The Briggs and Riley Domestic expandable carry-on bag measures 22 x 14 x 9 inches and weighs 9 lbs 3 oz. It is made with heavy-duty ballistic nylon. It has four exterior compartments (one of which can hold a 17" laptop) and two interior pockets, including a built-in garment bag section.
Due to its exterior handles, our Top Pick for Business travel won't fit it very narrow sizers, but it has no trouble fitting in overhead bins.
Ease of Transport
The Domestic did not score very highly in this metric. This bag was not as maneuverable in an airport or on the plane as a four-wheeled bag. In fact, it is so wide that it kept hitting the armrests down the aisle of the plane unless we pulled it perfectly centered. That said, the large, wide wheels on the Domestic do make it easier to roll on uneven surfaces, like a parking lot, and the three carrying handles made removing it from overhead bins or the trunk of a car easier. This is one of the heaviest bags in the review; we especially noticed the weight when it was loaded up with a laptop and clothes for a four-day trip while dragging it through miles of airport corridors. While some travelers still swear by two-wheeled bags, there is no question that a four-wheeled bag that you can push is much easier on your arms and shoulders.
We did run into an issue with this bag not completely fitting in one airline's test bin. A first we couldn't fit it at all, then we removed our computer from the exterior pocket, and it almost fit all the way in, but not quite. While this bag still easily fit in the overhead storage bin on the plane, a gate agent would be able to require you to check this bag if it didn't fit in their test bin. Considering that there is usually a fee associated with checked bags these days, not to mention the hassle of dealing with this when trying to board a plane, we recommend that you not over-stuff the Domestic if using it as a carry-on to avoid this issue.
The Baseline Domestic scored perfectly in the Storage metric, outshining all the other carry-on bags we tested! Check out the chart below to see how the other bags stacked up.
This carry-on wowed us in this metric — this bag can hold a lot of stuff. First, we tried it with our wintertime long weekend pack test, and it comfortably held everything that we might need for a three-day trip, including a change of business attire or a nice dress and heels.
Another suitcase manufacturer threw down a challenge, stating that their bag could hold four pairs of pants, ten shirts, four pairs of shoes, two jackets and two toiletry bags without having to expand the bag. When we decided to try this ultimate pack-for-a-week-in-a-carry-on test with this model, it also easily held all of the above, including a suit!
This flat-bottom bag is much easier to pack in, and increases the internal capacity.
This carry-on has such a large internal volume thanks to its unique design. The telescoping handle tubes are located on the outside of the bag. This creates a flat surface on the inside for maximum packing capacity (44.6 L according to the manufacturer), without those annoying ridges found in most other bags. This bag can also expand from the inside. It's unique "CX" expansion system lifts the sides of the bag up an additional 2 inches, much more than the typical 1 to 1.5 inches created by expandable zippers, and increases the carrying volume by 25%. This system also alleviates the problem of trying to get into your bag only to discover that you've undone the expanding zipper (again!) and not the main zipper.
The "CX" internal expansion system on the Domestic lifts the sides of the bag up an additional 2 inches for 25% more volume. Pack everything, then push the top down when you are done to compress the bag.
This bag is loaded with features to make packing and traveling a breeze. It ranked towards the top of the heap when it came to features.
The internal mesh/elastic compression straps are almost as wide as the bag, which means they will keep all of your items securely in place should you need to open the bag mid-journey. The zipper tabs are lockable on both the main compartment and the exterior padded laptop sleeve, so you can lock whatever is important to you.
Too many features to count, including corner bumper guards, lockable zipper tabs, and an add-a-bag strap.
We already mentioned the expansion system and large packing capacity of this bag, which our testers preferred over other models with an external expanding zipper. The internal suiter on the Domestic is well-designed and ensures that you can't lose your garment bag, and the bottom end of it zips off in case you prefer to use that internal pocket for documents or other items instead of a suit. There is also a sunglasses case located on the outside of the bag between the telescoping handles. Finally, the Domestic comes with an add-a-bag strap that is housed in its own pocket (so you can't lose it) should you want to attach a briefcase or boarding bag to your carry-on.
The tri-folding built-in garment bag will keep your business attire wrinkle free. If not using this compartment for clothes, the bottom panel unzips leaving more room for documents or other items.
This bag is made with high-quality materials and attention to detail. The main fabric of the bag is ballistic nylon to minimize abrasion, wear, moisture, and dirt. Even after several flights, we still do not see any visible scratches or marks on this bag, unlike all the other models that we tested.
The Baseline Domestic also has protective corner guards on all four corners to minimize wear in those high impact areas. The only part of this bag that we were worried about was the telescoping handle. It does seem to be securely attached to the frame, which was one concern that we initially had about this bag considering that it is on the outside and could potentially be ripped off the bag entirely. We didn't have any durability issues with it though, and if it were to get damaged Briggs and Riley states that they'll replace or repair it, free of charge.
The only question we had about this bag's durability was the exterior handles, as they seem to be an easy thing to damage, but we never experienced any issues, and the manufacturer says they'll repair any damage no matter the cause. The glasses pocket is a nice touch too.
At 9 lbs 3 oz on our scale, this is the heaviest bag that we tested.
The hefty weight comes in part from the use of ballistic nylon, which is a dense material, and some of the extra features like the reinforced corners. If you prefer a lighter weight (and much less expensive) bag, then the 6 lbs 5 oz Travelpro Maxlite is a good option.
This bag can get a little heavy once it's fully loaded.
This bag has a classic, well-made look to it. It only comes in several dark colors, as ballistic nylon is difficult to dye in lighter shades.
The Briggs and Riley Domestic has business written all over it, and if you believe that your luggage makes a personal statement about your values, then this bag says you are about quality, high-end products.
This bag looks professional, well-made, and classic.
This bag is best suited to general airline travel, including business trips. You can easily pack for a week in this bag, and if you like to bring souvenirs home from your trips, you can expand it, pack it full, and check it for the flight home. If you are only the occasional traveler, you might not need as heavy duty a bag like this one. Check out another Top Pick, the Eagle Creek Tarmac AWD Carry-On.
The front pocket has a laptop sleeve, and it doesn't get too tippy with one in there.
There is no question that the Domestic is an expensive bag. It retails for $569, both on the manufacturer's website and popular online retailers (unlike other bags, which have a high list price but then are always "on sale" for half that amount). However, if you want to purchase only one bag that will last you years or even decades, then this model is the way to go. Should something break or get damaged, whether it was due to a defect or the airline, Briggs & Riley will repair it for you, for free. This type of all-inclusive, lifetime warranty is rare in the industry, and worth it if you find your luggage regularly gets damaged.
The Domestic is the Rolls Royce of carry-on luggage. Loaded with features, well-constructed, and fairly expensive. If you want to purchase only one piece that will last a lifetime, then this bag is the one for you.
The Baseline Domestic collection offers this bag in multiple sizes. We reviewed the carry-on size (22"), but it is also available in a medium (25") and a large (28").