Help me find a spinner laptop bag/briefcase
April 27, 2016 3:43 PM   Subscribe

I've been traveling a lot and my overstuffed backpack is wreaking havoc on my back. Help me find a better solution?

Must haves: Space for a 17" bohemoth of a laptop and work supplies. Wheels. Quality construction. Ladder-climber accessory appearance. Slim enough to be stowed under the seat in front of you.
Nice to haves: Spinner wheels. Lots of pockets. Paired with a carry-on with a strap to roll them together. Option for carrying as a backpack.
Budget: Ideally, not more than $250.

Something like this would work, if the reviews didn't suggest the construction is flimsy.
posted by Karessa to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I mostly swear by Briggs & Riley, and I think they have a couple of different options that fit your requirements other than price (but I think if you're traveling a lot, it's worth investing in good luggage -- I did a year of business travel on cheap stuff, and I couldn't believe how much better my life got when I upgraded). One possibility, but look at their site or go to a store, because they have a lot of different stuff. I also have a Tumi bag that's good, but I'm not as familiar with their line.

FWIW, my day to day travel setup is a Briggs & Riley rollaboard (non-spinner; I find that the spinning is only really valuable on a big bag, and it takes up more space) and a Tumi bag that slides over the handle. The Tumi doesn't have wheels, but the pair is very easy to maneuver around the airport. Despite being different brands, they work together perfectly and have served me well for several years of heavy business travel.

The one problem I've seen with the smaller rolling bags is that when you mount them on top of your main bag, it can get pretty awkward and kind of top-heavy. If you're going to be hauling a lot of stuff around in it, without it mounted to the larger suitcase, the wheels are definitely nice to have. It's just a tradeoff to consider. I strongly, strongly recommend going to a store that has this stuff on the floor, and spending a lot of time playing with it. Practice mounting and unmounting, pulling it over carpet and tile, going around corners, etc. There can be a huge difference in how easy different bags are to work with, and when you're trying to make your way through security or rush to a flight, you don't want to be struggling. Get something that works together smoothly.
posted by primethyme at 4:18 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sorry, that spinner one I linked to doesn't have the thing to attach onto the top of another bag. I was thinking of this one. It's similar, but not a spinner, and adds the ability to mount on top of a rollaboard.
posted by primethyme at 4:20 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wow! Thanks for that perspective and recommendation, and for the link to the B&R bag. It looks like exactly what I had in mind, and worth a little bit of extra investment.
posted by Karessa at 5:55 PM on April 27, 2016

I think I'll go looking for a place to check out this one, paired with a carry on roller from the Baseline line you recommended, PrimeThyme. Thanks so much.
posted by Karessa at 11:54 AM on April 28, 2016

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