The 7 Best Laptop Cases and Sleeves of 2020

Keep your laptop protected from drops and scratches

The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide
The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide

Best Overall, Best for Macs: Nacuwa 360 Laptop Sleeve

The Nacuwa 360-degree coverage sleeve is fully zippered and measures 13 inches. It comes in a light or dark gray color and offers all-around protection with an internal egg-crate-style padding that lines the entire interior. That interior is shock-, drop- and collision-resistant, which is great because when you’re transporting your MacBook or your PC, there will be plenty of those. They’ve even reinforced the corners, which are arguably the areas with the most potential for damage.

The outside shell is a soft, heather gray design that also provides a layer of water resistance for even more protection. The sleeve adds on a super strong carrying handle and even an outer convenience pocket to put chargers, external hard drives and more. The brand name might not be making tech journal headlines, but the features alone (added on to the unbelievable price) should bring you around to why this made it to the top of our list.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: EveCase Diamond Neoprene Travel Bag

This EveCase takes its job of protecting your laptop seriously. It features a layer of shock-absorbent and water-resistant diamond padded neoprene, which keeps your device safe from minor bumps, drops and splashes. Meanwhile, a soft foam fabric lining on the interior defends it from scratches.

The sleeve itself comes in four different sizes (11.6 x 12.5 inches, 13.3 x 14 inches, 15 x 15.6 inches and 17 x 17.3 inches) and four different colors (black, blue, purple and hot pink). The top-loading design gives you easy access to your device and is approved by TSA, so you don’t have to remove your laptop from this sleeve while going through airport security. It lacks additional pockets to stash chargers, documents or other accessories, but that’s the price you pay for such a slim and lightweight case.

Best Budget: AmazonBasics 13-inch Laptop Sleeve

Sometimes, simple is better and that’s the case with the AmazonBasics laptop sleeve. This basic neoprene sleeve is available in 11-inch, 13-inch and 15-inch varieties. If you’re looking for something basic, simple and inexpensive that will help prevent scrapes or minor impacts, the AmazonBasics case is perfect for you. Padding on every side and a well-tailored fit help create 360-degrees of protection. Zipper action is smooth and doesn’t offer any hint that this sleeve is budget priced.

A handle on a laptop sleeve isn’t for everyone, but as a lot of people don’t enjoy larger bags for quick trips, a handle would be welcomed. Separately, we wouldn’t mind a few additional color options, but limitations aside, it’s hard to say no to Amazon’s private label laptop sleeve.  

Best for Storage: Case Logic 15.6-Inch Laptop Case (VNCI-215)

When you’re on the move with your laptop in tow, you normally need a handful of accessories as well. This canvas Case Logic laptop case has room for all your chargers, secondary devices and more.

Fitting devices up to 15.2 x 1.7 x 10.5 inches, the bag has an interior slip pocket to hold notepads and other documents separate from your computer. A velcro strap keeps your laptop secured in place and padded compartment walls provide extra protection. The exterior front pocket has dedicated pockets for your smartphone, charging cables, power brick and more, while the exterior back pocket can comfortably hold your tablet or other belongings. The zipper unzips the case three-quarters of the way, so your laptop is easily accessible. It has a detachable over-the-shoulder strap, plus a smaller handle on the top, so you can carry it any way you please. The bag may be a bit bulky, but it gets an A+ for its intended purpose: holding all your gadgets and accessories in an organized fashion.

Best Protection: Thule Gauntlet 3.0

When it comes to laptop protection, there are few names that stand out more than Thule. The company's new Gauntlet 3.0 case can hold 13-inch laptops and is marketed squarely at Apple buyers, but can fit a number of other laptops. The price might sound a little steep for a laptop sleeve, but the polyurethane-hardened Gaunlet offers a number of pockets, elastic bands and slips inside the sleeve.

Overall, there are three compartments cordoned off by two stretchy mesh dividers. A nylon strap runs from top to bottom joined by a Velcro fastener, which helps secure the laptop inside the sleeve. And the dense foam interior adds one final layer of protection. Realistically, this sleeve is best for day trips, as you’ll struggle find the additional space to fit your charging cable and plug, but such is the price for protection against bumps and bruises.

Best Design: Kalidi Laptop Sleeve

Anytime your laptop sleeve looks like a high-end handbag or pocketbook, you know you’re doing something right in the design department. This Kalidi sleeve gives you high-end leather-esque class without the high-end, leather price tag. At just under $20, this thing won’t break the bank, but will definitely turn heads at all your business meetings. The case measures in at 355 x 255 mm, so it’s designed for 13-inch computers, and more specifically they’re advertising it for the MacBook Air (to maintain the thin, sleek style). It’s made of a faux, PU leather that’s actually pretty high quality and the opening is a fold-over that works a lot like those classic pocketbooks. And the best part is that it comes in eight high-end colors ranging from metallic-y tan leather to soft seafoam green to a dark, jewel tone purple. So whatever your style of sleeve, there will be a color on offer from Kalidi.

Best Splurge: Tenba Messenger DNA

The Tenba Messenger bag is the ultimate splurge for a laptop bag because it offers basically everything you could want in a briefcase bag and then some. Let’s talk about what it holds. For starters, it can accommodate your laptop as expected (and it’ll accommodate different sizes of laptop depending on which model of bag you get). It also has pockets for a large DSLR camera, a travel coffee mug, all of your chargers, and even folders and notebooks. All of these pockets are compartmentalized so that everything stays organized and accessible.

Now let’s talk about the innovative, standout features. The clips that clasp the bag closed are super smart magnetic quick release that allow you to securely lock the bag closed or open it up lightning fast with a single hand. In regard to that camera pocket we mentioned, there’s also a quick zipper access point to that cam pocket (without the need to undo the entire main flap) so you can quickly get at things for a lens swaps without showing the whole world all the fancy stuff you have in your bag. Finally, on the back, there are D-ring straps that serve to both lock the bag to your rolling carry-on suitcase, as well as affix your bag behind you when holding it on your shoulder so it won’t slide forward during a bike ride.

What to Look for in Laptop Cases and Sleeves

Durability - Your laptop is an expensive piece of hardware that stores invaluable data and memories. Hopefully, you have everything backed up, but for added protection against bumps or bruises, look for a case that has safety features like interior foam padding or a hardened exterior.

Design - If you’re tucking your laptop into a larger bag, you’re probably fine buying just a sleeve, but if you’re carrying it as a standalone bag, you’ll want a case with a handle or strap that makes toting around your device more convenient. Similarly, if you’ll often be packing chargers, cables, notebooks, or other extras, opt for a case with accessible pockets. 

Checkpoint-friendly - Going through security at the airport used to require removing your laptop from its case for screening, but TSA now allows you to keep it in, assuming its case allows for a clear and unobstructed image of the laptop when undergoing X-ray screening. If you travel a lot, choose a laptop case that meets this requirement—most likely a top-loading sleeve design—so you can breeze through security without a hassle.