Unboxing the Tumi Black Alpha 2 Leather Backpack

In my quest for the ultimate backpack I came across multiple brands. Brands like Fjällräven, Tumi, Herschel, Thule, Eastpack, Louis Vuitton and Deuter. A backpack has a certain function. Some need it for school, others for holiday and others just for fashion. As a business traveller who travellers no longer than a week, I mainly need for storing my laptop, charger, documents, camera, toiletry case and some other it related stuff like charger for the Iphone, and a powerbank.

I generally prefer European brands but the most functional and beautiful backpack I came across was the (American brand) Tumi Alpha 2 Black backpack and then specifically the leather one. To be even more specific the TUMI T-Pass® Business Class Leather Brief Pack®.

Tumi Alpha2 Business - Leather T-Pass® Business Class Brief Pack®
Tumi Alpha 2 Business – Leather T-Pass® Business Class Brief Pack®

Product Description

The Tumi Black Alpha 2 Leather Backpack is from the Alpha 2 Collection. Which is the top end line from Tumi. The leather edition is even more luxurious than the ‘regular’ TUMI T-Pass® Business Class Brief Pack® which is made from ballistic nylon material instead of leather. The primary material used it black nappa leather. The dimensions are 16.5 x 12 x 8 in (42 x 30,5 x 20,5 cm). It can store a 15 in laptop and the weight is 3.95 lbs (1,79 kg). The price in the United States is $675 while in Europe it’s €765.

Product Experience

Unboxing

The backpack is held in a plastic bag. The plastic bag has some stickers on it to identify the model. The whole unboxing and unwrapping wasn’t really special. I’ve seen better and more exciting packaging on lesser quality items. The unboxing was a bit of a disappointment but when I saw the quality on the backpack I quickly forgot about the unboxing.

Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather unboxing
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather unboxing
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather unboxing
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather unboxing
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather unboxing
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather unboxing

During unboxing I’m trying to look for where it’s made. But it’s nowhere to be found. Even on the website of Tumi I can’t find it. If it was made in the United States I would assume they would take pride in it and have it displayed somewhere. Since I can’t find it I’m assuming it’s made elsewhere. I’m not sure yet but I will keep looking!

Exterior

The nappa leather is extremely soft and give the backpack a gorgeous luxurious feel. The leather in combination with the eye for detail and use of other durable materials really takes this backpack to the next level. The metal zippers, the logo, cord, the straps that go over your shoulder are all made of durable materials and have more detail to it than a regular backpack.

Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather luggage cord
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather luggage cord
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather luggage strap
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather luggage strap
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather luggage handle
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather luggage handle
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather luggage tag
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather luggage tag
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather zipper
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather zipper
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather logo
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather logo
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather logo
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather logo
Tumi Strap
Tumi Strap

Interior

The interior is of the same exquisite quality as the exterior. Not only the quality is great the design is thought out. The only downside when opening the backpack is the amount of stuffing they put in the suitcase. See photo. It’s composed of all different kinds of material. Not something you would expect from a luxury product.

Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather luggage interior stuffing
Tumi Alpha 2 backpack leather luggage interior stuffing

The top compartment is the type of compartment where you can put your sunglasses in. Unfortunately it hasn’t a hardcover which would protect your sunglasses if anything would drop on it.

Thule backpack
Thule backpack
Tumi Top Compartment
Tumi Top Compartment

The two compartment on the front are meant for pencils, documents and includes a key hanger. The front compartments also hold the the Tumi Tracer. The idea behind the Tumi Tracer is that the bag, if lost, can be traced back to it’s owner. The tracer is permanently affixed to the bag. The serial number on the tracer can be traced back to the owner. A requirement would be that you register your bag with Tumi when you purchase it.

Tumi Tracer
Tumi Tracer

In the two compartments can also be two info cards. Once is about the service and warranty and the other is about the leather. The warranty card refers you to the Tumi website. The warranty is 5 years. A few years back it was a life long warranty. The reason they changed it is unclear to me. The leather card basically warns the user that the color can change overtime.

Tumi info card
Tumi info card
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A detail I really appreciate on the frontal compartment is the key holder. The holder is made from metal and feels very robust. The strap is finished off with leather details which look very nice.

Tumi Key Holder
Tumi Key Holder

The side compartments are surprisingly large. The amount of paper I pulled from these compartments was very surprising.

Tumi Side Compartments
Tumi Side Compartments

What I absolutely like about the main compartment is that won’t fully unfold. See photo. The advantage of this is that you can actually put stuff in the backpack while the backpack is standing upright. It also prevents you from overpacking.

Tumi main compartment
Tumi main compartment

The main compartment consists of other smaller compartments for disks, chargers, cards, pens etc. In the main compartment a cover for the bag could be find.

Tumi main compartment
Tumi main compartment
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The unique selling point of Tumi is the T-Pass. According to Tumi T-Pass should give you a hassle free pass through customs without removing your laptop from the T-Pass sleeve. Everyone who recently travelled by air knows that the customs pass is not hassle free and they won’t definitely let you keep your laptop or tablet in your bag.

Tumi T-Pass
Tumi T-Pass
Check point friendly?
Check point friendly?

Another functionality what is very common but really appreciated on a backpack is the Add-a-Bag system. I tried it on to a Rimowa and the handle was a little bit too large for the Add-a-Bag system (or the Add-a-Bag system was too small), Eventually I made it fit, but it didn’t smoothly glide into it.

Tumi Add-a-Bag System
Tumi Add-a-Bag System

Pros

  • Gorgeous looking backpack
  • Functional backpack for the business traveller
  • Top end. I can’t imagine there a more complete backpack

Cons

  • Still not clear where it’s made. Googling it tells me that Tumi shifted production from the US to China a few years back. This would explain why it’s not mentioned anywhere where it’s manufactured
  • T-Pass is a nice idea but won’t work in practice. Laptop just has to be taken out of your bag at customs, whether you have a Tumi bag or not

 

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