Looking for the perfect luggage for your trips is not something that you rush into. It often takes careful research and weighing of options before you make the final decision. Among the best luggage brands, you’ve probably seen a name that may have stood out to you because of its uniqueness: Tumi. Or you may have been walking through the airport to overhear someone discreetly gesturing to another and saying, “Look! They’re carrying a Tumi!”
A quick search on the internet should show you that, while Tumi is one of the best luggage brands out there, it’s also one of the most expensive.
This article will explain why Tumi is so expensive by taking a deeper look into its features, materials, branding, and more. You will also learn how Tumi compares to other luggage brands it has often been compared to, namely Rimowa, Samsonite, Travelpro, and Briggs & Riley. Finally, you will discover whether or not getting a Tumi is worth it.
Is Tumi Luggage Made in China?
Tumi outsources all its manufacturing operations. They are working with manufacturers in China, Vietnam, Thailand, and Dominican Republic.
Why Is Tumi Luggage so Expensive?
If this is your first time encountering Tumi luggage or you’ve had your eye on it for some time but haven’t convinced yourself to buy it yet, you might be wondering just what it is that makes this brand so expensive. There’s more than meets the eye where Tumi suitcases are concerned, however, and the items below might give you a better understanding of why Tumi is so expensive.
Tumi continues to conduct research and innovations for its line of products. As a result, their products are more secure, sturdy, and reliable. These innovations have increased Tumi’s brand image and customer satisfaction.
Tumi possesses a special license that allows them to be the only luggage company that uses Tegris material. Tegris Thermoplastic Composite fabric is meant for heavy-duty work and provides excellent resistance against various threats (fragment, projectile, and blast threats included). Thus they are able to withstand rough handling by baggage handlers at the airport.
Tegris is also lightweight and provides more than twice as much impact resistance as compared to other plastic-type materials.
Tumi is a luxury manufacturer of suitcases and other travel products. Think of Rolex for watches. That’s what Tumi is for suitcases and travel bags. They have built their brand through the years and their luggage is often associated with success.
While Tumi’s designs are more on the conservative side, their suitcases, nevertheless, come with a great personality. It’s also pretty well known that the insides of Tumi products often look better than the outside. Tumi travel items are simple rather than flashy, but they place more focus on creating luggage with better quality instead of coming up with various flamboyant designs. Tumi has also been pretty much consistent in terms of how they look, and Tumi loyalists can tell when a specific product is a Tumi.
Tumi used to offer a lifetime warranty for all their products. Unfortunately, in 2005, they shifted to only five years of warranty. For the first twelve months, depending on the item you have, you will be able to receive full coverage. Nevertheless, for the second year until the fifth year, Tumi usually no longer covers damages done by airlines and baggage handlers or damages made while in transit.
Pro tip: Always keep the receipt of your luggage safe. You’ll need to show this if ever you need the warranty.
Tumi isn’t just known for their premium, quality luggage—they’re also known for their excellent customer service. If ever you have questions or concerns about your luggage or you need your bag to be repaired, you can contact them and they will be able to assist you.
How Does Tumi Luggage Compare to Other Brands?
Other luggage brands have often been compared to Tumi, with interested buyers often weighing the option of which one to buy. Tumi and these various brands have several differences that you can take into consideration when choosing to buy one or the other. They do, however, also have several similarities that can make deciding between either of them a bit of a challenge.
Tumi vs Rimowa
Tumi and Rimowa are often compared, especially with both being high-end, luxury luggage brands. They are also very popular among frequent flyers who select the best, most durable luggage as their faithful travel companions.
Their differences, however, lie mainly in the material they use and the type of luggage they make. For example, Rimowa only makes hardside luggage and they use polycarbonate and aluminum materials to make them. These are great choices because they are durable and high-quality.
On the other hand, Tumi has various materials because they make both softside and hardside luggage. They use their durable FXT ballistic nylon for softside luggage and Tegris for hardside luggage. They also use leather and aluminum in some of their products.
Tumi and Rimowa both have suitcases with price tags that range from somewhere between 400$-500$ with some being even over 1,000$. Both brands offer a 5-year warranty to cover any manufacturing defects.
Tumi vs Samsonite
Tumi and Samsonite have often been compared as well. Samsonite has built its brand to be durable through the years and they are popular for people with an on-the-go lifestyle, especially for business professionals. They are a lot cheaper than Tumi, however, with their prices ranging somewhere between 350$ to 1000$.
Samsonite suitcases also come in various colors, styles, and sizes. They have developed a line for women through luggage, purses, and other travel accessories. Samsonite is also particularly known for its light hardside cases (lighter, even, than Tumi!). Tumi, on the other hand, has kept a consistent look and feel throughout the years, even as they have developed both softside and hardside luggage.
If you’re looking at value for money, you can find it in Samsonite. Perhaps even more so than Tumi. Samsonite’s prices may be expensive, but they’re much more affordable than Tumi and you can be sure to get what you paid for in terms of quality and durability. Samsonite’s cases and travel bags often come with 5-10 years warranty, depending on what you purchase. Tumi, on the other hand, only offers a 5-year warranty.
Tumi vs Travelpro
Travelpro is a luggage brand that is known for its durable and high-quality luggage. It is also the brand of choice of many cabin crew members from around the world. If you check out the various kinds of suitcases that Travelpro offers, you will most likely find something that suits your taste and style as they offer a variety of colors, features, and designs.
Because of Travelpro’s affordability, cabin crew members and frequent travelers alike will most likely find a suitcase to meet their needs. Travelpro also sells both hardside and softside suitcases, just like Tumi.
Like Tumi, Travelpro’s luggage is also known for its durability. They even have an in-ground test facility where they test all their products before releasing them to the market. Travelpro’s luggage is also relatively cheaper, with their luggage prices ranging somewhere between a hundred to three hundred dollars.
Unlike Tumi that offers a 5-year warranty for their travel products, Travelpro offers a lifetime warranty for all their items. They are affordable, useful, and can last a long time. This is perhaps the reason why a lot of seasoned travelers and cabin crew name Travelpro as their luggage of choice.
Tumi vs Briggs & Riley
Tumi and Briggs & Riley have quite a lot in common. Both brands are known to have luxurious, high-quality luggage. Both brands have three main sizes for their suitcases—a size small enough to be a carry-on, a medium-sized one that is perfect for a one-week trip, and a larger-sized suitcase that works best for longer trips. Both brands’ suitcases (whether softside or hardside) pretty much weigh the same, with the softside cases being heavier because of their protective frame and material.
Nevertheless, when it comes to the average cost of their luggage, their differences begin to show. Tumi has suitcases that cost somewhere between 400$ to 1200$. Briggs & Riley, however, cost somewhere between 300$ to 700$ while delivering great quality luggage.
In terms of durability, however, Tumi’s ballistic nylon material on their softside cases is often thought to be more durable. Several of Tumi’s suitcases also come with recessed spinner wheels (to avoid bumping into hard corners and coming loose), a tracking system, and a TSA built-in lock.
Briggs & Riley’s luggage isn’t one to be defeated, however, and comes with some bells and whistles of its own. They have an internal expander which is another level from the zipper that you often see in regular suitcases. If you’re on a business trip and need to take a suit with you, Briggs & Riley has you covered with a few of their suitcases that come with a tri-fold suiter.
Both brands stay on the modest side when it comes to looks, but they make up for it with great-quality items that last for a long time. Tumi, however, offers only 5 years warranty, while Briggs & Riley offers a lifetime warranty against all physical defects.
Are Tumi Suitcases Worth the Price? Aren’t They Overpriced?
Tumi suitcases are often thought to be overpriced, especially for the ones that cost over a thousand dollars.
The thing with Tumi is that it has built a brand around itself by producing suitcases that are made of high-quality materials and can last a long time. People who have purchased Tumi suitcases in the past have claimed that they are still using the luggage today, even some 5 or 10 years down the road. There may be a little bit of wear and tear, but they are still functional.
Various companies around the world have been cutting costs in terms of production by going for materials that cost less. Tumi, however, refuses to compromise on their quality and only uses premium items to build their luggage.
Remember though, that just because a piece of luggage is pricey doesn’t mean that it will last long and that you can still use it some 10-20 years down the road. Sometimes, accidents happen in airports or wherever you’re traveling, causing your luggage to get broken beyond repair.
Tumi is one of the priciest brands for luxurious, high-end luggage. In return, they are able to deliver on quality and durability. If you are thinking of getting a Tumi luggage, it’s best to start out with one of the cheaper ones. Read reviews and research thoroughly before making a decision. Test it out before you decide if you want to stick with the brand or find another that better suits your needs.
Tumi does cost a lot and while some of their customers are thoroughly satisfied with it, some continue to remain more skeptical. Ultimately, it’s up to you if you are willing to pay more for the sophistication that comes with the brand. Just remember that if quality and durability are your primary concerns, there are other cheaper options that are able to deliver just as much and sometimes more, and also come with better deals, such as a lifetime warranty.
If you still haven’t decided if buying Tumi luggage is worth the price, you can also check out our whole review on Tumi luggage.