Tough Traveler - A Six Decade History

At Tough Traveler we make bags with the same heavy-duty materials & painstaking techniques we've used for over fifty years.  Here's how we create both beloved classic designs & exciting new ones in our Schenectady, NY factory. 

1) Everything happens in our factory building on State St in Schenectady, NY:

Our current building                   ---------------    Our then building in the 1970s!

2) We design all our bags in-house - from the ideas of our designers, other employees, and customers!

Designer Christian Timm at work  --- A student team works with our staff to design a new bag

 3) We keep a large supply of fabric & other materials in stock!  We purchase 90%+ USA-made materials.

4) Once the materials are stacked, they are ready to be cut:

Cutters Joe Mahabir & Dewan Singh

5) And then individually sewn.  Every seam is reinforced, and straps are triple-stitched at stress points. With good care, Tough Traveler bags can last many decades. And we always repair, no matter the age or damage level of the bag.  It's part of our commitment to creating durable products that don't contribute to waste.

Sewers Rebecca Daniels & Bonnie Cox

Bibi Lodin demonstrates techniques for a school tour

6) Our building is large enough to make as many bags as needed!

7) Once the bags are made, they are ready to be shipped or displayed:

Shipper Lakshmi Singh

Is this the 70s or 80s? Not quite sure!

7) Over the years, our products have been displayed in museums, our factory has been featured on Mister Roger's Neighborhood, and our company has won awards both local and national. We are well-known both for the quality of our product and our focus on fair, local, and sustainable manufacturing.

Crew from Mister Roger's Neighborhood with Bonnie Cox --- Our Kid Carrier featured in a display at the Schenectady Museum of Science & Industry

8) But despite the heavy weight of our legacy... our diverse team manages to maintain its comradery & sense of humor!

Unidentified sewer in need of a nap

The crew has a party, circa 2000

We rely on our valued customers so that we can continue manufacturing in the USA!  As you probably know, it's faster and cheaper to buy an import, but you won’t get the same quality or standards.  So, we hope you’ll shop with us for all your bag & gift needs!

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