I've spent quite a bit of time traveling the last few years and consider myself a pretty experienced traveler. That said, I like to try to minimize the hassle of flying as much as possible and the TSA rules that allow you to speed up by passing through the x-ray machines without taking your laptop out of the bag is one area that is easy to take advantage of. I previously tried a couple other checkpoint friendly bags and was pleased when one of my favorite laptop manufacturers, Skooba, announced their Checkthrough Brief. Skooba makes some very high quality and durable carrying cases and the Skooba Checkthrough Brief continues that same tradition. You can look through my image gallery to see how attractive and functional this bag can be for the business traveler.
|Image Gallery:Check out product photos of the Skooba Checkthrough Brief checkpoint friendly bag.|
The laptop compartment is designed primarily to hold 15 inch laptops, but Skooba states that some 16 and 17 inch models may also fit. The laptop interior measures 16 inches x 11 inches x 1.5 inches. I carried my 15 inch MacBook Pro comfortably on my test trips. There is padding around all the edges of the laptop and there is a thick plastic panel on one side to let the TSA officials see the internal contents. The TSA is not required to allow laptops in these bags to pass through without inspection, but I have found that every time I used this bag and passed it through the x-ray machines in the open position they let me pass without further inspection. I actually was asked twice by the TSA representatives to spell the name of the company who made the bag because they liked what they saw and wanted to look into them as well.
This laptop compartment is closed with a zipper going around 3/4 of the bag. The top section is connected permanently and is the part that connects the laptop compartment to the main bag when fully opened. You can just grab and go after passing through security or you can take the time to close up the laptop compartment with the zipper if you want.
In addition to the laptop compartment, there is a large open general area under a padded flap that secures with a heavy duty plastic buckle on the front. I placed cables, chargers, and extra phones and gear in this compartment and since the bag opens up flat these items were allowed to stay in the bag as well. There is a compartment on the top flap to store more gear.
Finally, there is a zippered pocket on the front that is good for business cards, keys, and other smaller items you need to keep secured.
The zippers and zipper closures are extremely well constructed and durable with a bit of a soft touch feeling to them as well. I can see this bag easily lasting years with the durable construction and useful compartmentation.
The normal price of the Skooba Checkthrough Brief is $139.95, but it is currently on sale for $109.95. If you are a frequent traveler I think you will enjoy using this high quality bag and passing quickly through security, while maintaining full control over your laptop and gear.