Review: Briggs & Riley Baseline International Wide


 

Airline baggage fees are increasing and carry-on size allowances are decreasing. The demand for a small, high capacity bag that can bypass the former and comply with the latter is growing. The Briggs & Riley Baseline International Wide Carry-On will satisfy this need exceptionally well.

Founded in 2006, Briggs & Riley has earned a reputation for high quality luggage, or what the company likes to call, “travelware”. This carry-on, belonging to its renowned Baseline Series, shows off the brand’s distinctive qualities and is tangible proof that the reputation preceding the company is befitting.

Pick it up by its suede handles and you’ll begin to understand what I mean. Feel the ballistic nylon fabric. Pull the YKK self-repairing zippers. Open the main, expandable, compartment and run your hands along the (mostly) flat bottom. The attention paid to the details is at least as much as the asking price and around here, we call that good value. The Briggs & Riley International Wide Carry-On is the best in its class.

The MSRP of $499 is steep. However, if you travel frequently and value a high quality product from a company who backs it unequivocally, there is no better two-wheel carry-on sized luggage, soft or hard that will comply with the majority of airline carry-on restrictions around the world in this price range on the market today than this Briggs & Riley Baseline International Wide Carry-On, thus making it one of Tekuben’s Best-in-Class. Let’s find out why.

Like all of our bags, we’ve made a video review for this Briggs & Riley bag that you can watch on our YouTube channel Tekuben Prime or below:

We’ve also made a shorter Quick Look video for those who find the above video too long:

If you would like to buy this bag, please consider purchasing it from Amazon.com with this link. Doing so will help support our work here at Tekuben.

Exterior

Handsome and functional. Subtle, yet distinctive. There are several exterior design elements of this bag that translate to benefits. Here are a few worth noting:

Outsider® Handles

The bag features the company’s Outsider Handles meaning the handle bar system is on the outside of the bag. This is a feature that all travelers can benefit from.

Benefit: Your contents can lay flat in the main compartment.

Drawback: Exposed handle bar system so the bag won’t lay entirely flat on its back.

 

YKK® Racquet Coil™ zippers

Big sturdy, abrasion resistant zippers. Smooth feel.

Benefit: Seal the bag with confidence knowing that these zippers are the best in the luggage industry.

 

2520D Nylon Ballistic fabric

Water-repellant, resistant to abrasion, color fast.

Benefit: This bag will hold up through years of use.

Drawback: While it may be resistant to abrasion, it can still stain and liquid can still seep through to wet contents. Out of the box, the bag is wrinkled. While it may hold up through years of use, it will show its wear as well.


 

SpeedThru™ Pocket

Front zippered pocket that’s just deep enough to hold your boarding pass, phone, wallet and keys.

Benefit: Well placed to store your belongings for quick and easy access.

Improvement: It would be nice if this pocket was RFID protected.

 

HideAway™ ID Tag

Pull out ID tag built-in the bag, located on the back between the handle bar rail.

Benefit: Small touch but having it means there’s no need for an ID tag swinging off a handle.

 

SmartLink™ Strap

Built-in strap allows you to tie another bag to the back of this one. I didn’t find this to be intuitive nor particularly useful. The second bag would be swinging around as you maneuver this bag.

Improvement: Make the strap detachable instead of sewing them into the inside of the bag.

 

Interior

CX™ Expansion System

While luggage expansion is not a new feature, the way Briggs & Riley has implemented it into this bag is noteworthy. Unlike other bags that offer expansion by way of an exterior zipper enclosing extra fabric, Briggs & Riley’s CX™ system is a ratchet mechanism located on the inside of the main compartment.

Benefit: Increases packing capacity by up to 34% before locking back down to the original size after zipping up.

Drawback: The CX System takes up a bit of interior space and is a little noisy when pushing back down. Both are minor drawbacks.

 

Built-In Suiter

Detachable third panel.

Benefit: Protect your suit/dress from wrinkles while packed. If you’re not using the suiter, you can detach the third panel.

Drawback: Given the bag’s compact size, this isn’t a full-sized suiter so it’s a bit of a squeeze.

 

Overall

simple as that® Lifetime Guarantee

This bag, like all goods made by the company, is covered by Briggs and Riley’s simple as that® lifetime guarantee. Having this industry best warranty means that Briggs & Riley will pay for the repair of the bag’s functional aspects be it you or the airline at fault for the damage. This is a major selling point and a bold, all caps statement of the company’s confidence in its’ product’s quality. It’s the sort of policy that garners the trust needed for a company the size of Briggs & Riley to thrive.

Size

At the listed 21 in. x 15 in. x 9 in. (53.5 cm x 38 cm x 23 cm) wheel to handle, side to side and front to back, this bag’s proportions comply with most airlines’ carry-on size limits, while still affording a great volume for packing thanks to the CX expansion system.

Benefit: This bag and a backpack can easily be the duo that you pack in for a 3-4 week trip abroad.

Drawback: While the frame is made out of a hybrid fiberglass material, the bag is a rather porky 9.3 lbs. It may add to the sense of the bag’s quality (heavy = sturdy), but it definitely adds to the overall weight once the bag is packed. The good news is that not many airlines have a weight restriction on carry-on luggage since you’re the one carrying it. If a light bag is what you’re after, there are better options out there, including the Samsonite Firelite, the bag we feel is the best hardshell 4-wheel carry-on in the market.

Fit, finish and tidbits

With reinforced corners, two strong wheels, abrasion and moisture resistant ballistic nylon, this bag looks to be well equipped for the long haul. The top handle is wonderfully comfortable to the touch. Since this is a 2-wheeled carry-on, the zipper to the main compartment sits above the bottom of the bag when laid on its back. When you’re accessing the main compartment, your arm isn’t in position to touch the feet or the wheels. Imagine rolling through the city streets and opening up a 4-wheeled bag – as you run the zipper around the bottom, your hand is above the back wheels and below the front wheels. Chances are, if you’re not careful, your arm will graze the front wheels, getting your self or shirt dirty. I’ve done it before. I don’t like it and I don’t think you would either. The bag includes a TSA-approved lock.

Conclusion

This bag is a traveler’s delight. Business or pleasure, domestic or international – this bag is versatile, compliant with most airline carry-on limits and performs with a touch of quality and thoughtful design throughout. If it stumbles, it’s supported back up by Briggs & Riley’s unconditional simple as that® lifetime warranty.

If you’re looking for a well designed, long lasting, international carry-on compliant, 2-wheeled, soft side carry-on and have the means to pay $499 + tax for it, this Briggs & Riley Baseline International Wide Carry-on will give you the best value for the money. It is, without equal, the best in its’ class.

 

Specs (un-scientifically measured by Tekuben with a measure tape and scale):

Model # U121CXW

H: 21 3/4 inches (55.25 centimeters)

Width: 16 3/8 inches (41.6 centimeters)

Depth: 10 1/4 inches (26 centimeters)

Weight: 9.4 lbs (4.26 kilograms)

Includes: Built-in luggage tag, (1) TSA Approved lock

We hope our review helps you decide if this Briggs and Riley bag is for you. We also have a store in which every item is hand-picked by us for having best-in-class quality. Check out the bags that are Tekuben Approved™.

Bonus! See how the Briggs & Riley Baseline International Wide compares to the Samsonite Firelite:


  • Weight
  • Carry Capacity
  • Handling
  • Organization
  • Appearance
  • Warranty
  • Value
4.8

Summary

If you’re looking for a well designed, long lasting, international carry-on compliant, 2-wheeled, soft side carry-on and have the means to pay $499 + tax for it, this Briggs & Riley Baseline International Wide Carry-on will give you the best value for the money. It is, without equal, the best in its class.

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