Test drive: First checkpoint-friendly computer bag

Summary:Back in August TSA issued new guidelines for travelers with notebook computers that would, for the first time, allow passengers to keep them in their bags while passing through the x-ray scanner.The TSA implemented its checkpoint-friendly bag policy on 16 August 2008 and to qualify as checkpoint-friendly it must have a designated notebook-only section that unfolds to lie flat on the x-ray machine.

Test drive: First checkpoint-friendly computer bag
Back in August TSA issued new guidelines for travelers with notebook computers that would, for the first time, allow passengers to keep them in their bags while passing through the x-ray scanner.

The TSA implemented its checkpoint-friendly bag policy on 16 August 2008 and to qualify as checkpoint-friendly it must have a designated notebook-only section that unfolds to lie flat on the x-ray machine. The notebook section can't contain metal snaps, zippers, buckles or pockets.

I got a chance to test the world's first checkpoint-friendly notebook bag, Tom Bihn's CheckPoint Flyer briefcase. The Checkpoint Flyer sells for US$220 and comes with a number of exclusive features and world's firsts, including:

  • Modular, custom-fit laptop compartments. When you buy a new laptop, simply buy a new laptop compartment instead of buying a whole new bag.
  • First to be sized for specifically MacBooks
  • First to have pockets on all sides of the bag
  • First to come in colors other than Solid Black
  • First to be Made in USA (Seattle, to be exact.)
  • First to have accessories and design that allow you to convert it from your everyday travel briefcase to an overnight air travel bag, complete with optional Packing Cubes to keep your clothes neat.
  • First to have YKK splash-proof Uretek zippers.

See pictures of the designated notebook-only section and how it unfolds to lie flat after the jump...

Test drive: First checkpoint-friendly computer bag
Figure 1: The Checkpoint Flyer in black and steel.

Test drive: First checkpoint-friendly computer bag
Figure 2: Unclip two large molex buckles and flip the front compartment up.

Test drive: First checkpoint-friendly computer bag
Figure 3: Pull one of the handles through the opening and it lays perfectly flat.

Test drive: First checkpoint-friendly computer bag
Figure 4: The MacBook Pro 15 fits perfectly in the padded notebook compartment.

The Checkpoint Flyer is the new generation in notebook bags for frequent flyers and is highly recommended to anyone that flies commercial airlines a lot. I especially like the fact that the notebook section can be detatched and used as a mini-case and that it can be swapped for different sizes as your notebook needs change. Tom Bihn has always produced excellent build quality, craftsmanship and their materials are all top notch. The splash-proof zippers are an especially nice addition.

The Checkpoint Flyer comes in black/steel (pictured) and black/crimson or all black and is available now from Tom Bihn.

Topics: Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

About

Jason D. O'Grady developed an affinity for Apple computers after using the original Lisa, and this affinity turned into a bona-fide obsession when he got the original 128 KB Macintosh in 1984. He started writing one of the first Web sites about Apple (O'Grady's PowerPage) in 1995 and is considered to be one of the fathers of blogging.... Full Bio

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