Reluctant Luggage Change – From Briggs to Tumi

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It is a bittersweet day for me.  After 3 incredible years with my Briggs and Riley Baseline 22(?) inch carry-on, I finally need to retire her for domestic trips.  While I absolutely LOVE this bag, it is too long for 95% of Southwest overhead bins and thus I have to turn it sideways on most occasions.  This wasn’t initially an issue because Southwest allows free checked bags.  However, over the last two years, flights through Chicago Midway from my own subjective opinion are at full capacity.  I fly Southwest at least twice per week and nearly every flight I take out of and into Midway is completely sold out and despite the free bags, the flight attendants generally need to gate check several bags.  The flight attendant on my flight last night informed us they gate checked 30 bags!

Wanting to avoid being “That Guy” who turns his bag sideways, I set out to find a smaller carry-on.  Fortunately, I jumped on a Gilt sale last week for a Black Tumi International Zippered Expandable Carry-On, sight unseen.  Gilt was pricing this bag at 357 USD which I felt was a nice discount from the 595 USD retail you’d find on Tumi’s website.  Even using a ‘flash sale’ like, don’t forget to stay disciplined! Every online purchase should be prefaced by a visit to I selected the Ultimate Rewards mall to collect an additional 1131 Ultimate Rewards for this purchase.

IMG_0588Passing of the torch


Aerial view

First impression

My first impression of my new Tumi companion is that quality is extremely high throughout on this bag.  It just feels sturdy and well balanced.  That being said, I will definitely need to get more creative with packing as there is a noticeable volume decrease losing the extra length and width I had in the Briggs.

IMG_0589My new companion


Suit liner



Passing the torch

The Tumi will be my new primary carry on for most domestic trips of up to two weeks but it is not goodbye.  I still plan to use my Briggs for longer international trips such as my upcoming trip to Easter Island and through South America.  Combined with a few business trips, that trip will have me on the road for three weeks straight which just isn’t feasible with the packing volume of my new Tumi.

I will provide a more in-depth review of the new Tumi after I take her out on a few trips.

It was a good run, Briggs!


3 incredible years with Briggs!

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

About alex

Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at

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  1. $350 for a suitcase? I bought mine for $30 and it’s been out 10 international trips, including two to Africa.

  2. Seven years ago I baught a samsonite At staples for $70. It survived deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany and Korea. It looks like hell but is a sentimental favorite.

  3. Got my Tumi at Costco for much less.

    Problem with Tumi’s is they do not have 4 wheels, only 2.

    People are getting used to rolling their luggage upright (it is a convenience) and I think the days of 2 wheels are numbered.

  4. Briggs also makes a great 20″ wide body that’ll fit pretty much any jet (non-RJ, of course)

  5. Thanks for this review. I got exactly the same B&R bag for 3.5 years now (weekly international travel in Europe) and, while considering to send it to B&R for a repair looking for a worthy back up/replacement in the time that it is away for repair. I’ll have a look on the Tumi.

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