Tumi Merge International Expandable Carry-On in Ocean Blue
Tumi’s brand-new Merge collection launched in January 2018. The collection has been inspired by the Californian landscape, cities and laid-back vibe.
Not as eye-catching as some of Tumi’s other brands (the beautiful 19 Degrees collection for example), but it’s smart enough for a business trip and relaxed enough for leisure travel too. It’s a neat, stylish case without being ostentatious. A useful zip expander increases the depth to 28cm, with an overall capacity of 38 litres. The soft-shell case is quite lightweight at 3.7kg, but has been created with durability in mind and the primary material is Ballistic Nylon – a thick, sturdy form of woven nylon originally used as body armour in WWII before the creation of Kevlar. The material is hard to scratch, though being a textile, probably wouldn’t fair too well in rain. The inside of the case felt extremely roomy, with additional pockets for organisation, and the top-down format was efficient. The front of the case has three additional pockets, making it easy to prioritise items you may need to grab quickly.
The standout feature of this bag was its fantastic balance and manoeuvrability thanks to the four sets of dualswivel wheels. Even when fully expanded and packed to the brim, I could twirl the case like a ballerina with the tiniest exertion. It also handled itself well over rougher terrain, such as uneven pavements. There’s a three-stage telescopic handle, plus retractable top and side carry handles and a bottom grab handle – particularly useful for yanking your bag off a crowded carousel.
My main quibble with this case was the discrete TSA combination lock – easy to lose and unable to secure all of the exterior pockets together. A neat identity tag is buckled onto one side and the bag also features a TUMI Tracer – with barcode and QR code.
A good choice. The case looks good, is a dream to manoeuvre, can hold plenty of items – particularly if utilising the expander – and offers options to prioritise important items. My only complaint was the unattached lock.