Briggs & Riley’s Transcend line of accessories; a buyer’s guide

One thing we love about Briggs & Riley is their selection of accessories. Each one is designed to work with their luggage perfectly and with their new line of Transcend luggage, they have a redesigned their accessories to match their fashion-forward designs. Let’s take a look at three new products.

Transcend Shopping Tote

BR-TD445-47The Briggs & Riley shopping totes have always been a big seller and with the new design, this is sure to continue. The first thing I noticed is pockets, lots and lots of pockets. There are four outside pockets and each one has a different use. There is a large front pocket that has a place for a Kindle, Ipad or a Tablet, a place for a passport, another small elastic pocket, and a zippered pocket inside this pocket. A second smaller front pocket has an orange lining that is perfect for tickets or any other item you want easy access to. The side pocket is PVC lined which is easy to clean, making it perfect for a water bottle, umbrella, or even toiletries. The back has a small privacy pocket that is perfect for a phone and a sleeve that will allow this bag to fit over just about any luggage handle. The main compartment is open except for a 13’’ laptop sleeve and two small elastic pockets. This is a perfect place to keep a wallet, sweater or light jacket, even a change of shoes. The best thing about this bag that it’s the perfect size to fit underneath just about any airplane seat.

Transcend Clamshell Cabin Bag

Briggs & Riley’s has reconcepted the classic cabin bag for the modern era. Their newBR-TD441-8 cabin bag is a flexible enough that it can be used as either an overnight bag, business case, or a personal item for the airlines. The front pockets are similar to the shopping tote’s main pockets, only wider. The back also has a sleeve to go over other luggage as well. It is the main compartment that separates this bag from anything else on the market. The main area opens like a clamshell which allows for many different configurations of packing. On the left side it is open except for two small elastic pockets. It’s easy to see that this area can either be used for files, magazines, or a change of clothes. The right side is zippered and has one pocket on the lid that would make a perfect place for cords or medication. Inside the zippered pocket there is room for shoes or a full-size laptop. With the padding you won’t even need a sleeve.  With a detachable comfort shoulder strap; this is a bag that is ready to go.

Transcend Cargo Backpack

For the first time ever, Briggs & Riley iBR-TP465-46s offering a backpack in their Transcend line.  Backpacks are the hottest accessory for both business and travel and this item is perfectly suited for both. There are two front pockets, similar in layout to the tote and cabin bag but in this item the small pocket is on top and the lower pocket is the organizer pocket with room for a tablet, passport, and other travel necessities.  The back pocket is designed for a full-sized laptop but also can be used for files or even shoes. There is also a sleeve in this bag. The main compartment unzips completely so that it can lay flat for easy packing. The lid side has a small zippered pocket and a pocket that can stretch to hold files, shoes, even a second smaller laptop. The main compartment has no pockets so clothes will fit perfectly.

In addition, there is a wheeled tote (which I will cover in another blog) and a toiletry kit. Every one of their accessories comes in all three colors (rainforest, merlot, and slate) so they will match your new luggage. Best of all, every product Briggs & Riley has their simple as that® guarantee so no matter what happens to your bag, it is covered.

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Introducing Jump and Swiss Bags luggage

There are some things that the Europeans do better than us, and one of them is traveling light. That includes making suitcases that are both tough and lightweight. Now many of these lines of luggage are now making it across the pond. Two lines that are new to America are Jump and Swissbags. Both companies feature the latest designs that American companies just haven’t been able to copy. Below are a few of our favorites.

Jump Paris Crossline luggage is durable, lightweight and best of all, a good-looking case.JMP-ST20-BLUE With all polycarbonate construction it will be able to hold up to just about anything the airlines can do to it and with its unique pattern you will never struggle to find this case in the luggage carrousel. Did I mention that the carry-on is only 4.13 pounds? They even have a TSA built-in lock for extra security.

Tired of plain, boring soft luggage? Then Jump’s Nice Soft luggage is a lightweight and fashionable alternative to other company’s JMP-6573-NAVYsoft-sided luggage. With all nylon construction and leather trim this is a great all-around case for anyone. Best of all, the carry-on is only 4.1 pounds, so there is no downside to this line. Also available are a complimentary line of totes and backpacks.

Another new brand for America is a Swiss company, Swissbags. They have completely reinvented the classic polypropylene case. This is the same material your hard luggage would have used 30-40 years ago only re-engineered for today’s needs. The new polypropylene is virtually indestructible and can handle anything the airlines can do to it. If this case does manage to get cracked, the company will replace this case at no cost. There is no other company in this price range doing this. Check out this video on what this case can handle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoFcu8BAQG0.  Also, the carry-on is still only 5.5 pounds so it is lightweight as well.
SBG-SB343-ORGBoth Jump and Swiss Bags are unique products that are only available through select luggage stores. You will not find any of their products at department or discount stores. So check out the full line of Jump and Swissbags today online or in-store at our two locations. Once you become a fan you will want the whole line.

Your guide to international carry-on luggage

When traveling in North America which carry-on you need is simple; a domestic carry-on (22’’-14’’-9’’) is accepted by all the major carriers. However, things get murkier when traveling overseas. While many luggage makers sell international carry-ons there are no set carry-on sizes that each airline takes and very few rules regulating sizes overseas.

If you are flying direct overseas or using connecting flights, things nowadays are TP-4071667-01fairly simple. IATA Resolution 302 states that whoever the marketing carrier is (the company that you booked your flight from) their baggage rules must apply to all legs of your trip. So if your ticket says United, American, or any other major US carrier then your domestic carry-on will suffice. If you are booked on a major international carrier, refer to their website and follow their guidelines.

Things get murkier if you have multiple legs of your trip booked separately, especially if you will be using overseas regional jets.  Each regional airline overseas has a different standard for what qualifies for a carry-on and most have weight restrictions that really limit what you can pack in your suitcase. Please make note of any weight restrictions before packing and I recommend always having a luggage scale.

BR-TD445-47So if you are going be using regional overseas carriers you might have to rethink how you pack. My best recommendation is to consider not using a carry-on at all. For example, if you are going for several weeks and using several regional carriers, then a 25’’-26’’ suitcase plus a backpack, tote, or wheeled tote might be a perfect solution for you. You will have to check a bag either way so a smaller personal bag might be all you need to keep emergency items in.

For student’s studying overseas I really like convertible backpacks, especially ones without wheels. They can be carried either like a LGR-LG43-BLK_4backpack or a shoulder bag and have cinches that allow the bag to be adjusted to your specific needs and they usually weigh less then wheeled bags. My current favorite is the Lite-Gear Travel Pack. It can hold as much as a conventional carry-on and only weighs two pounds.

Finally, as always, less is more when it comes to packing for your overseas trip. Consider taking less then you usually pack, especially when it comes to shoes and accessories. You will be doing a lot of walking so plan on taking your most comfortable and easy to use clothing and shoes. The good news is planning for your trip in advance will help avoid nasty surprises on your trip, and that is something we all can appreciate.

 

Back to School Backpack Guide

At Irv’s Luggage we love The North Face line of backpacks; especially for students. They have to carry around books, electronics, gym clothing, lunch, school supplies and many other items so a quality backpack is a must-have item. The reason we recommend The North Face is because the quality of materials and the affordability they offer is unparalleled. However, they do offer many different lines of backpacks so selecting the right one can be difficult. Below are a few tips to help you out.

TNF-CLH3-X7SThe first step is to pick a size. Generally, The North Face divides their backpacks into two sizing categories, medium and large. In the medium category (30 liters or less) the top sellers are Jester, Pivoter, and Borealis. We recommend the Jester or Pivoter for students who only have to carry a few items with them, because those backpacks use lightweight but less durable polyester materials (see this blog for explanation of materials). The Borealis is a good choice for the student who wants a durable all nylon backpack but doesn’t need the size of the large backpacks.

The most popular large backpacks (over 30L) are the Recon, Surge, and Router. These are perfect for students who have to haul all their books and gear back and forth every day. All three packs feature all nylon construction for extra durability. One thing to consider, if the student is going to be carrying a laptop with them, is that most backpacks are designed for 16’’ or smaller. Only the Surge and Router can fit a 17’’ laptop, so check the dimensions of the laptop before you buy.

TNF-CLH1-WANOnce you have decided on the line, the last decision is color. Black is often very popular because it is very neutral and doesn’t show any dirt. If a student is just using the backpack to get back and forth to school then black might be a good choice. However, if a student has to carry the backpack all day to class then a color will help them to know which bag is theirs, because black is so common.

Because of the quality of The North Face, I recommend that you pick out one that you think will be happy with throughout high school. The backpack, chosen wisely, should be a companion during this journey in life and maybe even the next. School is hard, let’s make going back as easy as possible.

First look: New Briggs & Riley Transcend

When people find out you work for a luggage store their first question usually is, what is your favorite brand of luggage? While we love all brands here at Irv’s Luggage, there always been a soft spot for Briggs & Riley. Not only are they popular with both our employees and our customers, but they are Consumer Reports top rated luggage company. They are the only line of bags to offer such features the Simple As That warranty and an outside pull handle for easy packing. Now for 2017, they have redesigned their Transcend line of luggage.BR-TU422VX-46

So what is different in these new models? In one word; EVERYTHING. Traditionally, the Transcend series was a simple, no frills case for a casual traveler. Now this series has moved upscale. The most obvious change for this new model are new colors (rainforest, merlot, and slate) and a squared off shape. This gives their cases a more modern and luxurious look. This theme is continued inside with an upgraded tan interior that replaces the utilitarian gray color.

However, the biggest change is the redesigned expansion system. Briggs & Riley has gotten rid of the zippered expansion system and replaced it with their new VX variable expansion system. This system uses Velcro to allow the consumer to adjust the expansion to fit their items, rather than a zipper system which is either open or closed. No other luggage manufacturer has a system like this; it is truly one of a kind.br fbr ebr g

Another unique feature that Briggs & Riley offers is matching accessories. Most brands offer maybe a tote and a wheeled tote. However, Briggs has expanded their Transcend accessories to include wheeled totes, a shopping tote, toiletry kits, and new for 2017 a cabin bag and backpacks. All these accessories are available in all three colors and easily fit over the handle of all of their bags. These are must-have items when purchasing your new Briggs.br a

While the Briggs & Riley Baseline series is still the choice for the business traveler, the new Transcend series is a great choice for the frequent leisure traveler looking for a quality bag that is fashion forward. With all these new features it is one of our top sellers. Check out our website today to see all the sizes and styles or stop by one of our stores in Mt. Prospect or Northbrook, IL for a product demonstration. Once you own a Briggs & Riley you will be a loyal for life.

College Luggage and Backpack guide

It’s the time of year every parent dreads; sending your kid off to college. First-time students will need items like backpacks, duffels, and other travel items. All this packing might seem overwhelming at first. However, a bit of planning can prevent the dreaded last-minute panic. Below is a handy guide of what you might need for the new college student.

Backpacks

A backpack in college can serve a very different function than they did in high school. TNF-CHK3-SSWThe days of having to carry all your books and lunch to school are over. The college student won’t have to carry as many books but they probably will want to carry a laptop to class and study groups. Make sure that any backpack you buy has a padded compartment for a laptop. The North Face backpacks have been popular with college students for many years, and still standard issue at many college campuses. For most fashionable students, brands such as Kipling or Knomo might fit their style. For the student who wants to major in business, backpacks that are designed for professional use will be perfect to use for internships and job hunting.

The Weekend

One famous college tradition that hasn’t changed in many years is the road trip. Students will need a bag for coming home or visiting friends at other college campuses. Weekender bags are very popular because they are lightweight and because their designs can hold lots of clothing and accessories. Small, non-wheeled duffels are popular too because of their structured look and durability. If a student will be mostly traveling by plane to get home a carry-on suitcase might be a more practical idea.

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Getting There and Back

If you are going by car then boxes and large duffel bags will suffice. However, if your student will be flying back and forth to school things get trickier. Wheeled duffels are a popular item due to their easy storage (they will fit under most beds). Luggage can be used too but take up more room in small dorm rooms. The next question is size. Duffel bags 34’’ and smaller usually will work with airline regulations as long as they are less than 50 pounds. Larger sized and overweight bags will usually incur extra costs so be careful if you are trying to minimize costs.

Final Thoughts

When I first went off to college over 25 years ago, my family and I had to buy and pack everything I would need to furnish my dorm room. With the advent of the internet and e-commerce now, things can be ordered beforehand and shipped to the school on the day they will arrive. This will save you from having to physically bring everything and speed up the moving process. Sometimes things do change for the better.

Traveling overseas on budget, a how-to guide

 

Did you know that half of all Americans don’t use all of their vacation time? One of the reasons people give for not using their vacation time is they think they can’t afford it. Irv’s Luggage has always worked with our customers to find them the best values for travel and we believe that fun vacations are available in all price ranges.

Saving Money on Luggage

If you haven’t traveled much then you might need to get some new luggage. The good IT-1528082025-S619news is that decent luggage doesn’t have to cost you much. Luggage sets are a good idea if you are planning many different types of trips, and buying them together will save you money. If that is still too pricey Irv’s Luggage almost always has closeouts that are a great value. If you live near the Mt. Prospect, IL area, stop into our store to check out the clearance section for special deals.

Getting there

The first thing to plan is where you’re going. A good way to start is to research flights and see what’s in your budget. One idea is to travel off-season. For example, Europe is very popular in the summer, so waiting to go in the fall can save you money on flights, hotels, and attractions.

Staying there

hostelThis is the tricky part. There are all types of options depending on your budget and how adventurous you are. If you are traveling alone and up for anything then couch surfing or a hostel could work. If you have a travel partner or a group, then you can look at using such sites as Airbnb to rent a room or an apartment, at a lesser price then a hotel.

Eating and getting around

The best way to save money on your trip on is to live like a local. Stay away from the outdoortouristy parts of town and seek out where locals like to eat and how they get around. I would stay away from popular areas and takes buses rather than more expensive trains or planes. For a group renting a car might be an option too.

Final words

Look at budget travel as part of the adventure, not as something that you have to do. You will have a chance to meet people and see parts of the country that most first class travelers will never see. So get out there and see the world.