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Friday, February 23rd
TUMI is a luxury luggage brand, one of several acquired by industry giant Samsonite over the last few years. The company aims for sustainability in its production methods and materials, as well as impacting communities through philanthropy.
Several collections offered
When considering TUMI luggage, there are several collections to keep in mind:
Tracer recovery program
A novel feature included with some TUMI luggage is the Tracer product recovery program. Similar to the VIN number on your car, your Tracer number can help identify your bag or business case if it gets lost or stolen. Just make sure to register your TUMI product on the website after you receive it.
Better than average warranty
Another plus for TUMI is their better-than-average warranty coverage. Most luggage brands don't cover any wear-and-tear - ever. Your TUMI bags will be covered for just about everything in the first year, even if your not-so-favorite airline tosses it around like a sack of trash and something breaks or tears. Then, through year five, the airline damage warranty stops but the rest is still covered. You can bring your luggage into any TUMI location for repair or send it in; you'll pay the shipping costs to the facility after the first year of warranty protection, but in-warranty repairs will always be returned to you at TUMI's expense.
Problems with repairs
Given that TUMI is a high-end luggage brand, we didn't expect to see the "F" rating they've been given by the Better Business Bureau for failing to respond to over 85% of the complaints filed there (though it's worth noting that only 15 were registered over the last three years). Looking outside of the BBB to customer reviews elsewhere, we found a similar story: if your TUMI bag lasts as expected, fantastic, but if you need repairs under warranty you could have a tough time. Some customers say when their bag was deemed unfixable, they were offered a store credit of about half of their original purchase price - and even less than half of the luggage's then-current price. You might have more luck if there's a TUMI retail store near you, where your repair could be performed in-person or sent along to an authorized service center, instead of trying to initiate the repair online.
Overall, we feel that TUMI delivers a quality product with a well-stated warranty. But actually using that warranty, if needed, can cause problems and frustration - which makes us question the value of the warranty in the first place. Given that this is supposed to be a high-end luxury luggage brand, we expected more.
When it comes to buying your next set of luggage, your brand choice depends on several factors. Are you looking for the cheapest possible set to get your clothes from here to there? A designer label that conveys luxury and status? A mix of form, function, and value? Your answer to those questions will be a good jumping-off point as you decide which brand of luggage is right for you.
Do you have a preference for hard-sided or soft-sided carry-ons and suitcases? Some luggage brands offer both, while others specialize in one or the other. The same goes for the color and/or design: almost any brand will give you several options in basic black, but if you want your bags to stand out on the claim carousel at the airport - so that you spend as little time as possible trying to figure out which one is yours - your options may be more limited.
Still, almost every luggage brand has something that can catch your eye. Whether it's a bright solid color with contrasting accents, or a crazy pattern that's not likely to be repeated among your fellow passengers, you can usually find a piece that will stand out..
Another factor that will influence your luggage brand choice is your travel purpose. Taking the kids to Disneyland would require a very different assortment of carry-ons and suitcases (and sizes) from a couples' trip to hit the slopes at Vail or a solo backpacker adventure through Europe.
Once you've figured out if you need hard or soft luggage and determined what kind(s) of journeys you expect to put your bags through, what else will you need to consider as you choose a brand? Keep these factors in mind:
To help you get the right suitcases, carry-ons, and duffels for all of your travels, Top Consumer Reviews has evaluated and ranked today's top luggage brands. We're sure that this information will make it easy to find the best gear to take you from Toledo to Tokyo, wherever you may roam. Bon voyage!
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