Rimowa is the go-to brand for luxury suitcases. Rimowa’s models sport charming groves, are durable, lightweight, and have many high-end features. Briggs & Riley offers hard and soft exterior luggage with some clever features. But it may be better suited for soft-side luggage.

Rimowa is synonymous with luxury luggage. Briggs & Riley is another luggage brand with a strong reputation in the travel gear industry.

When looking for high-quality, durable, and stylish luggage, Rimowa and Briggs & Riley are some of the names you’ll come across. But which of these two luxury luggage brands should you make your traveling companion?

This “Rimowa vs. Briggs & Riley” article will make your luggage selection choice easier by telling you everything you need to know about these famous brands.

We’ll examine several aspects of each luggage, including design, durability, price, and guarantee. Then we’ll do a comparative analysis of the two. At the end of this review, you’ll know whether Rimowa or Briggs & Riley is the better luggage for you.

Rimowa luggage overview

Rimowa has been redefining travel since 1898 when the company was founded in Cologne (Germany). From the first travel cases the company crafted to its latest luxury models, it has been guided by a simple philosophy – “Expert travelers need expert travel solutions.”

Brand Description

Though Rimowa started in 1898, its first aluminum case was made in 1937. Then in 1950, the company added parallel grooves to its aluminum cases.

Today, Rimowa is widely known for its hard cases with the distinctive parallel grooves.

In its bid to provide expert travel solutions for expert travelers, Rimowa has always emphasized lightweight construction and superior stability. Thus, the brand has become synonymous with quality suitcases that are super-durable and easy to use.

Product Variety

Rimowa is a go-to brand for quality and lightweight hard cases. Interestingly, the company has a rich variety of hard cases, including aluminum and polycarbonate luggage.

Rimowa’s top products include:

Rimowa Original

The Rimowa Original is one of the best-known suitcase designs in the luggage industry. The Original is the suitcase that made Rimowa famous and remains one of the brand’s most recognizable suitcases.

RIMOWA Original Cabin

The Original has a hard shell of aluminum magnesium alloy having the distinctive Rimowa grooves and riveted matte aluminum corners. This guarantees a lifetime of travel. 

The Rimowa Original oozes class. It has two sleek TSA-approved locks within dedicated slots. It has flap-back plastic handles that offer a comfortable grip and do not flap around. It has a plush interior with flex dividers that keep your items in order. It features a smooth wheeling system that guarantees effortless steering when rolling your luggage.

Lastly, the Rimowa Original comes in many color options (from contemporary to bold), ensuring you’ll get a case matching your personality.

You may like: Rimowa Original Collection: All You Need to Know (Before Purchasing)

Why you may choose Rimowa Original

  • Super-durable case with sturdy wheels
  • More impressive exterior because of the groove design
  • TSA-approved locks that look better within pockets and do not make noise
  • A range of color options to choose from

Rimowa Classic

The Rimowa Classic is the brand’s simplest aluminum suitcase and an affordable option to the pricier Original. Recent design adjustments to the Classic make it as classy as pricier models. 

Rimowa Classic Cabin S

Rimowa Classic also boasts an aluminum hard shell with parallel grooves and corners reinforced with high-gloss aluminum panels. This gives a super-durable case with an overall shinier look from afar.

It has two vintage-looking but easy-to-open TSA-approved locks, ergonomic leather handles, a height-adjustable telescopic handle, and sturdy double-spinner wheels for easy steering. The luggage has a plush interior with soft materials to keep your items safe and a flex divider to hold them in place.

Lastly, Rimowa offers customization of the Classic. Thus, you build your own Rimowa Classic by choosing from various colourful accents and accessories.

Why you may choose Rimowa Classic:

  • Extremely durable exterior and wheels
  • The shinier look of its high-gloss aluminum riveted corners
  • Ergonomic leather handles
  • Customize the case to your heart’s desire
  • Relatively affordable price (relative to the Original)

You may like: Rimowa Classic vs. Original (2023 Update)

Rimowa Hybrid 

The Rimowa Hybrid combines two of the world’s most advanced suitcase materials – resilient aluminum and lightweight polycarbonate.

Rimowa Hybrid Cabin Lock
Rimowa Hybrid Cabin

The Rimowa Hybrid’s exterior shell is made of high-strength polycarbonate, while its corners and handles are made of aluminum. This allows for a suitcase that is super durable yet incredibly lightweight. Being lightweight makes the Rimowa Hybrid easy to carry and perfect for frequent travelers. 

The Hybrid features the parallel grooves that have characterized the Rimowa brand. Like the grooves on the Original, they stop just before the case’s edges, creating an impressive exterior. The Hybrid has impressive locks in dedicated slots (similar to the Original), plastic handles, a telescopic wheel handle, a cozy interior with flex dividers, and quality spinner wheels.

The hybrid is available in three colors and four sizes, so you’ll find enough options to choose from.

Why you may choose the Rimowa Hybrid

  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Impressive exterior because of the groove design
  • Sleek looks that look fine and do not make noise

Sizes and designs

Rimowa has many design features and is available in different sizes.

Rimowa Design

Rimowa suitcases generally have the following design features:

  • Hard exterior shell. Rimowa specializes in manufacturing hard-shell suitcases. Most products feature aluminium shells, except the Hybrid, which has a polycarbonate shell.
  • Parallel grooves. The grooves have characterized the Rimowa brand since they were introduced in 1950. All Rimowa suitcases feature these parallel grooves running along the exterior.
  • TSA-approved locks. Since 2006, Rimowa suitcases have featured TSA-approved locks for enhanced security and global airport security compliance.
  • Telescopic handle. Every Rimowa suitcase has a telescoping handle that extends from the top to make it easy to manoeuvre.
  • Multi-wheel system. Rimowa patented its multi-wheel system in 2001. The system allows the wheels on Rimowa suitcases to turn 360 degrees effortlessly.
  • Polyester interior with flex dividers. Rimowa suitcases have soft polyester interiors that protect your items from scratching. The interior has height-adjustable flex dividers to hold your items in place in the case.

Rimowa Sizes

Rimowa luggage is available in different sizes, ranging from small carry-on luggage to massive checked trunks. 

Each Rimowa model has different size options as follows:

Size optionRimowa OriginalRimowa ClassicRimowa Hybrid
Compact40.5 x 41.5 x 23 cm (15.9 x 16.3 x 9.1 inches)
Pilot42 x 50 x 23 cm (16.5 x 19.7 x 9.1 inches)
Cabin S55 x 40 x 20 cm (21.7 x 15.7 x 7.9 inches)55 x 40 x 20 cm (21.7 15.7 x 7.9 inches)55 x 40 x 20 cm (21.7 15.7 x 7.9 inches)
Cabin55 x 40 x 23 cm (21.7 x 15.7 x 9.1 inches)55 x 40 x 23 cm (21.7 x 15.7 x 9.1 inches)55 x 40 x 23 cm (21.7 x 15.7 x 9.1 inches)
Cabin Plus57 x 44 x 25.5 cm (22.4 x 17.3 x 10 inches)
Check-In M69 x 44 x 27.5 cm (27.2 x 17.3 x 10.8 inches)71 x 47.5 x 26 cm (28 x 18.7 x 10.2 inches)66 x 44 x 27 cm (26 x 17.3 x 10.6 inches)
Check-In L79 x 51 x 27.5 cm (31.1 x 20.1 x 10.8 inches)79 x 53 x 28 cm (31.1 x 20.9 x 11 inches)78 x 52 x 27 cm (30.7 x 20.5 x 10.6 inches)
Trunk S65 x 39 x 34 cm (25.6 x 13.4 x 15.4 inches)
Trunk 73 x 44 x 36.5 cm (28.7 x 17.3 x 14.4 inches)75 x 36 x 47 cm (29.5 x 18.5 x 14.2 inches)
Trunk Plus80 x 36.5 x 44 cm (31.5 x 14.4 x 17.3 inches)
Trunk XL80 x 43.5 x 46 cm (31.5 x 17.1 x 18.1 inches)

The Rimowa Cabins are excellent choices if you’re looking for the best carry-on luggage. To maximize packing space, choose the Rimowa Hybrid Cabin. 

While the Cabin suitcases of the different Rimowa models have the same external dimensions, the Hybrid Cabin has a bigger packing capacity (3.7 L/ 8.1 Gal).

You may also like: Top 5 Best Rimowa Check-In Luggage

Materials and durability

Rimowa suitcases are super durable as they are made from high-end aluminum alloy. Even the Hybrid model, which has a polycarbonate shell, is incredibly strong. Plus, it has riveted aluminum corners for improved impact resistance.

Rimowas are specifically built to last a lifetime. Many have been passed down several generations. Rimowa suitcases are so tough that they have survived plane crashes and tornados with barely a dent. 


Rimowa does excellently by offering a wide price range, ensuring you find a luxury travel luggage that suits your budget. While Rimowa prices range from about $500 to $4,500, the price of any specific Rimowa luggage depends on the model and size.

Prices differ by Rimowa models because each model differs by features and material. For example, Rimowa’s aluminum suitcases are priced higher than the polycarbonate ones. This is why you’ll find the Original and Classic costing more than the Hybrid. 

Also, cases with more innovative features (like sleeker locks) come at a higher price. This is why you’ll find the Original costing more than the Classic.

You may also like: Rimowa Outlet: Buying Rimowa at a discount


Rimowa now provides a lifetime manufacturer’s guarantee that covers all functional aspects of your suitcase.

The guarantee does not apply to cosmetic wear and tear, misuse or abuse, damages caused by negligence, or accident by a third party (particularly transport or flight damages).

Also, the guarantee applies only to suitcases purchased from July 25, 2022. For suitcases bought before July 25, 2022, a 5-year manufacturer’s guarantee applies if you register the suitcase online. For those not registered, a 2-year guarantee applies.

Pros and cons of Rimowa luggage

There are many good reasons to make Rimowa luggage your traveling buddy.

Pros of Rimowa luggage

  • Prestigious
  • Very durable suitcases
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Locks securely for enhanced security 
  • TSA-approved locks that open easily for airport checks
  • Sturdy wheels that handle very trying terrains
  • Four wheels that turn the bag effortlessly 
  • Plush interiors with height-adjustable flex dividers

Cons of Rimowa luggage

  • Relatively pricey
  • Not expandable to carry additional load

Briggs & Riley overview

Briggs & Riley is an American travel gear brand with a rich history of exacting performance and continuous innovation. The company, founded by Richard Costa in 1993, is a leading manufacturer in the luggage category. 

Brand Description

Briggs & Riley says it is committed to the art of travel. Interestingly, the pieces from the brand show this commitment, giving it a place among the premium luggage brands. Briggs & Riley has pioneered and patented many travel gear innovations that feature in its many products.

The company manufactures a variety of travel gear, including soft-sided and hard-sided luggage, backpacks, bags (duffel bags, totes, crossbody bags, etc.), and packing cubes. However, Briggs & Riley is better known for its army of quality soft-sided luggage.

Product Variety

You’ll be spoilt for choices when purchasing a Briggs & Riley. Some of the top products of the brand include:

Briggs & Riley Sympatico

The Sympatico collection from Briggs & Riley is the only hard-side luggage in the world with the CX expansion technology.

Briggs & Riley Sympatico

The Sympatico’s expansion technology allows the cases to expand by 25% for more packing space and compress back to their original size for overhead storage. The CX technology makes Sympatico luggage perfect for people who like to do some shopping while traveling.

The hardside suitcases are made from polycarbonate, making them strong and lightweight (though they could be lighter). The exterior has a matte finish, which minimizes scuffing and scratching. They have a soft interior with internal pockets to organize your items.

The Sympatico features double swivel wheels for smooth and quiet rolling, a zipper system with a TSA-approved lock, top and side grab handles, and a recessed wheel handle. 

Why you may want to choose Briggs & Riley Sympatico

  • Expandable technology
  • TSA-approved locks
  • Soft interior with internal pockets for organization

Briggs & Riley Torq

The Torq is another collection of hardside luggage with spinner wheels from Briggs & Riley.

Briggs & Riley Torq

The Briggs & Riley Torq is made from polycarbonate, making it a heavy-duty suitcase that can withstand the rigors of frequent world travels.

The high-quality luggage has a 70/30 split between its two packing compartments which closes with a zipper system that slides into a TSA-approved lock.

The luggage’s interior has pockets for organization and even a suiter to keep your garment wrinkle-free. The hard-sided suitcase also features ergonomic handles, an extendable wheel handle, and fine spinner wheels.

The carry-ons of the Torq suitcases even have external pockets large enough to hold a laptop and a USB charging port to charge your phone from outside your case conveniently. Thus, the Thorq carry-on is a fine case for anyone looking for hardside luggage with external pockets.

Why you may want to choose Briggs & Riley Torq 

  • Durable hard shell
  • Relatively lightweight
  • TSA-approved lock
  • External pocket big enough to hold a laptop (on carry-ons)

Briggs & Riley Rhapsody

The Rhapsody is a collection of softside Briggs & Riley bags targeted at women.

Briggs & Riley Rhapsody

The Briggs & Riley collection includes suitcases (a carry-on and a small checked bag), backpacks, totes, and under seat bags.

The Briggs & Riley Rhapsody suitcases are good bags for short travels. They are made from durable micro-weave nylon and feature zipper closures. The modern and chic soft-sided suitcases feature a padded top handle, sturdy spinner wheels, and an aluminium wheel handle.

The Briggs & Riley suitcases have an interlocking handle system that allows the bag to stack atop most Briggs & Riley luggage for seamless transportation of two bags as one.

Though the Rhapsody suitcases have only one packing compartment, the insides have several zippered pockets and a padded space to hold your laptop safely. 

The softside suitcases also feature external pockets. There’s a front external pocket and a side one that extends with elastic to fit a water bottle.

Why you may choose Briggs & Riley Rhapsody suitcase

  • External pockets 
  • Padded laptop compartment inside
  • Several internal pockets
  • Can pass as a large stylish bag 
  • Double spinner wheels offering better ground clearance
  • Stacking capability

Sizes and designs

Briggs & Riley luggage is available in different sizes and spots many innovative designs.

Briggs & Riley Designs

Briggs & Riley has a lot of engineering firsts that are patented. Thus, their luggage has many innovative features, including:

  • CX compression-expansion technology. Briggs & Riley is the only brand with this technology that allows hardside suitcases to expand by 25% to create more packing space (albeit not in all their suitcases).
  • Outsider® handle. This removes trolley handlebars from inside the bag, making for a flat packing area with more capacity
  • External pockets. Offers external pockets on their suitcases (including some hard-sided luggage). This makes for quick access to items.

Briggs & Riley Sizes

Briggs & Riley bags are available in different sizes. For example, the featured collections offer the following size options:

SympaticoTroqRhapsody Suitcase
International carry on:49 x 35.5 x 23 cm (19 x 14 x 9 inches)Depth expandable to 28 cm (11 inches)International carry on:49.5 x 35.5 x 23 cm (19.5 x 14 x 9 inches)Wide Mouth cabin:35.6 x 35.6 x 17.8 cm (14 x 14 x 7 inches)
Domestic carry on:56 x 35.5 x 23 cm (20 x 14 x 9)Depth expandable to 28 cm (11 inches) Domestic carry on:52 x 35.5 x 23 cm (20.5 x 14 x 9 inches)
Medium expandable:64 x 47 x 29 cm (25 x 18.5 x 11.5 inches)Depth expandable to 34 cm (13.5 inches)Medium spinner:65 x 47 x 29 cm (25.5 x 18.5 x 11.5 inches)
Medium trunk:67.5 x 42 x 39.5 cm (26.5 x 16.5 x 15.5 inches)
Large expandable: 76.2 x 51 x 30.5 cm (28 x 20 x 12 inches)Depth expandable to 38 cm (14 inches)Large spinner:72.5 x 51 x 32 cm (28.5 x 20 x 12.5 inches)
Extra large trunk:77.5 x 42 x 39.5 cm (30.5 x 16.5 x 15.5 inches) 

The Rhapsody Wide Mouth Cabin is fine carry-on luggage. Its dimension and packing space of 21.9 L (5.79 Gal) capacity makes it smaller than the brand’s other carry-on suitcases, but you’ll be amazed at how much it can hold.

Materials and durability

Briggs & Riley uses high-quality materials to ensure durable luggage. Its hard-sided suitcases are made of high-strength, virgin polycarbonate, while soft-sided bags are made of high-abrasion-resistant ballistic nylon fabric. 

Generally, every Briggs and Riley piece is well-built and can last about 10 – 20 years.


Briggs & Riley luggage is priced between $400 – $750. The polycarbonate hard-sided cases occupy the upper part of that range, while the soft-sided cases occupy the lower part.


Briggs & Riley is famous for its lifetime guarantee. The company’s “Simple as that” guarantee covers the repair of all functional aspects of your Briggs & Riley luggage throughout its lifetime.

Like the guarantee of other luggage brands, Briggs & Riley’s does not cover cosmetic wear or damage to belongings inside. However, the guarantee covers damage caused by an airline.

Pros and cons of Briggs & Riley luggage

The pros and cons to consider before jumping on Brigs & Riley luggage include:

Pros of Briggs & Riley luggage

  • Durable luggage with high-quality materials
  • Hardsided luggage that expands for more space for packing
  • Luggage (including some hardsided ones) have external pockets
  • A warranty that covers airline damage
  • An option to add a monogram

Cons of Briggs & Riley luggage

  • No super-durable aluminum luggage
  • The “lightweight” polycarbonate cases could be lighter
  • Uses zippers
  • Colour options are limited
  • Relatively pricey for soft-side luggage

Rimowa vs Briggs & Riley unique features

Rimowa and Briggs & Riley are both luxury luggage brands with many unique features. But Rimowa edges Briggs & Riley as a better brand overall.

Luggage features

Rimowa is the clear leader in hard-shell suitcases. Even its polycarbonate suitcases have metal corners for increased durability. The brand’s aluminum cases will last a lifetime.

While Briggs & Riley’s bags are durable, they’ll last you about 10 – 20 years.

Rimowa suitcases are also incredibly lightweight. For example, Rimowa’s polycarbonate suitcases (the Hybrid) are lighter than Briggs & Riley’s polycarbonate options (Sympatico) of comparable size. This is even though the Rimowa Hybrid has metal parts (corners).

Rimowa cases have better lock systems. The suitcase’s two shells shut tightly together without needing zipper closures. This makes Rimowa suitcases easier to open and close. They also have sleek-looking TSA-approved locks for enhanced security.

Rimowa suitcases also have one of the best wheeling systems in the luggage industry, as their four wheels turn 360 degrees to carry the bag effortlessly.

Briggs & Riley suitcases have some bragging rights of their own. For example, the CX expandable technology expands some of its hard cases for more packing space. They also have luggage with external pockets for easy access to items and an “external handle” to create a larger inside packing space.

Other features

Besides the physical features of the luggage, there are other important things to consider, such as exclusivity, warranty, buying experience, resale value, etc. Interestingly, Rimowa is a clear leader in these aspects, as it is a more prestigious brand, offers a seamless buying experience, and has a better resale value.

First, Rimowa is part of the LVMH group, arguably the world best group of companies for luxury goods. Thus, Rimowa is a more prestigious brand. Just carrying a Rimowa gives a prestige that no other luggage brand (including Briggs & Riley) can.

Also, Rimowa offers a seamless buying experience. Not only is it easier to find all necessary information you need for your purchase, you’ll complete your purchase in fewer steps, and customer service is more responsive.

Rimowa’s has a lifetime warranty which is easy to claim. If you luggage suffers any functional defect at any point in its lifespan, Rimowa will repair or replace it. Rimowa will cover the cost, including the repair cost. Briggs & Riley has an equally impressive lifetime guarantee that also covers airline damage.

Lastly, Rimowa luggage generally has good resale value. If you’ll want to get a good price when later selling your luggage, you’re better off with a Rimowa. Many Rimowa luggage will still fetch you hundreds of dollars even decades later.

Summary of Rimowa vs Briggs & Riley unique features

Design aspectRimowaBriggs & Riley
Type of luggageSpecializes in hard-sided suitcasesProduces both hard-sided polycarbonate cases and soft-sided luggage
StyleAll their luggage are similar in design (featuring parallel grooves on the exterior)Have a variety of product designs
ClosureCase shells snap shut and are secured by premium TSA locksLess impressive zipper closure
WheelRimowa offers four-wheel suitcases that roll effortlesslyOffers both four-wheel and two-wheel suitcases
ExpandableThe hard shells are not expandableThe Sympatico cases can be expanded by 25%
Color optionsExtensiveLimited
ExclusivityVery prestigious brandLess prestigious brand
WarrantyLife-time warrantyLife-time warranty
Resale value Very good resale valueFetch relatively less when reselling

Rimowa vs Briggs & Riley: Which one offers the best value for money?

Rimowa is a luxurious brand, and its suitcases are high-end robust pieces that will last you a lifetime.

With its charming look, superior durability, incredible lightness, and high-end features (like sleek TSA locks, smooth spinner wheels, and more), Rimowa offers the best value for money.

If you’re in the market for a luxurious hard-side suitcase, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a brand better than Rimowa.

Briggs & Riley does have elegant luggage, with some featuring clever designs (like the CX compression-expansion system and outside handle). However, they lag behind Rimowa in durability, locking system, and some other quality aspects.

Thus, except you want designs exclusive to Briggs & Riley’s hard cases (like external pockets on hard cases), choose the brand only for soft-sided luggage.


Rimowa and Briggs & Riley are two luxury luggage brands. Rimowa is a German brand famous for its hard-shell suitcases featuring parallel grooves.

Rimowa’s robust suitcases last a lifetime and have high-end features. Though they are available at high prices, they offer good value for money.

Rimowa leads in intangible aspects of luggage buying. It is the most prestigious brand, and offers an allure that other brands cannot give. Rimowa has an impressive lifetime warranty and good resale value.

Briggs & Riley is an American brand that also manufactures high-quality luggage. The brand’s products include hardside and softside luggage, and sport many clever features.

If your luggage shopping dilemma is between Rimowa and Briggs & Riley, Rimowa is the clear winner, except if you specifically want a soft-sided case.

Want to know more about Rimowa luxury suitcases and accessories? Check Gracefuldegrade for everything Rimowa.