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Travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

Checkpoint Flyer - Tom Bihn Bags for Apple iPad and iPad mini
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The Checkpoint Flyer briefcase is the result of an intensive, five-month design challenge presented by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration): design a laptop bag that offers airport security X-ray screeners a clear view of the laptop while it is still inside the laptop bag.

Previously, the TSA required that all passengers traveling with a laptop computer must remove their laptop from their bag and place it in a bin for screening. To help streamline the security process and better protect your laptop, the TSA sought bags that offer a clear and unobstructed image of the laptop when undergoing X-ray screening, yet are still protective. Designs that meet this objective enable TSA to allow laptops to remain in bags for screening.

Easy enough, right? Sleeves and bags with no pockets and no significant metal components (including our Cache) instantly met the TSA "checkpoint friendly" requirements. The true challenge was for Tom to design a "checkpoint friendly" bag that

1) meets the TSA requirements for X-ray screening, allowing you to keep your laptop in your bag when you send it through the X-ray machine.

The Checkpoint Flyer briefcase takes less than three seconds to be ready to go through the X-ray machine.
2) provides more protection for your laptop than a simple padded sleeve would.
The Checkpoint Flyer's laptop compartment is made of high-density molded foam and offers protection for your laptop from all sides and all angles.
3) offers a multitude of organizational pockets.
The Checkpoint Flyer has more than 10 organizational pockets. Organization isn't important just to you: the TSA wants items like power supply and cables neatly organized inside your bag.

The Checkpoint Flyer Laptop Case — available in three sizes designed specifically for the Apple 15" MacBook Pro, 13" MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, and 17" MacBook Pro — is what houses and protects your laptop in our Checkpoint Flyer briefcase. The Laptop Case clips securely to the Checkpoint Flyer briefcase, but it is removable.

One Checkpoint Flyer Laptop Case comes with the Checkpoint Flyer briefcase: at the time you purchase the Checkpoint Flyer briefcase, you choose the size of Checkpoint Flyer Laptop Case you need for your laptop. We offer the Checkpoint Flyer Laptop Case for separate purchase for those who carry two or more different laptops (though one at a time), so they can have several sizes of Laptop Case to switch between, depending on which laptop they take.

The Checkpoint Flyer Laptop Case is made of 8 mm thick thermo-molded closed cell foam, which entirely encases your laptop, padding it on all sides and protecting your laptop from bumps, scratches, and scrapes; this unique design completely protects your laptop from the zipper closure as well. It closes with a #8 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zipper — while not "waterproof" (unless the seams of a bag are RF welded or heat sealed, it's not completely waterproof), the Checkpoint Flyer Laptop Case is one of our most weather-resistant cases. The Checkpoint Flyer Laptop Case can be carried on its own (it has a comfortable PORON® foam padded handle) but most folks will clip it securely to their Checkpoint Flyer "checkpoint friendly" briefcase.

The front flap of the Checkpoint Flyer has two contoured pockets that zip with #8 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zippers. One pocket is slightly larger than the other, and both pockets each have one O-ring inside. The larger pocket can fit a small paperback book, while the smaller pocket is perfect for storing a power supply and cell phone or other similar-size items.

Under the front flap and behind the laptop compartment are two horizontal zipper pockets. These pockets are 10" wide and 5" tall. These pockets are useful for storing more small items, like pens, a travel mouse, cords/cables. Each pocket has one O-ring.

The main compartment of the Checkpoint Flyer zips open/shut with a #10 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent zipper. The main compartment zipper is directly behind the handles and the front flap, offering you easy access to the compartment without having to unclip the flap or push aside the handles. The main compartment features two O-rings and two large organizational pouches (made of our 200 denier Japanese Dyneema®/nylon ripstop fabric), finished with bright silver tape so the tops of the pouches are easy to find. These pouches will help you organize more computer peripherals, and/or clothing for an overnight trip. Otherwise, the main compartment is wide, open, and ready for our Horizontal Freudian Slip or Western Flyer Packing Cubes. One Large or two Small Western Flyer-sized Packing Cubes will fit in the main compartment of the Checkpoint Flyer, transforming it into the perfect overnight travel bag.

Two snug, open-top mesh pockets on the left and the right side of the Checkpoint Flyer are useful for pens or a small cell phone. The back of the Checkpoint Flyer features a unique design that offers two pockets — one for magazines/newspapers and one for your boarding pass or map — as well as a zip-open slot that allows you to slip the bag over the handle of your rolling luggage.

The Checkpoint Flyer is made of our U.S. made, 1050 denier, high tenacity ballistic nylon and 500 denier Cordura® nylon fabric.


U.S. made high tenacity 1050 denier ballistic nylon and 500 denier Cordura® exterior
200 denier Dyneema®/nylon ripstop fabric lining
Tough Duraflex® and Nexus buckles
#10 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent coil zipper on main compartment
#8 YKK Aquaguard® water-repellent coil zippers on pockets


Made in USA
100% finished seams


Dimensions: 18.25" x 12.75" x 7" / 465 x 325 x 180 mm
Weight: 2 lb 10 oz / 1190 grams
Volume (not including laptop case): 1375 cubic inches / 22.5 liters (ASTM Standard Measure)
17" MacBookPro Case Dimensions: 15.4 × 10.4 × 1.7 inches (391 × 264 × 42 mm)

Videos and Customer Photos

Watch more videos on our YouTube channel.

See more customer photos on Flickr.

External Reviews

As reviewed by Gadling:
"As I mentioned earlier, the quality of the bag is simply amazing. I always considered myself a bit of a laptop bag "snob", and have regularly purchased expensive bags to protect my goodies, but none of them are as well designed and well made as the Checkpoint Flyer. All the zippers on the top are splashproof thanks to special YKK zippers. The material feels bulletproof and I absolutely adore the color combination (I have the crimson/black version)." Read the full review.

As reviewed by CNET:
"We had a hearty skepticism about whether the bag could actually breeze through a checkpoint--after all, an individual TSA agent can still ask you to remove your laptop for any reason--but were pleasantly surprised when we cruised through the checkpoints at both ends of a recent trip. We were even more pleased that the bag had plenty of room for our 13-inch laptop, camera and other peripherals, cell phone, power cords, and notepad--basically everything we needed for an overnight business trip." Read the full review.

As reviewed by unclutterer:
"The fabric on the bag is very sturdy and the stitching is impeccable. My bag showed zero signs of wear after my trips. Yes, it’s pricey. But, I sincerely believe you’re getting what you pay for." Read the full review.

Want to read more reviews? Here's our complete list of external bag reviews.

people who have the Checkpoint Flyer say:

Continuing Adventures with the Checkpoint Flyer
"I kept waiting for drama to happen on my trip. I figured that somewhere along my many stops that I'd run into a TSA employee that would give me a hassle about putting the bag through or something. So far, it has been a total non-event. It simply sailed through the x-ray machine every time. The biggest drama came when I initially left Muskegon. The screener held up the bag and said "Where did you get this? I have to have one!"" — posted by jehingr

Read more customer reviews posted in our forums.

Post your review in our Forums, on our Facebook page, or email it to us.

Checkpoint Flyer

This design has been retired: that means we don’t make it anymore. While it was once much appreciated, it has decided to step aside so that there’s room for the new designs that we are continually developing. Stay tuned…

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Absolute Shoulder Strap
Absolute Shoulder Strap: $30.00
Packing Cubes
Packing Cubes: $19.00 - $22.00
Clear Organizer Pouches
Clear Organizer Pouches: $9.00 - $16.00
Horizontal Freudian Slip
Horizontal Freudian Slip: $50.00
Cord Zipper Pulls
Cord Zipper Pulls: $3.00 - $5.00
Checkpoint Flyer Laptop Case
Checkpoint Flyer Laptop Case: $70.00
Tri-Star: $315.00
3D Clear Organizer Cube
3D Clear Organizer Cube: $30.00
Cadet: $185.00