The Swissgear 1900 Portable Laptop Backpack Holds a 17-inch laptop and all the gear you need an office away from home.
Swissgear 1900 Scansmart TSA 17-Inch Laptop Backpack Review
The Swissgear 1900 makes it too easy to take your home office on the road for a day, weekend road trip, or working vacation. ~ MJ Logan
TL;DR It holds 31 liters or a little more than 8 gallons. There’s plenty of room for a 17-inch laptop, ergonomic keyboard & Mouse, spare battery, cables, and even a change of clothes. Gets you through TSA without a hassle. I give it 5 thumbs up.
I bought the Swissgear 1900 a couple of years ago before a trip to Las Vegas. It was a 4-day vacation trip, but I needed my laptop to stay on top of any issues that might pop up while I was away. A year earlier, the airport TSA security checkpoint turned into a hassle when I had to completely unpack my old backpack that was designed more like a book bag than a laptop case.
With the new scansmart laptop backpack, TSA was easy. I stepped up and put my bag on the belt. The TSA lady asked if she could open it flat and I agreed. The double zippers went down, the bag opened up and laid flat on the belt, it went through the scanner, and the guy on the other side zipped it up for me.
Literally, it was that easy.
The Scansmart design is all about minimizing airport security hassles by allowing them to scan the laptop and everything else while it’s in the case.
Now with the crazy life we’re leading, I’m often working somewhere besides my home office. The Scansmart 1900 holds everything I need for a day on the road, working out of a hotel room, or meeting a client at their office.
The usual everyday contents of my Swissgear 1900 Bag:
- 17-Inch HP Laptop
- Vilva Portable Laptop Monitor
- Logitech Keyboard & Mouse Combo
- 65-Watt Portable Laptop Charger
- Docking Station (not needed for the Vilva Monitor)
- Various Cables
- USB Drives & Thumb Drives
- 10-Foot Multi-Outlet Extension Cord
Swissgear Laptop Backpack Construction
Two years in use and I don’t have a single complaint about the construction. The material is sturdy and after two years of airports and local travel, it still looks great and there aren’t any tears or seams pulling apart. As you can see from the pictures, I selected the blue/black design, but there are other colors available.
Zippers. On the Swissgear, the zippers are not metal, but they have metal pulls. So far, I have not had one single failure. They don’t catch in the material and don’t get stuck. The side pockets and top-front pocket are single zipper. The main front pocket, bottom organizer pocket, and lay-flat zipper compartment are all double zipper. The interior zippered mesh pocket it also a single zipper. My old backpack had narrow, plastic zippers that gave me trouble right from the start. Not the Swissgear.
I don’t feel like the pockets will fail me anytime soon. If anything, the mesh pockets would probably be the first to go if you stuffed it with pointy stuff like keys. That’s not what they are made for so…
Features at a Glance
- Material—1200D Ballistic Polyester Fabric
- Large, Roomy Pockets and Compartments.
- Durable, Rugged Zippers
- Adjustable Compression Straps
- Heavily Padded Back Panel Protects Your Laptop
- TSA Laptop-in-Case Scanning Rear Compartment
- Lay Flat Compartment with mesh back to see laptop in back
- Lay Flat Compartment has a tablet pocket
- Large Accordion File Folder Compartment
- Two Side Accessory + Two Side Water Bottle Pockets
- Padded Media Pocket
- Large Bottom Front Pocket
- Quick Access Front Top Pocket
- Carabiner + Strap Loops on front.
- Internal Accessory pockets.
- Comfortable to Carry
Swissgear Backpack Compartments
Looking at the front of the backpack, it has a nice pocket approximately 9 x 10 inches on the top with a carabiner hanging from a loop. This pocket is convenient for cables, power cords, USB drives, glasses, personal items, snacks, or anything you might want to keep handy.
You’ll be amazed by the amount of space in the bottom front organizer pocket. It’s a good-size zippered pocket with a couple of strap loops sewn on. You could attach whatever you want to the loops with more carabiners (not included). The pocket is roomier than it first appears at approximately 8 ½ x 8 inches with interior portfolio style dividers. The larger of these is nearly as wide as the main pocket. Sewn onto the front of the larger inside pocket are three pen-sized pockets and a cell-phone pocket. Finally, a mesh pocket in front of the pen pockets, and a shallow pocket almost as wide as the cell phone pocket sit side by side. Most of the time, I keep my battery in this pocket. I can run a USB cord to my cell phone to charge it, charge my ear bud case, or run a cord outside to my laptop to top off its charge.
Tip: After you start to rely on your battery a lot, make sure you carry its charger so you can plug in anywhere.
There are two zippered side pockets approximately 13 inches tall by 5 inches wide at the bottom. They start to narrow halfway up and in the last three inches come to a point. One holds my 10-foot extension cord, the other usually has my laptop power cord in it. Each side pocket also has an outside mesh pocket for holding a bottle of water, umbrella, or anything else that won’t fall out. I’ve usually got a stainless-steel water bottle in one or both of the mesh pockets.
A pair of adjustable, click release straps help secure the contents of your mesh side pockets.
TSA Tip: Carry your own EMPTY water bottle. Make sure it is dry inside. Not a drop or a hint of moisture. After you pass through the TSA security checkpoint, fill it up at a water fountain or water bottle station. Most airlines allow water bottles 20-34 ounces, but check with the airline before you carry something that might get left in the garbage at TSA.
TSA Tip: Power Banks that hold up to 100 Watt-Hours are allowed in your Carry On Baggage Only. With Airline approval, you can carry up to two 101-160 Watt-Hour Power Banks. Be sure to read the TSA, FAA, and Airline rules for batteries before you pack, and pack them correctly.
The main front pocket holds too much for my own good. The interior is about 12-13 inches wide at the bottom, 10-inches wide at the top and 3-4 inches deep. On the inside of the front flap is a zippered mesh pocket (9 ½ x 7 inches). Three dividers at the bottom for files or binders if that’s what you need. I stuff my ergonomic keyboard in there behind the back divider. The middle one holds my mouse pad. The front divider seems to collect things I don’t need. I have a medium size BUBM electronics organizer for keeping various cables, thumb drives, chargers, etc together in one place. I pack this at the bottom of the main front compartment. A Media pocket hangs from the top-rear of this compartment. It is supposed to have a headphone port, but mine does not.
A zippered laptop compartment at the back holds my 17-inch laptop and Vilva Monitor. The back is heavily padded, and there’s mesh at the front so that when TSA opens the lay-flat compartment, they can see the laptop. At the TSA checkpoint, they open the zippers and lay it flat to send it through the scanner. This compartment also has a tablet pocket at the front for a tablet up to 10 x 7 inches. For airport travel, I put the extra monitor inside the dividers in the main front pocket compartment to go through TSA.
Padded shoulder straps are adjustable and easily fit my large frame. Once it’s on, you can pull the adjustment straps to tighten it up. At the top of the bag is a heavy-duty handle for convenient carrying if you don’t want to wear it. It’s comfortable to carry through the airport or wherever you’re going. If you have a drag-along luggage bag, extend the handle and let the Swissgear 1900 Laptop Backpack ride piggyback with the add-a-trolly strap on the back. Another great travel feature.
Unexpected Feature: If you’re going on an overnight trip, leave out the stuff you don’t need and you could easily fit a change of travel clothes inside the front compartment with room to spare.
I usually find some fault with every product I review here or anywhere else. Even when I give a product 5 thumbs up, I’ll always point out the downsides.
Even though it doesn’t look that big, it holds a lot. Something like 31 liters according to the product description. That’s more than 8 US Gallons. It would be very easy and tempting to put so much stuff in here that carrying it a long way would give you a pain in the back.
I like this product so much that it will probably influence my next luggage purchase. It makes taking my work outside my office much easier and more convenient. The pocket designs, sizes, and variety make organization simple. I give 5 thumbs up.
Freelance Author—Writer—Small Business Websites
MJ Logan is a freelance writer and author. He started writing in third grade more than 40 years ago. Today, MJ incorporates best content practices into every piece whether a product description, press release, blog post, or other content. He provides a wide range of website services and products to small businesses at reasonable prices that help them rank well and open doors to new opportunities.
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Vilva Portable Laptop Monitor ⬆
15.6-inch monitor fits in your laptop case and adds a second display
Since adding the Vilva Portable Monitor to my out of the office equipment, productivity for writing and website building has increased by a considerable margine. No longer do I have to constantly switch windows while to see or get data from a different app than the one I’m working on. The monitor comes with everything you need unless you’re planning to connect an iPhone (the iPhone adapter is free of charge from Vilva. You just have to ask.)
It weighs just 1.88 pounds, has a magnetic stand that doubles as a protective cover, and can run off your laptop battery and USB-C port with one cable.
Laptop Charger – Keyboard + Mouse
Charger: A couple of years ago, we got caught in a power outage and couldn’t keep the laptops charged. As a freelance writer, power outages don’t make great excuses for missing deadlines. Not long after that outage-induced day off, I found this little battery on Amazon and ordered it. On my laptop, I get about a one and a half full charges. It has USB and USB 3.0 outputs, a 12-Volt output, and 120-Volt output. It charges with a wall charger or automotive adapter. You can even plug it into a portable solar panel and charge it that way.
Keyboard and Mouse: I can type on a laptop, but my preference is a Microsoft Ergonomic Split Keyboard (with half the letters rubbed off the keys). That is tied to my desktop, however, and I need something that doesn’t slow me down too much. The Logitech Wireless Mouse and Ergonomic Keyboard fit the bill. In the box is the mouse, the keyboard, and a USB dongle. It uses one of your USB ports, but if you need more, maybe you need a…
USB Docking Station
I don’t use it every day, but this 9-in-one docking station has everything I could need: Display Port, (2) HDMI, (2) USB 2.0, USB 3.0. Connect your laptop’s USB C charger to the PD port and deliver up to 87 Watts of charging power. USB C PD. and Display Port. The SD/TF port operates up to 104MB/s and is compatible with: SDHC-SDXC-Micro SD, Micro SDHC, Micro SDXC.