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Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer TSA friendly laptop bag

Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer TSA friendly laptop bag

Old Sep 30, 08, 3:41 pm
  #1  
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Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer TSA friendly laptop bag

Looks like Tom Bihn was the first to get an actual TSA friendly laptop bag to customers. I've got this one here:

http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/300/TB1701

And it makes me feel sorry for wasting money on other premium bags in the past (like Tumi). This bag is built like a tank and looks fantastic

Fingers crossed the TSA read the memo and won't taser me for not taking my laptop out of its bag
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Old Oct 1, 08, 1:29 am
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Looks interesting - do you have it yet? I'm interested to hear your thoughts/experiences traveling with it. I'd like the see the inside of the compartments and pockets. Do you have to unclip the outer flap/pocket to get at the laptop or is there another way?
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Old Oct 1, 08, 6:45 am
  #3  
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Interesting pix. I wonder whether I'll be able to cram as much stuff into it as I can with my current bag. Somehow I doubt it.
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Old Oct 1, 08, 7:23 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by ace26 View Post
Looks interesting - do you have it yet? I'm interested to hear your thoughts/experiences traveling with it. I'd like the see the inside of the compartments and pockets. Do you have to unclip the outer flap/pocket to get at the laptop or is there another way?
I have it in front of me

The bottom unclips with 2 large clips, and the laptop portion folds out. Remarkably easy. I've spent twice this much in the past on a bag, and did not get something that felt this well made.

There IS something to be said for handmade "in the USA" products.

I'll see if I can get a review posted soon.
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Old Oct 2, 08, 11:56 am
  #5  
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I absolutely love my Tom Bihn large laptop backpack - bought last year after references by somebody on a FT thread - and thus am not in the market for one right now. But I can attest that the bags are fantastic, rigorous, and comfortable.

I have not seen the new bag, but I have put 27 pounds of travel gear into the large backpack when using it while on vacation. As Scott says, the thing is built like a tank. The laptop sleeve for my Dell fits in the back pocket, and the "snake charmer" cable bag fits on top of it. It's very easy to take the laptop out for security without disturbing most of the contents.

http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/300/TB0104
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Old Oct 2, 08, 1:50 pm
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I'm a huge fan of Tom Bihn's bags, too. The workmanship and materials used are top notch.

I travel with the TB Smart Alec with the protective brain cell carrier to store my laptop. The snake charmer holds all the cords, etc. Organization is amazing in all these bags, and if you add their little zippered pouches you can easily store and then find small items. They sell these little pouches with clear windows that are perfect to use with this bag.

Tom Bihn uses YKK zippers and the splashproof zippers used on mine and this new TSA-approved bags are strong, smooth gliding, and not-suprisingly, rain resistant. The Absolute Strap would be a good addition, too, if you want an alternative to carrying it by the handle.
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Old Oct 8, 08, 3:49 am
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Mine shipped out yesterday and I can't wait to use it when I come back to the states at the end of the month (schedule permitting). Found a quick product review of the bag this morning...http://www.gadling.com/2008/10/07/pr...ndly-laptop-b/
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Old Nov 3, 08, 5:09 am
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Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer review

Just returned from my first trip with Tom Bihn’s new Checkpoint Flyer laptop bag and felt compelled to write a brief overview of how the bag performed. I would’ve taken some pictures, but my camera decided to not to make the journey as I ran out the door ☹ Hope this is helpful to some of you guys & gals.

The Checkpoint Flyer is a pricy bag, but its quality shows. I use Tom Bihn’s Aeronaut as my daily flying/publications bag and it has withstood a year’s worth of military aircrew abuse. The Checkpoint Flyer uses the same durable fabrics/zippers and appears designed to take a beating. I use the Absolute Strap with both bags.

The bag’s selling point, of course, is its new TSA-approved laptop compartment. I purchased the 15” version to accommodate my 2 y/o Macbook Pro and found its fit/padding to be excellent (Speck plastic case users - the plastic corners of your case will occasionally snag the opening of the sleeve if you don’t fully unzip it). The laptop compartment is secured to the bag by two plastic clips and held in place (sandwiched by the main compartment & front flap) by two larger clips. Though tough to describe, I wasn’t worried about how secure my laptop was in the case.

Arriving at the security checkpoint, all you have to do is unclip the two front clips. The two smaller clips act as hinges at the bottom of the bag, allowing the laptop compartment to fold open like a book. Closing things up is just as simple. I found Japanese and TSA checkpoint agents to be familiar with the new system…though the Okinawan agents appeared to have never seen one of these new bags in person. Side note – the laptop compartment looks like it can be detached for use as a sleeve if necessary.

The front flap has two zippered compartments that easily held my power brick, extra battery, multiple cables, and iPhone. One of the two compartments has an internal clip that was useful for securing my car keys. The main compartment is as large as any - it was large enough to hold a new Macbook in its factory box (gift for the fiancé), my noise-canceling headphones, and a few books. The back of the bag has an area for magazines or papers that unzips so the bag can attach to a rolling suitcase. It just barely fit over my wide Travelpro Platinum 4 20” rollaboard handle. Next to this area is a boarding pass pocket that worked as advertised.

Complaints: It’s not easy to access the laptop compartment while the bag is on your shoulder. There aren’t any easily accessible pen/pencil pockets on the outside of the bag (there is a pocket on one side that could fit a cell phone, but I wouldn’t put small, loose items in it).

Last edited by boxedlunch; Nov 4, 08 at 12:27 am
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Old Nov 4, 08, 7:16 am
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ScottC,

How well does your Proporta gadget bag fit in this, and how much space is left in the main compartment? This looks promising, but I've become spoiled by the amount of stuff I can fit in my current laptop backpack.
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Old Nov 4, 08, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Kinsale View Post
I'm a huge fan of Tom Bihn's bags, too. The workmanship and materials used are top notch.
Returned both of mine. Dont understand the hype. The Messenger ID bag is farrr too small to be useful, and the Empire Builder is poorly designed. The made-in-America may give a fuzzy feeling but theres no palpable difference in terms of quality... and as far as utility goes im a bigger fan of my cheaper Timbuktu
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Old Mar 4, 09, 10:12 pm
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CheckPoint Flyer FirstUse

We just took the Tom Bihn CheckPoint Flyer for a FirstUse run... awesome bag!

http://www.rainydaymagazine.com/RDM2...tFlyerFirstUse

Well worth the premium price for folks who travel a lot...a nice luxury for those who do not. Either way, a win for everyone who owns one.
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Old Oct 25, 09, 11:31 am
  #12  
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Buuuuummmmpppp!

I am wondering how those of you who got this early like it. Im looking for something in size between a Red Oxx Metro and a B&R 104x. The checkpoint friendly part looks good. Looking for as small a bag as possible that will hold a computer, a small number of files/papers, phone, cables, wires and a change of clothes in an Eagle Creek folder or such. Thanks.
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Old Oct 26, 09, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by GadgetFreak View Post
I am wondering how those of you who got this early like it. Im looking for something in size between a Red Oxx Metro and a B&R 104x. The checkpoint friendly part looks good. Looking for as small a bag as possible that will hold a computer, a small number of files/papers, phone, cables, wires and a change of clothes in an Eagle Creek folder or such. Thanks.
Fantastic bag. I love mine. I only have twi issues with it. 1. The opening that you unzip to slide over your roller bag which allows the eniter thing to be carried on the rollers handle is not centered. They have done this to give you a nice ticket/paperwork pocket which I use regularly. (You drop off your rental car, grab your things and stuff the receipts and such in the pocket there.) The problem is that with the off entered slide over zippered opening, the bag is not sitting centered so it will tend to slide around the handle which eventually causes everything to roll over and you have to re set up the entire operation.

2. I really like the freudian slip which I put inside my flyer and use it constantly. The bag should come with this instead of it being an extra.

That is it. Everything else I love. You will run into your random German airports which will make you unpack your computer, but I have had NO otehr issues. TSA actually prefers it because it is quicker. GET ONE!
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Old Oct 26, 09, 11:07 am
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See here for my grave concerns regarding this bag, there is also a video:
http://www.1bag1world.com/blog/2009/....html#comments

The way the bag has to be unfolded, unclipped and clipped bag together is highly un-ergonomic. It is easier to open a zip take the sleeve with laptop or the laptop itself out and put it back in then to use this "contraption" aimed at marketing.

I do provide more sensible alternatives in the comments.

This criticism came without me even knowing about the other shortcomings such as the off-center handle slip (duh!), the lack of easily accessible pen pockets and the generally difficult access to the laptop.

I know it seems like I am blasting TB but seriously, there are better checkpoint friendly bags on the market, even if the entire checkpoint friendly thing is just a marketing gimmick in my eyes.

If you consider the price of TB products you should righteously expect a product that is more thought through and work better than any lesser priced product. It goes without saying that the TB product should be free of "thinking mistakes". The Tristar is such a product. The Braincell and the Freudian Slip are great. The packing cubes with day pack built in are very smart! But the Checkpoint Flyer is an embarrassment; and that's put mildly.

I put my laptop in a padded white poly mailer. Fits like a glove. Is super understated, too. Protects against wetness and is easily replaceable. Can be used as an envelope (which it is) in case you need one. I use that instead of the protection sleeves that came with my high dollar Tumi and BR bags. Works like a charm. Never had to take the computer out of the sleeve, never, not even in Germany. No need to explain anything to an agent who might not be familiar with the new bag system.

The space I gain in the laptop compartment and the weight I lose are most welcome. I guarantee you that this is faster than the Checkpoint flyer.

The only advantage is that with the CPF the computer stays attached to the bag so you cannot forget it and anyone wanting to steal your computer would not want to have to deal with the hassle of it dangling from the bag.

Till
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Old Oct 26, 09, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by tfar View Post
The way the bag has to be unfolded, unclipped and clipped bag together is highly un-ergonomic. It is easier to open a zip take the sleeve with laptop or the laptop itself out and put it back in then to use this "contraption" aimed at marketing.
TFAR have you tried the bag personally yet? Your criticism of the latching mechanism was the same one I had before testing it. I can honestly say that the clip system works a LOT better than you would think at first and it is fast. Not to mention you get the added benefit of placing the computer in the middle of a protective sandwich.

I can be unbuckled and into the x ray faster than I used to be able to pull my laptop out of my backpack, 100% of the time.

No, my only real complaint is the off centered handle slip over which just was not thought out well.
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