Many of you — the readers of this blog — are also readers of One Bag, One World (for those of you who don’t: OBOW is a blog featuring news, reviews, tips and tricks for light travelers.) Our Aeronaut and Western Flyer bags have been reviewed at One Bag, One World, in addition to being widely discussed in the OBOW forums.
TravelSmith recently interviewed Brad Isbell, founder of OBOW. In the interview, Isbell tells of learning how to travel light and gives advice to fellow travelers. It’s a good interview and will definitely be of interest to those of you who travel light. Click here to read the interview.
“But quickly, from what I gather, the bag [The Super Ego] has impressive build quality, lots of room, and is not as intimidatingly huge as I feared it would be. It is noticeably bigger than the ID, much like you’d put a side-by-side comparison between a MBP 17 against a MBP 15, that type of ratio. But from an aesthetic point of view, the bag’s size shouldn’t be feared at all, I am only 5′ 9″ (albeit on the heavy build side), and the bag doesn’t look disproportionate.”
Recently, Tom and Darcy flew to a select U.S. airport to consult with
TSA staff, testing Tom’s prototype of a new checkpoint friendly
Quoting the TSA:
“One project we’re currently working on that has been widely discussed
on the Internet and several blogs is a “checkpoint friendly” laptop bag.
This bag would allow our officers a clear, unobstructed view of the
laptop and allow passengers to keep the laptop in the bag during
At the airport, we were given exclusive access to an x-ray machine and
conveyor for the testing process. We tested Tom’s prototype briefcase in
every way we could, from the best to the worst case scenerio. We also
tested the Archetype case (with Darcy’s 15″ MacBook Pro inside) — an existing bag that already meets the
“checkpoint friendly” requirements. (See below for more. Note that, until the TSA launches the “checkpoint friendly” program, you still must take your laptop out of your bag when going through security.)
The results? The prototype briefcase is a success: in multiple
configurations, it provided x-ray images that met the TSA screening
Tom continues to refine the design of the as-yet unnamed prototype
checkpoint-friendly briefcase. We expect the briefcase to be available
for pre-order within weeks.
Tom also has designs in process for a “checkpoint friendly” backpack and
These bags aren’t and won’t be just checkpoint friendly: they will offer
the same tough materials and handsome, cleverly engineered design that
you’ve come to expect from a TOM BIHN bag. We think that you will also
appreciate that your TOM BIHN checkpoint friendly bag, specifically
designed to go through U.S. airport security, was also designed and
manufactured in the U.S.A. under the watchful eyes of our Seattle
That means that sometime in August/September — when the TSA officially
initiates the “checkpoint friendly” program — you can leave your laptop
in your Archetype or Soft Cell while it goes through the x-ray machine,
protecting your laptop from scratches and bumps. (Note: these bags will
meet the new TSA requirement as long as you put *only* your laptop in
the case, no accessories.)
Our experiences testing Tom’s prototype “checkpoint friendly” briefcase
revealed the potential this program offers that will save you, the
traveler, both time and hassle as well as protect your laptop.
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