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Gear Review: TSA Friendly Skooba Bags Mean Quicker Security Checks

by Megan Hill Jul 14, 2009
Sail through TSA airport security with innovative bags from Skooba Design.

I consider myself a minimalistic traveler.

Going through airport security, however, remains a juggling act: The hurried attempt to remove my shoes and jacket, cram my boarding pass and driver’s license into my back pocket, push my luggage through the scanner, and make it through the other side without holding up the line.

I become more frazzled if I’m bringing along my laptop which needs a separate bin through the scanner. When I finally collect my belongings, I scurry to a nearby bench to put myself back together.

Now there’s a product making part of this process more convenient.

In 2008, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began a new program allowing “checkpoint friendly” bags to be screened with the laptop still inside. Skooba Design has a colorful series of these laptop sleeves, manufactured so that the bag doesn’t impede the view of the computer in a scanner.

These nifty sleeves come in an array of colors (from brown corduroy to blue microsuede) and materials. There are three sizes available – Skooba Skin 1012 (small), Skooba Skin 1415 (medium) or Skooba Skin 1617 (large).

A “micro size” for smaller laptops was available but has now been discontinued and is currently on sale.

These lightweight laptop skins have handles that can be flipped out of the bag for use as a carrying case, or left inside for use as a plain sleeve.

Prices range from $29.95 to $39.95 depending on the size of the bag. Sales of overstocked or discontinued sleeves are usually available on Skooba Design’s website.

Skooba also makes a nifty checkpoint friendly briefcase and messenger bag, which are more expensive, but, depending on your needs, may be more useful than the laptop sleeves.

While these bags may save you the trouble of having to remove your laptop at airport security, you’ll still have to take out any accessories that may be in the bag, such as a power cord and external hard drives.

The Fine Print

While Skooba can’t say their products are officially approved, authorized, or endorsed by TSA, the bags do meet the technical requirements for scanning. Skooba also warns that while the bags comply with TSA’s rules, human errors in packing or security situations may make it necessary for the laptop to be removed after all.

Visit Skooba’s website.

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