Among the many other frustrations that you may face while traveling, lugging out your laptop to get through airport security can take up too much time and it can expose your notebook to potential damage. That’s why the TSA regulations allow for “checkpoint-friendly” bags where the laptop can stay put and one such example is the ScanFast Laptop Messenger Bag from Mobile Edge. The messenger bag style is trendy enough for college students, but the jet black appearance is also professional enough for traveling corporate executives.
Scans Fast and Stays Tough
You might remember my review of the Mobile Edge Ultraportable Backpack for Netbooks last week and how I commented on its lack of a checkpoint-friendly design. The ScanFast Messenger is a little bit bigger, but it’s still reasonably compact and it does that whole checkpoint-friendly thing without a hitch.
Holding laptops with up to 15.4-inch widescreen displays, the Mobile Edge ScanFast Messenger Bag uses the same durable ballistic nylon as all of the other bags in the Mobile Edge collection. This is super tough and should be able to withstand the usual wear and tear that you’d get from flying, bandying around town, and hopping from appointment to appointment.
Three Pockets to the Front
In terms of design, one of the more unique features on this bag is the set of three vertical pockets in the front. As you can see, this is decidedly different from what I experience with the V7 Premium Toploader Laptop Case, which had a much “cleaner” appearance from the front.
At first, I thought the aesthetic was quite strange for this bag, but after using it for a couple of weeks, I found the trio of pockets to be very versatile and remarkably useful. This gives quick access to peripherals and accessories without having to dive through a main compartment and look through some inner pockets. Your mileage may vary, but one of these pockets could be a good place for a laptop power supply too. That’s a big bonus in my books.
Speaking of Interior Compartments
Opening the front flap on this bag reveals two main compartments. There is one area that is single slot-like space that would be fine for documents and files. The other main compartment, depicted above, is further broken down into a series of pockets that can be used to store whatever else you’d need. You’ll also notice the mesh pocket on the other side, providing even more storage.
Some people prefer a simpler design, since it can be easier to find what you need, but I prefer having a lot of separate compartments to store all the different things I need when I travel. Mobile Edge really delivers on this front and these pockets are great for flash drives, business cards, spare memory cards, and even digital cameras and batteries. I love it.
Flipping Open for Airport Security
While some other checkpoint-friendly bags put your laptop in a wholly separate compartment, Mobile Edge takes a different approach. Inside the largest compartment is an oversized pocket for your laptop and this is clearly marked as being checkpoint friendly. Your laptop isn’t completely enclosed, but this means that you skip an extra zipper.
The ScanFast Messenger will take up to 15.4-inch laptops and you can see my 14.1-inch Dell Inspiron in there with room to spare. The padding is adequate for basic protection and the zippers allow for a quick open-and-close for airport security scans.
This compartment is usually dedicated to just the laptop, but you’ll notice that the other side has an interior zipper. That’s right. You’ve got another compartment for files, folders, documents, or whatever else you’d like to slot in there. This is a good place for your airline tickets and that kind of thing.
A Solid Option for Frequent Flyers
Of the checkpoint-friendly laptop bags that I have tried, I think that the Mobile Edge ScanFast Messenger Bag is easily one of my favorites. The somewhat smaller size compared to bulkier corporate bags makes it more comfortable to use, as does the elastic padded shoulder strap. All of those compartments really come in handy for accessories and I really appreciate the extra inner pocket in the laptop compartment.
The ScanFast Messenger Bag is listed at $99.99. This is more expensive than budget bags, but it’s in line with other checkpoint-friendly laptop messenger bags.
Overall, it gets 9.0 out of 10.