10 Best Laptop Backpacks | March 2017

Protect your laptop and carry everything else you need for school, work or travel, with one of these outstanding laptop backpacks. Our selection includes models perfect for students, vacationers and business professionals. Skip to the best laptop backpack on Amazon.
10 Best Laptop Backpacks | March 2017


Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 4
Best High-End
★★★★
Overall Rank: 10
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
Not just for keeping your laptop safe, the Case Logic DLBP-114 has a felt-like scratch resistant pocket to protect your sunglasses, too. And, of course, there's ample room for books, a spare shirt, snacks, and other sundries.
9
With a rain cover and a dedicated, removable SLR camera compartment, the Victoriatourist V6022 is the ideal choice for the serious tourist or the professional photographer. It lets you carry a mobile digital photo lab on your back.
8
Embrace vintage style while carrying modern technology with the Vochic Retro Laptop Backpack. Its exterior is made completely from rugged and handsome canvas, with genuine leather straps and handsome metal buckles. It fits laptops up to 14 inches in length.
7
The Brenthaven 2071102 is expandable, making it perfect for the active urban professional who needs to take lots of things to and from work, and needs them seriously well protected: it is made with a titanium ballistic nylon shell.
  • removable mesh pocket for dirty items
  • high density foam protection
  • fits laptops up to 15.4 inches
Brand Brenthaven
Model 2071102
Weight 3.4 pounds
6
Everything on the Swiss Gear Unisex SA1758 is made from lightweight components so, remarkably, the bag weighs less than three pounds when empty. Yet it still fits computers as large as 17 inches across, and totes weight with ease.
  • lay-flat design helps with tsa security
  • easy access to a mobile phone pocket
  • big enough to hold multiple laptops
Brand Swiss Gear
Model SA1753
Weight 2.7 pounds
5
Leave your laptop inside the bag and quickly glide past security checkpoints with the air travel-friendly Mobile Edge Alienware Orion M18x. It has a semi-rigid front panel that provides excellent protection.
  • fits huge laptops up to 18.4 inches
  • headphone outlet slot
  • comes with lifetime warranty
Brand Mobile Edge
Model AWBP18
Weight 3.7 pounds
4
The Samsonite Luggage Vizair is the perfect choice for those on the go. It has cool air flow padding that keeps your body temperature down, and it's made from a tough polyester material that won't rip or puncture.
  • dual side water bottle pockets
  • front neoprene organizer
  • choose from multiple colors
Brand Samsonite
Model 48232
Weight 4.1 pounds
3
Sudden downpours or leaky storage compartments won't be a worry anymore with the extra durable and highly water resistant Spigen SGP10551. You can trust it to protect your prized laptop in bad weather or when you spill coffee.
  • stay organized with 11 compartments
  • thick padded shoulder straps
  • fits under seats for air travel
Brand Spigen
Model SGP10551
Weight 3 pounds
2
The Everki EKP119 unzips a full 180 degrees, and can lie completely flat, so it easily takes even the largest items. It can also open multiple compartments at once, unfolding accordion style, which makes packing and unpacking easy.
  • 5 point strap system for great support
  • airflow channels to keep you cooler
  • felt-lined top access pocket
Brand Everki
Model EKP119
Weight 3.2 pounds
1
The vintage Solo Executive has the stylish poise to make you look good in any setting, from the boardroom to the library. It looks sleek, simple, and suave from the outside, but within has advanced padding and support for laptops.
  • dedicated tablet pocket
  • high quality, full-grain leather
  • attractive blue interior color
Brand SOLO
Model VTA701-3
Weight 2.5 pounds

How Do I Choose The Right Laptop Backpack For Me?

What questions do you need to ask yourself before you make room for a new laptop backpack in your life?

How big is your laptop?

This is the most basic question - you need a backpack big enough to fit your laptop comfortably inside. And comfortably is the word - just because you've got a laptop doesn't mean you should necessarily disregard a bag big enough to contain a , particularly if you're planning to keep the rest of your life in the same bag. More room = less strain on the zips = a longer-lasting backpack.

Where are you and your laptop going?

You'll have noticed by now that a lot of laptop backpacks promise to appease the TSA, with a lay-flat design that allows your bag to slide on through the X-ray machine while displaying your precious, definitely-not-a-bomb, ma'am-please-do-not-make-jokes-about-bombs-within-the-security-area, hardware for all to see. This is hella useful, but only if you're genuinely going to need it. Don't be swayed into spending extra on a feature that might be useful, maybe, if I take that vacation next year, if for some reason I decide I need to take my laptop with me... Nah. If you're a frequent business flyer or you need to fly home from college every vacation, you need this. If not, probably not.

Similarly, if you're going to be traveling-traveling - you know, if there's going to be a lot of lifting this pack in and out of luggage racks, and maybe hiking - then you might want to consider a pack that is especially lightweight, and/or well-padded to protect your stuff, and/or has air-flow panels to stop your back getting nasty and sweaty. A reliably waterproof pack might be in order if you're going camping. (It would never occur to us to take our laptop camping, but...to be honest, it would never occur to us to go camping, so what do we know?)

How much other stuff are you going to cram in there? And what stuff?

Again, be honest with yourself. Is this backpack really just going to be for your laptop, or is everything else you own going to end up in there too? If you're someone who generally carries a purse, is all of that stuff - wallet, cosmetics, tissues, gum, copy of that Marie Kondo book you're sure is going to change your life - going to end up in your backpack too? Do you need a little pocket for your smartphone, or is that unnecessary because your smartphone lives in your hand?

Then, think specifics. If you're transporting your tablet as well as your laptop, you might benefit from a backpack with a designated tablet pocket. And maybe cast your mind back to the previous question to think about the purpose of the trips you and your laptop are taking together: will you need somewhere to put a water bottle within easy reach? Sunglasses? A camera? Some of the backpacks on our list are designed to help you carry that stuff safely.

How disorganized are you - really?

Do bus drivers hate it when they see you waiting at their stop? Is it because you're going to spend the entire journey rooting in the darkness of your bag for your change or your travel card, which you know is there somewhere, but you don't know whether it's under your lunch or between the pages of your notebook or stuck to the bottom of that pack of glowsticks you bought for some reason? If so - especially if you're going on a long trip - you might benefit from a backpack with neat organisational features, like the eleven compartments in the Spigen SGP 10551 (eleven! If you don't know where your stuff is with eleven compartments, there is no hope for you), or the accordion-style compartments and bright orange interior of the Everki EKP119.

Does it look good?

In some ways this is the least important factor in choosing a backpack, but face it - if you carry something around on your back all the time, that something is making a statement about you, whether you like it or not. You might be content to go for form over function and let your backpack say whatever it wants - as long as it's not "hey, check me out: I'm carrying an expensive laptop" (which is why we prefer backpacks with a more subtle, rounded shape) - but if you do want to pick something a little more stylish, be sure you don't sacrifice the durability of your pack.

What Makes A Laptop Backpack TSA-Friendly?

Back in 2008, the Transportation Security Administration shocked travelers everywhere by revealing that they don't ask you to remove your laptop from your bag just because they get a kick out of wasting your time - or even because they're hoping that you'll accidentally leave your computer behind.

Nope - apparently, all they want is a clear and unobstructed image of the laptop as it goes through their X-ray machine. And eight years ago they began encouraging manufacturers to produce bags that meet their criteria - that is, bags that have:

  • a designated laptop-only section that you can lay flat on the X-ray belt
  • no metal snaps, zippers or buckles inside, underneath or on-top of the laptop-only section
  • no pockets on the inside or outside of the laptop-only section.

Back then, almost no backpacks met these criteria - see this Lifehacker article, which basically tells you not to bother with a backpack for your laptop at all - but over the past eight years more and more backpacks have been designed to open fully and lay flat.

If you've purchased a laptop backpack that promises to do all of the above, here are some more things you need to remember:

  • do not pack anything in the laptop compartment other than the laptop
  • when you're at the checkpoint, unfold your backpack completely so that there is nothing above or below the laptop-only section, allowing the bag to lie flat on the X-ray belt
  • no backpack manufacturer can guarantee that the TSA is not going to ask you to remove your laptop anyway, or undergo additional screening once the backpack has been X-rayed. (They're the TSA, man. They do what they want)
  • different countries have different security procedures, and these guidelines are for the TSA only - don't get pissy with security staff elsewhere if they ask you to remove your laptop from your bag

Let's See How Much You Know About The History of Backpacks

According to Wikipedia, the first backpacks - way back in ancient times - were made of animal skin, sewn together with woven animal intestines, used to carry more bits of animal: the meat that needed to be carried home from a hunt. We love the idea of prehistoric kids opening up their backpacks at lunchtime. "What'd you get?" "Mammoth, again..."

Over the centuries, as we evolved to be a little less hunty and a little more fighty (that's right, we're all anthropological experts here), backpacks were mainly used in the military. But in the 20th century, as Americans became more and more interested in outdoor pursuits like hiking and camping, backpacks began to develop.

Gerry Cunningham of Gerry Outdoors is credited with designing the first zippered backpack, in 1938, for use in rock-climbing. In the 1960s the same company began to make backpacks from lightweight, durable nylon rather than from canvas.

In the 1960s and 70s, college students began buying these outdoor backpacks to carry their textbooks and keep them dry, and through the 70s and 80s bag manufacturers began to design backpacks especially for books - check out this npr article on the evolution of the school backpack.

Laptops, meanwhile, had been around since the 1980s, but during the 90s and 00s became more available for individual consumers, leading to the emergence of specific laptop bags - including backpacks - with padded interiors and pockets for cables. In 2008, as we illustrated above, many manufacturers began to adapt their laptop backpacks to meet TSA guidelines for security screening.



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Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information

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