Review: Skooba Design Weekend Warrior duffel bag

This morning, Skooba design unveiled (yet another) new line of luggage – and one of the highlights is their new Techlife Weekend Warrior duffel bag. Skooba is no stranger to innovative new bags, after designing one of the very first checkpoint friendly laptop bags, they’ve clearly learned a thing or two about what travelers look for in a bag.

The Weekend Warrior is a hybrid duffel – part laptop bag and part weekend bag. The bag has everything you’d expect from a good laptop bag – including a removable padded laptop sleeve, room for chargers and USB keys as well as an ID card pocket.

But that is where the comparisons with a laptop bag end – because once you’ve stored your laptop, you can also pack some clothes, toiletries and a pair of shoes.

Now, I’m not a big fan of PR photos in a review (like the one at the top of the article), so I decided to pack the Weekend Warrior with the kind of stuff I’d take on a 2-3 day trip. In the bag I packed the following:

  • 13″ laptop
  • Gadget power bag (chargers, battery packs and cables)
  • Memory card and USB device bag
  • Toiletries zip-loc bag
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Livescribe Echo smartpen in case
  • Moleskine notepad
  • Livescribe mini notepad
  • Joey bags
  • Blackberry and Palm (spare phones)
  • Headphones
  • Small laptop charger
  • 1 pair of shoes
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 3 shirts
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 3 pairs of underwear
  • 1 bottle of water
  • Bluetooth mouse

Yeah, I know I pack like I’m going on a 6-month mission. All these items fit the bag just fine, with a generous amount of unused space, which is perfect for packing gifts or other junk you pick up on your trip.

The side pockets are designed to hold shoes – but I do need to point out that they’ll really only work for shoes up to a size 9 or 10 – people with large feet will need to use the main compartment for their footware. Still, with all the stuff in the bag, a second pair of shoes would fit just fine.

Size is obviously an issue when you are traveling, as airlines think it is funny to banish slightly larger bags to the airplane hold. Packed with all my items, the bag measured 24x11x12, putting it just within the permitted sizes. Because the bag is not built around a rigid frame, even if you do overpack, you’ll still easily be able to fit it in a bag sizer or stuff it in the overhead compartment.

Even though the Weekend Warrior does what many rolling bags can do, not everyone likes rolling suitcases – others may have the need for more room than the Weekend Warrior has to offer. For travelers with a rolling case and the Weekend Warrior, you’ll be happy to know that the back of the duffel has a strap for attaching to the handle of a rolling bag.

I’m impressed with the bag – it builds upon the smart design features of other Skooba bags, feels well made, and is much lighter than a rolling suitcase. Every pound you can save means more available weight for your belongings. The bag itself weighs just 49 ounces.

The new Skooba Design Weekend Warrior bag is available today. It comes in charcoal/red, charcoal/blue and charcoal/abyss black. The bag retails for $119.95 with a small laptop sleeve or $124.95 with a large laptop sleeve. Orders over $50 ship for free when you apply coupon code FREERIDE.

5 days 5 bags – day 2: Skooba Design Checkthrough Brief

Welcome to day 2 of “5 days 5 bags”. Today’s bag is the Skooba Design Checkthrough brief.

This TSA friendly laptop bag is designed to comply with the new TSA regulations that allow you to keep your laptop inside its bag at the checkpoint.

The Checkthrough features a “fold open” design with a clear window, and to prepare the bag for screening, you simply unzip it, fold it flat and place it on the X-Ray machine conveyor. To be sure their design worked as it should, Skooba submitted the bag for testing with Rapiscan, who make almost all the X-Ray machines at airports around the world.

The bag is very much a classic looking laptop bag. On the inside and out, you’ll find 20 different pockets and compartments, making it ideal for using as your office on the road.

The bag also features some very nice extra touches, like an elastic “pull out” ID pocket on the side, and an easy to read set of checkpoint instructions on the laptop portion, which make it perfect for when you run into a TSA agent who has not kept up to date with the newest regulations.

All in all a very nice and well designed laptop bag, especially if you prefer a classic look. The folding laptop portion is very easy to use, and should help keep your laptop nice and safe at the checkpoint. With its 20 pockets and pouches, you’ll have a hard time running out of space.

Dimensions (W*H*D): 17*13*7.5
Weight: 3lb
Colors available: Black
Warranty: Lifetime
Price: $139.95
Product page: Skooba Design