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  1. #1
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    TSA Friendly Packing Cube?

    Hi,
    I was watching the video for the Checkpoint Flyer, and at one point the reviewer pulled out what looked like the clear quarter packing cube, filled it with toiletries and stated that it met TSA regulations. On the page for the cube, a commenter says that it won't pass TSA inspection, and now I'm confused. Is the cube shown on the video the clear quarter packing cube, or is it a different cube that's included with the Checkpoint Flyer? I'm about to order a Checkpoint Flyer and I'm trying to decide which accessories to go with it, and I'm thinking that if I could, I'd rather use the cube than a ziplock bag.

  2. #2
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    while the clear quarter packing cube may not meet the TSA requirements, i have taken the clear quarter packing cube with my liquids (and other toiletries) through security at Washington Dulles (IAD) and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) without issue this past October.

    the response you get may depend on the security officer inspecting your belogings.

    i'm not sure what the TSA requirements are - at the very least, they require liquids to be no more than 3oz per container and the containers must all fit in a 1 litre clear bag. i think the capacity of the clear quarter packing cube is more than 1 litre. can someone confirm?

    thx,
    -m

  3. #3
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Hi uhoo!

    The Clear Quarter Packing Cube is what is pictured in that review. It does not come with the Checkpoint Flyer and does not meet TSA requirements.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  4. #4
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    I agree that I found that point in the video confusing, since I don't believe that the clear quarter packing cube meets the standards for the TSA. It's capacity is much larger than the Ziploc bag I use for liquid/gel toiletries. I use the clear quarter packing cube for small electronic devices, such as laptop disk drives, if I'm carrying them. And I usually pull these out, too, just to speed clearing security. It's easy with the packing cube, and everything is visible.

  5. #5
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    I have two clear quarter packing cubes and use one for my toiletries when I travel. I keep my liquids in an Eagle Creek 1 liter/quart zip plastic bag that does meet TSA requirements for holding liquids.

    The 1 liter/quart bag fits in on one side of the Clear Quarter Packing Cube and makes it easy to pull out and place in the security bin. I just keep the Clear Quarter Packing cube in an easy to access pocket of my bag or just keep the Eagle Creek 1 liter/quart bag easily accessible.

    The Eagle Creek 1 liter/quart bag is nice as its size is clearly labeled on the corner and provides protection in case one of your liquid containers spills.

    I use my second Clear Quarter Packing Cube for my electronic accessories and other odds 'n' ends, such as power brick, Apple AirPort Express, Ethernet cable, USB cable, Kensington lock, and such.

    (I realize 1 liter does NOT equal 1 quart, this is how Eagle Creek refers to the size and labels the bag. I assume it is to help clarify its size to anyone outside the US.)

  6. #6
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    from my experience your toiletries cube does not have to be clear.

    i flew to 6 domestic destinations for work from august to december last year all with one of these in my carry-on (but in a gun-metal gray color):

    http://www.ebags.com/ebags/pack_it_f...?modelid=54638

    you cant see anything through here. i do have some liquids and gels in there - all under the volume that is allowed, but you still cant see them. i have a small thing of shaving cream foam, a small bottle of mouthwash, a small tube of toothpaste, a cologne bottle.

    i have not once been told to even take it out of my carry-on. in fact one time the screener looked over at me and said 'jean-paul gaultier huh' (he saw my gaultier bottle on the scanner, it is a unique shape. it is also cologne with liquid in it)

    btw that packitflat bag from ebags is excellent. makes sliding it into a carry on bag very nice.

    im about to order a superego and brain cell to go with my eagle-creek carry on wheelie to get set for my 26 business trips this year
    Last edited by puddin; 01-07-2009 at 05:45 PM.

  7. #7
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    That ebags Pack-it Flat toiletry bag is a nice find.

    Looking at the TSA 3-1-1 liquids site, it doesn't say anything about the liquids bag having to be clear, so puddin is correct on that.

    I think the issue with the Clear Quarter Packing Cube is that is it bigger than a 1 quart bag and therefore your carry-on liquids would need to be in a separate 1 quart bag.

    I just keep my carry-on liquids in a 1 quart bag that I put in one side of the Clear Quarter Packing Cube to keep my toiletries together in one bag.

    The TSA wants the liquids in a 1 quart separated from other items so that they can scan it well and see things clearly on their x-ray monitors.

  8. #8
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    Russell, directly quoted from the TSA site:
    "3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3 ounce bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, CLEAR, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3 oz. container size is a security measure."

    So the bag does have to be clear. I recently did exactly what you suggested, putting 2 bags in the clear quarter packing cube (one for me, one for my husband. I used the eagle creek bags as well. Going through (Oakland) the TSA asked me how many people I was traveling with (there were actually 4 of us, only 2 liquid bags), and when she verified that, I was allowed to pass through. I did exactly what you said, pulled the bags out and then quickly zipped it all back together. It worked great. I'm looking forward to Tom's waterproof bag, though. If it fits in that easily, it will be perfect. It should have some kind of a hook on it, so that it can be attached to the bag as well.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seesul View Post
    Russell, directly quoted from the TSA site:
    "3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3 ounce bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, CLEAR, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3 oz. container size is a security measure."
    speaking from my experiences:

    last fall i traveled from newark airport to minneapolis, portland, st. louis, san diego and chicago. each time with the non see-thru ebags pack it flat toiletries bag in my carry-on. no airport said anything.

    in fact at one airport the guy standing next to the guy looking at the machine screen said 'jean-paul gaultier huh' - commenting on my cologne bottle which is a distinctive shape. nobody said anything about the liquid being inside my carry-on, inside a non-clear bag

    although for los angeles my trip is possibly being extended, and i think i might need a full-sized suitcase to check in, so may not be able to test LAX with my carry-on.

    i'll be flying next week to los angeles, then phoenix then back to newark. and then in march to houston and denver. ill see what they think of my non-clear toiletries bag and report back.
    Last edited by puddin; 02-06-2009 at 02:03 PM.

  10. #10
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    Seesul is right about the TSA regulations--liquids and gels have to be in a clear, zip top 1 quart sized bag which is removed from the carry-on and put separately in the bin. Does that mean that you will get stopped if you don't comply? Not necessarily. I'm sure TSA screening all day long day after day is pretty boring, and coming down hard on rule violations which really aren't related to safety isn't everyone's idea of a fun job. So a lot of times you will get away with non-compliance. But consider it a risk that you are calculatedly running. As long as you don't mind losing the contents of the bag if you happen to run into a "by the book" TSA screener, you're fine to use opaque bags, larger than one quart bags, bags left in carry-on, items larger than 3 ounces, etc.

    I travel quite a lot--probably three or four flights a month, on average. I've seen everything from completely lax enforcement (maybe with a "don't do it again next time") to hardnosed hyper-technical enforcement of the rules (tossing a 4 ounce item in somebody's not over full liquids bag; insisting on throwing away a tube of toothpaste tightly rolled and containing far less than an ounce, because the tube size was over 3 ounces, etc.)

    I'm hoping that the rumor that the whole liquids and gels thing is going to get scrapped later this year is true. Pain in the neck and completely unnecessary, in my opinion.
    Last edited by flitcraft; 02-06-2009 at 07:29 PM. Reason: named wrong poster

  11. #11
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    puddin--from my experience it depends on the mood of the agent you encounter. Some follow it very seriously, some don't. I've even seen bins where people have had to dump stuff. I'm happy you've had such good luck, but I follow what they say, just to avoid any hassle. I was really surprised to get stopped with the two bags, when my husband was right behind me, that had never happened before and I usually put all of the bags in one bin, along with the cube, just to make it easier to repack. What was funny, was when I had 2 and she doubted me, and asked me how many were in the party and I said four. The other odd thing was that it was the first time that the one inspecting the 3-1-1's was on the other side of the viewing tunnel, so it was easy to be separated. I've always had it checked before going through the tunnel, and we were all together. Supposedly, they are working on a solution that will eliminate the liquid problem all together. I really hope so.


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