Carry-on Review: ACE GENE vs TUMI vs RIMOWA

Recently, I’ve been writing a few posts on carry-on bags.

Today, I’m going to be writing about the carry-ons I was using five years ago.

Blast to the past.

Five years ago, I was frequently flying with domestic business trips every month and with twice a year vacations abroad.

Under circumstances like that, you should keep an eye out for a good carry-on because its going to pay off in the long run.


Back in the day, my main carry-ons were the following three:

Show down front

  1. RIMOWA Topas Titanium Cabin Trolley (called the Topas Premium in Japan. The link is going to take you to the current model. The current model is a 4 wheeler which I don’t recommend. I like 2 wheelers)
  2. ACEGENE (Japanese maker of business bags. Consider them the “TUMIs” of Japan)
  3. TUMI 2292


ACEGENE vs TUMI 22922 vs RIMOWA Topas Titanium Cabin Trolley

I was using the RIMOWA for domestic flights and the ACEGENE and TUMI for international flights

The ACEGENE and TUMI are both 22 inch in size and rather large but I’ve never had issues carrying them on with ANA or JAL business class.
I’ve never had economy experience with these pieces but I’m sure there wouldn’t be problems unless its really crowded.

The 22 inch size starts becoming a problem when traveling within a foreign country because the airlines tend to be more strict with the domestic flights.

The ACE and TUMI were both very functional and easy to use.

The wheels were very quiet, no complaints there.
The TUMI had a longer handle so a plus there.

In Japan, the TUMI is going to cost twice the price of the ACE so not a good deal.
You can get a TUMI for half the price in the US.

The RIMOWA on the other hand is perfect for carrying on domestics flights and has killer looks.
The RIMOWA unfortunately does not cover a few important points I wrote about in a different post.

The wheels are loud and it doesn’t have an external pocket.

The wheels on a RIMOWA are really load on concrete surfaces and can get annoying.
However, there is a way to get around that, which I’ll be introducing in a different post.

The looks of the RIMOWA offset these cons and I have learned to keep it at that.

I would like to take the RIMOWA on international flights as well but I found it too small for an one week vacation.


These three pieces have gone through updates or were discontinued so you can’t get them anymore.

I ended up selling the ACE and TUMI and kept the RIMOWA.

The reason I let the ACE and TUMI go was the size.
After 9/11, the airlines became really strict with their carry-on policies and occasionally, I would get stopped at the airport and my bags would be measured.

So I let the ACE and TUMI go but have later found better alternatives so I’ll introduce does next time.

As for the RIMOWA, I kept it for sometime, sold it, but had second thoughts about it and got the same model again.

I’ll right about that experience too so stay tuned!

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