Samsonite Xenon 2 Promises TSA Checkpoint-Friendly Experience. Does it Deliver?

Dec 21

TSA Checkpoint Laptop Scan Headache

Founded in Denver, Colorado in 1910, Samsonite International is an American corporation known for its rugged, hard-shelled luggage products. In recent years, Samsonite has expanded their product line to include everyday bags and backpacks.

The Samsonite Xenon 2 Laptop Backpack is a fine example of Samsonite’s commitment to manufacturing bags that are excellent for both traveling and college use.

Highlights of Samsonite Xenon 2 Laptop Backpack

Laptop-friendly backpack

With dimensions of 17.25″ by 12.25″ by 8.25″ and a weight of 2.9 pounds when empty, the Xenon 2 is checkpoint friendly, making it an excellent option for people needing a knapsack for those weekend getaways. The backpack is constructed in such a way that laying it flat so it can be processed through an airport security X-ray machine is incredibly easy.

The Xenon 2, as its namesake suggests, was specially designed to hold a laptop. The backpack has a height adjustable computer pocket that can fit laptops up to 15.6 inches in length. Additionally, the Xenon is outfitted with iPad and tablet pockets that safely and effectively store smaller, thinner electronic devices.

These pockets have a brushed poly lining that is softer on your expensive electronic hardware than other types of interior backpack fabric. These electronic pockets are accessed via a zippered opening designed accordion style to allow for easy, efficient storage and quality protection.

Black Finish with Neat Contrast

The Xenon 2’s zippers and additional hardware are constructed of black nickel hardware, which offers a nice contrast to this otherwise stark black backpack.

A unique sling-style Smartstrap lightens the weight burden a full backpack often places on your back. And, for those who prefer to carry their knapsack in their hands, this Samsonite product has a lightweight stainless steel upright handle.

Samsonite Xenon 2 makes perfect travel companionPhoto of conveniently designed front pocket for gadget in Samsonite Xenon 2

Pros of the Samsonite Xenon 2 Laptop Backpack

It lets you breeze through checkpoint

As any experienced traveler will tell you, one of the most annoying things about going through a TSA security checkpoint is having to rearrange the contents of your backpack to remove your laptop, place the laptop on the X-ray tray, and then put it back in your pack 45 seconds later. See here for TSA guidelines on “Checkpoint Friendly” laptop bags screening.

With the Xenon 2 and its TSA friendly laptop compartment, Samsonite has eliminated this burdensome issue. When traveling through an airport with the Xenon 2, all I need to do is unzip the compartment, release the security strap, and place my computer on a tray to be X-rayed. Gone are the days of shuffling my carefully folded clothing around or accidentally creasing or damaging important documents because I was in a hurry to get through security.

Smart carry-around design

I also appreciate how easy the Xenon 2 is to carry around. Initially, I was worried about only having one strap on my backpack, but the Smartstrap does a really excellent job of properly distributing the weight of my backpack’s contents without leaving my back sore or strained.

The upright handle is particularly useful, too. Not only do I sometimes get tired of carrying my backpack on my back, but carrying the Xenon 2 upright makes it easier for me to safely maneuver my valuables around in crowded public settings, like on the bus or subway.

Laptop padding

Most importantly, though, the Xenon 2 Laptop Backpack does a great job protecting my personal computer. I am a freelance writer who makes his livelihood on his laptop – my Samsung, in essence, is my financial lifeline, and the Samsonite does a great job of providing a cushioned, super-soft pocket in which my computer can safely repose.

Butterfly-style TSA Checkpoint Friendly pocketA view of inner compartment in Samsonite Xenon 2

Cons of the Samsonite Xenon 2 Laptop Backpack

On issue of durability

This Samsonite Xenon 2 review is not entirely positive, however. I have had my Samsonite Xenon 2 laptop backpack for only five months now, but it is already beginning to show serious signs of wear. The backpack has frayed in several places, there is some separation of the top handle the body of the backpack, and one of the zippers does not zip properly.

I personally feel that the quality of materials used on the Xenon 2 leaves much to be desired. I thought I am an isolated case but after some research I found similar issues being highlighted in a number of other backpack reviews that discusses this particular model from Samsonite.

Stitching quality could be improved

In some cases, customers complain that strap stitching is beginning to separate, the Samsonite logo is chipped away, and the laptop zipper used to secure that pocket is separated from its teeth, negating the usefulness of the laptop compartment.

Some Xenon 2 owners report that the backpack is too small to comfortably fit all of their daily essentials. Similarly, owners of big laptops may find that Samsonite’s claim that the pack can fit a laptop of 15.6 inches in length a bit generous. That is, reports indicate that bigger 17-inch laptops are difficult to fit in the TSA-friendly pocket.


Samsonite does offer a 3 year warranty on the Xenon 2 Laptop Backpack, but taking the time to send your backpack to the company’s headquarters and then wait for them to send you a new one is a lengthy, inefficient process.

Your Pick

In summary, the Xenon 2 is a neat attempt by Samsonite to address one of the pain encountered by almost every air traveller when passing through the TSA checkpoint. Frequent travellers would appreciate this feature more than others. However, it is good to take note of the material quality used to construct the Xenon 2. Being a brand with strong reputation for ruggedness and durability, I feel this is a bit of a letdown and Samsung backpack still has some catching up to do to live up to its brand reputation.

I hope this Samsonite Xenon 2 backpack review has given you a good idea on what to expect.

It might not be the best backpacks ever designed and made, but you know what you are paying for in Xenon 2. If you are looking for the best backpacks for laptop, be sure you check out our carefully handpicked list.

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