Brenthaven Checkable Case
The final candidate in our roundup is the Brenthaven Checkable Case. Okay… a checkable case - what does that mean, exactly? Surely you can check most cases - it's simple, just open the flaps and zips, and check them out. Of course, that's not quite what Brenthaven is referring to in this case, if you'll forgive the pun. What they mean is that this case offers such a high level of protection for your notebook, that you should be able to check it in as cargo luggage on a flight. Now if you've seen (as I have) how baggage handlers at airports the world over treat luggage or boxes marked 'delicate', you'll realize Brenthaven has set themselves quite a challenge. Will its Checkable Case live up to it?
Yes, is the short answer - or at least, if your notebook doesn't survive the trip, it is unlikely anything of similar size to the Brenthaven could have prevented it. It is, quite simply, the mammoth tank of shoulder notebook transportation, somewhere between a case and a cloth safe. Perhaps this becomes a little more apparent when you realize that, though this is the biggest item in this roundup, apart from an absolutely tiny pocket at the front for quick access to items like tickets it just has a single compartment. In this and many other regards, it's more like a suitcase than a bag - in fact the only major factors that differentiate it are the lack of wheels and a shoulder strap identical to the one found on the ProLite II SC.
Looks are not really a priority on something you won't be carrying much on your person, yet thanks to its clean lines, I actually find the Brenthaven Checkable Case the most attractive of the lot. Similarly, ergonomics are not as great a concern on a piece of luggage you're only likely to carry when flying, but they're comfortable nonetheless. Of course the shoulder strap, being identical with the ProLite II SC's, brings with it the same advantages and negatives.
The carrying handle, meanwhile, is similar to the ones found on the Mobile Trek WC and Pro Backpack 15/17, except it's retractable, and goes neatly back into place against the case when not in use. The spots where the handle is attached to the case are ingeniously covered by the case's own outer lining, making it far less likely that the handle will be torn off or damaged.
At the Checkable Case's back, there's the familiar 'wheelie strap', meaning you can attach it securely to wheeled luggage. Just above this is a cloth insert for an address label, an essential for an item like this. Unfortunately it's not very secure, and unless measured carefully the label could easily slip out. This is a design-flaw that could easily have been remedied, even with something as simple as a button or some Velcro, but using a sticker should also prevent problems.