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(Photo: Briggs and Riley)

Sympatico Carry-On Review: A Spinner Suitcase That Expands by 22%

Need a little bit more space on your return trip? No problem, with Briggs & Riley’s Sympatico International Carry-On Expandable Spinner suitcase. This hardsided bag can expand for up to 22% more space, and then easily compresses back down to the original size (of 21″x 14″ x 9″, which fits most airline requirements).

Sympatico Carry-On Review

Price and Where to Buy the Sympatico Carry-On: The Sympatico Carry-On is available for $529 on Amazon and Briggs & Riley’s website.

How the Sympatico Carry-On Rates:

  • Usefulness: 10/10. Briggs & Riley is one of my favorite luggage brands. Their suitcases last forever, no matter what you put them through. They’re also extremely well-made, and everything functions smoothly. The Sympatico Expandable Spinner is no different–The padded handle is easy to pull and retracts easily, and best of all, the handle is designed to be entirely on the outside of the bag, so you have a flat packing surface on the bottom. Hard-sided suitcases can sometimes be hard to organize, since many of them lack pockets, but this bag doesn’t have that problem. It has an built-in suit panel with a hanger hook for suits or dresses, adjustable garment compression panels that keeps clothes from getting wrinkled, plus plenty of interior compartments. The best feature, is of course the ability to expand or compress this suitcase. I like having the flexibility for a bigger bag when I need it, and the expansion feature is literally a snap to use. A built-in TSA-approved combination lock keeps everything inside secure. I also appreciated the telescoping handle, which can be set to three different heights (great for short or tall travelers).
  • Value: 10/10. Okay, $529 is expensive, but this is Briggs & Riley’s lifetime guarantee: “We’re the only luggage company to offer a lifetime repair guarantee on all our bags – simple as that. If your Briggs & Riley bag is ever broken or damaged, even if it was caused by an airline, we will repair it free of charge.” So this could very well be the last suitcase you’ll ever need to buy.
  • Portability: 9/10. The suitcase is fairly lightweight, at 8 lbs. It wheels around super smoothly thanks to the double swivel wheels which can rotate 360 degrees.
  • Durability: 10/10. You might not even need that lifetime guarantee. The Sympatico is made from a super strong three layer polycarbonate, and the telescoping handle is made from aircraft-grade aluminum. The suitcases wheels are even made from steel!
  • Cool Factor: 10/10. I have the Marine Blue Sympatico, which is a great, standout color. It’s also available in red or basic black.

Final Verdict: If you’re tired of wasting money on cheap suitcases that fall apart after a year, invest in the Briggs & Riley Sympatico Expandable Spinner. It functions as two different size suitcases, and is guaranteed to last forever.

Caroline is always on the lookout for cool new travel gear. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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