Tumi Vapor Suitcase Review

A few weeks ago I wrote about my search for a new suitcase. Tumi was having a sale and so I decided to go back to the brand I started traveling with 10+ years ago.  A suitcase that was originally sold for $645 was on sale at Tumi.com for $328.  That’s just over 50% off the original price. I bought the Tumi Vapor Extended Trip Packing Case in the crosscut pattern. I went with a large, non carry-on suitcase due to the amount of extended international travel I do.

The suitcase arrived is a large cloth cover. The material, according to the Tumi website, is a triple-layer ABS and polycarbonate shell. The material is very lightweight and feels a little flimsy in its movement. The suitcase has plastic bumpers – that I hope will withstand the harsh handling that luggage is subjected to. It has a shorter than expected extendable telescoping handle and we’ll have to see how it handles in the real-world. It also has 360-degree swiveling wheels – which I think are a must when lugging suitcases around the world. There is a TSA approved lock (which I’ll talk more about later) and an Omega 2010 zipper system. Why is the Omega 2012 zipper so special? Well, according to Tumi it’s their patented closure system and reduces the risk of damage to the zipper. If the zipper is caught on something (like a conveyer belt) the puller breaks away from the suitcase rather than the entire zipper tearing apart. Tumi claims that the zipper is more easily replaced due to this technology. This is one thing I hope never to have to test.


When I unpacked my new Vapor, it was locked. I tried setting the TSA approved lock to 0-0-0, but no luck. I tried 9-9-9, 1-1-1 and a few other random combinations. Nothing, my suitcase remained safely locked. Hmmm…how does one get their suitcase open? I called Tumi and the person I spoke with wasn’t to helpful. After trying literally about 20 different combinations, they finally told me how to reset the combination lock. Finally open, I was able to explore the features inside the suitcase. Locked safely inside were the TSA approved lock instructions (perhaps there’s a better place to put those) along with the limited warranty and some other information. The inside is divided into two compartments The main section is quite large and has tie-down straps. The smaller compartment has a small zipped pocket which contained a removable garment sleeve. I was a little perplexed with the garment sleeve. There was no hanger or attachment with which to secure the garment bag into the suitcase. I guess you’re meant to just lay it inside the suitcase?

The suitcase has the Tumi Tracer functionality with is exclusive to Tumi. Tumi Tracer is a free program that allows consumers to track their lost or stolen suitcase (or other Tumi product with the Tumi Tracer tag included). There is a small plate sewn into the suitcase that contains a tracking number. Once that tag is registered, Tumi can track items that are reported as lost or stolen and hopefully reunite them with their owner.

This will be my second Tumi suitcase purchase and I also have several other Tumi products. I love all of the Tumi products I currently own and hope that this one lasts me as long as the others.

13 Comments on "Tumi Vapor Suitcase Review"

  1. nice bag! easy to spot!

  2. looks really ugly, waste of money

  3. I love it!! I’ve been dying for a TUMI.

  4. Just got the size below extended model and using it for the first trip tonight. It’s still a pricey item but if it holds up it could be worth it.

    Let’s see the damage on its maiden voyage .

  5. Not to criticize (Imean to each their own) but I’m not sure why people spend so much on bling luggage that is such an easy target for a thief and for being “lost” by the airlines. Boring, plain jane good quality luggage that is not so attractive for thieves has always been my choice.

  6. just found an older tumi alpha at a thrift store here in vegas for $12.99……..what a score

  7. @Stephan, as you say, to each is own. I’ve always had what you call “bling” luggage and in 10 years have never had anything stolen or “lost” by the airlines.
    I choose to spend on good luggage because my last Tumi lasted me for more than 8 years and if it was big enough, I would still be using today. It’s just too small for my international trips.

  8. @Mike – I’d love to hear how your bag holds up! As I said, I’ve had great luck with Tumi and I hope this one lasts just as long as my others!

  9. @Charles – I guess it’s a good thing you don’t have to use it!

  10. My 2 cents, I have had a Kenneth Cole for 3 years. The rollers are worn, the feet are broken off and will not stand off. The bag is in great shape. Based on the squeak of the wheels and broken feet, my wife purchased a piece at Kohls for my birthday. A hard sided unit that within 4 weeks, was destroyed, pushing me back to my Cole. I AM searching for a Tumi. I travel weekly, always check, and want a quality unit.

  11. I travel a lot, l over. Tumi has been well worth it over and over and over again. Ive had my Tumi bag for 12 years, if anything breaks..they fix it Tumi is by far the best luggage I have ever owned. It’s worth the extra money.

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