The 10 Best Laptop Bags
This wiki has been updated 31 times since it was first published in May of 2015. Whether you’re looking for something stylish and comfortable to protect your valuable computer during your daily commute, or you need a way to get through airport security with the least hassle possible, one of the laptop bags on this list should offer the ideal solution. From lightweight and versatile to rugged and durable, there’s an option here to fit your specific needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 17, 2021:
It was a quick round of updates for us, as the majority of our existing selections for the page still looked like great choices. The only exception was the Mobile Edge Eco, which we wound up removing due to concerns surrounding its availability.
By my estimation, this is one of the nicest faraday bags on the market, and it seemed prudent to include at least one option on this list that offers signal blocking, but it does have some shortcomings, like the disappointing absence of a laptop sleeve and no auxiliary pockets to speak of (although the case could be made that this helps contribute to its sleek appearance). Some may also find its buckle-based dry bag closure to be a pain, compared to a zipper, but others will recognize that this is a fair price to pay for weather resistance.
If hauling bags all over town just isn’t your thing, maybe you’ll be more interested in our list of rolling laptop cases.
March 05, 2020:
A wheeled design can be useful, but we have opted to remove the Wenger Swissgear Granada at this time over concerns about the durability of its casters. We've also, after some consideration, chosen to remove the Incase Icon. While it is sleekly eye-catching, it's simply not comfortable for many. Instead, we think the eBags Professional Slim is a workable option. It is just as useful for daily carry to the office as it is for plane travel, especially since it has a pass-through sleeve for attaching it to rolling suitcases. There's also the slightly more expensive Everki Titan, which is travel-friendly thanks to the 180-degree opening capability.
Those who want more of a messenger bag style, as opposed to a backpack, might take a look at the Timbuk2 Command or the Thule Subterra. They offer padding, as you'd expect, as well as fully adjustable shoulder straps and organizational features. Of the two, the Command has the sportier feel, while the Subterra has tried-and-true business appropriate styling. For an option that's more budget-friendly, we've kept the Brinch Oxford. You probably shouldn't expect it to stand up to exceptionally rough use, but for casual or occasional laptop carrying, it's fine. And, finally, for something just a little different, we added the EaseGave Tote, which looks much like a purse but can carry your computer. It comes in a ton of color choices, but you'll want to treat its zippers gently.
Tom Bihn Cadet The Tom Bihn Cadet can take a lot of punishment, as it's crafted from top-notch materials and hand-sewn to high quality standards in the USA. It offers many organizational features and thoughtful touches, from O-rings that clip in your gear securely to well-placed top grab handles. tombihn.com
Aer Day Pack Available only in black, the Aer Day Pack is a relatively plain but sleek backpack with a minimalist feel. The small touches are where it shines, however, since it boasts water-resistant fabric, YKK zippers, a mesh back panel, a structured design, and much more. aersf.com
Topo Designs Rover Tech The styling may render it too casual for some offices, but for those who like a hiking/outdoorsy aesthetic, the Topo Designs Rover Tech is an excellent choice. The top flap pocket makes it a cinch to access those little items you need to quickly get your hands on, while the expandable side pockets keep your water and other beverages within easy reach. topodesigns.com
A Brief History Of Business Bags
Every student needed a satchel to carry around the ponderous tomes they were expected to study, and merchants used girdle-bags to carry spices, herbs, and money.
The laptop bag is the latest in a long line of business gear, the most notable of which is the sturdy leather briefcase. However, people have been searching for the perfect work bag since Roman soldiers marched off to war, if not before.
Those Roman legions carried a leather satchel called a loculus, which was made from either goat or calf hide. It is believed that these bags were intended for them to carry rations or their personal belongings, which I can only assume included a chart that helped convert Roman numerals into regular numbers. Around the same time, early attorneys were using crude attaché cases to transport important documents.
Satchels were more commonly preferred for personal effects, and attachés were reserved for paper, but both were widely used for many centuries. In fact, they were quite indispensable, as the clothing of the time didn't have any pockets. When pockets finally came around in the 13th century, they were small enough that they could only store keys or purses, and so bags remained necessary for carrying all other items.
Bags became fashion accessories towards the dawn of the 17th century, with even Shakespeare making reference to them in As You Like It. Every student needed a satchel to carry around the ponderous tomes they were expected to study, and merchants used girdle-bags to carry spices, herbs, and money.
The Industrial Revolution began in the late 18th century, and with it came the rise of the middle manager. These businessmen needed something sturdy in which to transport their documents, and thus the rigid briefcase was born. These cases featured metal clasps to prevent them from opening accidentally, and soon these trunks became part of the unofficial office worker's uniform.
The briefcase would reign supreme for decades. However, as computers began to slowly displace paper in the business world, taking your work home with you meant having access to a PC. The first successful commercial laptop was released in 1981, and the need for something stylish with which to carry it soon followed.
Now, laptop bags are as commonplace as briefcases, and personal computers are an indispensable part of our lives. The next revolution in business bags will likely coincide with a technological breakthrough, so it will be interesting to see where the future takes us.
Benefits Of A Laptop Bag
If you've been lugging your computer around in your backpack for years, you may not see the need for a laptop bag. After all, why spend money on another bag when your JanSport knapsack can hold a MacBook and your dirty gym clothes?
If you've been lugging your computer around in your backpack for years, you may not see the need for a laptop bag.
Well, hidden in that question lies your answer. A laptop bag is better at protecting your precious computer than a regular backpack, especially if you tend to throw things like sweaty socks and half-empty water bottles in there with it. Most laptop bags have built-in protection for your electronics, ensuring that they don't get damaged easily.
A laptop case will also have compartments specifically designed for all of your computing accessories. There might be a pouch for your power cord and smaller pockets for earbuds or your mouse, all the while still having room left over for your sundry personal items.
Most carriers are designed either to be held by the handle or worn with a shoulder strap, and regardless of which way you decide to tote yours, it will be better shielded than it would be bouncing along on your back. With your computer in or near your hands, you can guide it through crowded areas easily, and you never have to worry about leaning back on it accidentally.
Also, a stylish laptop case just looks more professional than a backpack. If you're going in for a job interview, or if you're the new hire in the office, you'll get more respect with an appropriate case than you would with a gym bag strapped to your shoulders. First impressions go a long way, and you want to make sure yours gets you taken seriously.
Picking The Right Laptop Bag For You
Now that I've convinced you that a laptop bag is essential, there are a few factors you need to consider before you decide which one is right for you.
If you prefer a messenger bag style, make sure the bag you buy comes with a shoulder strap.
The most important consideration is your actual laptop. While most cases will fit any size computer, some have more room inside than others. Be sure you have plenty of space for whatever else you need to carry, especially if this is going to be your only bag. Having room for your phone, keys, and loose change will free up your pockets, eliminating unsightly bulges and helping you to look more professional even when your hands are free.
Ideally, your bag would have a dedicated space for everything you carry on a daily basis, so go ahead and make an inventory of every item you take with you when leaving the house. If everything has a dedicated spot, you'll immediately notice when something is missing, saving you from losing your power cord or leaving the house without your keys.
Also, make sure it's comfortable to carry around, especially if you have to walk quite a bit during your day. If you prefer a messenger bag style, make sure the bag you buy comes with a shoulder strap. Some even have wheels, so you can just roll your computer around if you don't feel like carrying it. Regardless of which type you choose, remember: you can never have enough padding.
Finally, decide on what kind of statement you want to make. All business? Then a traditional leather bag is right up your alley. Are you the quirky artist type? Then you can surely find one in leather print, hot pink, or whatever else strikes your fancy. Professional doesn't have to mean boring, so take this opportunity to express yourself.