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Consider the following scenario – you’re leaving town on a quick business trip and arrive at the airport. Travelers are bustling to get through the security checkpoint, kicking off their shoes while they fumble with their laptops that must be removed from the bag before being scanned. As you watch the person in front of you nearly drop their laptop on the floor, you simply step up to the security checkpoint, open two convenient clips, unfold your laptop bag and step through. That’s right – no need to remove your laptop from your bag. How is that possible?

TOM BIHN Checkpoint Flyer Review

As of August 16, 2008, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows laptops to remain in bags meeting “checkpoint friendly” guidelines. Fortunately, the people at TOM BIHN are aware of these guidelines and designed a bag with the frequent traveler in mind. In addition to all the gadgets that travelling techies should have, the TOM BIHN Checkpoint Flyer Laptop Briefcase could be the bag to hold them all, while getting you in and out of security in a flash.

Features and Specifications

As a quick bit of background, TOM BIHN is located in Seattle, Washington and manufactures all of their bags in their own local factory. With a focus on creating a superb finished product, they use fine quality materials and components for each bag. Futurelooks has reviewed their products in the past and definitely feel that they stay true to this philosophy with every product. While that means their bags are not the cheapest, they believe the quality of the product justifies the expense, and the Checkpoint Flyer is no exception.

The Checkpoint Flyer is a configurable solution for transporting your laptop and offers plenty of storage for other equipment, or even a change of clothes for an overnight trip. The Checkpoint Flyer consists of the main Checkpoint Flyer briefcase, as well as a Checkpoint Flyer laptop case that clips securely to the briefcase. The laptop case is available in multiple sizes (consult their Laptop Bag Fit Guide for assistance), which is great as it allows you to replace just that one component without having to replace your entire bag if you buy a new laptop.

The Checkpoint Flyer has the following specifications:

  • Dimensions: 18.5″ x 13″ x 6″ (overall dimensions, empty bag)
  • Total Volume: 950 / 15.5 liters
  • Weight: 2.6 lbs / 1.19kg
  • Laptop Compartment: 13″ size; 14″ x 10″ x 1.8″ (other sizes also available)
  • Material: 1050 denier ballistic nylon and 500 denier Cordura nylon, lined with Dyneema/nylon ripstop

Once you have the Checkpoint Flyer in your hands, it is easy to see that TOM BIHN pays attention to details and builds a quality bag using quality materials, including the 8mm-thick thermo-molded closed cell foam laptop case designed to protect your precious machine from the rigors of travel and the YKK splash-proof zippers that keep everything secure. The Checkpoint Flyer is available in one of three color combinations: black and steel (as shown), black and crimson, or all black.

First Impressions

Tasteful. Elegant. Trendy. Rugged. Those were just a few words that came to mind when the Checkpoint Flyer from TOM BIHN arrived at my door – and that was before I had even opened the box, as the box itself comes nicely decorated with the attractive, yet unassuming, TOM BIHN logo. Once I actually opened the box, I was pleased to find that the Checkpoint Flyer was even more impressive.

TOM BIHN Checkpoint Flyer Review

After a quick once-over on the bag, I was quite impressed at the quality of the construction and the attractiveness of the design. From a design perspective, I found the black and steel color combination to be a great choice and the TOM BIHN logo can be found in a variety of locations, including a simple, circular patch on the front of the bag. The feel of the 1050 denier ballistic nylon quickly tells me that this bag is likely going to last quite awhile, meaning the ability to swap out the indivudual laptop case will come in handy as this bag should see at least a few laptop replacements.

With features such as the comfortable Poron foam padded handles, sturdy YKK zippers, and an assortment of pockets for storing your gear, I was certainly impressed. However, there are times when actually using a product simply cannot live up to those first impressions so it is time to see how the Checkpoint Flyer survives the day-to-day demands.

Our Checkpoint Flyer came ready for duty with a couple of optional accessories, including the Absolute Shoulder Strap, the Horizontal Freudian Slip, and the Clear Quarter Packing Cube.

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