Last Flight A TUMI Changed My Life

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of good luggage. Many of us spend much of our traveling lives slipping through terminals and turnstiles with flimsy carry-ons and poorly-packed two-wheelers that barely fit more than a toiletry kit picked up at T.J. Maxx or, worse yet, Wal-Mart. Consider this author guilty of both offenses until about a week ago when I took the plunge on a Tumi Alpha 2. Here’s what I’ve learned upon joining the upper (luggage) class.

They are freaking bulletproof
At one point during my week traveling through the more cobblestonesque parts of Europe, I had a briefcase and a massive tote lashed to the top of the Tumi with the wheeling-arm fully extended. There was not a single moment where I felt even the slightest wobble from this, which if you’ve ever used the cheap stuff while racing down a 45 degree pitch to the next gate, you'll know to be a serious feat.

They fit so much stuff, and still fit in the overhead compartment
Like George Clooney explains in the critically acclaimed Up in the Air, you know just how important it is to never check a bag (domestically speaking). Personally, I save around, oh, roughly 20 hours each year by not checking bags. But until the Tumi, this was a nightmare—I never had enough stuff with me. The Alpha 2, though, is designed to fit nearly every airline's luggage compartment in the air today, and I still was able to fit a blazer, nine shirts, four pairs of shoes (!), all toiletries, three books, and an odd number of socks.

You look like you mean business
Of course, Tumi offers a wide range of modern looking options. The Alpha 2 is the latest version of their most popular bag ever, the Alpha. There’s a certain American Psycho/1980s modernist chicness about them; become an owner, and you can’t help but spot the others. I personally chose to nod knowingly at every road warrior I saw wielding a Tumi. Whether or not they knew what the hell I was nodding about, well, is still up for debate.

Ted Gushue is the Executive Editor of Supercompressor; he has never been able to travel internationally without checking a baguntil now. Hear about his flight attendant fights on Twitter @TedGushue.