Whether you're investing in a new MacBookPro or toting your trusty HP to class, the best laptop backpacks can help you transport your device safely and protect it from the elements. Take advantage of flexible work environments and find one that fits your lifestyle. For example, if you have a hybrid work situation where you go into an office a few days a week, a simple and slim laptop backpack might be exactly what you need. Are you a hyper-organized collector of the latest gadgets? A tech backpack with specialized compartments for accessories could be a perfect fit. Or if you're regularly catching a flight, backpacks optimized for air travel can make security less of a hassle. Here are our recommendations.
– Best Overall: Matein Classic Backpack
– Best for Style: KROSER 15.6 Inch Laptop Backpack
– Best for Slim Design: Targus Cypress Slim Backpack
– Best for Travel: Nubily Laptop Backpack
– Best Budget: Case Logic 17-Inch Laptop Backpack
– Premium Pick: STM Goods Dux Backpack
– Best Made of Recycled Materials: Solo New York Re:Claim Backpack
– Best for Daily Use: Levi’s Standard Issue L Pack
– Best for Kids: Rickyh style Backpack for Students
– Best for College Students: SWISSGEAR 5358 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack
How We Selected the Best Laptop Backpacks
There are hundreds if not thousands of backpacks on the market, but the best laptop backpacks will provide the right design for your organizational preferences and workflow. Here’s what we looked at while making our selections:
Capacity: For a laptop backpack to be useful, it needs to have space for your device and all the extras you need to get your work done—your mouse, chargers, webcam, etc. We picked multiple options with different internal and external pockets. For any that only offered one compartment, we made sure they were roomy enough to hold more than just your laptop.
USB Ports: While USB ports aren’t essential per se, they’re extremely convenient for charging your devices on the go. Most of our picks offer a USB port, but note that you will likely have to get your own power bank and charging cord to use it.
Price: We didn’t emphasize price in our laptop backpack picks, but we included a budget option that offers robust features.
Related: Embrace the future with one of the best tech gifts for everyone on your list.
The Best Laptop Backpacks: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: Matein Classic Backpack
Why It Made The Cut: The Matein Classic Backpack is the best laptop backpack overall because it comes in a variety of colors, offers multiple compartments, and is sleek enough for a casual business environment.
— Laptop Size: 15.6 inches or 17 inches
— Weight: 1.56 pounds
— Colors: Austere Grey, Black Charcoal, Blue, Camouflage, Grey and Black Camo, Red, Tawny Brown, Black, Light Gray, Navy Blue
— Compact design
— Multiple pockets and compartments
— Includes a USB charging port
— Power bank not included
This Matein backpack has pockets on pockets. The back compartment has a laptop sleeve that holds a 15.6-inch device with additional room for books, with two more compartments for storing keys and a power bank you can connect to your devices through a built-in port on the exterior. In addition, a mesh pocket on the side allows you to store a water bottle.
The built-in USB charging port allows you to charge a device on the go. (Note that you will need to purchase your own power bank and USB cable to use the feature.) The straps and back are also padded for a more comfortable fit, and it’s designed with a suitcase sleeve to easily fit over your luggage handles.
Best for Style: KROSER 15.6-Inch Laptop Backpack
Why It Made The Cut: The sleek KROSER Laptop Backpack comes with a single framed compartment that opens wide so you can survey the contents fast.
— Laptop Size: 15.6 inches
— Weight: 1.82 pounds
— Colors: Black and Black/Pink (floral design)
— Chic design
— Steel frame provides more durability
— Power bank not included for USB port
At first glance, you wouldn’t even know this KROSER bag was made to hold your laptop. Handles on the top allow you to carry it like a handbag when you’ve got other equipment strapped to your back, and a luggage strap helps secure it to rolling equipment cases. The durable, water-repellent design uses reinforced edges and a steel frame for the main compartment.
It might seem counterintuitive, but a backpack with less pockets and compartments can actually help you stay organized better than one with a designated place for everything. The large pocket in KROSER’s laptop bag has one open pocket and a mesh compartment for smaller items, but the simple design makes it easier to grab what you need quickly.
Best with Slim Design: Targus Cypress Slim Backpack
Why It Made The Cut: Eco-conscious consumers will appreciate that the water-resistant material is made from twenty recycled bottles.
— Laptop Size: 15.6 inches
— Weight: 2.3 pounds
— Colors: Black, Gray, Light Gray, and Navy
— Multiple styles available (backpack, briefcase, convertible backpack, security backpack, and sleeve)
— Made from recycled water bottles
— Several dedicated pockets
Large backpacks can get caught in doors and add extra weight to your shoulders even when they're mostly empty, especially if you take public transit. Slim laptop backpacks, meanwhile, minimize wasted space and are often more aesthetically pleasing to look at. As the best laptop backpack with a slim design, the Targus Cypress Slim Backpack packs a lot of extra features into a streamlined profile suitable for smaller laptops. The laptop compartment is padded, and the main compartment is well-organized with a mesh pocket you can use for cables and chargers.
Best for Travel: Nubily Laptop Backpack
Why It Made The Cut: The Nubily Laptop Backpack features a roomy interior with multiple compartments and organizers, and it’s easy to transport in a busy airport.
— Laptop Size: 17.3 or 18.4 inches
— Weight: 2.2 pounds
— Colors: Black, Blue, Deep Black, Grey Green, and Red
— Lay-flat design
— Headphone port
— Power bank not included for USB charging
Nubily’s laptop backpack makes getting through airport security a breeze. When opened fully, this best laptop backpack for travel can lay flat to easily slide through security’s X-ray machine, and it includes multiple internal and external pockets for easy access to your belongings. The backside features comfortable, breathable mesh. And the grippy handle is great for hoisting your gear on top of your luggage or carrying it at your side when you want to give your back a break.
You can use the luggage sleeve to secure the backpack against your carry-on suitcase and its anti-theft zipper pocket provides even more security. This backpack also comes with a handy USB port, but you’ll need your own power bank to charge your device.
Best Budget: Case Logic 17-Inch Laptop Backpack
Why It Made The Cut: The Case Logic Laptop Backpack protects your device in a generously-sized zippered compartment that can accommodate screens up to 17 inches.
— Laptop Size: 17 inches
— Weight: 1.23 pounds
— Color: Black
— Easy-access pockets
— Only one color available
— No USB charging
You can definitely find a laptop backpack for under $30. Just remember that the technology you’re transporting is worth hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. This backpack from Case Logic offers the basics you need to protect your tech, without some of the bells and whistles that more expensive models provide. Use the main compartment for notebooks, chargers, and a few extras. You can pull your cell phone or wallet from the front pocket without difficulty using the handy side zipper. Note that unlike the other options on our list, this model doesn’t offer a USB charging port.
Premium Pick: STM Goods Dux Backpack
Why It Made The Cut: The innovative design offers adjustable internal shelves, side pockets that swing open, and a cascading front pocket for easy access and organization.
— Laptop Size: 17 inches
— Weight: 3.92 pounds
— Colors: Black Camo, Black Night, Blue Sea, and Grey Storm
— Customizable organization
— 31-liter capacity
— Comfortable fit
This heavy-duty pick from STM Goods offers unbeatable organization. Internally, the hook-and-loop shelves can be removed and rearranged as needed to best sort and store your items. The pack also comes with a portable pouch that you can take out of the bag when needed, and it features a separate compartment in the back with a pocket for your laptop. To access your belongings, you can use the side swing panel doors or front pocket.
At about $250, the Dux Backpack is quite an investment—but the additional protective features can be worth it. The water-resistant material protects your gear from the elements, while foam padding cushions the backpack against impact. Plus, it offers a back panel that can slide over your suitcase handle easily, making it a convenient carry-on.
Best Made of Recycled Materials: Solo New York Re:Claim Backpack
Why It Made The Cut: This backpack is made from recycled PET bottles, and Solo New York plants a tree for each recycled bag sold.
— Laptop Size: 15.6 inches
— Weight: 1 pound
— Color: Grey
— Sustainable construction
— Interior pockets
Made from recycled PET bottles by a third-generation, family-owned business, this affordable pick is designed to fit 11- to 15.6-inch laptops and comes with a front compartment for your other essentials. Organizing pockets also help you carefully keep pens, notebooks, and other belongings. Stow your water bottle in one of the backpack’s side mesh pockets and hand your jacket or umbrella from one of the top loops. Adjustable and removable straps make this convenient to carry, and users report that it’s lightweight.
Best for Daily Use: Levi’s Standard Issue L Pack
Why It Made The Cut: This backpack combines style with sustainability, offering a square design made of recycled polyester fiber.
— Laptop Size: 15 inches
— Capacity: 13 liters
— Color: Black
— Made from recycled materials
— Durable construction
— No USB port
This backpack from Levi’s is made from 20 to 100 percent recycled polyester and can hold an up-to-15-inch laptop. It also offers 13-liter capacity and a water bottle pocket. Paracord zipper pulls make it easy to reach in and out of the pack. This backpack keeps you comfortable with its padded back panel, and the adjustable straps can be tightened or loosened to your liking.
Best for Kids: Rickyh style Backpack for Students
Why It Made The Cut: This backpack can handle all the textbooks, notebooks, and binders a student could possibly need and satisfy their personal style at the same time.
— Laptop Size: 15.6 inches
— Weight: 1.76 ounces
— Colors: 33 pattern choices, ranging from Unicorn to Camouflage Gray
— Multiple organizational pockets
— 33 color/pattern options
— Several customers reported that the zippers are flimsy
Behold, the backpack to end all back-to-school-shopping arguments. No more arguing that even though the design might not be your kid’s favorite, it’s still the practical choice—this kids backpack is available in more than 30 patterns, ranging from a cutesy unicorn pattern against a rainbow background to a simple, solid black. Select designs come with a matching lunchbox.
The backpack is composed of high density canvas with a waterproof coating to help protect belongings in the rain, and multiple pockets make organization easy. The laptop sleeve can handle devices up to 15.6 inches, and two side pockets can store smaller items. A roomy main interior is ideal for binders, textbooks, lunch boxes, and more.
Best for College Students: SwissGear 5358 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack
Why It Made The Cut: This backpack is designed for a hectic student—it can charge your phone, tablet, or laptop, easily fit an extra pair of shoes, and organize every notebook, binder, and knick knack that makes its way into a college kid’s backpack.
— Laptop Size: 15 inches
— Weight: 3.09 pounds
— Colors: Black Stealth, Black/Red, Blue Ballistic, and Grey Ballistic
— Heavy duty
— Comfortable straps and back panel
— USB charging
Armed with a bevy of features, this backpack is equipped to make busy college students’ lives easier. A 31.4 liter capacity ensures you have enough space for your notebooks and textbooks, and internal organization helps you reach what you need faster. It also includes a USB power port to charge your phone, laptop, or tablet.
SwissGear’s ScanSmart Laptop Backpack also offers ample extra storage—a collapsible pocket can hold an extra pair of shoes, and smaller internal pockets help organize cables, notebooks, and pens. It also provides a compartment at the top of the bag for sunglasses. Ergonomic mesh straps and padded back panels keep you comfortable all day.
Things to Consider Before Buying The Best Laptop Backpacks
When you’re reviewing the storage capacity of a new backpack, the first thing you should do is to be honest with yourself about your level of organization. Are you the type of person who rolls up cables neatly every time? Or do you have a desk drawer full of chargers and adapters you’ve collected over the years that may or may not be slightly chewed up by your cat?
Tech backpacks that have multiple compartments for holding digital equipment and accessories can be an incredible resource to ensure you always have a USB-C-to-HDMI adapter or power cord close at hand. These features can range from elastic loops, tiny pockets for a pen or stylus, compartments for battery pack chargers, and extra protection for your eReaders, iPads, or other tablets.
Before purchasing, make a list of all of the essential tools you need for your portable workspace to confirm each one will have a place that’s secure and convenient. You’ll also want to double-check your laptop’s specs to confirm it will fit the sleeve.
When evaluating backpacks for sleekness, look for stiffer materials or framed designs that hold their form. Front pockets should be shallow—think room for a cell phone, but not charging bricks—to maintain their trim shape when your pack is full. Also look for built-in organizers that you can reach without unzipping the entire main compartment to access what you need.
A backpack with a laptop sleeve and generously sized main compartment is also a smart alternative. If you don’t usually bring along a lot of accessories when you’re working at a cafe, you can just toss what you need into the bag and be done with it. Pro tip: Consider storing cables, flash drives, and other tools in separate mesh bags in different colors before you stash them in your backpack so that they don’t get tangled together.
If you’re in and out of planes, trains, eBikes, and automobiles, there are a few features you should think about that make travel more pleasant.
First, a word about waterproof laptop backpacks: don’t rely on this feature to completely protect your gear from water damage. Water-resistant materials like waxed canvas that repel H2O are often described as waterproof, but they can’t withstand immersion. You can buy airtight equipment cases that are impermeable to water, but heavy-duty protection adds weight and bulk.
Features that stand out in business backpacks for travel have to do with access. If you’re concerned about data theft, some backpacks have pockets for your wallet and chipped cards that block RFID-chip readers. In addition, an easily accessible laptop and tablet compartment which lies flat when opened can save valuable time in airport security lines. And USB charging ports that connect to a portable battery power pack help minimize the risk you’ll lose your device en route when you’re charging it.
Q: What should I look for in a laptop backpack?
The easiest way to determine what to look for in a laptop backpack is to assess your existing workspace and ask yourself what you’d require to make it portable. Once you know what accessories (like cables and chargers) and additional gear (like external keyboards and editing consoles) you want to pack, you can start looking for a laptop backpack that’s the right size to hold everything. Look for durable materials first, and then consider special features like USB charging ports, RFID chip reader blockers, and luggage straps.
Q: What are the best quality laptop backpacks?
The best laptop backpacks are made from sturdy materials that help keep your expensive equipment safe. Beyond that, you can determine your individual standards of quality based on how much gear you want to transport, how you prefer to organize it, and where you’ll be using your bag the most.
Q: How much is a good laptop backpack?
You can find a good laptop backpack for anywhere between $30 to $200. At the lowest end of that range, prioritize protecting your computer with a pick from a reputable brand over multiple compartments and extra features. At the higher end of the range, you can find long-lasting backpacks from top brands designed with specific uses in mind, like frequent business travel or gaming. Leather backpacks or high-fashion brands can cost even more.
The smartest way to approach a budget pick is to put brand, materials, and simplicity ahead of bells and whistles. With a cheaply made bag, it’s more likely zippers will get stuck or break, and quality control measures may be looser, so be sure to inspect a laptop backpack closely before making a purchase.
If you’re set on finding a backpack loaded with features, you’ll likely get more for your money by seeking out top-quality backpacks rather than investing in a knockoff. By buying backpacks you can afford made with durable materials from reputable brands, you can keep your equipment as safe as possible until you can purchase something more tailored to your personal taste.
Final Thoughts on the Best Laptop Backpacks
The best laptop backpack for you should be part of a gear collection that enables you to spend less time on the mundane particulars of setting up your workspace. If a highly organized tech backpack just isn’t your thing, don’t force yourself to follow someone else’s system. Only you know the perfect conditions for your brain to thrive, and that’s the right impulse to follow.
Related: Win the holidays with the best gifts for gamers.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.