Briggs & Riley Transcend Luggage Review

Briggs & Riley Transcend Luggage 306x306Many people look for pure quality and dependability when they make a luggage purchase.  Business or pleasure, they want the best.  If that describes you, take a look at this review of the  Briggs & Riley Transcend luggage line.

Briggs & Riley has long been known as a company whose mission is to produce the highest quality luggage.  This company seems to listen well to past customers, constantly making improvements to their luggage lines based on customer feedback and reviews.

Be prepared to pay for this quality, though, with Briggs and Riley luggage costing anywhere between $200-$500+ per bag.  However, with a lifetime warranty (including airline-caused issues – wow!) expect these bags to last for many, many years.


It’s amazing how much you can pack in this bag…

One of the best features of all Briggs and Riley luggage is the simple, efficient design that maximizes packing space without adding extra weight.  The Transcend line is no exception.

A simple, uncluttered rectangular main compartment allows for a very efficient use of packing space. Every inch can be utilized for personal belongings rather than for dividers, zippers, etc.

In addition, Briggs & Riley has placed the telescoping handle mechanism on the outside of all their bags, eliminating the rail bumps on the bottom of the inside compartment. In B&R bags, you can pack on a flat surface.


Is Briggs & Riley Transcend luggage right for you? 

It’s got to fit your needs.  After digging around quite a bit in the product reviews, I find Briggs & Riley Transcend luggage being well-suited for the following types of buyers:

–          Quality is critical to your luggage decision

–          You have purchased less-expensive luggage in the past that did not perform and are ready to invest in quality luggage

–          You appreciate luggage with a classic, minimalist look and design that is not trendy.

–          Needs to be absolutely sure the bag will fit on the overhead compartment on most aircraft types (any of the B&R luggage models with ‘carry-on’ in the name will suffice here)

–          You are looking to give good quality luggage as a gift

–          You rely on manufacturer reputation and the overall positive reviews of other customers

–          You are looking for the most comprehensive luggage warranty out there


Briggs & Riley provides a Lifetime  Warranty

Briggs-Riley LogoThis is where Briggs &Riley luggage shines – a lifetime guarantee, aptly named ‘Simple as that’. Billed as the most consumer-friendly product guarantee in the travel ware industry, this warranty states:

If your Briggs & Riley bag is ever broken or damaged, even if it was caused by an airline, we will repair it free of charge – Simple as that!”

Even if the airlines mess it up?  Really?

The Briggs & Riley warranty covers the repair on all functional parts of your luggage for life. You can either take it to an authorized B&R repair facility or mail your bag to an official B&R repair center.  What is does not cover is cosmetic wear, cleaning, lost or stolen bags or contents. You are also responsible for the mailing costs.

I spend lots of time lurking in travel forums and reading product reviews.  I can tell you that I have yet to find a consumer who has used the warranty services.  The luggage is that sturdy.  And other than the annoyance of another job on their to-do list, the few folks that appear to have initially received a defective bag, seemed satisfied with the treatment they received from Briggs & Riley resolving their issue.



The Pros and the Cons of Briggs & Riley Transcend luggage

Hands down, the most appreciated features of Briggs & Riley luggage is the overall top quality, attention to detail and user experience.  Briggs & Riley’s mission, in their own words, is to ‘listen and then innovate’.  They seem to be take this seriously.

Here are the most important functional features, as well as the pros and the cons, in my opinion that are important if you are taking a look at the Briggs & Riley Transcend series:


Very lightweight – the Transcend line is Briggs & Riley’s lightest.  The carry-ons in this line run a respectable 7-8 lbs, with the larger must-check bags in the 10-12 lb. range.  This is lightweight considering the quality and design elements built into the Transcend bags.


Briggs & Riley - Telescoping Handles on Outside of BagOutside Telescoping Handle – Due in part to customers who wanted a more wrinkle-free packing experience, Briggs & Riley placed the entire telescoping handle mechanism on the outside of their luggage.  The result is a main packing compartment that has a totally flat bottom surface.

B&R was careful that, for carry-on bags especially, to incorporate the extra dimension of the outside handle in the total dimensions, insuring the bag still met carry-on size restrictions.

For some people, the loss of this bit of capacity might be a deal-breaker, but the vast majority of purchasers love the flat interior space.  In fact, the clever creation of an extra outside pocket between the two handles was a user favorite.


Quiet Ride – one of the items that was repeatedly mentioned in the consumer reviews was the quiet ride of Briggs & Riley luggage.  Well-made composite inline skate wheels are the reason.  This is much appreciated when rolling your luggage across a marble hotel lobby or not waking up the family as you leave for an early morning flight.


Good outside pockets – Especially in carry-on bags, the outside pockets are key.  Briggs & Riley has designed excellent outside pockets for the Transcend line:

  • A large, zipped compartment on the front of the bag for files, your tablet or laptop, etc
  • On top of the above, a cool little zipped pouch they call the SpeedThru pocket for the stuff you need to store when going through airport security.
  • Another pouch, this one removable when not being used, a mesh net overlay for your jacket, sweater, etc, that tucks away in a hidden compartment when not in use.
  • Using the space between the telescoping handle system on the back of the bag, there is a long, more vertical zipped pocket good for an umbrella, water bottle, camera,etc.


Good Use of Space – The main compartment is wide open for you to decide for yourself exactly how you want to pack your stuff.  No extra weight used here for pre-designed compartments or pouches.  Works well with packing cubes, too.


Briggs & Riley QuickLink baggae attachment strapsAttachment straps other carry bags – There is an attachment mechanism for securing your other carry-ons to the rolling bag.  I like 2 things about the Briggs & Riley system:  1) that when not in use, it zips neatly away so it doesn’t catch on anything or otherwise become annoying, and 2) that the attachment straps are permanently attached to the bag so you can’t lose them.


Exceptional Quality – You can expect the Briggs & Riley Transcend to last a very long time.  This company builds their bags with the best materials and craftsmanship.  You have to be pretty sure of your quality to offer a lifetime repair/replace warranty.


A sophisticated look – Briggs & Riley luggage has a classic look.  The Transcend line gives a nod toward sophistication, softening the lines just a bit.  In addition, this line comes in 3 colors – black, olive (more like taupe) and red.  If you are looking for trendy, this is not your luggage.


Which  Briggs & Riley Transcend bag is good for you?

Most luggage manufacturers provide 3 levels of capacity (carry-on, medium checked, large checked) as well as a 2-wheel and 4-wheel (spinner) version of each line they make.  I’ve broken that down for the Briggs & Riley Transcend below:

I’m looking for a Carry-on bag for a 2-5 day trip: the 19″, 20″ 0r 22″ are all good for your needs.

 I need a Medium-sized bag for a 5-10 day trip (must be checked) – the 25″ bags, either upright or spinner

 I want a very large suitcase that holds 7+ days of content (obviously, must be checked) – the 27″ 2 or 4-wheel


The Bottom Line – Briggs & Riley Transcend Lightweight Luggage

The Briggs & Riley Transcend bags are built with quality, attention to detail and excellent functionality in mind.  The Transcend line is lightweight, has a sophisticated, classic look and should fit the luggage needs of most travelers.  With the Briggs & Riley lifetime repair/replace warranty, this bag is a good investment.


Best Places Online to buy Briggs & Riley luggage: carries the current Briggs & Riley luggage lines, and provides free shipping for these bags.  No deals on the current line, though.

You can get great deals on Briggs&Riley’s own website, where they have an ‘outlet center’ page for all their discontinued lines.  I mean, why not get a deal on quality?