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.