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Pacsafe CourierSafe 100 review: Pacsafe CourierSafe 100

Pacsafe CourierSafe 100

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
2 min read

Even though it looks like a standard messenger-style laptop case, the $119 Pacsafe CourierSafe 100 packs a wealth of hidden security features into its unassuming frame. After all, it makes sense that a bag containing your valuable laptop, and potentially even more valuable data, should have some fairly robust security, and that's the mentality behind the Pacsafe line of cases, which all incorporate features such as slash-proof shoulder straps and tamper-proof zippers.


Pacsafe CourierSafe 100

The Good

Slashproof strap; metal mesh integrated into bottom panel; locking zippers.

The Bad

Big Velcro closures make it hard to get into quickly; flimsy handle feels cheap.

The Bottom Line

While the Pacsafe CourierSafe 100 looks like a normal messenger-style laptop bag, it packs in a ton of useful security features, from slashproof panels to a locking strap.

The CourierSafe 100 additionally offers a mini combination lock for anchoring the strap around a fixed object or locking the zippers closed, on top of the standard Pacsafe defenses against knives and box cutters. It's also a reasonably attractive, comfortable laptop bag that's bulkier than its saddlebag cousin, the Pacsafe MetroSafe 300, but has roomier, therefore more usable, pockets inside.

At 16.5 inches wide by 13 inches high by 6.5 inches deep, the Pacsafe CourierSafe 100 can hold a 15-inch laptop, and even a bigger one, such as the Toshiba Qosmio F45. The case is made from basic ballistic nylon, and the main laptop compartment has metal wires woven inside the material, which Pacsafe calls an eXomesh slash-guard panel. That's to keep someone from using a sharp knife to slice open your bag and snag your laptop. The shoulder strap is likewise reinforced with slash-proof, high-tensile stainless steel wire, to stop blade-wielding thieves.

A small combination lock sits at one end of the shoulder strap. The lock can be used to anchor the strap around a table leg, light post, or other secure object, and it includes a metal loop for threading through the zipper pullers to keep the bag closed.

The main compartment has a padded laptop section and a nonpadded one. There are two larger pockets in the nonpadded part, big enough to hold an iPod or digital camera, and several smaller ones for pens, cards, and other pocket-sized items.

Under the Velcro-sealed front flap there are two zippered pockets, but the extra long Velcro strips, while secure, make them hard to get to (and noisy--opening a bag with big Velcro straps in a quiet meeting is a serious office faux pas). A large zippered pocket covers the rear face, and is suitable for papers and magazines.

Two surprisingly nonsecured pockets sit on the left and right outside edges of the case. A perfect fit for a cell phone or iPod, but if you're paranoid enough to lock down your laptop bag, these probably won't get much use.

If you've never thought too much about someone slashing your laptop bag on the street before, the Pacsafe line is enough to make you positively paranoid about it. Fortunately, peace of mind doesn't have to mean lugging around a locked attaché case, as the CourierSafe 100 provides more protection than anyone other than a secret agent or industrial spy would need.


Pacsafe CourierSafe 100

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 9Performance 0