This week, Belkin announced their newest laptop bag. The Flythru bag features a clear window and a zipper that unfolds the bag in the middle, allowing it to pass through the checkpoint without removing your laptop.
Back in May I posted about an impending change from the TSA to allow some laptops to be screened without having to remove them from their bags, like the rest of the modern world does it. Well, today’s the day.
The TSA even offers some “helpful” comments about the new policy, including this gem:
Given TSA’s use of random screening protocols, TSA reserves the right to re-screen any bag or laptop regardless of the design of the bag.
If you’re shopping for a new bag anytime soon I’d definitely consider a model that meets these specifications, but I still haven’t seen one that is actually nice and meets the requirements.
Tumi have announced a new lineup of luggage in polycarbonate. Their new T-Tech cases come in 4 sizes and 3 different colors.
The cases all have some typical Tumi innovations like a foot break and special twisted zippers that fit in a TSA approved lock.
They start at $375 for a 20″ carry on up to $495 for a 28″ wheeled packing case.
File this one in the "I want it" folder. This morning, Live Luggage announced the availability of their PA (Power Assist) series luggage.
These hard frame suitcases have motors built into the wheels, and force/tilt sensors integrated in the handle which means you can drag your crap through the airport with very little effort.
The whole concept would have been fantastic, if it weren’t for the ludicrous price; $1365 (plus an additional $147 to ship it to the US).
The features and specifications of the case:
- Flat motor technology built into the wheels
- Stress frame technology
- TSA approved combination lock
- Anti Gravity handle transferring 85% of the weight to the wheels
- Force sensors and tilt switches
- Built-in umbrella
But to me, the price isn’t the biggest hurdle; it’s the fear of checking a $1500 suitcase, knowing that there is a 50% chance the airline will wreck it. I’d also be worried of forgetting to charge my case…
Source: Live Luggage PA series
The process of removing a laptop from the bag each time it has to pass through the x-ray machine increases the risk of the laptop getting dropped or stolen and is otherwise rather annoying. So the concept of a TSA-friendly laptop case that doesn’t require the laptop to come out of the bag is pretty appealing. Two vendors, Targus and Skooba, are on the case, working with the TSA on designs that are supposed to obviate the removal need at the checkpoints.
There’s just one problem with the whole thing – the TSA isn’t actually going to be specifically approving designs. So, unlike the TSA-approved lock program that specifies exactly what it takes and includes a label to indicate that the TSA actually approves, these new bags will be made “according to guidelines that the TSA publishes.” On the plus side, the vendors are actually working with the TSA to ensure that their products will be OK before they start marketing them. On the down side the designs in question are basically clamshells that open to have the laptop laying flat on the x-ray belt, without the protection of a bin surrounding it when the suitcase behind it comes rolling down the belt.
Obviously the manufacturers are hugely excited by this development:
“This could be huge,” said Michael Hess, CEO of Skooba, of Rochester, N.Y. “Anything that speeds up the process and reduces the burden on travelers and screeners will improve the deteriorating travel situation.”
Surprisingly he doesn’t mention that he expects huge revenue from folks buying new bags.
Anything that improves the screening process is a welcome development, but this seems more focused on driving private business than on actually making things work better.
Summer is finally getting closer, and many of the gadgets that keep us entertained during the boring weekday trips will now be coming to more fun locations to keep us entertained instead of keeping us awake.
The thing about more fun locations is that they are often not the friendliest to our gadgets. During the week, the worst abuse may be getting thrown into the x-ray bin at the TSA line, but when you are on vacation your poor gadgets get wet, covered in sand, food or worse.
My iPod classic (160Gb) cost $399, and I’m overly protective of it. Unlike many of my gadgets, I’m always fully aware that iPods are not the most rigid of gadgets and I just know that the hard disk is one drop away from death.
So, today I’m going to show off a product that promises to protect your cherished iPod from pretty much anything you could possibly throw (or drop) at it. The Otterbox iPod classic Armor™ series case is pretty much the toughest case you can get for your iPod. It is waterproof to 3 feet and the hard plastic body will protect it from the worst of accidents.
But the best part of this case is that it does all this while still offering headphone access as well as full access to the scroll wheel!
Sure, it isn’t exactly "high tech", but since you can’t carry tech along without some decent luggage I figured I’d share this news anyway…
Many Costco stores have started selling a limited selection of Tumi luggage. My local store has the Generation 4 wheeled garment bag (for $329) and the Generation 4 laptop messenger bag ($129). Other stores have as many as 5 different bags (backpacks, duffels, rollers).
These prices are at least 50% off the regular Tumi retail prices, but you’ll need to remember that they are last seasons bags. Tumi have replaced the G4 line with their new "Alpha collection".
The Tumi products are not available at Costco.com, and not all stores will carry them. If you’d like to find a local store with Tumi in stock, just ask at customer service to do a product search for you.
I’ll admit that I’m terrible to my GPS unit. I’ll throw it in the back seat, or shove it between the other stuff in my rolling briefcase.
If you are like me, it may be time to treat your GPS unit to a nice case. Pick the right size (size chart is here), then when you place your order, simply enter coupon code LOVEMYGPS for a sweet 50% discount (making them just $10.48 each!).
Product link: Proporta GPS carrying cases
On an average trip, I carry along an obscene amount of stuff. Here are the contents of my current gadget bag:
Summer is coming, and that means planeloads of kids traveling with their parents on their way to Disney.
Back when I flew as a kid, I was a happy camper if I got the airline goodie bag (usually some crayons and a coloring book). Oh, how things have changed…
I’ll show you 3 products that can make traveling with children a little easier.
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