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Best Overall: Icon Pack at Amazon
"One of the brand’s flagship models and is a made out of durable 840D nylon."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Booq Cobra Squeeze at Amazon
"Contoured shoulder-strap design and air mesh back padding for keeping cool."
Best Budget: Mancro at Amazon
"Three main storage compartments, nine inner smaller pockets, plus two sealed side pockets."
Best Commuter: Timbuk2 Authority Pack at Amazon
"Designed specifically for those on the go with enough storage for a 15-inch laptop."
Best Premium: Lifepack Solar Powered and Anti-Theft Backpack at Amazon
"11,000 mAH battery with enough power for six smartphone charges."
Best Durability: Thule Crossover at Amazon
"Water-resistant fabrics and zippers work together to form a protective seal against weather elements."
Best Storage: North Face Pivoter at Amazon
"Ensures spine support with specialized compression molded shoulder straps."
Best for Style: Herschel Retreat Mid-Volume at Amazon
"Sets itself apart from the utilitarian style that’s permeated the laptop backpack field."
Best Charging: ECEEN 7-Watt Solar Backpack at Amazon
"Solar charger is made with a hard-shell coating and is sewn into a water-resistant PVC fabric cover."
Of all the backpacks on the market, online reviews almost unanimously agree that any backpack from Incase should be at the top of your list. The Icon Pack is one of the brand’s flagship models and is a made out of durable 840D nylon. It's geared for laptops 15 inches and smaller. The main compartment is designed specifically for your large ticket items, as well as any documents, books or small accessories. A secondary compartment offers added storage for tech accessories or other smaller items. The dedicated iPad or tablet pocket offers quick and easy side access without going into either of the bag’s two main compartments. A hip-side power pocket adds an integrated cable allowing access to any portable power unit or audio device. Beyond storage, the adjustable shoulder pads pair with a sternum strap for added security and comfort.
Stylish and modern looking, the Booq Cobra Squeeze laptop backpack is a uniquely designed option that offers a superb combination of both form and function. Offering weatherproof protection courtesy of its water-repellent fabric, the Squeeze doesn’t skimp on comfort, thanks to a contoured shoulder-strap design and air mesh back padding for keeping cool during lengthy wearing sessions.
Capable of holding a laptop up to 15.4 inches, the top pocket provides instant access directly to a laptop, while the dual side compartments add extra storage for accessories. Inside the main compartment, you’ll find the laptop sleeve, two pockets and a pen slot. Weighing just 2.2 pounds, adding a laptop, accessories and even a book or two won’t weigh the Squeeze down. Booq adds an extra level of security with its Terralinq lost-and-found system designed to help recover a bag if lost or stolen.
Combining budget pricing with excellent style and storage, the Mancro laptop backpack includes enough space in its laptop compartment to safely secure up to 17-inch laptops. There are three main storage compartments, nine inner smaller pockets, plus two sealed side pockets for items such keys, a wallet or a water bottle. Manufactured out of eco-friendly nylon fabric, the curved shoulder padding makes for a lightweight bag that's just 1.5 pounds.
An included combination lock adds an extra level of security. Beyond security, the nylon design includes a water-resistant exterior that protects against splashes and rain. Added to the exterior of the bag is a USB portable charging port that pairs with a separately purchased portable battery for quick charging on the go.
Timbuk2 is one of the best known names in laptop bags and for good reason. The combination of style, reliability and storage all make for something commuters will love. The Authority Pack is designed specifically for those on the go with enough storage for a 15-inch laptop. There are two more main compartments that are designed for carrying clothes (including even one that can carry a pair of shoes), tablets, pens and pencils, chargers and other accessories. There's also a stretchy side compartment that's designed solely for carrying water or other liquids. The top handle for carrying in tight situations is paired with adjustable shoulder pads and compression straps with reflective tape to alert drivers or other commuters of your presence at night. It weighs 2.4 pounds.
If you can afford to splurge, then consider the Life Solar Powered Anti-Theft Backpack, which is equal parts function and style. Its solar-powered bank has an 11,000 mAH battery with enough power for six smartphone charges, and it doubles as a pair of quality Bluetooth speakers with 96 hours of playback. With two USB ports, you can charge two devices simultaneously while listening to music. For charging on the go, simply plug your device into an integrated USB port in your right-side pocket.
The Lifepack also boasts a retractable cable lock with a three-digit combo and four hidden pockets in the straps and backside for added security. Its design emphasizes dual functionality for backpacking and business; there are two compartments to separate work-related supplies from personal toiletries (or anything that you wouldn’t want to accidentally spill out at a board meeting). The bag fits a 15.6-inch laptop in a shock-proof, weather-proof compartment, and only weighs 2.47 pounds.
When it comes to durability, the 32-liter Thule Crossover backpack is hard to beat. With an elevated laptop compartment that can store up to a 17-inch laptop (plus a dedicated sleeve for your iPad), there’s more than enough room in this bag for clothes, books and even a pair of shoes. While there’s plenty of storage available, the real highlight of the Thule is its protection against the elements and even drops, thanks to a heat-molded and crush-proof compartment that safeguards small ticket items such as smartphones or even your favorite pair of sunglasses.
The water-resistant fabrics and zippers work together to form a protective seal against weather elements that seek to do your favorite tech harm. Add in two side mesh pockets for water bottles, grab-and-go handles alongside EVA shoulder straps for easy transportation and a "shove-it" pocket for quickly storing a light jacket and you’ve got a backpack that’s both laptop-ready and good for an overnight trip. It weights 2.2 pounds.
With 27 liters of total storage, the North Face Pivoter backpack includes plenty of storage, a durable design and comes in a variety of color choices. Designed to fit up to a 15-inch laptop, the padded compartment adds enough protection even when the bag is packed to the brim. Alongside laptop storage, the main compartment offers room for books and notepads. There are even zipper, velcro and pen pockets for added storage and organization. The Pivoter backpack ensures spine support with specialized compression molded shoulder straps for maintaining proper posture and has a padded haul handle at the top. For staying safe on the go, the reflective bike-light loop and shoulder strap webbing create 360 degrees of reflectivity for staying safe at night. It weighs two pounds.
One look is all it takes to see why the Herschel Retreat Mid-Volume handily takes the prize of most stylish laptop backpack. With its mountaineering style, drawcord cinch closure and strap-detailed top flap, the Herschel quickly sets itself apart from the utilitarian style that’s permeated the laptop backpack field for years. With room for up to a 13-inch laptop in its padded main compartment, it has ample room for accessories, including chargers and mice. The magnetic strap closure and metal pin clips add to the mountaineering look, but provide extra security for keeping all your gear safe inside the main compartment. The front storage sleeve is fairly small and allows just enough space for quick access to a smartphone.
For a bag that can keep pace with your busy lifestyle, the ECEEN Solar Backpack is a must-own. Designed to be the perfect hiking companion, this product is the most reliable option in terms of mobile charging capability. The 2,000 mAh of power allows you to charge a variety of devices — not just laptops and smartphones, but also GPS trackers, Bluetooth speakers, and much more. The ECEEN’s 7-watt solar charger, with US-made solar cells, boasts a 22% transfer efficiency, which fuels a back-up battery that stores up to 10,000 mAh.
The ECEEN is the perfect combination of energy-efficiency and durability. The solar charger is made with a hard-shell coating and is sewn into a water-resistant PVC fabric cover, guaranteeing its longevity and performance. Also, at only 3.2 pounds, and designed to distribute weight effectively, you’ll never strain yourself carrying this pack.
We bought seven top-rated laptop backpacks and our reviewers spent more than 180 hours testing them. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these backpacks, including their style, storage capacity, and security features. We've outlined the major takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
Size - Like any other bag, size is an important thing to take into consideration when you’re buying a laptop backpack. Do you only need it to hold your necessities — laptop, tablet, charger, and cords? Or would you like it to hold enough for a day or weekend trip? These bags come in all sizes, so consider what your storage needs are and choose a bag that will fit it all.
Style - Backpacks aren’t always the most stylish of bags — but as they’ve become more and more popular, manufacturers are paying closer attention to design. If having a bag that matches your personal style is important to you, you’ll definitely be able to find one. However, you may have to compromise on size, weight, or other features, so it’s important to think about how important the bag’s looks are when weighed against other factors.
Security - It’s incredibly nice to have your laptop (and all your other gadgets) in one place. However, this also makes it incredibly easy for an ill-meaning person to pick up your bag and walk off with all your expensive electronics. That’s why more and more laptop backpacks are coming with built-in security features. If the bag you want doesn’t have a security device, you can always add one on, but having an integrated anti-theft system would certainly provide peace of mind.
Comfortable to wear
Lots of storage space
“The InCase ICON is one of my favorite backpacks I've used, raved one of our testers, “and offers protection and travel capacity that is the envy of other products.” Specifically, one reviewer loved that it had great padding and a bunch of storage space—plus, it was very comfortable to wear. Even the downsides our testers pointed out—mainly that it’s pricey and that it doesn’t hold bulkier items particularly well—didn’t detract from their glowing reviews.
Matches aesthetic of Apple products
Great foam padding inside
Pocket layout is cumbersome
Not very water-resistant
“This bag is worth buying if you want one that looks good and matches the aesthetic of Apple products,” declared one of our testers. Another highlight, according to one reviewer, was that its inside compartments “have great foam padding that does well at absorbing impact.” In terms of negatives, one tester pointed out its “off-putting and cumbersome” pocket layout, as well as the fact that it wasn’t very water-resistant: “I’m unsure as to whether or not it would hold up to being caught out in the rain,” he admitted.
External USB port
Water bottle pockets too small
This bag’s layout was a hit with one of our testers, who remarked that “its compartments are smartly designed and useful.” Also, special features, including an external USB port and water-repellent nylon, were an “added bonus” for one reviewer. On the other hand, one tester thought that its outer water bottle pockets were “undersized,” and that the bag’s overall design was “on the boring side.” But overall, according to one of our reviewers, “it's a great commuter bag that does a wide number of things without sacrificing any features.”
Many useful features
Great organization and storage
Coated fabric is water-resistant
Narrower build lacks capacity
Bag can't stand up on its own
“This is a solid bag for the commuter who doesn't really bring much with them,” reported our tester. “The features—bottom compression straps, a key fob, and more—all add up to warrant the price. It just won’t work for anyone who likes to carry a big load.” He also liked that the coated fabric was water-resistant. One negative, however, was its lack of storage capacity: “The narrower build on this bag makes it difficult to store bulky items,” he said. “It also struggles to stand up on its own,” he added, “especially without much weight, which can be annoying when trying to fill it.”
Includes power bank/Bluetooth speaker, and solar charger
Hidden storage compartments
Tons of additional accessories
Clever anti-theft features
Solar charger is slow to charge
Lock is finicky and not durable
“There are other good ‘smart’ options out there, but none look as good as the Lifepack,” raved our tester. He loved its numerous features, including hidden storage compartments to secure sensitive items and a power bank that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker and a solar charger. He did feel, however, that the solar charging component was “lackluster and slow.” He also noted that the provided lock was “finicky and not very durable” and that the bag was heavy.
Tons of space for all your gear
A crush-proof outer container
Awkwardly placed bottom compartment
Shoulder straps can be uncomfortable
Rubber zipper tabs are a weak point
This bag’s durability won over our tester: “I have no doubt this bag would last for many, many years,” he said. “It just feels heavy-duty—plus, the storage capacity is amazing.” On the other hand, he pointed out a design flaw: “The worst thing is the awkwardly placed bottom compartment on the underside,” he explained. “It crushes whatever is inside [the larger compartment].”
Good option for bikers
Lightweight build with lots of space
Excellent weight distribution
Compartment is cramped for thicker laptops
Rain cover not included
Lacks organization for smaller items
Our testers thought that this laptop backpack was a great overall value: “It’s a good choice for commuters—especially bikers—who don't really want a bunch of extra features with their backpack,” he said. On the other hand, he felt that its laptop compartment was a little small for thicker 15-inch laptops and said it could have been sturdier: “I think simply making it a little beefier and more robust would help,” he noted. “It's not fragile or anything, but compared to other backpacks on the market, it just feels like it wouldn't do much to protect your things.”