Great suitcases aren’t hard to find if you know which brands to check out. Luckily, you can choose either Tumi or Briggs and Riley luggage and get a decent model.
Both brands use quality materials, have the necessary features needed for travel, and are perfect for almost any type of trip.
But there are a few distinct differences between these two brands that are worth noting. If you’d like to see just what these are, check out our Briggs and Riley vs Tumi comparison reviews below.
We’ve also provided you with a buying guide, which breaks things down for an even more thorough review.
Briggs and Riley vs Tumi Luggage
|Name||Image||Type||Sizes (in)||Weights (lbs)||Material||Wheels||Lockable|
|Tumi Alpha 2||Softside||22, 26, 29||10.7, 15, 17.2||Ballistic nylon||4 wheels (2 wheel version also available)||No|
|Tumi Vapor Lite||Hardside||21, 26.5, 29.5||7.6, 10, 11||Polycarbonate||4 wheels||Yes|
|Briggs & Riley Baseline||Softside||22, 25, 28||8.9, 10.2, 10.9||Ballistic nylon||2 wheels (4 wheel spinner also available)||Yes|
|Briggs & Riley Sympatico||Hardside||21, 27, 30||8, 11.6, 13.5||Makrolon polycarbonate||4 wheels||Yes|
Tumi Luggage Reviews
The name Tumi comes from a Peruvian icon, which the founder had learned about during his time in the Peace Corps.
Since then, Tumi has expanded their line but retained their attention to detail when it comes to product quality.
They have a strict checklist, which includes 30 tests of each piece to ensure every part possible meets their high standards. Every product is then tested in the real world, to make sure it is functional for the travelers who rely on them.
Materials & Durability
The first piece of luggage in our Briggs and Riley vs Tumi luggage comparison is the Tumi International carry on bag.
It is made of incredibly strong ballistic nylon, which reduces the chances of punctures and tears, even on some rough flights.
The four swivel wheels are recessed to reduce space while adding extra protection. There are also protective bumper guards around the wheels and on the corners of the bag to give you even more coverage to reduce the amount of damage sustained if you should happen to run it into a wall or it gets jostled in the overhead bin.
The inside of this Tumi lightweight spinner carry on bag is split into two sections. The bottom area is open, giving you a large area to store your regular clothing and other accessories.
There are two large zippered pockets on the sides of this large compartment for any toiletries or other small items you’d like to keep separate from your larger belongings.
The lid compartment has a built-in suiter area, with a hanger clamp inside, making it easy to move your fancier clothing from the closet to the suitcase and back.
There is also an extendable piece, which you can strap over the bottom of your clothing. This way, they won’t wrinkle when you fold the extendable piece back in to close the lid.
When the suiter area is closed, another mesh zippered area is revealed, giving you even more storage space inside.
On the front of the Tumi lightweight suitcase are two more zippered areas. These areas have specific spots for passports and tickets, plus a few extra items you’ll need easy access to during your flight.
Along with the storage areas, sturdy materials, and spinner wheels, there are a few other features worth noting. On the top of the bag is a 3-stage telescoping handle, which locks in three different positions, so you have the right height needed for comfortable pulling.
This handle stores into a recessed area, so it is out of the way when you don’t need it. This also reduces the size of the bag.
There are also top and side carry handles, plus a bottom grab handle, which comes in handy when it’s time to hoist your bag up into a trunk or an overhead bin.
There is an ID luggage tag at the back, in case your luggage gets misplaced during your trip. There is also the Tumi Tracer, which is a 20-digit code that can be registered with Tumi, which is useful if the ID tag is lost.
Another neat feature on this Tumi carry on luggage spinner bag is the expandable option. If you happen to pick up a few extra souvenirs on your trip and need a bit more room to take them home, there is a zipper on the side of the bag that can be opened.
This expands the sides of the bag, giving you an extra 2 inches of space inside.
And there is also an expandable 2 wheeled carry-on version of the Tumi Alpha 2 available.
Sizes (in): 22, 26, 29
Weights (lbs): 10.7, 15, 17.2
Materials: Ballistic nylon
Wheels: 4 wheels (2 wheel version also available)
Extra Features: Expandable, compression straps, multiple carry handles, luggage ID tag, suiter compartment
Materials & Durability
The shell of this Tumi spinner suitcase is made of highly durable polycarbonate, which is extremely strong and resists impacts for a longer lasting bag.
But this material is also lightweight, so even the larger pieces in this line are still quite easy to carry with you without putting you over any airline weight restrictions.
On the bottom of the case are the four dual spinner wheels. They are surrounded by protective housing to keep the wheels safe from damage if they are bumped while you are traveling.
These wheels are also made of durable plastic materials that last for years, rolling smoothly over most surfaces.
Like the above model in our Briggs and Riley luggage vs Tumi luggage comparisons, this one is split into two separate areas inside.
The bottom is an open storage compartment, which has room for a change of clothing, a few books and magazines, and a few other necessary items.
Compression straps hold all this in place after you’re finished packing. There are two zippered pockets, one on each side, to organize your smaller gear.
The lid is enclosed with a zippered divider. Inside is a suiter compartment with a built-in hangar bracket to store your business or dressy attire.
And on the outside of the divider is another larger zippered pocket, which can be used to store your ties, socks, belts, and other clothing accessories.
One feature found on the Vapor Lite carry on that isn’t on the other Tumi model in our Briggs and Riley or Tumi luggage comparisons is the integrated TSA lock.
This combination lock holds the zippers in place while you travel, keeping thieves out while giving TSA officials access if needed.
There is a 3-stage telescopic handle, which can be locked in place in one of three different positions for the right height, no matter who is pulling it.
This handle is made of aircraft grade aluminum, so it can withstand quite a bit of pressure, but is still light to carry. And it stores in a recessed area in the back of the Tumi polycarbonate spinner bag when you don’t need it.
The top carry handle is retractable, with a soft grip that is comfortable in your hand. An ID tag and the Tumi tracer make it easier to locate your bag if it happens to go missing during your flight.
Sizes (in): 21, 26.5, 29.5,
Weights (lbs): 7.6, 10, 11
Wheels: 4 wheels
Extra Features: Compression straps, suiter compartment, TSA lock, retractable top handle, ID tag
Briggs and Riley Luggage Reviews
Though their parent company U.S. Luggage LLC has been in business for over a century, Briggs and Riley itself was founded in 1993.
During that time, they have implemented a variety of innovative features to go with their stylish, lightweight luggage.
The reason they can create such amazing bags is that they listen to their customers, partners, and their repair experts. This allows them to adjust their bags as needed to make them stronger and more functional for travelers.
They also add new features, like their Speedthru pockets, HideAway ID tags, and the SmartLink straps, all of which are designed for easy packing for the busy traveler.
Materials & Durability
The Briggs and Riley Baseline carry on is the first model we’ll be looking at in our Briggs and Riley or Tumi comparison reviews.
The Baseline Upright uses ballistic nylon for the outer fabric, which is resistant to wear and abrasions. This material also repels moisture and dirt as well, so it will stay cleaner throughout your trip.
There is a hybrid fiberglass frame inside, which is light enough to keep your bag’s weight down. This type of frame is a bit flexible, yet still retains the shape of the bag.
It is also quite durable, so you can bump it along the way without denting the frame and reducing its strength.
The 2 wheeled version of this Briggs and Riley suitcase has durable wheels on the back.
It has a couple of wedged feet on the front to keep it upright and deflect impacts when putting it in the overhead bin or into your trunk.
There is also a spinner version of the Briggs and Riley Baseline available, with four 360-degree wheels and protective housing to keep them safe from damage.
All four corners of this Briggs and Riley carry on have reinforced protective guards to add even more protection, ensuring the bag will look and function as well at the end of your trip as it did before it began.
Like the Tumi models in our Tumi or Briggs and Riley comparisons, the Baseline Upright is split into two areas for easy packing.
The bottom compartment is large and open, giving you plenty of room for a change of clothing and other necessities.
There are some mesh garment panels in there to hold your gear in place and keep it from wiggling around during your flight.
And if you need a bit more room, you can open up the CX compression-expansion system. Just lift it up, pack in your gear, zip up the bag, and then press it down to compress the mechanism, keeping everything tight and secure.
In the lid of this Briggs and Riley luggage, there is a tri-fold suiter compartment. This area has a hanger clamp for easy packing.
Plus it has the extra third panel with a foam roll bar at the bottom to hold your suits in tight and reduce wrinkling as you fold them in.
On the outside of the suiter area is a large zippered pocket, perfect for your ties, belts, and other smaller accessories.
On the front of the bag is a large panel pocket for books, magazines, or even an extra coat if needed. There are also a couple of smaller pockets, perfect for your documents and identification, which will help speed up your trip through customs.
The Briggs and Riley Transcend has a similar expansion system, suiter area, and front pockets.
But its compression panels can be locked to the outside of your suitcase to keep them out of the way while you’re packing, which is a bit more convenient.
The Briggs and Riley Baseline carry on has a few extra features worth noting. There is an aircraft-grade aluminum handle, which locks at three different heights.
There is also a cushioned carry handle on the top, plus integrated fabric handles on the side and the bottom for easy lifting and carrying.
A HideAway ID tag keeps your information concealed from others around you, but gives anyone who finds the lost bag what they need to find you.
The zippers are all self-repairing YKK zippers, which run smoothly. The zipper tabs on the main area and the front panel pocket are lockable as well, for extra security.
Sizes (in): 22, 25, 28,
Weights (lbs): 8.9, 10.2, 10.9
Materials: Ballistic nylon
Wheels: 2 wheels (4 wheel spinner also available)
Extra Features: Compression-expansion system, tri-fold suiter compartment, HideAway ID tag, self-repairing YKK zippers, lockable
Materials & Durability
The Briggs and Riley Sympatico carry on suitcase has a hard shell made of 3 layers of 100% virgin Makrolon polycarbonate3 layers of 100% virgin Makrolon polycarbonate. This material is very strong, withstanding even the hardest impacts.
But it is also quite light, making it easier to stay within those airline weight restrictions. Inside the bag is a smooth, soft interior lining, which cradles your clothing as you pack your belongings.
On the bottom of this carry-on are four double spinner wheels, all of which use steel components for extra strength and durability. These have a low center of gravity and spin a full 360 degrees for quick turns and easy maneuvering.
The wheel base is quite wide and resists tilting for added stability as you move or when just standing still.
Like the rest of the carry on bags in our Briggs and Riley vs Tumi comparisons, this one is split into two compartments inside. There is the large main area for the majority of your clothing and other necessities.
Garment compression panels cinch the clothing down tight to reduce wrinkles, plus they are adjustable, fitting over everything to secure it all in place.
The top lid compartment is the suiter area, with a speed buckle hanger holder and a zip-around mesh panel to keep your finer clothing separate and wrinkle-free.
This area holds one suit or a couple of shirts, with a foam bar in the middle to hold the clothing down tight as you fold the suiter compartment closed.
Like the Briggs and Riley Baseline, the Sympatico carry on has the CX compression-expansion system. This allows you to expand the bag while your packing, then compresses it again after you’ve filled it and zipped it up, keeping it slim enough to fit into those overhead bins.
The telescoping handle is made of aircraft-grade aluminum with an ergonomic handle grip for extra comfort. It stops at 3 different heights, so you can adjust it to whoever carries it.
There is also a molded soft-touch carry handle on the top of the bag and another handle on the side.
The YKK zippers are self-repairing and run smoothly.
They have ergonomic zipper pulls that lock into the built-in TSA combination lock for added security.
And included with this piece of Briggs and Riley spinner luggage is a fabric bag with a drawstring closure. It is for storing your bag in when you aren’t using it, keeping it clean and scratch-free.
Sizes (in): 21, 27, 30
Weights (lbs): 8, 11.6, 13.5
Materials: Makrolon polycarbonate
Wheels: 4 wheels
Extra Features: TSA combination lock, CX compression-expansion system, suiter compartment, compression panels, fabric storage bag
Buying Guide: Briggs and Riley vs Tumi Comparison
There were a lot of details to take in for each of the products in our Briggs and Riley vs Tumi reviews above.
In order to know what you should be looking for and why, check out the buying guide sections below.
Types of Luggage
As you can see from the Briggs and Riley luggage vs Tumi luggage carry on reviews, we looked at a softside and a hardside bag for each company.
The hardside bags are great because they keep your gear extra safe from damage. They can’t be squished, which adds protection, but this also means you can’t compress them to squeeze them into a tight space.
The softside bags use fabric for their exteriors, which is expandable if you need to squeeze in an extra sweater, plus can be squished a bit if needed.
You would also think that fabric would be lighter than the hard shell bags, but as you can see from the above reviews, this is not always the case.
In our above Briggs and Riley or Tumi luggage reviews, we focused on the carry on bags, which are great for short trips or for those who want a change of clothing, a few toiletries, and a few entertainment options to keep them busy on the plane.
But there are also the larger checked bags, which we included in the specs for easy comparison. These are best for longer trips where you’ll need a few changes of clothing and other necessary accessories.
Garment bags are essential for those traveling for business or for fancy dress occasions. These keep your clothing wrinkle-free, plus have some space for your dress shoes, belts, ties, pantyhose, or anything else you need to complete your outfit.
Totes look similar to large purses and are handy for short trips that don’t require too much space. They do have plenty of pockets, though, to organize your documents and other smaller items.
They could replace a carry on if needed and are great for just a day or two away from home.
Duffels are big and roomy, with carry handles and shoulder straps, but many of them lack the wheels and handles found on the other larger bags in most collections.
If you’re traveling by car, the weight of your bag isn’t really important, until you try to pick it up that is. But for air travel, the weight of the bag will determine just how much gear you can take with you. T
he heavier the bag is, the less you can carry, or you may go over the airline’s restrictions.
The lightest bag in our Briggs and Riley vs Tumi comparisons is the Tumi Vapor Lite carry on, with the checked bags only a couple of pounds more.
This means you can add a few extra items in these ones than you could into any of the other bags in our reviews.
All of the bags in our above reviews come in 4 wheel models, though both the Tumi Alpha 2 and the Briggs and Riley Baseline also have 2 wheel versions available. Both types of bags have their strengths and their weaknesses, so you should consider the following before you decide on which to choose.
Spinner, or 4 wheeled bags, can be pulled in any direction thanks to the multi-directional wheels, so they can fit down even the narrowest airline aisles.
They also maneuver easily over smooth surfaces, though they don’t handle well on rough ones, like cobblestones.
Rolling bags, or 2 wheeled bags, have 2 wheels at the back and little feet at the front for standing still. They roll easily over almost any surface and can be pulled up stairs with ease. But they only go in one direction, so you may need to carry it by hand down thinner aisles.
Handles & Carrying Options
There isn’t much difference between the telescopic handles of the bags in our Briggs and Riley vs Tumi comparisons. All of them are made of aircraft-grade aluminum, stop at three different heights, and store in recessed areas at the back of the bag.
All four models also have top handles, though the Tumi Vapor Lite is the only retractable one, which slims down the top of the bag for storage.
The other three bags all have side handles as well, and the Tumi Alpha 2 and the Briggs and Riley Baseline have added bottom handles for extra convenience.
No matter what kind or size of bag you choose, you want it to last. That’s why both Tumi and Briggs and Riley have used durable materials for their best luggage pieces.
The Tumi Alpha 2 and the Briggs and Riley Baseline are both softside bags, using Ballistic Nylon for the outer material. This fabric is strong, resisting abrasions and punctures, plus it repels moisture and dirt at the same time.
The Tumi Vapor Lite and the Briggs and Riley Sympatico are both hardside bags, using polycarbonate for the shell.
This is one of the strongest materials there is, withstanding dents and resisting scratches, even with other luggage piled on top of it.
All of the bags have protective housing around the wheels, but the Tumi Alpha 2 and the Briggs and Riley Baseline also add bumpers on the corners to reduce any damage if you bump into the wall or your bag gets knocked around during a rough flight.
Compartments & Features
All four bags in our Briggs and Riley vs Tumi comparisons have split main compartments with a suiter area in the lid. But other than these two areas, the Sympatico has no other storage areas.
The rest of the luggage models have a few internal pockets, and the softside Alpha 2 and Baseline models have some outer storage areas as well for added convenience.
As for other features, there are a few that are similar in both brands. The Tumi models have internal compression straps, while the Briggs and Riley have compression panels, which are larger and may hold your gear down a bit better.
Both brands have expandable luggage, though the Briggs and Riley bags can be compressed again after you’re finished packing.
The Alpha 2 is the only one that isn’t lockable, and the Sympatico lacks an ID tag, though it comes with a handy storage bag. So, for features, all four bags are pretty closely matched.
One of the most important things to look at when buying any product is the warranty. The better it is, the more comfortable you’ll feel using your gear.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt to know a company stands behind their products by giving it the best warranty possible.
Tumi has a warranty of up to five years of coverage. First is their Worry-free First Year of Ownership warranty, which covers almost any damage to their products.
This includes the usual manufacturer defects but also covers normal wear-and-tear, mishandling by airline staff, or other types of transit damage.
They repair it for free, plus pay for all of the shipping costs. If it can’t be fixed, they’ll replace it with the same product or one of similar value if the original product is not available.
Then they have coverage for years 2-5, which covers the majority of their products. This warranty covers product defects in the materials or the workmanship, and normal wear and tear.
But they don’t cover airline mishandling or transit damage for these years. They also don’t cover cosmetic or misuse damages. As well as repair costs, they’ll pay for return shipping if needed.
Briggs and Riley’s warranty is a bit more basic. They cover the cost of the repair for any functional aspects of their product for the lifetime of the bag.
They will also repair any damage caused by airline mishandling at no charge. They don’t cover cosmetic damage or cleaning. They also don’t cover the cost of shipping to their facility but do pay for the return fees.
Style & Color
When it comes to style, the Tumi Alpha 2 is a bit more basic looking than the Briggs and Riley Baseline in our softside comparison. The Baseline has a bit more shine to the material, plus some cleaner lines.
But the opposite is true for the hardside luggage. The Briggs and Riley Sympatico has evenly spaced vertical lines over the front and back, which look alright. But the Vapor Lite’s lines are a bit more eye-catching.
There also aren’t that many of them, so the shine of the hard shell comes through nicely. Even the brand name tags look better on the Tumi model.
As for colors, Briggs and Riley only offer a few for each of the bags on our list. The Tumi Vapor Lite comes in a few colors, but these are hard to find because this bag is no longer being made.
The Tumi Alpha 2, on the other hand, has around 10 different colors for each of its bags, giving you a wide variety to choose from.
For the bags in our Briggs and Riley vs Tumi comparisons, both Tumi models are more expensive than the Briggs and Riley bags by a couple of hundred dollars.
Since both brands use similar materials, have similar handles and wheels, this may not be worth the price.
The Tumi models do have the Tumi Tracer on them, but you need to register your bag in order for it to be of any use.
And it doesn’t help you find your bag, it only lets those who do find it contact Tumi themselves so Tumi can locate you and get you your bag back.
But Briggs and Riley have the compression panels instead of the straps for more coverage inside to keep your gear exactly where you pack it, plus the Sympatico bags have the handy storage bag.
And although both brands offer expansion systems, only Briggs and Riley bags have the compression ability as well.
The bottom line is that Tumi still offers great features, Briggs and Riley bags may have the better value for most.
Briggs and Riley vs Tumi – What Suitcase Should You Get?
Now that you’ve read over our Briggs and Riley vs Tumi reviews and our handy buying guide, it’s time to choose the best bag of the bunch.
All four of the bags have some similar features, like the 3-way aluminum retractable handles, the materials, and the sturdy wheels with some protective housing, but there are some differences that lift one bag to the top of the list.
This bag is the Briggs and Riley Baseline. Though it has the same Ballistic nylon material as the Tumi Alpha 2 and the same compression/expansion system as the Briggs and Riley Sympatico, it has a few extras worth noting.
The Baseline has a better suiter area than the other models, with the tri-fold ability that works well for longer clothing. It comes in both 2 and 4 wheeled versions so you can pick your favorite.
There is also the large panel pocket on front, plus a couple smaller pockets, giving you more than enough room to store everything you need without having to open the main zipper of your bag.
The dual lockable zippers keep everything secure at all times. And this line looks great for any trip, with its clean lines and subtle colors.