Checking the Briggs & Riley BRX Adventure Gear…
DTW – ATL
I was worried. My first trip experience with the new luggage was great and I was really enjoying the bag. Now, I’m taking a deep breath and checking the bag. This has been the downfall of most of my bags in the past. They look great at the beginning, but after a ride on the baggage handling express they are scuffed, dented or worse.
I had my overnight bag plus the BRX and my outbound was a regional jet. Time to check, it’s too much of a hassle to schlep all that through the airport. As I waved goodbye the my bag, I wondered how it would come out on the other end. I’ve always found the DTW airport to be pretty efficient and when my bag rolled onto the bag claim conveyor, it looked great.
Something else I really liked about the bag is that I could see the handsome slate color in the sea of black bags immediately without being a screaming red or green hue. Compared to most bags, it looked very distinct and professional but had a little something different. The best part is the trip left no notable impact on the bag, sweet!
A little too big for 1-2 days - ATL
I’m headed back to Atlanta with my daughter to drop her off at camp Grammy for a week. I have a couple meetings but they’re casual, it’s not supposed to be under 100 degrees while I’m traveling so I’m paring down. No BRX for this trip, just my overnight. I was able, however, to get more familiar with my Verb backpack.
You have to understand that I had my previous backpack (a CB green Patagonia) since we started the company. Someone, Melissa Garcia (@consumerqueen) perhaps, called it my security blanket. Parting with that bag was a tough decision. It gave me serious start-up street cred (although I think a bunch of business people looked at it askance), I mean really, the standard issue black leather over the shoulder business bag just screams “I have a Blackberry”, I don’t judge…
When I looked at the Verb on eBags, I was impressed by the more uptown feel yet still retaining a cool factor thanks to the orange interior (think they would make me a green one?) and ballistic nylon. What I also liked about the bag was how compact it was. In the past two years, I’ve dropped paper (we try not to print if possible), so I do have bulky files and my electronics kit is smaller as well (13” MBP, ipad, iphone). Stuff was sloshing around inside my old pack.
The Verb is very well arranged with a small front pocket perfect for a phone, a card and pen section, the travel section and main compartment for the computer, iPad and a book. My favorite feature is the cord pocket however. As we all know, power is now the table stakes commodity. I have 4 ways to access the web all of which are useless without power. I carry two back up batteries, wall and car charging systems, a wireless card and various
Mixing Personal and Business Travel - BOS – PWM – LGA
Vacation time! Shannon and I are headed to Boston for a week and then onto Maine where we’re meeting my parents and daughter. I’m looking forward to disconnecting from the grid a bit, reading, relaxing (and sneaking in a bit of work in the early morning when no one is watching).
I have a bit of a travel challenge with this trip, I need to be in NYC the day after our vacation is over and I’m not going to fly all the way back to Arkansas and get up the next morning for the 6am to LGA. So, I’m going to attempt to take all of my vacation and work clothes etc. in two bags, the BRX and the overnight. i hope everyone likes to see me wearing the same stuff…
The BRX is highly compartmentalized so I’m able to segment clothes. I learned a great little travel trick from a friend several years ago, when packing dress shirts, leave them in the plastic from the dry cleaners, wrap them around the hangar and they will stay relatively wrinkle free. I placed my shirts in the bottom of the BRX and packed my other business wear directly on top of them. I wear my blazer when I travel so my NYC clothes were set (I planned all my clothes around a single belt and dress shoes).
I was able to then vacate out of the rest of the bag. The lid has separate front and rear compartments which are great for dirty clothes and for all accessories (hats, belts, sandals etc.) Boston was great and we made an overnight out to the cape to visit Dave Henry, one of our Advisory Board members. The BRX was perfectly sized to handle the trip even with the extra burden of the NYC clothes. In contrast to the behemoth Shannon brought along, the BRX was amazingly manageable.
The trick to a great travel bag is balance. I have no problem with my gear, but add my wife’s, a booster seat for my daughter etc. it becomes trickier. I hate bags that fall over or shift while I’m pulling them. Ever drag that bag you have to kick into submission to stay on two wheels? Not this one, it rolls faithfully along, just trying to help. It’s the yellow lab of travel bags.
When we got to Maine, I finally saw the true beauty of the BRX. We had rented a house on Jaquish Island, just off the tip of Bailey. The house came with it’s own skiff (boat speak for tiny watercraft). The agent met us at the dock and we loaded several bags and my step father and me into the boat and set off on the 10 minute ride to the island. The spray from the boat got the bags a little wet but nothing serious, the BRX just beaded the water like a freshly waxed car. It hit me, this was the perfect combination of business and travel bag, i mean, you do not want a leather Tumi here.
The week on the island was great, save occasional power outages (Jaquish is wind powered). Mary Catherine and I spent endless hours hunting for seaglass and tromping around the island’s beaches and cliffs. As the week drew to a close, I washed all the clothes I’d need for NYC and repacked the BRX with the business clothes now on top. Simple. I escorted the Mary’s to their plane in Boston and then headed to South Station to grab the train to NYC ready for business now quite good friend with my new bag.