The Good: Pack a lot…or not. You decide!
The Review: Spinner suitcases have been around awhile. Expandable suitcases have been around awhile. Has anyone done a good job of combining the features of both? Well…until now, not really. The latest innovations to Briggs & Rileys Baseline Spinners have made for one of the most uber-useful suitcases on the market. The split frame and ratcheting expansion plates allow you expand the bag completely, fill it up, and then press (ok, reef) on the sides to get your bag packed down and as “snuggly” as possible. It’s actually kind of fun! On a recent 10 day trip to eastern Europe (Slovenia) the unexpanded bag checked in at 39lbs on the way there, and fully expanded and loaded up for the return trip checked in at 48lbs. I do pack pretty smartly, but the added weight included 4 bottles of beer, boxes of chocolates & souvenirs etc. The new wheels that Briggs & Riley are now using seem to be an improvement over what other soft-side brands use, and what Briggs themselves had on older models. The wheels were terrific in airports, over cobblestones and through stations. Very pleased that the bag was more maneuverable than what other travelers were attempting to move around. I also learned to appreciate the large front pocket where I could keep my Patagonia rain jacket for quick access! The folding panel on the interior lid was quite useful for allowing me to travel with 2 outfits (more formal) that I could keep neatly on hangers. The only complaint I have with the suitcase has to do with the interior packing straps. When your bag is fully loaded & expanded, the straps can only cover 2/3rds of what you have packed. Otherwise, I’m pretty thrilled with this suitcase and can’t wait to use it again.