9 Best Tumi Backpacks: Reviewed For Stylish Travellers

TUMI has brand recognition because it's known for producing attractive, high-quality bags that cater to the needs of anyone from a business person to a traveler who doesn't want to compromise on style. In this article are nine TUMI backpack reviews of the most popular models offered by the TUMI brand.

Through this article you'll be able to see why TUMI is (or, possibly, isn't) the right brand for you, and you can develop a better sense of which is the best TUMI backpack for you.

Image

Model

No. of Compartments

Size

Check Price

Tumi Women's Voyageur Calais Backpack, Black,...

Tumi Voyageur Calais Backpack

7 +

Small-Medium

Tumi Women's Just in Case Backpack, Black,...

Tumi Voyageur Just In Case Travel Backpack

2 +

Small

Tumi Women's Halle Backpack, Black, One Size

Tumi Voyageur Halle Backpack

6 +

Small

Tumi Women's Voyageur Nadia Convertible...

Tumi Voyageur Nadia Convertible Backpack

3 +

Small

Tumi Women's Ari Tumi T-Pass Backpack, Black,...

Tumi Voyageur Ari T-Pass Backpack

6 +

Medium

TUMI - Alpha Bravo Davis Laptop Backpack - 15...

Tumi Alpha Bravo Davis Backpack

5 +

Medium-Large

Tumi Mixology Backpack, Earl Grey, One Size

Tumi Mixology Backpack

5 +

Medium-Large

Tumi Men's Alpha Bravo Smith Sling Bag,...

Tumi Alpha Bravo Smith Sling Backpack

5 +

Small

Tumi Men's Alpha Bravo London Roll Top...

Tumi Alpha London Roll-Top Backpack

6 +

Medium Large

What Makes the TUMI Brand Popular?

New Jersey entrepreneur Charlie Clifford founded TUMI (its full name is TUMI Holdings, Inc.) in 1975 after he returned from a Peace Corps mission in Peru. Nostalgically, he named the company after a Peruvian knife used for religious sacrifices.

At present, Samsonite owns TUMI. There are 260 TUMI retailers in the world. Each site offers monogramming and minor repairs services. In addition, if you register with the TUMI Tracer® product recovery program, the company can recover a lost bag anywhere in the world.

TUMI bags and accessories are made from top-notch materials and the manufacturing process is ensured excellent by extensive product testing. Each TUMI product is put through 30 tests, including four different colorfastness tests and also a variety of strength tests for every part of the bag—including the zippers and handles.

TUMI is known to have snob appeal. Its products are relatively expensive and are slick looking and businesslike.

However, TUMI also can boast ethical corporate practices, such as: good employee treatment (benefits, fair pay, good working conditions) extensive charity donations (especially to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital) and environmental consciousness (they're 95% of the way to their goal of eliminating PVCs in all products and have a rigorous recycling policy). All things considered, despite relatively high prices, TUMI gives good value.


Who are TUMI backpacks made for?

TUMI makes bags and related accessories perfect for the corporate professional and/or high-class traveller. Their products are generally for adults (men and women) and have a clean-cut, strong look to them that suggests high-quality and appeals to the business-minded. These bags are a status symbol.

It's not all just a display of affluence and corporate strength, though. TUMI makes a point of designing bags to truly meet the businessperson or corporate traveller’s needs, as Krista comments in her review of her favourite travel bag for her business journeys. Each bag has a compartmentalised structure to make it easy to get to what you need when you need it.

Many of their bags have structures that allow you to easily fix other bags to the TUMI. Special high-tech features make air travel no fuss, and many of the backpacks have a shape that makes them perfect carry-on bags. You can even use these bags as foot rests on your plane ride, if you want to.

TUMI is the ideal airplane pack - for carry-on or checked luggage - with its TSA-approved T-Pass® system. With this system you have the security of a good lock system and the convenience of being able to leave your laptop in your bag during your airport check-in. TUMI offers 4 different styles of TSA lock: padlock, integrated lock, low-profile integrated lock, and snap-latch lock.

TUMI also makes all of their packs act as wallet shields against identity theft. The bags’ pocket linings are made of material to block RFID (radio frequency identification) used by identify thieves.

Tumi make bags for people of all ages, as Helen Mirren proved stepping out with her elegant Tumi number recently, dismissing critical comments that backpacks are for younger people. I'm with Helen on this one. There's definitely no such thing as being too old to wear a backpack. 


tumi backpack review

What We Looked At: Buyer's Guide For Tumi Bags

Materials

Regarding its make and materials, TUMI says: “We regard each component—from the smallest, case-hardened solid steel machine screw to our exclusive, virtually abrasion-proof FXT™ Ballistic Nylon® fabric— of each item as if it were the most important” (TUMI.com).

In addition, TUMI has a number of other excellent material features, including Tegris®, a synthetic material with high impact resistance, the Omega Closure System® which allows the zipper pull to detach from the zipper should it get caught (preventing damage to the whole zipper system), the X-Brace 45® handle system, made of aircraft grade aluminum that's strong and light.

Many TUMI bags are leather-trimmed. They're water-resistant, not waterproof.

Straps 

TUMI has created its own patented articulating shoulder straps. The straps contain metal joints between the strap and the shoulder pad that make the strap slip-free. The adjustable shoulder straps are padded with breathable mesh and are quite comfortable. Most backpacks have a carrying hook on top.

Size

Each backpack on the list below comes in one size. All of these packs are somewhere in the small to medium-sized range. Generally, liter volumes are not reported, but dimensions in inches are.

Compartments

Plentiful compartments are one of TUMI’s strong points. All the backpacks on the list below have at least 5 compartments.

In fact, there are so many compartments of various kinds that it's challenging to report an exact number in most cases (with dividers and pouches of various kinds, it can be unclear what counts as a “compartment”).

Most TUMI backpacks have a laptop section that can fit a 15’’ laptop easily. Unfortunately, some don't have bottle holders, but many users find that other compartments or just the general spaciousness of the main compartment makes up for this.

Style Options

Backpacks are divided into men’s and women’s. Most users feel that the appearance of the bags coincide well with the gender for which they're intended.

Most backpacks come in about 4 different color patterns. Some users do complain that they wish there were more. However, many report that they repeatedly receive compliments on their TUMI backpack.

Warranty

Yes, there's a 1-year limited “worry-free” warranty for all TUMI products, guaranteed for almost all sorts of damage. Then, there's a 5-year warranty for all bags (including backpacks) that covers any damage due to poor manufacturing. Superficial (“cosmetic”) damage, damage from abuse, and damage not related to the bag itself (lost time, inconvenience, etc.) are not covered by either warranty period.

Some users suggest that the company doesn't live up to its warranty agreements very well. However, others claim that the customer service and warranty system is fabulous. If you're very concerned about what might or might not be under warranty, it would be worthwhile to make an inquiry to TUMI’s responsive customer service.

See https://www.tumi.com/s/product-info-warranty for contact information.


9 Best TUMI Backpacks Reviewed

For Women

1. Tumi Voyageur Calais Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Waterproof = Water-Resistant
  • Number of Compartments = 7 +
  • Laptop Sleeve = Yes
  • Size = Small-Medium
  • Warranty = 5-Year

The Voyageur Calais has a size and shape that's ideal for the traveling woman. With its many pockets, relatively small volume (5.5 x 12.25 x 16 inches) and light weight (1.69 lbs), it's the perfect carry-on bag or day travel bag. There are 4 available color patterns.

Multiple users report that they receive compliments on their Calais bags all the time. It's trimmed in leather, has a leather top carry handle. It has simple, adjustable should straps, and TUMI’s Add-A-Bag feature, allowing it to slip onto the handles of a rolling suitcase.

Even with all the divisions and pockets, the Voyageur Calais manages to be spacious. One user indicates that the padded laptop compartment could probably hold two 15’’ laptops.

In addition to the laptop compartment, there are two open pockets for devices, cords, and personal items in the main compartment. The exterior has U-shaped pockets on each side and a front pocket for the items you want to access quickly. While there's no actual bottle compartment, many users feel the spaciousness and organization of the bag generally makes up for this.

One added bonus for the traveling woman is that the Calais is easy to wipe clean and easy to fold up and put in another bag if you don't need it.


2. Tumi Voyageur Just In Case Travel Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Waterproof = Water-Resistant
  • Number of Compartments = 2 +
  • Laptop Sleeve = No
  • Size = Small
  • Warranty = 5-Year

The Voyageur Just In Case Travel backpack is another great carry-on bag for women. It's lightweight (one user enthusiastically says, “super lightweight!”) and small in size (15.5 inches high and 12.25 inches wide).

This bag has the TUMI Add-A-Bag sleeve, which allows it to slip onto the telescoping handles of a suitcase. In this way, it's also a great way to be able to carry more without being encumbered by lots of bags. An added bonus is that it easily folds and can be packed away itself. 

The Voyageur Just In Case is a little cheaper than some of the other TUMI backpacks, another reason it's a great extra bag. It a great bag to have, as the name suggests, just in case, if you find yourself in need of extra space. Therefore, the Just In Case isn't such a good business pack. It doesn't have as many pouches, nor does it have a laptop sleeve.

Unlike many other TUMI products, it isn't made of the wallet shield material. However, the simplicity is what makes it useful as an extra bag or as a backpack for those with only simple needs. Despite its small size, the Just In Case is reported to be roomy.


3. Tumi Voyageur Halle Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Waterproof = Water-Resistant
  • Number of Compartments = 6 +
  • Laptop Sleeve = Yes
  • Size = Small
  • Warranty = 5-Year

The Voyageur Halle is a great backpack for petite women who don't have to carry too much. This pack is 14.25’’ high and 10.75” wide, and like many TUMI products, it's noticeably lightweight. It has a streamlined, but feminine, look and is available in 5 colors. 

This product is a versatile women’s bag, the perfect size for carry-on, and it has sufficient pouches to double as business bag and/or purse.

It has a leather carry handle on the top and simple adjustable straps and has the Add-A-Bag feature so that it can attach to rolling luggage. It does have a laptop pocket, but it's only for a relatively small laptop (12’’ but many users claim it will fit 13”). 

Some users complain of its lack of bottle holder, but in general, most feel that the bag’s spaciousness and organization make up for this. It has a substantial zippered front pocket with organizers and a small flat zip pocket directly above it.


4. Tumi Voyageur Nadia Convertible Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Waterproof = Water-Resistant
  • Number of Compartments = 3 +
  • Laptop Sleeve = No
  • Size = Small
  • Warranty = 5-Year

The Voyageur Nadia Convertible is so called because it can convert from a backpack to a sling bag when the straps are zipped together into one. The straps are also adjustable. It's a great day pack for a petite woman. Most users especially seem to like it as a summer bag.

It has a simple casual look while also being feminine and upscale in appearance. With its small size (2x9.5x14.75 inches), it's great for petite women. While it doesn't have a laptop sleeve, some users indicate that you can fit a laptop if you really want to, but it's not really a work bag (or at least not by itself). 

The Nadia Convertible has sufficient organizational compartments, inside and out, including a large zippered front pocket, an open pocket and a media pocket.


5. Tumi Voyageur Ari T-Pass Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Waterproof = Water-Resistant, And 1 Waterproof Compartment
  • Number of Compartments = 6 +
  • Laptop Sleeve = Yes
  • Size = Medium
  • Warranty = 5-Year

The Ari T-Pass is the ultimate travel backpack for women who mean business. It's fairly large for a women’s backpack, the largest of the Voyageur line, at 3.75 lbs. when empty. It measures 7.25x12.75x16.5 inches. The Ari T-Pass lock allows the backpack with a laptop to go through security.

However, the bag must be packed so that the laptop section isn't blocked from the scanner. Despite its larger size, the Ari T-Pass is also a good carry-on bag. When it comes to compartments, the Ari T-Pass is king. On its exterior, it has 2 side ample side pockets, a large zippered front pocket, one of which is waterproof and has an air vent, ideal for keeping beverages and a discreet smartphone pocket.

On the interior, it has ample space in addition to the T-Pass laptop compartment. The Ari T-Pass has a top carrying loop. Its straps are adjustable and cushioned enough to make even a heavy load feel comfortable. It has the Add-A-Bag feature so that it can be attached to a rolling suitcase.

At a glance, the Ari T-Pass may look quite unisex with its larger size and utilitarian build. however, the gilded zipper gives it a feminine touch.


For Men

6. Tumi Alpha Bravo Davis Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Waterproof = Water-Resistant
  • Number of Compartments = 5 +
  • Laptop Sleeve = Yes
  • Size = Medium-Large
  • Warranty = 5-Year

The Alpha Bravo Davis backpack is an ideal working commuter bag. It has adjustable shoulder straps and a top carrying loop, and for the air traveller, it's a perfect carry-on bag.

It comes in 3 colors, all of which maintain its masculine aesthetic. This is a relatively large backpack (4.25x11.5x16.5 inches and 2.75 lbs.) with an ample 15’’ laptop compartment that some users claim can hold a 17’’ laptop. 

The other pockets of the Alpha Bravo Davis are especially designed for tablet, cards, and pens, and naturally, there's plenty of room in the main compartment for whatever other personal items are needed. It also has a key leash and an Add-A-Bag sleeve so that it can be connected to a rolling suitcase.

The Alpha Bravo Davis doesn't have a beverage holder, but most users feel that the bags other attributes make up for this. In their review, DA MAN magazine called this backpack 'meticulously durable and incredibly spacious'. High praise indeed!


7. Tumi Mixology Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Waterproof = Water-Resistant
  • Number of Compartments = 5 +
  • Laptop Sleeve = Yes
  • Size = Medium-Large
  • Warranty = 5-Year

The Mixology backpack could be considered a very luxurious novelty item. It has practical features such as a laptop sleeve and compartments for small personal items and devices. More importantly, it has a compartment especially made to hold a 1 oz. and 2 oz. jigger, a shaker, and a spoon.

These items are included with the backpack, thanks to a holiday collaboration between TUMI and Ketel One Vodka—this explains this backpack’s name. The bag is relatively large in volume and somewhat heavy for a TUMI bag.

However, it's made to look like an Italian trunk. It's a work of art inside and out. On Amazon, this lovely bag is listed with only one color option, but it's beautiful: Early Grey. Obviously, this is a piece that can bring joy to both professional and enthusiastic amateur mixologists.


8. Tumi Alpha Bravo Smith Sling Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Waterproof = Water-Resistant, But As Waterproof Pouch
  • Number of Compartments = 5 +
  • Laptop Sleeve = No
  • Size = Small
  • Warranty = 5-Year

The Alpha Bravo Smith Sling is the perfect man bag, if you will. It's really too small to be a work bag and it has no laptop sleeve or even space to put a laptop, as its dimensions are 5.13x9.75x14.25 inches and its weight is 1lb. 12oz.

This backpack has one adjustable strap down the back, making it a nonconvertible sling bag. As compartmentalization and organization go, however, it excels. It has a waterproof side pocket that's suitable as a bottle holder. 

In addition to the main compartment, it has yet another zippered side pocket, front pocket, tablet pocket, 2 card pockets, a key leash, and a pen loop.


9. Tumi Alpha London Roll-Top Backpack

Quick Look - Bag Features
  • Waterproof = Water-Resistant, But One Waterproof Pouch
  • Number of Compartments = 6 +
  • Laptop Sleeve = Yes
  • Size = Medium Large
  • Warranty = 5-Year

The Alpha London Roll-Top backpack has all the right features to be a great carry-on bag, or even, a small suitcase, for a man. It's spacious, at 6x14x19 inches in volume. One user observes that it's not such a good work bag, because it has relatively little organizational features for its size, but this very trait makes it ideal as a short-term suitcase.

In fact, it does have compartments. It has a 15’’ laptop sleeve. a zippered wall between 2 main compartments, and pockets for tablet, cards, and more. It also has a key leash and one of its side pockets is waterproof and breathable, making it a good beverage holder. Furthermore, it has comfortable padded straps.

The Alpha London comes in 3 color patterns and has a slightly rough-hewn look, instead of a clean-cut office look. In this way, it's a different masculine look from the others on this list.


How Do These Models Compare?

Size

The smallest backpacks on this list are the Men’s Alpha Bravo Smith Sling backpack and the Women’s Voyageur Nadia and Halle backpacks. The largest are the Men’s Alpha London Roll-Top and the Women’s Voyageur Calais and Ari T-Pass. In general, the men’s backpacks are a little larger than the women’s.

Price

The priciest backpack on this list is the Mixology, perhaps partly due to the included mixology tools. The high price could also reflect holiday demand for a fun gift. The cheapest on the list is the Voyageur Just In Case, probably due to its simple design.

Functionality

The best work backpacks on the list are the Men’s Alpha Bravo Davis and the Women’s Voyageur Calais. The Men’s Alpha London Roll-Top Women’s Ari T-Pass are slightly better suited for worker who travels often. The Men’s Alpha Bravo Smith Sling and the Women’s Nadia Convertible are ideal for the role of purse or day bag.


tumi backpacks

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Are TUMI backpacks waterproof?

No, but they are water-resistant. They're not meant for rugged expeditions. These backpacks are strong for air, train, or car travel. Some of them have a small waterproof compartment, though.

What are some of the colors available?

For most of the backpacks in the list above, black is the most common color. In several cases, black appears to be the only color offered. However, depending on the model, you can choose from Anthracite, Ocean Blue, Grey, Reflective Silver, Crimson, Mint, Earl Grey, and more.

I need a large backpack. Will this brand be good for me?

As the TUMI luggage reviews above show, these backpacks are generally medium or small in size. However, users reported that they're spacious, even more than they should be for their apparent size. That said, if you want a really huge backpack for camping or backpacking, these are probably not big enough. They're not designed for these uses, anyway.

Can you take this backpack + a carry-on bag on airplanes?

Most likely, yes. Especially if it's one of the medium to small backpacks listed above. In fact, most airlines would probably allow and have space for all of the listed backpacks, either in the overhead compartment or under the seat. All of these backpacks are designed for this purpose, really.

How do you wash or clean a TUMI backpack?

First, you can always just wipe dirt off with a dry cloth or brush. If polishing is needed, TUMI offers specific polishes for their products. Most notably, for the ballistic nylon cloth of your backpack, you can use TUMI nylon fabric refresher. Just apply it to the soiled area and wipe off with a dry cloth.

There's also TUMI leather conditioner, but be cautious. This product is not for suede and must be used in small amounts and carefully on some special types of leather. To use the conditioner, first shake the product and test a small amount on a discreet area. If it works, then apply to the soiled area, let dry, then wipe off with a dry cloth.

Where can you buy TUMI backpacks at cheaper prices or on sale?

Generally, Amazon has the best prices for TUMI backpacks. Furthermore, under the right circumstances, you can get one of these backpacks for 10% or more less than the listed price on Amazon. However, Neiman Marcus and Luggage Pros, and Nordstrom also offer reasonable prices.


Conclusion

Many might protest that TUMI backpacks are beautiful but they can't really be worth the price. Actually, their incredible durability, airport- and airplane-oriented features, fastidious customer service, and their classy look might make them a great value, after all.

Also, for those who really love to get compliments, TUMI products will impress—whether the other person knows the brand or not.

Images via https://www.tumi.com/

  • Updated September 21, 2020
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