Why I Made The Switch To Briggs & Riley

Filed Under: Travel

A couple of days ago I explained why I’m finally dumping Tumi, after being a customer for years. Simply put, they no longer offer bags that meet my needs, so there’s no reason to pay top dollar for mediocre luggage.

I desperately needed new luggage, though I decided I was done with Tumi before deciding on a replacement. I was with Tiffany and Ford in South Beach, and after walking out of the Tumi store we looked for other luggage stores nearby.

Tiffany found one nearby, though when we walked in I first thought to myself that I was in Times Square, and wondered if this was all knock-off stuff and if a grown man in an Elmo costume was about to pop out from somewhere.

Despite the store’s initial appearance, the manager of the shop was super helpful, and within 15 minutes I bought both a carry-on and a backpack that I’m thrilled with.

My Briggs and Riley 21″ carry-on

When I asked you guys for luggage advice, there were two brands that readers recommended more than any others — Rimowa and Briggs & Riley. While Rimowa is great, it doesn’t meet my needs, since I like two wheel luggage.

The first bag I looked at was the Briggs & Riley 21″ carry-on. In the past I was hesitant about Briggs & Riley for two reasons:

  • Their “signature” color seems to be olive, which I personally find hideous for luggage
  • I don’t like that their handle bar “sticks out” on the back, rather than being integrated into the interior of the suitcase, since it seems to me like that doesn’t maximize carry-on capacity

Well, I managed to overcome both of those concerns, and ended up buying this bag and loving it.

First of all, I managed to get the bag in black. I think the bag looks nice — it’s not the most stylish bag out there, but I don’t think it’s any less stylish than a Tumi.

The main reason I didn’t like the handlebars not being integrated into the interior of the bag is because I figured it didn’t maximize carry-on capacity, but as it turns out there’s another trick that Briggs & Riley has to help you maximize your space.

The interior of the bag is spacious, and has some “nets” so that you can pack in separate areas. Some of these can also be removed.

What makes Briggs & Riley unique is their compression-expansion technology. I wasn’t aware this was a thing and at first was skeptical, but am happy to see that it works.

On the top and bottom of the bag are things that can be released to “expand” the bag. So it goes from looking like this:

To looking like this:

So you can pack the bag full to the expanded capacity, then you close it up, and then you just push down on the bag, and those things on the side go back down. Much to my surprise it actually works, and I was able to pack a lot of stuff in the bag using this method.

The bag also has a large front pocket.

One of the key features that was important to me is that the bag has a clip included, so that you can strap something onto the bag.

This is something I really value, and which Tumi has done away with. Below I’ll show just how practical this can be.

My Briggs and Riley backpack

I was happy with my new carry-on and was just going to buy that, but then we decided to look at backpacks as well, given that we were on a streak. I can’t say that I found any of the Briggs & Riley backpacks to be that cool-looking, though I did play around with one, and found it to be incredibly well designed.

My issue with many bags and backpacks is that I feel like they’re designed by people who are focused on fashion but not on practical design. I felt like this backpack was perfectly designed for someone who travels like me.

The storage space in this bag is spectacular. There are four different compartments, including one with two laptop sleeves, as well as three more compartments that can fit virtually anything you could want to put in your bag.

Seriously, this bag is so incredibly well designed, and I felt like there was a pocket for everything.

Even Winston was (initially) enthusiastic about the bag.

My “strapping” system

I know a lot of people are confused about why I prefer two wheeled bags so much. For me the goal is to minimize impact on my wrists, because I suffer from wrist pain, probably partly because I type all day.

I know people say that with four wheel bags there’s no wrist pain, but I don’t find that to be the case:

  • Often I have to roll the bag across carpet, and the friction means you have to push hard with a four wheeled bag
  • I always travel with a second bag, and it can be tough to figure out what to do with that

For example, one reader commented this:

You have no idea how body mechanics work, using a 2 wheeled bag means to load the weight onto your wrist. At least with the 4 wheeled bags, if you just pushed it in front of you slightly, the force will come from the shoulder.

So let me explain my system. I understand having a two wheeled bag as such doesn’t minimize tension on my wrists. For me the key is to strap my second bag to the back of the carry-on, because this counteracts the weight. So it goes from feeling like I’m pulling a 30 pound bag to feeling like I’m pulling a bag that weighs almost nothing. The bag feels so light that I can pull it with one finger.

Briggs & Riley warranty

Over the years Tumi has watered down their warranty, which sure is a shame. Briggs & Riley, on the other hand, probably has the most impressive warranty policy of any luggage manufacturer.

Here’s their warranty:

Our simple as that guarantee covers the repair of all functional aspects of your Briggs & Riley bag for the life of your bag. Naturally, our warranty does not cover cosmetic wear or cleaning, nor does it cover damage of contents, or the replacement of lost or stolen bags and/or its contents. If your bag or its contents are damaged by an airline and you wish to hold them responsible, we suggest that you file a claim with the carrier before leaving the airport. If you choose not to do this and instead wish for us to repair your bag, we will be happy to do so at no charge.

So the Briggs & Riley warranty covers all functional aspects of the bag for life, and even covers airline damage. Now that’s impressive.

Funny enough, as I’m writing this post I just received an infuriating message from Tumi, which I’ll cover in a separate post, and which further reinforces to me just how bad their customer service is.

How much did I pay for my Briggs and Riley bags?

The Briggs & Riley 21″ carry-on retails for $569, while my Briggs & Riley backpack retails for $319. As luck would have it, both were on sale for 20% off in the store I was shopping at. So I paid $710 for both, which is about the same amount Tumi would have charged just for the carry-on.

Bottom line

I’m so happy to have made the switch to Briggs & Riley. While the luggage isn’t cheap, they offer a truly excellent warranty, and I find their bags to be extremely well designed for the frequent traveler. The carry-on and backpack I bought perfectly meet my needs.

Thanks to Briggs & Riley’s superior warranty, better design, and lower pricing, I don’t think I’ll ever be buying a Tumi again.

Thanks to everyone for the great tips. There are no doubt other great bags out there, though I’m very happy with my selection.

  1. I’ve been traveling extensively for the last 15 years with suitcases taking the normal beating. One lesson learned over these years. Nothing holds up in the long run.
    So the bottom line is. Briggs&Riley has also suffered from the beating but always serviced and replaced broken suitcases. I will never change. Rimowa has just 5 years warranty. B&R will continue to serve me.

  2. @ Ben — Wow, you paid too much. Warranty, nice bag, Tumi costs more aside, that is still a ripoff.

  3. Congrats! Love my B&R since 1999. and the Backpack doesn’t look all that bad 😉

    My NorthFace Surge has 3 main compartments including a laptop sleeve, plus other nooks and crannies I like how your two bags clip together. I don’t have that, but the Surge BP sits on the top of the wheelie & the shoulder straps wrap around the top of the handle so I hold and pull all with one hand. one rule of traveling is that I must be able to carry everything and still have one arm/hand free 🙂

  4. I love my 4-wheeler 🙂 If I have to roll it over a carpet, I can ull it just like your 2-wheeler, but on a clear surface its much easier to push it, as well as in the aisle of the plane where I can push it with the small side in front. Much easier, too. and the second bag is no problem. either. it just “rides” on the trolley fixed to the handle (with its ownholder or my travel buddy holder. And at security I have it surely detached as quick as you. For me the 4-wheeler has no disadvantages to yoursn but many advantages.
    So this time I do not agree with you, Ben.

  5. I’ve been using a B&R bag and backpack for several years now. I think you will be very happy with this setup.

  6. I love Rimowa, but they just cannot make a true carry on – they all exceed the 22x9x11
    For Checked bag, their trunk is amazing – can set another bag right on top.

  7. I have owned B&R before. Unfortunately, I did not find the price point to match the quality and feel of the bag. Not bad, but not any better than middle-of-the-range Victorinox bags. I hope you find good value in yours.

  8. Instead of paying $569.00 for a box with wheels, go to TJ Maxx and get a Swiss Gear bag for $49.00

    I guarantee that expensive one will not last 10x as much, nor will it provide 10x as much use.

  9. On what planet did you get a 20% discount on Briggs & Riley? Is it a national retailer?

  10. This highlights a perfect example of the different ways people “travel”. I have the same carry-on as the one mentioned in this article, in olive, which I actually prefer. I received the bag through work as a gift. I’ve used it less than six times, always as a carry-on, and it’s in almost new condition.

    I travel exclusively for pleasure (retired) and find that a Travel backpack is superior to a standard carry-on. Most of my travel is to Europe and dragging a bag around on wheels is somewhat annoying. Since Lucky doesn’t appear to travel as much for pleasure as he does for “work”, his needs are far different than mine. I spent ~$150 for my pack and can’t imagine dropping over $700 to drag my non-designer clothes around the world.

  11. Insane that folks pay so much for luggage. I’ve been using Delsey luggage for years and it still looks brand new. Mainly because I never check a bag unless I’m forced to gate check it. Didn’t spend a penny over $100. Couple that with a Wenger backpack and I’m good to go.

  12. Once again…

    Buying a B&R suitcase or bag means buying a suitcase ONCE – you are basically paying for the lifetime warranty. This cannot be beat by Tumi, Rimowa, etc.

  13. I’m not surprised by your carryon choice. I am however, a bit surprised by your backpack choice as it’s really small compared to the weekender that you’ve been using all these years. Even though you’re not “living” out of your bags these days, it just seems like a big drop off in space. Hope it all works out for you.

  14. Ah yes, you’ve discovered the compression technology. Which is one of those rare features that actually works as marketed! I can’t even begin to tell you the absurd amount of things I manage to fit into this bag using the compression tech. The only problem is, occasionally an agent decides to weigh my carry-on, haha.

    In Budapest a few weeks back, the Lufthansa gate agent wasn’t going to let me carry it on despite it being fully compacted (she didn’t even weigh it, she just picked it up). Fortunately, I was flying in F on my next segment, and through some persistence on my behalf, she finally (with a loud sigh) agreed to let me carry it on.

  15. I’m all for buying good quality stuff that lasts, even if it costs a premium (to a point). I’m not a road warrior but $700+ for one rollaboard and one backpack is something I can’t justify. I can see why he purchased it, but me, no chance. I’ve had a set of Samsonite spinner style bags for 7 years and they still look great and function flawlessly. I was able to get a large wheeled bag, medium wheeled bag, two rollaboards, a small roller bag (that is amazing for short trips), and a shoulder bag for about the same price.

    I have to say though, that ratcheting compression system does look awesome. Looking forward to an update as to how well it works once it gets used some.

  16. Congrats, I have had fan earlier version of this very bag or many years and have been very pleased.
    Now go ahead and buy a set of packing cubes — you’ll love their convenience when it comes to both packing and unpacking.

  17. All my luggage is Briggs and Riley. It seriously Ben next time you are in need of luggage buy it in NYC my place on the lower east aide has been there forever very reliable and give significant discounts if you pay cash. DM me if you ever want the name/location. Congrats on your smart purchase!

  18. I switched to B&R a few years ago and love it. For the backpack I just picked up a Topo Designs 30L Travel Bag and love the design. It has lots of space, fits on the extendable handle of just about any luggage, and has a bunch of organizational pockets with compression straps, belt strap, and it can also be used as a messenger bag, with lots of easy ways to hook things to it.

  19. My Delsey has also lasted me over 10 years and barely looks used. I travel 4-5 nights a month for work and usually do 2-3 weeks of international travel a year. We even leave my wife’s Tumi stuff at home and she uses my Delsey bags. Been to 6 continents, numerous islands and tons of business travel and its still ticking. The biggest bag (29” I think) may have been $150. Two wheels, has the clip for another bag and instead of that compression thing on the B&R it has a zipper does that does the same function. up zip, it gets bigger and if you want to put some torque on it you can zipper that second zipper shut to keep it compressed. This is a 10 year old bag with that feature.

    Hope you enjoy the B&R but at ~$100/bag I’d buy Delsey again in a heart beat and even if quality dropped, at that price point just replace it every few years.

  20. the problem I had with the B&R was that if I used the compression system and loaded up the luggage, dropped the carry-on from about a foot high, the bag would expand by itself, defeating the purpose of the compression system.

  21. GREAT buy(s), Ben! This is the exact set up that I have. You will NOT be disappointed with the @Work backpack. I’ve lugged mine around the world for 8 months now, and it is the best piece of luggage I have ever bought.

  22. Welcome to the B&R Team! Started with a 2-wheeler in 2004. Finally replaced it last year with a Baseline Domestic Carry-on Spinner. They are well made bags and I used my original for business trips – I always check my bag and it was in great shape when I replace it. But, I decided to get with modern times and get the spinner. Takes a bit of getting used to compared with dragging a bag everywhere but I love it. I have a cheaper underseat carry-on backpack Lewis N. Clark Underseat Carry-on Backpack that cost less than $40 on Amazon. Both bags are highly recommended.

  23. Actually for back packs that are much nicer in style and function, you should look at Peak Design. They’re a small outfit in San Francisco. I have their everyday backpack which is mostly designed for photographers but it reality it’s extremely gadget friendly with origami compartments. Very high quality. You’ll never dig through a backpack again because you can open the entire thing up.

  24. I bought the same bag and love it but I do find it frequently becomes top heavy and has fallen over several times with just a light B&R briefcase hooked over the top of the handle. Actually embarrassing when it falls and awkward to pick back up. Never had that problem with my previous tumi comparative carry on.

  25. Does the extra clip needed to attach the backpack to the suitcase come with the backpack? I have the same suitcase and have been wondering about how to utilize the clip on the top. If it’s just a single purchase I need to make and then I can use any clip on bag, I’m going to do that.

  26. I dearly love B&R. My first one has been completely replaced twice and repaired a few times in between. Between us, my husband and I now have 4 more, including 2 rolling laptop bags. Best warranty ever – never a quibble – airline damage or not! Great well-built luggage to begin with. It’s so good to know I never again have to go thru the pain of getting an airline to acknowledge and arrange repair of a case that they smashed up. I prefer 2 wheels as well. I have a 4 wheel one which I find much harder to deal with. No way I could attach my heavy rolling laptop bag to the 4 wheel bag.

  27. It looks like a great bag. Good on you for taking the leap Ben. No matter what some may think, i reckon it looks very stylish.

  28. I have used B&R for 10 years. You can’t go wrong with them. Sturdy and tough. I have taken by 2 suitcases for warranty repairs 5 times and I drop them off and they call me when they are dont. Many many independent certified stores repair them. I like the rails being on the outside because otherwise they would take up precious internal space. I have never had it be an issue.
    So what broke for me?:
    slide out carrying handle was replaces 3 times between 2 suitcases. A wheel was replaces once and a zipper on another.
    These are the best I could find. Tumi is a has been. I have many Tumi items (2 briefcases and one that I chose from Delta when I reached 2M miles. They are good but meh.

    The warranty is enough to make this purchase a no brainer if you are a FF. If you travel occasionally I wouldn’t buy. The payback is for FF who beat them up.

  29. @Mark – The bag Ben bought shows as $569 on eBags. Plus all coupon codes and sales exclude Briggs & Riley, and the AAdvantage eshopping rebate also excludes Briggs & Riley.

  30. Bought my B&R Baseline International carry-on 18 months ago. Longest trip was 3 weeks in Colombia over the holidays. Love this bag! Do not expect to ever buy another one. The organization, with place for garment fold-out and The Compression System sold me. Mine is olive as it seems everyone else’s bag is black, black, hot pink, and bright blue.

  31. Man, I am strangely invested in the bags this guy on the internet carries. Lucky, glad you found something that works for you. My cheap TravelPro Maxlite has been great for me over the past 5 years, but has never done more than 35k miles/year.

  32. The warranty is the real deal. Last year brought in (to an authorized shop) 2 suitcases purchased in 1996 (!!!); one was repaired and one was replaced new, no questions asked. No paperwork, nothing. Badabing, badaboom.

  33. @Matt – sorry, I wasn’t clear. I already have the same rolling suitcase that Ben has. I’ve noticed it has that clip on the top but I wasn’t sure which bag I needed to buy in order to use that clip. In the photo in the article, it looks like the clip-on piece is a separate device from the backpack, meaning if I could just buy that separate strap, then I could just attach that to any bag and then finally be able to use the clip mount on the suitcase.

  34. My only concern about B&R is the weight. At 9 pounds, it’s definitely on the heavy side for 2019-era luggage. If you’re on a real airline or traveling up front it’s irrelevant, of course, but that may not always be the case.

    My older Travelpro Crew11 is 9.8 pounds empty and for me that’s too heavy when I know I’ve got to do a lot of shlepping through older European city centers, train stations, etc. I like to keep total bag weight close to 10kg but when the bag itself is about half of that it’s an issue.

    For Ben, B&R makes complete sense since he travels more in a month that I will in 4 or 5 years. For a half-dozen airport/rental car/hotel/conference center style business trips a year, though, I suspect that would be overkill.

  35. >>Does the extra clip needed to attach the backpack to the suitcase come with the backpack?<<

    No; it comes with the bag! Same feature on full size luggage, the clip is there, molded into the frame, the supplemental strap is included inside the bag. If memory serves, they also provide a TSA-approved B & R lock, which retails for ten or twenty dollars.

    I've been using B & R for five years and have never looked back. I have an authorized repair shop in NYC that recommended it after I brought my Samsonite in for the umpteenth repair and after I brought in a Tumi brief case that was covered under warranty that Tumi nevertheless refused to repair.

    The thing that has not been mentioned in either article is that B & R doesn't just have a lifetime warranty, but they also allow you to go online and order the supplies to do simple repairs like wheel replacement yourself. (you pay S & H for the ordered items, but you'd pay much more to ship the bag itself back, if not taking it into an authorized seller or repair shop.)

  36. My basement storage room is filled with Briggs and Riley bags which have traveled several million miles with me. I went from the old zipper expandable model (the best built) to the one you have (fixed twice for the compression system failing) and then decided I preferred a 4 wheeled bag. Unfortunately whoever engineered the wheel system had absolutely no idea of how to balance the bag and it topples over so frequently that I consider using it a hazard. It fell over as I turend and tripped me several times. There have been numerous complaints on forums and Amazon, but B&R has done nothing to rectify the situation. I new use Victorinox 4 wheel hardside which work perfectly.

  37. Did you look into the top Travel Pro models? Wire cutter has done some good write ups on these.

    I too prefer a two wheeled carryon. I’ve been very happy with my 22” platinum magnum 2. It has a strap / hook system. I settled on it because of the interior handle bar. I was worried that the Briggs style would be get caught on things while being handled (easier to damage) and had wasted capacity.

    I also own some of the larger platinum magnum 2 models in four wheel design. I’ve been very happy with the 25”. It can fit a ton of gifts and is great for shopping.

  38. I’m staying with my Briggs & Stratton.
    Same spark plug for 30 years and still runnin’

    Also, I prefer the cheap stuff on Amazon. Works for me, but then again I’m not that sophisticated.

  39. I’ve used Tumi…..but recently switched back to T. Anthony…..after years of having given up on their bags as too heavy.
    They’ve redesigned…and their warranty is 2nd to none……
    I hate the Rimowa clamshell….too hard to pack…prefer a bag that sits on a luggage rack…..
    Check out T. Anthony….and they’re much better looking than anything else on the market…

  40. The B&R warranty is truly amazing. The compression system on my boyfriend’s B&R broke and they couldn’t fix is so they just replaced it for free. Incredible.

  41. Thank you Lucky
    You have inspired me to go out and buy some new luggage today.
    I’ve just bought a roller (rather than spinner) and a new backpack. Both from Macpac which is a New Zealand outdoor brand so should be rugged. No hook but the store assistant helped me rig up a clip system with two carabiners. Saying goodbye to my tumi backpack and my American tourister spinner

  42. The only brand I buy. Amazon and Nordstrom often discount it.
    Their warranty is excellent but their product is even better.
    I’ve never had a failure.

  43. I think the amount that you’re spending for luggage is absurd! I bought a beautiful, state-of-the-art Chester Carry-on and love it. It’s light, attractive, has a compression system, holds lots of stuff, and it cost $185. I’m retired, and travel a LOT. Maybe not as much as Lucky, but I give my luggage a good test. It is often gate-checked and will really take the beating. I also agree with chilangoflyer’s comments about the 4-wheeler. I’ve had both, and absolutely feel that the 4-wheeler puts much less strain on my body than my antique TravePro.

  44. Are you retarded? $710 for both, on sale? I swear I paid something like $40 back in 2003 for my Skyway 21 inch, expandable, with two wheels. Still going like a champ. I had to paid $20 to fix a zipper, once. It’s beat up a bit now, but what do I care? Overpriced luggage I swear is the next best racket out there in retail after cosmetics.

  45. @Alonzo – I 2nd you about Delsey. Great Company, Great Carry-on and excellent 10 year warranty, which they actually honor. One wheel of my Delsey carry on broke after 2.5 years and they gave me a brand new carry-on !!

  46. I’ve had my Briggs & Riley bags since 2009, and they are definitely long-lasting. I think they’ve been to Europe and back more than 25 times. Some folk find them ugly, but I was using them for business travel almost exclusively until I retired, and they were appropriately conservative in design and color.

  47. As an airline pilot i swear by the Briggs and Riley domestic carryon. It’s the best suitcase i’ve ever owned.

  48. Great buy and I have 6 B&R bags that I use for my family of four on long trips. These are all bags that we check (they are big) but we have them for over 10 years and they are perfect.

    Changing back to the B&R carry on it seems that everyone agrees they are of an awesome quality but their style leaves a lot to desire. Question to B&R: Is it that difficult to hire a designer to help make the bags look a bit nicer and more stylish? If they improve the look of their carry-on bags and keep the amazing quality and warranty you would see their bags everywhere.

  49. I’ve never paid over $100 for a back pack and never have had one break on me. I don’t travel like you but I use it for tons of other stuff on a frequent basis. Its an eddie bauer.

  50. I’ve done a couple of million miles on my B&R and haven’t even needed the warranty yet (about 13 years in). They’re stellar.

  51. Welcome to the family! I’ve had a very similar bag (U421X) for 10+ years. Super reliable, easy to maneuver!

  52. I have a B&G, but the Travel Pro Crew is still better in terms of features and durability.

  53. I adore the outside handle bars because of the resulting flat bottom inside the bag. I recently had to use a TravelPro bag because my B&R was in for free repairs (yay!) and the interior bars ruined an expensive souvenir, despite my careful packing. I would never buy anything else. I use a Minaal backpack and, looking at your photos, I’m wondering if I could hook it onto the B&R carry-on. Can’t wait to try it out on my next trip.

    Great post, Lucky. Thanks.

  54. Just a heads-up, folks: if you can find an online retailer that consistently beats brick and mortar on luggage, do tell. I found myself with one of them voluntarily rebooking credit cards, valid only in the US, and needed some luggage. The difference between online and in the store was one level of TravelPro trim: the store had the better model for the same price.
    I dunno why the in-e-fficiency.

  55. Nice but how you handle the max weight? 4kg for an empty carry on ? Means in europe you can use only 3kg to pack for the trip…

  56. The expansion-compression system and the warranty are the main advantages. The compression system while nice may allow for greater weight depending on what’s being packed. Some foreign airlines have weight restrictions for carry on luggage. Have no issues with Lucky spending what he spent. He travels a boat looking and certainly can afford it even without a discount. I personally am happy to change out my $225 bag with a 5 year warranty every 5 years or so. I also do like the backpack clip and see why Lucky likes that option. I’m paranoid and in an airport would probably have my backpack over my shoulder.

  57. My Delsey is going strong, more than 5 years for sure. ALTHOUGH, a wheel did break several years ago. I took it to a luggage repair place in Hialeah, and they replaced the wheels with roller blade wheels, which have been extremely durable. Plus repair included delivery to my home in Miami.

  58. As an airline pilot I live out of a bag. And B & R is by far the best, I’ve had one for 5 years and it still looks brand new. I’ve had them all over the years, and travel pro is crap, will only last a year or two. Tumi style over substance. And to all the rest YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

  59. Winston will come to hate it when this bag appears , as he will understand that it means you are going to disappear. That can be countered, in part, by producing a toy from it upon your return , much as you would do for a child…so the association is not entirely negative. It works.

  60. I just bought my fabulous B&R wide 21″ carry-on and I am very pleased ( replacing my 10 – 15 year old Vitorinox bag). Tho…..
    when I got to the check in at Icelandair I was not allowed to carry it on because it weighed over 10kg.
    A couple of comments, tho. I bought the wide, 21″ bag specifically for international travel – and I am pretty sure the wide bag would have fit in the overhead fully expanded! Also, that neat clip for the outer strap attachment, also works perfectly for holding the interior compression workings out of the way for packing.
    Regarding the backpack…I wonder, does it have the security features of the Package backpacks ?

  61. For me, I’ve had my B&R carry on since 2012 and I’m happy with it. Before that I had my TravelPro carry on for over 10 years and that really did last a long time.

    B&R is good quality….though in the first couple of years I did have a few minor problems with it. The bottom compression mechanism partially broke so I can’t compress it fully. (I was on the fence about sending it in for warranty repair…but it seemed for trouble than it’s worth since it worked otherwise…just won’t compress fully since one side was cracked.)

    I just felt that my TravelPro, which was of roughly the same size, could fit a little bit more than the B&R. But overall, I’m happy with it….and have yet to try their Warranty service.

  62. My husband and I have been using Briggs & Reilly bags since 2000!! We love them. He is an airline pilot and his bags get beaten up. With Briggs & Reilly’s warranty, we never have an issue. We have a local luggage store that fixes anything that breaks for free!! I would never use another brand!!

  63. I use exactly the same set up (laptop bag instead of back pack!) and have done for 20 years, typically fly 10-15 segments a month and went through many brands before I bought B&R in or around 1999, needed some new wheel bearings about 5 years ago and they sent a chap out to sort it. Best luggage ever in my view.

  64. Glad you landed on Briggs & Riley. I’ve had one for over 5 million miles and 20+ years. When I bought mine they actually said in their advertising “ We cover everything, you can even tell us you’re dog ate and we’ll take carry of it.” Bottom line I’m such a fan of theirs that I bought both of my daughters two pieces of luggage and the same backpack you bought when their jobs started require international travel.

    Hope you have the same service out of yours as I’ve had.

  65. Mark P. — I was wondering the same thing about the clip-on strap, so I just pulled out my recently purchased B&R Transcend carry on and voila – I found the strap in the large exterior pocket. I’ve used the bag twice and didn’t notice it was there.

  66. Ditto on B&R. I use the 22″ two wheeler and a Transcend Backpack. Mine do 500k miles a year, and hold up very well. Only one repair in 7 or 8 years and the service is as advertised. Also a ditto on the comments on the Transcend Backpack, it’s the best. Also ditto on the earlier recommendation for buying in lower Manhattan.

  67. I am with you on two wheel bags. Those who prefer 4 wheels clearly dont travel in places with cobblestones and high gutters. I have yet to find a 4 wheel bag with big enough wheels. $ wheels are fine for swish hotels with smooth floors and where you don’t need to walk far. Just not my kind of travel. I also want a large and seriously heavy duty scratch plate across the lower section of my bag (on the side closest to me when I am towing it behind me) to prevent damage to the bag when I have to go up big gutters or steps. A bag for me has to be functional, not a fashion accessory.
    A further issue. Some Asian countries are warning about 4 wheel bags on escalators. Too many of them have run away and gone back down the escalator cleaning up those below. IMHO all 4 wheel bags should have wheels that auto lock as soon as the grip on the handle is released.

  68. Hi Lucky,

    would you be able to review the backpack after you did a couple of trips with it? I am considering to buy it for work too and would love to hear some feedback after the first couple of trips.

  69. You made a convert out of me. Initially I was hesitant but have wanted for some time to cross the barrier from checked bag to carry on. I ordered the Briggs and Riley, then had some buyers remorse. Tried to cancel but too late. When the bag arrived I stared at the box for 3 days before I opened it. Finally I did, and love the compression system and “feel” of the bag. Going to keep it and know I’ll enjoy it and the warranty it comes with. Thanks for the thorough reviews!

  70. I really like the look of the B&R baseline – clean and no nonsense. I especially like the rails being on the outside to create a flat inside. The warranty seems amazing. I needed a domestic/global carry on that was built to last a while. However I ended up choosing the newly released TravelPro “Crew Expert” Global. It was over half the price (actually nearly a third due to sale). It feels like a tank and supposedly is nearly identical to their Flightcrew (only) line. Weight is about the same as the B&R. Will see how the new Crew Expert holds up.

  71. I love my Briggs and Riley international size… BUT….. Don’t expect to be able to carry-on that carry-on if you’re traveling for more than 5 days. International airlines are increasingly limiting carry-on/overhead weight to 10-15kg (22-35 lbs). Make sure you check before you pack!

  72. Would be interesting to get a review on this. I hear a lot of mixed comments about the size and weight being allowed as carry on ? Thanks!

  73. I am interested in getting a B&R Kinzie Street backpack for my husband for work and business travel. He wants something modern, structured, clean lines and fits over his carry-on handle. He also wants something stylish. I can’t tell if these look too “corporate” or if they are classic but on trend. Not actually seeing the materials and finish makes it tough. He is early fourties and a city guy who has style (or we like to think). Is this a good choice or any other ideas? I’d go with Herschel if they had something like this for reference of style.

  74. Just got my B&R baseline spinner in black and love it!! I totally understand your carpet friction frustration with spinners, and have experienced it myself with my TravelPro. But the ease with which the B&R spinner wheels move is absolutely incredible. It rolled over the thin worn airport carpets at DEN and PDX like smooth concrete. And if thicker troublesome carpets present an issue, you can always pull the spinner on the rear two wheels like a standard two wheel bag. In fact, I noticed the rear wheels (underneath the handle) are slightly larger than the outer wheels, almost as if to better accommodate this switch! I was able to give my B&R a good shove, and it rolled smoothly in front of me while I put on my sunglasses – while still walking!

  75. I purchased 3 pieces (the clamshell cabin bag, the wide carry-on expandable spinner, and the large spinner) of the Briggs and Riley Transcend luggage because of the quality, the features, and the lifetime warranty. As a senior citizen, I was also looking for ease of use when the luggage was fully packed. I wanted a bag that would roll over the various surfaces you encounter when traveling. Porters or carts to rent are not always available. I was assured that the eight-wheeled spinner system should more than meet my needs.

    I found the Transcend luggage has three issues:

    The patented VX Expansion system is anchored at the top and bottom. The sides have no such system and you can stick your finger into the expansion area. No sense in locking the bag, it would be very easy for someone to slide a knife into the side of the bag to open it. To add the expansion clips to each side should solve this.

    The clamshell cabin bag (12.5 x 18 x 8.5) and wide carry-on expandable spinner (21 x 15 x 9) are not a good match. If the cabin bag has much weight, the two pieces are top heavy and have a tendency to tip over and are a bit of a chore to manipulate, especially walking into or out of a plane.

    Briggs and Riley luggage is NOT easy to use when traveling. Even empty the bags are sluggish on any surface that is not smooth. The bags packed are very hard to maneuver if you are. Not n a smooth floor.. The wheels will catch in ridges on uneven floors and any sort of carpet, they sink into the pile and drag. When I asked if there was a different size wheels available, I was advised that most people don’t have a problem maneuvering the luggage. Despite the many good features, because of the safety issue and the difficulty moving the luggage when it is packed, I would not recommend Briggs and Riley Luggage

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