Must Have Briefcase for Business – TUMI 26141 – A Review

tumi 26141 alpha 2

Simply the best briefcase that works, TUMI 26141 Alpha2 Expandable Organizer Laptop Brief

Can you believe it’s already March?!

I bet some of you are looking for a new bag in preparing for the new business year (in Japan the new business year typically starts in April).

Today, I’m going to show you my recommendation.

tumi 26141AT2 alpha 2

It’s the TUMI 26141.

The 26141 is TUMI’s signature bag and is famous for being used by elite business men (Obama uses it too).


Updated March 3, 2017:

I saw Ben Affleck’s “The Accountant” yesterday and the main character was using a TUMI!
It probably wasn’t a 26141 though, because it wasn’t that wide.

I liked the movie too!

Check out 0:13!


The TUMI26141 is so popular that I estimate a 90% probability that you’ll run into one on the Yamanote Line (Tokyo) on a weekday.

The reason I am recommending the TUMI26141 is not because it’s popular.
As a matter of fact, there was a time I kept my distance from the TUMI26141 because I didn’t want to have the same bag as the person next to me.

Well then why am I recommending the TUMI26141?

Read on to find out!

 

The TUMI26141 is a bag that you come back to

I love briefcases.
When I was still working at my previous company, I used to buy a new one every year.

I’ve gone through the regulars, from the ACE GENEs to the Felisis.
Once I started making decent money, I bought briefcases from Prada and Goyard.

But there was one bag that I would come back to.

That was the TUMI26141.

The TUMI26141 belongs to the Alpha series.
The current Alpha models are called Alpha 2.

The model that I currently own is the Alpha 2 26141AT2.

I’ve gone through my share of TUMIs in the past.

tumi briefcases from the front

tumi briefcases from the side

The two bag to the right are the old versions of the Alpha.

As I mentioned above, the TUMI26141 is a popular business bag.

I can summarize the reasons for its popularity in three points:

  • It’s a little on the expensive side but not too crazy (its price point intensifies a business man’s desire to buy)
  • Conservative design and is durable (you can justify the high price cause it’ll take the beating for years)
  • High functionality (it is really easy to use)

Believe it or not, there aren’t many briefcases that hit these three points.

I think these are the reasons why the TUMI26141 is so popular.

It’s high functionality is really worth commenting on.

When you’re using a bag for work, it because a pain if it’s hard to use, no matter how good it looks.

You’ll be using it everyday so the difference compounds.

 

TUMI26141 Alpha2 Expandable Organizer Laptop Brief – Review

Design not bad

tumi 26141 from the side

tumi 26141 from the top

This is what the bag looks like, not expanded.
It’s still pretty big.

I used to use the TUMI26141 when I had a lot to carry or when I was going on business trips.
On regular days, I used a more compact briefcase.

It comes with a gorgeous laptop case but I don’t use it because it gets in the way.

tumi 26141 laptop case

 

The document space opens up like an accordion

The TUMI26141 has a document compartment that opens up like an accordion.

tumi 26141 accordion from the side

You can put the bag on the ground, open it up, and access to the documents are super easy.

 

The main compartment expands for extra space

Another feature of the TUMI26141 is that the main compartment expands.

tumi 26141 main compartment

Even when the bag is not expanded, it fits a lot of stuff.
When it’s expanded, it becomes a black hole, it’ll fit anything.

tumi 26141 main compartment expanded

tumi 26141 expanded from the side

 

The outer pockets are super useful

What I like most about the TUMI26141 are the outer pockets.

tumi 26141 outsidepocket

The previous Alpha had 4 pockets and it was ultra useful.
The Alpha 2 has one less pocket but they are still awesome.

You can use the big pocket for wallets, coin cases and ID tags.

The vertical pocket is the best place to keep an umbrella.

tumi 26141 outsidepocket bottom

The horizontal pocket is perfect for organizing small items.

My favorite pocket is the umbrella pocket.

The inside is rubber coated so you can just stick a wet umbrella inside and the other compartments won’t get wet.

The previous version of the Alpha even had water holes at the bottom but those are gone on the Alpha 2.

I recommend the Water Front Umbrella.

It’s super light so you can keep the umbrella in the pocket at all times.

It fits perfectly into the pocket.

 

You can go on short business trips with just the TUMI26141

The TUMI26141 can carry so much stuff that you can go on short business trips with just one bag.

tumi 26141 packing

Lets pack the following things:

  • change of clothes for the next day
  • large documents
  • small pouch
  • large pouch
  • notebook
  • id card
  • book
  • name card case
  • pen case
  • ear phones
  • coin case
  • wallet
  • calculator
  • umbrella
  • PC accessories
  • tissue paper etc
  • iPad

tumi 26141 packed main compartment

I like this pocket too.
You can stash a book, magazine or a newspaper in there and take it out when you want to without opening the bag.

tumi 26141 filled up

All of that fit easily and there’s still more space left.

 

The TUMI26141 even has an awesome strap

With all these items, the bag gets pretty heavy.

This is where the strap becomes very important.

Look at where the strap is connected to the TUMI26141.

tumi 26141 strap

Can you see how the strap joints are placed diagonally from each other?

This stabilizes the bag when you carry it on your shoulder with the strap.

At first, I didn’t like using the strap over a suit case it would wrinkle the jacket.
But once I got used to the strap, it became pretty hard to resist using it because it makes life so much easier!

Using the strap makes it easy to reach for things like your wallet on the go.

tumi 26141 easy access

 

The TUMI26141 is the perfect briefcase for business trips

One more awesome feature of the TUMI26141.

It can dock onto carry-on bags.

tumi 26141 docking

tumi 26141 docking rear

You can tighten the zippers to stabilize the bag better on the handle.

The zippers on the older Alpha models were more sturdy and did a better job at that.

The zippers on the Alpha2 are smoother so it’s easier to open and close pockets.
But for the purpose of stabilizing the bag on the handle, the zippers are too smooth and tend to loosen up.

For this location, and this location only, I think the older version of the zippers would have served better.

There’s also another pocket towards the inside of the bag.

tumi 26141 rear pocket

It’s perfect for news papers and magazines!

 

Summary

The TUMI26141 is a briefcase that I will always want to keep on standby, just in case I need to carry a lot of stuff for work.

Lastly, my thoughts on who the TUMI26141 is for and who it is not for:

The TUMI26141 is for people who

  • have a lot to carry
  • are always on the go
  • travel a lot for work

The TUMI26141 is not for people who

  • don’t have a lot to carry
  • don’t want to have the same bag as other people

 

Where should you buy the TUMI26141?

Japan list price (26141D2): 73,440 yen

US list price: 50,050 yen($455 @110 yen)

TUMI bags are expensive in Japan.

But the price gap has closed compared to the past due to the weakening yen.
When yen was expensive a few years ago, you could get TUMI bags at half price in the US.

Even now, it’s still best to get a TUMI bag when you’ll traveling in the US.

Sometimes you can get it at a discount on Amazon.

I did a search right now and found one for under 40,000 yen.

When you buy online, keep in mind that there is a risk that the product is fake.

In my opinion, if the difference is just 20,000 yen or so, it might make sense to pay full price and get it at a department store or a TUMI store.

That way, you wouldn’t have to worry if your bag is fake, and I personally think that assurance is totally well worth the extra 20,000 yen.

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