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GBM InkShow: Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer



It is no secret that I love Tom Bihn bags. Heck, I like bags in general, but Tom Bihn’s hand-crafted bags have made me very picky about what I slip my Tablet PC in to and carry on my shoulder. Their latest creation, the Checkpoint Flyer, is no different. Read on to watch our video review and find out how you can win your very own Checkpoint Flyer, valued at $220!

The Checkpoint Flyer is a TSA-certified Checkpoint Friendly bag that streamlines the security process that requires all travelers to remove their laptop, place it in a bin, and pray that it remains in the bin while you wait to meet it at the other end. With Checkpoint Friendly bags like the Checkpoint Flyer, the laptop stays in the bag safe and sound, while still providing a way for the TSA to safely examine it. For frequently travelers, the Checkpoint Flyer is a no-brainer. The Checkpoint Flyer comes in three different color schemes and four sizes for that fit either 13″, 15″, or 17″ MacBooks. Check Tom Bihn’s Fit List to see what size to get for your particular Tablet PC / laptop.

The Checkpoint Flyer laptop case is also available to be purchased seperately from the Checkpoint Flyer briefcase for only $70. This is an ideal solution for those who two or more laptops. Watch our video review below on how the Checkpoint Flyer works, as well as take an inside look at other features of this bag.

Now, you can win your very own Checkpoint Flyer, valued at $220. All you have to do is watch the video review and tell us your favorite feature and how a bag like this could have helped you on a recent trip. This contest is open through Wednesday, November 26th. We’ll pick a winner on Friday, November 28th. NOTE: This contest is now over.

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  1. Gavin Miller

    11/23/2008 at 2:19 am

    Well, in my opinion the best feature is what this bag is fundamentally designed to do, protect your gear. Perfect example, flying home last week from London Stansted to Edinburgh and the guy in front of me at security is in a flurry of taking off coat, removing belt, shoes and Dell laptop from his case and then, CRASH, Dell slips from his grip onto the unforgiving airport floor. Result, one cracked Dell and one unhappy flyer. If only he'd had a Tom Bihn, and it so easily could have been me……. ;-)

  2. Richard Thomas

    11/23/2008 at 2:19 am

    This would have been a great help to my when i traveled to a conference in May. The fact that one can get through the TSA scanning without taking the laptop out of the bag is a great time-saver.

  3. Evan Brammer

    11/23/2008 at 3:06 am

    My most recent flight was when I moved my pregnant wife and 18 month old son overseas to take teaching position. Not trusting anybody but myself with my gear, I packed my full sized laptop and my TC1100 with us in our carryon. The HP Slimline went in the checked gear. :) Going through five different airports to arrive at our final destination, I became a pro with the car seat, the two computer bags, the snack bag, the diaper bag, and of course, my son. Still, having to fish around for both computers (and the portable DVD player) at every checkpoint was such a hastle and I surely annoyed some other passengers. If only I could have flipped that Tom Bihn Flyer open and there lies my laptop, ready for inspection, I could have made a much easier time of it for everyone… especially those waiting in line behind me.

  4. MiKeN

    11/23/2008 at 3:52 am

    I would have to say that my favourite feature of this bag are all the various compartments made available. You can easily store all your cables in the large zipper pockets, store papers (in a dedicated cover/case thingy), a dedicated bag that can be clipped on the inside to store anything small (as well as other organizer bags), and the laptop carrier (which can be easily seen through by airport security.

    If I had this bag it could basically just help me get through the airport security much faster. Plus I would have everything organized in one bag so I have no worries of leaving anything behind.

  5. Mark P

    11/23/2008 at 5:45 am

    Since I now live in Jordan, but travel to the US at least a couple of times a year, this bag would be ideal. My most recent trip was to the WIPTE conference. The flight itself is at least 15 hours (just to NYC) and this one added another leg to get to Indianapolis. Since everyone is dragging after a trip like that, I try to pack as light as I can, keeping things to one bag roughly the size of this one. The problem arises when I have to take out the computer AND the zip lock bag of toiletries. I always bring a change of essentials–and they usually end up falling out, much to my embarassment. With this bag, not only would I gain a bit of space since the comptuer is outside the main bag (good for the additional snacks we now need to carry), the outer pocket of the smaller bag looks to be ideal for that quart size zip lock bag–meaning I wouldn't have to open my bag and expose my underwear to the world at all! That's probably a win-win…

  6. karissa

    11/23/2008 at 6:39 am

    I really love that you don't have to take your lap top you can just open the bag and send it in! Everything just seems really sturdy and it seems like it would be a light bag…well of course depending on what you end up putting in it.
    great video. thanks!

  7. Mike B

    11/23/2008 at 6:57 am

    The thing I like most about this bag is that my tablet could stay outside of the main compartment of the bag, keeping it separate from the rest of my stuff. On my last flight my carry on was a standard messenger bag with my tablet in a laptop sleeve. That worked well because I could just take out tablet and sleeve together, so my computer remained protected, but after I got through security, the space where my tablet used to be in my bag had dissapeared. My spare change of clothes which I had nicely folded to sit against my tablet had all gotten bunched at the bottom of the bag and I was left fumbling to try and jam my tablet back into my bag. In the end I had to sit down and reorganize my bag to get everything back in. If I was running late that would have been a big problem, and it all could have been avoided by having a bag like this.

  8. Joe

    11/23/2008 at 7:54 am

    I think that my favorite feature of this case is that its really two cases in one- a slim case for traveling light, and the full Case for when more accessories are needed.

    This would've been helpful for my last vacation, during which time I was already running late and held up at the security gate, then barely made my flight.

  9. Emre Ozdogan

    11/23/2008 at 8:05 am

    I will definitely love it. I am traveling every 4 weeks for national roll over project. I stay in the security check almost 10 minutes. And during the security scanning, they asked me to take out all electronic equipment. And I forgot my ipod.
    Lost 150$. I think I should have this bag. Otherwise I will loose something else soon or later.

  10. gorkon

    11/23/2008 at 8:28 am

    I like the fact you don't have to remove the laptop from the bag PLUS it also is very much like 2 bags in one. One other feature I love is the fact Tom Bihn doesn't ship with a strap and allows you to order the strap YOU want.

    On my recent trip, this would have helped me keep better organized as I went through security as I would not have to remove my laptop and I would have the room for all the other stuff I carry along. My Eee PC would ALSO fit in this bag. Also, the waterproof zippers would keep everything nice and dry.

  11. Bruce

    11/23/2008 at 9:33 am

    The concept of the whole bag staying together with the Tablet PC staying inside the bag is great. I love my Tom Bihn Brain Bag and Horizontal Brain Cell, but I hate removing the Tablet when going through security. With jacket, bag, Tablet, shoes, etc. all going through separately, then me getting stuck on one side of security while my computer is on the other side is just plain annoying, not to mention stressful as I try to keep an eye on my precious computer. Having everything together would have been peace of mind not just on my last trip, but on every trip. I always bring my computer because either I need it for business or else I bring it along for pleasure (hobby) – working on my digital photos.

  12. Philip Ferris

    11/23/2008 at 11:30 am

    The best feature for me is it's main one; that I can put the laptop through while still in it's bag is a mighty plus.

    I travel from a small rural airport, on an economy airline. Working for a charity I need to take advantage of the cheapest prices so I only carry hand luggage. You can imagine how I crammed my bag's inner compartment; I reach security and have to struggle to get my laptop out but that is only half the battle. At the other end I have to juggle everything, till I can find somewhere to rest and proceed to strain to get it back into a bag, the content of which will have become a jumbled mess.

    I see the Checkpoint Flyer as a major boon to both my arm muscles and my stress levels.

  13. Mark Polino

    11/24/2008 at 4:52 am

    I have to pick one thing? I've been on a plane more than 50 times this year so far one thing I really like is that it would eliminate a bin at security. Currently, my t60p takes up a whole bin, my shoes, liquids and Samsung Q1 take up another. Now that it's getting cold, the coat is eating up a third bin and that before any luggage goes on the belt! Based on that I can see, I might even be able to leave both the Q1 and the T60p in the bag and get down to one bin!

    One bin! WooHoo! With the smaller laptop bag, I could leave part of the bag in the hotel while I meet with clients during the day. I'd have less crap to carry with me each day too!


  14. Brad_Abernathy

    11/24/2008 at 5:02 am

    Last week travelling out of D.C (Dulles) I could've used this. I carry a laptop and several mobile phones with me when traveling and everything dropped out of my current bag causing an embarassment and delay to those behind me. I love the seperate storage compartments that can nicely hold accessories and keep them organized when trying to get through security. This is, of course, in addition to emptying pockets, taking off belts and everything else involved in passing airport security. Great product, it appears.

    I would love to win one. If not, this will definitely be on my wish list for the holidays.

  15. RobertMiller

    11/24/2008 at 5:02 am

    I currently have a 17-inch laptop and use a backpack to carry it around. Just having the ability to flip open the bag for security would be a huge time-saver. Further, I would not need to worry about what happens to the notebook those couple of times I am through the security scanner and I watch in horror as they back-up the scanner belt to the point that my notebook is exposed outside the scanning tunnel.

  16. Bob Hodgen

    11/24/2008 at 5:04 am

    I travel for a living and go through security checkpoints 3 to 4 times a week. This bag gould save a lot of time and trouble. I once dropped a Sony Vaio getting it out of my bag at security at O'hare.


  17. Richard B

    11/24/2008 at 7:21 am

    Traveling to Omaha from Jacksonbville NC a couple of weeks ago, this bag would have been ideal. In Jacksonville, you have to get everything ready – out and in the bins – before you enter the security check zone. So you need to carry the bines, plus tour bags from a table about 10 feet away to the x ray machine.

  18. Frivk

    11/24/2008 at 9:22 am

    I travel back and forth to the middle east every other month. I have to go through numerous check points. On one trip I had just taken my Motion computer out of my bag and watched it go through the xray machine. On the other side it came out cracked. No one knows why. I suspect something inside the machine hit it. If I had a Bin bag I could have avoided the hassle.

  19. Eugene Lee

    11/25/2008 at 2:06 am

    The best feature of this bag, besides its ability to get through security with my laptop in one piece, is the quality of the workmanship and materials that is described. As a university student, I need that kind of workhorse fit and finish to get through the day, biking and sprinting to class! Plus, living on the east coast but going to school on the west coast means that I fly often.

  20. Dave

    11/25/2008 at 2:22 am

    I currently have my laptop is a sleeve inside a larger bag. While I was able to have the laptop scanned while in the sleeve, putting it back in the bag was difficult because of the the other contents of my bag had shifted around preventing easy re insertion of the sleeve and reorganizing at the pick up point . I could have left the sleeve in place, but that would have required me to send my laptop through the scanner the old fashioned way ( unprotected). The Checkpoint Flyer would have had me on my way in no time !

  21. Peter

    11/25/2008 at 2:54 am

    I have wanted a Tom Bihn bag for a while. This would be great because I plan on traveling alot for the next year. The best part of the video is seeing all the pockets and storage. I also like the fact that there is no wasted space. This would be awesome to win because I am a bag nut!

  22. Mario Filipe

    11/25/2008 at 3:42 am

    I must say that I am very impressed by the Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer. I'm a researcher in Developmental Biology, so occasionally (not as often as I would like, actually) I have to fly abroad to attend conferences and seminars, and the occasional visit to another lab for some collaborative work.
    Until now I rarely took my HP Tablet with me, not so much because of checkpoints but because I find it too much of a hassle. I always carry with me a bunch of papers, a change of clothes (you never know where your luggage might end up), presentation posters, lab notebooks, etc, and I know that I always come back with even more stuff. This, together with the fear that I might leave my hard-earned and much cared for tablet on some airport bathroom (and unfortunately I have an history of forgetting important stuff on airport bathrooms, sigh!), have always dissuaded me from taking my computer on these trips. So I just take a usb pen with my data and presentations which usually results in having to hunt around for a computer available to make those last minute powerpoint changes or to share data with someone.
    Coming back to the Tom Bihn bag, finding this inkshow on the GBM blog is really a fortunate case of serendipity, (dare I say an epiphany) as it would solve so many of my problems. I especially appreciate its modularity and versatility. I can see myself carrying all my papers and data, keeping it all organized and easy to reach, and still have room to throw in a change of clothes and, best of all, I could take my tablet with me a be reassured that I wouldn't risk losing it thanks to the laptop case (which also looks sturdy enough to safely withstand the occasional bump). And that would be the end of all that stress of trying to find a computer wherever I go, and driving myself crazy doing so.
    The design of this Tom Bihn's bag makes it convenient not only for those long trips but also on my day-to-day commutes. To be able to unbuckle the laptop case and easily take out my computer or simply unzip the bag and reach for my (paper) notebook and be able to prepare my experiments or continue to work on that paper that's due next week while on the bus or on the train would greatly improve my productivity (and still have room for my mp3 player and a novel to read and relax on my way home, because all work and no play …)
    So, to conclude, even if I don't win the Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer, let me say thanks to GBM for introducing me to such a usefull bag, which I'm sure will make my everyday life a lot easier.

  23. princess

    11/25/2008 at 5:34 am

    I find the huge space very good and the best feature.The little pouches are great for a girl like me, because you cannot have enough room and pouches to store things.
    This bag would have been the only bag I needed on my last flight. I flew to my friend and so I had to take several bags with me because I had to see that my company notebook does not get damaged and could only carry it in a bag alone.Unfortunately I had to take my bag because my company does not give me one.So my own notebook and my other things like external harddrive etc where in an other bag. At the end I had some bad scratches in it because I had to rush through the security check and had to hurry up.The next time I will have to fly more often because I will visit my family during the holidays but have to take my work, that means my company notebook again with me.:-/

  24. Sharla Lane

    11/25/2008 at 5:55 am

    I like that you can separate your laptop from documents very quickly. This bag could have allowed me to bring more food on the plane with me so i was not hungy for hours because airline budget cuts left me peanutless! It looks like a pair of jeans could fit in there too so I don't have to pay the checked baggage fee. Hmmmm…

  25. Ken

    11/25/2008 at 7:05 am

    Not only the check point will be faster, the bag looks pretty sleek and the design is just interesting. What I liked the most about this bag is the design of pockets and compartments. I've never seen a bag like this, at least for laptop purposes. It would be nice to have one for time sensitive business trips.

  26. Rich F

    11/25/2008 at 8:22 am

    On a recent trip, I traveled with my boss. She had no computer, and so she zipped through security and waited for me. I, oth the other hand, had a laptop with many cables, adapters, supplies, etc. and so was bogged down going through security, especially after all these cables were scattered haphazardly through my bag and spilled throughout the area. Fortunately, my boss was patient, but I felt very uncomfortable holding up our trip and casuing the boss to wait for my long trip through security. Having the Tom Bihn bag, with the ability to hold all this equipment and zip through security, would have made my (and our) trip through security a whole lot quicker and less stressful.

  27. Jane

    11/25/2008 at 8:53 am

    That was a thorough review. Random aside: someone forget to remove the template "filler-text" at ~ 9.26s – 9.30s. :) The biggest thing for me is those little pouches the bag comes with, weirdly enough. In my laptop bag buying experience, space for accessories is not emphasized enough and I like that this bag by Tom Bihn is built to be your all-in-one business travel bag. I haven't made an airline trip in years, but I am planning on an international flight and the security of my laptop is definitely worth the price tag of this bag.

  28. mobileman

    11/25/2008 at 9:56 am

    This bag would be perfect for me as a student on the move. The many compartments would save another bag, because I could take my lecture notes and some books with me in one bag. But the best feature for me is the double grip so I would not loose again the University library books, which I had lend to learn during the holidays.This happened a few weeks ago when I was flying from University back home and there was such a rush at the airport and especially at the airport security check . I had to take by tablet out and doing that I leand the book bag against a near wall and so I totally forgot it.
    So with this bag this would not happen again because then I would not have to take my tablet out and would have to take both grips in my hand.Problem solved and do not have to pay any library books.

  29. Dan

    11/26/2008 at 2:38 am

    When you're busy flying from one place to another, the most valuable thing that your gear can offer is peace of mind. That's true for computers, your bag, and even your travel arrangements. With the Checkpoint Flyer, from the time you pack your bags until you're at your destination, you don't have to take your computer out at all – easily its best feature. I pack my bags full enough that something always seems to fall out when I remove my computer to get through security. In fact, I recently went on an international trip and almost left my passport behind because it fell out while taking out my computer. Imagine how bad that would have been! Bags like this give you that little extra piece of mind that's invaluable on busy trips. Way to go Tom Bihn!

  30. Barbara Baker

    11/26/2008 at 4:34 am

    I really love the security features…how you can actually keep your PC connected to the rest of the bag while going through check points in airports. I have a friend (a dear friend) that travels so much as she is a paralegal. This would be wonderful for her…lots of room for her documents for cases.

    Thanks for the review. Love the product.
    barbarabaker :)

  31. John

    11/26/2008 at 5:23 am

    Tom Bihn products are great! I have a Brain Cell and Absolute Strap, and they see heavy use all the time. When I saw the Checkpoint Flyer, I knew Tom had a winner. I definitely would have been useful for me recently when I was going to a big conference, and got delayed in the security line watching all the folks digging out their laptops while struggling with their carry-ons. If everyone had a CPF, it would have gone a lot faster!

  32. Renee Roberts

    11/26/2008 at 5:49 am

    I love the fact that the bag just opens flat to go in the x-ray, with my not having to take my tablet out. I am always paranoid that it will get stolen before I make it through. Recently, I was deployed to Houston for Hurricane Ike (I provide medical care during disasters, as a part of the National Disaster Medical System). Its bad enough that they take EVERYTHING out of our ready packs (I mean everything), but having the electronics in a separate bag that doesn't need to have everything removed would have been FANTASTIC!

  33. Luis Alberto Reyes

    11/26/2008 at 6:00 am

    It looks to be the perfect size in a bag, at the moment I am looking for a bag and it looks like this would fit. Big plus is having the laptop on the outside for easy access; I could have used this feature because sometimes I just take out my laptop and leave my bag in the car, now with this bag it is more convenient.

  34. mnichols

    11/26/2008 at 6:27 am

    I flew 100k actual miles last year. Now 80 tmes year I won't have to remove my laptop. Worried about space in this bag but after your video I am convinced.

  35. Bob Patterson

    11/26/2008 at 7:45 am

    Great review of a great product! I am a Tom Bihn loyalist… their products are just amazing. I really like the ingenious "flip out and go" feature for security checkpoint the laptop while not compromising the protection for your laptop on the run.

    I'll throw you a different example of where this would have made my life easier recently: a vacation trip. I always have a laptop with me (for work or fun), and we had to do the "checkpoint shuffle" with two kids and all of our carry-on bags isince we weren't checking luggage. Since I don't have a third hand, we're always a comical mess at the ceckpoint trying to get all of our stuff in the buckets and trying not to slow up the people behind us. This bag would absolutely take one extra step out of an already frustrating process, especially since carry-on luggage has become more popular to avoid the fees for checked bags!

  36. Harry Y

    11/26/2008 at 11:01 am

    A lot of things I like on the bag – the Xray possible section of the bag is very handy, and I love how it can just be taken apart…just like that. I also love how the bag efficiently makes use of all of its space…no extra waste.

    I work for John Deere, and am the Senior Project Manager, forcing me to travel (often out of country) maybe once or twice a month. This bag would make my traveling a lot easier.

  37. Andrew

    11/27/2008 at 4:30 am

    My favorite feature is the same as most people's: The fact that you can go through airport security without taking your laptop out of the bag saves a lot of time and avoids the problems that arise from separating your laptop from its bag. (As long as the security people know that the bag can be directly X-rayed, and don't insist that you take your laptop out anyway.) Fortunately, I haven't had to fly recently.

  38. Booji R

    11/27/2008 at 5:05 am

    After coming back from a three month "hiatus" which involved a lot of international travel, I can compeltely understand how the Tom Bihn checkpoint flyer bag will guarantee peace of mind and your sanity! Going through TSA is probably one of the most annoyng processes of flying these days. After days of continuous travel, jet lag, and pure fatigue, I have forgotten on more than one ocassion that I was even carrying my laptop on my person and have been yelled at by TSA officers on numerous occassions. Moreover, having to deal with the hassle of taking the computer out every time will certainly be avoided with this case. Although these are all great features, I think the best part is the fact that the bag can hold so much. Now, never again will I be without my iphone/ipod charger or the 400 odd other gadgets, power cables, adaptors, etc. that I carry with me when I travel.

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