Around 2008, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began exploring ways the airport security check-in process could be streamlined. Officials requested white papers from manufacturers for their most innovative designs for laptop bags that could pass inspection without the passenger removing the laptop from the bag.
The laptop would need to sit in a compartment totally separate from the contents of the rest of the bag. The compartment would have to be free of zippers, straps, and any other components. In other words, the laptop would have to appear in the scanner as if it was in an inspection bin.
Industry answered the call, and today, you can purchase a laptop bag that does just that. Now you can check-in and get to your destination for business, pleasure, or for whatever reason you’re traveling. Here is a quick breakdown of the TSA rules for a check-in friendly laptop bag.
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BEST FOR LAPTOP PROTECTION
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BEST FOR ORGANIZATION
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BEST FOR VERSATILITY
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The Matein Travel Backpack unzips to an 180-degree angle for easy scanning of the laptop compartment at the airport. One of this backpack’s exclusive features is a prong near the side pockets that allows you to lock it for theft protection.
Made of high-quality water-resistant polyester, the Matein is super-comfortable to carry with padded shoulder straps and multi-paneled back padding for breathability. A steel cable on the handle helps make the backpack tough and durable. Side compression straps allow you to tighten the bag for stability.
The Matein’s laptop compartment holds up to a 17-inch laptop and an e-reader and a USB charging port lets you keep all your devices charged while on the go. A hole for headphones gives access to earbuds without worrying about headphone wire. Listen to your favorite music while traveling.
An organizing compartment on the front provides plenty of room for phones, pens, documents, and more. Keep up with your keys with the handy keychain. Mesh pockets hold large water bottles or an umbrella. A hidden zipper pocket on the back is perfect for your wallet.
Overall, the Matein is great for college students, cruises, and international travel.
The Targus Mobile Elite with its patented Safeguard Sling enables you to suspend the laptop for protection in case the bag is dropped. The check-point friendly design unzips easily so the bag lays flat eliminating the need to remove your laptop.
The result is quick airport screening. Simply lay the bag flat on the conveyor belt. The laptop pocket holds a 16-inch laptop that stays inside the pocket of the bag during the entire security check. For added convenience, a trolley pass-through luggage strap lets you sit the backpack securely on top of your other luggage. Handles are comfortable for ease in carrying.
The Targus Revolution is made of high-quality water-resistant ballistic nylon. The base is water-resistant, and the strap clips and other hardware are durable high-quality metal. An added workstation and mesh pockets in the center storage help organize supplies for working on the go.
There is a huge amount of inside storage and organisation options. There is enough space to hold a tablet secure as well as all your accessories such as a] mouse, battery pack, and other small items. You can also use some of the smaller pockets to slot in your phone or kindle/book, making travel that much more comfortable.
Overall, the Targus is great for frequent travelers. The bag is relatively compact and still has ample storage space due to its clever design. It also comes with a limited warranty.
The Wenger Legacy Notebook carrying backpack is TSA compliant for airport check-in without removing your laptop. Carry up to a 15.6-inch device in the triple-padded laptop sleeve.
The Wenger’s exclusive CaseBade stabilizing platform lets you stand the bag upright. The well-padded foam sleeve gives great protection for your laptop.
The Wenger has a casual stylish design. It’s ultra-comfortable to carry with padded shoulder straps and ergonomic airflow back panel. Multiple pockets give storage for organization and room for cords, charges, etc.
Access business cards easily from the essentials organizer. Side pockets will hold water bottles or other items of a similar size. A small pocket inside the zippered pouch holds your phone, keys, and other small items.
Overall, the Wenger Legacy provides great protection for your laptop with its triple foam padding and is comfortable to carry.
The Alienware Orion’s checkpoint-friendly design allows fast screening at security checkpoints by zipping all the way around to lay flat without removing your laptop.
The padded computer compartment is extra-wide to fit larger laptops (up to 17.3 inches) and the dimensions are 12 x 2 x 17 inches. No other components will block the x-ray scan, so it’s TSA-compliant. It’s made of durable yet lightweight (3 lbs) water-resistant 840D nylon, a basketweave of varying denier.
The sub-divided main compartment gives you plenty of room for other gear like clothing, books, and binders. The easy-to-access secondary compartment has an internal workstation with 10 pockets for super-organization and holds CDs, an MP3 player, even your ticket and boarding pass neatly. A patented, wireless security shield protects your cellphone from hackers.
The Orion has padded, adjustable shoulder straps and padded back panels for extra comfort. A stretchable water bottle holder is hidden inside a zipped pocket on the lefthand corner of the bag’s exterior.
The Orion gives great organization for your work and plays essentials. The matte black color gives it a stylish look for the office or the campus.
Busy executives can zip through airport screenings with the Targus CitySmart EVA checkpoint-friendly laptop backpack. The patented design allows you to keep a 15.6-inch laptop inside its protective sleeve in an extra-large main compartment with dimensions of 10.5 x 4 x 14 inches.
Targus also offers this bag in a range of sizes to fit 12-inch to 17-inch size laptops. Additionally, the bags have a tablet compartment that fits a 12.9-inch device.
The Targus is made of high-quality materials with heavy-duty stitching and a water-resistant base to take the wear and tear of daily use. For comfort, the shoulder straps are padded and the back panel is air mesh with flow channels, and for convenience, there’s an integrated trolley strap.
A very spacious main compartment provides an organized workstation and zippered pockets for organization. A smaller outside pocket layered with semi-rigid EVA is ideal for protecting your phone or sunglasses, and a water bottle holder is on the side exterior.
Overall, the Targus CitySmart’s layout makes it easy to take your work wherever you go. It’s roomy, well-organized, and comfortable to carry.
The Swiss Gear SA 1908 with ScanSmart technology unfolds to a flat position at checkpoints to keep the laptop sections above and below clear.
The laptop compartment has a unique recognition window for an open viewing and accommodates most laptops up to 17-inches in screen size. An adjustable padded strap secures devices of different sizes along with quick side entry access.
Made of durable, ballistic weave fabric, this backpack by the makers of the genuine Swiss Army knife is as versatile and functional as you would expect.
Comfort is optimized with contoured, extra-padded shoulder straps. The multi-panel airflow back system supports your back for even more comfort. The molded, reinforced top handle adds durability.
The roomy main compartment provides plenty of organization and protection for packing gaming peripherals, binders, and other accessories. An interior pocket organizer has dividers for your mobile phone, pens, and other small items.
A removable keyfob helps you keep up with your keys. Elasticized mesh exterior dual pockets expand to secure water bottles of various sizes, and an elastic tab on the shoulder strap secures your sunglasses for convenient access.
The Everki Flight has the classic looks of a high-end briefcase with a 2-way ergonomic adjustable padded shoulder strap. Rugged and durable enough for extensive travel, it’s sleek enough for everyday trips to the office.
The checkpoint-friendly 16-inch laptop compartment opens to 180-degrees to lay flat and quickly pass through the scanner. If you need to remove it, you can do so without removing the other contents.
The Flight is made of highly durable exterior material with soft, orange signature lining, large zippers with metal pulls, and a trolley pass-through strap. Three compartments make organization a breeze.
In addition to the laptop compartment, the bag has a second compartment for external devices, paperwork, and pockets, pouches, and slots for your phone, pens, and business cards a key ring buckle, and a zippered see-through pocket. An iPad, Kindle, or tablet fits into a dedicated felt-lined pocket.
Overall, the Everki Flight is travel-friendly as well as smart-looking for everyday office use. The manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty.
Feel good about carrying an eco-friendly product with the Targus Spruce Ecosmart. It’s made of 100 percent recycled plastic bottles and PVC-free materials. The hardware is nickel-free.
Pass through TSA check-in quickly with the patented checkpoint-friendly design that unzips to lay flat for screening. Adjustable shoulder straps and a padded back panel add comfort, and the trolley pass-through lets you secure it to the top of your other luggage.
The dedicated laptop compartment holds a 17-inch screen device with room for an iPad or tablet. Other storage features include a water bottle holder, key clip, pen loop, business card holder, and other accessory compartments. Keep your boarding pass and other documents handy with the easy-access front pocket. The colorful green interior makes items more visible.
Overall, the Targus Spruce has a sporty yet sophisticated look for the office, campus, and travel at a reasonable price.
The clamshell design of the Solo Empire TSA-friendly laptop briefcase allows fast check-in through airport security. The bag meets all checkpoint requirements and opens to separate the laptop compartment for x-ray scanning. Removable padded straps allow you to carry the Solo Empire as a briefcase for everyday office use.
The well-padded interior laptop compartment holds and protects a 17.3-inch screen laptop and a velcro strap secures it in place. The compartment also accommodates a 10-inch screen tablet. A zip-down organizer has a place for your glasses or mobile phone or camera and features a keyfob, pen loops, and business card slots.
The bag has two exterior pockets on the front. One pocket holds envelopes and folded documents and the other holds pens and notepads. A zip-down organizer has a place for your glasses or mobile phone, a keyfob, pen loops, and business card slots.
The Solo Empire is a great bag for the occasional traveling business executives who want a sharp-looking briefcase for everyday office use. The manufacturer offers a 5-year limited warranty.
The Swiss Gear 5358 with ScanSmart technology is TSA-friendly with a padded laptop compartment that fits a 15-inch laptop and separate padded tablet sleeve. The lay-flat design allows for scanning while both devices remain in the bag.
The compartment zips back up quickly and easily after passing through the scanner. This backpack also features a USB outlet power-ready port for conveniently charging your phone while traveling. The battery pack is not included.
Made of sturdy, rugged materials with a stylish silhouette, the Swiss Gear 5358 gives you unparalleled comfort with breathable mesh fabric, padded shock-absorbing shoulder straps with built-in suspension and a 15-inch shoulder drop. A compression strap and sternum straps allow adjusting the weight of the bag to fit your body type.
The organizer compartment has multiple pockets for your phone, pens, ID card, and memory stick. Also included in the compartment is a crush-resistant sunglasses holder and a keyfob.
Overall, the Swiss Gear 5358 is a great backpack for traveling techies. It’s a bit pricey, but the durability, extra comfort, and built-in USP port make it a good value. Keep all your devices charged while on the go.
The best TSA-approved laptop backpacks make checking in at airports faster, saving you more time for business, and or, pleasure. Look for one that will accommodate all your electronics and has all the features and versatility. Consider how you will mainly use the bag as well as times you could use it for secondary purposes. Other features to look for include durability, comfort, protection for your electronics, and best value for your money
Our collection of check-in-friendly bags accommodate laptops of several screen sizes from 15 to 17 inches. You can find bags that accommodate other electronics like MP3 players, Kindles, iPads, and tablets. Dimensions and capacity are normally listed by Amazon.
Features, or the lack thereof, can make or break a check-in-friendly laptop bag. Most are designed with the business traveler in mind. Check for features like organizational pockets and slots, business card holders, folders, documents, and binders. Consider your needs and choose accordingly.
All of the bags in our collection are made of durable materials like ballistic nylon, and even weaves made of recycled plastic bottles. Comfort is another consideration. Look for padded, adjustable straps and other ergonomic features.
Most check-in-friendly laptop bags aren’t designed to hold a lot of clothing and personal items, but versatility is a personal thing. Some could be used as an overnight bag when you don’t need to carry a lot of electronics, and of course, not checking into an airport. Removeable and tuckable straps are great for versatility and can transform a backpack into a stylish briefcase for daily trips to the office.
To save you a bit of time, we have picked our favorites from the bunch.
The Matein Anti-theft Travel Backpack fits larger laptops (up to 17 inches) and has a hidden retractable hook. This TSA-friendly backpack is comfortable to carry, durable has a built-in USP charging port, and is priced right.
The Wenger 600631 with its triple-padded foam sleeve and stabilizing platform for sitting the bag upright provides the best protection for your laptop.
The Everki Flight makes organization a breeze with three compartments full of pouches, pockets, and slots for all your gear from cellphone to business cards.
The Solo Empire Laptop Backpack meets all TSA check-in requirements, and the removable straps make it great as an office briefcase as well as for traveling.