6 Best Briggs & Riley Luggage in 2024 reviewed & compared
20 years ago, buying a new suitcase was pretty straightforward because if it had a decent zip, a handle and a couple of brass buckles, you’d be fairly satisfied.
It’s 2024 now, luggage has come a long way and picking the right case for your travels can feel like a heck of a task.
Fortunately, when it comes to modern luggage solutions New York-based Company, Briggs and Riley, have been at the sharp end of the game since 1993.
If you’re eager to opt for a Briggs and Riley suitcase or would like to switch brands but don’t know which to choose, then keep reading.
6 Best Briggs & Riley Luggage in 2024
1. Baseline 22"
This neat little package manages to combine practicality and functionality in a convenient carry on sized suitcase which will fit into overhead lockers on the majority of US and international airlines. The bag is a step up from its predecessor with a hybrid fiberglass fame which makes it light relative to other B&R options.
- Hybrid fiberglass lightweight frame
- Built-in garment holder
- Outside handles on 3 sides
- Retractable luggage tag
- Comes with a convenient outside pouch
- Can be taken as carry-on luggage with most US and International airlines
- Suiter is not removable
- Luggage expansion mechanism cannot be locked to a specific size
2. Brx Explore 29"
Perhaps a little less glamorous than other models on our list, the BRX Explore has a more rugged and durable design. Made from two hard wearing fabrics this is a case is built to survive long-term travel or lengthy vacations. It’s made from 600D polyester with water-resistant tarpaulin and 420D nylon which is both durable and lightweight.
- Wear & abrasion resistant exterior
- Lower price
- Outer handles make it easy to lift
- Very durable, lightweight and water-resistant
- Simple and stylish design
- Zip expansion-compression system
- Some parts can have a flimsy feel
3. Transcend VX Wide 21"
The Transcend is another one of our carry-on favorites. It’s not just the slightly friendlier price tag that makes the Transcend Wide a great product. It’s also the dual-design 4-wheels which rotate a full 360 degrees. Ideal for navigating through busy airports or sliding your case into narrow spaces.
- Up to 2.5 Inches of extra packing space
- Quick access outer pocket
- Fitted with 4 wheels for ease of movement
- Not many colors to choose from
- Heavier than most carry-ons
4. Baseline Large Upright 28"
A larger version of the Baseline Carry-On Expandable Upright, this case is for those trips when you can’t cram everything into your hand luggage.
- Clever CX compression-expansion system
- Stylish design
- Adjustable handle
- Durable and lightweight
- Two-wheel system (cant be pushed sideways easily)
- One of B&R’s more expensive cases
- Available in 2 colors
5. Propel Rolling Case
For those busy professionals who regularly commute to work with a laptop shoved under their arm and multiple folders trying to break free of their bindings, Briggs and Riley bring you the Propel Rolling Case. Essentially a briefcase on wheels the lightweight nylon fabric and compact design make it perfect for taking on the subway or popping in the footwell of a car.
- Wide and low design for smooth and quiet rolling
- RFID blocking pocket
- Water and abrasion resistant
- Compact and stylish design
- Interior lining is black which makes finding dark items difficult
6. Baseline Upright Duffel Bag
This modern cross between a classic duffel bag and a convenient suitcase is useful for long vacations or family holidays because you can certainly fit a lot of sun hats and bikini’s inside this roomy case. While the Upright Duffle Bag doesn’t have as many frills attached as its Baseline brothers, it is arguably the easiest to pack.
- Very spacious and easy to pack
- Divides into 2 sections
- Elegant design
- A bit on the heavier side
- Lacks the ease of movement a spinner can give you
Criteria We Used to Evaluate
Picking the right piece of luggage may feel a bit like a lucky dip, but if you’re ready to pay premium prices for a suitcase then it goes without saying that you should receive a premium product. Granted suitcases that have many organizational elements, and aesthetic appeal are great but what we were looking for is practicality to go hand in hand with that. These 6 picks we feel satisfied that among the other criteria listed below…
Life Time Warranty:
A problem with many luggage brands is that often it costs more to repair a product than it does to replace it, hence why we often opt for a cheap case assuming that we will have to replace an expensive one at some point anyway. This is where Briggs and Riley differ from many offerings by brands like Delsey, Samsonite, American Tourister etc etc. All their cases come with a lifetime warranty which covers more than just personal damage. Their warranty also covers airline damage. This is a major positive for us and even gets one over other luxury brands like TUMI something for you to seriously consider.
Q: Does the lifetime warranty include wear and tear caused by frequent use?
A: The lifetime warranty does not cover cosmetic wear (e.g. stains or odors) so if your shampoo burst open while you’re on the road, you’ll have to clean up the mess yourself. It does, however, cover general wear and tear, which means that if you use the case so frequently that a wheel falls off, they’ll pop it back together free of charge.
Instead of just being a fashion statement, we expect cases in this price range to be functional, durable and meet the demands of real travelers and real situations. As a minimum, cases need to have a few inside pockets and dividers for toiletry storage and organized packing, a convenient outer pocket for your passport, and lockable zips for safeguarding your luggage while traveling. The cases on our list include all of the above, and some, such as the Baseline’s and Transcend are also fitted with garment carriers. Briggs and Riley keep their designs simple and provide exactly what you need without unnecessary frills attached.
Quality Materials (Zippers, Handles, Wheels, etc.)
Softshell cases are made typically made from ballistic nylon or a two-tone nylon blend which is resistant to dirt, moisture, scratches, and wear. The cases also need to be flexible for easy packing but at the same time hold their shape so you won’t be greeted by a squashed suitcase at the other end of a 12-hour flight. That’s not all.
Premium cases tend to make use of military-grade zippers and aircraft-grade aluminum handles which are strong and built to last. Suitcases with these features tend to be on the heavier side but Briggs and Riley counter that issue by making their frames from lightweight hybrid fiberglass. The durability of wheels, handles & especially zippers was of prime importance to us. Even though the warranty is top notch, it can be painstaking to fix a broken zipper on the go.
Q: Can I repair the suitcase myself?
A: If your suitcase needs a minimal repair then Briggs and Riley will send repair kits to customers within the US so you can fix the bag yourself. They cover the ground postage and only charge a basic handling fee.
If you’re travelling with a budget airline like Spirit or Easyjet then luggage dimensions are very important if you want to avoid the extra cost of checking your luggage at the airport, so, for ease of transport, this is one of the reasons we haven’t opted for too many widebody variants of the Baselines series especially. That includes carry on size restrictions for all main International, European and US airlines. Ideally, we also look for companies who produce their cases in a range of sizes which can be purchased as a set as it saves travelers from needing to shop about.
Other Features & Factors
Luggage Compression System
Something unique to Briggs and Riley is their clever expansion and compression system. While some of their models still feature an expanding zipper, the newest models are fitted with CX or VX compression-expansion systems. These are quick to expand while the case is open to give extra packing space and compress with just a little pressure when the case is closed. It’s certainly a lot easier than recruiting a volunteer to sit on top of your suitcase while you tug the zipper shut.
A key feature of Briggs and Riley cases is the pull-out handle and frame which is mounted externally instead of internally like the majority of suitcases. This may seem like a minor detail but it’s one that makes a lot of difference in terms of space. It also means that the bed of the case is flat so you can pack your clothes without too many creases because nobody wants to start their vacation by ironing their clothes.
There’s no wasted space either. On some models, such as the Transcend and Baseline, Briggs and Riley have added an extra pocket between the bars of the frame for storing small bits and pieces so that you can get to them quickly.
Retractable ID Tag
If airlines lost a dollar for every tag that was ruthlessly torn from its case during transit we’d probably see a few companies going out of business. For this reason, Briggs and Riley cases feature retractable ID tags and they’ve even considered your privacy. Instead of flaunting your name and address behind clear plastic, the luggage tag hides inside a discrete plastic case which keeps your personal details safe from nosy spectators.
Are Briggs and Riley Worth the Money?
When you purchase a Briggs and Riley suitcase you’re not splashing out a lot of cash for a fancy designer name, you’re actually investing in a suitcase which will last for life. People who swear by Briggs and Riley do so because their cases are top quality and their lifetime warranty is the real deal. Admittedly if you don’t travel often enough to take advantage of the warranty then a mid-range or budget luggage brand may be a better option. For frequent or long-term travelers, we think that a Briggs and Riley suitcase is defiantly worth its price tag.