FOR YOUUR STUPID COMMENT!!!!!!!!!1! NOW SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. It’s not like anyone here is going to be able to purchase this. 1) It’s Off-White, meaning it will most likely be quite limited (similar to the Supreme x Rimowa), and 2) because it’s Off-White, the reseller and hypebeast crowd will gobble up any and all of these (similar to the Supreme x Rimowa).

  14. Happy that my home airport of ibiza got a mention on the blog for the first time in years.

  15. It’s not the first clear suitcase. Crumpler has a clear version of their vis-a-vis suitcase that has since been discontinued.

  16. @Alexander i was queuing for security in Sydney behind someone who had one of those transparent crumpled bags the other week. Only time I’ve ever seen anyone use one. Looks very odd.

  17. Yeah. Of course I want to land in a third world country (like where I live) and show everyone what they are getting before they rob me.

  18. I love this design. It’s brilliant. you pack everything inside the black bags. So it’s transparent but all you see is black. Like a work of abstract art. I am totally the target market for this, and if I had the spare money sitting around, I would buy it for sure.

  19. Someone from OMAT should travel with the clear bag and write about the reaction it gets (and no using cubes or anything, just totally clear luggage).

  20. If anyone’s doubting there being a market for this, one word – China.
    I live in HKG and have no doubt I’ll see these ridiculous status symbols in the airport when I’m travelling next week.

  21. It’s pretty. And people like pretty things so some people will buy this.

    I use packing cubes so it wouldn’t bother me. I’d add different posters or something to the inside to customize it because I like doing stuff like that. But not for that price.

    @Leeza1 Hilarious and true. I can hear my mom saying the same thing.

  22. As someone said this already, Hypebeast crowd will be buying this. If you can get it for 1k, consider yourself extremely lucky as you can easily flip this on Ebay/ Grailed for 2k-3k (see Supreme x Rimowa).

    As for the idea of transparency, I actually think it’s quite interesting as you can use a t-shirt and cover one side of the luggage and use another t-shirt to cover the other side. So essentially each time you travel, you can customize the way your luggage looks.

    With that said, I won’t be getting this for real world usage because it’ll get scratched up really quickly and look like crap. The concept is interesting though. And if I can get it for 1k, I’ll definitely pick it up to flip now or later.

  23. I cant see the point of it because you can get those Travel Bag Organizer Set and hide everything.

    Plus, it just make the rampie see things and steal them. (not saying all rampies are bad but a few are)

  24. This collaboration between Rimowa and Off-White is a collector’s item and there is most definitely a market for it.

    I look forward to seeing it being used; however, I suspect that it may feature mostly in private collections or fetching sky-high prices on e-bay.

  25. Yes. I like it. I have been intrigged.
    I saw an Italian designer’s transparent version. Theirs is a single big insert. I like to travel with one bag, but, I enjoy shopping– I liked the idea of turning one bag into two. I also like the extra storage space– that inner layer takes away space, and I’ve noticed, hiddes defects.
    I pack well, and have nothing to hide. I envision it’ll be So much easier to get through security, and I like that my bag will change colors each time I travel (depending on what I pack. For privacy, I can wrap everything with one of my colorful sarongs.) Best, no one will get confused. I used a black luggage once– it was aweful!.

    P.s. I would pay $1k for a quality luggage that will deal with me for 10+ years, and remain good looking.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reminder: OMAAT comments are changing soon. Register here to save your space.