The 5 Best Briggs & Riley Luggage Pieces of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

We tested over 170 luggage pieces — here are our favorites from Briggs & Riley.

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Travel + Leisure / Tamara Staples

New York-based luggage brand Briggs & Riley is best known for having simply designed suitcases with one of the best warranties on the market. Although the unconditional lifetime guarantee is already reassuring, we got our hands on Briggs & Riley carry-ons and checked bags, and they proved to be some of the most durable and well-built pieces we’ve tested. 

Our expert product testers tried more than 170 pieces of luggage in total including carry-ons, checked bags, underseat bags, carry-on backpacks, duffles, and weekender bags. We tried eight Briggs & Riley suitcases and rated each one on a scale of one to five based on traits like capacity, design, maneuverability, and durability.

Our top pick for the best carry-on is the spacious Briggs & Riley Sympatico Domestic Carry-on Expandable Spinner 22-inch and we also loved the lightweight Briggs & Riley ZDX 27-inch Medium Wheeled Duffle for checking a bag in at the airport. The top five Briggs & Riley bags below thoroughly impressed us by delivering the brand’s promise of being incredibly durable — especially after taking several hits from a baseball bat. 

Here is the best Briggs & Riley luggage, according to our testing.

Best Carry-on

Briggs & Riley Sympatico Hardside Domestic Spinner Luggage

4.5
Briggs & Riley Sympatico Hardside Domestic Spinner Luggage

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Organization
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Style
    4/5
  • Value
    4.5/5

Why We Love it: The polycarbonate hardside material remained in perfect condition after a few hits from a baseball bat.

What to Consider: The zippers don’t have the best grip and the expander is a bit confusing to find at first.

While some carry-ons make it difficult to pack everything you need for a trip, the Briggs & Riley Sympatico Domestic Carry-on Expandable Spinner 22-inch has impressive expansion that will increase your space by 22 percent. It was slightly difficult to find the expanding zipper due to the fact that it’s on the inside of the suitcase instead of the outside like other suitcases. However, once we located it, we were able to fit four days’ worth of clothing into the main compartment and close the clamshell flap with ease. One thing to note is that the zippers don’t have the best grip, making it difficult to shut the suitcase if it’s packed full. The inside of the opening flap has one large pocket and two small mesh zippered pockets for the perfect amount of interior storage. Plus, the main compartment has compression panels that keep your garments safely in place so they can’t move around and get easily wrinkled.

After the suitcase was packed, we rolled it over a smooth floor and a carpet, and we wheeled it through an obstacle course where it had no issues turning around tight corners or going over bumpy surfaces on two wheels. There was the slightest amount of difficulty going over the carpet on all four wheels, so you may find it easier to use just two wheels on surfaces that aren’t smooth. The suitcase truly shined during our durability check when the polycarbonate shell took a few hits from a baseball bat and looked good as new. We love the protective design combined with the extra give from the expandable zippers, making this carry-on one of our favorite options on the market.

Price at time of publish: $599

Weight: 8.8 pounds | Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 inches | Expandable: Yes | Smart: Yes

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Travel + Leisure / Tamara Staples

Best for Staying Organized

Briggs & Riley ZDX 22-inch Domestic Carry-on Expandable Spinner

4.3
 Briggs & Riley ZDX 22-inch Domestic Carry-On Expandable Spinner

 Briggs & Riley 

Our Ratings
  • Organization
    5/5
  • Maneuverability
    4.5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Style
    4/5
  • Value
    3/5

Why We Love it: The exterior has two large zippered pockets, a slip pocket, and a zippered pocket in the back to store a power bank and charging phone.

What to Consider: We wish there were a few more interior pockets.

Finding a spot for everything you need to pack can be difficult, but the Briggs & Riley ZDX 22-inch Domestic Carry-on Expandable Spinner makes it a little easier with a variety of interior and exterior pockets. We love that this carry-on has a pocket in the back designed for a power bank with a hole that connects a cable to a slip pocket that holds a phone for hassle-free charging. The front has a large zippered pocket that can easily fit a sweatshirt and a book, and there is another zippered pocket behind the main one for a laptop. Plus, the slip pocket on the very front of the suitcase is perfect for a magazine or tablet. In testing, the main compartment could store enough clothes for a long weekend with the built-in compression straps and expandable zippers. While there are plenty of pockets on the front of the bag, we wish the interior had a few more besides the two large pockets on the inside of the opening flap.

Made with sturdy YKK zippers and durable woven nylon, this softsided suitcase remained in perfect condition after a few swings from the baseball bat and being tossed over the table. On top of that, this was one of our top-performing carry-ons for maneuverability on all four wheels when we rolled it over carpet and through an obstacle course and it felt lightweight to lift into an overhead compartment. If you’re looking for a durable bag that provides easy access to technology or a sweater, this suitcase is your best option.

Price at time of publish: $499

Weight: 7.8 pounds | Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 9 inches | Expandable: Yes | Smart: No

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Travel + Leisure / Tamara Staples

Best Softside

Briggs & Riley Baseline Medium Expandable Spinner

4.4
Briggs & Riley Baseline Medium Expandable Spinner

Briggs & Riley

Why We Love it: The entirety of the suitcase feels well made, from the durable baseball-bat-proof exterior to the sturdy handle and wheels.

What to Consider: Some features weren’t as intuitive to use as we had hoped.

The Briggs & Riley Baseline Expandable Spinner 26-inch is made of a soft and sturdy ballistic nylon exterior that has a sleek look without sacrificing durability. In fact, this piece of checked luggage thoroughly impressed us during our durability test in the lab. “The bag withstood several beatings and falls (even the wheels). Even though it wasn't a hardshell exterior, the fabric felt very durable and sturdy — I wouldn't worry about it getting soiled or affected by weather, etc.,” says our tester. We love that the suitcase has self-repairing YKK zippers that only get more lubricated and smoother over time, and that the strong aluminum handle makes it easier to wheel the slightly boxy suitcase over smooth and bumpy surfaces like carpet and gravel.

The only downside is that some of the features in the main compartment had a slight learning curve, including the built-in, tri-folding garment bag located on the inside of the opening flap. While the garment bag could be more intuitive to use for business travelers, it remains discreetly tucked away for those who don’t want to use it. Besides that, we loved the interior and exterior pockets that made packing easier and more efficient with a spot for all the travel essentials you would need to check-in.

Price at time of publish: $749

Weight: 13.3 pounds | Dimensions: 26 x 18 x 12 inches | Expandable: Yes | Smart: No

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Travel + Leisure / Tamara Staples

Best Expandable

Briggs & Riley 27-inch Sympatico Hardside Luggage

4.4
Briggs & Riley 27-Inch Sympatico Hardside Luggage

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Capacity
    5/5
  • Design
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    4/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5

Why We Love it: It expands to add an extra 2 inches in width.

What to Consider: The expanding zipper is on the inside of the suitcase which is not very intuitive.

Overpackers should consider the Briggs & Riley Sympatico Large Expandable Spinner thanks to its ability to add an extra 2 inches of width for that extra outfit you simply can’t travel without. While the suitcase can already hold a week’s worth of clothing without the expanding feature, we love that travelers have the ability to add more room if desired or keep it at its usual width. The expanding zipper is located on the inside of the suitcase which was slightly confusing to figure out at first, but after you do it once, it should be easier. There are two interior pockets on the inside of the opening flap (perfect for undergarments, swimsuits, or toiletries), and there aren’t any outside pockets (but that’s fairly standard for a hardshell checked bag). The exterior is made of a hefty polycarbonate hardshell that had no issues when it came face to face with a swing or two from a baseball bat and when being tossed off of a table.

The sturdy YKK zippers were slightly difficult to toggle but we don’t think that will be an issue over time as the zipper is designed to self-lubricate with prolonged use, and they can be locked to the suitcase for added security. Checked bags can sometimes be cumbersome to wheel, yet this one performed well on four and two wheels over smooth surfaces (though you may find some resistance over bumpy surfaces). However, for a checked bag that can expand while safely storing your packed items, this Briggs & Riley suitcase will save you the hassle of repacking or needing to bring another bag. 

Price at time of publish: $699

Weight: 13.6 pounds | Dimensions: 30 x 20 x 12 inches | Expandable: Yes | Smart: Yes

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Travel + Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Best Checked

Briggs & Riley Wheeled Duffle, Black, Checked-Medium 27-Inch

4.7
Briggs & Riley Wheeled Duffle, Black, Checked-Medium 27-Inch

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Organization
    5/5
  • Maneuverability
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Style
    4/5
  • Value
    4.5/5

Why We Love it: It only weighs 8.6 pounds, so you have room to pack over 40 pounds of items before hitting the usual 50-pound limit for checked luggage.

What to Consider: It’s a soft-sided duffle bag instead of a standard rectangular suitcase.

If you prefer to check a bag at the airport, the Briggs & Riley ZDX 27-inch Medium Wheeled Duffle helps you get the most out of the typical 50-pound limit of a checked bag. This wheeled duffle bag weighs 8.6 pounds, meaning you have the ability to pack over 40 pounds before you come close to the weight limit. Durability is incredibly important when it comes to checked bags that can get handled roughly, and we were impressed with how sturdy the ballistic nylon exterior was after several hits with a baseball bat. Our tester said, “I smacked this bag a lot and there is no show of it. It is made of a soft but super strong fabric [and] I think that it would take a lot for it to get damaged.” To add to the already impressive durability, the suitcase is outfitted with YKK zippers that are self-repairing and only get smoother with more use.

Whether you fill the bag up or not, there are built-in compression straps on the inside of the duffle to keep your clothes wedged together, and there is a large zippered pocket on the inside and three on the outside. There are tote handles on the top that make it easy to hoist the bag into a car or onto the airport scale but the handle works great for wheeling it over bumpy and smooth surfaces. We think this lightweight but super durable duffle bag has all the bells and whistles to make it the best option for maximizing your space and weight allotment. 

Price at time of publish: $469

 Weight: 8.6 pounds | Dimensions: 27 x 15 x 15 inches | Expandable: No | Smart: No

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Travel + Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Our Testing Process

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Travel + Leisure / Vicky Wasik

Over the course of several tests in our New York City lab, we got our hands on over 170 pieces of checked, carry-on, and underseat luggage, as well as backpacks, duffles, and weekender bags. Included in the testing lineup were eight Briggs & Riley pieces, including carry-ons, checked suitcases, and underseat luggage. We evaluated the bags based on traits like maneuverability, design, durability, and capacity where our editors and other expert product testers rated each attribute on a scale from one to five.

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Travel + Leisure / Conor Ralph

The bags scoring the highest for capacity were easy to pack and had generous storage for items like shoes, pants, toiletry bags, and laptops. Our favorite bags for maneuverability had no issues being rolled on two or four wheels while we glided them over carpet, gravel, and through an obstacle course to see how the bag turned around sharp corners. The durability tests — likely our testers’ favorite task — involved hitting the bags with a baseball bat several times and throwing them off ladders and tabletops. Top-scoring suitcases for durability showed little-to-no signs of damage after the impacts, leading us to believe they would hold up well with prolonged use. To judge the design, we examined the smoothness of the zippers, the functionality of special features like pockets, suiters, or compression straps, and the weight of the suitcase. Finally, our testers were unaware of the price of each bag until after testing was complete and judged the fairness of the cost based on how well the bag performed during testing.

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Travel + Leisure / Connor Ralph

Other Briggs & Riley Luggage We Tested

Briggs & Riley Baseline Rolling Cabin Spinner: While this underseat bag is extremely easy to maneuver with its four wheels and long extending handle, it didn’t fit under an airplane seat no matter how hard we tried.

Briggs & Riley Torq International 21-inch Carry-on Spinner: Another Briggs & Riley bag that had excellent maneuverability, we think the brand offers better carry-ons that have a larger capacity and are more durable for the same price.

Briggs & Riley Baseline Essential Carry-on Spinner: We love the generous storage capacity of this carry-on bag, but it was slightly difficult to wheel the bag and there are more attractive options on the market.

Tips for Buying Briggs & Riley Luggage

Compare hardside vs. softside

A hardside suitcase is best for travelers packing fragile items since a polycarbonate exterior can generally provide more structure and framing around the suitcase. However, scuffs or scratches might be more apparent on a hardside suitcase rather than one with a nylon fabric exterior that can hide wear and tear better. A softside bag also has exterior pockets whereas a hardshell likely won’t have any outside pockets.

Consider a luggage set

While a set of luggage can cost more upfront, it might be convenient to buy all your luggage at once, especially for frequent fliers. Plus, it’s easier to keep track of the warranty information or receipts if you buy luggage as a set.

Know your organization preferences

Depending on the type of travel you plan on using a suitcase for, there are options for those who like to be organized or who prefer a more personalized approach to packing. If you like to use packing cubes, consider a suitcase with one main, large compartment. For packers that want an all-in-one design, consider a suitcase with lots of pockets, dividers, or a fold-out suiter for clothes that wrinkle easily.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Where can I buy Briggs & Riley luggage?

    Briggs & Riley luggage can be purchased directly from Briggs & Riley with the brand’s free 30-day return policy for unused items. Prime members can also get free shipping and 30-day returns on Briggs & Riley luggage at Amazon, and there are often discounts on the luggage, too. Other department stores like Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Bloomingdale's carry a variety of Briggs & Riley luggage as well. The manufacturer offers a lifetime guarantee where customers can send in broken or damaged luggage for repairs no matter where the suitcase was purchased.

  • How do I decide which Briggs & Riley bag to buy?

    While it ultimately depends on the type of traveler, overpackers will appreciate any of the expandable checked and carry-on suitcases Briggs & Riley offers. Organized packers should consider one of the softside suitcases offering plenty of pockets on the inside and outside. If you’re planning on traveling with heavy or fragile items, opt for one of the hardside checked bags.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Anna Popp is a commerce writer at Travel + Leisure, where she writes and reviews travel products. She has been travel writing since 2018 and product testing since 2021. Anna worked with travel editors to determine the results for the best Briggs & Riley luggage based on a series of tests completed by our testers in our New York City lab.

Up Next: The Best Checked Luggage of 2022, According to T+L Tests

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