Checkable Case

The case itself basically consists of two halves, joined by an elaborately protected zip with twin lockable zip tags. This zip is made invisible by a layer of the same material as the rest of the case's outside, the Ballistic nylon used on all of Brenthaven's cloth bags. This also prevents the zip tags from getting caught and you need to pull it back to open the zip. As if that weren't enough, the zip is further sheltered by two separate layers of a rubberised material double stitched to each side. If the notebook is protected anything as well as this, we're off to a good start.

Opening the Checkable Case up reveals a grey interior that seems to mostly consist of padding. The top and bottom of the case are armoured with plastic 'walls' thicker and stronger than on any other Brenthaven. The sides of the case feature reinforced 'plasticore' sides, which refers to a solid, single-piece rigid frame. Brenthaven claims its case is resistant to piercing and can withstand up to 113 kilograms of pressure. This is enough that most people could actually sit on the Checkable Case without fear, Brenthaven has even demonstrated this having someone jump up and down on the case.

Customizable and removable padded side panels will let you fit any notebook from 13 to 17in securely - just a pity owners of 12in machines are left out in the cold. At its maximum, there's more than two full inches of padding (six centimetres, to be exact). The panels are attached securely using Velcro. Of course, the panels at the top and bottom are permanently attached. In the case's lid, there's a pocket for papers and magazines above the padding.

The 'cradle' for your notebook has a thick removable pad with a textured upper side to which various small accessory pockets can be attached with Velcro according to your liking and are suitable for holding cables, adapters, AC blocks and the like. You also benefit from a waterproof bag for your notebook that you'll likely need since, like Brenthaven's other bags, the Checkable Case isn't totally water-resistant.

In terms of pricing, the Checkable Case is Brenthaven's most expensive product. Though it's not yet available in the UK, it's listed for $249.95 on the company's US website. This might not seem like a lot, but with the inevitable 'being British' (or indeed, European) tax which we also saw on the other bags in this roundup, expect it to end up costing closer to £200 than the £130 it converts into. Still, compared to nearly ten times that amount for a high-end notebook, it suddenly doesn't seem such bad value.

Verdict

If I were insane enough to not keep an expensive notebook in my hand luggage while flying, the Brenthaven Checkable Case is where I would put it: if anything will let it survive a trip in the cargo hold, this is it.

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