8 laptop bags that will speed you through airport security

These new TSA-approved checkpoint-friendly bags mean you don't have to pull your laptop out at airport security.

Targus' Zip-Thru bag shares many features with other popular Targus bags, such as the adjustable air cushioning system around the notebook compartment.

Targus' Zip-Thru bag shares many features with other popular Targus bags, such as the adjustable air cushioning system around the notebook compartment.

While no one questions the need to properly scan laptops when going through airport security, the requirement to remove them from their protective cases is a different story. "Naked" notebooks can easily get dropped, damaged, forgotten and even stolen outright. One study done for Dell estimated that about 12,000 laptops are lost in US airports every week -- a claim that has been challenged by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Whatever the numbers are, you don't want your machine, with all its precious data, to become a statistic.

Happily, the TSA has recognized these issues, and began working with case manufacturers in March on a standard for checkpoint-friendly laptop bags that can pass through the security scanners without your having to remove your notebook.

Several cases meeting the spec have already hit the market, and many more are due soon. They have been allowed at checkpoints since late August.

So what makes a checkpoint-friendly laptop bag? The TSA has five official criteria:

  • A designated laptop-only section.
  • A laptop-only section that completely unfolds to lay flat on the X-ray conveyor belt.
  • No metal snaps, zippers or buckles inside, underneath or on top of the laptop-only section.
  • No pockets on the inside or outside of the laptop-only section.
  • Nothing packed in the laptop-only section other than the computer itself.

To meet these requirements, case makers have come up with three basic bag designs: zippered clamshells that open flat with your laptop on one side and everything else on the other; double- or triple-compartment bags that unfold and lie flat like a garment bag, again with the laptop on one side; and simple notebook sleeves that either fit into a larger bag (in which case you'll need to take the sleeve out for scanning) or are carried alone. Many existing sleeves meet these criteria, as long as they don't have pockets or metal parts on the sides.

Here are eight of the latest full-featured TSA-approved cases with pockets and compartments that hold everything from your power adapter and accessories to a change of clothes. They'll help speed up the line and look good doing it.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Becky Waring

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?