Bringing Home the Hermès R.M.S Luggage: Reveal and Extensive Review

From the moment I laid eyes on the new Hermès luggage, I knew one would be mine. For years now I have enjoyed my Louis Vuitton Horizon carry-on and it has likely traveled just as many miles as I have since late 2016. I was less successful in my purchase of the Louis Vuitton Pégase Légère 55 for Mr. PurseBop which is a story for another day. However, I have been waiting for the right occasion to redeem myself with his luggage selections.

Louis Vuitton Horizon and Pégase Légère 55

As you may recall, just over one year ago, Hermès revealed its newest luggage line, the R.M.S, which stands for Rolling Mobility Suitcase. I first saw it in person in Paris in December 2021. At the time, there was very limited stock, generally display only.

Nevertheless, right then and there I decided this would be a 2022 acquisition. Let me take you back in time to a photograph that I have from that December trip which simply sealed the deal for me. For those that read my epic December 2021 Paris series you’ll remember this is where we sat waiting for our appointment after having visited the secret garden. On this trip I explored the R.M.S features in detail and was assured that it would be available on a subsequent visit.

Part I: My Hermès Paris Secrets Revealed
Part II: Revealing My Parisian Pink Unicorn from Hermès Faubourg Saint Honoré
Part III: Travel Tips from Paris: Hermès Prices, VAT and Customs

Hermès Paris, December 2021.

My next trip to Paris was a spontaneous girlfriend trip in April 2022 (combined with a touch of work). It was on that trip that I placed my special order for the R.M.S. suitcase. When I say special order, it’s not like doing a horseshoe bag. There are some combinations of leather and print that are standard and then you have the opportunity to customize aspects like the handle and wheels, with the option of personalization.

There seems to be a lot of misguided information going around suggesting you can special order the luggage from scratch. You cannot. Put another way, you can’t order a Rose Sakura suitcase. Well, unless of course you’re one of the selected VIPs to do it through the made to order Horizon program.

For the rest of us mere mortals though the customization is limited. You get to pick and choose some of the details to incorporate with the pre-existing options. That’s special enough for me. And by April, I was quite sure of what I wanted as I had had several months to contemplate.

The wait in the VIP room.

The logical, or shall I say safer, choice would have been to go with one of the all leather options. I quote the Hermes site:

“The external part of the leather is made of taurillon Regate leather. This new grained leather, resistant to friction and water droplets, has been specifically developed for your suitcase. As an organic material, Hermès leather evolves and beautifies with time. It becomes shiny and naturally develops a patina when used.”

Contemplations: all around gold leather or canvas with gold leather trim?

But that’s not what I wanted. My fun whimsical side wanted the vibrant printed canvas with the multi colored H E R M E S letters.

Logic or whimsy?
Well, clearly we can see which side of my brain prevailed.

Need I say more.

I placed my order, and was assured it would take six to eight weeks. Although I wasn’t confident of any immediate return to Paris I knew I would surely manage a trip when the time came. In the worst case scenario, my girlfriend living locally could pick up for me.

Exactly eight weeks later I was informed that my customized carry on was ready. Hermès FSH would hold the piece for me till I knew of any concrete travel plans. Low and behold at the very end of July I was scheduled for an urgent international trip. Lucky for me I had a quick 36 hours in Paris at the end. It was all set. I planned that I would make the trip travel to Paris with an older carry-on that I would be comfortable leaving behind and return home with the new R.M.S.

Appointments at the mothership are always exciting. Without getting into too much detail (I’ll save that for a future article), I was ushered to one of the VIP salons. First on the agenda was a viewing of my special rollaway.

Even at this point, I confess a part of me still second guessed the decision to go with canvas over leather. But as soon as my sales associate opened that big impressive orange box and I saw the vivid and saturated colors of the print, any regret faded. This was so me. Not to mention it coordinates beautifully with my Birkin 35 in classic orange and my horseshoe Birkin 30 in Blue hydra. Both are a complete match to this roll-on treasure. The only decision left was to personalize which I opted to do with minimalistic initials in silver to coordinate with the metal telescopic handles and zippers.

The lock mechanism with key and combination feature.

Customizing the handle. I chose the all leather.

Her maiden voyage was the trip home from Charles de Gaulle to Chicago O’Hare.

Ok now let’s examine the luggage from a functionality point of view. The new carry-on glides like a dream. In fact, the wheels are borrowed from Hermès skateboards designed in 2017. I am willing to say it glides as well if not better than my Louis Vuitton Horizon. It is definitely lightweight, most likely very similar in weight to my Horizon. Moves ingeniously – side to side, turns or any other motions. Definitely deserves an A+.

I customized my wheels – 2 yellow and two orange.

Capacity wise, however, the Hermès R.M.S. is slightly smaller than the Horizon. The design and construction of the R.M.S. shrinks some interior capacity because the telescopic handle lives inside the suitcase. As a result, it takes up some space along the perimeter of the inside. If you’re looking to maximize space, this might not be for you. On quick business trips I often travel with just my carry-on and this could pose a problem if traveling alone. I say “could” because I haven’t yet been in that situation with the new piece.

There is one other area where the R.M.S. falls short literally: The top of the suitcase or said differently, the surface area of the top of the suitcase, is smaller. With my Louis Vuitton Horizon suitcase, the handle rests behind the suitcase so the top surface area is completely open to rest a larger tote.

Telescopic handle in use.

Telescopic handle slides down/fits on the top of the luggage.

So what does this really mean? On the Horizon, the largest size Dior Book tote sits easily upon the top. By comparison, however, on the R.M.S while the Dior tote manages to sit atop the bag, it is not as comfortable. In fact, when the weight distribution in the tote was not even, my tote fell forward. Now the explanation for this is very simple. The difference lies in where and how the telescopic handle has been assembled with the suitcase.

In the case of the Louis Vuitton Horizon, the handle completely lives at the back of the suitcase. With the R.M.S the handle is both inside and on the top of the suitcase. This detail is only relevant and noticeable when the telescopic handle is out and the suitcase is in use. That explains why I did not notice this until traveling with it. Upon further investigation once home, I quickly understood the reasons for the difference.

The cover is a brilliant touch for protection and in case a situation warrants being extra discreet.

Interestingly, Hermès is releasing a tote style bag as the perfect complement to its luggage. Without having any details from Hermès, I expect that either the luggage telescopic handle will move through the tote or the tote might be strapped to the handle. Be clear, this is pure speculation on my part, beyond the fact that some special pieces are being made to complement the luggage. Perhaps this addition will mitigate the inconvenience described above. On the other hand, you’ll need to purchase another Hermès piece. If you can get it.

The TSA compatable lock feature.

The curved zipper.

The placement of handles reduces the open surface area at the top of the suitcase to rest a tote.

Again the significance of this construction detail will vary from person to person based on your actual use of carry-on luggage. Super light travelers may have no difficulty. The same if you have an extra bag (or two or three). As I did on my most recent trip to Miami.

Labor Day weekend I traveled to Miami to visit my parents with Mr. PurseBop and I had no issue at all with the Hermès R.M.S.  Because we had checked luggage, my carry-on carried only small purses, my laptop, and a small cosmetics case. Easy breezy. The real test will come when I leave Mr. PB at home ;).

Sharing much of my video coverage over on @pursebop so stay tuned to that space as I narrate my review.

Celebratory dinner at Gigi’s. The view from the terrace.

Published: November 5th, 2022
Updated: November 8th, 2022

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