The Briggs & Riley Domestic Carry-On Expandable Sympatico Spinner is a hearty and durable hard-shell bag that comes with the company’s trusted protection and quality. As someone that travels constantly, my travel bags are exceptionally important when it comes to protecting everything I need for weeks at a time when on the road.
What’s on the outside
A smooth retractable handle pulls out of the core of the bag, which makes it easy to roll without being a drag on your arms and shoulders (even when full). The four sturdy wheels give the bag plenty of capability when it comes to rolling it across various surfaces including carpet. The wheels are large and really easy to spin, which for me is important as my bag can be stuffed full when traveling on multi-week trips.
I also like how the bag seems protected on all sides including on the corners where it is most likely to take the brunt of getting thrown or tossed around. Briggs & Riley added extra buffers on the corners since there where a lot of force happens if the bag falls or gets hit by something. There are also handles on the top and sides of the bag, which make it easier to lift into an overhead compartment on the airplane or into the trunk of a car.
There is a TSA-approved combination lock and zipper system that keeps the contents of the bags protected from prying hands. This is especially important for international travelers used to flying through airports that are notorious for that sort of thing.
Another feature of the bag that I appreciated was the “power pocket” on the back of the bag that allows you to wind a USB cord through the bag where a specific pouch for a separate (not included) battery could easily fit if you want to power up devices safely within your bag while on the go. It is perfect for while you are waiting to board a plane and want to power up your phone when there is no physical outlet in place; you can keep your electronics secure in your bag while charging and waiting to board.
What’s on the inside
There is plenty of space inside the bag to pack it full of clothes and work supplies (or more likely, souvenirs!). Briggs & Riley has a compression system that allows you to push and squeeze more into the bag to keep things secure without making it bulge in places that might attract the attention of gate agents wanting to check this carry-on bag.
There’s also a section that can be unzipped to allow the bag to pack in more stuff easily. That is probably my favorite feature as I can make the bag bigger when I need it while keeping it compact at other times. More pockets inside the bag allow you to keep the contents organized, and there are zippered mesh sections so that you can see what is in there. That is super helpful if you need to grab something quickly.
This bag is a great carry-on bag because it fits in the sizers of most U.S. airlines, but international airlines are especially stingy on size and weight (it weighs over nine pounds empty). So be careful, or creative, when checking in or boarding a foreign airline that may be strict when it comes to what you can bring on board.
Like other products, Briggs & Riley has a strong guarantee and warranty program meaning they will replace or repair the bag when damaged under certain circumstances. In my experience, the company has always come through; after many years of use, I had a briefcase that had a pocket develop a hole. It was replaced without question.
The Briggs & Riley Domestic Carry-On Expandable Sympatico Spinner comes in several colors like black, navy, and olive among others and retails for about $600 on the Briggs & Riley website or via a variety of online and luggage retailers.
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