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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Where to go from Checkpoint Flyer

    Hi all,
    I've been using my Checkpoint Flyer with the Absolute strap for the past few years. When I travel for work I'm carrying a large 17" HP laptop with its correspondingly large power supply. When I load the bag up with the computer, power supply, and other associated goodies it can do a number on my shoulder. I was thinking of going to a backpack. It looks like my only real option for a large laptop would be the Brain Bag, which is probably what I'll do. I just wanted to double check to see if I was missing anything.

    I'll probably miss the TSA friendly nature of the Checkpoint Flyer, but that can actually be a bit more of a hassle in Europe where you typically still have to pull the laptop out.

    Thanks in advance.

    Best regards,

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    The brain bag is my most abused TB bag. It's truly a workhorse. It'll be perfect for travel with heavy equipment plus extras.

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Northern Virginia
    hi DaveJinMA!

    welcome to the forum!

    in addition to the brain bag, the smart alec backpack will also accommodate a 17" laptop in a brain cell (provides more protection) or cache (has a smaller profile and weighs less).

    i carried a 17" powerbook in a monolith (predecessor to the vertical brain cell) inside the smart alec back in the day. the smart alec was my first tom bihn bag, actually.

    you may also want to consider the western flyer or tri-star. both can accommodate a 17" laptop, and both can be carried in backpack form. if you place the your laptop in cache or brain cell as the only item in a given compartment in either bag, it also makes removing it from the bag as you go through security easier.

    the brain bag, smart alec, western flyer and tri-star are all great designs! it's a matter of which you prefer.

    as far as airports in europe, traveling through LHR and CDG, i have left my laptop in a cache, and security has not objected - just my limited experience.

    let us know if you have more questions as you decide on a backpack!

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    The Brain Bag is a true workhorse, great for laptops, papers and clothes which you can keep stealthily away in one of the pocket.

    The compression straps help with load balance (for example when removing clothes from one compartment and migrate the paperwork or lunch in their place) and ensure the bag fit in the carryon size cage.

    I have used the Brain Bag(s), I have several in different colors, in many car, plane and train trips and on city buses within the U.S.
    They have carried two laptops and accessories, a laptop and nice clothes, a laptop and casual clothes or nice and casual clothes plus loads of paperwork, the very heavy textbooks for a fun class...

    A month ago, I would have only recommended the Brain Bag but I just travelled within the U.S and in Europe with the gorgeous and versatile Tristar.

    The beauty was bought for my husband but I packed it up and sometimes carried it while he carried my Aeronaut.

    First off, it is a classy briefcase.

    Second, it has 3 compartments: laptop, tops and bottom, paperwork or work tops, work bottoms, casual clothes....

    Third, it is a stealth backpack. The back zipper hides very easy to clip and very comfortable backpack straps.

    The middle compartment is perfect for a laptop and paperwork, it is very easy to reach either in east/west, north/south or backpack mode.

    The Tristar has it all, the dressy look of the Checkpoint Flyer at work and the ease of the Brain Bag at the airport or train station.

    The three external pockets and the water bottle pocket are great for all sort of things, one being the 3-1-1.

  5. #5
    Forum Member dnarud13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Vicenza, Italy
    My BB was my EDC for years and has been my workhorse also. Equipment, clothes, various laptops, good organization in the outside pockets; it handles it all and is quite comfortable. Back when I was looking to get my first laptop backpack, I narrowed it down to the TB Monolith in an SA or the BB. I went with the BB because of it's greater, adjustable capacity and the accessibility afforded by the exterior pockets.

    I've never had an airline question it as a carryon and it always fits under the seat in front of me. After takeoff, I slide it out and up against the front of my seat to allow me to stretch my legs out under the seat in front, gives me access to my electronics and munchies during the flight and acts as a cushy leg rest. Seriously, one of the best purchases of my life.
    [2003] Brain Bag (w/Lg. A45 Packing Cube, Snake Charmer, Q-kit & 2 Brain cells) ___________________________________________ "Be excellent to each other."
    - [2010] Aeronaut45 (w/Absolute, 1lg/2sm Packing Cubes, Travel Tray & 3D clear cube)
    - - [2013] Co-Pilot (w/S.O.S. strap, Cache, Clear Org wallet, 3D mesh cube, whistle, Sm. COP's & Q-kit)
    - - - [2015] Tristar (w/Absolute, PCSB, Passport Pouch & lg Packing Cube)

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Hi All,
    Thanks all for the options and information. A black/steel/indigo Brain Bag and 2XL Cache are on their way. For now I'll use the Horizontal Freudian Slip that I have in my Checkpoint Flyer. The Checkpoint Flyer isn't going anywhere at this point. I'll still use it for local trips when I need to bring the laptop.

    I have a European trade show coming up so I'll be putting the Brain Bag through it's paces.

    Thanks again,

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