In today’s world of constant connectivity, odds are you’re going to be traveling with a laptop or tablet, even while on vacation. One of the worst parts of that experience is going through the rigmarole of unloading your laptop before enduring airport security procedures – while at the same time worrying about taking off your shoes, emptying all your pockets, and making sure your toddler and 90-year-old grandmother can avoid an invasive pat-down.That’s where bags like the Gregory Border backpack come in: a new breed of travel sack with a special TSA-approved compartment so you don’t need to remove your electronics prior to sending them through the X-ray machine. In the case of the Border bag, your laptop or tablet is stored in a mesh pocket within a section of the backpack, which unzips to lie flat when you set it on the conveyer belt (see photo above). While I haven’t yet had the chance to test this in an actual airport setting, my laptop fit snugly in the pouch and opening the bag to its flat position was simple.
Aside from that, Border is your pretty standard backpack. Though Gregory is known for heavy-duty adventure gear, this bag has much broader appeal as an airplane carry-on or vacation day pack. Plentiful pockets within the main compartment make it easy to organize your stuff, while padded straps ensure your shoulders won’t feel too stressed after a day of schlepping.
I travel with a netbook so I opted for the 18L size (also appropriate for iPads and other tablets) but if you’ve got a larger computer the 25L will fit a 15-inch screen and the 35L will fit a 17-inch. You’ll have to wait until August to snag your own Border bag, which is part of Gregory’s Fall 2012 line-up; prices will be $119 for the 18L, $149 for the 25L, and $179 for the 35L. www.gregorypacks.com