Saturday, August 26, 2017

Dad's Review - TUMI Alpha II bag in Philippines

December 6, 2017 update:
The Philippine president is also a 'Tumi believer'" LOL.
One of our preparations for our Paris trip is to have suitable outfits appropriate for summer in Paris. The wife had been preparing her outfits, our daughter calls it OOTD, for several months whereas the humble husband is satisfied with his walking shorts collections, LOL.

The wife and daughter protested to the high heavens and even threatened me that I wouldn't be able to have couple pics if I won't level up my outfits.

As usual, the ladies have outvoted and outwitted the poor Dad. I had no choice but to purchase new outfits from my favorite Old Navy and Giordano shops. My trusty and worn out Converse sneaker was also thrown to the bin and a new set of Converse Jack Purcell would be my new travel buddy; I'd surely miss my old and comfy All Star Converse.

Expecting that I have complied with all the requirements I was surprised when the wife told me that my canvass shoulder/messenger bag needs to go as well. I knew it would be hopeless to argue with the wife so I eventually agreed. She brought me to Travel Club in Trinoma and I was given a carte blanche to find a suitable shoulder bag that can accommodate a small foldable umbrella and bottled water.

I found a shoulder TUMI Alpha II bag that can carry those items since it is horizontally expandable and with multiple pockets that can even accommodate my tablet. It uses ballistic nylon material and apparently abrasion proof too. In addition, it has an inner red-lined pocket that protects your rfid cards from nearby card scanners. In all honesty, I am not aware about this brand; that was the first time I encountered TUMI bags.

I know you have been waiting for the price, it costs 16,880 pesos. I closed my eyes and asked the sales staff to give me a new stock. In order for me to have a good night's sleep, I planned to avail a 6 months 0% interest using my credit card. Luckily, they don't have new stock thus the sales staff tried to push through with the sales stating that the display piece is in mint condition and I wouldn't find the same bag in any other stores in Trinoma. Sorry, I won't splurge seventeen grand for a display item; not in my lifetime.

I told my wife that I would use my canvass backpack and look for a suitable bag at NAIA's departure duty free shops. I was elated since I thought I was able to save 17 thousand pesos.

I was dead wrong.

Our flight day has arrived. After completing immigration formalities and x-ray/security check, the wife noticed TUMI bags right after the security check. To make matter worse, the same bag that wasn't available at Travel Club in Trinoma was on display and they have plenty of new stocks available. I surrendered and accepted my destiny.

TUMI bags at NAIA T1 departure duty free shops 

However, the same TUMI Alpha II bag costs 225 USD; or around 13,000 pesos as per exchange rate of 51.30 pesos to 1 USD. It was cheaper by almost 4 thousand pesos compared with Travel Club's price.

Long story short, I have used this bag for several days in Paris. It protects my gadgets and souvenirs from rain; yes, rain can be expected in Paris summer. We took jampacked Metro train and got pressed in queues at different touristy places in Paris but my TUMI bag retains its mint appearance. I got all our personal effects organized due to multiple pockets. One time we purchased a set of ceramic display plates at Chateau Versailles; they were easily accommodated inside the bag after expanding it.

While the wife was busy posing with her OOTD (outfit-of-the-day) with her matching Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Longchamp bags I was happy with my TUMI since it easily matches my rugged or sometimes casual outfit. Its main drawback is its diagonal mounted strap; you have to wear it cross body otherwise it would slip from your shoulder. As for me, I prefer to have cross body bag rather than a shoulder bag.

with key chain holder/strap

pockets for cards and tablet

While strolling around Paris and Rome, I noticed that TUMI bags shops in these places. Truly, wife knows best, LOL.

I am sure this bag will be my new travel buddy for many many years.

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