I was looking for a new carry-on suitcase for travelling. The design and ruggedness of the Rimowa aluminum suitcase always attracted me, but the price of 1.000 USD is a bit out of range. Great that I found out that Xiaomi also offers suitcases, likewise an aluminum one. For under 200 USD, a fifth of the Rimowa price, I thought I give it a try:
Xiaomi 20″ Aluminium Suitcase
Xiaomi 20″ Aluminum Suitcase – Specs
Xiaomi Suitcase is 55,1 × 38,3 × 20,3 cm (22.7 x 15.1 x 8 in) in size an weights about 4,2kg (9.3 lbs). Therefore it’s about the max size of a carry on luggage with a weight about 1kg heavier than a polycarbonate suitcase. Xiaomi’s aluminum suitcase is about the same as mentioned Rimowa suitcase. The body is made of aluminum-magnesium alloy, the interior made of polyester. Capacity is about 31L. Xiaomi Suitcase got two locks where you can set individual 3-number codes each and it features a TSA lock. The pull rod has 4 adjustable positions, when fully extended it is about 1,15m. I think thats a convenient height. Shaking of the rod is stated to be within 10mm and not annoying while pulling.
Xiaomi Aluminum Suitcase: 2 3-digit locks with TSA lock
Even tough the aluminum suitcase is sold under Xiaomi brand, it is manufactured my 90 minutes. On the inside there’s a tag that it was designed by Runmi in Germany. There are 2 Y-shaped straps with Velcro, but a type that doesn’t stick to clothes. Included is a flexible division board with a zipper, convenient for charger and other small stuff.
Xiaomi Aluminum Suitcase: 2 Y-shaped straps & flexible division board
Carry on size?
Xiaomi Metal Suitcase
Xiaomi 20″ Aluminum suitcase qualifies as cabin baggage. During my waiting time at the airport I tried a few measuring boxes of several airlines to check, and all of them would allow it as carry on bag. Here are some airline requirements:
Ryanair: 55 x 40 x 20 cm – 10kg
wizzair: 55 x 40 x 23 cm – 10kg
EasyJet: 56 x 45 x 25 cm – ?kg
Austrian: 55 x 40 x 23 cm – 8kg
Lufthansa: 55 x 40 x 23 cm – 8kg
Vueling: 55 x 40 x 20 cm – 10kg
Inside the aircraft I was able to check two types so far. On an Airbus A320 Xiaomi Aluminum Suitcase fits alongside in the overhead compartment. On a smaller regional jet (Embraer 195) the suitcase fits broadside:
After: 1 trip – 2 flights
Xiaomi Aluminum Suitcase – Field Test
Xiaomi Aluminum Suitcase – Field Test
After a trip with two flights, these are my findings: The wheels are super smooth and silent. No matter which terrain I was pulling my suitcase, it worked out fine. The shaking of the pulling rod is quite ok and comparable to other case I used.
Even tough I like the Y-shaped strap and the Velcro is great, it’s a bit inconvenient to close. You have to fiddle the strap through the metal opening to close it. If you overpack your suitcase you have to push everything down as the Velcro part of the strap is too thick to fit the metal opening. Anyway I would also prefer a strap on one side and a zipper compartment on the other side, similar to Xiaomi 20″ Business Suitcase (a polycarbonate suitcase):
During my fist trip Xiaomi Suitcase took a few hits, got a few minor scratches, but still looks like it was delivered:Xiaomi 20″ Aluminium Suitcase after 1st trip
After: 3 trips – 4 flights – 1 car-ride
After some more flights with different airlines, still no problem to get through security or finding space within the aircraft. The case got some hits by careless passengers trying to stuff their belongings into the overhead bin, but it’s still looking great and no scratches. The only thing that is bothering is the strap that is a bit tricky to close when the suitcase is overpacked. Also longer walks on cobblestone are no problem for the Xiaomi suitcase.