1/10 SLIDES © Staff, Courtesy of Timbuk2
If you’re in the market for an everyday bag (you know, a “work” bag) chances are you’ll need one with designated space for your laptop. If your bag of choice is a backpack—not a bad one for ergonomic health—there’s an overwhelming number of options with a bevy of features, never mind style and basic determining factors like size and weight. We’ve sussed out the best laptop backpacks to consider, so read on for our top recommendations, plus advice to take into account before you shop.
What to Consider
Your first order of business is to make sure your laptop—or the one you plan to buy—will fit in the backpack. Most bags accommodate laptops ranging from 15 to 17 inches, with designated, padded sleeves to store them that are separate from the main compartment, and have varying degrees of water-resistance.
It’s also important to factor in how you’ll use it. If you bike, you’ll likely want a backpack that has sternum and waist straps for stability, is fairly lightweight and aerodynamic, and has reflective details for safety at night. Those who take trains or the metro may want top handles to carry the bag to make room for other passengers. If you’re a frequent traveler, having an RFID-blocking pocket for your passport and credit cards is smart, in addition to slipcases that slide out so your laptop will be protected while going through security. Also, if you tend to pack a lot into your bag in addition to a laptop, look for something lightweight.
Beyond that, it’s all about style and nice-to-have features. For example, some include built-in USB charging ports and cables, special compartments to protect glasses, and side pockets for water bottles.
How We Chose
Every laptop backpack we review has an average customer rating of 4.5 stars or higher. We dug into our own research and considered top-name brands to offer a range of bags in a range of styles, from sleek to sport, and across multiple price points, including budget-friendly options and high-end backpacks. We also weighed features against cost and made selections to include a wide variety to suit different buyers' needs and preferences.
2/10 SLIDES © amazon.com
1) Matein Travel Laptop Backpack
Key Specs•Dimensions:18 x 12 x 7.8 inches• Weight: 1.5 pounds• Laptop Size:15-inch
This budget-friendly backpack comes loaded with features and gets rave reviews — an average 4.8 stars from more than 45,000 customers.
There’s a separate compartment for a 15-inch laptop and a well-organized main compartment with loads of pockets for gear and a zippered front flap with more storage for things you need close at hand. There’s also a built-in USB charging port outside and charging cable inside for juicing up your phone while you’re on the go.
Other highlights include an anti-theft pocket on the back to safeguard your credit cards, adjustable padded mesh shoulder straps, and trolley sleeve to slip over your rolling suitcase’s handle.
3/10 SLIDES © amazon.com
2) Herschel Buckingham Backpack
Key Specs• Dimensions: 8 x 12.2 x 18 inches• Weight: 2.2 pounds• Laptop Size: 15-inch
Herschel is the go-to for an understated, cool backpack. The durable bags are stylish, with hardware that gives them a rugged edge. The Buckingham has a roomy, 33-liter main compartment, with the brand’s eye-catching red-and-white striped liner, and a handful of slip pockets for your phone and small items.
It can accommodate a 15-inch laptop and has a drawstring closure, plus magnets on the one the buckled webbing straps. It’s another customer favorite, with an average 4.8 stars.
4/10 SLIDES © amazon.com
3) Incase Icon Backpack
Key Specs• Dimensions: 19 x 13 x 9 inches• Weight: 1.3 pounds• Laptop Size: 16-inchFor protecting tech gear, Incase is one of the biggest names in the market, so it’s no surprise the brand has a line of top-notch laptop backpacks. The one has three separate compartments for your 16-inch laptop—which is faux-fur lined—mobile phone, and tablet, plus smaller pockets to hold essentials like keys and chargers.
It’s made of a textured polyester fabric that’s soft but durable, with a back panel that molds to your back but keeps sweat in check thanks to air channels. There are also adjustable padded straps plus a sternum strap to balance weight.
A hip pocket with an integrated cable port is a major bonus for listening to music and podcasts.
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5/10 SLIDES © amazon.com
4) Thule Crossover Backpack
Key Specs• Dimensions: 12.4 x 12.2 x 18.5 inches•Weight: 2.2 pounds• Laptop Size: 15-inchThis option from Thule is the ultimate work-and-play backpack, designed to keep you organized during the week and ready to tackle the great outdoors on weekends. The 32-liter backpack has a padded 15-inch laptop compartment in the back that’s slightly elevated and can double as separate packing space for trips.
There’s also a pocket that locks to protect eyeglasses and other breakable gear or equipment. The backpack and zippers are water-resistant, plus it features an outer pocket with compression straps that’s perfect for stashing a lightweight jacket and a side pocket for a water bottle.
6/10 SLIDES © amazon.com
5) TIMBUK2 Division Laptop Backpack
Key Specs• Dimensions: 17.3 x 11 x 5 inches• Weight: 2.1 pounds• Laptop Size: 15-inch
If you’re in the market for a sleek, well-designed backpack, look no further than this option from San Francisco-based Timbuk2.
There’s a rear padded compartment to slide in your 15-inch laptop and has a slew of organizational pockets in the main compartment. It also features side compression straps if you’re hauling a lot of extra gear, a mesh back panel and sternum strap for extra support, plus reflective zippers and a loop for attaching a blinking light for safely biking at night.
It’s available in 10 attractive neutral shades.
7/10 SLIDES © amazon.com
6) Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack
Key Specs• Dimensions: 16.9 x 11.8 x 7.1 inches• Weight: 1.1 pounds• Laptop Size: 17-inch
With their eclectic design, the cult-fave bags from Fjallraven are unmistakable. The classic Kanken ( “to carry” in Swedish) backpacks weighs about a pound, but it’s no lightweight when it comes to durability and holding up to the elements, as it’s water-resistant and has a two-way zipper with a rain flap.
There’s a separate padded compartment that can hold a 17-inch laptop, with three pockets in the main compartment to keep small items organized. It also features padded ergonomic shoulder straps that crisscross for extra support, plus a top handle that snaps together for easy carrying.
8/10 SLIDES © amazon.com
7) Pacsafe Venturesafe Backpack
Key Specs• Dimensions: 7.9 x 19.7 x 11.4 inches• Weight: 1.9 pounds• Laptop Size: 15-inch
This backpack with a 15-inch padded laptop sleeve has an impressive lineup of features to keep sensitive material inside safe from identity theft, plus it’s constructed to prevent it from getting stolen off your back.
For starters, there’s a RFID-blocking pocket for items like credit cards and passports, along with wire-reinforced straps and stainless steel mesh panels to safeguard against slashing. It also features zippers and straps that attach to hidden hooks, plus a sternum and waist strap for extra safety and comfort to balance weight.
9/10 SLIDES © amazon.com
8) On Track Pack Vegan Leather Backpack
Key Specs• Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 5.5 inches• Weight: 2.3 pounds• Laptop Size: 15-inch
If you want a backpack with more polish, this vegan leather Kenneth Cole option is an excellent choice, with rich-looking grain, embossing, and upscale details on hardware. It also has a RFID-blocking pocket for your passport and credit cards, and a designated compartment for a 15-inch laptop.
The main compartment is fully lined, with a mesh pocket and two slip pockets, plus there’s a spacious front zippered pocket and a side pocket for a water bottle. Its top handle and adjustable straps are padded, and there’s a trolley sleeve to attach the backpack to your roller suitcase.