Review: Briggs & Riley BRX Explore 22″ Upright

A couple of months ago, Briggs & Riley sent me an Explore 22″ Upright bag to try out (in the interest of full disclosure, for free), which retails for $290. This came at a good time, since, as I blogged about, the handle on my Tumi carry-on broke just a couple of weeks ago. So I’ve taken it on a spin for a few trips, and I’ve gotta say, I really like it.

First of all, the bag is extremely light, among the lightest I’ve used. And while the bag looks a bit “rugged” to me, it’s incredibly functional. It has several small pouches, including two on the front side of the bag. And on the inside of the bag there are also two zipped off areas, one perfect for folded shirts, and one for toiletries.

The bag also has “clips” that close the bag beyond the zipper. Again, looks a bit “rugged,” but I felt ever-so-slightly safer about gate checking my bag, since it’s one more step for someone to take something out of my bag.

The bag’s quality is great as well. The handlebar seemed long lasting, and the bag rolled well.

Obviously there’s a high price tag on the bag, at $290. But Briggs & Riley does have about as close to a “no questions” asked warranty as you’ll find. As you may remember, I wasn’t a huge fan of the last bag they sent me, though several readers commented that they love Briggs & Riley because they actually follow through on their warranty. So you’re essentially buying a “bag for life.”

Anyway, I’ll actually be using this bag as one of my two primary travel bags from hereon out. So if you see me around the airport, expect to spot this bag!

Lastly, here are a few pictures:

Filed Under: Travel
  1. Since ALL luggage eventually breaks, I prefer simply getting a new $60 roll-a-board at Cross-Dress-for-Less once a year.

  2. Any idea if it’s carry-on compliant? 22″ is the limit for most carriers and at least 1 FTer notes that B&R bags are sometimes larger than their stated dimensions.


  3. I LOVE my Briggs & Riley bags. I’ve got four of them, one of which endured heavy travel every week for over three years before having any problem. And, when it finally did have an issue (wheel broke), Briggs & Riley not only replaced the broken wheel, but both wheels, the bag’s frame (had a dent on the bottom from an airline baggage handler dropping it), the pull-up handle that was scratched and starting to get a little loose, and several missing zipper tabs. They also cleaned the bag up and returned it from the factory looking practically brand new. The only thing I paid for was shipping to them. Their bags really are built to last, and when something does break, they are absolutely the best when it comes to honoring the warranty and handling repairs in a very no-hassle way. After going through a bag a year from other manufacturers, I’ve found their bags hold up better than many of the competitor’s when in heavy business travel use 300 days a year. Sure, I could buy a $50 bag every 6-9 months, but I’d rather pay for something meant to last, that also comes with a guarantee that it will be fixed for free once it does break.

  4. @Kevin

    He’s paying for it with this post, don’t you know? He can’t expect his mom and dad to pay for *all* of his travel. Just most. 😉

  5. LUCKY,

    I like the tumi looks better, have you look at the other brand? What is the refund policy? Well try it out for for your next couple MR, if you like it then keep them if not try another brand until you find the one you really in love with.


  6. I have seen this bag and like a lot about it. However, I measured it and by the wheels the depth is 12 inches — not 9. So I really want to know if it does fit in the overheads? If it doesn’t then it is not a carryon.


  7. I was looking for reviews of this bag and just came across yours! Two questions…

    a) A year later, how is it holding up? Do you still like/use it as much as you did at first? Any damage issues?

    b) You say “rugged” as if it’s a negative thing…I would think it would be a plus for a frequent traveler’s gear. Care to explain further?

  8. @ traveler — I’ve never had an issue fitting it in an overhead.

    @ Marisa — Holding up good so far, and I’ve been using it quite a bit. No damage yet, though I treat my bags with respect. It’s good for a bag to be rugged, though not necessarily good for it to look rugged, in my opinion.

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