What We Like
Versatile design suitable for both urban and adventure travel
Inexpensive compared to other Briggs & Riley suitcases
What We Don't Like
Expensive compared to suitcases in general
No garment bag-like element for dressier clothes
Four-wheel design not suited for more rugged terrain
Doesn’t have duffel-like handles for easy carrying
If you’re the sort of traveler likely to be staying at the Four Seasons one week and trekking through South America the next, the Briggs & Riley BRX Explore Large Expandable Spinner might be the bag for you. The Long Island, New York-based Briggs & Riley is known for making durable, high-end luggage and with great lifetime warranties. Its BRX line is more affordable than its flagship offerings and has more casual design flourishes that make it suitable for both urban and outdoorsy travels.
Design: Pockets and straps galore, but little structure
With an exterior of 420D nylon, which has a slight sheen, and a gray panel that contrasts with the main color, which is navy or blue, this is a handsome, somewhat sporty bag. It’s a bit less structured than even your typical soft-sided bag, even, with a slight taper at the top, though it has more structure than a duffel bag style.
The exterior boasts a large front pocket and two smaller, shallow pockets. The retractable handle is affixed to the outside of the bag—one of Briggs & Riley’s signatures—allowing the inner compartment to be roomier and have a flat bottom.
This is a handsome, somewhat sporty bag.
Inside, the main cavity is spacious with a 107.9-liter capacity, and there’s both a large- and medium-sized zippered compartment. The smaller of the compartments has a water-repellent coating that we found handy for packing wet clothing and liquids.
We were disappointed, however, to find that there isn’t any sort of attachment to fold suits or longer dresses over to keep them wrinkle-free. In general, if crisp clothes are a priority, this probably isn’t the bag for you.
Portability: Enormous capacity
Including the wheels, this bag meaures 29 x 19.5 x 11.5 inches and weighs just 10.3 pounds—not bad for its size. The depth of the bag can be expanded to 13.3 inches, and the capacity range is an impressive 97.1 to 107.9 liters. Expanding the bag was easy; we only had to unzip an exterior zipper (which, by the way, boasts YKK® RC zipper hardware, said to guarantee smooth, self-repairing action). This particular case does not use the CX (Compression Expansion) technology that the brand’s more expensive collections have.
We were disappointed to find that there isn’t any sort of attachment to fold suits or longer dresses over to keep them wrinkle-free.
The bag boasts four double-swivel wheels; the front wheels are 2 inches in diameter, and those in the back are ¼-inch bigger, lending some added stability, though it still might roll away from you on ground that’s not perfectly flat. For reference, the similarly sized large expandable spinner from the company’s flagship Baseline collection weighs 11.9 pounds.
Warranty: One of the best in the business
All Briggs & Riley bags come with a lifetime guarantee that covers all repairs—even on damage caused by the airline. No proof of purchase needed; just bring your damaged bag into a local repair center, request a $10 do-it-yourself kit for quick fixes, or send it to the company’s official repair center. Customers pay to ship, but Briggs & Riley covers return shipping. By comparison, TUMI covers everything for the first year of ownership and covers manufacturing defects on years two through five, and proof of purchase is required. Victorinox’s warranties vary by collection, but they are also less comprehensive than Briggs & Riley’s offerings and require a proof of purchase.
Price: A good value given the warranty
At $439, this large bag is relatively affordable for a Briggs & Riley piece of this size, and we like that it comes with the same great warranty as with the company’s pricier bags. It’s still more expensive than the somewhat comparable Victorinox VX Touring Expandable Large Duffel ($345) but cheaper than similarly sized options from Briggs & Riley’s flagship Baseline collection, which run over $600.
At $439, this large bag is relatively affordable for a Briggs & Riley piece of this size, and we like that it comes with the same great warranty.
Competition: It strikes a unique balance
Victorinox VX Touring Expandable Large Duffel: The new VX Touring line’s two-wheeled duffel we mentioned above is worth considering, especially if you’re looking for something a bit more rugged. It’s an actual duffel—not just a soft-sided suitcase with sporty details like the BRX. Priced at $345, it’s significantly cheaper, but it also has far less capacity—69 liters compared to 97.1 to 107.9 for the Briggs & Riley, depending on if you expand it. The Victorinox is a couple of pounds lighter (under 8 pounds), though, and its design might be more suited to rougher terrain. It could probably be picked up and carried a long distance if needed.
Briggs & Riley Baseline Large Expandable Upright: This large rolling bag from Briggs & Riley’s flagship Baseline collection is another option for those looking for a big piece of luggage, though it’s less sporty. At $679, it’s a bigger investment, and its capacity is a bit less. However, it has a tri-fold panel for hanging suits and dresses, so it’s more appropriate for dressier travels. Plus, the two-wheel style might be preferable to some, especially on a bag of this size.
- Product Name BRX Explore Large Expandable Spinner
- Product Brand Briggs & Riley
- SKU Black or Blue
- Price $439
- Weight 10.3 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 29 x 19.5 x 11.5 in.
- Expanded Depth 13.3 in.
- Capacity 97.1-107.9 L
- Material 420D nylon, 600D polyester, and water-resistant tarpaulin
- Warranty Lifetime guarantee