The Best Carry-on in the World – Briggs and Riley Domestic Carry-On Expandable Upright U122CX

briggs and riley U122CX carryon キャリーバッグ

For the past 10 years, I have been on the look out for the perfect carry-on bag.
I have gone through bags by TUMI, Travelpro, RIMOWA and ACE which are all considered top brands in the travel bag industry.
Still after 10 years and more than 10 bags, I still have not found that perfect bag.

However, for the past year or so, there is this carry-on that I’ve been using as my main international travel bag.

I may have actually found the perfect 22 incher!

That bag, ladies and gents, is the Briggs and Riley Domestic Carry-On Expandable Upright U122CX.


A little about Briggs and Riley

briggs and riley U122CX carryon logo キャリーバッグ

Briggs and Riley is a brand founded in 1993 in the US and is famous, along with TUMI, for quality business and travel bags.

You rarely see them in Japan and there was basically zero information available.
I looked at their website and YouTube videos over and over and over and finally decided to pull the trigger.

I bought it from AMAZON US and ended up paying around 600 bucks including shipping to Japan.

The main features of a Briggs and Riley carry-on bag are the following:

  • Life Time Warranty
  • CX Expansion Compression Technology
  • Outsider handle

These features are present in the Briggs and Riley U122CX so lets go ahead and take a look!



Briggs and Riley Domestic Carry-On Expandable Upright U122CX

Let’s go over the basics first.


Height Width Depth Weight
22 inch 14 inch 9 inch 8.9 lbs
56 cm 35.5 cm 23 cm 4.0 kg

ANA requires the height of carry-ons to be under 55㎝ so its exceeding the limit but I’ve never had any issues so far.
The width of the bag is a tad thinner than normal 22 inch bags so the size of the bag isn’t emphasized too much.

briggs and riley U122CX carryon next to RIMOWA topas Platinum キャリーバッグ

briggs and riley U122CX carryon side by side comparison with Rimowa Topas Platinum キャリーバッグ


Simple, less is more type of design.
I personally like the simple design.

The feel of the bag is nice and is definitely in the same league as TUMI.


Sound of wheels

Silent. Smooth as butta.
You can easily access the wheels with a hex wrench in case you need to replace it.

I want to point out the legs on this thing.
It’s really sturdy and the angles on it are perfect so it really stabilizes the bag, whether its full or empty.
It is not going to tip over easily, even when its fully expanded.
This is a really important point where a lot of brands miss.

briggs and riley U122CX carryon expanded キャリーバッグ


Not too light, not too heavy.
No concerns here.


Outer pocket

There is a larger pocket for laptops and magazines and a smaller pocket for boarding passes and small items so that’s really handy.

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There’s one other tiny pocket near the top of the bag.


What’s hidden inside this pocket is a strap that you can use to connect another carry-on onto the U122CX.
Comes in handy when you’re traveling with multiple carry-ons.
You can also hang a hand held bag on the strap but it usually ends up scraping the floor so I don’t use it that way.


The handle stretches really long which is good.

briggs and riley U122CX carryon and Rimowa Topas Platinum carryon handle extended

It’s a little longer than the Rimowa, which also has a nice and long handle.
Don’t have to worry about kicking the bag with your heels.

The build is also very good.

I pointed out earlier that the handle was one of the key features of this bag.
Do you notice anything special?

Yes! The handle is on the outside!


Normally, the handle goes through the bag on the inside and so you get bumps in the main compartment.
By placing the handle on the outside, you get a complete flat surface in the main compartment which makes packing so much easier.
Kind of like the Globetrotter

The downside of having the handle on the outside is that its going to add to the depth of the bag and you’ll have compensate with a smaller main compartment.

This won’t be much of a problem because you can work around this by expanding the bag and Briggs and Riley have also done something nothing short of genius by adding a small pocket in between the hand posts.

The Waterfront umbrella fits perfectly into this small pocket.

No need to worry about getting your clothes wet.


Main Compartment

Here is the flat surface! Isn’t it great?!


The straps are really nice too.


The mesh on the straps will hold down everything and prevent things from moving.

There’s a nice suiter as well.

It doesn’t come with a hanger so I’m using the TUMI one.

The other unique feature of this bag is its expansion system.

Normally, expanding a carry-on is done by opening the zippers that go around the bag.
The Briggs and Riley U122CX does not use zippers.
It uses a unique system that is located inside the main compartment.


It’s very easy to use:

  1. Lift the lever and fully expand the bag
  2. Fill the bag up
  3. Close the lid and press down on the bag

The bag will compress to the size of your luggage, keeping the size of the bag in optimal state.

This is Briggs and Riley’s CX Expansion Compression Technology!

As you can see from the picture below, the bag expands like crazy so you will be able to fit a lot in there.
You can also see the awesome legs that I was talking about.

This is really great work.

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Life Time Warranty

The build of the Briggs and Riley U122CX is so good that I am not one bit worried about the bag breaking.
But its always better to have a life-time warranty just in case.
The problem with these life time warranties is that the rules can be really prescriptive and the coverage could be narrow.
From the reviews that I looked at, it appears that customers are really happy with Briggs and Riley’s warranty program.
We’ll probably have to ship to the US from Japan which is cumbersome, but a good warranty just shows how much faith a company has in its products so that is good to know.



Final Remarks

The Briggs and Riley U122CX is most likely the best 22 inch carry-on that I have used.

It doesn’t have a weakness!

Never was I irritated with the bag’s performance which is very important when choosing a carry-on.

If I was forced to point out one issue, it may be that the design is simple, but that’s not even a weakness because it can be its quality as well.
It costs around 600 bucks with shipping so it’s not cheap.
But considering that a TUMI costs 100,000 yen in Japan, I think it’s a bargain.
If you’re debating on whether to get a TUMI Alpha 2, I definitely recommend getting the Briggs and Riley U122CX.

I’m gonna leave you all with some pictures of the Briggs and Riley U122CX with the TUMI 26141.
Not a bad combination in my opinion!

briggs and riley U122CX carryon with tumi 26141

briggs and riley U122CX carryon side view with TUMI 26141 キャリーバッグ

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