Targus Checkpoint Friendly Air Traveler Backpack Review

Updated February 28, 2014
Targus Zip-Thru Air Traveler Backpack

In general, reviewers say that the Targus Zip-Thru Air Traveler Laptop Backpack is well made, if not exceptionally sturdy. Some would like to see additional reinforcement on the bottom panel. Some users complain that recent bags have issues with straps fraying or coming unstitched, though they also report that Targus honors its lifetime warranties in such cases.

ProsZip-apart bag gets laptop through airport security, Lots of pockets for accessories, Padded back and straps, Padded storage for laptop, Good valueConsBottom is not reinforced, Some users say strap stitching separates, Not stylish

Comfort: Padded back and shoulder straps work well, at least for the short term.

Reviewers and users report that the ventilated padding on the bag's back and shoulder straps make it comfortable to carry, though a few users complain it's not perfectly comfortable when fully loaded and carried for long distances.

Appearance: It's a black backpack. End of story.

Reviewers say there is nothing particularly stylish about the Zip-Thru Air Traveler: it's a black bag, sized to hold a considerable amount of equipment. It's plain, though not ugly.

Warranty: A limited lifetime warranty that the company honors without complaint.

Those users who experienced problems with their bags said that Targus replaced them without complaint, though they typically had to pay to ship the bags back to the company.

Features: For the price, the Targus Zip-Thru Air Traveler offers a number of terrific features.

Reviewers note the thoughtful arrangement of compartments, the construction of the bag and the ease with which it goes through airport security, all rare at this price point.

Bottom Line: A bag thoughtfully designed for travel at a reasonable price.

The Targus Zip-Thru Air Traveler Laptop Backpack isn't the most luxurious of travel models, but it includes a terrific amount of features for the price point, and it easily handles airport security and fits in airplane compartments.

Our Sources

1. Amazon.com

Targus Checkpoint-Friendly Air Traveler Backpack, Contributors to Amazon.com

More than 100 users give the Targus Zip-Thru Air Traveler Backpack laptop bag an average of 4 stars out of 5. Customers find the bag a snap to use in airport security, and like the compartments. Some say they would like a separate top handle (other than the connector between the two straps) and wish the bag felt sturdier. A few recent reviews complain of the stitching coming apart on the shoulder straps.

2. Epinions.com

Targus Zip-Thru Air Traveler Backpack, "Mike", March 28, 2012

An advisor for Epinions.com writes a detailed review about the Targus Zip-Thru Air Traveler Laptop Backpack, giving it scores out of 5 stars for design, size, durability and comfort. Overall, he says he would recommend the pack. The case works as advertised for airport security, he likes the locking zippers, the compartments and dividers are useful and the bag carries a fair amount, though probably not enough for a full-time student. The case is generally sturdy, but could use more reinforcement on the bottom, he says. He awards 5 stars overall.

3. Flyertalk.com

Review of Targus Zip-Thru Corporate Traveler Backpack for 15.4 Inch Laptops, "buffewo", July 5, 2010

A frequent flier posts his review of the Targus Zip-Thru Air Traveler Backpack, saying that overall it is "phenomenal." Zipping the bag open for security works perfectly, he says, and can be used to fit the bag in smaller overhead compartments in a pinch if you overpack. He likes the compartments and padded laptop area, but notes that you have to be careful not to overfill.

4. NotebookReview.com

Targus Corporate Traveler Backpack Review, Sarah Meyer, Feb. 23, 2008

Sarah Meyer at NotebookReview.com reviews the very similar Targus Corporate Traveler Backpack, finding that while it lacks stylish design, it makes up for that in pockets, organization and durability. She dislikes the nonremovable waist strap, the Velcro strap that holds in the laptop and the lack of color choices.