I had been using my American Tourister (Soft lugguage/78cm/100L) for the past 5 years. I guess it was time to say goodbye for several reasons. Main reason was, it was breaking down. It does not move in a straight line, it goes everywhere it pleases.
I was comparing a few brands before purchase. Prices are based on similar size
1. Samsonite (USA) – USD 450/SGD 630
2. Rimowa (Germany) – €680/SGD 1,000
3. Frequenter (Japan) – ¥ 32, 400/SGD 402
I will explain how I ended up getting another Japanese brand luggage instead.
Since American Tourister is under Samsonite (USA), I thought I should upgrade. Did online research and went to the actual store to try out how smooth the wheels moved but it seems normal. Secondly, I did not like the design. Thirdly, I personally feel they were overpriced in Asia.
I did went to the US store but nothing really stands out to me.
I also thought of Rimowa (Germany) since I was traveling to Europe. Did online research and was amazed how many people actually bought Rimowa. I saw many Rimowa luggages while traveling for the past few months. I wonder if people would get confused since it was quite common.
I also went to the store in Germany. Tried out how smooth the wheels moved, it was smooth but not as smooth as Frequenter (Japanese brand). The one I liked was about €680 (SGD 1,000). They have features like digital tag but I do not fly Lufthansa or Eva Air. It means nothing to me.
Frequenter was my husband’s random purchase in Singapore. We got about 40% off compared to Japan retail price. It was light but the best part, it was very smooth and quiet.
After much consideration, I decided to purchase Frequenter for my next trip in Japan. However, there were no stocks available.
I was extremely sad and decided to purchase on the next Japan trip, which I do not know when…
Did shopping for some household items at Loft and came across this
I knew I just had to get it! It was not the best deal I could find but I do not have much time. Overall, there was a 5% off all purchase in Loft for foreigners if you show your passport. Then, you go to the tax refund counter to claim your 8% (paid to you in cash).
In the end, I paid about 35,000 ¥/SGD 430.
Product overview in Japanese (taken from http://store.ace.jp/shop/r/rlamienne/)
The best part I like besides the outlook, was the stopper. When you are traveling in the train, the luggage will not slide. Isn’t it a great and wonderful function?!
I also love the compartments provided. The body is made of polycarbonate, similar to the range of luggages I was considering. Warranty of 3 years, also similar to others. The only issue would be the repair as service centres are only available within Japan.
However, it would not be an issue for me.
I strongly recommend to explore Japanese brands because products are of good quality. I will not say prices are affordable as it would really depend on individual brands.
I feel it is a pity that such good products do not have enough exposure. People are paying too much just for the brand and marketing.
Thank you for a wonderful article on great products. I love HaNT luggage. I bought the lamienne in the color red in Himeji. I should have bought more than one. Do you know where an American can purchase HaNT luggage online and have it shipped to the U.S.? I haven’t been able to track down the manufacturer’s official website or find an online store that will ship HaNT to the U.S.. Thank you for your time.
So happy to know there are more people liking this brand.
The above is their official website. The main company is Ace. They only ship within Japan.
There’s Rakuten Global Market but they stopped overseas delivery since 1st of June. I think it might be due to COVID-19.
Maybe you can monitor Rakuten Global?
At least you got one HaNT luggage. =) Hope you will get the second.