Checkable Bag Luggage Issues
Comments from Travel Insider Readers
There's a lot of difference
between the suitcase you see nicely presented and brand new
in the store, and when you're struggling through the airport
with it, overloaded, and with other bags on top and
Here are real world
comments from real travelers - our readers, people just like
you - about their actual experiences with the bags they've
Part 3 of a 3 part introduction to
buying checked luggage - click for Parts
Travel Insider readers are
savvy frequent fliers.
They know what they like and don't
like with the luggage they carry. And, because they travel
a lot, they get to see luggage not only when it is fresh and
new, but also after hundreds of thousands of miles and hundreds
In this first part of a two
part set of reader comments about their bags, readers comment on
some of the different brands they like best.
As was the case with
carry-on bags too, a common thread among readers was the
marvelous warranty offered on Briggs & Riley bags.
Can’t go wrong with Briggs &
Riley if you can swallow the high initial price.
They are made
to last, well designed, and include lifetime repair warranty. This includes normal wear and tear.
I took two ten-year-old B&R
suitcases back to the store where I bought them just to get the
banged up corners fixed – which they did for the $30 shipping
charge required to get the bags to B&R. Came back good as new.
And Debi, a flight attendant
with 18 years experience says
While I have not had to have
my Briggs & Riley bags repaired (yet) they have been incredibly
sturdy and steadfast.
As a domestic flight attendant (which just
means I move my bag more than the international fa's) it has
withstood years of in and out of cars, on and off the employee
bus, through rain and snow, airplane closets, checked baggage,
up and down escalators, and thousands of slingings by hotel van
I got the Briggs on sale and
it was a great purchase. It was expensive, but with luggage, in
this industry, you get EXACTLY what you pay for.
I love the Briggs and their
And Lyn - an engineer as
will be obvious, also praises B&R
I go for the more durable
and most importantly lifetime guaranteed luggage.
I'm a real fan
of Briggs & Riley, I have 4 of their bags. All hold up real
well, although the latest seems to taking more abuse.
It is a
small roll-a-board, 22" I think, and very light. I've had one of
the small feet on the bottom get torn off, and last week the
pull-up handle wouldn't open. I managed to get the handle up,
and discovered one of the arms was bent, which I straightened
myself. I called the company about the feet and they sent me two
new ones. When I went to replace the one that was missing, I
noticed the fasteners were pretty whimpy, so I used ones that
were substantially stronger. I guess they cut some costs using
Anyway, I was impressed with their service, I may
call them about the handle and see if I should replace the whole
Rick also liked B&R and
points out the very valid fact that less well made bags are
likely to fail at the most inconvenience time
can't say enough about Briggs & Riley.
They stand behind the luggage, guaranteeing it for life,
for any reason including airline damage. I've tested
this, on a 7 year old bag, and they repaired everything I
asked for, without question or cost.
The problem with replaceable cheap luggage is, it ain't
gonna break when you're wheeling it into the house after a
trip. More likely, it will break mid-trip and cause
Buy durable, buy well designed, buy for good features
without getting over featured (such as Tumi has become for
the last half decade or so).
Although I don't know of
another company with an across the board no questions asked
warranty policy like Briggs & Riley, some companies offer
similar warranties on selected parts of their product line.
One such example is Eagle Creek, and Maureen writes about their
have two words for baggage, hand carry or checked - Eagle
work for the airlines and have seen most everything with
baggage over the years but these bags seem to be above it
all. When I first read their warranty I wondered 'how
can they offer lifetime no matter what warranty?' Now
I know; these bags come back looking the same as they left
even when the other top brands suffer damage.
indulged and bought bags for myself and love them. The
last bags I will ever buy.
Costco bags also got
positive feedback, with several readers naming them as a good
I like the Costco luggage too,
although the products they sell tend to evolve and be replaced
fairly regularly, with different companies being contracted to
provide product either under Costco's own Kirkland brand or
under the manufacturer's own brand, so it is not always easy to generalize.
For example, John says
I purchased the 29” rolling
luggage at Costco.
While it doesn’t come with a
lifetime warranty I’ve been able to pick up a couple of them on
e-bay with minor repairs and have them fixed at a major luggage
repair vendor here in SF for around 20 bucks apiece, so I own a
total of 4 at an average cost of about $60 each, having paid $89
at Costco for the first one.
Jinny is another Costco
We use Costco’s store brand
(Kirkland) soft side luggage, which we bought several years ago.
each have the large Pullman and the smaller case that can be
carried on although we never ‘carry on’. The Pullman can easily
hold more than the 70 pounds allotted for most first class
passengers (when we are fortunate enough to travel first class)
and the carry-on can hold 50 pounds if you REALLY want to stuff
it. It holds 40 easily.
We carry a digital scale with us to avoid carrying more than our ‘allotment’
because the cases can hold so much.
While we didn’t go the super
cheap / replace every year route, we didn’t go very expensive
either because the Kirkland luggage holds up so well and is
comparable – or better - than many of the expensive brands.
Sally also likes Costco, but
We have had wonderful
experience with Costco luggage and and Tumi.
Both have been used
to travel all over the world and always done well. The Tumi was
bought in '92 and repaired for free. However, the Costco is a
better buy as we only recently replaced it after many many years
and a lot of international and domestic travel.
difference for me is that the mechanism in the wheels and handle
on the Tumi make it feel much lighter and glide more easily
through large airports. The Costco brand feels a little heavier
and can be tiring with long transfers in large airports. I use
the Tumi 22' and my husband uses the Costco 22' which makes for
more comparable testing as we generally travel together.
reader comments about
choosing luggage continue here.
Read more in Parts 1 & 2
Part 1 we discuss more
to consider when choosing checked luggage, including a
discussion of cost, size and capacity.
Part 2 we detail many other
factors to consider when choosing carry-on luggage, including
weight, wheels, and overall construction.
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20 Mar 2009, last update
26 Jun 2019
You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.