Laptops are made to be portable, and that means you might need some protection while you're on the go. Whether you're spending a little on a cheap machine or throwing all your cash at a premium device, you want to look after it. After all, you're probably going to keep it for a fair amount of time, longer than you might a smartphone. Let's jump right in and take a look at some of the best laptop bags on the market.
This backpack is perfect for the office, the coffee shop, traveling, or even a hike. Being able to go from slim and compact to a much larger size with the rolltop makes planning for trips much more manageable. The two side water bottle pockets are excellent, and the quality, design, and materials are unmatched. There are two sizes available for 13- or 15-inch laptops.
Quality and affordable
JanSport has long been a player in the bag game, and its City View backpack brings quality for a budget price. It has a sleeve inside the main zippered compartment for up to a 15-inch laptop, and there are multiple zippered pockets on the outside for your accessories. Choose from 10 different styles to best suit your sense of fashion.
The price is right
The AmazonBasics laptop backpack is an understated bag with room for up to a 15-inch laptop inside the main zippered pocket. There are plenty of other zippered pockets for your smaller gear, and a side pocket holds your water bottle. Shoulder straps have plenty of padding, and it's all available for a great price.
Great for travel
The Incase Icon backpack is ultra-popular with anyone who often travels, thanks to a compact, durable design (made with ballistic nylon) that's packed with zippered pockets. The internal padded sleeve fits up to a 15-inch laptop, a sternum strap makes carrying more comfortable, and a cable port on the side pocket allows for headphone or charging passthrough.
For your Surface Pro
The Brenthaven Collins Vertical Messenger has a main compartment for your Surface Pro, a rear sleeve, a front pocket, and a small, zippered pocket on the main flap. The bag is primarily made from chambray, and there are vegan leather accents on the bottom and around the pockets. For something light and thin that's made for Surface, this is your best bet.
Ideal for airports
The Command bag from Timbuk2 is designed to be TSA-friendly, meaning you don't have to pull your laptop out of the bag when you pass through the checkpoint. This bag is made from polyester, is lined with TPU for weatherproofing, and is available in 10 different colors and styles. The large inner compartment is lined with pockets and sleeves, including one with padding for your laptop.
These bags are made in Seattle and come with a lifetime guarantee, and you can choose at checkout the size of the laptop sleeve you'd like inside (up to 13 inches). On the outside of the bag is a zippered pocket designed for a small tablet, plus there are two other zippered pockets on the front to hold your accessories. It's light, it's portable, and it looks great slung over your shoulder.
For photographers and more
If you'd like the most space possible, the Everyday Messenger — designed initially for photography gear — is worth a look. Removable separators inside allow you to configure space how you'd like, and it has a padded pocket for up to a 15-inch laptop. It's built to a premium standard and resist extreme weather. Fold the large flap over the main compartment and keep it secured with a quality MagLatch clasp.
Fits 17-inch laptops
This backpack fits up to a 17-inch laptop and also has a separate zippered pouch for a tablet. Plus, there's a solid compartment on the bottom to keep a battery pack or headphones safe. Another pocket on the front is absolutely loaded with pockets and sleeves for your accessories, and you can rest assured there's room for your other daily gear. If you carry a lot of tech on a daily basis, this is a prime backpack.
The Booq Boa Squeeze looks a lot smaller than it really is thanks to contoured sides, but it will hold up to a 15-inch laptop as well as your everyday accessories. It's made of ballistic nylon for durability and some weather resistance, and it's covered inside and out with zippered pockets and sleeves for easy organization. If you like to travel light and compact, this is a great pick.
Not a backpack, not a messenger
This bag isn't quite a backpack and isn't quite a messenger. It loads through the zippered top and has space for up to a 15-inch laptop (you can choose a specific size at checkout), and like all WaterField products, it's handmade in San Francisco from either waxed canvas or ballistic nylon. It's expensive, but if you want a crossbody carrier, it's going to last for a long time.
Lots of style
Canvas bags with leather accents look awesome and provide some extra durability, and the UGRACE Slim Business checks the boxes. It fits up to a 15-inch laptop, it has zippered pockets for accessories and a holder for your water bottle on the side. The price is also quite affordable, and it can be had in four different colors and styles.
If we're making some suggestions
Why you can trust Windows Central
Any of the above laptop bags will offer protection and ample space for your other gear besides your PC, but if we're making some suggestions, we can't help but recommend the quality WaterField Tech Rolltop. It's relatively expensive, but if you want something that's going to last for years and comes with a lifetime warranty, this is it. All bags are handmade in San Francisco from high-quality materials — choose from waxed canvas or ballistic nylon — and you can choose from two sizes depending on whether you have a 13- or 15-inch laptop. The rolltop flap allows for easy expansion, and you'll have enough room whether you're taking a quick trip to the coffee shop or if you're heading out on a lengthy trip.
If you're on a tight budget, the JanSport City View backpack is no doubt a lot more attractive. It carries the standard JanSport durability both in materials and zippers, and it can be had in 10 different colors and styles. The laptop sleeve inside the main zippered compartment holds up to a 15-inch laptop, and the extra zippered pockets on the outside make accessing your smaller accessories a breeze. If you want to keep things simple, definitely check out this bag.
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Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.