SwissGear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack Reviews

For decades SwissGear luggage company has been innovating their designs with the latest concepts and finest scientific advancements, and like any well-known brand their customers hold them to this high standard and are always excited when they show a suitcase – or backpack – which lends a pioneering arm toward the ease of travel, school, or just otherwise adventuring. If you’ve heard of SwissGear or you buy their luggage, then you already know that durability, safety, and style are the motto behind their designs. In particular one of these most popular designs is their TSA laptop backpack.

Design: 80 out of 100
Storage: 90 out of 100
Weight: 85 out of 100
Durability: 85 out of 100


At a glance, this design features more around the structure of a military tactical backpack, but of course with a smaller frame and simpler design. The sense of the backpack is that it was designed for adventures, backpacking, or day hikes. It features plenty of instant access pockets on the face and sides of the bag, and the interior is uniquely designed to get you through something like airport security with no trouble at all. The shoulder straps are wide and adjustable with clear padding meant for comfort, while the hardware appears to be all metal and even comes with a clipping carabiner for attaching things like your water bottle, single person tent bag, or even just a flashlight. McQuire Nicholas Bags are a great example of clip-on bags which add to the storage capacity of any backpack.


Speaking of storage capacity, at a massive 18.5 inches tall and 9 inches wide, this backpack offers more packing space than almost any non-backpacking bag on the market. If you have a large coarse load, more than one computer, or a long flight and travel ahead, this is the bag for you! The main compartment measures 17 inches on the interior and unzips to give instant access to zippered mesh accessories pockets, a file holder for your papers or even iPad, and an integrated pocket for your cellphone. This section is also the ideal space for anywhere up to 3 large textbooks for any college course. The second zipper back opens flat with two compartments that reveal your laptop computer and iPad inserts; what is so unique about this is that laying open your backpack can pass through airport security with computer revealed face up for the scanners. Other storage features include two side exterior pockets for water bottles or umbrellas, a double-zippered front pocket, and a top face pocket for your keys or wallet.


This backpack features interior front organizers within the zippered compartment, side pockets with mesh bodies for water bottles, quick access side zippers, and a front carabiner for extra attachments. The interior offers a padded fold-open cell for your devices, with a main body for everything else. Other features include the contoured adjustable shoulder straps which are heavily padded and include built-in suspension for handling any weight. An airflow panel is designed into the back of the pack for better venting on those hot days. The top haul handle is rugged and molded for easy grabbing and hauling that won’t tear at or ruin the backpack or handle. As you can see, especially if you look at pictures of this backpack, it has a lot to offer. For something similar but smaller, SwissGear does offer similar designs with much thinner profiles and less pockets; for example, take a look at the Swiss Gear Compact Organizer Backpack.


Surprisingly when just judging from its size and extras, this backpack only weighs 10.4 ounces – 16 ounces to a pound – making this an ultra-light pack when completely empty. However, as you’ll see in the durability section this lightweight nature is achieved at the expensive of lighter less-durable materials. Whereas sometimes heavier starting backpacks like Samsonite’s Modern utility Paracycle Backpack, often offer better materials even when it means lower capacity.


The SwissGear 1900 Scansmart Laptop Backpack is made from durable 1200D ballistic polyester fabric and is equipped with a large opening main compartment with rugged oversized zippers – this is preferable to thinner zippers with small pull tabs, as they are more likely to break. The backpack offers adjustable side compression straps, a heavily padded back panel with Airflow ventilation technology, and padded contour shaped shoulder straps with mesh fabric and built-in suspension. Where the hardware is concerned this backpack is very durable and safe to lift, haul around, and adjust all the time without worrying about gear wearing down. The polyester design on the other hand is still much weaker when compared against backpacks that utilize cotton canvas or nylon materials in the design.


For such a specific design we were happily surprised to find out that this TSA Laptop backpack offers a large number of style choices for your personalization. Typically, the more tactical backpacks come in an olive green or black and that’s generally the extent of personalization a person is allowed. SwissGear on the other hand fives customers the pick of over 9 different styles – our favorites being Black/Silver and Black/Urban-Heather


At 18.5 X 13.5 X 9 inches this backpack is very large and some airlines might argue that it’s a carry-on item rather than a personal item. We suggest checking with your airline beforehand, but if you do go through security with a wheeled carry-on and this backpack, make sure the airline doesn’t charge you extra if they make you check on of your two bags at the gate.


This backpack is fitted with a 1 year included warranty upon purchase and will validation of a receipt; this warranty includes repairs or replacements based on material or workmanship errors, but will not cover general negligence. If a defect occurs, Swiss Gear will only repair or replace a piece, suitcase, or set based on their own discretion and proof of the original sales receipt. Finally, for additional purchase a longer warranty is available on select products, so make sure you talk to the distributer to find out if this is an option for your purchase.

This item was ranked #9 in the list:

The following reviews are of some of the top laptop-backpack combinations on the current market. These backpacks are great for your everyday run of the mill ...

7 Total Score
chosen by road warriors time and time again

A bestseller design, the iconic SwissGear 1900 TSA Laptop backpack continues to be chosen by road warriors time and time again. With a lay-flat TSA-approved tech compartment you can protect your laptop and tablet inside designated mesh pockets. The backpack also allows you to stash supplies and your shades inside organized exterior pockets while securing your smartphone and larger gear inside a roomy main compartment. This highly functional pack even features heavy-duty grab handles and ergonomic straps for on-the-go comfort.

  • TSA approved laptop and device pockets.
  • Over 8 different style options.
  • Quick-access pockets and large interior storage.
  • Hardware is more durable than backpack body.
  • Larger than most standard campus bookbags.
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