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Luggage Review: Smarter Travel ECBC TSA-Friendly Luggage


A new line of luggage was designed to help travelers get through TSA checkpoints quickly and efficiently. But does it live up to the hype?

Maggie, one of the author's dogs, checks out ECBC's new luggage.

The longest lines at airports are often at security checkpoints. A new luggage company, ECBC, offers a great solution: carry-on luggage and backpacks that come with a TSA-friendly packing system. After all, it takes time to fish through hand baggage for your laptop, Kindle, tablet, smartphone, and other electronics, to place them in the gray bins and then to re-stow them after going through the screening detector, all the while trying to keep track of your shoes, sweater, wallet, or purse.

ECBC’s smart luggage gets you through the necessary ordeal faster. The outer compartment on the luggage or backpack unzips to reveal ECBC’s FastPass System, a TSA-friendly organizer. The FastPass System on the company’s Sparrow Wheeled Garment Bag features a big pocket that fits laptops up to 15 inches, a smaller pocket for tablets and a zip pocket that could fit an electronic reader and a smartphone.

Instead of wasting time taking out your electronics, you simply open up the outer compartment and lay it flat to reveal your securely packed electronics, and send your bag through the scanner. Users and the company say this is acceptable at checkpoints, at least at US airports.

The Sparrow's unfolding front compartment.

Not having to place your devices on the checkpoint table or in bins not only saves time, but eliminates the oh-my-God run, the sprint you do when you race back to the checkpoint because your forgot your laptop or your phone. Alas, I’ve had to do this more than once.

Even if you have TSA Pre-check or Global Entry status and therefore don’t need to unpack your electronic gear, the ECBC bags still make travel easy. The Sparrow is an intelligent carry-on. Typically, electronics take up much space. Not so with the Sparrow. Since the outer compartment contains your laptop, phone and tablet, you can use the two additional interior compartments for clothing. One features a garment bag lock that holds hangars, making it easy to pack suit jackets and shirts. A dress would fit but would need to be folded. The second interior compartment could easily fit shoes, sweaters and other items.

Other nice touches: Quick access pocket for tickets; tough, water-resistant 1680-D ballistic nylon material; and a side pocket for your water bottle, the one you buy after security. I wish the bag had four wheels instead of two. Empty, the bag weighs nine pounds. At 22” x 14” x 9” the bag meets domestic size requirements and most all international carry-on requirements. The Sparrow Wheeled Garment Bag retails for $399.99.

Check out our video review:

Have you tried ECBC's luggage? What do you think? What other luggage brands or travel tips help you get through the TSA lines more efficiently. Comment below or connect with me on Twitter, @familyitrips.

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