Modern technology is everywhere today and in everything we do. I, for one, take my laptop with me every time I fly. And if TSA approved laptop bags were not a thing, I would have to take my laptop out every time I go through a TSA security screening.
For this reason, I will review a few laptop bags that meet TSA approval or, rather, TSA friendly to make your airport security screening process a bit smoother.
TSA Approved Laptop Bags Overview (Updated List)
|4.7||SwissGear 1900 TSA Scansmart Laptop Backpack |
(Best Travel Luggage #1 pick)
|4.8||MATEIN Extra Large,TSA Friendly, Fit 17Inch |
(best for travel safety)
|4.8||Tomtoc TSA Approved, Flight Friendly Weekender |
17.3 Inch Laptop Bag
(best overall for a weekend or short business trips)
|4.7||Targus Corporate Traveler Laptop Bag |
TSA Security Checkpoint Friendly
(Best briefcase/travel bag crossover)
|4.7||VANKEAN Laptop Briefcase TSA Friendly |
17 Inch Laptop Bag
(best-expanding versatile bag)
What Are TSA Approved Laptop Bags?
Checkpoint-friendly laptop bags are specifically for travelers who want to ensure their laptops pass through airport security checkpoints smoothly. There are unique bags that open up and lay completely flat, making it easy to lay out your computer and show it off to screening machines.
Another qualification for TSA approved laptop bags is no metal which means nothing with metal can fall over or under your laptop while it passes through the x-ray machine.
Also, the area for your laptop must be a laptop sleeve where only your laptop sits. You cannot put any other items in the same area as your laptop. In other words, it is a dedicated laptop compartment with only your computer in it and will lay out to expose only the laptop for the TSA scanners to see.
Does TSA Actually Recognize TSA Approved Laptop Bags?
Now, here is the tricky part. TSA mostly recognizes checkpoint-friendly bags for your laptop, but they don’t have any information on their website. In light of this, TSA information says you are required to take your laptop out of the case.
But apparently, in 2008, TSA began working with companies that make luggage and backpacks to design suitable cases for laptops to pass through security. TSA gave luggage and backpack companies some requirements for laptop bags that will allow them to be TSA friendly, and over the years, vendors have made bags that meet the TSA specifications.
Read Next: Everything TSA Approved
What Do You Need To Look For In TSA Approved (Friendly) Laptop bags?
Here are 3 things that are a must when looking for TSA Approved laptop bags.
First, does the laptop compartment open and lay flat in a butterfly or trifold manner? Although it may open up, it must lay flat to meet TSA regulations, or you will need to remove your computer from the laptop pocket and place it in a bin.
Secondly, it must not have any metal that will obstruct the view of the x-ray screening. No metal straps or zippers that may get in the way of the screening process. With this in mind, bags with metal zippers are fine but only if the metal does not obstruct the view of airport scanners.
Lastly, look for bags that do not have exterior pockets outside the laptop holding area. To put it differently, it can have a pocket on the outside of the laptop holder, but to pass through security, you cannot store anything in that compartment or the laptop area.
What size is your laptop that will go into the compartment? With this in mind, look for a backpack or briefcase to accommodate your laptop size.
Does it have padding on the back and straps for the comfort of carrying? You will carry your bag for a while through the airport, so you want it to conform to your body with a breathable backing. When searching for a briefcase, look for comfortable padded straps.
Travel Tips: Why Pack A Tennis Ball In Your Luggage?
TSA Approved Laptop Bags Product Reviews
Without further delay, let’s review these 5 mighty fine TSA approved (friendly) laptop bags.
The SwissGear 1900 is our first pick for overall function. With this in mind, in our opinion, it meets the TSA requirements each company has had the privilege of using. The laptop compartment opens flat and has a dedicated laptop sleeve with a mesh zipper overlay to hold your computer in place. In other words, it is a ScanSmart bag to help ease your way through security.
It is built for comfort and will hold almost everything you own. Well, maybe not everything, but it sure holds a lot. But the ability to organize is phenomenal, with numerous zippered pockets and open holders for all of your personal items.
It is made of 1200D ballistic polyester fabric for durability with compression straps that you can adjust to meet your size. In addition, it comes in 10 different colors.
- Firstly, it is TSA compliant with a dedicated pocket for your laptop and no flaps or pockets on the outside.
- Secondly, it is an extra large size, 31 liters, and will hold larger laptops up to a 17-inch.
- Contoured to fit your body, adjustable comfort straps, and padded airflow backing.
- Some say the zippers are not as strong as they can be.
The Matein extra large travel bag is TSA Friendly and opens 180 degrees to expose your laptop for a security x-ray view. In other words, it will pass through security without problems according to guidelines. Not to mention it has a luggage strap to nestle securely on the handle of your suitcase.
It has an external USB charging port and cable that is easy to access when in need. In addition, this backpack has anti-theft outer pockets so you can walk through the airport with peace of mind.
- TSA Friendly and opens to 180 degrees to go through security.
- Large capacity to hold a 17-inch laptop
- Wide shoulder straps with breathable mesh, built to disperse the weight across your back, and a “U” shaped innovative design mesh backing to move heat away from your body.
- Does not come with the power pack.
The weekender bag is a well-thought-out design for a weekend getaway or short business travel. In other words, it’s like a mini suitcase with a large front opening to pack shoes and clothing. In addition, it has 2 other spacious zippered areas. Not to mention it is a 40 L backpack, which is extra large and then some. Additionally, it has a luggage pass-through strap on the back.
It is TSA compliant with a laptop area that opens flat to expose your computer to checkpoint security.
Additionally, it is made with YKK premium quality zippers and is a durable 100% recycled material. It has a 3D back construction that contours to your back for comfort.
- TSA friendly and meets regulations that will lay flat to scan your laptop at security.
- Super large size that will hold up to a 17-inch laptop.
- Durable construction with padded straps and ample padding on your back.
- Does not have an external water bottle holder.
Targus created a perfect briefcase laptop bag that is patented for its checkpoint-friendly design. Which means it will lay open flat for TSA x-ray inspection. Targus has a long-standing reputation for durable user-friendly bags and has outdone themselves on this one.
The corporate travel bag is an excellent crossover for an everyday work briefcase and is perfect for the business traveler. In addition, it is made with military-grade durable ballistic nylon to last with repeated daily use.
- It has a patented TSA friendly design that opens flat to go through airport security.
- Fits a 14-inch laptop
- Padded straps that mold to either shoulder for comfort and lightweight at 2.97 lbs.
- It is a smaller bag for smaller computers
Vankean has a lightweight, expandable laptop briefcase. In addition, it is TSA Friendly with a bi-fold design that will allow security machines to see your laptop well. The laptop compartment is well padded to protect your computer.
It is made of water-resistant nylon, which makes it flexible for packing. Not to mention it converts well to an overnight bag or is perfect for flying. Also, it comes in pretty pink as well as a bold black.
- TSA friendly opens in a bi-fold fashion, so your laptop is visible to x-ray scanners
- 17-inch laptop sleeve
- Padded carrying handles, as well as a removable padded shoulder strap. In addition, the flexible nylon helps it contour to your body for better comfort.
- It has metal zippers BUT, but as long as none are overlaying your computer area, it will work well as TSA friendly bag.
FAQs About TSA Approved Laptop Bags
Here are some commonly asked questions about TSA approved laptop bags.
What Are TSA Approved Laptop Bags?
According to requirements, TSA-approved laptop bags are actually TSA-friendly bags. They are bags with a dedicated laptop sleeve where only your laptop sits. The bag will open bi-fold or tri-fold and lay flat to pass through airport security, so you won’t need to remove your laptop from your bag.
What is a TSA compliant laptop bag?
According to requirements, TSA-compliant laptop bags are actually TSA-friendly bags. They are bags with a dedicated laptop sleeve where only your laptop sits. The bag will open bi-fold or tri-fold and lay flat to pass through airport security without removing your laptop.
Do I have to have a TSA approved laptop bag to fly?
No, TSA approved laptop bags are not required. Companies made them so you can pass through security easier. However, if you do not have a TSA friendly bag, in most airports, you will need to remove your computer from your bag and place it in a bin to pass through x-ray scanners.
What is a ScanSmart TSA laptop bag?
It is a TSA friendly bag. A ScanSmart bag is a technology that allows you to leave your laptop in the pocket inside the bag, open it flat and lay it on the conveyor belt to go through the x-ray machine. Otherwise, without ScanSmart bags, you may need to take your laptop out of the bag.
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TSA Approved Laptop Bags – Conclusion
So that concludes our review of TSA approved laptop bags. Although we established that there is no concrete evidence that TSA approves some laptop bags, they have regulations. In other words, the requirements are more like TSA friendly bags.
NOTE: Some images for these products (when you click more details) show a dedicated tablet pocket in front of the laptop compartment. You will need to remove all items that are obstructing the laptop view. However, you can move them temporarily to pass through security and place them in their original holder once you are clear.
Happy travels, my friends.