Best Tumi Backpack

Last Updated on

At the time of writing, Tumi makes 41 different backpack designs. These backpacks are also available in different colors, styles, and fabrics meaning that they have 130 individual backpacks for sale on their website.

It’s no wonder lots of people ask the question “what is the best Tumi backpack?” There are just so many to choose from!

But of course, there is no single best backpack in the Tumi range, it depends on what you want to use it for.

Tumi makes travel backpacks, laptop backpacks, backpacks for business and work, and backpacks styled for women. Each model is targeting a slightly different audience.

This post will help you find the best Tumi backpack for your needs and price point. Our Tumi backpack reviews are deliberately concise and highlight the main features. This is to help you compare and contrast different Tumi backpacks without hours and hours of research.

Top 10 Tumi Backpacks

Before we jump into the reviews here is a list of some of the more popular best selling models of Tumi backpack. It’s likely that if you buy a Tumi backpack you’ll end up buying one of the choices on this list.

You can click through to Amazon to find out more about each product. The links are affiliate TravelingLight.com earns a small commission if you buy at no extra expense to you.

Situational Recommendations

In this section, you’ll find our recommended choice of Tumi backpack for various situations.

The Best Tumi Backpacks For Overnight Trips

The Best Tumi Weekender Backpacks

The Best Tumi Laptop Backpack

The Best Tumi Backpacks For Women

The Best Tumi Backpack For Business

The Largest Tumi Backpack & The Best Tumi Wheeled Backpack

That’s easy. The largest Tumi backpack is:

The Merge is more of a travel suitcase that can also be trapped on to your back.

These types of wheeled backpacks are great for rolling while the ground is flat like in the airport lobby but strapping on your back once the ground gets a bit rough. Think curbs, steps, and cobbled streets.

Tumi only makes 1 backpack with wheels. Since there are no other wheeled backpacks in the Tumi range the Merge is your only option for a wheeled Tumi backpack.

Tumi Backpack Reviews

Let’s now go into greater detail and review the more popular Tumi backpacks. We’ve included some youtube videos that add value and let you see the bags close up.

Tumi Alpha Bravo Sheppard Deluxe

The Sheppard Deluxe is an everyday casual backpack made with durable ballistic nylon.

They have a rugged look that could work equally well in the office or in the wilderness.

They have a 15-inch laptop compartment that will comfortably keep your computer safe and secure. They also have a handy phone pocket which is great when you are suited up and don’t want a phone in your pants pocket.

The plain black or graphite versions would work well in a business environment.

In contrast, the Grey Highlands version even has a camouflage design giving it a survivalist vibe.

It’s 17″ x 14″ x 8″ meaning it fits under most airplane seats. You could easily take 2 or 3 days worth of clothes in this backpack leaving behind your rollaboard for short weekend breaks.

Like all Tumi products, this is more than just a bag. It’s a fashion statement. The Alpha Bravo says “I’m a professional” but “I’m not afraid to roll my sleeves up and get my hands dirty”.

If you are looking for a smaller version of the Sheppard then checkout the Nellis. It’s basically the same bag but smaller.

Tumi Alpha Bravo Nellis

The Nellis is also part of the Alpha Bravo collection.

It’s 16″ x 14″ x 7″ and comes in both leather and nylon versions.

At first glance, it looks very similar to the Sheppard but from the side, you can see that it’s much slimmer.

The Nellis still has a 15-inch padded laptop pocket the reduction in size comes having a much smaller main compartment. There are 2 zip pockets at the sides and one 2 on the front.

I think the brown leather Nellis is a particularly handsome looking backpack.

The Nellis is a great backpack to carry a laptop and a few extra items. But it’s not much of a travel backpack due to the small size. You might be able to pack a single change of clothes for an overnight stay but it could be a squeeze.

Tumi Alpha Bravo Davis Laptop Backpack

The Alpha Bravo Davis is even smaller still.

This is a laptop backpack, yes you can fit a few extra items but don’t plan on packing a big lunch. Inside there is a laptop compartment and a main compartment that is tiny.

As a laptop backpack, it’s beautiful, but when I drop that kind of cash on a bag I want a little more versatility.

The Davis does away with side pockets resulting in a more rectangular look.

I would pick the Nellis over the Davis every day of the week because I have some extra space for emergencies.

The Davis is really just a one-trick pony.

Tumi Alpha Bravo London Roll

The London Roll is a top-loading every day casual backpack inspired by military design.

It’s 19 x 14 x 6 inches. This means that it’s not actually a great backpack to use as a personal item when flying. At 19 inches you might find it difficult to fit it underneath the seat. It will probably stick out.

For me, this ruins the London Roll as a travel backpack. The whole point of taking a backpack when flying is to either leave your rollaboard at home on short trips or to give you extra storage capacity when you do take a rollaboard.

Both uses depend on your being able to store the backpack under the seat and using it as your personal item allowance.

I suppose you could use it as a weekender travel bag, leave the rollaboard at home, and put this backpack in the overhead bins. For me, part of the pleasure of traveling with only a backpack is being able to slide it underneath the seat without fighting for bin space.

Unfortunately, it’s a little bit large to be an everyday carry backpack. Unless you frequently carry a lot of cargo, for example, a lot of gym gear.

Also, top-loaders are not great for packing clothes. They work well to carry a laptop and a some everyday carry items but they are not great when fully loaded because it’s hard to access the bottom of the backpack without taking everything out.

The London Roll is a great looking bag but I’m not exactly sure what it’s best usage scenario is.

Tumi Alpha 3 Brief Pack

The Tumi Alpha 3 Brief Pack is Tumi’s flagship business backpack.

it’s 17 x 12 x 8 inches.

Visually it’s perfect for daily office use, but if you only carry a laptop and nothing else you might actually find that it’s a little too big. In my opinion, 8 inches depth is a little tubby for an everyday backpack.

In that case, check out the Compact Laptop Brief Pack.

Where the Brief Pack really comes into its own is for business travel.

The main compartment is spacious and can easily hold 3 or 4 days worth of clothes.

The shoulder straps are comfortable.

You can either use the Brief Pack alongside your rollaboard to provide lots of extra storage space and a safe place for your laptop. Or you can fly with only the Brief Pack if you are going on a shorter business trip.

Either way, this backpack should count as a personal item with most airlines apart from United Airlines who inexplicably allow only a tiny personal item.

Tumi Alpha 3 Compact Laptop Brief Pack

If you like the more professional and classy look of the Alpha 3 range but don’t want something as large as the Brief Pack then Tumi makes a handy Compact Briefpack.

The Tumi Voyageur Carson Laptop Backpack

The Carson backpack is one of Tumi’s most popular options.

As part of the Voyageur collection, these are designed to be primarily for women. Of course, in the day and age, anyone can wear whatever backpack they want! So don’t let the binary labeling put you off if you like the style.

They are pretty, have a feminine look, are stylish and fashionable.

They are a great size of backpack to use as a personal item in addition to a carry on when traveling. If you were only going away for a single night you could use a Carson instead of dragging along a full-size carry-on.

At 17 x 12 x 5.5 inches, they’ll fit under the seat of airplanes if you are traveling with them.

Takes up to a 15-inch laptop. Anything larger could be a problem.

Has a trolley strap so you can attach it to your suitcase.

The Carson comes in a range of colors. Blackberry, midnight and sunset. Most are nylon but there is a black leather version of this bag that costs extra.

If the gold zips are too much bling for you there are two versions with silver zips. A black nylon version and actually my favorite is the Mink version with silver zips.

Tumi Voyageur Just In Case

The Tumi Just In Case is a lightweight packable backpack. It’s named perfectly since it’s the ideal backpack to take for unexpected situations.

It packs down really small when empty and it’s really a travel accessory rather than a main everyday backpack.

Typically you’ll pack this in your luggage when you go on a trip. Once you are at your destination you’ll use the Just in Case as a lightweight day pack to carry everyday items like sunglasses, sun cream, drinks, a camera.

But these backpacks are stylish too. They would work for business travel to provide a bag to carry your tablet, light laptop, binders, folders or paperwork.

This means that the Voyageur Just In Case is a versatile travel accessory that’s great for both business travel or personal travel.

It has a sleeve to allow you to stack it on the handle of your carry on.

The dimensions are 15.5 x 12.25 x 4.5 inches. This means that it will work well as a personal item for most airlines. You’ll be able to fit it under the seat in front of you if you use it when you are flying.

Sometimes we find that on our return trips we have a little more baggage than we set out with. On the return leg of your trip, the Just In Case backpack can spring into action providing you with valuable additional capacity in you are coming home with more than you set out with.

There are cheaper alternatives for this type of product. But they often are very flimsy and lack the style that you get from Tumi.

If you need a packable daypack and style is important to you then consider the Just In Case backpack.

Tumi Voyageur Hartford Laptop Backpack

The Voyageur Hartford is essentially a smaller version of the ever-popular Voyageur Carson backpack.

Whereas the Carson takes 15-inch laptops the Harford is designed for 13-inch laptops or tablets.

It also does away with the side pockets.

This means that the Harford is much better suited to being an everyday commuter backpack. You could use it perhaps for a single overnight trip but it’s limited as a travel backpack for longer trips.

Style-wise again it’s targetting the women’s segment. It comes in a range of colors, most varieties are nylon but there is a black leather version.

Personally I think the mink/silver is the winner here but the Blackberry version is very striking.

Tumi Voyageur Dori

The Voyager Dori is an x-small backpack designed for women. It’s even smaller than the Hartford.

It says it takes up to 12-inch laptops but there are reports that it’s a tight squeeze.

Your 12-inch laptop might only work if it’s extremely compact and without bezels.

That means that this isn’t really a laptop backpack. It’s more of a replacement for a large purse.

Also, it’s only useful as a second bag for travel. You’re not going to be able to leave your suitcase behind even if you are only going for 1 night.

There will be some people that the Dori is perfect for. It is professional enough looking to be used in a business setting. Perhaps if you only pack a small tablet and a packed lunch then it could be a daily commuter bag.

For most people, the laptop compartment is too small.

Tumi Backpacks By Collection

Tumi sells backpacks in 11 different collections. A collection is a set of luggage, bags, and accessories that form a coherent styling group. The backpacks above are not all the backpacks Tumi has on offer, they are just the best selling and most popular. If you want your Tumi backpack to match your Tumi luggage you should be considering what collection you like and what collection fits with your style and your needs.

Alpha 3

Business styling. Suitable in the boardroom or for business travel. There are 4 backpacks in the Alpha 3 collection.

Alpha Bravo

The Alpha Bravo collection is an everyday casual range. There are 7 backpacks in the Alpha Bravo collection.

  • Alpha Bravo Shepard
  • Alpha Bravo Davis
  • Alpha Bravo Tyndall Utility Backpack
  • Alpha Bravo Nathan Expandable Backpack
  • Alpha Bravo Lark Backpack
  • Alpha Bravo Lance Backpack
  • Alpha Bravo Grant Backpack

Arrivé 

Pronounced Ahh Ree Vay (it’s French) this collection is Tumi’s luxury business travel range. There are 3 backpacks in the Arrivé collection.

  • Larson Backpack
  • Barker Backpack
  • Ford Backpack

Ashton

Ashton is another luxury business travel collection. There are 2 backpacks in the Ashton collection.

  • Marlow Backpack
  • Doyle Backpack

Devoe

There are 2 backpacks in the Devoe collection.

  • Meadow Backpack
  • Sterling Backpack

Harrison

Harrison is a business casual collection. There are 4 backpacks in this collection.

  • Clinton Backpack
  • Osborn Roll Top Backpack
  • Bradner Backpack
  • Warren Backpack

Merge

Merge is another of Tumi’s travel collections. They have only 1 backpack in this range.

  • Merge Wheeled Backpack

Tahoe

Tahoe is an everyday casual range. There are 5 backpacks in the collection.

  • Finch Backpack
  • Westlake Backpack
  • Ridgewood Backpack
  • Crestview Backpack
  • Elmwood Backpack

Turin

Turin is a luxury Italian leather collection. There are 2 backpacks in the collection.

  • Lorenzo Backpack
  • Matteo Backpack

Varek

Varek is a business casual range. There are 2 backpacks in the collection.

  • Hudon Backpack
  • Worth Backpack

Voyageur

Voyageur is a casual business travel range designed for women. There are 9 different backpacks in the Voyageur collection.

  • Carson Backpack
  • Just In Case Backpack
  • Dori Backpack
  • Hartford Backpack
  • Rivas Backpack
  • Uma Backpack
  • Serra Mini Convertible Backpack
  • Brooklyn Double Convertible Backpack
  • Jane Convertible Backpack

The Verdict

There is a Tumi backpack to suit everyone. It can be difficult to navigate the range because there are just so many Tumi backpacks to choose from.

Think well to gain clarity about how you plan to use your Tumi backpack. Do you want to own just one backpack or multiple backpacks for different uses?

Once you know your likely use scenarios you’ll be able to narrow down the search and eliminate some backpacks that were not designed for your purpose.

As you can see the most popular Tumi backpacks are in the Alpha 3, Alpha Bravo and Voyager collections. The Voyager range serves the women’s market and Carson (Large), Harford (Medium) and Dori (Small) are essentially size options.

The Alpha 3 is the most premium and professional range and the Brief Pack (Large) and Compact Brief Pack (Medium) are your size options there. Think lawyers and accountants for a style guide.

The Alpha Bravo is the more casual range that would suit designers and more creative types. Although Tumi describes this range as casual it’s still a classy looking range of bags. In this collection Sheppard (Large), Nellis (Medium), and Davis (Small) are your size options. With also the London Roll as a sort of XL option.

There are other Tumi backpacks but these collections seem to hit the spot for most buyers.

People Also Ask