Let’s dive in and see the reasons that make Tumi products so expensive.
First of all, Tumi is a luxury luggage manufacturer.
In the world of travel baggage, Tumi is the Rolex of suitcases.
Even if your Rolex is made of stainless steel, it will not cost you peanuts.
This is also true with Tumi. Even if for making a piece of luggage, Tumi spends 300$, they can’t just sell it at 400$ and call it a day.
Lots of testing
Tumi was founded in 1975, and since its inception, they made it clear that all of the brand products will be thoroughly tested.
Every item from Tumi, baggage, or others, must pass at least 30 in-house tests before hitting the market.
For the end-user, this means you will receive a high-quality item that will not break or tear with ease, but this quality will come at a relatively expensive price.
Premium Customers Support
Tumi is well known for helpful support, and you can contact them whenever you want if you have any questions or want your bag to be repaired.
If you think that people will part like the Red Sea when you walk into a room with a Tumi bag, you are in error.
Tumi bags and suitcases are not flashy.
Due to the brand’s conservative designs, there will be only two colors available to choose from, though most of the time, you will have just one option.
Tumi emphasizes build quality and premium materials rather than the design.
Despite this traditional design, Tumi products don’t lack personality.
Fans of this brand love look because even after 20 years, you can tell that a specific product is a Tumi.
A known fact with Tumi items:
Items are made of premium materials.
Let’s face it: Every company is cutting corners towards the material they used.
Even if they advertise that their products are using only premium fabrics, they still need to make a profit somehow and there are only two ways to do that: cheap materials or cheap labor.
Tumi doesn’t need to do any of this, and they can use only premiums on the items they manufacture.
Going premium is good for the end-user, but this adds a significant amount to the overall cost.
Master of Innovation
Tumi is making all kinds of innovations to its line of products. Once a change passes all the quality tests, it is rushed into production.
Innovations like: Omega Closure System, FXT Ballistic Nylon, X-Brace 45 Handle System, Tumi Tracer; to name a few.
These names might not mean much to you, but all they do is make the end product more secure, reliable, and sturdy, thus increasing the brand image and customer satisfaction.
Tumi is also the only travel items company that uses TEGRIS material.
No, they didn’t invent the material, but they purchased a license that allows them to be the only luggage company that can make use of it.
Tegris material is an improved form of thermoplastic composite with excellent impact resistance and stiffens.
This material is also lightweight and provides 2x-15x impact resistance over all other plastic-type materials.
And if you are wondering what the material looks like: think carbon fiber.
Unfortunately, innovations require a constant influx of money from Tumi’s side.
Sometime in 2004, Tumi changed the warranty from Lifetime to only five years.
A lifetime warranty is no longer available.
I think being bought by Doughty Hanson & Co had something to do with this.
In 2016, the Tumi company was bought by the Samsonite Corporation.
You can read more about that here
From the five years, depending on the item, you will receive full coverage for the first 12 months
This will include shipping cost, product replacement, and if the product you bought is no longer available, you will receive a newer item from the same category.
Some people prefer to pay extra for these options because they want a worry-free item.
Between the 2nd year to the 5th year, Tumi will not cover damage done by baggage handlers or airlines.
They will also not cover missing parts and damages made in transit, but the warranty will still cover normal wear and tear.
Just a little advice: Keep your receipt in a safe place as proof of purchase.
This will be required in case you ever need the warranty.
Fighting Modern Slavery and Human trafficking
Tumi(Samsonite) released a statement about this in 2019: In the Company’s Business Structure, Activities & Supply Chain, there will not be such things and that Tumi will have “a zero-tolerance approach to these illegal activities.”
Tumi also created a system known as the “Standards of Engagement,” the primary objective is to mitigate the risk of modern slavery and child labor in brand operations and supply chains.
You can find more about this statement here.
Good Employee Treatment
All the people working for Tumi receive a fair salary and several benefits like:
- Health insurance with great coverage.
- Excellent working conditions.
- Up to 50% discount on the Tumi line of products.
- Paid vacation and lots of free time.
- Gym discounts.
- Dental Care.
- Good 401k Plan.
The only downside to this is that as a Tumi employee, you will have a lot of work during the holidays since the brand makes most of its sales at that time.
Tumi gives back
Over the years, Tumi made donations to a lot of charity organizations and foundations.
Since 2010 Tumi has raised more than 5 million dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. If you want to donate to this cause you can do it here.
Tumi managed to reduce its carbon footprint over the years.
They also partnered with Pratt Institute Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation…that’s a long name:)
Pratt Institute suggested some alternative materials and fabrics that will reduce environmental impact, and Tumi is currently implementing them.
We all know that for some reason, saving the environment is an expensive business.
Tumi is also trying to eliminate all PVC, and they reduced the PVC from their products by an outstanding 95%.
Is Tumi Worth It?
This is a difficult question to answer. However, if you can afford the brand items, I think you should try them.
If it is the first time you will buy an item from Tumi, I advise starting with the least expensive option in order to get an idea about the overall quality of the brand products.
If you are happy with your purchase, then stick with Tumi; if you are not, at least you have not invested a large sum of money.
Try to remember that the amount of money you pay for a suitcase might not be the best indicator of durability. Most of the time, a high degree of luck is involved.
You might have heard stories of people who bought an expensive bag from Tumi and used it for 20 years, and it is still going strong. But unfortunately, the opposite is also true.
To cut it short: more money ≠ more quality.
Some disappointed customers complain that the luggage they owned didn’t hold through the first year.
Buying a Tumi product is also a personal decision made entirely by you based on your income and social status.
If you think about it?
How did you hear about Tumi in the first place?
Maybe some random person walked passed you in the airport with a Tumi luggage, and another random person said with admiration:
Hey, that dude has a Tumi luggage!
And you start wondering what Tumi is and why it is different from your current bag.
Both of them are designed to do the same thing after all.
Is Tumi a good brand?
The short answer is yes.
But a better question is:
Is Tumi a good brand for you?
Tumi is a good brand to buy from a luxury perspective.
Still, previous Tumi customers are disappointed that Tumi products are now manufactured in Asia, and all the U.S factories have been closed.
As a fashion piece, it’s not a great buy.
You would pick Tumi as a fashion item only if you are a conservative person by nature; if you are the kind of person who drives a black Mercedes, then a Tumi makes sense.
I think as a fashion item, Rimowa would be a much better choice than Tumi.
Both manufacturers’ bags are in the same price range;
Rimowa’s main advantage being that you can personalize your luggage by choosing different colors for the handle, wheels, and case. With Tumi, you are stuck with 1-2 colors.
If your main concern is durability, Tumi offers some of the best suitcases in the industry. Still, you can find different brands in the same price range that offer superior impact resistance.
Overall, Tumi is a good brand, but why should you choose this brand over others?
Are you trying to impress someone?
Do you think a Tumi will give you that coolness factor?
Do all successful people seem to have a Tumi backpack?
I don’t ask these questions to waste your time – the answer is more scientific than you realize.
A few years ago, I attended a TEDx talk. You know, one of those where a speaker presents a new idea or discovery, and at the end, everybody suffers some sort of revelation (I was being sarcastic there).
In one, a doctor(whose name I cannot now remember) spoke about an experiment that proved that posing as a confident person for only 5 minutes a day would radically change that person’s behavior over time.
This doctor made a compelling case for “Fake it till you make it,” and I saw that her findings were true. However, this experiment also got me thinking: what if a piece of clothing or item makes you feel more confident… wouldn’t the results be the same?
So, long story short, if you think a product will make you more confident, you should go for it regardless of the price because the “personal reward” will be higher.
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.
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.
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 so expensive?
If you expected that the backpacks from Tumi to be cheaper, you are wrong.
Tumi backpacks, especially business ones, can cost the same as a piece of luggage.
I think that for some odd reason, they become a social status symbol.
A lot of CEOs and managers have started using it.
Hint: If you buy a backpack from Tumi you will not become a CEO 🙂
Yes, Tumi backpacks come with the same bells and whistles that a piece of luggage offers, including the Tumi Tracer, bags are made of high-quality materials, and so on….however, What pisses me off is the warranty.
I expected more from Tumi on this.
A backpack’s not a piece of luggage and doesn’t need to withstand the same harsh treatment.
If for a piece of luggage, you receive a 1-year “worry-free” out a 5 years warranty, then for a backpack you were expected to get at least 2 years. However, that isn’t the case.
Tumi kept the same warranty for almost all of its products.
This doesn’t mean that the backpacks are bad.
Although, in my humble opinion, when you are paying big bucks for an item, you also buy the peace of mind that comes with it, in this case, that peace of mind will only last for 12 months.
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.
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?
For a long time, Tumi products were manufactured in the U.S., but in 2001 Tumi decided to outsource its production to Asia.
Most suitcases, bags, and wallets are made in China, but the supply chain stretches to Vietnam, Thailand, the Dominican Republic, and other countries.
In conclusion, the “older” Tumi was better than the new one.
If the price is something that worries you then maybe this brand is not for you.
Currently, Tumi is trying to attract new customers without losing the current ones.
If this strategy bears fruit that remains to be seen, I will not recommend Tumi products to digital nomads and backpackers if they want to be safe from muggings and petty theft.
Nowadays, everyone can search for your item’s name on the Internet and find out how much it is worth.