The 8 Best Laptop Bags of 2021

Invest in your laptop by ensuring total protection during transport

The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide
The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide
Introduction

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When you’re leaving home, the office, or school with your laptop, you need a bag that will safely transport your computer and other personal items. Considering that almost everyone has a computer of sorts these days, it shouldn’t shock you that there are tons of options available for a laptop bag. Laptops come in all sizes, lifestyles differ, and people have varying preferences, so many options are needed.

The best laptop bag is one that's comfortable, durable, and has enough storage space for all your devices and daily needs. Most laptop bags come with various pockets, allowing you to fit a laptop and a notebook, battery pack, pens, water bottles, and cables. For those who travel a lot, there are also rolling laptop bags. 

We want your laptop and school or work supplies to make it safely from your home to your destination and back. As such, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best laptop bags that will satisfy your needs and wants. Read on to see our list of the best laptop bags.

The Rundown
The sleek, one-size-fits-all, nylon ICON Backpack offers one interior zippered pocket and five exterior pockets.
The Duane Hybrid Briefcase Backpack is a double agent of sorts as it acts as a messenger bag/briefcase/backpack all in one.
The Flatiron has a feature that we wish every laptop bag offered: a separate compartment that can lay flat.
Best Backpack:
eBags Pro Slim at Amazon
The Pro Slim houses a top-loaded tablet pocket with fleece lining for automatic glass cleaning.
Best Commuter or Traveler Bag:
Mancro Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack at Amazon
Mancro equipped the bag with durable metal zippers and a theft-proof combination lock.
The Daypack is constructed out of a durable 420D nylon material with a water-resistant finish.
Best for Photographers:
Peak Design Everyday Backpack at Amazon
With two separate, side-accessed compartments, the 20L can accommodate inserts to keep your lenses and camera gear protected.
The Taygeer features an expandable zipper which can add an extra 1.2 inches of room to the bottom layer of the briefcase.

Best Overall: Incase ICON Backpack

Incase Icon Pack
What We Like
  • Durable material and build

  • Several pockets

  • Multiple comfortable straps

What We Don't Like
  • No water bottle compartment

  • Not budget-friendly

The Incase ICON Backpack is the perfect laptop bag for any lifestyle. The super sleek, one-size-fits-all, 100 percent-ballistic nylon ICON Backpack offers one interior zippered pocket and five exterior pockets.

Once you’re done filling your six pockets with your laptop, writing instruments, notebooks, folders, and your favorite color of sticky notes, carrying around your supplies and computer won’t be a hassle thanks to the ICON’s well-tailored straps. The sternum strap and padded shoulder straps help make the backpack comfortable to wear. Whether or not your ICON is fully weighed down, you’ll be comfortable carrying your bag around. 

When packed to the brim, the ICON still manages to look good. The backpack’s frame maintains its structure no matter how much gear you’re carrying. For those in the market for a collapsible bag, the ICON may not be the right bag for you. On the other hand, the backpack’s structural integrity further supports its ability to carry around your school or work necessities.

Moreover, thanks to the heavy 840D ballistic nylon material, the ICON can withstand a laptop bag's typical wear and tear. Considering the durability of the laptop backpack, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the ICON is valued at $200.

Unfortunately, the ICON Backpack is missing a water bottle compartment, but Incase didn’t totally disregard folks on the go. The bag’s first side pocket incorporates an opening to run a cable through even if the pocket is zipped, in the event you need to store a battery pack or music device and connect to your phone.

Material: 840D nylon | Compatibility: Devices up to 15.6 inches

"Five exterior pockets, an interior zipper pocket, a 15-inch dedicated laptop panel, and two hip-area pockets all provide plenty of capacity." — William Harrison, Product Tester

Incase Icon Pack

Best 2-in-1: Solo Duane Hybrid Briefcase Backpack

Solo Laptop Hybrid Briefcase Backpack
What We Like
  • Versatility

  • Protection of valuables with a padded pocket

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Mediocre amount of storage space

Upon first glance at the Solo Duane Laptop Hybrid Briefcase Backpack, you may be confused. You’re probably going to ask yourself, “Is it a backpack or a messenger bag?” The answer is both!

The Duane is a double agent of sorts as it acts as a messenger bag/briefcase/backpack all in one. Converting the bag takes mere seconds due to the inclusion of a shoulder strap and dual straps. The Duane's slim profile conceals the unique functionality of the bag that converts it into different forms without sacrificing space, style, or cost. You’ll have to dish out only $40 for this laptop bag.

The Duane is composed of polyester, so it's not the most water-resistant bag on the planet. Nevertheless, your prized possessions will still be safe as this laptop bag didn’t skimp on protection. The Duane includes a padded pocket offering 360 degrees of protection for a laptop up to 15.6 inches. 

Not only does this bag serve as multiple bags in one, but it also provides enough storage for your day-to-day and maybe even short weekend trips. In addition to a pouch for your laptop, the Duane has a secondary compartment for a tablet and front zipper pockets to hold your smartphone, chargers, and smaller gadgets. Though there’s not a ton of additional storage space, what's available helps the Duane maintain its profile as a briefcase or backpack.

Material: Polyester | Compatibility: Devices up to 15.6 inches

"What we appreciate about the Solo briefcase is that it hides the hooks and straps out of sight when they’re not needed." William Harrison, Product Tester

Solo Duane Hybrid Briefcase Backpack

Best Briefcase: Solo New York Flatiron Slim Laptop Briefcase

Solo Pro
What We Like
  • Durable material

  • Affordable

  • Suitcase connection

What We Don't Like
  • Not very stylish

Sometimes it's best to stick with the basics, so we deemed the Solo New York Flatiron Slim Laptop Briefcase as the best briefcase-style laptop bag. The Flatiron has a feature that we wish every laptop bag offered: a separate compartment that can lay flat. Solo incorporated compartments for laptops up to 16 inches, and with this dedicated compartment, you have easy access to your laptop while traveling.

The Flatiron is made from a ballistic polyester material, so your precious laptop is sure to be protected from harm. Although polyester isn’t as eye-catching or beautiful as leather, it’s durable and easier on your pockets. 

Solo’s “clamshell checkfast design” is the Flatiron’s real claim to fame. It’s said that this bag will make traveling for business easier than ever before as the design helps you pass through airport security faster than usual.

Solo designed the Flatiron with business travelers in mind. The bag has a front zippered pocket and a front zip-down organizer for additional storage. It also includes a rear ride-along feature for easy connection to a suitcase for consolidated travel.

Material: Polyester | Compatibility: Devices up to 16 inches

Best Backpack: eBags Pro Slim Laptop Backpack

eBags Backpack
What We Like
  • Attractive and comfortable

  • Can fit larger laptops

  • Converts from backpack to briefcase

What We Don't Like
  • Due to size, it may not fit under an airplane seat

If you'd rather carry your laptop case as a bookbag, the eBags Pro Slim Backpack is the perfect option for you. The Pro Slim is attractive, comfortable, and built to last. With a durable and tough twisted filament polyester exterior alongside DuPont Teflon fabric protection, the backpack is resilient against spills. The air mesh back panel offers exceptional support in conjunction with padded straps and a removable shock-load sternum strap to provide comfort in case of a heavy load.

Internally, the Pro Slim offers many different compartments, including a crush-proof AC adapter garage and a zippered water bottle pocket. The interior compartment is padded and can fit computers up to 15 inches in size. You can also remove that padding to accommodate a larger laptop of up to 17 inches. The Pro Slim also houses a top-loaded tablet pocket with fleece lining for automatic glass cleaning. The pocket fits tablets up to 11.5 inches in height and 8.1 inches in width.

If you’re going for a professional look, you can convert the backpack into a briefcase by using the bag’s top handle. If you don’t want to carry around your Pro Slim at the airport, there’s a horizontal luggage pass-thru panel for easy hookup to a piece of luggage for easier transport.

Material: Polyester | Compatibility: Devices up to 17 inches

"We’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the wide front zipper compartment. Meant for cord storage, these nifty opening has a secret bonus use: food and drink protection." — William Harrison, Product Tester

eBag Backpack

Lifewire / William Harrison

Best Commuter or Traveler Bag: Mancro Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack

Mancro Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack
What We Like
  • Water-repellent material

  • Variety of pockets

  • Theft-proof lock

What We Don't Like
  • Minimal padding for laptop

  • Doesn't fit larger laptops

For travelers and daily commuters alike, the Mancro Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack is best suited for those who are always on the move. It’s perfect for daily commutes, weekend getaways, or hiking and camping trips. The simple, understated design also works for students and young business professionals.

The fabric is made from eco-friendly, water-repellent nylon, which protects your bag against accidental spills. To ensure maximum protection for the contents of the Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack, Mancro equipped the bag with durable metal zippers and a theft-proof combination lock. Unlike most laptop bags on this list, the Mancro backpack is available in seven different colors.

Inside the laptop backpack measuring 20 x 12.2 x 5.7 inches, you’ll find three main compartments, nine smaller pockets, and two sealed sleeves for your tablet or laptop up to 15.6 inches. Mancro also included a handy USB cable built in. If you need to charge your phone on the go, you can easily access a portable battery pack. No matter what you decide to carry in the Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack, you’ll be comfortable as the bag features reinforced padded shoulder straps to alleviate strain.

Material: Nylon | Compatibility: Devices up to 15.6 inches

"Featuring over ten compartments for a variety of objects, the Mancro Backpack is ready for any and all occasions." William Harrison, Product Tester

Mancro Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack

Lifewire / William Harrison

Best Durability: Thule Paramount 24L Daypack

Paramount 24L Daypack
What We Like
  • Popular, established brand

  • Durable material for protection

  • Storage space

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

If putting your laptop bag to the test will likely result in beyond the normal wear and tear, you'll need a bag that can stand the test of time. Thule's is a name known for toughness, and its Paramount 24L Daypack is no exception.

For instance, the Daypack is constructed out of a durable 420D nylon material with a water-resistant finish. Thule incorporated “Safe Edge" protection to help avoid any damage to bag contents when dropped or bumped. And to protect against weather conditions, the Paramount 24L Daypack has a welded bottom panel that provides enhanced protection against elements such as rain or snow. 

Internally, your tablet or laptop is secured by a protective slip pocket with a soft interior lining. A laptop up to 13 inches can fit comfortably in this sleeve that sits between the bag’s backplate and main storage space. Ultimately, the Daypack’s top-loading compartment, which results from uncurling the roll-top, is a big-time saver. The compartment doesn't require going through the main cavity, so you'll have quick access to your laptop. 

Beyond the ultra-protective laptop and tablet protective sleeve, the Daypack offers a slew of small sleeves and pouches, all totaling 24 liters of space. Specifically, two mini zipped storage compartments, two sleeves, a zip pouch (ideal for sunglasses), and a front pocket (perfect for storing cables and the rest of your day-to-day gadgets). Filling 24 liters of space may sound daunting, but luckily, the Daypack's ergonomics make it comfortable to carry around your valuables. Thule carefully designed the bag’s back panel and mesh shoulder straps to make both breathable and comfortable.

Material: 420D nylon | Compatibility: Devices up to 13 inches

"While it isn’t the most feature-laden bag on the market it makes up for it in comfort and protection both inside and out."William Harrison, Product Tester

Thule Paramount 24L Daypack

Best for Photographers: Peak Design Everyday Backpack

Peak Design Everyday Backpack
What We Like
  • Stylish design

  • Versatile space for laptop and cameras

  • Unique, quick opening system

What We Don't Like
  • Extremely expensive

The 20L backpack from Peak Design exemplifies everything the brand aims for: versatility, style, and general ease of use. Considering the specifications of a quality laptop bag and quality camera bag, the 20L is as much a camera backpack as it is a laptop backpack.

With two separate, side-accessed compartments, the 20L can accommodate inserts to keep your lenses and camera gear protected. When you aren't out shooting pictures, you can use the 20L as a daily work bag as it also has a 16-inch laptop sleeve in the back.

Peak Design added all the bells and whistles for the utmost convenience. The 20L is equipped with a top-mounted slip pocket, a key tether, a side-oriented water bottle, tripod slots, a ton of little odds-and-ends compartments, and a MagLatch system to open the bag quickly.

Peak Design created the 20L with Hypalon-reinforced and bar-tacked stress points in addition to a cotton-twill interior for a longer-lasting, more durable build. The well-constructed 20L maintains a lot of storage while still looking sleek. In terms of looks, you can decide between three different color options: gray, tan, and black. All of these premium features come at a cost, however. The Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L will make about a $400 dent in your bank account.

Material: 400D nylon canvas | Compatibility: Devices up to 16 inches; can fit 1 full-frame DSLR camera body and 3 to 4 lenses

Best Expandable: Taygeer 17-Inch Laptop Briefcase

Taygeer 17-Inch Laptop Briefcase
What We Like
  • Durable for commuters

  • Splash-proof

  • Decent storage capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Not very stylish

The Taygeer 17-Inch Laptop Briefcase is perfect for those who are serious about storage. The utilitarian design of Taygeer's briefcase won’t win any beauty contests, but it’s a reliable product that’ll stand up to the daily grind and at a shockingly low price.

The bag is destined to survive the grind as it’s made with a splash-proof, lightweight nylon fabric, has a soft leather handle, and a comfortable shoulder strap for easy portability. If your job or lifestyle involves a decent amount of commuting or traveling with your belongings in tow, the Taygeer briefcase makes for a reliable companion. 

You’ll find plenty of storage space inside the Taygeer briefcase with its several functional compartments, including a dedicated padded laptop sleeve capable of fitting devices up to 17 inches. If you require even more storage, the Taygeer also features an expandable zipper which can add an extra 1.2 inches of room to the bottom layer of the briefcase.

Material: Nylon | Compatibility: Devices up to 17.3 inches

Final Verdict

For most people, the Incase ICON Backpack (view at Amazon) is the best laptop bag to buy as it has just about everything the average person wants in a laptop bag. The ICON has plenty of storage space, a padded interior, and five exterior pockets. Due to its durable frame, the ICON is comfortable to wear even when weighed down. Regrettably, the laptop bag isn’t the most budget-friendly, but the pricing is fair considering the perks.

If the ICON is out of your price range, you should consider the Solo Duane Hybrid Briefcase Backpack (view at Amazon). The Duane is one of the most versatile laptop bags on the market at less than half the ICON's price. You can sport the Duane as a messenger bag, briefcase, or backpack. In addition to its impressive versatility, the Duane’s polyester exterior has proven to be durable and reasonably water-resistant.

About Our Trusted Experts

Nicky LaMarco has 15+ years' experience writing about web hosting, antivirus, backup software and other technology for publications like Tech Republic and Web Hosting Sun.

Will Harrison is a writer who specializes in gaming. His work has also appeared in the Toledo Blade, the Austin American-Statesman, Polygon, Thrillist, and more.

FAQ
  • How will you know if your laptop will fit in a laptop bag?

    Laptops are measured in screen size. A 15-inch laptop has a 15-inch diagonal screen, a 13-inch laptop has a 13-inch diagonal screen, and so on. Laptop bags typically list the size of laptop that they can hold in terms of inches. That's the industry standard.

  • What's the difference between a laptop bag and a laptop sleeve?

    The main difference between a laptop bag and a laptop sleeve is in the way it's carried. Laptop sleeves typically have a single opening for the laptop, and normally don't have any kind of handle or strap. Laptop bags typically have multiple openings (including one for the laptop) and a handle or strap to carry it.

  • Will your laptop bag work as carry on?

    Most of the bags listed here will be small enough to work as a carry-on bag on most major airlines. Of course, carry-on sizes vary from airplane to airplane, so it's important to double-check restrictions before going to the airport.

Solo Duane Hybrid Briefcase Backpack

What to Look For in a Laptop Bag

Comfort/Style

Do you want a backpack, over-the-shoulder bag, or briefcase? It’s entirely a matter of personal preference, but some types are better suited for specific lifestyles. For instance, a backpack is perfect for commuting by bike, while a briefcase lends to a more professional look. Additionally, depending on the contents of your laptop bag, you may need extra support to transport your bag. A backpack with a sternum strap will make it easier to carry the heavier load if you’re carrying lots of books or equipment. On the other hand, while shoulder bags can be nice and compact, they can put more strain on your body.

Durability

Durability in laptop bags comes in different forms: padding and external materials. Today, most laptop bags have added padding for extra protection. Of course, padding adds to the bulkiness of the bag, which can be a drawback if you’re looking for something easy to carry. However, some models have removable padding to accommodate larger computers. Concerning material, some people might prefer polymer. Yet, polymer doesn’t fare so well in a rainstorm; nylon is typically a more enduring material. In your search for a laptop bag, look for one with a water-resistant coating.

Storage/Pockets

Pockets and storage space are key to keeping your laptop bag organized. How much storage or how many pockets you desire is for you to decide. Some bags have pockets dedicated just to chargers, cables, and water bottles. Although these thoughtful pockets are convenient, they increase the bulkiness of your bag. If you want a more streamlined style, opt for something simpler. If you decide on a simpler laptop bag, a built-in organizer can help handle loose items like charging cables and pens.

eBags Backpack

Lifewire / William Harrison

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