The Tough Traveler Story: Great Bags Since 1970

Founded in 1970, Tough Traveler began as a small operation in the heart of Upstate New York. The company was dedicated to creating unique designs that would be both high-quality and exceptionally functional. Soon, Tough Traveler gained a loyal following.

Over the decades, our bags have accompanied travelers to the farthest corners of the globe. From scaling peaks in the Himalayas to exploring bustling markets in Marrakech, Tough Traveler bags have been there, sharing stories and memories.

We’ve collaborated with high-end brands such as BMW and GE, crafting bags that speak to reliability and excellence. We’ve even appeared on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, demonstrating backpack construction to all our young friends.

Why Choose Tough Traveler?

At Tough Traveler, we don't just make bags; we create companions for your journeys. Our commitment to quality, durability, and American craftsmanship sets us apart. Here's why our bags are a cut above the rest:

1. Handmade Excellence: Each Tough Traveler bag is meticulously crafted by skilled artisans at our Schenectady, NY factory. We take pride in being a family-owned and operated business since 1970.

2. Materials That Endure: We use the highest quality materials sourced from the USA. Our bags are built to withstand the rigors of travel, whether you're hiking rugged trails or navigating bustling city streets.

3. Legendary Durability: Our seams are triple-stitched at stress points using durable thread. But that’s not all—we employ many techniques to ensure a long-lasting, tough bag. From material selection to rigorous testing, we ensure that every bag meets our high standards.

4. Unique Designs: Our dedicated designers blend functionality with style. From sleek urban backpacks to rugged duffels, each bag is thoughtfully designed to meet your specific needs.

5. Eco-Friendly Practices: Tough Traveler is committed to sustainable manufacturing. Our 100% American production adheres to strong labor and environmental standards.

Explore Our Collection

Browse our extensive range of bags, backpacks, and gear. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a frequent traveler, or a daily commuter, we have something for you. Check out our full line!

Invest in Lasting Value

Tens of thousands of customers have discovered that Tough Traveler bags are an investment that pays off. When you choose Tough Traveler, you're not just buying a bag; you're investing in a lifetime of memories and adventures.

Because when your bag is Tough Traveler, so are you!

A Photographic History:

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


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


Cutters Joe Mahabir & Dewan Singh


Sewers Rebecca Daniels & Bonnie Cox

Bibi Lodin demonstrates techniques for a school tour


Shipper Lakshmi Singh

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

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


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!

Show your support by  follow us on Facebook or joining our mailing list below!