Having spent considerable amount of time on airports across the country and observed executives on the go, I can say with some authority that when it comes to business luggage, two names top the list â€“ Tumi & Briggs & Riley.
Personal preferences aside, I found products from the two brands to be pretty comparable in terms of features and price all along. But that was until I purchased the Briggs & Riley wheeled carry-on garment bag. Like any other savvy business traveler would do, I also evaluated it against a similar product from Tumi before making a decision and the result?
Well, suffice to say that the Baseline garment bag from Briggs & Riley beat the garment bag from Tumi's Alpha collection hands down and here's how:
1. Size & Weight
Measuring 21" x 14" x 8.5", Briggs & Riley's carry-on garment bag falls well within the carry-on size limit and at 22" x 14.5" x 8.5", so does Tumi. But the real differentiator between the two is their weight. While Briggs & Riley weighs just 11.8 lbs, Tumi is a lot heavier at 16.2 lbs. Now that's a difference of 4.4 lbs â€“ enough to tilt the scale in one direction and the logic behind that is simple. I am allowed to carry only a certain amount of weight with me on board. So, the more my bag weighs, the less I'll be able to pack in it to meet the weight requirement.
You don't question the durability of products from Briggs & Riley or Tumi. But for the sake of information, let's just say both scored equal as both are made from the abrasion-resistant, tough, and water repelling ballistic nylon fabric.
Both Tumi and Briggs & Riley are not brands that you'll see too many fashionistas toting around. What I mean is you won't find either of these brands making luggage in brazen patterns, bold prints, or outlandish colors. What you will find is luggage that's sophisticated, yet unassuming. That said, there are some key differences in the appearance of the two garment bags. While the Briggs & Riley bag has its signature clean lines and unfussy looks, Tumi's garment bag has a compartmentalized appearance with four small pockets in the front that have zippers going around them. According to me, the Tumi design seriously compromised the aesthetics of the bag.
Here again, Briggs & Riley is miles ahead of its Tumi counterpart. I could count one main compartment with a hanger hook and seven pockets in Tumi's garment bag. The Briggs & Riley garment bag, in comparison, has one main section with Wally Hooks for hanging suits and an external section for packing casual clothing. The bag has 11 pockets for everything from laundry and undergarments to ties and belts. Briggs & Riley also scores over Tumi with its proprietary Outsider handle system that helps minimize wrinkles.
By now, I think all business luggage users are aware of Briggs & Riley's industry-leading "Simple as that" lifetime warranty that covers all repairs free of charge. When I buy a bag, the two factors I consider first are its quality and price. A warranty such as theirs gives me confidence of their faith in the quality of their own products and their commitment to their customers. Tumi's five-year warranty must be closer to the industry standard, but in this battle to win loyalty and returning customers, you have to go a step ahead than others and that's what Briggs & Riley have done with their unconditional lifetime warranty.
Saving the best for last, even with its lighter weight, attractive looks, better organization, and consumer-friendly warranty, Briggs & Riley's garment bag costs less than Tumi and that too a whopping $116 less! Briggs & Riley's Baseline wheeled-carry on garment bag is priced at $479, while Tumi's Alpha wheeled-carry on garment bag costs $595.
Briggs and Riley didn't just win the race, it left its rival far behind and the choice was, like they say, "simple as that!"