Count me in when it comes to being a huge fan of Briggs & Riley products thanks to their durability and reliability. Ever since I received one of their bags as a gift for graduation from graduate school many, many years ago, I have been using their products ever since. If there has ever been a problem with a bag, it has been swiftly corrected or replaced thanks to the brand’s lifetime guarantee.
So when I was able to check out the Briggs & Riley Domestic Carry-On Expandable Spinner bag, I was thrilled to explore another option to my normal go-to travel bags. First of all, the bag had me at spinner because I am a big fan of bags that can spin around and roll along on four wheels with the gentle push of your wrist rather than having to be dragged behind you all the time.
While I do enjoy hardside luggage for their durability and protection of contents from moisture and careless baggage handlers, they often lack the ability to expand. This bag offers that although I was surprised it did not expand all the way around. Instead, it expands thanks to a front pocket that unzips and pushes outward so that you can put other items like a laptop, books, or paperwork there. I guess that you could also put dirty laundry or other things there.
Obviously, you would not put expensive electronics there if the bag were to be shuffled around, but I found it to be a convenient way to grab things like my tablet or passport when traveling overseas by train or car. This pocket pushes the bags capacity up by 25 percent, which is pretty impressive. I can grab my laptop or materials from the front pocket as I pass them, and then I quickly stuff them back in when boarding. The bag fits perfectly into all mainline aircraft bins even when expanded.
It comes with a strong ballistic nylon exterior so that even if it does get checked, it is not much of an issue (it is water resistant so that clothes are not immediately soaked if it sits out in the rain for awhile). The telescopic handle is comfortable to the touch, and the extending handle is strong enough to endure a tough push even if being dragged across carpeting or cobblestone. There is a soft handle on the side of the bag so you can carry it easily in different directions.
The bag is spacious with a flat-panel bottom, which meals that the wheels and casing do not intrude on your packing space. This helps to prevent wrinkles from items that may settle at the bottom of the bag when it is upright. The wheels, too, are highly durable and well-built. That is what you expect when it comes to a bag of this caliber. You get what you pay for, and that is what comes with any Briggs & Riley bag.
Inside the bag, there are plenty of zippered pockets that you can see through so that you know where you put what. I like the fact that I can pack a suit with butterfly compression panels and fold it into a separate compartment without the worry of it getting wrinkled. The bag’s hybrid fiberglass frame is light enough so that if you pack it with clothes it won’t be too overweight (even as a carry-on). I really like the small pocket on the back of the bag that you can use for small items like keys that you might need to grab quickly. There is also a clear place where you can put a business card or personal contact details.
There is a TSA-compatible lock on the zipper of the bag for added protection. The Briggs & Riley Domestic Carry-On Expandable Spinner bag retails for $600 and is available with free shipping on the Briggs & Riley website to anywhere in the continental United States.