I need to buy 1-2 new pieces of luggage. I did some searching, and found a few linked threads from the old board software that are no longer live.
I am looking for a couple of things:
1. A carry on that expands to a full suitcase;
2. Possibly a wheeled carry on for laptop and 1-3 day trip, etc.
I have read some good reviews on FT for Brigs and Riley? Do people think they are surely the best of the best? Is B&R the only company that offers a lifetime warranty not only on manufacturring defects but also on damage to the bag by carriers? How does for example Tumi compare to Brigs And Riley?
Are there any other good web sites for luggage reviews? I searched Consumer Reports and do not see anything.
PS: My last bag was made by Travel2000 and it had a lifetime replacement warranty. However, apparently, Travel2000 has gone out of business?
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Big Briggs & Riley fans...
My wife and I are big Briggs & Riley fans. We own one of the big expandable uprights (the 26", I think...it's definitely not the 28"), a 22" expandable upright, the zip-closed wheeled garment bag, and the hanging toiletry kit. The good news is, these bags are fantastic--my 22" probably has 750k miles on it in 5 years, and the others easily have over 200k miles on each. The bad news is, since we've had them for a while, we're missing out on some of their newer OneTouch features, but it's not enough to make us chuck the bags for new ones just for a smidge of convenience.
We've only had a couple of issues...the wheeled garment bag's wheels became squeaky, and needed to be sent back for de-squeakage. The other thing is that the pull tabs on the zippers have been destroyed repeatedly--I think my 22" has gone in 5 or 6 times, and the garment bag has gone in twice. Frankly, this usually happens on CO regional jets when checked as valet luggage, so maybe I need to take this up with them.
I'm also a huge fan of Eagle Creek's products; we own a number of their expandable wheeled bags, both 22" and 26". However, the Eagle Creeks are a little less squared-off than the Briggs & Rileys, meaning that my clothes tend to travel a little better in the B&Rs. For weekend or leisure travel, the Eagle Creeks are awesome, and I even like their wheels better than the B&Rs, but the B&Rs simply do a better job with my dress shirts and pants.
Of course, if I were using my Eagle Creek Pack-It cubes and folders, maybe it wouldn't be an issue.
Also, about 5-6 years ago, I bought leather Briggs & Riley briefcases for my entire team of 6. While we've all moved on to other jobs, 4 of us (that I'm aware of) are still carrying our B&R briefcases. I did a very serious bake-off of the B&R briefcase versus Tumi, and the B&R won in a close race from a feature standpoint, and won in a not-at-all close race from a cost/value standpoint. I'm also fortunate that I have a very capable luggage purveyor in Mountain View, CA whom I've been dealing with for about 8 years, and they were very patient as I spent time in their store, tearing apart and comparing bags.
I also have a Briggs & Riley and all I can say is WOW. I think it was about $400 CDN for the 22" expandable roller. I would never have dreamed about paying that for a bag but after always having to return bags for various defects my wife insisted I try something better.
The wheels role so smoothly compared to others I have tried, the zippers are flawless (but how often do zippers really break anyways?).
I know there are die hards out there who insist on the cheapest bags from Costco etc... and I had one too that worked but if you are going to be a heavy traveler then you might want to consider your options. I did 113 segments last year and around 40 so far this year and I would buy this bag again in a heartbeat.
Try doing a search using Tumi Briggs luggage , you should get a lot of threads to review that way
I always read all the reviews and then go to a store to "try out" the pieces I'm considering. I have to inspect the innards of each bag to make sure it's set up for the way I pack and travel. My pet peeve is compartments in the lid with a zipper that doesn't go around three sides, it's hard to place multiple items in the pocket if the zipper is only along one side.
I'm height-challenged (about five feet TALL) and the Briggs and Riley bags that I've tried have pull-out handles that are too long/high for me. I'm sure they're fine for tall folks and many FTers swear by this brand.
I'm partial to TravelPro, which is sold by ebags and many other online retailers. One thing I like about ebags is they list the dimensions and weight of each item. It's surprising how much the same "size" bags can vary in weight, and when you're lifting that baby into the overhead bin it's good to have a lighter weight case.
I have a TravelPro rollaboard (20 inch) which I've been very happy with. However, I also have a Tumi expandable briefcase which I absolutely love! If I had it to do over again, knowing what I know now and if money weren't a factor, I'd do the Tumi for my rollaboard.
My 20" TravelPro is great for carry-on as I've not yet had it not fit in the overhead on any US mainline plane. It's even been underneath the seat in front of me on a 737 and 319 / 320 in a pinch. It does also have a suiter section which was a "must have" for me. Mine isn't expandable but I think TravelPro does make an expandable 20"
My Tumi briefcase is the expandable one and it's fantastic -- I can fit everything but the kitchen sink in it, and I think I might even be able to fit half of the kitchen seat in there!
Last edited by cawhite60156; Jun 16, 04 at 1:43 pm.
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You'll see a lot of opinions here about bags. And for the most part, everyone is right! There are a lot of good luggage manufacturers out there (and a lot of bad ones too).
My personal recommendation for your briefcase is Victorinox made by the people at Swiss Army. I have a WebManager Series laptop bag that I absolutely love. (Is that too strong a word to use for luggage???) It's extremely well-designed and has nifty pockets in all the right places without overkill. (e.g. a small cell-phone holder to slip your cellphone in when going through security; a concealable pouch for a water bottle; a newspaper slot; etc.) Built really well -- already traveled over 50,000 miles and still looks brand new!
For rollaboards, I would recommend you look at Tumi or LuggageWorksOnline. The latter makes the sturdy bags that pilots use. (If you can somehow get airline pricing, these bags are a steal!) Good quality backed by good, "homespun" service. They've been making pilot and FA bags for years.
Another vote for Briggs & Riley. I, too, had a hard time shelling out all that cash for a bag but they really do pay for themselves. We now have three of their bags (2 carry-on wheelies and 1 expandable 26"); only one has been sent back to the manufacturer multiple times due to defects and damage by the airline (any reason at all). They even sent us a new bag once coz they couldn't fix the existing issue. I'll probably own these bags for the rest of my life (while simultaneously lusting after the newer B&R models that come in many different colors ).
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I have been using a TravelPro 22" suiter for 10 years. It has survived all types of abuse. I had to spend $40 to repair the tubes a couple of years ago, but this shouldn't be a problem as the new ones come are "guaranteed for life."
I would definitely NOT buy Samsonite again. Years ago I made this mistake, and within a year it was coming apart at the seams. Over time, it has lost zipper tags, etc. You would be better off with Costco than this piece of ****.
If cost were no object, I would probably go with Tumi. But since that is rarely the case, my next bag will probably be a Travelpro.
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I have had the laptop briefcase and 22" expandable for about 8 months. Since January I have done about 75 segments with no complaints. I love how the laptop has a pocket with a bottom zipper for sliding over the handle of the 22".
For the money, you can't go wrong!
Thanks very much for the many informative posts and reviews. Can anyone ellaborate on the differences in style or features between the B&R and the Tumi collections? Both seem to be near top-of-the-line so I am wondering if they are very similar and just have different designs, or if anyone knows of fundamental differences between the brands? One difference is Tumi has a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects, while the B&R lifetime warranty also covers repair/replacement of airline damage to bags. I spoke to one store salesperson and he said that Tumi was considered higher quality than B&R, but that his impression was that most customers were "more satisfied" with B&R?
Also fyi this came about because I have a Travel2000 expandable carry on. That brand had a lifetime warranty, but apparently the company went out of business. Recently I was able to get the store where I got the Travel2000 bag w/the (now invalid) lifetime warranty to offer me 30% off a B&R bag if I buy it there. However, they advise they would not be able to discount the Tumi because it is "top of the line."
Also will both a 21 and 22 inch bag fit under the seat and in the overhead? Again I think I had a 21 before.
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Watch out for any squared-off 22" models on Airbus narrowbodies (A319/320/321). My B&R 22" fits just fine wheels-first in a Boeing overhead bin, but fits rarely if ever wheels-first or handle-first in an Airbus bin--the bin tapers near the back, resulting in about a 1/2" to 3/4" reduction in usable length for suitcases which are thicker than the tapered height of the rear of the bin. I'm not sure why the flight attendants working my Airbus segments don't believe me when they're wrestling to turn my bag around, even after I've mentioned this to them. So, I would definitely consider the 21" B&R.
Regarding the question of B&R versus Tumi...I would never speak poorly about Tumi's products, as their quality is absolutely top-notch; I love the one Tumi product I do own. However, I absolutely believe that B&R's quality is equal to that of Tumi's, while at the same time not commanding the premium for the Tumi name.
As always, remember that lifetime warranty also means lifetime of the company.
Sorry, perhaps I am cheap but I'm sold on the Costco Signature suitcases. Everytime there's something wrong, I just return it to the store and promptly get a refund. Then, I get another Costco suitcase. No consuming time to get repairs done etc. and I get a new suitcase everytime.
Another B&R fan here. I bough my first one about 9 years ago and I'm still using it as my main travel bag (21" Roller). I also tend to lookout for year end sales at luggage places when I travel around the states and sometimes a real bargain can be had. I've managed to pick up a large B&R roller for myself and 3 other rollers for friends/family. They are brilliant...long lasting and really well designed. My first one cost me a lot of money ( I bet I paid full retail ), but in the long run proved to be a bargain.
Tumi also looks pretty well built, but they seem a bit expensive to me. They also look like they won't wear well.
My personal recommendation for your briefcase is Victorinox made by the people at Swiss Army.
I like the look of the Victorinox Webmobilizer - as it is a pretty good looking expandable laptop bag which can be carried over the sholder, or wheeled. It has a cunning mechanism that retracts the wheels when you push down the handle, so they don't rub on your leg while carrying.
The only potential issue is the weight. ebags says it is 6.35kg.
Given that the carryon allowance for budget airlines is tiny these days, I don't think I'm going to be able to carry it on regularly. Perhaps I should go for Johnny's version w/o the wheels.
Carry on kg allowance
Air Berlin 6
Ryan Air 7
British Midland 7
Love Hartmann. Been using them for years - just bought the new 20" expandable roll-aboard (or was it 22" - now I can't remember, but think 20"). Also have garment bag & a large duffel w/ wheels. Hartmann's expensive but worth it, and they have outlets as well (Savinar Luggage in LA beats the outlet prices).