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Honest thoughts on Briggs & Riley?

Honest thoughts on Briggs & Riley?

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Old Jan 30, 18, 12:18 am
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Honest thoughts on Briggs & Riley?

I was hoping to get everyone’s current thoughts on the B&R “Baseline” line.

I recently ordered one for my boyfriend’s birthday and was shipped the wrong bag - 2 wheels instead of spinner. I’m more of a 2-wheel gal myself and have been lamenting Tumi’s virtually discontinuing 2 wheeled designs, so I’m actually contemplating keeping this bag for myself and just requesting a cost adjustment to do so.

Now that I’m researching this a bit more than when I was basically told the specific bag he wants for himself, I was wondering how people are liking their B&R compared to Tumi? I keep seeing a few recurring themes from older reviews and was hoping to get people’s current thoughts:

1 - Are size issues still a problem? This 2-wheel seems more than 22” tall - I’ll be measuring it tomorrow to confirm. A bag which requires frequent checking is an immediate non-starter as my flights are generally shorter domestic slogs.

2 - What has the recent standard of repair service been? I’ve seen a lot of older reviews where this is a polarizing point.

3 - How has handle quality been? Has this improved at all?

4 - Are people still having issues with the bag tipping over?

5 - Any other key points someone should be aware of?

Apologies for the long post - just trying to be thorough. In part for myself and in part in case others are looking for updated information too. Thank you in advance for any help.
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Old Jan 30, 18, 8:01 am
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I did a very long research between the Tumi & B&R. I bought the B&R 22" 2 wheel bag.
1. The bag fits in all the overhead bins that I have been on. I travel Internationally a lot.
2. Have had the bag for 3 years no problem for repair's
3.Handle has been no problem carry a backpack or laptop bag on the handle, no problem.
4.The bag has never tipped over, and I carry two weeks of clothes including suits.
5. There is nothing I can think of that is negative about the 22"B&R.
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Old Jan 30, 18, 12:31 pm
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I've had both Tumi and B&R. I have no particular love or hate for either and tend to make my evaluations based on the individual piece and the need. Here's what I can tell you:
1. I have the domestic 22" spinner. I fly United, AA, and JetBlue quite a lot, and have never been asked to gate check it or had trouble fitting it overhead bins.
2. Recently took my 15-year old Briggs cabin bag to one of their authorized service dealers. The handle was worn down after 15 years of heavy use. They replaced it in a week, no questions asked and good as new.
3. Handle on the 22" is no problem. Not quite as heavy as their older stuff, but stronger than a comparably-sized Tumi.
4. The bag has never tipped over. But that's because I always pack the heavier stuff in the lower part of the main compartment. I'm sure if I put a heavy laptop in the front pocket, it would be more tip-prone. So would any bag.
5. Other food for thought: Briggs Baseline bags are heavy, but not as heavy as Tumi in the same category. They don't attract as much unwanted attention as Tumi. They are more utilitarian than elegant. I have found both Briggs and Tumi to be very satisfying purchases with zero buyers' remorse.
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Old Jan 30, 18, 3:08 pm
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I have the International spinner

1) To date no problems on UA, AS, HU, AC, WN, MU, DL, I have managed this in some regionals as well no problem
2) Can't say needed anything going on year 2. I think it has seen 29 international and something like 120 segments, dragged thru the airport, thru sub-ways and cobbled/bricked side walks. Wheels are well worn but still going good as is everything else, still tight after all that.
3) Handle no issue, have even lifted fully loaded and backpack on it with no issues, more than 40lbs multiple times, no issue.
4) Tip over, yup, I think this is a weakness for the spinner. If the wheels are rotated in, it will tip, rotated out, no problem.
5) BR is heavy, it is pricey,. I rather like it, but if I had to do it all over, not sure if I'd have just picked up a Costco and gone thru three of them. The one pet peeve is the flat design means the handle is outside and thus you have a pocket and some wasted space, every cubic inch is valuable. I'd almost prefer the handle was internal and had a bump but then a few extra cubic cm for rolled socks / underwear or other stuff.

Last edited by chipmaster; Feb 4, 18 at 11:03 am
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Old Feb 4, 18, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by chipmaster View Post
I have the International spinner
5) BR is heavy, it is pricey,. I rather like it, but if I had to do it all over, not sure if I'd have just picked up a Costco and gone thru three of them. The one pet peeve is the flat design means the handle is outside and thus you have a pocket and some wasted space, every cubic inch is valuable. I'd almost prefer the handle was internal and had a bump but then a few extra cubic cm for rolled socks / underwear or other stuff.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but does the handle on the outside not give you extra space on the inside?
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Old Feb 4, 18, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by theshaun View Post
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but does the handle on the outside not give you extra space on the inside?
Handle outside gives a nice flat bottom, but the extra ~ 1/2 cm for handle hardware is still depth but only for the handle and wastes all the air beside it, which if inside would be storage space. They have a narrow long zipper pouch that you can store a pocket umbrella or something. Imagine though if you had that whole area inside, every bit is valuable.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 5:55 pm
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Well, his spinner is going back as he wasn't happy with it vs. his Tumi bags - he didn't elaborate why. I haven't decided what to do with the two wheeled one. Thank you so much for all of the feedback everyone!
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Old Feb 4, 18, 8:35 pm
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Originally Posted by chipmaster View Post


Handle outside gives a nice flat bottom, but the extra ~ 1/2 cm for handle hardware is still depth but only for the handle and wastes all the air beside it, which if inside would be storage space. They have a narrow long zipper pouch that you can store a pocket umbrella or something. Imagine though if you had that whole area inside, every bit is valuable.
Second this. All hardware belongs inside the bag, not outside. Obviously the wheels need a bit of clearance, though, so you can't include all the wheel space.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 11:12 am
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Thumbs down Tuni warranty doesnt stand up

How does everyone feel regarding the warranty? Tumi has hosed their warranty while B&R Claims that theirs is much better. Thoughts?
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Old Feb 5, 18, 1:03 pm
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I am a big fan of B&R. Well designed, very well made, and easy warranty for piece of mind.
I have 4 pieces now. 2 roller boards (one a wide body, one regular), a full-sized checked bag for the occasional times I cannot do carry-on only, and a backpack.

Not a minutes remorse for buying any of them.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 2:34 pm
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i have had two tumi's and now i have the International Briggs wide body spinner. I LOVE the spinner. Why:
  • Solid quality Build
  • Wheels spin effortlessly
  • Garment folding sleeve. Tumi does not.
  • looks good, again utilitarian not fluff.
  • I have had very little issues with tipping. i have made 9 trips to europe and thru trains and subways etc. Bagstill looks great.
  • Holds up to heavy use
  • the expansion system is much better than Tumi.
i returned my tumi's and never looked back. Tumi is cheaply built vs. B&R.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 5:40 pm
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Old Feb 6, 18, 1:50 pm
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Originally Posted by TheMan View Post
How does everyone feel regarding the warranty? Tumi has hosed their warranty while B&R Claims that theirs is much better. Thoughts?
I have only had one warranty claim so far and I was quite impressed. The top handle of my go-to suitcase (Baseline U128CX) was ripped off somewhere between BOS and SGF. I shipped it back to B&R on January 25 and the bag arrived today with a new handle. It only cost me the $43 charge for shipping my bag to them. I bought the bag in late 2012 / early 2013 and travel around ten weeks per year, checking it every other month or so. I definitely feel like it has been a great value for the money.
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Old Feb 6, 18, 4:58 pm
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I have both (albeit an outlet Tumi) and I have to say that the warranty was very repair center dependent. The Tumi repair center where I am was fantastic and replaced it no questions asked with a brand new one after AC trashed it. The B&R repair center here did a half assed job with fixing the handle (which AC also trashed) and just bent it back into shape with clear stress marks on the plastic. I was not happy but the repair center basically said "It works, what more do you want?"

I find the B&R stuff well made and the warranty is fantastic. I have the 2 wheeler and I do find myself sometimes kicking my bag when I'm walking quickly at the airport. It's also heavy, like Rimowa Topas heavy. Having said that, it's my road warrior and check in bag just because of the warranty. If I know I might need to check a bag, the B&R is what I bring. That said, it's a strictly functional piece of luggage. It's not particularly stylish or a fashion item. Depends on what you want. And I've had this one tip depending on how I've loaded it.

My Tumi I don't use anymore. I've been dinged a few times on it being too big (despite the measurements saying otherwise). The outlet Tumi's have terrible wheels. This is my wife's bag now LOL.

I actually use the Rimowa Limbo now which I'm quite happy with (never have size issues) and the wheels on this thing really do glide. It's also a great conversation piece since i've had a few FAs compliment me on the bag.
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Old Feb 12, 18, 3:47 pm
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I have used both brands plus Rimowa quite a bit. B&R has the advantage of the lifetime warranty, and it's the only brand of the three I've never had to get warranty service on, although the problems I've had with Tumi and Rimowa have been relatively minor in the big scheme of things. With Tumi, if the repair can't be handled in store, you'll pay for shipping after the first ("worry-free") year. I've never had to pay anything for Rimowa warranty repairs since I'm close to a designated repair shop, but shipping to the shop would be at your expense.

My experience with B&R is limited to the Torq and Sympatico lines, which are all polycarbonate spinners. I see you prefer two-wheeled carry-ons but suggest you try out one of the B&R hard spinners (both versions of the Torq are currently well under $300 from Amazon). IMHO, once you go spinner you won't go back. They're just so much more maneuverable (particularly down narrow airplane aisles) and easier to push alongside you that it's worth the minor loss of capacity. I'm not a fan of B&R's "outsider" handles on the soft bags given the wasted space, but it's not an issue with the hard cases. B&R and Rimowa have very smooth-rolling, robust wheels on the spinners, as they're larger than on Tumi's spinners. Tumi only switched relatively recently from single to double wheels for their spinners; the double wheels roll better but still not as well as B&R and Rimowa's larger double wheels. Any polycarbonate bag's surfaces will get scuffed, especially if it gets checked (and the scuffs seem to be more visible on Tumi and B&R than on Rimowa bags).

I wouldn't lose too much sleep over whether your bag is a half inch over the airline's specified size. In reality they almost never check for size unless your bag is visibly larger than a normal carry-on, and even the sizers are larger than specified. B&R's hard spinners all fit fine in my experience - it's Tumi's larger Continental size (and Rimowa's wider, squatter carry-on size) that can sometimes cause problems. You do need to be more careful if you fly often on small regional planes or with carriers (typically low-cost carriers) that are strict about carry-ons. But with the former, even smaller carry-ons will need gate-checking, and with the latter it's more often an issue of weight rather than size.

Last edited by freemanzhu; Feb 12, 18 at 3:53 pm
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