CA123_lgI owe a sincere apology to anyone unlucky enough to have found themselves behind my family going through security checkpoints at the airport on our previous travels. With our two babies (one real baby, one laptop) and all their gear, we end up backing up the already unamused line of travelers to a point that would infuriate the most patient jetsetter.Before traveling with either baby or laptop, I didn’t understand how you could spend twenty minutes at the conveyor, but now I do. Hubby and I were usually in and out with only minor delays, which were generally related to bad planning and forethought. Having either a baby or laptop (or both) takes that disorganization to a whole new level and makes me so glad that Magellan’s Travel Supplies has a whole catalog of gear to help ease traveling pains.

Magellan’s proclaims to be the World’s Most Trusted Source of Travel Supplies, and even with my propensity for skepticism, I have no problems at all believing the claim. I think in total we own 20 of the items Magellan’s stocks, and they still have an additional 50 items that we would love to own. Some are specific to travel and some items I want for when we’re just around town with kiddos.

Our most recent acquisition from Magellan’s is the Checkpoint Friendly Compubrief by Pathfinder. Sounds fancy, huh? Oh, it is. This super organized laptop case just might be the best thing to happen to computer travel since jet airliners were introduced. And laptops were invented. It is designed to hold your laptop securely and safely in a soft and stretchy neoprene sleeve that protects your beloved laptop while traveling, accommodating a good range of laptop sizes and shapes. As much as that sounds like every laptop bag you’ve ever seen, I haven’t gotten to the fancy part yet.

The fancy part is that from the outside the Pathfinder Compubrief looks like a standard carry-on suitcase, but on the inside you will find everything you need to zip through the security line with your laptop and all your other gear. Once you get to the security checkpoint, you simply zip the Pathfinder Compubrief open so that the case lies completely flat on the conveyor with the neoprene laptop pouch on one side and a large zippered compartment on the other side. No need to take your laptop out of the bag with all its accessories, grab a second plastic bin and then try and fit everything in the bins while everyone waits, because the laptop is TSA approved theough the security checkpoint. Even better, since the laptop stays secure in the Pathfinder Compubrief the whole time, it saves you having to repack everything once you get through security and you’re faced with your seven bins for your family of three. This tends to be where we really start to get on the other passenger’s nerves as they have to either wait for us or pull their items off the conveyor and place them on the floor of the airport in order to access them.

I would have paid well over the asking price for the Pathfinder Compubrief on our recent trip abroad with baby and laptop. Since you must go through security in every continent you pass through regardless of if you are staying any length of time, we ended up going through more security checkpoints than I can count with our layover-heavy itinerary. Every time we stopped, we found ourselves struggling with all of our gear and luggage while trying to hold baby and secure the laptop at the same time, a balancing act I will never do again with this little suitcase. They say that after every trip you become a better traveler, honing your skills and becoming more organized as you realize what works and what doesn’t, but this laptop takes organization to a whole new level and allows you to enjoy yourself a whole lot more.

Aside from the convenience of not having to remove the laptop at every stop, the Pathfinder Compubrief is exceptional suitcase on many counts. Available in two models, one with wheels and one without, this little laptop case is perfect for anyone who travels with computer. Both models have a Velcro strap that can be slipped over the telescoping handle of your other checked baggage until you get to the baggage handlers, which makes getting from the car to the check in points easy and efficient. I firmly believe this option should come standard on every carryon suitcase, but it seems that message has been slow getting out as every other carry-on I have ever had hasn’t had this feature.

Also exceptional is how much this little suitcase can hold. In yet other zippered compartment on the Pathfinder Compubrief, you will find a place for everything in your mobile office and more. It has pockets for pens, papers, files, calculators, and all your cables, electronic gadgets and more, including a customizable sized pocket that you modify in two ways to give your gear the best fit in the case. The large storage pocket on the opposite side of the neoprene laptop case is also accessible from this side, which I was really happy about. This large pocket is perfect for storing an extra change of clothing, toiletries and other items that you can’t check or don’t want to for fear of lost luggage.

Never again will I watch with jealousy as a business class traveler whisks his smart and organized computer carry-on onto the conveyor with his slip on loafers and laptop while I struggle with all my gear now that I have the Pathfinder Compubrief.

Are you naturally skeptical and want proof you can leave your laptop in the Pathfinder Compubrief through security? http://www.tsa.gov/press/releases/2008/0805.shtm

Check out the hundreds of other items at Magellan’s that can help make travel easier, safer, and just plain more fun!
http://www.magellans.com/