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If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best TSA-Approved laptop bag is, then we recommend the Yorepek TSA Friendly Travel Laptop Computer Backpack as the best one.
Have you ever carried your laptop on a plane?
If you have, then you’re probably familiar with the lengthy and tedious airport screenings that one has to go through.
Not just any laptop bag is allowed on board. So if you’re planning to take your laptop along, you’ll need to find a bag that meets TSA requirements.
As you can imagine, there aren’t that many checkpoint-friendly laptop bags.
To help you, we’ve scoured the web and come up with a list of the top TSA-approved laptop bags.
Our Recommendations: The Comparison Table
Last update on 2020-09-18 at 17:01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Top 5 Best TSA-Approved Laptop Bags Reviews
1. Yorepek TSA Friendly Travel Laptop Computer Backpack
If there’s a laptop bag designed for the busy business traveler, then this is it. The Yorepek TSA friendly travel laptop backpack is an extra-large backpack that comes with numerous features at a decent price point.
The dimensions of the backpack are 19.4 x 10.4 x 14. 96 inches, offering a total capacity of 45 liters.
The main compartment is equipped with a laptop sleeve, which is big enough to accommodate a 13, 13.3, 14, 15, 15.6, or 17-inch laptop.
This sleeve does not have any zippers or buckles so it will make the cut at the airport security. Also, this laptop sleeve is strategically located providing quick access when checking at the airport.
In addition to the laptop compartment, the bag offers more than 20 organizer pockets to meet different needs. This includes two mesh water-bottle pockets on either side.
Another feature that makes it perfect for long-travel is the mesh panel on the back. Thanks to this breathable fabric, you don’t have to worry about it overheating.
The shoulder straps are also made of breathable material and they can be adjusted.
The only problem with this bag is that it’s heavy. Even when it’s completely empty, it can be a little difficult to lift.
- Very roomy
- ScanSmart Feature
- Decent quality
2. Sterkmann Expandable Carry on Backpack
BEST FOR OVERNIGHT TRAVEL
A laptop bag that grows with your needs, the Sterkmann Expandable Backpack is a dream come true for many travelers.
This backpack can be expanded from 20L to 30L in a snap.
When fully expanded, it measures 18.5 x 9 x12.4 inches while the 20-liter version measures 18.5 x 6.2 x 12.4. This gives you enough space to fit any 13 to a 15.6-inch laptop.
Furthermore, Sterkmann has an exceptional strap system. This enables the backpack to be transformed into a briefcase for a more professional look.
Thus, you can go directly from the airport to your corporate event with the laptop bag.
Another thing we love about this backpack is that it has dedicated organizers for all your items.
For instance, it has a compression packing cube that constitutes two compartments. This enables you to separate your clothes from dirty ones.
Alternatively, you can toss the dirty clothing in the included laundry bag.
To top it all off, there’s a shoe bag that can hold one pair of shoes, specifically, any shoe size up to the U.S. size 14.
Unfortunately, these innovative features cause the price of this laptop bag to skyrocket.
So before you rush to purchase, weigh the benefits of these features against the cost.
- Outstanding quality
- Expandable and versatile
- Not as big as a full-size carry-on
3. OUTJOY Laptop Travel Backpack
BEST ANTI-THEFT BAG
If you’ve had to buy another backpack because your current one doesn’t meet the TSA requirements, you can save money by purchasing the inexpensive Outjoy Laptop Travel Backpack.
There’s a lot to love about this laptop bag. For instance, it has two padded compartments for delicate electronics.
The first one fits a 17.3-inch laptop or any Macbook whose size ranges between 13 and 15.6 inches.
The second compartment is designed for a 14-inch tablet. Both of these are fully padded and equipped with elastic straps to protect your electronics from impact and scratches.
This laptop bag has many other storage sections. These include a front pocket for keeping phones, keys, glasses, and other EDC items.
The main pocket is big enough to keep a few clothes while the side pockets are designed for water bottles and more compact stuff.
But what makes this TSA-approved laptop bag stand out is the incorporation of an anti-theft pocket on the back. This keeps important items- such as ID, wallet, and passport- safe while also giving you quick access.
The USB charging system is an excellent addition to this travel backpack as it enables you to charge your smartphone on the go.
This unit consists of a charging cable located on the interior and a charging port on the outside.
- Plenty of pockets
- Ergonomic design
- 180-degree lay-flat design
- The quality of the zipper could be better
4. Everki EKP121 Atlas Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Backpack
BEST ERGONOMIC BAG
Business travelers looking for a stylish laptop bag that is also TSA-approved will find the Everki EKP121 Atlas an excellent option.
The interiors are designed with a nice orange color that contrasts with the black exterior beautifully.
When it comes to storage, the bag fits a 17.3-inch laptop and it has a bevy of other pockets, most of which are accessible from the outside.
The bag’s exterior appears to be made of some kind of nylon material. Unfortunately, there’s no mention of the materials used in its construction. I found this to be a bit peculiar.
Usually, manufacturers are more than happy to explain what they use to make their bags, if not to brag about them.
A quick look through this bag tells you that it’s ergonomically designed to provide maximum comfort. This is an essential feature if you’re carrying a ton of heavy items.
To achieve this, the manufacturer uses a 5-point harness system that distributes weight evenly on your back and shoulders.
Furthermore, the back panel is padded and reinforced with mesh fabric to promote air circulation.
Another pleasant addition is the trolley handle pass-through feature. Located on the rear, this allows you to easily slip the backpack onto the handle of your luggage.
- Plenty of organizational pockets
- An awesome balance strap system
- 180-degree lay-flat design
- Decent quality
5. Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag
BEST FOR SAVVY TRAVELER
If backpacks are not your thing, Timbuk2 Laptop Messenger Bag is the perfect alternative.
Available in different colors, this laptop bag gives you the functionality of a backpack but in a more compact design.
The bag comes in two main sizes: medium and small, with each one designed for a specific laptop size.
To provide comfort, the messenger bag has adjustable and padded shoulder straps. You also have the freedom to remove these straps entirely, if you wish to carry it using the top handle.
Moreover, it comes with a distinct laptop compartment that is TSA-compliant. What this means is that it can be zipped open and laid flat for screening purposes.
Better yet, this special laptop sleeve is located on the back of the bag for easy retrieval.
Have I mentioned that this rear compartment also has a dedicated iPad sleeve?
This way, you’re certain that all your electronics are protected from potential impact and scratches during travel.
Timbuk2 is also very durable thanks to the high-quality build.
In fact, the manufacturer has used double and triple stitching techniques in areas that are susceptible to wear and tear.
- Durable fabric material
- The Napoleon pockets for quick access
- Durable strap
- Unable to stand up on its own
Buyer’s Guide: FAQ
What are the TSA Guidelines for Laptop Bags?
If you want to go over all the regulations for what describes a checkpoint-friendly bag, check out our post here.
In summary, the criteria for a TSA-approved laptop bag entails:
- It ought to have a specific compartment for the laptop
- This laptop-only section should be capable of being folded out flat on the x-ray belt
- Similarly, the dedicated laptop compartment shouldn’t have any snaps, zippers, or buckles. If there are any metallic components, they should be not be positioned in such a way that they impede the x-ray image.
- There also shouldn’t be any interior or exterior pockets on the laptop sleeve
- Other than a laptop, you’re not allowed to pack anything else in the laptop-only section
There are other points which although not listed in the guidelines, have been outlined on the TSA website.
For instance, one point requires travelers not to use thick bag dividers, thick emblems, and seals.
Such elements are likely to prevent the checkpoint X-ray screenings from producing crystal-clear images of the laptop.
What Kind of Laptop Bags Adhere to These Regulations?
Since the introduction of TSA guidelines, manufacturers have come up with several techniques for making checkpoint-friendly laptop bags.
One entails designing bags with unfolding mechanisms.
This ensures that the laptop section does not get in the way of the screening process.
Another approach is creating stand-alone laptop sleeves that can be detached or removed from the main bag.
Should I Buy a New Bag?
This depends on the type of laptop bag that you have.
If it already comes with a detachable laptop sleeve that does not contain any zippers, buckles or pockets, then it’s TSA-compliant.
If your current bag doesn’t meet the criteria, you can save money by purchasing the laptop sleeve alone. This way, you can continue making the most of your current laptop bag.
If you want to go through the airport security as effortlessly and quickly as possible, you should consider investing in a TSA-approved laptop bag.
This way, you don’t have to remove the laptop for it to be screened separately.
The TSA has set criteria for what qualifies as a checkpoint-friendly bag. Such a bag should have a laptop-only compartment.
The laptop sleeve should unfold completely and lay flat on the x-ray belt.
A good example of a laptop bag that meets these requirements is Yorepek Travel Backpack. It has a dedicated laptop sleeve and tons of other pockets.
It’s also reasonably-priced and comes equipped with a mesh back panel for breathability.