The 10 Best Laptop Bags of 2020

Make sure your laptop is protected when carrying it around

The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide
The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide
Introduction

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The Rundown
"Comfortable to wear, even when it’s fully weighed down."
"Briefcase doubles as a backpack, converting in seconds."
Best Briefcase:
Solo Pro at Amazon
"Feels more premium than the price would suggest."
Best Backpack:
eBags Backpack at Amazon
"Excellent laptop carrying case that has plenty of bells and whistles."
"Equipped with durable metal zippers and a theft-proof combination lock for maximum protection."
Best Durability:
Thule Paramount at Amazon
"Enhanced protection against elements such as rain or snow."
Best for Photographers:
Peak Design Everyday Backpack at Amazon
"Maintains a ton of storage while still looking sleek."
"The gold standard for laptop owners on the go."
Runner-Up, Best Briefcase:
Mancro 17-Inch Laptop Briefcase at Amazon
"A reliable product that’ll stand up to the daily grind of your office commute."
Best for Simplicity:
AmazonBasics Laptop Bag at Amazon
"This 15.6-inch laptop shoulder bag from Amazon may not have a ton of bells and whistles, but it also won't break the bank."

The best laptop bags is one that's comfortable, durable, and has enough storage space for all your devices and daily carry needs. Most laptop bags come with a variety of pockets as well, allowing you to fit not just a laptop, but also a notebook, battery pack, pens, water bottles, and other items.

Our top choice, the Incase ICON Backpack, is durable backpack with an interior zipper, five exterior pockets, and is made of 100 percent nylon. It's durable, can carry pretty much everything you need, and is comfortable to wear. For travelers and business professionals, you may also want to browse our guide to the best rolling laptop bags. For all others, read on to see our list of the best laptop bags below.

Best Overall: Incase ICON Backpack

What We Like
  • Durable build

  • Lots of pockets

  • Sturdy frame

What We Don't Like
  • No water bottle compartment

Composed of 100 percent nylon, the one-size-fits-all Incase Icon Pack offers one interior zipper pocket and five exterior pockets. The sternum strap and padded shoulder straps help make the Icon comfortable to wear, even when it’s fully weighed down. When packed to the brim, the Icon still manages to look good. The bag’s frame holds steady no matter how much gear you’re carrying, something that could be a turnoff to some users who want a collapsed bag when not carrying everything. It’s a minor annoyance but a notable caveat for truly picky backpack aficionados. We also would have loved to see a water bottle compartment on the side. It’s an omission that is a little disappointing, but by no means a deal breaker.

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

What We Like
  • Flexible use

  • Good protection with padded pocket

  • Space for other devices

What We Don't Like
  • Could use more storage space

When you first take a look at the Solo Laptop Hybrid Briefcase Backpack you’re going to ask yourself, “is it a backpack or a messenger bag?” In this case, the answer is both and that’s a very, very good thing. This don’t-call-it-a-messenger-bag briefcase doubles as a backpack converting in seconds with the addition of both a shoulder strap as well as dual straps for backpack-style. The slim profile hides all the unique functionality that takes this Solo bag from briefcase/messenger bag to backpack and back again in seconds without sacrificing space, style or cost.

Composed of polyester, the Solo bag won’t scream water resistant but doesn’t skimp on protection with a padded pocket offering 360-degrees of protection for a laptop up to 15.6”. A secondary compartment holds a tablet and it has front zipper pockets to hold your smartphone, chargers, smaller gadgets and frequently used accessories. There’s not a ton of additional storage space and that helps the Solo bag maintain its profile as a briefcase/backpack and not the other way around. Still, there’s no question that there’s more than enough storage here to get you through the day and even weekend trips.

Best Briefcase: Solo Pro

What We Like
  • Separate compartment for laptop

  • Durable material

  • Affordable price

What We Don't Like
  • Laptop has to be taken out of bag for quick access

Sometimes simple just works better and that’s why our vote for the best travel laptop bag goes to the Solo Pro. The Solo Pro has a feature that we wish every laptop bag offered: a separate compartment that can lay flat, allowing easy access to your laptop while traveling. Unfortunately, the laptop still has to be taken out of the bag but the quick access and lay flat feature are a comfort you never knew you wanted until you have it. The ballistic polyester material isn’t as eye-catching as leather or as beautiful, but it’s durable and belies the price tag for overall quality. Rest assured that while the price tag might have you thinking this bag belongs in the budget category, it feels more premium than the price would suggest.

There are compartments for laptops beginning at 14.1” up to 17.3”. The “clamshell checkfast design” is the real claim to fame and Solo believes this bag will “allow you to pass through airport security faster." Your mileage may vary, but the idea that Solo has built a bag with the traveler in mind paired with the wallet-friendly price has us instantly adding this to our Amazon wishlist. There’s also a front zippered pocket and front zip-down organizer for additional storage. Solo didn’t make this bag as a “carry everything,” but there’s enough storage for a business trip with a charger, tablet, some notebooks, magazine and your phone. There’s also a rear, ride-along feature for easy connection to a suitcase for consolidated travel.

Best Backpack: eBags Backpack

What We Like
  • Attractive and comfortable

  • Durable material

  • Can fit sizable laptops

  • Coverts from backpack to briefcase

What We Don't Like
  • May not fit under aisle row seat while flying

Attractive, comfortable and with a lifetime warranty, eBags laptop backpack is an excellent selection for a laptop carrying case that has plenty of bells and whistles. With a durable and tough twisted filament polyester exterior, plus DuPont Teflon fabric protection, the eBag offers a multitude of different compartments, including a crush-proof AC adapter garage and a zippered water bottle pocket. The padded laptop compartment can fit computers up to 15 inches in size with additional padding that can be removed to allow extra space to accommodate a 17-inch laptop if necessary. Also, a top-loaded tablet pocket with fleece-lining for automatic glass cleaning fits tablets up to 11.5 inches in height and 8.1 inches in width.

The inclusion of a top handle allows the eBag to easily convert from backpack to briefcase and back again just in case you want a more professional look every so often. Additionally, there’s a horizontal luggage pass-thru panel for easy hookup to a piece of luggage for easier transport in an airport. If you’re not using the eBag as a briefcase or connected to a suitcase and just as a regular backpack, the airmesh back panel offers exceptional support alongside padded straps and a removable shock-load sternum strap to help with added comfort in case of a heavy load.

Read more reviews of the best laptop backpacks available to purchase online.

Best Commuter Bag: Mancro Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack

What We Like
  • Good for travelers

  • Water-repellent and durable

  • Comfortable to wear

  • Lots of pockets

What We Don't Like
  • Could use more padding for laptop

For travelers and daily commuters alike, the Mancro laptop backpack is best suited for those who are always on the move. The fabric is made from an eco-friendly, water-repellent nylon, and features reinforced padded shoulder straps to alleviate strain. It also comes equipped with durable metal zippers and a theft-proof combination lock to ensure maximum protection for your personal belongings.

Inside, you’ll find three main compartments, nine smaller pockets, and two sealed sleeves for your tablet or a 13- to a 15.6-inch laptop. (For larger computers, see the Mancro 17-inch briefcase, which is also featured on our list). It also comes with a handy USB cable built in, so if you have a portable battery pack, you can charge your phone on the go and still have easy access to the device.

The Mancro backpack measures 20 x 12.2 x 5.7 inches and is highly adaptable for almost any use. It’s perfect for daily commutes, weekend getaways, or for hiking and camping trips. The simple, understated design also works for students and young business professionals alike. It is available in seven different colors.

Best Durability: Thule Paramount 24L Daypack

What We Like
  • Well-known brand

  • Durable nylon material and water resistance

  • Very protective pockets

What We Don't Like
  • On the pricey side

Thule's a name known for toughness and the Paramount 24L Daypack is no exception. Constructed out of a durable 420D nylon material with a water-resistant finish, the Thule adds extra durability with "Safe Edge" protection that helps avoid any damage to bag contents when dropped or bumped. Additionally, a welded bottom panel provides enhanced protection against elements such as rain or snow. A protective slip pocket with soft interior lining supports and protects a top or zipper-based side-loading laptop and tablet compartment. Up to a 13-inch laptop can fit comfortably in the sleeve that sits between the back plate and main storage space of the bag itself. Ultimately, the top-loading, which results from uncurling the roll-top, is a big-time saver and 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 Thule offers a slew of small sleeves and pouches all totaling 24 liters of space. There are two mini zipped storage compartments, two sleeves, a zip pouch that's ideal for sunglasses and a front pocket that's perfect for storing cables and the rest of your day-to-day gadgets. Carrying all this might have you worried about your back but the good news is that the ergonomics of the Thule are excellent with a sculpted back panel and mesh shoulder straps that are both breathable and comfortable.

Best for Photographers: Peak Design Everyday Backpack

What We Like
  • Stylish and versatile

  • Space for laptop and cameras

  • Quick opening system

  • Wateroriif

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

This 20L backpack from Peak Design exemplifies everything the brand aims for: versatility, style, and general ease of use. And this is as much a camera backpack as it is a laptop backpack. There are two separate, side-accessed compartments that can accommodate inserts to keep your lenses and camera gear protected. Plus there's a 15-inch laptop sleeve in the back, so you can use it as a daily work bag even when you aren't out shooting.

The Everyday Backpack has a top-mounted slip pocket, a key tether, side-oriented water bottle and tripod slots, a ton of little odds-and-ends compartments, a truly innovative and patent-pending MagLatch system to quickly open the bag, and way, way more. It’s also made with Hypalon-reinforced and bar-tacked stress points and a cotton-twill interior for a longer-lasting, more durable build. In short: it maintains a ton of storage while still looking sleek. Choose from three different color options: gray, tan, and black.

Best for Travelers: Incase EO Travel Backpack

What We Like
  • Stylish and carry-on friendly

  • Fits big laptops

  • Comfortable to wear

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Stylish, water-resistant, and carry-on-friendly, the Incase EO Travel Backpack is the gold standard for laptop owners on the go. It has a separate sleeve that can fit up to a 17-inch laptop for easy access during TSA screening or the middle of the flight. To help you stay organized at all stages of your travels, an inside slip pocket protects your tablet while additional pockets store chargers and cables, and side compression straps keep contents secure and stabilized.

The main compartment can expand by 35 percent to accommodate your needs on longer trips, and the clamshell design allows it to open completely flat for easy packing. The shoulder straps are padded, the back features a breathable mesh, and a front sternum strap adds additional comfort. The slim design makes it easy to navigate crowds — it can even double as a gym bag when you’re stationed at home.

Runner-Up, Best Briefcase: Mancro 17-Inch Laptop Briefcase

What We Like
  • Durable for commuters

  • Splash-proof

  • Decent storage capability

What We Don't Like
  • Not very stylish

The utilitarian design of Mancro's briefcase won’t win any beauty contests, but it’s a reliable product that’ll stand up to the daily grind of your office commute — and at a shockingly reduced price. The bag is made with a splash-proof, lightweight nylon fabric, and has a soft leather handle and a comfortable shoulder strap for easy portability. Inside, you’ll find plenty of storage space including more than ten functional compartments and a padded laptop compartment capable of housing a 17-inch laptop. The bag also features an expandable zipper which can add an extra 1.2 inches of room to the bottom layer if you're carrying more than usual. If your job or lifestyle involves a decent amount of commuting or traveling with all your stuff in tow, the Mancro briefcase makes for a reliable companion.

Best for Simplicity: AmazonBasics 15.6-inch Laptop Computer Shoulder Bag

What We Like
  • Affordable price

  • Can handle most laptops

  • Enough storage for other items

What We Don't Like
  • Not waterproof

  • Design seems a little cheap

The AmazonBasics 15.6-inch Laptop Shoulder Bag is a slim, compact carrying bag for laptops up to 15.6-inches. Other size options are available, ranging from 11.6 inches to 17.3 inches. The bag has a padded interior pocket for the laptop, and zippered exterior pockets to hold cables, pens, phones, and other items. The three sections are accessible from outside the bag and easy to organize. It's an ideal laptop carry bag for travelers and should fit comfortably under an aisle chair. The only downside is the AmazonBasics bag isn't waterproof, but for the price it's hard to find much fault with it.

Final Verdict

For the majority of people, the Incase ICON is the best laptop bag to buy. It has plenty of storage space with a padded interior and five exterior pockets. It's very comfortable to wear even when weighted down, and the frame is durable to handle lots of gear. For those who prefer a shoulder-style bag, the Solo Duane is worth considering. It's briefcase that can covert to a backpack or vice versa, making it versatile for commuters and travelers.

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, though backpacks are better if you commute by bike while a briefcase lends to a more professional look. Backpacks also may have sternum straps, making them easier to carry for heavier loads over a long period of time. Shoulder bags can be nice and compact, making them a good fit for travelers, though they can put more strain on you.

Durability - Most laptop bags have added padding for extra protection. Of course, the padding adds to the bulkiness of the bag, which can be a drawback if you’re looking for something easy to carry. Some models have removable padding to accommodate larger computers, too. While some people might prefer polymer, it doesn’t fare so well in a rainstorm. Nylon is often a bit better, but to ensure your precious laptop doesn’t get drenched, look for a bag with a water-resistant coating.

Storage/Pockets - Some bags have pockets dedicated just to chargers, cables, and water bottles. Although they are convenient, they add a bit of bulk. If you want a more streamlined style, opt for a something simpler. Built-in organizers can also help handle loose items like charging cables and pens.