Laptops are expensive and fragile things, so it is important to take care of them during transportation. The right bag can keep your laptop safe whether you’re commuting to work or cycling in the rain.
What to look for in a laptop bag in 2022
If you take your laptop out of the house, a laptop bag is a must-have to keep your fragile device in one piece. But there are many different styles of bags that are suitable for different uses.
There is no laptop bag that fits everyone. The right bag for you depends on your condition.
Do you often go to work by bike? In this case, a backpack or laptop bag will be the easiest and most comfortable to use, and waterproofing will be critical. On the other hand, if you mainly travel by train or on foot, a light bag will be more useful.
Space is also important. Often you need to put more than just your laptop in the bag – you need to put other essentials in there as well. So not only do you have to make sure your laptop fits inside, but you also have to make sure everything you might need when you go out. If size is an issue and you have a 13-inch or smaller laptop, you can opt for a smaller bag and save some money.
Finally, many bag manufacturers offer long-term warranties. Some are for life, others last for years. These warranties protect you from manufacturing defects and can be great value for money if you plan to use your bag every day.
If you already have a bag that you want to use but that isn’t designed to hold a laptop, consider a laptop sleeve instead. It provides extra protection while still being lightweight, and comes in a variety of weights from the thin stretchy shell to the durable plastic shell.
Now, to our recommendations.
Best Laptop Backpack: Timbuk2 Lane Commuter
The Timbuk2 Lane Commuter is a great choice for anyone who needs a durable, weatherproof, and stylish bag to carry their laptop around for a long time. Available in granite and jet black with reflective front panels and shoulder straps, this laptop bag is perfect whether you’re biking, walking, or using public transportation.
The Lan Commuter also features three protections against the elements: a durable outer layer, an “ultra-waterproof” inner lining and a removable outer cover for extra protection against particularly heavy rain.
In terms of space, there is about 18 liters of interior space and a lid designed to accommodate laptops up to 15 inches. The mesh insert on the back of the bag should enhance airflow to keep your back cool even in hot weather.
There’s also a front seat belt to keep the straps in place, and side pockets to accommodate modestly sized water bottles, a small tripod, or anything else you don’t want to carry around.
Timbuk2 offers a lifetime warranty on the bags, so you can be sure your investment stays put — or get free repairs and replacements.
If you’d rather save a little cash and trade waterproofing for a little extra space, the Thule 15 Crossover 25L increases storage to 7 liters and includes more compartments for storing cables, books, and more.
Best Budget Laptop Bag: Matein Travel Laptop Bag
The Matein Laptop Backpack is one of the most popular laptop bags on Amazon for under $50. This is a laptop backpack that’s nothing short of ordinary, and one that’s hard to argue against even on the tightest of budgets. The Matein bag probably won’t last as long as some of the other picks on this list, and it doesn’t have a lifetime warranty or any name brand recognized, but it will get the job done.
This inexpensive laptop bag can accommodate a 15.6″ laptop in a dedicated compartment in the back. It also has an extra large compartment in the middle, perfect for tablets and books, and a smaller front pocket for smartphones and pens.
There are some other great features like the padded straps, a luggage strap to slip over the suitcase handle and stay in place, and a USB charging port to keep your gadgets close at hand.
We’ve been taking promises of water resistance with plenty of salt given the price, but you can mitigate that issue with a removable, waterproofing rain cover. But really, you can’t beat this laptop bag at this price point.
Best Messenger Laptop Bag: Chrome Industries Citizen
If you prefer a messenger bag, Chrome Industries Citizen is a versatile builder. You can use it two ways, with a crossbody design that keeps the bag in better position for cyclists, or a more traditional, over-the-shoulder design for getting around town.
The bag also features a Chrome seat belt buckle, part of the decades-old original design that used buckles salvaged from landfills. This episode also includes a bottle opener, because who knows if you won’t get thirsty during your flight? The tape itself has a reflective tape for better visibility, which is ideal for cyclists and those who have to move in the dark.
The outer shell is made of durable nylon, with a water-resistant lining on the inside to keep contents dry. The Citizen has room for a 17-inch laptop inside, as well as additional pockets and compartments for smartphones, tablets, books and pens with a total capacity of 24 liters.
Best Laptop Bag: Dagne Dover Vida Cotton Tote
Not everyone needs a backpack or shoulder bag to go to work. The handbags are surprisingly comfortable and stylish and great for carrying more than one laptop and your charger. One of the best examples of its kind is the Dagne Dover Vida Cotton Tote bag, made entirely from sustainable organic cotton.
The bag is available in two sizes, the large version accommodates a 16-inch laptop and the small bag is designed for the 13-inch model. The bag has handles and a shoulder strap and is available in black (onyx) and off-white (core). The inner lining can be cleaned, and the entire bag can be washed by hand in cold water and soap, thanks to its cottony texture.
Inside you’ll find a velcro closure for your laptop, a zip compartment to keep your other valuables secure, and a series of side pockets and compartments for everything else. The large bag has a capacity of 27.6 liters, while the small bag has a capacity of 14.1 liters.
If you’re looking for something a little easier on the wallet, check out Carhartt’s North/South Tote. Featuring a unisex design, this bag has plenty of interior space for a 15-inch laptop, and is made of water-resistant nylon to keep the interior dry during a heavy rain.
Best Laptop Sleeve: Thule Bag
The Thule Bag is a padded laptop bag designed to keep your computer safe. It might be a little heavy for some people, but it gives you peace of mind and puts your laptop in just about any bag. Its dimensions allow it to fit comfortably in all types of computers, from the 16-inch MacBook Pro to the 14-inch Windows laptop.
The case features a solid exterior and plenty of padding to protect the computer cover and bottom during transit. Thule added extra padding in the corners to protect against bumps and drops, and a chunky zipper to hold it together.
If you don’t need a tough cover like the one provided by Thule, choose a lighter weight cover, like the Tomtoc Recycled Laptop Sleeve. It’s made from recycled materials and available in a range of fabrics and sizes, and it’s much lighter than a bag.