The contents could be held down by broad compression panels, leaving sufficient room to hold the deep zipped compartment fitted in the case’s lid. A tri-fold sleeve turned this top compartment into a full-length garment bag where dresses and suits could be secured by wide velcro’ed flaps for wrinkle-free travel. There was an additional zipped pocket on the face of this internal compartment that proved handy for stashing flat items. Then there was the ultimate feature: a 2.5-inch (6.5 centimeter) zipped expansion gusset extended the capacity of the suitcase by almost 25 percent, for those situations along the way when a carry-on bag will definitely not suffice.
The exterior of the 20-inch Carry-on Expandable Wide-body was equally well designed. The lid included two zipped pockets, with the upper one sized to keep travel documents and small electronic gadgets or books easily accessible. The lower pocket occupied three quarters of the lid. It was convenient for additional storage of flat or crushable items. At the rear, the telescopic handle was stored in a smooth external housing, with an additional deep zipped pocket tucked in the center of it. I found it an ideal storage space for the infamous one-quart (one-liter) toiletry bag required by airport security check.
The expandable carry-on was as convenient to handle as to pack. The broad wheelbase, large smooth wheels (three inches or 7.5 centimeters in diameter) and adjustable height telescopic top handle made it a breeze to steer, even in airplane aisles and on crowded train platforms. The front stabilizing feet extended with the gusset, ensuring that the case remained balanced when heavily loaded. The streamlined top and side grip handles facilitated retrieval from the most awkward overhead bin. But it was in unusual travel situations that the 20-inch Carry-on really showed its mettle. It became an impromptu stool when I found myself traveling for one hour in the corridor of a high-speed European train, and its wheels and rear kick-plate remained unscathed when I had to drag my heavily loaded case up one flight of Paris métro stairs.
With its compact and exceptionally sturdy exterior, outstanding packability and easy handling, my Briggs & Riley 20-inch Carry-on has become my traveling companion for short trips as well as longer itineraries where it can alternate between checked-luggage and carry-on functions.
Dimensions 16 x 20 x 8 inches (40.5 x 51 x 20 centimeters). Expands to 16 x 20 x 10.5 inches (40.5 x 51 x 26.5 centimeters)
List Price $369
Manufacturer-Distributor Briggs & Riley Travelware, LLC.
Materials Exterior: abrasion resistant, water repellent 2520D ballistic nylon. Interior: nylon twill.
Type Of Product Soft-sided rolling carry-on suitcase.
Warranty A lifetime “Simple as that” warranty covered even damages causes by travel carriers.
Weight 9 pound and 6 ounces (4.4 kg)
Date Of Last Review April 2010
Number Of Days Tested 60 days
Reviewers Article and photographs by Josette King
Would You Use This Product Again? Yes