Samsonite, Zippers, TUMI, Baggage Talk..

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by chaz4449, Feb 24, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. chaz4449

    chaz4449 Silver Member

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    As a person who loves to travel, I also like nice luggage. So, I wanted to pose a few luggage topics for discussion. (Hopefully I put this in the proper forum :))

    My wife and I purchased a Samsonite spinner and toiletry bag around a year ago. After just one trip through ORD, several of the zippers were broken off. Now after some extensive travel all of the "useful" zippers have broken off. Did I get a lemon or has anyone else had that problem? Any tips on protecting zippers, etc.? Our most durable piece of luggage seems to be a TravelPro roll aboard.

    On another note, I'm a big TUMI fan and have TUMI messenger and cross body bags that I use for carry ons. I would LOVE to have the luggage that matches my alpha series messenger bag, but I'm quite reluctant to invest in luggage that may just get destroyed... Have any of you had problems with durability and TUMI?

    Have any of you with designer luggage (Louis Vuitton or Gucci, etc.) noticed that they get treated a little "rough" by the baggage handler?
     
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  2. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

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    I have a Briggs and Riley bag that's probably a 24" size that has held up very well. It is nicely made and has nice finishing touches compared to a lot that I've looked at in stores. Their warranty is unbeatable.

    I have "recently" gotten a Tim Bihn Aeronaut that I'm going to try as my carry-on next trip. I've used it for some car trips and it has done very nicely. It's used similarly to a duffle bag in many ways, but it doesn't look quite as casual/frumpy/lazy/etc. It's a true carry-on (i.e. no wheels), but that's good for cutting down on weight, and it's pretty comfortable to carry with the backpack straps or with the absolute strap that they offer as an add-on. It is built very well and has all the nice touches that I can imagine in a bag of its general style. They've got a wide variety of travel bags, messenger bags, backpacks, and accessories like organizer pouches and packing cubes. Customer service is excellent. Everything is made in the US. I've seen nothing but solid, solid company from them. www.tombihn.com
     
  3. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    I second the Briggs & Riley recommendation. I have the 20" Wide Body Transcend, and it has been stuffed, bumped, dragged all over, and is holding up great. As autolycus says, the warrenty is unbeatable-- lifetime, and they will replace it for any damage done by anyone. Airline breaks the handle? No problem. You bring it hunting, and accidentally shoot the wheel off? I think no problem. Well, you get the idea. Just convinced my wife to replace a bag she had (the wheels disintegrated on her on a spa trip to Utah) with a B&R, and she got the 20" Baseline. She loves it as well. The pricepoint is less than Tumi, and I think they look good.

    I also like the looks of the Tom Bihn bags, although I don't own one, and have heard some good things about Red Oxx.
     
  4. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    Maybe I'm a bit conservative, but I recommend not buying luggage that makes you look rich. Let 'em steal the other guys's stuff, or even mug him !

    DTWBOB
     
  5. chaz4449

    chaz4449 Silver Member

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    Exactly. It's good for luggage to blend in...
     
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  6. chaz4449

    chaz4449 Silver Member

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    Thanks, I'll have to check out Briggs and Riley.
     
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  7. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    But hang some stuff on it that makes it standout -- though I don't recommend using the U of M logo if you fly to to CMH.

    DTWBOB
     
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  8. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I love my Tumi Vapor, but I haven't had it that long (3 months), nor have I had experience with other items from their lines.
     
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  9. Valentine

    Valentine Silver Member

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    Haven't had a problem with my Samsonite even though it gets a fair bit of abuse. Are you talking about the outside zippers or the tiny ones on the inside?
     
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  10. FlyingBear
    Original Member

    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    I had a Targus laptop bag that lost 4 or 5 connecting loops on the zippers. I was standing next to three of our sales guys and two of them had the same issue with zippers. Those two happened to have Targus bags too.

    What I am saying is that if you need a laptop bag and it sees abuse, don't get Targus. :)
     
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  11. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    I'd be curious to know what you decide!
     
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  12. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    Interesting that this thread is coming up now. In a little less than two weeks is the Travel Goods Show which features ALL of the major brands of Luggage. I have attended it several times and it is interesting to see what is new and exciting.

    I haven't had any problems with any of the cheapo stuff I buy other than the handles coming off. That is probably due to packing right at 50 pounds. A single rivet ain't gonna hold that. We have also had extendable handles bent, and wheels break off.

    Currently I am using one of the new hybrids, which has a hard side back and soft front. By Ricardo of Beverly Hills. Bought at Ross for $55. Came thru a two week trip to Florida and a cruise with no damage.

    As to warranties, most manufacturers have a 3 to 5 year guarantee where they will fix or replace a damaged bag for just the cost of shipping . The higher end bags also will cover the shipping but you will pay for it up front.

    Finally, at the Travel Goods Show they are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Travel Pro Rollaboard. Invented by a pilot! and they are releasing the new Flight Crew 9 series (or something like that).
     
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  13. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    To me, handles bending and coming off, and wheels breaking qualify as serious problems in my book. :D I refuse to buy a series of $50 bags when I can spend $250 for one that will last years.

    Interested in knowing how it holds up after a few more trips. Maybe I just have picked the wrong cheap bags in my life!

    I actually think the majority of manufacturers cover manufacturing defects, but will explicitly NOT cover accidental damage. That's a major difference to me!
     
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  14. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    I purchased the tri-fold Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer laptop bag last year. I've got nothing but great things to say about it, as its a tri-fold design it meets TSA regulations for not taking the laptop out for x-ray. Its large enough that it also serves as my carry on for most trips as I can stick a few things in it. The shoulder strap is one of the most comfortable I've ever used etc.

    You have to be prepared for sticker shock with them though, the quality and customer service is outstanding and it might be made in the US but you'll pay through the nose.

    My bag, with a business folder, the strap, a liquid carry on cube and shipping cost me almost $500 US. For a lap top bag. I still cringe :D
     
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  15. Gaucho
    Original Member

    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Im a Tumi junkie..... I think in all I must have 15+ Tumi bags, suit carriers, laptop bags, rollers..... the stuff cab be pricey, but its worth every penny. Their service and warranty program is legendary (havent used it for a while now, but it was last time I needed it).... the only other luggage brand that I rate the same way would be Rimowa.
     
  16. anng3
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    anng3 Silver Member

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    Have 2 Samsonite Spinners that are 4 years old. Both holding up great. Love them. Tumi carry on has torn seams and briefcase has seams torn by zipper. Went to Tumi store to have them fixed on lifetime warranty. Had to pay $25 to have them shipped to factory and then received email saying I had to pay over $200 to have them fixed. Very disappointed. Won't buy or recommend Tumi anymore.
     
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  17. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    Tumi's warranty is multi-tiered; the first year, it is no questions asked, everything is covered. After that, for years 2 through 5, it is a limited warranty that only covers defects, and after 5 years you're on your own.

    That's why I've never been interested in a Tumi bag-- for that cost, I think the warranty is actually pretty weak.
     
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  18. smokescreen
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    smokescreen Silver Member

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    Strange.. I've been unsing Tumi exclusively for over 10 years now with zero issues... I always assumed I'm a bit lucky with regards to damage but I also believe their product is built to last.. so I can't comment on warranty issues as of yet, and I have yet to replace any of the pieces I have since they've held up so well! Anyway, that's my experience for what it's worth..
     
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  19. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    I guess Ive been lucky.... last time I had to use the Tumi coverage I was in NYC and everything was done no questions asked....
     
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  20. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    agreed !!
     
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  21. alohastephen

    alohastephen Gold Member

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    Just put your MP tags on to find your bag. ;)
     
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  22. alohastephen

    alohastephen Gold Member

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    Thanks for the heads up.
     
  23. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    That list seems longer than "just" handles coming off. Also, how much cheapo stuff do you purchase, and how well does it perform (balance, protect, etc.)? How frequently do you replace your luggage?
    I'd be interested to see how it holds up over time, and through more than one or two trips. How much has it been handled by e.g. airlines etc, in the time you've owned it? What use did it encounter on those trips?
    Interestingly enough, that's far better than Tumi's warranty, and they are not cheap. Warranties are all over them map - from lifetime no questions to almost nothing, depending on brand.

    Thanks for the perspective. I suspect that, absent very heavy travel that really beats up a bag with a very good warranty (eg Briggs/Riley, or my less mainstream and somewhat idiosyncratic favorite, ThinkTank - aimed at photographers, marginally better-built than briggs and tumi, padded for protection, rearrangable dividers, etc.) replacing cheap bags is likely more economical than spending on very nice luggage. However, the combination of durability, warranty, and very importantly ease of use and overall quality of the more expensive bags offers a compelling proposition. The strength and robustness of the wheels - easier rolling, much more durable, easy to replace if need-be on my Briggs and especially ThinkTank bags is noticably better than even a lot of expensive bags. They stand up and do not fall over and are overall much more stable than cheaper bags I have used. The handles hold up better, the fabric is more durable, etc.

    Do these niceties justify the price difference? That's a much bigger question. For my carry-on that travels with me several flights and in and out of several hotels a month - no question. I can abuse it, throw it around, and always trust it to stand up to whatever I throw at it (and stand up extremely stably), protect my belongings, and offer trouble-free, care-free operation. For my wife's carry-on and our checked bag that travel a bit less frequently - they're an indulgence that we enjoy having and not worrying about, but could certainly get by more cheaply. The low-cost luggage that they replaced made it through only a handful of trips before decreased functionality and damage occurred, and never really did a nice job of standing up and remaining stable. Broken zippers, broken wheels, broken handles, poorly-positioned wheels, floppy frame, wouldn't stand straight without falling over, did not balance well, etc. Many issues the high end stuff will not have, or is less likely to have. The (good, as there is expensive junk available as well) pricey stuff just works and we can plan to ignore it for say a decade of much heavier use than the old stuff ever got. With that said, I have no doubt there's a very good chance we would pay less if we went with cheaper bags.
     
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  24. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    On the cheapo bags that we usually get. (under about $60) they usually last about a half dozen trips. When you take into account the problems that the bags are expected to go thru, like baggage handlers, the baggage machinery, being put on and taken off the belts and carts, etc. We think that is a decent price. I actually just had to retire a 26" Upright with a Carnival Cruise Logo that my wife got me in 1996. because the rivets came out of the side handle. It had been my go-to checked bag for over 12 years. and probably 3 dozen trips. Cost was $89 for a 4 piece set!.

    If my work involved more travel, I would probably spend more. But when your travel is cheap, the luggage probably needs to be too.
     
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  25. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

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    Oh, I'm not saying they aren't well made-- I think they are very well made. It's just that I think you pay a premium for the name, and IMHO for that cost, you should stand by your product with a better warranty than that!
     
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