Briggs & Riley is a unique sort of luggage company. These days, it’s hard to find that sense of commitment to be the very best at what you do and bring that passion to serve your customer. But that’s exactly the sense you get from Briggs & Riley, from the quality of their luggage to their ‘best in the industry’ warranty, and the little innovative touches that just seem to set them apart.
Their luggage is not for everyone, and you get the feeling that they’re totally OK with that. It’s more expensive than most, and their bags have a simple, almost elegant look that trendier buyers may not care for. Briggs & Riley builds luggage for one type of customer: the customer who wants the best.
Here is what I like about Briggs & Riley luggage:
They keep it simple and functional
Briggs & Riley luggage is engineered and designed well; they seem to know exactly the number, size and placement of exterior pockets that work best on a particular sized bag, the shape of the handles that are most comfortable,etc. You constantly hear ‘it fit our needs perfectly’ or ‘this bag is just the right size’, etc,etc. The designs are simple and extremely functional. No trendy bells and whistles- just what works.
They innovate and do some cool stuff
Two of my favorite innovations? The first is putting the whole telescoping handle mechanism on the outside of the bag – LOVE this. It always bugged the heck out of me to have to back my clothes in between the two handles. And in many bags, if you packed tightly, it would make the handle mechanism ‘stick’. Briggs & Riley places the entire handle mechanism on the outside of the bag so your contents lay on a perfectly flat surface.
The other innovation I appreciate is the expansion-compression feature; the bag expands to pack one-third more contents, and then has a cool ratchet-sort of mechanism that compresses the bag back to regular size. It’s like when you over pack, then have to sit on your bag to get the extra air out and struggle to zip it back up. Only now it’s done automatically. Brilliant, innovative and very useful.
The warranty – this alone is enough
The place where your luggage runs the greatest risk of getting damaged is usually the one place most luggage warranties don’t cover: anything that happens at the airport. Not the case with Briggs & Riley, whose Simple as That® lifetime guarantee promises repair or replacement for all types of damage, excluding only cosmetic or cleaning.
If the baggage handlers knock a wheel off, if they break a zipper or the material gets ripped somehow, Briggs & Riley will take care of it. Unheard of. It almost makes the price of the luggage irrelevant, because it very well may be the last bag you have to buy.
They listen to what their customers are saying
I spend a fair amount of time (OK – a ton of time) reading product reviews, monitoring travel forums and the like. Those are the places you really find out what people think. I bump into the Briggs & Riley folks all the time, making sure that every comment is answered and taken care of. As a marketer, I know that a company who puts effort into listening to what their customers are saying is on the right track.
And watching the product updates to their luggage lines year-after-year, it’s clear that Briggs & Riley is making sure those suggestions and complaints make it into the designs of their luggage. I like that.
More about Briggs & Riley luggage:
The Briggs & Riley bags I’ve specifically reviewed in a detailed way (more to come) so far are:
Briggs & Riley Baseline (this is their flagship collection)
Briggs & Riley Transcend (their lightest weight collection)
the Amazon.com Briggs & Riley page, if you want to take a look