The defining feature of laptops is naturally their portability. For this purpose, we need a suitable bag or backpack to protect our device from bumps and scratches. These bags also allow us to carry important accessories such as mice, power cables or portable hard drives.
Your laptop will seldom come with a transport bag when you purchase it, which is why it will be the very first accessory you should look for if you plan on using your device away from home. Gone are the carry cases where little more than the computer and its cables could fit. Today, the range of laptop bags is tremendous, and there is a model to meet every person’s needs.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Our Selection: The Best Laptop Bags on the U.S. Market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Laptop Bags
- 4 Buyer’s Guide
- 5 Summary
- The main purpose of a laptop bag is to safely transport your computer. You can find several models: shoulder bags, backpacks, trolleys, and other briefcases. Certain bags even integrate accessories such as USB charging ports or headphone outlets. However, your decision will mostly be influenced by the size of your computer.
- Other factors will also play a role in your choice. These include the design, manufacturing materials, the number of compartments or the intended type of use. Protection against water and comfort are also key when purchasing your very own laptop bag.
- Buying one of these products should not be taken lightly. You must evaluate its size, capacity, resistance to daily use and, most importantly, how comfortable it is for you. Your laptop bag is an additional accessory to your outfit and should therefore reflect your personality.
Our Selection: The Best Laptop Bags on the U.S. Market
From shoulder bags and backpacks to briefcases and trolleys: the range of products available out there is incredible. So, which one should you choose? You will have to consider various factors, the most important of which is the size of your computer. Here is our very own selection of the best laptop bags right now.
Best Laptop Backpack
This stylish backpack by Mancro is a fantastic product and a user favorite with thousands of positive reviews from past buyers. It can hold any laptop with a maximum screen size of 15.6 inches, and plenty of additional pockets and extra storage space so you can carry all your accessories with you. Delivered with an antitheft lock for added safety, this comfortable backpack also features a built-in cable for quick phone charging.
Best Laptop Sleeve
If you like to travel light and need nothing but your laptop on the go, Qishare’s portable yet resistant sleeve is a fantastic option. Available in 3 sizes and 7 colors, it features suppressible handles and a removable shoulder strap so you can carry it just the way you like. This incredibly affordable sleeve is also water-resistant and has three additional pockets for small items. It comes with a 24-month manufacturer’s warranty.
Best Hybrid Laptop Bag
This product is an Amazon Best Seller, and its versatility certainly has a lot to do with it. Designed to hold computers with a maximum screen size of 17 inches, it has an expandable compartment so you can truly travel with everything you need. Its additional pockets make it easier for you to access items such as your phone or documents. The sturdy handles and padded shoulder strap offer greater freedom of movement.
Best TSA-Compliant Laptop Bag
Without getting too technical, TSA-compliant bags allow you to go through airport security without taking your laptop out. The Command Messenger is one such product, and it will help you save time and effort if you often travel by plane. Its weather-resistant design means you can also walk the streets with peace of mind, and it has enough pockets for all your items. As if that wasn’t enough, Timbuk2 offers a lifetime warranty on it.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Laptop Bags
The number one task of a laptop bag is to protect your computer from bumps and scratches when you’re on the go. However, they also incorporate very useful features such as USB chargers, tablet compartments or bottle pockets. In the following section, we will be answering some of the most frequently asked questions regarding these products. We’re confident this will help you make the right choice.
What are the different types of laptop bags?
- Shoulder bags: This type of laptop bag features an adjustable strap and a pair of handles for use as a briefcase. They generally have a padded laptop compartment and an external pocket for cables and other accessories. Some convertible vintage models come with several pockets.
- Briefcases: They are mostly designed to be carried by the handles, although many also include a detachable strap to wear them over the shoulder. The majority of these products only feature two compartments: one for the computer and another for the cables. Their design tends to be more classic and formal than that of shoulder bags.
- Backpacks: Unlike the two types mentioned above, backpacks are carried on the back using two adjustable straps. They usually have a padded laptop compartment and several inner and outer pockets to store various items, such as tablets, smartphones, or books. In addition, some models include a USB charging port.
- Trolleys (bags with wheels): Designed for long trips, trolleys have telescopic handles and wheels to provide you greater comfort as you travel with your computer. Certain models even allow you to pack clothes. They are generally made from synthetic fabric or rigid materials such as ABS or polycarbonate, giving them greater resistance to bumps and falls.
Which bag is right for my laptop’s size?
The wide variety of laptops on the market makes choosing a bag far from an easy task. The size, shape, and weight of your computer are key factors in picking the most appropriate model to carry your device. In the list below, you can check our quick guide to finding the right bag for your laptop:
- Check your laptop’s screen size. If you’re unclear about your device’s dimensions, try measuring the diagonal of its screen without the frame. Most bags indicate the size according to this measurement.
- Check its complete dimensions. The size of the screen is one thing; its ratio – the width/height proportion – is another. Widescreen laptops have a ratio of 16:9, while others feature a 4:3 ratio. Both can integrate a screen of the same size, but their size and shape will be different.
- Check the measurements of the bag. Once you have measured the aforementioned values, compare them with the dimensions of the bag itself. These will need to be at least equal to that of your laptop, although you are strongly advised to opt for something a little larger to avoid unpleasant surprises.
What are the other deciding factors in my purchase?
As you probably know, the size of your laptop isn’t the only key aspect that you need to evaluate in order to be satisfied with the product you buy. Let’s have a look at other criteria to bear in mind, which include the material quality, impermeability, the layout of its compartments or the comfort of use.
- Quality materials and manufacturing. These two factors are essential, and the safety of your device depends on them. You will want to check the quality of the zippers, seams, handles, and straps before making your final decision.
- Laptop compartment. The vast majority of laptop bags and backpacks feature padded compartments for enhanced protection. That being said, some more advanced models are equipped with foam liners or air cushions that offer the highest level of protection possible.
- Impermeability. A waterproof bag will guarantee that your computer isn’t damaged by rain. Make sure that the design and manufacturing material cinch the impermeability of the product – both from rain and other accidental falls in a puddle or a fountain.
- Comfort. Some people prefer backpacks, as they provide freedom of movement that is not offered by shoulder bags or briefcases. Others, on the other hand, favor trolleys because they are more practical when traveling by train or plane. Whichever you choose, make sure that the fastening elements of the bag are comfortable and safe.
Are backpacks or briefcases better?
As we discussed earlier, your decision will ultimately depend on your personal tastes. However, certain specific aspects are less influenced by your preferences. Being familiar with these criteria can come in handy when you’re making your purchase, so we’ve compared them in backpacks and briefcases.
|Design||Informal designs, great variety of models and colors||Classy and formal designs, darker tones, suitable for professionals|
|Advantages||Practical, versatile, comfortable||Elegant, trendy, compact|
|Capacity||Greater capacity to carry objects||Reduced capacity|
|Comfort||It can make your back hot when you have it on.||It won’t make you sweat or wrinkle your clothes.|
|Use||Designed to be carried on the back only||Carried by hand or as a shoulder bag|
|Safety|| Someone could access its pockets without you noticing.
Theft can be prevented as it doesn’t indicate what it holds.
| It is never out of your sight.
It clearly shows its content.
What is the difference between a sleeve and a bag?
While both of these products share the same function – that of protecting your laptop from bumps and scratches, laptop sleeves offer different characteristics than briefcases, backpacks or trolleys. First of all, very few laptop sleeves feature handles and you have to carry them under your arm.
A sleeve will generally only consist of two compartments: the main one designed to hold your computer, and an outer pocket whose capacity will be very inferior to that of backpacks and briefcases. On the other hand, the range of sleeves is very wide, and you can find any design from standard black or grey to bold printed models.
Similar to those designed for smartphones, hard case shells are manufactured specifically for a particular laptop model. They protect the back of the screen, the bottom of the computer, and sometimes even the keyboard. These easy-to-place products come in a variety of designs and colors.
Laptop bags are designed to protect your computer when you’re on the move. In that regard, the more you travel with it, the better the quality of the briefcase, backpack, or trolley you choose should be. In the following section, we will delve into you a series of criteria to help you pick the bag that will best suit your computer and your own needs.
- Intended Use
- Storage Capacity
Before you choose a laptop bag, start by asking yourself a crucial question: how will I use this product? If you only carry your computer with you occasionally, you won’t want to invest too much money into a very fancy briefcase or a backpack. On the other hand, professional and intensive use may require you to raise your budget.
Whether you use it once a week or every day, make sure that it is well built with quality materials. We’re ready to bet that you wouldn’t be amused if your laptop dropped to the ground because of a poorly sewn handle. Remember that using public transport will also provide greater opportunities for bumps and scratches to occur; how you travel is therefore important to consider, too.
One great perk of these bags is that they can carry many more things than simply your laptop. If you tend to travel with many accessories, we encourage you to opt for a backpack or a shoulder bag that has various compartments. Ideally, the laptop pocket should be isolated from the rest so as to avoid damages to the device or any of the other items in your bag.
If you only carry your laptop with you, a briefcase or a sleeve will be your best options. The former will allow you to fit your computer, its cables, a mouse, and barely more. Sleeves have even less capacity and can only hold the laptop. If you want extra protection when you’re on the go, get a hard case shell; nothing can damage them.
You’ve found a bag in which your laptop perfectly fits and that offers plenty of space for you to carry all your belongings. It might even feature a USB charging port and a headphone output. But you forgot a fundamental aspect: the design of this bag simply doesn’t match your personality or tastes.
You have access to hundreds, nay, thousands of models on the American market – from the most basic and conservative to the most daring and original designs. Remember that you will be using this accessory on a daily basis, so you want it to fit your personality. Your laptop bag is an integral part of your outfit, and as such, you should wear it with pride.
The range of laptop bags currently available on the market is incredibly vast. From the most informal or vintage backpacks and shoulder bags to briefcases designed for professional use – not to mention the increasingly popular trolleys. However, all of these products share the same function: protecting your laptop when you’re on the move.
Throughout our article, we have presented to you some of the best models out there. We hope that we have also helped answer certain questions you may have had regarding these accessories. You should now feel confident enough to pick a bag whose size will suit your laptop. Don’t forget to evaluate the criteria that we discussed in our last section when the time comes for you to make your purchase.
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(Source of featured image: Jacek Sopotnicki: 62001461/ 123rf.com)