Free Shipping on orders over $50 & FREE RETURNS

Kaehler Free Shipping & Returns
Kaehler Free Shipping & Returns

Briggs & Riley Sympatico vs. TUMI Vapor

Luggage comparison: Briggs & Riley Sympatico vs. Tumi Vapor Lite

The Briggs & Riley Sympatico and Tumi Vapor Lite* are two premium hard side bags from two heavyweight brands that have dominated the luggage industry. Luxuriously designed and expertly accessorized, these two carry-on bags have plenty to offer travelers of all types. Additionally, you will find that both of these bags are engineered to withstand even the most bumpy rides during any journey.

When looking at these cases, it's worth remembering they are very worthy opponents. Each displays its own unique pros and cons and in truth, there is very little to separate the two. In the end, it comes down to what kind of features you require to meet your specific needs. Discover which one has the right combination of form and function for you.

*Currently not available. For a similar line from the same brand check out Tumi V3 here!

Briggs & Riley Sympatico Tumi Vapor Lite
Briggs&Riley Sympatico Tumi Vapor Lite
Wheel Larger set of wheels, useful on cobblestone Narrower and more compact
Packing Mesh compression panel, hanger hook system on zipper lid pocket Lid pocket, tie-down straps
Padded inside space against the handle bars Accessory pouch
Weight Very light case: 6.7 lbs Lightweight 7.2 lbs, easy to handle
Accessories Add-a-bag strap inclusion Monogram patch, leather luggage tag, and tracer code
Collection Briggs&Riley Sympatico Tumi Vapor (out of production). See all Tumi Collections
shop now shop now


Working from the ground up, we couldn’t skip over a crucial component in any carry-on: the wheels. Wheels are found on almost all types of luggage these days, good and bad. However, not all wheels were created equal, and there are even differences in higher end cases and bags. Here then, is how they measure up on our two cases:

  • Tumi’s Vapor Lite Carry-On wheels are a narrower and more compact than the Sympatico. This makes them a little more durable and allows them to glide a bit farther. Additionally, the 8-wheeled, doubled-up design provides plenty of protection and eases mobility.
  • The Sympatico on the other hand, has a larger set of wheels that help cover rougher terrain more easily. This is particularly useful on cobblestone streets or bumpy pavements. The Brigs & Riley Sympatico also offers a similar 8-wheeled design as mentioned above.


When looking at internal packing, you'll find each of the bags in our test has its own favorable features. Unfortunately, packing facilities are often overlooked or ignored in favor of raw capacity. However, a well designed packing system allows travelers to squeeze much more into a smaller space. Here, we look at which bag offers what, and how that can help you pack for any kind of trip:

  • Tumi puts packing efficiency at the top of its priority list with a lid pocket, tie-down straps, and an accessory pouch. The tie-down straps in particular allow the user to compress clothes and other items to ensure they are protected and more space is available.
  • Briggs & Riley offers a mesh compression panel that helps to keep your clothes wrinkle-free, while the hanger hook system on their zipper lid pocket is a nice touch for business wear. Briggs & Riley has also chosen to pad the space against the handlebars on the inside of your bag so there is less room for wrinkling.


Weight considerations in large pieces of luggage are an important factor. This is particularly true with hard cases that are, more often than not, heavier by design. Here we examine how the contenders weigh up against each other:
  • Coming in just a sliver under the Tumi on weight, you'll find the Briggs & Riley Sympatico. Weighing in at 6.7 lbs, this is a very light case that still offers plenty of protection from the hard side constructions.
  • The Tumi Vapor Lite weighs in at 7.2 lbs which is still a perfectly manageable weight for a hard-shelled piece of luggage. Additionally, thanks to its increased maneuverability, this case is easy to handle.

Added Accessories

Added extras and useful accessories can sometimes tip the balance and help you decide on the best case for your next trip. From subtle finishing touches to the latest technological innovations, we look at what each bag has to offer:

  • Including a monogram patch on the front of their luggage that can be personalized to your wishes, alongside a leather luggage tag, Tumi brings a few classy details to the Vapor Lite. Additionally, Tumi's innovative tracer code helps you track your luggage in the event that it is lost.
  • The Briggs & Riley Sympatico doesn't disappoint either with its practical add-a-bag strap inclusion. This allows you to attach a bag to the front of your carry-on for truly hands-free traveling.


Here then, we have compared and contrasted the most prominent features of both the Briggs & Riley Sympatico and Tumi Vapor Lite. At this point, it is up to you to decide which better fits your requirements. Are you looking for a bag that is lightweight or a bag that packs more in? Do you need deluxe packing or better mobility? Whichever you choose, you'll find that both bags are of the very highest quality available.

If you would like more information on either of the two cases in our comparison, or you want to inquire about any individual cases or bags within the Kaehler collection, then please contact our team and we will be happy to offer any information you might require.