The best laptop bags come in many forms. Whether you're looking for a bag, backpack, case or sleeve, this guide has it covered. We've hand-picked the best options in each category to help you decide which is the best option to protect your device.
How to choose why type of bag to go for? Well, if you travel with your laptop every day, especially via public transport, you'll probably want a hard laptop case or a padded laptop backpack. A backpack is also likely to be your choice if you commute by bike.
If you have a less rigorous commute or your meetings requirer smarter presentation, you might prefer a swanky professional laptop briefcase. Meanwhile, if you're already happy with a bag you have, one of the best laptop sleeves or hard cases will allow you to use that while keeping you device protected from damage caused by other objects. Whichever option you're after, read on for our pick of the best laptop bags around.
Meanwhile, if you're looking to upgrade your laptop, see our guide to the most powerful laptops around, or if you're looking for something specific, we've put together a guide to the best laptops for animation.
The best laptop backpacks
You can't go far wrong with a tried and trusted JanSport backpack. The JanSport Baughman (opens in new tab) is a full canvas bag with nylon mesh and vegan leather bottom and trims. It has a classic design with one large compartment, a 15-inch laptop sleeve lined in fleece and a removable storage pouch. It's a good all-round laptop backpack for study or commutes to the office or meetings. The drawback is that it's not particularly waterproof, so you'll want to avoid a downpour.
Created for urban business commuting, this TIMBUK2 Authority Backpack combines functionality and style to make one of the best laptop backpacks around. The design looks smart enough for this bag to be used in meetings in place of a briefcase, while it maintains the functionality and security of a backpack. The slimline look doesn't compromise on padding, and with a lifetime guarantee, you're ensured durable protection for your device. Yes, it's expensive, but if you're looking for a versatile laptop bag that covers multiple uses, we'd highly recommend it.
If you're looking for one of the best laptop bags that will protect your device during a downpour, The Friendly Swede convertible backpack (opens in new tab) stands out. While it still can't claim to be 100% waterproof, its rubberised material offers some of the best protection to keep your laptop safe during a shower. It's also resistant to many stains. The backpack can be used to carry as a tote bag. It may be more comfortable to carry it as a tote for longer distances. The backpack straps aren't designed for long treks.
Intended as a gaming backpack, the Lenovo Legion Armoured 17 inch Backpack (opens in new tab) is an armoured beast. A durable EVA moulded front shield offers maximum protection for bumpy rides or commutes. There's also inner padding to protect your laptop inside, and multiple pockets to carry any other hardware you need to carry with you. Some users note that it can be a right fit and is best for carrying slim items, but it offers good protection. There are some attractive prices around too.
The best laptop bags
Built with five layers of material, this WIWU laptop shoulder bag (opens in new tab) is a great way to protect your device if you don't need the extra space that a backpack provides. The bag boasts a shock-absorbing bubble foam padding layer and a water-resistant neoprene layer underneath a fabric outer. Despite all these layers, the bag is very streamlined, although there's little space for bulkier accessories. The main compartment will fit your laptop only, but there's a smaller, zipped compartment on the front with three small pockets. There are three sizes available, and the bag comes in black or grey.
It's expensive, but Peak Design's Everyday Messenger Bag is one of the best laptop bags around for all but the largest 15-inch models. It was designed with photography in mind, and it can carry a complete daily photography kit comprising a full-frame DSLR with 3 lenses and accessories. However, the padded laptop sleeve makes it a great option for laptops too. It's a well-designed product, with customisable dividers that let you configure the storage spaces to meet your personal preferences. The magnetic closure works like magic, making the bag easy to secure, but still quick to open. It's also comfortable to wear thanks to an adjustable shoulder strap and additional hip straps to help balance heavy loads.
The Solo Duane Convertible (opens in new tab) looks like a standard briefcase bag, but it reveals its secrets when you turn it on its side. This versatile hybrid carrier converts into a backpack for commuting and then flip back into a messenger bag for a more formal setting. A 15-inch laptop can fit into the bag’s padded compartment, while the front pocket serves to store accessories. A pair of quick-access pockets are useful for items such as your phone, keys and wallet.
Inject some fun and colour to your day with the Copenhagan briefcase from Knomo. This is without a doubt the most stylish laptop bag you can buy today. The stunning red colour is bold and bright, so you'll always be able to spot your luggage among the crowd, but it still looks smart. The downside is that the Knomo Copenhagan only fits laptops, Macbooks or notebooks up to 14 inches, but for many of us that's the largest device we need when working remotely. Knomo also has full-leather laptop carriers and briefcases for men, such as its Durham laptop carrier (opens in new tab).
A timeless but versatile bag, the Bellroy Classic Tote (opens in new tab) doesn't look like a laptop bag, but its soft-lined zip compartment stores away a 15-inch laptop comfortably, while some have said it serves for a 16-inch Macbook. The bag reconfigures a decades-old design in a new way to adapt to modern needs. The result is a sleek, professional look that's suitable for work use but flexible enough to use in the street or elsewhere.
The tote has a vertical valuables pocket for easy one-handed access, a tapered flat base for resting on the ground and soft-lined pocket for sunglasses or phone. The open main compartment makes for simple interaction on the go, although some would prefer a closure on the top. It can carry a fair amount, but many find it more suitable for lighter loads or for shorter distances. Bellroy also produces an even sleeker Tokyo model for those who want a smarter look.
The best laptop sleeves
Available in five sizes and a range of colours, the canvas Domiso Laptop Sleeve (opens in new tab) is one of the best value laptop sleeves out there. It's super padded with five layers of protection, including a water-resistant exterior, and it has two additional compartments for small accessories such as pens, cables and chargers. There's a detachable data cable inside the front pocket where you can put a power bank to easily charge your device by plugging into the USB port while working or walking. There's also an external headphone hole, you can listen to the music on the go hand-free. The sleeve comes with a shoulder strap and a soft handle, which make it fairly versatile to carry. This is more stylish than a budget neoprene option but still comes at a good price.
If you're looking for an unfussy laptop sleeve, the non-nonsense LOGIK Black Laptop Sleeve (opens in new tab) is the one for you. Neoprene is a tough yet cushioning material so your device is in good hands when it comes to light knocks and bumps, and it's also waterproof. This sleeve comes with a handle – not always a given with neoprene sleeves like this – meaning it's easy to transport. No frills and no fuss means you can pick up a durable, protective case at an economical price.
If you want a sharper design that looks the part in professional settings, this faux-leather Hyuzu Laptop Sleeve (opens in new tab) does the job. This slim sleeve is lightweight and waterproof and can double up as a mouse mat, which is neat if you need that. It even comes with an extra little bag made from the same material, which could be used to carry said mouse or other accessories. Best of all for those who want more choice, Hyuzu produces the combo in 24 colours, which is possible the widest range we've seen.
A real winner when it comes to high-end laptop sleeves, this sleek, slim Native Union Stow Slim (opens in new tab) combines functionality with a simple, classy design. It has a soft quilted interior and a resistant textile exterior with a coated canvas finish and a snappy magnetic closure. The material is very firm, which helps to protect your MacBook, although it's larger than the device itself and the firmness means there's no folding the edges. It's pricy for a laptop sleeve, but if you're looking for durable protection that also looks highly professional, this is an option well worth considering.
The best laptop cases
If you like to keep things simple, or are a huge fan of the natural look of your Macbook, then the INCASE Clear Macbook Pro Hardcase (opens in new tab) offers protection without changing the design of your device. Although designed for the 13inch Macbook Pro, this laptop hard case can be used on other 13inch devices. It's designed to stay on your laptop at all times, rather than just when you're on the go, and it helps keep your laptop ventilated, as well as allowing access to all ports and charging points (but grab one of the best power banks just in case).
The Thule Gauntlet 3.0 comes in both 13-inch (opens in new tab) and 15-inch (opens in new tab) versions. It has a rigid exterior and added corner and edge protection, while the padded interior protects hardware from bumps and scratches. The clamshell design means you to use your device while still in the case, helping to protect it further. It's not the cheapest laptop case of its kind, but it offers good protection.
The KECC leather Macbook case (opens in new tab) has a sleek two-piece folio design that easily clips onto your MacBook with an upper and bottom cover. The case cover is made with premium Italian pebble leather for a smart, soft finish that helps prevent fingerprint and scratches. It's slim, lightweight, and easy to install and remove. The bottom section has a unique design with two rows of bottom ventilation, allowing safe heat disbursement, helping your MacBook to stay cool in hot temperatures. Four rubberised feet keep your device secure. Just make sure you order for the right size for your device.
If you're a fan of Moleskine notebooks, then you'll love the brand's laptop cases, which are produced in keeping with the same aesthetic. The Moleskine 15-Inch Laptop Case (opens in new tab) boasts stretch fabric on the sides and bottom to ensure a snug fit. It also has an elastic closure. ivory velour lining and light padding to protect your laptop. There's even a cute "In case of loss" label sewn inside.
Etsy offers a world of customisable designs, but our favourite right now is this handmade Paints hard case (opens in new tab) by DesignerEmpireCo. Cleverly designed to mimic oil paint, this laptop hard case will help you make a statement when it comes to your creativity. It's a natural choice for traditional artists, but will give a nod to anyone's creative profession or hobby. Multiple sizes are available, from 11 to 15 inches.
Choose the best laptop bag for you
The best laptop bags are strong and durable but also comfortable and stylish. It's also important that they're secure, so you can take your laptop from A to B without worrying about it getting damaged.
Key features to look out for include easy access laptop compartments so there's no need to open up the main compartment, or zips on the back for extra security. As well as these, you'll want high-quality design that's durable but stylish.
The style of bag that you choose will influence the material. Many laptop bags are made from fabric or canvas, but this doesn't mean they're not watertight. Several of the best laptop bags and backpacks in this list, including the WIWU and Knomo are waterproof. Leather, neoprene and rubberised plastic are also great options for protection against water.
Of course, the material you choose will also influence the cost of your new laptop bag, so think about how much you're looking to spend. That said, we think it's well worth investing in a laptop bag that's going to stand the test of time. After all, the device it's protecting will cost you a lot more to replace.
The trickiest part of buying a laptop bag is getting the size right. Often laptop bags, especially sleeves, will be named for specific brands or models, most commonly the MacBook Pro, but this doesn't mean they will only fit that model.
You'll have to be most careful with hard cases as they'll be made to fit, but other than that laptop bags can be pretty flexible. To help, we have included details of what sizes each of the best laptop bags in this list are available in.
We've arranged our best laptop bags buying guide by bag type – backpack, bag, briefcase and sleeve. We've included best overall, budget, high-end and most stylish options for most categories.