An Early Review Of The New TORQ Suitcase From Briggs & Riley Courtesy Of My Giveaway Winner

I’ve been a Briggs & Riley guy for a number of years.  They make great suitcases and offer what I consider to be the best guarantee on the market.  They cover essentially anything that happens to your suitcase.  As long as you can bring it back in pieces, they’ll fix it or replace it for free.  My Briggs & Riley bags have held up to the test of time and hundreds of thousands of miles worth of travel.  However, some people criticize the bags I travel with because they’re not as contemporary and cool looking as other great bags on the market.

That’s why I was pretty excited to see Briggs come up with the TORQ line of suitcases.  They look ultra-cool, and though I haven’t bought one yet I did have the opportunity to give one away on my blog.

Early Review


One of my readers, Ryan, was the lucky winner.  He was nice enough to write up a review on the new TORQ he received after using it on a few trips.  Here’s Ryan’s comments:

First, a big thank you to Ed and Briggs & Riley for the suitcase. It has been a lovely addition to my travel routine.

After 3 trips with the bag, my thoughts are overwhelmingly positive. It is the smoothest rolling thing I’ve seen. My 22 month old son was able to push it around the airport fully loaded with very little effort. On a closely related note, the recessed wheels make it very stable so I wasn’t worried about it falling on him. The grab handles are well placed and comfortable, and the main handle has enough stops that it should work for travellers of any height.

The bag opens with an 80/20 split between the bottom and top, which is a great design for the average traveller. The 80% side holds all your clothes on one side, while the 20% side has just enough room for a pair of shoes, toiletries and accessories. This makes it an easy bag to live out of on the road; no constant digging to find what you are looking for.

There is one TSA lock on the top of the bag, which limits access to both the inside of the suitcase and the front compartment. The combined lock looks very sleek and adds to the luxury feeling of the bag.

The only item of any debate in my household is the front compartment. My wife travelled with the bag and found it to be quite useful for holding her iPad and travel documents. However, I always travel with a laptop bag so I have no need for another place to hold those things; I would prefer to have more space available inside the main compartment instead.

In closing, it’s a great bag and a huge improvement over the well-travelled Heys xcase it replaced. That’s clearly not a fair comparison (they have markedly different prices, $479 vs $99), but using both did demonstrate the difference between mid-end and high-end bags to us. Would we buy one? My wife gives an enthusiastic, “Yes!”, in fact she’s pretty much adopted this one as hers. Personally, I’m on the fence. Briggs & Riley have convinced me to buy more high-end luggage, but I’d prefer a carry-on without the front compartment so I’ll have to look at my options. However, the two bigger, checked bag, versions of the TORQ don’t have the front compartments and I will certainly buy one of them next time I need a larger bag.

Thanks, Ryan!  He also sent along a couple of pics of his son Ben giving it a test drive.

photo Early Review



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About the Author

My goal in life is to fill my family’s passports with stamps, creating buckets of memories along the way. You’ll find me writing about realistic ways for normal people to travel the world, whether you’re on a budget or enjoy luxury. I also enjoy taking us on the occasional detour to explore the inner workings of the travel industry.

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  1. My wife and I travel frequently and had managed to wear out our second set of another brand of luggage within six years so we sat out to research the issue before our next purchase and Briggs & Riley consistently ranked at or very near the top. The TORQ model was new and there were relatively few customer/user reviews anywhere but decided with B&R’s excellent reputation and a lifetime guarantee it would be hard to go wrong.

    We purchased two of the Carry On Spinner 21 and the smaller of the two suitcases in the red and just returned from a combination business/pleasure trip with luggage handling for seven flights on two airlines and a cruise line. We either dragged or pushed the luggage through modern airports, on and off trains and along what seemed like miles of rough and irregular pavement including cobblestones and the TORQ luggage came through like a pro.

    FUNCTIONALITY – We easily packed as much in the Carry On pieces as we had with cloth rollerboards . In either position – upright or pulled at an angle –the balance is good and it simply does not fall over in normal use. With the Strap-Link system I could manage all three pieces (125lb) plus a briefcase by myself when needed. It was easy to put into an overhead storage bin, even on an Airbus320 which has slightly smaller European standards. An added feature which I had not seen discussed is the ability to nest the Carry On inside the medium suitcase for storage.

    On the minus side the pull down front pocket, promoted as a place for those pesky liquids which must be removed during the security screen, works as advertised but with the bulging of the edges . . well I hold my breath. It would better hold a pair of pajamas or a light sweater.

    DURABILITY: Clearly one three-week trip is not sufficient to meaningfully discuss durability but ours held up well. Yes there was some scuffing—every new suitcase I ever had got some on its first use—but nothing terrible. We did get a few larger black marks but they cleaned off easily and appeared to be rubber off a conveyor-belt or bumper. On the red suitcase these scratches come out grey. In retrospect I think the inevitable minor scratches would hide better on the Graphite bags and wish we’d gone with that color. Like others the outside trap-door arrangement with edges which tend to bulge out seems to be a weak spot but with the guarantee it is not my concern.

    DESIGN: While we certainly did not purchase it for looks the TORQ system is a real eye catcher. No problem picking out our bags on a conveyor belt at all. A neighbor at the luggage carousel pointed out my second bag to me as it came down the line. Even the folks with the airline and baggage handling services, staff in the hotel – folks who must be numbed by the site of suitcases – visibly were paying attention.

    We are glad we purchased these bags and would not hesitate to do so again.

    1. Dale, great review! Glad you guys are enjoying the bags so much. I could definitely see why you picked the red (I have burgundy B&R bags now) and totally see why the gray would probably wear better. Thanks for the great info!

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