Your laptop is one of the most important pieces of equipment you carry. It’s also the most fragile. That’s why whether you’re a digital nomad, a frequent business traveler, or somewhere in between, finding the right bag can be challenging. The best laptop bags protect your tech with ample padding, while still remaining stylish and lightweight enough to carry around.
Look for features that match your lifestyle. The best laptop bag is one that's comfortable and durable and has enough storage space for your devices and daily needs. Most come with various pockets, allowing you to fit a laptop and a notebook, a battery pack, pens, water bottles, and cables. For Donny Gamble, founder and CEO at RetirementInvestments.com and a frequent traveler, less is more. “I never check my bag at the airport, so it’s important to travel light while making sure my laptop stays protected,” he says. “I need to know where everything I’m storing is when traveling. Organization is key.”
Keeping Gamble’s advice in mind, we researched a variety of laptop bags, considering their size, type, material, and security features.
Samsonite Classic Leather Backpack
Large padded laptop compartment
Stylish leather exterior
This is one of the heavier bags we tested
Too small for larger individuals
Don’t let its sleek silhouette fool you—the Samsonite Classic Leather Slim Backpack is incredibly spacious. This leather option comes with two large interior compartments, one of which houses a padded laptop sleeve that fits up to a 15.6-inch laptop and protects it from shocks while you’re on the move. The main compartment, which is easily accessible with curved zippers, can also hold a second laptop or files and other essentials like power cables or a water bottle. The medium-sized zippered front utility pocket has a tablet pocket, two phone pockets, and storage for pens, and other small items.
With its breathable back and padded shoulder straps, the pack fits comfortably on your back. There’s also a loop that can drape over the handle of your luggage if you’re traveling, along with a padded carry handle if you want to give your shoulders a break. The high-quality grain leather exterior is stylish and functional, and it’s available in black or cognac, both with brushed silver hardware. One minor complaint from reviewers is that it’s too small for larger men, but it should work well for most other users.
Price at time of publish: $136
Dimensions: 18.5 x 12 x 6.5 inches | Material: Leather | Weight: 3.73 pounds
Ecosusi Laptop Tote
Stylish vegan leather
Substantial storage compartments
We wish there were a zip closure on all the large pockets instead of magnetic closures
The bag is heavier than we’d like
The Ecosusi Laptop Tote is made from elegant vegan leather that effortlessly carries all of your work essentials. There are three generously sized divided compartments to help you organize everything from notebooks and files to your wallet, lunch, and other personal items. The center pocket is padded and carries laptops up to 15.6 inches. The drop handle is adjustable from 9.4 inches to 13.4 inches for a custom fit, and the bottom studs help the bag stand up on its own.
The stylish design touches include gold hardware, magnetic-close buckles, and removable tassels (if they aren’t your style), and the tote is available in six colors, so whether you’re looking for a classic bag or something a little more daring, you’ll find an option that works for you. Reviewers report that the bag can hold a lot, which they appreciate, but the tote feels heavy even when empty.
Price at time of publish: $55
Dimensions: 17.09 x 12.17 x 5.94 inches | Material: Synthetic leather | Weight: 2.82 pounds
Briggs & Riley @Work Large Cargo Backpack
Multiple pockets to keep your gear organized
Heavy duty but not heavy
Lifetime guarantee on repairs
If you need to take everything with you, the Briggs & Riley @Work Cargo Backpack is up to the task. This roomy bag has three compartments to accommodate your essentials. The laptop compartment has an integrated padded sleeve to protect your computer, and it fits most 17-inch laptops. It shares space with a padded slip pocket that fits a small tablet or e-reader. The main compartment fits all of your large or bulky items like shoes or extra clothes, which is handy if you are using it as an overnight bag or carry-on. It also has a full-length pocket for stashing your files and contains two elastic pockets for storing your cables and chargers. Stash your sunglasses, headphones, and other essentials in the front pocket, and you can access other items quickly from the side zip pockets.
The padded neoprene straps are adjustable, and the aerated mesh back keeps you cool while also adding a little support. The slip-through back panel allows you to slide the backpack over your luggage handle. There’s also a carry handle on top. The zippers are self-repairing, so they open and close smoothly. If security is an issue, this bag also has an RFID-blocking pocket that protects personal data from digital pickpockets. The bag is available in black or blue, and complimentary monogramming is offered. This backpack is expensive, but most users agree the space and durability are worth the price.
Price at time of publish: $379
Dimensions: 19 x 15 x 8 inches | Material: Ballistic nylon | Weight: 2.6 pounds
Lo & Sons O.G. 2
Made of high-quality material
Plenty of storage space
Free returns and exchanges in 30 days
We wish there were a spot to carry a water bottle
The versatile Lo & Sons O.G. 2 laptop bag is sporty and stylish. The dedicated laptop sleeve fits a 13-inch laptop, and the external laptop compartment means you won’t have to dig through your bag at TSA. This bag fits underneath most standard airplane seats, and the adjustable pass-through sleeve slides onto your suitcase handle. The roomy main compartment can function as an overnight travel bag, gym bag, or diaper bag, and it offers lots of padded protection. This bag offers next-level organization with pockets galore for all of your essentials, folders, water bottle, and more. There’s also an exterior zippered pocket to stash your keys or headphones, and the bag even features a side pocket, which is big enough for a pair of shoes.
We love this bag’s combination of style, function, and quality. The pass-through sleeve that slides onto your suitcase handle is adjustable. The water-resistant nylon exterior has leather handles with a drop length of 9.5 inches, so it can be carried like a tote. There’s even a longer slip-resistant padded messenger strap that’s detachable. Shoppers have their choice of 10 color combinations.
Price at time of publish: $265
Dimensions: 13.75 x 16.5 x 6.75 inches; handle drop: 9.5 inches | Material: Premium nylon, leather accents | Weight: 2.6 pounds
Best for Business Travel
Travelpro Platinum Elite Business Backpack
The warranty covers workmanship for the life of the bag
Abundance of storage
Some users report issues with zippers not closing
This bag will take you from the office to the airport. The structured and sophisticated Travelpro Platinum Elite Business Backpack has a multitude of pockets to organize all of your tech. The padded laptop sleeve holds laptops up to 15.6 inches, and in the main compartment a second padded sleeve stores and protects a tablet, leaving plenty of room for other travel and work necessities. There’s also a built-in organization system for corralling your pens, headphones, chargers, and more. The front pocket is RFID-secure to keep credit cards and passports stored and protected from identity theft scanners.
One reviewer said this laptop bag “is made like a well-tailored suit.” It’s practical but doesn’t look out of place in an executive setting. The adjustable shoulder straps are comfortable and evenly distribute the weight. We also like the added sternum strap, which helps disperse the weight of the backpack, preventing your shoulders from getting too sore. The leather handle provides carrying options. The ballistic nylon material has a DuraGuard coating to resist stains and abrasions, and the leather touches elevate the look of this bag. The metal zippers are durable and open and close smoothly, and you can choose from three different color options.
Price at time of publish: $270
Dimensions: 17.50 x 16 x 8.5 inches | Material: Ballistic nylon | Weight: 3.6 pounds
Best for Everyday Use
Samsonite Mobile Solution Deluxe Backpack
The bottom of the bag isn’t padded
There’s not a good place to store a water bottle
Don’t let the slim design fool you. The Samsonite Mobile Solution Deluxe Backpack has a built-in padded laptop compartment that holds a 16-inch laptop, plus another smaller sleeve for a large tablet, but it’s also roomy enough to corral your cables, sunglasses, wallet, and other essentials. The exterior front pocket has two slip pockets and a pen sleeve to keep your phone and glasses case organized. The bag also features an exterior side pocket, which is ideal for storing smaller items.
One reviewer said the water-resistant laptop bag looks like a designer bag without the expensive price tag. The nylon fabric is durable and washable, and the gold hardware adds a stylish touch. The adjustable straps are padded but not bulky, and the zippers move smoothly. There’s an outside sleeve that fits most upright luggage handles easily. We have two minor issues with this bag: The description said the side pocket could fit a water bottle, but only if you slid it in sideways, which we didn’t like, because of the potential for leaking. Also, the bottom of the bag isn’t padded, which means your laptop isn’t protected on the bottom.
Price at time of publish: $80
Dimensions: 16.3 x 12.5 x 7 inches | Material: Nylon | Weight: 1.3 pounds
Best for Cyclists
Timbuk2 Custom Prospect Backpack
Endlessly customizable design
Secure laptop storage
Limited internal organization
Paying extra for water bottle pockets
Timbuk2 was founded by a bike messenger, and the Custom Prospect Laptop Backback stays true to those cycling roots. Whether you’re biking to class or to work, this weather-resistant laptop bag is the perfect commuter bag. Constructed from a light yet durable rain- and abrasion-resistant nylon, this bag is made to stand up to Mother Nature. The roll-top enclosure keeps the elements out, and your gear stays secure, because the fold is fastened by two Velcro patches and two buckle straps. Inside, there’s a soft pocket that fits laptops up to 15 inches (although some reviewers report fitting a 16-inch laptop, as well as a tablet sleeve, and those are easily accessible via a zippered back pocket that lets you grab your laptop without having to unroll the top closure. Reviewers also like the laptop location for anti-theft protection. The Velcro-secured front pocket is large enough to hold a charger, earphones, glasses, and more.
One of the fun features of this laptop bag is the endlessly customizable options. From the front panel to the side panel, trim, and even the logo, you can choose different colors and fabric combinations for each panel of the bag. You can even add additional water bottle pockets on each side. The slimmer profile conforms to your back, and the ergonomically designed padded shoulder straps fit snugly, which is comfortable for cycling. If there’s anything we don’t like, it’s the limited internal space in the pack.
Price at time of publish: $134
Dimensions: 18.5 x 11.8 x 5.31 inches | Material: Cordura canvas | Weight: 2.4 pounds
Matein Extra Large Travel Laptop Backpack
Available in two sizes
Can hold two laptops if needed
Available in multiple color options
No rigid structure to keep bag upright
The Matein Extra Large Travel Laptop Backpack has generous storage capacity with a dedicated laptop pocket with a sleeve, and it easily fits a 17-inch laptop. The large main compartment can hold an additional laptop if needed, and we found the padding on both to be sufficient. There’s also ample room for clothes or books and other supplies. The bag has mesh side pockets that will hold a water bottle or umbrella. One bonus feature is the exterior USB port and interior cable that allows you to connect your own power bank to recharge your devices. We’re also fans of the anti-theft pocket that keeps your valuables hidden and safe.
We found this pack to be extremely comfortable with its lightly padded, 3-inch-wide shoulder straps, and the three pads on the back—two near your shoulder blades, and one near your lumbar—that keep the weight distributed evenly and keep the stress off your shoulders. There’s also ventilation to keep you cool on warmer days. The exterior nylon fabric is water-resistant, and combined with the thickness of the fabric, it keeps the contents in your bag dry. Reviewers also appreciated the easy-pull zippers, which were incredibly functional, especially given the price point of this bag. One downside is that the bag doesn’t have a rigid structure, so the laptop doesn’t have anything solid to lean against, but aside from that, we think it’s pretty hard to beat.
Price at time of publish: $51
Dimensions: 19 x 13.8 x 7.8 inches | Material: Polyester | Weight: 2.09 pounds
Best for Travel
Targus 15"-16" Work+ Expandable 32L Daypack
Expandable by 33 percent
The laptop pocket absorbs any impact
Double water bottle storage
Shoe storage steals space from the main compartment
In the era of hybrid work, the expandable, water-resistant Targus 15”-16” Work+ Expandable Daypack is a spacious and versatile bag. It has a unique top- and front-loading design that makes it easy to efficiently organize—and access—your gear. The dedicated laptop compartment fits laptops up to 16 inches and utilizes Targus’ SafePort Sling Protection System, which means that if you drop your bag, it keeps your laptop suspended, absorbing the impact and preventing it from hitting the ground. There are also plenty of pockets to keep your accessories organized, including hidden top, side, and lumbar pockets for quick access. The main compartment expands by 33 percent, allowing you to stash snacks, fit gym clothes, or carry additional gear for both in and out of the office. If you’re hitting the gym after work, there’s even a discreet ventilated compartment for your shoes.
Since we like to hydrate, we love that there are two water bottle pockets—one on each side. For carrying ease, the bag has front and side grab handles, and it offers contoured shoulder straps and a sternum strap for comfort and weight balance. The only real complaint that users have is that if you’re using the shoe bag, it’s hard to load much into the main compartment. Otherwise, this is a solid all-around bag.
Price at time of publish: $100
Dimensions: 12.19 x 7.67 x 20.46 inches | Material: Polyester | Weight: 2.64 pounds
Pacsafe Metrosafe x Anti-Theft 20L Backpack
It’s sustainably made
Multiple anti-theft features
Roomy main compartment
Bulky shoulder straps
Designed with travelers in mind, the Pacsafe Metrosafe X Anti-Theft backpack is a discreet-looking bag with understated styling that disguises its unique anti-theft features. The roomy main compartment has a dedicated padded laptop sleeve that holds a 15-inch laptop with an additional sleeve for notebooks or tablets. There’s also a small zippered pocket inside, another in front, and a pouch on the side to hold a water bottle or umbrella.
When it comes to preventing possible theft, this bag comes with plenty of features. The outside pockets utilize an RFID-blocking material to keep thieves from accessing your data. Interlocking zippers and a lockdown point for zippers keep unwanted hands out of your stuff. Built-in stainless steel wire mesh adds an extra layer of safety, making the bag slash-resistant. There’s a stash pocket outside against your back, offering extra security for your valuables. The recycled polyester material is available in a handful of neutral colors and patterns, including black, tan, and camo. The one complaint we’ve heard from reviewers is that the straps are bulky and firm, making them uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Price at time of publish: $170
Dimensions: 17.7 x 11.8 x 5.1 inches | Material: Recycled polyester | Weight: 1.61 pounds
Best Messenger Bag
Chrome Industries Buran III
Reversible shoulder strap
Plenty of pockets for storage
Cross-body strap doesn’t adjust easily
The Chrome Industries Buran III is a classic messenger bag with a cross-body strap and easy swing-around access. However, this bag takes it up a notch with its quick-release seat belt closure, which allows you to take the bag off with the click of a button, and the shoulder strap, which is reversible for left or right carry. There’s also a cross-body stabilizing strap that holds the bag in place while riding a bike or commuting on foot. This messenger bag is incredibly functional with its EVA-padded laptop pocket that accommodates up to a 17-inch laptop. On the inside flap, there are a cargo pocket wide enough to easily stash a bike lock, a wide zippered pocket for other gear, and a smaller cargo pocket. In case you need more storage, there are cargo pockets on the sides of the bag, and there are zippered pockets on the front and back, too.
Constructed of durable 1050 denier nylon fabric and a 500 denier TPE tarp liner—which is essentially a bag within a bag—it protects your gear from the elements, and it’s incredibly durable. And while the zipper is protected from the elements, the zipper itself isn’t waterproof, which would have increased weather protection. One issue that reviewers reported is that the strap doesn’t adjust easily, especially when the bag is nearly empty.
Price at time of publish: $180
Dimensions: 12.25 x 21.25 x 15inches | Material: Nylon | Weight: 2.77 pounds
The Samsonite Classic Leather Slim Backpack earned top honors for being stylish, durable, and incredibly spacious. We also appreciated the multiple security features offered on the Pacsafe Metrosafe X Anti-Theft 20L Backpack. It's also an eco-friendly option.
What to Look for in a Laptop Bag
A brand’s website should always indicate the laptop screen size that fits in the bag. However, it’s a good idea to compare the bag’s dimensions to your own laptop. The laptop sleeve should fit your laptop—anything too big, and the laptop may shift around, which introduces the chance for damage. Aside from that, consider what you’ll be doing with the bag. Will you be traveling with it? If so, will it fit under the seat in front of you? If you’re commuting to and from work, will you have enough space for your essentials?
When looking for a laptop bag, think about how you’re going to carry it. While the double straps on a backpack distribute weight more evenly, making it more comfortable, it may look less professional if you’re primarily going into an office. It may be easier to access the contents of a tote, but they may make your shoulders ache after carrying it for long periods of time. The tote pack is a combination of the tote and backpack, which gives you the comfort of a backpack with the professionalism of a tote. Messenger bags are designed to carry laptops and other gear, but they can be unwieldy. Ultimately, it’s a matter of preference.
Laptop bags are available in a variety of materials, like leather, nylon (standard, ballistic, or ripstop), canvas, neoprene, and more. Each has its pros and cons. Leather is heavy, but it’s durable. It also looks professional if you’re using it for work. Ballistic and ripstop nylon will be the most sturdy. They’re also weather-resistant, important if you get caught in a rain shower.
You may also want to consider the zippers and hardware. Broken zippers or buckles aren’t easy to fix, and they can make some bags useless. Look for zippers that move easily, and buckles that open and close without struggle.
Laptops should be protected not only from impact but also from theft. Anti-theft bags are crafted from materials that offer an added layer of security. Most laptop compartments are designed to prevent access by a third party, but you also should consider other valuables that you might want to safeguard, such as a passport or wallet.
According to James Bores, a frequent traveler, security expert, and the owner of Bores Security Consultancy, “Slash-resistant fabric is a must.” This fabric generally consists of woven materials that have been reinforced with steel or carbon fiber to make them difficult to cut through. “Hidden zippers are also an essential feature, because they make it more difficult for a would-be thief to open your bag,” he adds.
In addition, lockable straps or hooks that attach to a fixture can help prevent theft. “I’ll usually loop a strap around my leg or a chair leg,” says Bore. Many anti-theft bags also come with combination locks and RFID-blocking technology. RFID stands for "radio frequency identification," which is a security feature used in credit cards, your driver’s license, and passports to transmit info wirelessly. Experts like Bore say that this method of theft is rare, so RFID blocking isn’t necessary.
What are the different sizes of laptop bags?
Laptops can be as small as 10 inches, all the way up to 15 inches, and there are endless sizes of bags to accommodate those. But it’s important to know that when you’re considering whether or not your specific laptop bag will fit, manufacturers will list the screen size that will fit. To measure the laptop's screen size, take a measuring tape, and measure from the bottom left of the screen, diagonally to the top right of the screen. That is your laptop size. You may also want to measure the width and depth of your laptop and keep that info handy when you shop for a new bag.
What are the different types of laptop bags?
There are plenty of options for laptop bags, including backpacks, briefcases, tote bags, and messenger bags. There are also hybrid options that don’t fit into any specific category, but they allow you to carry them in different ways. Each style of bag is designed for different functions, so think about how you’re going to use the bag before purchasing one.
What is the best material for a laptop bag?
Regardless of what style of bag you are looking for, always consider one with high-quality materials. Also, think about the durability of the material—daily commutes will be harder on your bag than an occasional trip to the coffee shop. Generally speaking, ballistic nylon and genuine leather are the most long-lasting materials. Nylon is resistant to wear and tear, easy to clean, and lighter than leather, but it tends to not be breathable. Leather looks great and stands up to regular use, but it needs more maintenance. Look for genuine leather, not synthetic leather, because the latter doesn’t offer the same level of protection.
Why Trust the Spruce?
Maureen Farrar is a contributing writer who covers home design for The Spruce. She spent hours researching the products in this roundup, considering each bag's style, size, and construction while aiming to include a range of price points (and uses for each one). For insight, she interviewed two frequent travelers, Donny Gamble, founder and CEO at RetirementInvestments.com, and James Bores, a security expert and the owner of Bores Security Consultancy, for their insight.