In August 2012 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 travelling 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 material, according to the Tumi website, is a triple-layer ABS and polycarbonate shell. My initial reaction was that the material was very lightweight and felt a little flimsy. It also has an extendable telescoping handle. It also has 360-degree swivelling wheels – which I think are a must when lugging suitcases around the world. There is a TSA approved lock and an Omega 2010 zipper system (woohoo!). 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 conveyor 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.
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?
So, what’s wrong with my Tumi? Well, unpacked it’s super lightweight, sure. However, when it’s packed fully it’s extremely heavy! Now, many people are going to say, “I can pack in a carry on for a two week trip” well, that’s great for you. I can’t pack for a four-week or longer business trip in a carry on, I’ve tried.
So what’s a girl to do? I must have the spinner wheels – that’s something I’ll never give up. And with Tumi, spinner wheels only come on the most expensive suitcases or the Vapor/ Hard-sided styles. I don’t think I can do a hard-sided style again. Give up Tumi for another brand? I shudder to think about that possibility – however, it just may happen.
What suitcases do you use? (and please, no carry on suggestions!) Oh, PS – I’m selling my Tumi Vapor as pictured above (lightly used). So if you want a somewhat heavy but otherwise lovely Tumi contact me via email.