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Review: Briggs & Riley Baseline Expandable Domestic Carry On - U122CXSP-4

Review: Briggs & Riley Baseline Expandable Domestic Carry On - U122CXSP-4

Old Jul 16, 17, 2:47 pm
  #1  
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Review: Briggs & Riley Baseline Expandable Domestic Carry On - U122CXSP-4

All,

I thought I would provide a bit of insight into this suit case so the community could use it in the future. Personally, I couldn't find an in depth review online, so hopefully this will provide a bit of insight for everyone to use in case you are in the market for something like this. On to the good stuff now.

Over the past few weeks, I began shopping for a new suitcase to supplement my travel needs. I've started to travel a bit more internationally for 2+ weeks at a time and one thing that started to become a necessity rather than a luxury was a versatile spinner carry-on bag to compliment my leather carry-on duffel.

After about two days of research it really came down to the B&R vs Travelpro spinner options, but my decision to go with B&R came down to the following reasons:
  • A true lifetime warranty
  • True versatility features that are very practical in the real world, mainly the fold out garment holder and CX compression system.
  • Travelpro did not offer a carry on size spinner with a fold out garment section.
  • Amazing pricing at time of purchase, which came out to about $340 after rebates BNIB from eBags.

Apart from the reasons above, the bag really is amazing and B&R really created a bag that caters to modern day travelers. I have an album with pictures and general comments for everyone's perusal as follows, but I wanted to also add a few more general comments around this bag. Link: http://imgur.com/a/viPvL

So a few general comments:
  • The bag is not cheap by any means. Unless money isn't a factor, I would only advise this bag if you travel regularly and tend to carry a good amount with you on trips. If you only travel once a year, then it may not be worth the investment for this bag.
  • A question I know that will come up is around an upright vs spinner. In my opinion, spinners are a far superior option because of the effort involved while going through an airport. Lugging a two wheeled upright is horrible and tiresome, and if you've ever moved around the Frankfurt airport then you'll know the pain and suffering that comes with that maze. The only downsides I see with a spinner are (a) the bag could roll away if the floor is not perfectly even (highly unlikely but does happen from time to time), and (b) the wheels could break off if checked in. With B&R, the latter won't be an issue but this is something to consider with other manufacturers.
  • So why specifically a carry on vs a check in bag? You want to carry as much as possible, right? Well...not really. After traveling more and more, what this really came down to for me was efficient traveling and saving time. I've traveled around the world lugging around a check in bag and unless you have to check in a bag, the negatives far outweigh the positives. Not only is it heavy to lug that thing around an airport, but you have to wait for baggage to come out at the baggage claim carousel and also run the risk of the bag getting lost. With a carry on bag, you just get up and go after the plane lands.
  • The CX compression system is really clever. I mean really clever. Have you ever run into a situation when your suitcase is overflowing and you can barely zip up the bag? Unfortunately, the dimensions are now outside of the carry on dimensions, but the system has a clever solution. Since it ratchets down, you can press down on the bag and compress everything on the inside back to the non-expanded dimensions.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks.

Last edited by jtm893; Jul 16, 17 at 4:20 pm
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Old Jul 16, 17, 4:06 pm
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Nice review. How much does it weigh?
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Old Jul 16, 17, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
Nice review. How much does it weigh?
nine pounds empty
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Old Jul 16, 17, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by jtm893 View Post
All,

I thought I would provide a bit of insight into this suit case so the community could use it in the future. Personally, I couldn't find an in depth review online, so hopefully this will provide a bit of insight for everyone to use in case you are in the market for something like this. On to the good stuff now.

Over the past few weeks, I began shopping for a new suitcase to supplement my travel needs. I've started to travel a bit more internationally for 2+ weeks at a time and one thing that started to become a necessity rather than a luxury was a versatile spinner carry-on bag to compliment my leather carry-on duffel.

After about two days of research it really came down to the B&R vs Travelpro spinner options, but my decision to go with B&R came down to the following reasons:
  • A true lifetime warranty
  • True versatility features that are very practical in the real world, mainly the fold out garment holder and CX compression system.
  • Travelpro did not offer a carry on size spinner with a fold out garment section.
  • Amazing pricing at time of purchase, which came out to about $340 after rebates BNIB from eBags.

Apart from the reasons above, the bag really is amazing and B&R really created a bag that caters to modern day travelers. I have an album with pictures and general comments for everyone's perusal as follows, but I wanted to also add a few more general comments around this bag. Link: http://imgur.com/a/viPvL

So a few general comments:
  • The bag is not cheap by any means. Unless money isn't a factor, I would only advise this bag if you travel regularly and tend to carry a good amount with you on trips. If you only travel once a year, then it may not be worth the investment for this bag.
  • A question I know that will come up is around an upright vs spinner. In my opinion, spinners are a far superior option because of the effort involved while going through an airport. Lugging a two wheeled upright is horrible and tiresome, and if you've ever moved around the Frankfurt airport then you'll know the pain and suffering that comes with that maze. The only downsides I see with a spinner are (a) the bag could roll away if the floor is not perfectly even (highly unlikely but does happen from time to time), and (b) the wheels could break off if checked in. With B&R, the latter won't be an issue but this is something to consider with other manufacturers.
  • So why specifically a carry on vs a check in bag? You want to carry as much as possible, right? Well...not really. After traveling more and more, what this really came down to for me was efficient traveling and saving time. I've traveled around the world lugging around a check in bag and unless you have to check in a bag, the negatives far outweigh the positives. Not only is it heavy to lug that thing around an airport, but you have to wait for baggage to come out at the baggage claim carousel and also run the risk of the bag getting lost. With a carry on bag, you just get up and go after the plane lands.
  • The CX compression system is really clever. I mean really clever. Have you ever run into a situation when your suitcase is overflowing and you can barely zip up the bag? Unfortunately, the dimensions are now outside of the carry on dimensions, but the system has a clever solution. Since it ratchets down, you can press down on the bag and compress everything on the inside back to the non-expanded dimensions.

If you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks.
I agree with almost your entire review. I had a Briggs & Riley two wheeler and just upgraded to a spinner (both carry on and larger one). The problem I've had that it is top heavy and when I, for example, put my briefcase over the handle it can easily start to tip. Having said that, B&R are excellent bags and I've been using them for over 20 years.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 12:21 am
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Have you traveled with it yet, op?

Any unexpected issues?

Thanks for sharing.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 3:52 am
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Nice review, you scored a crazy good price, envious!

I was using a hartmann for decades that was finally falling apart, then switched to a Costco spinner. Made the mistake at stopping in at a high end luggage store during Christmas season and got myself in trouble after 30' of checking out several brands also walked out with a BR. A slight different model U121CXSPW-4.

Like the OP, needed a two carry-on solution that could take me internationally every other week and in a pinch two weeks ( including a one suit/sport jacket ). With Global Entry and APAC, I'm in and out of customs and out of the airport likely before any of the Global Services get their checked luggage

After 6 months of use, no question this thing is built well. Everything the expanding handle, wheels, zippers, pockets everything built rock solid. I've lugged it thru airports, up and down stairs/escalators, dragged over cobbled sidewalks and still like new after 6 months.

The expanding feature then ability to push flat is rather clever, but not clear if that is better than my old hartmann that had zippered expansion where I'd compress and zip, both seem to work equally well.

As to downside of spinners, if you are on trains/subways them wheels are pretty good, the bag can easily run away. I can't remember once where my wheeled Hartman would do that.

I agree with the other poster, I've watched my BR and backpack combo fall over. Physics that can't be avoided with anything heavy on top of it. But a credit to the build of the BR, I've actually picked them both full packed by the top handle almost everytime flying into Shanghai where they never seem to have the escalators at immigration going and we all have to descend the stairs.

Another nit, the design cost of having a perfect lie flat bottom comes with the expensive compromise that the bars are outside and you lose some significant storage space for some rolled items from other designs. They have a cute compartment with zipper, but really what can you put there? No two ways around it, but in hindsight that is worth at least few pairs of underwear and socks. My hartmann which lasted for decades had that internal, but with the trade off of the bumps at the bottom.

Last edited by chipmaster; Jul 17, 17 at 5:23 pm
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Old Jul 17, 17, 10:36 am
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Originally Posted by Bear4Asian View Post
I agree with almost your entire review. I had a Briggs & Riley two wheeler and just upgraded to a spinner (both carry on and larger one). The problem I've had that it is top heavy and when I, for example, put my briefcase over the handle it can easily start to tip. Having said that, B&R are excellent bags and I've been using them for over 20 years.
I'd rather have a top heavy bag than one that causes me to sweat through an airport because of the effort involved to pull it around.

Originally Posted by TPACjv View Post
Have you traveled with it yet, op?

Any unexpected issues?

Thanks for sharing.
Not yet. I'm leaving for Europe next month, and will be able to provide a follow-up when I return.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 1:41 pm
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I have the non-spinner version of this bag, and your review is spot-on, and other comments are consistent with my experience.

My biggest disappointment with the bag is that the suit compartment is just a bit too narrow to hold my size 44 suit(s) without folding in the shoulders a bit. Not great for wrinkles, but no travel bag is.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 2:04 pm
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
My biggest disappointment with the bag is that the suit compartment is just a bit too narrow to hold my size 44 suit(s) without folding in the shoulders a bit. Not great for wrinkles, but no travel bag is.
I faced the same issue with carry-on bags until I discovered this method of folding a suit jacket. It works with minimal wrinkling.

http://magazine.brooksbrothers.com/how-to-pack-a-suit/
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Old Jul 17, 17, 2:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
I faced the same issue with carry-on bags until I discovered this method of folding a suit jacket. It works with minimal wrinkling.

http://magazine.brooksbrothers.com/how-to-pack-a-suit/
I do something similar, except I don't turn the jacket inside out and instead of slipping one sleeve into another, after bringing the shoulders together (essentially step 2 in the BB instructions but both shoulders are touching with the center line pushed forward as far as it will go), I bring the sleeve on the bottom up across the sleeve on the top and then try to smooth both sleeves so that they lay flat. I then fold it in half and lay the jacket on top of everything else packed in my bag.

After looking at the BB instructions, though, I am tempted to try to wrap the jacket around my central bundle and then run the pants around the entire bundle. In my current bundling technique, all pants go around the central bundle as the exterior layer. Wrapping the jacket around the bundle should reduce the central crease when folded--at the possible cost of some additional wrinkles across the sleeve.

I've got a trip coming up in a couple of weeks where suits will be necessary so I think I'll give this a try.

Based on my experience, there is no doubt that the BB method or the method I've been using will work better than most of the garment bags incorporated into luggage.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by jtm893 View Post
Not yet. I'm leaving for Europe next month, and will be able to provide a follow-up when I return.
this bag may be a tad tall for europe if you run into overzealous agent especially if you are in coach (like i did on AB flight - but eventually sneaked it in...)

and of course like with all spinners hotel etc carpets make it much much harder to move..
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Old Jul 18, 17, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
this bag may be a tad tall for europe if you run into overzealous agent especially if you are in coach (like i did on AB flight - but eventually sneaked it in...)

and of course like with all spinners hotel etc carpets make it much much harder to move..
And why worth considering the U121CXSPW-4, little shorter and wider
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Old Jul 18, 17, 6:33 pm
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Thanks for this write-up! I have been tasked with finding a new bag quickly as my 10yr carryon (Park and Preston 22in spinner) handle just broke; super glue should get me back to Houston this weekend. I too am debating between the Travel Pro Crew 11 and the BR Transcend TUV22VXSP. I have the BR 26in Transcend from about 8yrs ago for my checked bag and have been very happy with it.

How does the external frame impact carry on / sticking it in the overheads, if at all? It sounds like I lose a little bit of internal space at best. I always get asked by United to stick my current bag in the sizer; I pound it in but it fits (just over 10in base depth). I really like the way this new bag expands so when I need to cram some extra clothes or on a gate check plane, I can carry a few more things.

I am going to bring my old bag to the store to see how it compares before buying. I love my old bag (easy pocket for 311 bag) but it just seems like I am always craming into the overheads and sizer so I am wanting something a hair smaller. FWIW, I am in construction, travel weekly nearly all United, mostly blue jeans and sometimes boots/hard hat…no suits.
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Old Jul 19, 17, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
this bag may be a tad tall for europe if you run into overzealous agent especially if you are in coach (like i did on AB flight - but eventually sneaked it in...)

and of course like with all spinners hotel etc carpets make it much much harder to move..
With me, that isn't much of an issue. When I fly internationally, I usually fly business class. When I am in Europe and am forced to fly, I always pay extra for the secondary level service such as Ryanair Plus or Eurowings Best to pay for a check in bag. I always carry a case and a duffel when I am going international, so the case gets checked in.

Originally Posted by matthopp View Post
Thanks for this write-up! I have been tasked with finding a new bag quickly as my 10yr carryon (Park and Preston 22in spinner) handle just broke; super glue should get me back to Houston this weekend. I too am debating between the Travel Pro Crew 11 and the BR Transcend TUV22VXSP. I have the BR 26in Transcend from about 8yrs ago for my checked bag and have been very happy with it.

How does the external frame impact carry on / sticking it in the overheads, if at all? It sounds like I lose a little bit of internal space at best. I always get asked by United to stick my current bag in the sizer; I pound it in but it fits (just over 10in base depth). I really like the way this new bag expands so when I need to cram some extra clothes or on a gate check plane, I can carry a few more things.

I am going to bring my old bag to the store to see how it compares before buying. I love my old bag (easy pocket for 311 bag) but it just seems like I am always craming into the overheads and sizer so I am wanting something a hair smaller. FWIW, I am in construction, travel weekly nearly all United, mostly blue jeans and sometimes boots/hard hat…no suits.
I'll report back in about month when I return from Europe, but the design characteristics of the bag far exceed the volume you lose.
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Old Mar 1, 19, 12:08 pm
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Now that you have had the bad for a more than a year what are your thoughts on it? I am considering getting this bag but I have seen several reports of it tipping over and I think that would drive me crazy!
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