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Best Laptop Bags 2020: Rucksacks, Satchels, Messenger & More

Best Laptop Bags 2020: Rucksacks, Satchels, Messenger & More

Cases for laptops come in all shapes, sizes and styles. It’s wise to pick something that doesn’t advertise the fact you’re carrying expensive gear around with you and we’ve picked a variety of designs at various budgets so there’s sure to be something that suits. Choosing a bag isn’t just about budget though. It needs

Cases for laptops come in all shapes, sizes and styles. It’s wise to pick something that doesn’t advertise the fact you’re carrying expensive gear around with you and we’ve picked a variety of designs at various budgets so there’s sure to be something that suits.

Choosing a bag isn’t just about budget though. It needs to offer space for everything else you need to carry around with you. And that will depend upon where you’re going.

Most of the options here are general purpose, which means they can be used to transport your stuff to and from work. But they can also come in handy when travelling, either on holiday or for business.

Need a laptop to put in your new bag? Take a look at the best laptops to buy as well as the best budget laptops.

 

Ogio Alpha Convoy 525r Backpack

Ogio Alpha Convoy 525r Backpack

STM Banks

STM Banks

Stubble & Co

Stubble & Co The Backpack

OMEN Transceptor 17 Duffel Bag

HP Omen Transceptor 17 Duffel Bag

Targus CityGear

Targus CityGear

Hex Alliance

Hex Alliance Backpack

Mission Workshop Khyte

Mission Workshop Khyte

Speck Ruck

Speck Ruck Backpack

Targus Work + Play Cycling 15.6″ Laptop BackPack

Targus Work + Play Cycling 15.6

Booq Cobra Squeeze

Booq Cobra Squeeze

Moshi Tego Sling Messenger

Moshi Tego Sling Messenger

Mission Workshop Rhake

Mission Workshop Rhake

Buckle & Seam Cara satchel

Buckle & Seam Cara satchel

STM Saga Backpack

STM Saga Backpack

Laptop bag buying advice

Every laptop bag has a dedicated compartment for your computer, and bags usually advertise the biggest laptop you can carry by giving a screen size in inches. You might find that a laptop with a 16in screen will fit due to its dimensions, even if the bag says ‘up to 15in’ – although it may be a tight fit.

Frequent travellers should look for a bag with an easy-access laptop pocket, so you can quickly whip out your device at airport security. A luggage pass-through flap will also help you attach the bag to your suitcase’s telescopic drag handle.

The amount of protection varies from bag to bag, with some manufacturers providing all-around padding (with double at the bottom) and others just an internal pouch with no top cover. Read our reviews to find out what level of protection each bag offers.

As well as your laptop, you’ll need room for the power supply, other accessories and your own gear, whether that’s a gym kit, water bottle, documents, keys, phone and other gadgets. Most bags have a nominal capacity, but this is usually the total volume, rather than a single space for stuff besides a laptop.

Multiple pockets are useful as they help keep everything separate and organise, while a bag with a large extra compartment is good for bulky items such as shoes. Look for a capacity in litres, but bear in mind that the larger the capacity, the bigger (and usually heavier) the bag you’ll have to carry everywhere.

Some bags have a dedicated pocket for tablets and another for smartphones or media players. The latter sometimes have a hole through which you can route your headphones.

It’s useful to have several zipped pockets which can be accessed independently, rather than having to open the main zip to get at internal pockets. That gives would-be thieves a view of what you’re carrying and isn’t nearly as convenient.

If you’re after a rucksack, look for one with well-padded straps and – if you’ll be walking long distances – a chest strap to help stabilise the load. Some bags even have a hiking-style waist strap, but that’s overkill on a laptop carrier.

Many laptop bags have water-resistant material either on the outside or in the lining. If this is a priority, bear in mind that only bags marked as waterproof will ensure your kit stays dry. Some bags come with a separate rain cover which you can pop over the rucksack in a downpour to keep your kit bone dry.

Water-resistance doesn’t mean the same thing, and if you’re cycling in the rain, it’s wise to use additional protection such as a proper rain cover or keep some large freezer bags to seal in your gadgets.

Prices vary widely, and you don’t always get what you pay for. Buying a laptop bag from a fashion brand, for example, might be more costly, but doesn’t guarantee better quality zips or fasteners than a cheaper bag. That’s where our reviews come in, of course.

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Susan E. Lopez
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