Best Laptop Backpacks
Are you a digital nomad, bike commuter, or do you just enjoy bringing your laptop to your favorite local cafe to sip on an Americano and scroll through Facebook? If so, you will definitely need to ensure that your beloved laptop is protected on the way to any location. A great way to keep your Mac Book Pro safe while you move from point A to point B is a laptop backpack. Having a backpack to store your laptop is a fantastic way to keep your hands free, while still having everything you need right on your back. With free hands, you can hold a coffee, message on your phone, or steer your bike, and all the while, your laptop will be stored in a secure way, so no damage is caused.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research
It includes a detachable carabiner to keep your keys safe
The zippers and straps have been run through vigorous tests to ensure maximum performance
Has a water-resistant nylon construction
Top 10 Picks
1. Asus Republic of Gamers
It includes a detachable carabiner to keep your keys safe
The zippers and straps have been run through vigorous tests to ensure maximum performance
Has a water-resistant nylon construction
While great for taller people, the frame can make it uncomfortable for shorter people
ASUS is one of the leading manufacturers in terms of gaming accessories. It just so happens that their gaming backpack, the Nomad V2, is the best. Do not worry, even though it is designed with a PC gamer in mind, any laptop owner can enjoy the luxuries that ASUS provides.Read more
Past the main compartment for your laptop, there are several pockets in the interior that can provide a great location for accessories such as cables, keyboards, and mouses. In addition, there is a dedicated hanging hook for gaming headsets.
The shell of this pack has been coated with a water-resistant repellant to keep your contents dry and safe from nasty weather. Also, the 1680D ballistic nylon creates a durable exterior.
Thanks to the shoulder padding on the straps, you can carry this pack in comfort. However, to prevent overheating, the back padding is ventilated and designed to keep you cool.
The internal suspension system is able to allow the interior of the pack to hold laptops and notebooks up to 17-inches.
While there are no additional color selections for you, the lone black and red color design is masterfully designed and visually appealing.
PC gamers will take a great appreciation for this backpack, but non-gamers can enjoy it just as much. Its spacious main compartment, excellent organizable pockets and water-resistant shell ensure maximum customer satisfaction.
2. Tumi Alpha
Integrates several storage compartments for electronic devices and accessories
As much as this holds, it is more streamlined and compact than you would think
The overall design and aesthetic is fantastic
When it is fully packed, the contents in the exterior front pockets can be difficult to remove
One minor design flaw with the exterior front pockets prevents this pack from achieving a higher rating, but the quality is definitely of the essence here. Specifically, when discussing the aesthetic as the craftsmanship is on full display.Read more
The main compartment also sports an additional compartment perfect for papers and files. Past this, there are so many extra pockets that you will find it nearly impossible to utilize them all. Included are two media pockets, a zippered pocket, an open pocket, and an iPad pocket. But, if you pack this to the brim, any contents in the front pockets are difficult to get out.
For the protection of your laptop, the main compartment is fully padded. However, the fabric exterior, outside of being beautiful, is constructed from 100 percent ballistic nylon and adds ruggedness.
If you feel the need, you can transport the Alpha Bravo with the top carry handle. Though, for longer hauls, you may want to utilize the adjustable shoulder straps.
Tumi rates their backpack to properly hold laptops and notebooks that do not eclipse 15-inches in size.
To add a bit of diversity, Tumi provides you with more than one color option. The choice is yours from either a blue camouflage, navy or anthracite color layout.
As much as Tumi requests, in terms of money, for their Alpha Bravo, the quality should be top notch. Thankfully, outside of the minor flaw with the front pockets, that is exactly what you can expect.
3. Booq Cobra Squeeze
Features a weatherproof and rugged exterior
The soft lining in the interior will not scratch your laptop
In the instance you accidentally lose the backpack, it comes with a serial number that can track it down
At first, the design of the angled zipper can be tricky>
When it comes down to it, there is not much more that Booq could have integrated into their Cobra Squeeze Backpack that would have made it any better. It just so happens that the two above this exist, otherwise this would be a clear-cut favorite.Read more
Be prepared to be a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of storage compartments as outside of the obvious main compartment, there are enough to hold any accessories and contents that you can imagine.
Time was clearly taken when this was crafted as premium YKK zippers with genuine leather, a padded laptop compartment and a durable water-repelling Bionic fabric all combine to create a durable, yet eloquent backpack.
To conform to every body type imaginable, this sports ergonomic shoulder straps for maximum comfort. In addition, to prevent overheating, there is an airmesh padding on the back.
You can expect to adequately fit any PC laptop that is up to 15.4-inches in size, while also fitting MacBooks up to 15-inches.
Booq does not provide you with additional color options; however, the straight gray version will adapt and suffice for most people’s style.
It is worth noting that the angled-zipper (at the top of the bag) design takes a while to get used to. But, when you get it down, the sky is the limit. The multitude of storage compartments and fantastic craftsmanship should be enough to sell you right away.
4. Incase Range
The compartment for the laptop is padded with a plush fleece lining
For visibility at night, there are reflective details
Includes a U-lock pocket for securing your ride
The material is heavy
A lot of credit needs to go out to Incase as because of the impressive design, their Range Backpack is able to overcome its bulkiness issue. With minor features proving extra attention to detail, many should forgive the extra weight.Read more
Past a safe and secure location for your laptop, there is enough room in this backpack (such as a side-access notebook compartment) to find a place for most of your essentials. As a bonus, there is also a U-lock utility pocket with an organizer.
Outside, the Range Backpack is crafted from a durable 1680D ballistic nylon with non-PVC 600d polyester. Inside, the notebook compartment is padded with a plush fleece lining.
When your body begins to perspire, your back will be able to breathe thanks to the air mesh padding. Plus, the shoulder straps are fully adjustable to accommodate different sizes.
To ensure a proper fit, do not attempt to pack laptops or notebooks that exceed 15-inches in length. A few centimeters off may be fine, but nothing substantial.
No one will take an issue with the color selection chosen for this backpack, black and lumen, but there are no further options.
The tradeoff to the rugged and fantastic shell is that the material integrated creates a heavy backpack. But, innovative features such as the U-lock and reflective details for visibility at night, provide a sense of uniqueness.
5. Ebags Backpack
Has a sleek and professional appeal
Includes several different types and sizes of compartments
Is backed by a limited lifetime warranty
The mesh in the front is over-organized and does not fit anything substantial
With its professional appeal, this upcoming backpack is ideal for those of you searching for a sense of sophistication. Of course, it helps that eBags truly understands what customers are looking for in laptop backpacks.Read more
There are zippered compartments everywhere along the front for your laptops, tablets, water bottles and other essentials. For those who need it, there is also a crush-proof AC adaptor garage.
Most notable here, outside of the fact that the laptop and tablet compartments are fully padded, is the pack itself is crafted from 840D and 900D twisted polyester.
Contoured backpack straps and a vented airmesh back panel create a comfortable and suitable carrying experience. However, what is truly sensational about this backpack is that it easily transforms into a briefcase with a luggage handle.
eBags claims that their laptop backpack will fit laptops 12.25-inches in width and 17.5-inches in height. When the pad is removed, it can fit even larger.
Three different color options are available for you to select from including heathered graphite, solid black and brushed indigo.
As great as this is, it is not without its caveats. Thankfully, they are not too much of a deal breaker but know that the zippers can catch from time to time and the front-mesh portion of the pack does not fit items well. But, thanks to everything else, this is something you should be able to live with.
6. Incase Icon
Has a lot of space and compartments without feeling bulky
The shoulder straps are both adjustable and padded for comfort
Comes with five exterior pockets and one interior pocket
Because the color is the same on the exterior, the black selection can make life difficult
Incase makes their second appearance on this list and this time, it is their Icon Laptop Backpack. Holding up well to its name, the Icon is riddled with several storage compartments and an impressive, customizable fit.Read more
Outside of the main compartment, there are literally loads of additional pockets for accessories and valuables. This includes a hip-side power pocket with a cable port, a side-access iPad pocket, and a series of organizer pockets for small items.
Incase went with 840D nylon to construct their Icon Backpack and it is a superb choice as it produces a very durable shell.
With the adjustable shoulder straps, which are built with an appropriate amount of padding, you are delivered an ergonomic support and an optimal amount of comfort.
To get the Icon to fully shut, you will want to limit the size of your laptop to 15-inches. Anything beyond and this pack may not be suitable.
While the variety of color options is kept to a minimum here, there are at least a few different ones to select from. They are basic, but effective, and include black, gray, or red.
Though, interestingly enough, the exterior and interior are the same color which can be problematic if you select the black version.
Granted, the Icon is not the most iconic laptop backpack in the world but it does hold up to the competition fairly impressively. Clearly, the plethora of storage compartments is the key design element and provides you with space for all your essentials (not just your laptop).
7. Herschel Supply
Features a magnetic strap with metal pin clips for closure
The bottom has been reinforced for extra durability
Several color options are available
The lack of organization and storage compartments is irritating
Herschel Supply Co.’s Retreat Backpack has been heavily raved and acclaimed. While its placement on this list indicates it is highly deserving of its praise, the storage design is a bit frustrating. We’ll get into further detail, but just know that it could be a deal breaker.Read more
It is not as if there is no room for your laptop and valuables, as there is. However, it is essentially an enormous opening with no rhyme or reason behind it. Basically, good luck organizing your belongings in here as there are little to no extra locations for items.
Herschel Supply Co. definitely hits it out of the ballpark with craftsmanship as they have reinforced the bottom for enhanced durability, lined the inside with coated cotton-polyester fabric and utilized magnetic straps to close the pack.
The straps themselves are polyurethane and they are contoured to match your shoulder’s frame to provide the most comfort possible.
As with most on this list, if your laptop is no bigger than 15.6-inches then you should be in the all-clear.
If you are overly-picky when it comes to the visual appeal and color of a backpack, then you will appreciate the time taken by Herschel Supply Co. to provide several differing color options. Some examples are black, caramel and leather, lichen, gray, navy, and wine.
Indeed, the storage design leaves a lot to be desired. But, if this does not happen to be a massive issue for you, then you can appreciate the greatness that is present here. However, if you are blinded by the caveat then you should probably pass.
8. Timbuk2 Authority
You can grab the handle for an easy carry< There are several color options Features rear access to the laptop compartment
When sat down, it will not stay upright
It is a wonder if Timbuk2 and Osprey had any collaboration with their laptop backpacks as The Authority Pack from Timbuk2 has the exact same caveat as the backpack from Osprey but in a different fashion. However, again, it is on the list so it can’t be enough to derail its greatness.Read more
No doubt, you will not be disappointed in terms of storage. On the exterior, there are deep side pockets and quick access zippered pockets. Meanwhile, an organizer panel is integrated into the interior.
Timbuk2 built this with premium in mind and the materials they utilized prove that. For a cleaner and more professional look, the fabric is coated with a matte finish and the sternum straps conveniently tuck away.
The backstraps are not the issue here, as they are fairly comfortable, and the airmesh back panel provides an admirable amount of ventilation. No, the issue is that some may have a problem with is the contour of the back as it is extremely straight and does not fit on your back all that great.
Yet again, this has a laptop maximum capacity limit of 15-inches.
For your convenience, you can select between several different color designs such as fog, jet black, jet black static, moss and surplus.
Again, comfort comes to the forefront. The straight back will either disappoint you or not be an issue at all. Either way, the storage compartments and premium construction should void any doubts you have.
9. Solo Duane Hybrid
Comes with a 5-year warranty
Has enough compartments to store various accessories
It transforms from a briefcase into a backpack
The hooks that latch the shoulder straps are plastic
What is so unique about the Hybrid Laptop Backpack, as its name eloquently indicates, it is a hybrid of a briefcase and a backpack. Thus, making it suitable for a number of different circumstances.Read more
No matter if you use it as a briefcase or backpack, there are compartments everywhere. On the front, there is two quick access pockets and a large pocket with an organizer section. In addition, there is also an internal iPad pocket.
The overall aesthetic of this backpack is sleek and appealing, especially because of its polyester body.
Portability is where the money is because this has multiple functionalities. As a briefcase, it has padded carry handled that have magnetic snaps. But, as a backpack, it features padded straps for enhanced comfort.
The laptop compartment, which is fully padded, will fit laptops that are up to 15.6-inches in size.
Nobody in their right mind will take an issue with the lone color option. Sure, you could argue there should be variety but it is hard to dispute the magnificence of the gray color design.
While not without its flaws, this hybrid briefcase/backpack is terrific when you covet both. In certain situations, a laptop backpack will be more ideal, and vice versa for a briefcase.
10. Under Armour Storm Hustle II
Variety of styles
Two side pockets
Front bottom pouch takes up a lot of room
This laptop backpack comes in a variety of colors and is from a trusted brand that offers the security that you expect for your laptop. If you are a fan of the Under Armour brand and want the peace of mind that your laptop is safe while traveling, this is the laptop backpack for you.Read more
The Storm Hustle II is built to carry your laptop up to 15" and also any other technological devices you may want to store on your travels. This backpack also has a number of pockets: two on the outside and also two side pockets for your beverage bottles or similarly-sized items.
This laptop backpack is built by a trusted brand that is known for their quality. This backpack is built with security in mind and is also water-resistant to make sure that no water will leak through and damage your electronics.
This backpack holds laptops up to 15". The backpack itself has a dimension of 19" x 13" x 5".
This backpack comes in a variety of colors and styles. If you are interested in this backpack than there is a style for you.
This laptop backpack is from a great brand and is effective at keeping your electronics secure while providing lots of storage space for other items you have with you on the go. If you are looking for a dependable backpack that lets you stay organized then this is a backpack to check out.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The main design function of a laptop backpack is to properly and safely carry your laptop, obviously. If they stopped with this, they would perform exactly what they were designed to do. But, as Bluetooth technology has proven, it is more convenient when one product is able to perform multiple functionalities and not just one. With laptop backpacks, this is in reference to the additional storage compartments that they provide for you. Depending on how many valuables and accessories you plan on carrying, you may want more or less than the average person.
What you need to do is analyze what types of storage compartments there are and where they are located. For example, are there extra pockets in the interior for a proper organization? Or, if you simply prefer traveling with hydration, is there an exterior pocket that can be utilized as a hydration bladder? As a point of reference, the more integrations of pockets the more organized you will be able to keep your content. One last note, also understand if the pockets have zippers are not as you may want your items to be as secure as possible.
No matter what consumer product you stumble upon, craftsmanship will be important. It is a design element that should always be at the forefront of your mind as longevity in anything is not only practical but oftentimes, mandatory. For laptop backpacks, focus most of your attention on a few key areas of craftsmanship. Firstly, is the shell or exterior of the pack. Look and analyze what type of fabric is utilized to construct the pack. For example, a fabric such as ballistic nylon (which made more than a few appearances) is fantastic as it is designed for maximum durability and resistance to abrasions.
Secondly, for nasty weather conditions, it is a huge bonus when the manufacturer coats their backpack with a water-resistant repellent to withstand rainy conditions. Remember, water-resistant is not waterproof and anytime you see something that is water-resistant, it may not withstand raging downpours. Lastly, and this should not ever be an issue, is the padding integrated into the laptop compartment. After all, a laptop backpack loses its usefulness if you risk the safety of your laptop every time you place it inside.
When analyzing comfort, which is a huge design factor especially if you intend on carrying the backpack over long hauls, there are a few main areas to prioritize: ventilation, padding and the shape of the back. On any given day, you never know what the weather may be. Clearly, in the summer and winter, you can have a pretty good idea, but we digress. On warmer days, you will appreciate if your backpack has airmesh ventilation on the back as this will allow your back to breathe.
But, arguably, the amount of padding and shape of the back are even more important to ensure a comfortable experience. Shoulder straps do not need to feel like clouds, as they still need to be forceful enough to hold, but they should at least not be digging into your skin. This is enhanced when you travel long distances, as your shoulders will be able to tell if there is not enough padding. As far as the shape goes, if it is a straight angle it may not contour to your back properly and cause extreme discomfort.
Above all else, this is the sole determining factor for most people. Why? Because, if your laptop does not fit inside of the intended compartment than it nullifies the design purpose of it. But, what do random measurements mean to you? If you see a manufacturer state that their laptop backpack will hold laptops up to 15-inches in size, they are referring to the screen size. In order to properly measure your screen size, if you do not know it already, you must measure from one corner of the screen to the other (in a diagonal fashion).
When doing so, ignore the bezel on the sides and only measure the actual LCD/LED screen itself. An easy way to do so, to ensure you do not scratch your screen, is to measure the entire screen (with the bezels). Then, measure the small portions of each of the corner (only the bezel) and then subtract that total from the overall total. If your laptop measures 15-inches, then you should be good to get a backpack that fits up to 15-inches. Of course, manufacturers may only provide length and width dimensions and if so, close your laptop and properly measure its width and length.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Laptops can get quite expensive, depending on the technical specifications. As such, you should put forth the effort to ensure that when you travel with them, they are as safe as possible. But, as you now know, they offer further conveniences as well. There are a lot of great choices on the market that offer all sorts of different styles and have a bevy of various features. Once you know what your main purpose and goals for your laptop bag will be, you might quickly become overwhelmed by all the choices out there. We hope this list has guided you in the right direction and you have a better idea about which laptop backpack will be best suited for you and your laptop.
Other Factors to Consider
Okay, so is this really that important? Compared to the previous design factors, probably not. But, the overall aesthetic and color design can be important for some people. At the end of the day, is there really anything wrong with craving a backpack that embraces your style? Of course, if you do some critical thinking, color can actually come into play in different factors. How about the fact that darker colors absorb sunlight? On hot days, do you really want a scorching hot black backpack that may even compromise your laptop (as they are not meant to withstand blistering heat)? Overall, however, this is all about personal preference so have some fun with this one.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do laptop backpacks hold up in the rain?
Water and electronics have never mixed and they never will. There is a high probability that inside your laptop backpack, alongside your expensive laptop, you will also store charging cables and AC adaptors. But, if it begins it rain outside, should you start to be concerned? It was addressed earlier but it deserves to be brought up again, the key is to know if it is water-resistant, waterproof or neither. If a manufacturer treats the bag with a water-resistant repellent, then it will repel a moderate amount of water. But, this does not mean it is designed to withstand heavy downpours and rainfall (as that is only if it is waterproof).
However, some fabrics and materials are naturally resistant to water and will hold up well to it. Though, without full-on waterproofness, you should not trust the bag to keep your contents dry in torrential downpours.
q: How can I protect my laptop from water or snacks spilling inside my backpack?
Let’s say that you want to include a bottle of water and some trail mix in your laptop backpack. To ensure that neither of these additions cause any harm to your laptop, you most definitely want to screw your water bottle lid on very tight and make sure your snack is in a secure container that cannot be opened. Often, you can get screw on lid containers for snacks, too. Furthermore, it is suggested that you place your water or snacks at the bottom of your bag, so if there is any spillage it doesn’t flow all the way through and cause more damage. The moisture will only be at the bottom of the bag and not all throughout.
q: How do I choose a laptop backpack for work or travel?
Firstly, if you are heading on a trip somewhere, and you wish to get a laptop backpack for the journey, it’s important to note that travel usually brings a lot of movement. You may be changing plains and buses, which means your bag will end up in various storage spots and in between different things like other luggage. Basically, there will be a lot of movement in travel, so you want to make sure your laptop backpack is ready for the travel by being padded and durable. You may also want a backpack that has a lot of different storage places, so if you need something in a pinch, it’s easy to get at.
If you are using a backpack for work, your laptop still needs to be well protected, but your primary concern will be that you can also fit important items needed for the day ahead of you, such as a portfolio, pens, cell phone, and important documents. Again, you may want a backpack that has great storage spaces and is well organized, but also, you will need a backpack that most likely looks clean and professional. Whereas a travel laptop backpack doesn’t really need to look professional but needs to be durable.
q: How do you hand wash a laptop backpack?
Honestly, there is not much difference in hand washing a laptop backpack as opposed to a traditional backpack. For the process, you should have what you need already in your household. To start, find an area that is large enough for your backpack (a large sink, bathtub, etc.). Whatever you find, fill it with lukewarm water. This is important as if the water is too hot, the colors on the backpack could begin to bleed out. After which, add a small dosage of soap (ensuring that it does not have detergent in it as that can compromise the material). Now, all you need to do is take a soft cloth or a brush and begin to scrub the bag ridding it of all the dirt. To rinse it, simply drain the soapy water and refill your area with clean water. That is it, and for the drying process, just ensure that you let it naturally dry keeping it away from direct heating sources.
q: When dropped, is a laptop safe in your backpack?
For the most part, laptop backpacks are not designed like smartphone cases. Whereas these types of cases are designed with shock absorption technology and are literally designed to withstand drops of significant distances, laptop backpacks are not. So, it is not wise to be careless when you are using it. However, what happens if your backpack merely slips from your grasp and lands on the ground? In this scenario, assuming it is not a far drop, your backpack should remain safe as long as there is enough padding that supports it. Hence, this is where the padding in the laptop compartment comes into play. The more padding there is and the thicker it happens to be, the greater chance your laptop has of withstanding a moderately-short drop while encased in the backpack.
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