Tried & Tested

Luggage review: Briggs & Riley Baseline Essential Carry-On Spinner

22 Jun 2022 by Tom Otley
Briggs-and-Riley-front-view

Briggs & Riley has had its Baseline Collection for many years, and this is the latest model.

I’ve been a fan for a while, moving over from Tumi, and already have a couple of its bags, including the two-wheel, now discontinued, International Carry-On, (it looks like it is now called the Global 2-Wheel Carry-on now, presumably with an updated design).

I also have one of the Spinner bags (meaning 4-wheels) – the Medium Expandable – from an earlier ‘Collection’.

Luggage review: Briggs and Riley Medium Expandable Spinner

Briggs & Riley bags have never been inexpensive, but looking through the price list they are certainly premium now. On the plus side, not only are they very robust, but they come with a lifetime guarantee, something I appreciate now having had several bags develop faults and having failed to get their repaired.

You can read about that here

Repairing broken luggage

Of course, how much you pay for a bag is a decision based on available funds but also personal philosophy: do you buy inexpensive bags, and when they break, throw them away and buy another? You could do this two or three times for the cost of a Briggs & Riley bag. But then there’s the environmental argument that it’s better to pay more for one and get it repaired, especially if it is covered under a guarantee.

Briggs-and-Riley-interior

The robustness of these bags adds weight to them. This one is made of ballistic nylon and is very tough. The larger one that I have (called Medium – it’s the one reviewed above) is considerably heavier than a TravelPro bag that I have of the same volume, but I feel confident when it goes into the hold of the aircraft that it will survive.

Luggage review: Travelpro Platinum Elite 71cm expandable spinner

Anyway, onto this bag. I have used it several times in the past few weeks, for three days breaks, mostly. I also packed it to use for an eight-day break in Italy travelling with hand baggage only on a flight to Turin, and then carrying it on and off Italian trains between Turin, Milan and Genoa. Then Easyjet cancelled the flight when we were airside at Gatwick, so in the end I just used it to and from the airport, via Thameslink.

Briggs-and-Riley-rear

The bag has the patented compression-expansion technology system where you pack 30 per cent more into it and then compress the bag down into a size that is acceptable for going on board. It’s very clever and works very well. Surprisingly, your clothes aren’t any more creased at the other end than they would have been if you had left the bag ‘uncompressed’.

I wheeled it around Portland, Oregon a few weeks ago and had a heavy laptop bag / rucksack on top, over the handle which didn’t even flex with the extra weight. The handle has been designed so that it is on the outside of the case – not very well explained, but you can see in the photo of the back of the case (above), which means the interior has a flat packing surface, meaning you get more room and also it doesn’t cause more creasing to your clothes.

You can see on the back there’s also a small compartment for your phone or passport. I’ve never used this since I always have those items in my jacket, but I guess you could put something in there, provided you remembered where it was

Briggs-and-Riley-suiter

There’s also the option of using the top flap as a suiter – see the picture above. I’ve tried using this and I end up removing this extra bit (there’s a zip to allow you to do this) and instead just folded my spare jacket or trousers in the top compartment.

The wheels have a smoothness to them that bodes well for the long term, and included in the price is the possibility of having the option to monogram the case. You’d still want to have a colourful ribbon or bag tag on it if you did check it in to recognise it on the carousel, but it’s a classy touch.

Verdict

This is top class luggage with a lifetime guarantee, and a pleasure to use.

Cost: Briggs & Riley Baseline Essential Carry-On Spinner, £599

Height

Width

Depth

Weight

US

22 in.

14 in.

9 in.

10 lbs

EU

55.9 cm

35.6 cm

22.9 cm

4.5 kg

Above dimensions with wheels and handle.

CAPACITY 37 – 48 litres / 2240 – 2940 cu. in.
CASE DIMENSIONS 50.8 x 35.5 x 20 cm / 20 x 14 x 7.9 in.
OUTSIDE EXPANDED DEPTH 29 cm / 11.5 in.

www.briggs-riley.co.uk

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