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Best Travel Packs at the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show

This week I am at the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, a twice-yearly event of the latest and greatest outdoor gear and equipment.  I spent the first day scouring the exhibition floor for the new best daypacks for travel.  I spent the entire day looking for bags that have TSA compliant laptop sleeves and plenty of useful features for the frequent traveler.  Here are my picks for the best new travel packs and stay tuned all week for news on the latest gear for travel.

Timbuk2 Command

Timbuk2 has a stellar line of laptop backpacks and women’s bags coming out next Spring, but I did get a good look at the Timbuk2 Command Laptop Messenger Bag that is available now.  The Command has an external TSA compliant laptop compartment – you just zip the compartment open and lay your bag flat on the belt After passing though security, you can just pick the bag up and you are good to go without ever having to remove your laptop.

The bag has plenty of internal organizer pockets for easy organization of your cords, chargers, and the like, plus TImbuk2’s characeristic “Napoleon” pocket – a side-entry pocket for easy access on the go.  The Command is currently available at REI and Amazon.

Outdoor Products Power Pack Glide

Outdoor Products new Power Pack Glide is the ultimate travel carry-on.  The Glide’s checkpoint-friendly design meets the new TSA requirements for not having to remove a laptop from its sleeve.  The sleeve “glides” in and out of the pack along tracks and can be disconnected if you choose.

A front pocket features plenty of pockets and organizers for all your essentials and a small padded pocket protects your sunglasses or iPhone and keeps them within easy reach.  The Power Pack Glide is available now at REI.

STM Bags Convoy

Unlike other retailers, STM only makes laptop bags so their bags come with all sorts of features that keep your computer protected.  I absolutely loved STM’s Convoy bag, even though it did not have a TSA compliant sleeve.  The Convoy’s design had a real nifty way of concealing your laptop.  If someone were to take a quick peak in your bag they wouldn’t be able to tell you had a laptop in there.

The pack has a unique, rugged look to it and has plenty of organization pockets, a integrated phone pocket on the shoulder strap, soft front pockets for your sunglasses or iPod, and a tuck-away rain cover for those freak downpours.  The STM Convoy is available now at Altrec and Amazon.

Eagle Creek Traverse Pro

Eagle Creek is all about making travel easier and they’ve done just that with their new Eagle Creek Traverse Pro.  Eagle Creek recognizes that most round-the-world travelers now need a place for their laptop so they designed some full-sized luggage with a zipoff daypack that is TSA compliant.  When going through airport security, you just zip off the daypack and zip back the suspended laptop compartment without ever having to remove your laptop.

You can also travel in good conscious since the new line is made from 100% recycled nylon and polyester.  Only bad thing about the Eagle Creek Traverse Pro is that you can’t get in until January 2010.