First Impressions

Sleek and lightweight, the Briggs & Riley BRX Excursion Messenger Bag arrived at GearGuide in an understated gray accented with a deep orange. The East Coast-based luggage manufacturer’s products are ubiquitous in better luggage and travel gear stores, and the company’s durable products are covered by a lifetime guarantee. The Briggs & Riley BRX line uses higher-performance hardware and lighter weight fabrics than the company’s other product families. We liked the look and the weight was dramatically less than others in the test.


The BRX Excursion Messenger Bag employs a 420 ripstop denier nylon. The tightly woven fabric weighs significantly less than the 1000-plus denier nylon used in the other bags in this test. The lighter weight fabric translates into a much less bulky and svelte bag that doesn’t compromise carrying capacity. The BRX Messenger comes in at one pound, seven ounces.

There are two main compartments on the BRX Excursion Messenger Bag, both covered by a large flap. Briggs & Riley lines the first with bright orange nylon for visibility. This smaller compartment zips closed and includes four additional pockets for a variety of small items, including business cards, chargers, etc. There’s a padded pocket for your iPod and a lanyard for keys. Another interior compartment holds the padded sleeve large enough for most 15-inch laptops and storage for file folders, books and larger gear. It’s a little small but still sufficient for my commutes.

Materials: 420 denier nylon, water resistant bottom fabric
Weight: 1 lb 7 oz
Main compartment capacity: 384 cu in

Briggs & Riley also placed a zippered accessory pocket on the exterior of the flap for tickets – sealed with a water resistant zipper – for your passport, tickets and small flat items. There’s a pass-through sleeve on the rear for attaching your rollaboard bag.


The Briggs & Riley can swallow a 15-inch laptop and a range of other work and travel gear. The padded sleeve protected the PC without a problem through many commute days, on public transportation and on foot. I really appreciated the light weight of the BRX Excursion Messenger. The carrying strap was easy to adjust for exactly the right fit.

One complaint: like many traditionally designed messengers, the BRX Excursion Messenger feels unbalanced when carrying the bag via the handle and not the shoulder strap.

Final Verdict

Dig it. Briggs & Riley lives up to its reputation with the BRX Excursion Messenger. It’s light weight and technical, and has ample carrying capacity. The carrying handle leaves a little bit to be desired, but that’s only a minor point. Most of the time, the BRX Excursion Messenger is slug across the back.

Find the BRX Excursion at

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. And thanks to Briggs & Riley and Cloud 12 PR for providing product for this review.