Why is TUMI so Expensive?

Navigating the maze of luggage brands can be quite the task, and amidst the myriad options, one name often stands out – Tumi.

Synonymous with luxury, Tumi has set the gold standard in high-end travel gear, and its price tags definitely reflect that. 

In this blog post, we’re going to dissect the factors that contribute to Tumi’s steep pricing, from its unparalleled quality and rigorous testing to its remarkable customer service and cutting-edge innovation. 

Let’s dive in and see the reasons that make Tumi products so expensive.

An Epitome of Luxury

First and foremost, Tumi is a luxury luggage maker.

In the travel gear realm, Tumi is the Rolex of suitcases.

Just like a stainless steel Rolex isn’t going to come cheap, the same holds true for Tumi.

Even if the cost to make a piece of Tumi luggage is around $300, the selling price isn’t merely a tad more.

Intensive Product Testing

Founded in 1975, Tumi has consistently ensured thorough testing of all their products right from the start.

Each Tumi item, be it luggage or otherwise, must successfully pass a minimum of 30 in-house tests before it reaches the market.

As a result, customers are assured of a high-quality product that won’t easily break or wear out. 

However, such quality assurance does come with a comparatively higher price tag.

Top-Notch Customer Service

Tumi is renowned for its exceptional customer service. They’re available around the clock to answer your queries or assist with luggage repairs.

Timeless Design

Don’t expect to turn heads with a flashy Tumi bag.

Unlike brands focusing on loud designs, Tumi opts for a more subdued aesthetic. Typically, you’ll only have one or two color options.

But that’s because Tumi prioritizes superior build quality and premium materials over flamboyant design.

Despite their conservative approach, Tumi products are anything but dull. They carry a distinctive charm that resonates with its fanbase.

Even decades later, you can identify a Tumi product at a glance.

Interestingly, Tumi items often look better on the inside than they do on the outside.

To put it succinctly, Tumi’s design philosophy can best be described as the embodiment of ‘old money‘ – sophisticated, discreet, and forever in style.

High-Quality Materials

In an era where many companies are compromising on material quality to cut costs, Tumi is a notable exception.

They strictly adhere to using premium fabrics for their products.

While this benefits the end-user with a high-quality product, it does contribute to the overall higher cost.

Pioneers of Innovation

Tumi is constantly innovating within their product lines. Once an innovation clears all the quality tests, it is immediately put into production.

Among their many innovations are the Omega Closure System, FXT Ballistic Nylon, X-Brace 45 Handle System, and Tumi Tracer.

While these names may not mean much to you, they contribute significantly to enhancing the security, reliability, and robustness of the end product, thereby boosting the brand’s image and customer satisfaction.

Tumi is the only luggage company licensed to use TEGRIS, a highly advanced thermoplastic composite material known for its excellent impact resistance and rigidity.

Despite its light weight, TEGRIS provides 2x to 15x the impact resistance of other plastic materials.

To get a visual, imagine the look of carbon fiber.

However, continuous innovation isn’t cheap. It requires a significant investment, which is another factor contributing to the higher price of Tumi products.

Combating Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

In 2019, Tumi (now a part of the Samsonite Corporation) issued a public commitment to actively fight against modern slavery and human trafficking.

The company clearly stated that there is no room for these illegal activities within their business structure, activities, or supply chain, and asserted a zero-tolerance policy towards such transgressions.

To ensure this commitment, Tumi has implemented a system aptly named the “Standards of Engagement”.

The primary aim of this system is to identify and mitigate the risks of modern slavery and child labor within the company’s operations and supply chains.

This proactive approach underscores Tumi’s steadfast commitment to upholding ethical standards and human rights within every facet of its business.

You can find more about this statement here.

Good Employee Treatment

Tumi prides itself on maintaining a work environment that not only respects its employees but also rewards them fairly.

Everyone on the Tumi team is compensated with a decent salary and a host of additional benefits, including:

  • Comprehensive health insurance coverage.
  • Exceptional working conditions.
  • A hefty discount of up to 50% on Tumi products.
  • Generous paid vacation time and ample opportunities for leisure.
  • Gym membership discounts.
  • Dental care provisions.
  • Robust 401k plan.

It’s important to note, however, that working at Tumi does come with its own set of challenges.

The holiday season tends to be particularly demanding, given that the brand sees a significant surge in sales during this period.

But even amidst the holiday hustle, Tumi remains committed to the well-being of its employees and strives to create a work environment that’s not only productive but also supportive.

Tumi gives back

Tumi has consistently shown a commitment to giving back to society.

Throughout the years, the company has contributed significantly to numerous charitable organizations and foundations, underscoring its dedication to social responsibility.

Of particular note is Tumi’s longstanding partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Since 2010, Tumi has raised over $5 million for this esteemed institution.

This remarkable fundraising effort underscores Tumi’s deep-rooted commitment to not only creating high-quality luggage but also making a positive difference in the world.


Tumi has been proactively taking steps to lessen its carbon footprint over time, demonstrating its commitment to the planet.

One of the significant steps they’ve taken in this direction is their partnership with Pratt Institute’s Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation (yes, it’s quite a mouthful!).

This collaboration has led to Pratt Institute suggesting alternative materials and fabrics that could minimize Tumi’s environmental impact.

Currently, Tumi is in the process of implementing these eco-friendly suggestions into their production.

Now, it’s no secret that striving for environmental sustainability often comes with a heftier price tag.

But this hasn’t deterred Tumi from its commitment to green practices.

The brand is actively working to eliminate all PVC from its products, and they’ve already managed to reduce their PVC use by a whopping 95%.

All of these efforts illustrate Tumi’s ongoing dedication to making responsible choices that align with a healthier and more sustainable planet.

Does Tumi have a lifetime warranty?

Back in 2004, Tumi shifted its warranty policy from a lifetime coverage to a five-year term.

Consequently, the option of a lifetime warranty is no longer on the table.

It’s speculated that this change was influenced by Tumi’s acquisition by Doughty Hanson & Co. Subsequently, in 2016, the Samsonite Corporation purchased Tumi.

You can find more details about that transition here.

Under the current five-year warranty, full coverage is offered for the first 12 months, with certain exceptions.

This means that if your Tumi product sustains any damage within the first year of purchase – be it from normal wear and tear, airline handling mishaps, or other transit damage – Tumi will take care of all repair costs.

This includes the shipping fees to and from their repair center.

The coverage even extends to product replacements. If your particular product is no longer in stock, Tumi will provide you with a newer item from the same category.

Many customers opt to shell out a little extra for these benefits to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a worry-free purchase.

From the second to the fifth year of the warranty period, however, the coverage becomes more limited.

Tumi will no longer cover damages caused by baggage handlers or airlines, nor will it cover missing parts and transit damages. Still, the warranty does cover normal wear and tear.

A handy tip: It’s wise to safely store your purchase receipt. This will serve as proof of purchase and will be necessary if you ever need to make a warranty claim.

Is Tumi Worth It?

Answering the question is not straightforward and largely depends on individual perspective and circumstances.

If you’re financially comfortable with the price tags of Tumi items, it could be worth giving them a try.

For first-time buyers, it may be wise to start with one of Tumi’s less expensive options.

This way, you can get a feel for the brand’s overall quality without making a significant financial commitment.

If you’re satisfied with your purchase, then by all means, stick with Tumi. If not, at least you haven’t made a major monetary investment.

It’s crucial to remember that the price tag on a piece of luggage isn’t always the most accurate indicator of its durability.

There’s a fair bit of luck involved, too.

You might hear tales of people who’ve used their Tumi bag for 20 years and it’s still in excellent shape, but there are also stories from customers whose Tumi luggage didn’t survive the first year.

In short, spending more money doesn’t automatically guarantee superior quality.

Choosing to buy a Tumi product is a personal decision, influenced by factors like your income, social status, and personal taste.

Consider how you first heard about Tumi. Maybe you saw a random traveler at the airport with a Tumi suitcase and overheard someone else admiring it.

It made you wonder about the brand and how it differs from your current luggage. After all, both are designed to serve the same basic function.

This goes to show that owning a Tumi isn’t just about its practicality but also about the prestige and reputation associated with the brand.

It’s this combination of quality, durability, and brand appeal that you’re investing in when you purchase a Tumi product.

Is Tumi a good brand?

In a nutshell, yes. But the more nuanced question to consider is this: Is Tumi the right brand for you?

From a luxury standpoint, Tumi certainly ticks all the boxes.

However, some longstanding Tumi customers have expressed disappointment about the brand’s shift to manufacturing in Asia and the closure of its U.S. factories.

As far as fashion appeal goes, Tumi might not be your first choice unless you lean towards a more classic and understated style.

Think of it like this: If you’re the kind of person who prefers a sleek black Mercedes, then a Tumi bag might be just your style.

If you’re looking for a more fashion-forward option, brands like Rimowa could be a better fit.

Rimowa offers comparable pricing but with greater customization options, allowing you to choose different colors for the handle, wheels, and case.

Related: Why is Rimowa so expensive?

With Tumi, your color choices are typically more limited.

In terms of durability, Tumi ranks highly with some of the best luggage in the industry. But there are other brands within the same price bracket that may offer better impact resistance.

So, the overarching question remains: Why choose Tumi over other brands?

Is it about making an impression?

Are you seeking that elusive cool factor?

Or perhaps you’ve noticed successful people around you opting for Tumi backpacks?

The answers to these questions can be more rooted in psychology than you might initially think.

Several years ago, I attended a TEDx talk where a doctor (whose name escapes me now) discussed an experiment demonstrating that adopting a confident pose for just five minutes a day can dramatically alter a person’s behavior over time.

Her talk supported the notion of “Fake it till you make it,” which got me thinking: Could a specific clothing item or accessory that makes you feel more confident have the same effect?

To cut to the chase, if owning a particular product, like a Tumi bag, boosts your confidence, it might well be worth the investment, irrespective of the price.

The personal reward and self-assurance you gain could far outweigh the cost.

Are Tumi carry-ons worth it?

They are, but there is a catch:

Tumi items are heavier than others.

This is not something that will knock your socks off.

All that innovation and options that make Tumi what it is comes with the cost of weight.

Some people prefer this, others do not.

E.G., TUMI – Alpha 3 Expandable International 4 Wheeled Carry-On Luggage – 22 Inchweighs ~ 12 pounds and at almost the same size Samsonite Silhouette 16 Hardside Spinner weights ~ 8.4 pounds.

3.5 pounds might not mean that much to you; however, pounds will add up.

Couple this with a stressful day and a “long walk” inside the airport, and you will start self-questioning about the extra weight you are carrying.

What will you get for carrying extra weight?

Heavy-duty wheels and a sturdy frame.

Tumi is making the best spinner wheels as of now.

Searching forums with complaints about Tumi bags revealed only a hand full of customers complaining about the wheels.

To be honest, they didn’t have a choice with the wheels.

You pay over $1000 for a Tumi spinner, and then the wheels fall off after a few trips.

They just had to do the best wheels on the market, and they did

If you want to travel to Europe or use your luggage on cobblestone, then the heavy-duty spinner wheels that Tumi is using are of great help.

Why is Tumi Luggage so Expensive

Money, Money, Money. It’s all about the money.

Tumi pieces of luggage are currently overpriced for what they are offered same as

Rimowa and Briggs & Riley offered products in the same price range sometimes with an even better warranty. 

With Tumi, you pay more for the brand image than for any other luggage company. 

If all the hype around them exalts you, you should try a Tumi luggage, but owning one will not make miracles. 

My humble suggestion is that if you are not into brands and you are more on the practical side of things, just chose another name.

Owning a piece of luggage from Tumi signals others that you are a successful person.

If you manage to find a piece of Tumi’s older hard case line, in good working order, you should buy one; those cases will last a lifetime.

How does TUMI compare to other brands?

Tumi vs  Travelpro

Imagine this: Travelpro, a darling of cabin crews worldwide, going head-to-head with Tumi, the Rolls-Royce of the luggage world.

Both are famed for their durability and high quality, yet cater to different markets.

Travelpro’s lineup is like the smorgasbord of the luggage world. From chic to practical, there’s a suitcase style to tickle everyone’s fancy.

Their palette of colors, features, and designs is as diverse as the destinations their luggage travels to.

Travelpro offers both hardside and softside luggage, much like Tumi, but what sets them apart is their affordability.

Prices tend to range from around $100 to $300, which won’t make your bank account wince.

It’s like having a Champagne taste with a beer budget.

Don’t let the price fool you, though. Travelpro isn’t skimping on quality.

Each piece of luggage goes through rigorous testing in their on-site facility before it’s shipped out, ensuring it’s sturdy enough to withstand the rough and tumble of travel.

Unlike Tumi’s 5-year warranty, Travelpro steps it up a notch by offering a lifetime warranty on all their items.

Affordable and durable?

No wonder so many jet-setters and cabin crew members name Travelpro as their go-to luggage brand.

However, when it comes to price, Tumi and Travelpro are miles apart.

With Travelpro options around $100 and Tumi reaching into the $1,000 range, one can’t help but ponder: is the higher price for Tumi worth it?

In my humble opinion, as someone who hits the skies around 7-9 times a year, splurging on a pricier Tumi suitcase isn’t my cup of Earl Grey.

I’d rather opt for the more wallet-friendly Travelpro.

But hey, your luggage, your choice, right?

So, which will you choose?

Tumi vs Rimowa

Picture this: Tumi and Rimowa, two titans of the luxury luggage industry, face off in an epic showdown for suitcase supremacy.

Both brands enjoy enormous popularity among seasoned jet-setters, who wouldn’t dare embark on a journey without their trusty, top-tier luggage.

The dividing lines are drawn along materials used and luggage styles produced.

Rimowa sticks to the rigid path, producing only hardside luggage, made from resilient polycarbonate and aluminum.

These materials scream, “Hey, I’m tough, quality luggage, not your run-of-the-mill suitcase.”

Tumi, on the other hand, is like the buffet of luggage materials, offering both softside and hardside options.

They opt for the durable FXT ballistic nylon for softside luggage, Tegris for hardside, and also dabble in leather and aluminum.

Prices start around the $500-$600 mark and can climb beyond $1,200.

But hey, a five-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects does offer a nice safety net, even if it doesn’t cover the gasp-inducing initial outlay.

I can’t help but feel that Rimowa targets the youthful, more adventurous crowd, while Tumi leans towards the mature or those who fancy a classier look.

But let’s be honest, either of these luggage brands would look pretty snazzy nestled in the trunk of a Rolls Royce…you know, if you happen to have one lying around.

Classy luggage for a classy ride – seems fitting, right?

What is the cheapest country to buy Tumi luggage?

Bad news for all you globe-trotters out there: the most affordable place to buy Tumi luggage is, sadly, right here in the U.S.

I say “sadly” because if, during your international exploits, you stumble upon a shop selling Tumi for the price of a happy meal, you might feel like you’ve hit the jackpot.

But don’t start celebrating just yet.

Let me introduce you to the glamorous world of counterfeit goods!

So while I can’t provide you with a secret treasure map leading to the fabled land of budget Tumi luggage, I can tell you where not to go hunting.

China and Japan, for instance, are renowned for some of the priciest Tumi offerings.

It seems Tumi luggage has ascended to a status symbol in these places, bought more for the brand prestige than their actual utility as a travel companion.

But hey, who are we to judge?

If you want to use a suitcase as a status symbol instead of for packing your socks, more power to you!

Is it worth it to invest in Tumi luggage?

Now, calling this an ‘investment’? That’s a bit of a stretch.

Investing typically means you’re expecting some sort of return, right?

I think the better question to ask would be whether it’s worth it to shell out four times the cost of regular luggage for a single piece from Tumi.

Is a Tumi suitcase going to last at least four times longer than your regular Joe suitcase?

Well, if I’m being honest, that’s doubtful.

All it takes is one overly enthusiastic baggage handler and even the most bombproof suitcase can become modern art.

The thing is, when your $160 suitcase shows up looking like it went through a blender on the airport carousel, you’re likely to just shrug it off and plan to pick up a new one.

But when a $900 suitcase gets the same treatment?

Well, that’s going to hit you right in the wallet, and I can tell you now, it’s not going to feel like a gentle tickle.

FAQ’s on Why is Tumi so expensive

To help you with your choice, here are some answers to the most common question about Tumi products:

Why Are Tumi Backpacks Pricier Than a Night Out in New York?

If you were expecting Tumi backpacks to come with a bargain price tag, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Much like the truffles of the culinary world, Tumi backpacks—especially their business line—can cost as much as a piece of luggage.

For reasons beyond mortal understanding, these backpacks have become status symbols.

It’s like CEOs and managers across the globe collectively decided to start sporting Tumi backpacks.

But remember, folks, buying a Tumi backpack won’t instantly promote you to CEO—just in case you were harboring any illusions.

Related: Why are Kanken backpacks so expensive?

Of course, Tumi backpacks come with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from the brand.

Think premium materials, the Tumi Tracer feature, and more.

However, what really grinds my gears is the warranty.

Let’s be honest, a backpack isn’t subjected to the same ‘Game of Thrones’-esque trials that a piece of luggage goes through.

So, you’d think Tumi would offer a longer “worry-free” period for their backpacks compared to luggage, right?

Maybe two years of peace of mind for your pricey backpack?

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Tumi applies the same warranty across the board for nearly all of their products.

This doesn’t mean that their backpacks are sub-par—far from it.

But, in my humble opinion, when you’re shelling out the big bucks for an item, you’re also paying for the tranquility that comes with it.

In this case, your tranquility will abruptly end after just 12 months.

So, buckle up, it could be a bumpy ride!

Are Tumi wallets worth it?

Overall the Tumi wallets are worth it.

For the price you pay, you will receive a wallet that will easily last you five years.

When Tumi changes the collection, you can find their wallets at significant discounts.

All wallets come with Tumi ID Lock. This is a protective lining that keeps your card and id safe from scanners.

If you decide to buy one, you should go for the leather ones ( if you can find them) since these will last you longer.

You should watch this video to find out more.

Why are Tumi briefcases so expensive?

First of all, you should ask yourself: Is the image you project essentially in your business?

If the answer is yes, then it makes sense to purchase an expensive briefcase that will allow you to travel in style through the years.

Quality leather, excellent zippers, expandable compartments, and lots of pockets, all add up to the price of Tumi’s briefcases.

Every briefcase comes with an umbrella pocket that is rubber coated on the inside, so if you put a wet umbrella there, water will not seep into other parts of the briefcase.

I know that a lot of people from the business world prefer to buy a new briefcase every year, but if you are not that one, you can stick to a Tumi briefcase for a few years.

Even Barack Obama used to have a Tumi briefcase until he was elected President.

Tumi briefcases are made from quality leather and ballistic nylon.

Here you can watch a review of “Tumi Alpha 2 Slim Deluxe Portfolio” after one year of use.

Is Tumi an American company?

Yes, Tumi is an American company, founded in 1975 by Charlie Clifford. It went public on the NYSE in 2012.

Samsonite currently owns the Tumi company. Although Tumi is a U.S. brand, the manufacturing takes place in Asia.

So if you are a “buy American made” type, you should choose another brand.

What does the Tumi name mean?

The brand gets its name from an old pre-Columbian era blade that was utilized ceremonially in animal sacrifices to the gods and in human cranial trepanations . Thus, it is a symbol of death and rebirth.

The majority of tumi knives were found in the area that is now Peru, and today this blade is a national symbol.

The founder of Tumi, Charlie Clifford, spent two years in Peru from 1965 to 1967.

Where is Tumi made?

You might be wondering if Tumi luggage is made in some mysterious, high-tech facility hidden deep within the Himalayas.

Alas, the truth is less exotic.

Tumi outsources its manufacturing operations all over the globe.

So instead of Himalayan craftsmen, you’re more likely to have your suitcase made by skilled workers in places like China, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Dominican Republic.

So yes, your Tumi luggage could be as well-travelled as you are, even before you’ve bought it!

And who knows, it may even have picked up a few good travel stories along the way.

Maybe that’s why it’s so pricey

Why do consultants like Tumi so much?

Imagine consultants as the Indiana Jones of the corporate world. They’re always on the move, crisscrossing continents like it’s a walk in the park.

And when you’re always on the go, you need a reliable sidekick – enter Tumi.

Tumi has earned a reputation for crafting backpacks that are the equivalent of the Swiss Army knife: durable, versatile, and always on-point style-wise.

It’s the Rolex of backpacks – classy, robust, and a serious status symbol. No wonder consultants can’t resist its allure!

Add to this, the sweet corporate discounts many consulting firms have arranged with Tumi.

This makes these swanky backpacks a smidge more affordable for our consultant friends. And who doesn’t love a good bargain?

But, let’s address the elephant in the room here.

Sporting a Tumi backpack is pretty much the same as wearing a sign that reads, “I’m successful and I’ve got this!”.

If they’re flashing a top-tier backpack, they must be offering top-tier advice, right?

It’s like the sartorial equivalent of a Yelp review. If previous clients were satisfied enough to pad their wallets so they can afford such luxury, well, it must speak volumes about their expertise.

So, in essence, a Tumi backpack might just be a consultant’s most sneaky power move. Crafty, huh?

Wrapping it All Up

So, after this whirlwind tour, what’s the final verdict?

Well, let’s just say Tumi has had a bit of a ‘Benjamin Button’ moment – starting out mature and classy and now taking a dip in the fountain of youth.

But, whether that’s working for them or not, well, that’s a question only time can answer.

If the thought of a price tag makes you break out in cold sweat, then perhaps Tumi is not the brand for you.

It seems to be straddling a tightrope at the moment, trying to entice fresh blood without alienating its existing clientele.

I wouldn’t exactly put Tumi at the top of the list for digital nomads and backpackers, unless, of course, they’re keen on playing ‘dodge the mugger’.

In this day and age, all it takes is a quick internet search to figure out the value of your shiny Tumi bag, and let’s just say it might make you a bit more ‘popular’ than you’d like to be.

In the end, if Tumi is your cup of tea (or rather, flute of champagne), go for it!

But remember, luxury luggage is a bit like a peacock – flashy and eye-catching, but not necessarily the best choice if you’re trying to blend into the crowd. Or dodge muggers, for that matter!

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Sorin Susanu
Sorin, the primary writer for this site, launched it in 2019 as a hobby and a means to refine his English. With a passion for travel ignited by a trip to Italy at age twelve, Sorin has been exploring the world and sharing his adventures ever since.