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November 12, 2019updated May 08, 2020

Traveling With the Briggs & Riley Sympatico Suitcase

By Samantha Coles

Luggage space on a private aircraft is limited. Larger jets such as the Bombardier Global 7500 naturally have more space (see more on pp 30), but if you’re traveling with a full house, fitting everyone’s suitcase onboard can be tricky — especially if you’re taking ski or golf equipment.

Enter Briggs & Riley with a solution: Its suitcases have a patented technology that allows for up to 33 percent more room. It is extremely simple to use (so simple, in fact, that the instructions only have two steps), with a sturdy lever at each end of the suitcase that you extend before packing and, once your suitcase is full, you push down and voilà — extra room for your belongings without taking up all that precious cargo space.

The compression also means wrinkle-free clothes and, since there are no trolley handlebars inside the bag, you get an almost completely flat surface to pack. I tried the Sympatico Expandable Spinner suitcase on a recent trip to Bordeaux and could easily add four bottles of wine to my already-full case (as it would be criminal to not bring home a bottle or two from the renowned wine region).

Choose from hard-sided or soft-sided in a variety of sizes (or you can choose the best-suited case for you based on the number of days you’ll be traveling) and an extensive menu of features including tablet-friendly bags. The new colors, especially plum, are perfect for fall and monogramming is available to make it your own.

The cases also come with a lifetime guarantee, even if damage is caused by the airline or — as the brand itself puts it — damage caused by “any reason whatsoever.”

From $544, briggs-riley.com

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