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The 9 Best Laptop Bags for Comfort and Convenience
January 22, 2019
There’s much more to a laptop bag then getting from Point A to Point B. Students and professionals alike need a solution that offers protection on their bumpy bicycle commutes to class or the dash through the airport, but they’d also would like to show up with a bit of style.
Elite video game players should head to eSports and gaming conferences toting a gaming laptop bag that boasts plenty of pockets to hold all their accessories, while modern business men and women demand sleek and sophisticated laptop bags to tote their devices to and from meetings.
Plus, everyone wants to transport their laptop in a bag that offers ultimate comfort and durability. If you’re on the hunt for a laptop bag that offers much more than portability and protection, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve rounded up the nine best laptop bags for 2019, broken up by category:
9 essentials for a good laptop bag
But first, let's take a look at the factors that you should expect in a laptop bag. The best laptop bags offer plenty of utility. They’re designed to take the hassle out of transporting not only your laptop but all of your essential computing materials and supplies.
Some shoppers fall into the trap of thinking that these messenger bags, backpacks, and briefcases simply offer a way to safely transport your digital devices around town, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
There are certain features and benefits offered by the best laptop bags on the market which make them stand head and shoulders above the rest. If you’re not sure what you should be looking for, here are some of the most popular specs enjoyed by PC users on-the-go.
Pockets, pockets, and more pockets! The best messenger bags and laptop carriers should be able to store a lot more than your digital device.
Whether you’re packing along your school assignments, business contracts, computer accessories, or even a brown bag lunch, you should never feel like your bag is bursting at the seams when carrying along your must-have essentials for the day. No one wants crumpled papers or a crunched meal.
Don’t just stop at storage features; check to see if your laptop bag goes above and beyond with a sleek, organized construction. Pockets are great, but they should vary in size and purpose so you’ll know where to quickly stash and retrieve your belongings.
For example, a good laptop bag might offer an external water bottle pouch, internal loops to lock pen caps in place, a separating sleeve or partition, and a front pocket for easy access.
3. Closure systems
Storage and organization are wonderful features to look for among the best laptop messenger bags, but they’ll do you no good without efficient closure systems.
You certainly don’t want the contents of your bag to spill out of their intended homes, especially if you’re toting liquids near your digital device.
Keep everything secure with closure systems that can prevent your internal contents from jostling about. From zippers to drawstrings, there are a number of different ways your bag may be designed to stay shut.
The size of the ideal laptop bag depends largely on your personal preferences. For example, you might want a sleek and minimalist laptop sleeve to slide into your carry-on luggage when flying to work conferences, or you might need a large, padded bag that can fit everything but the kitchen sink for a long day on campus.
Whatever your preference may be, be sure to verify that your travel tote of choice offers enough space to fit the dimension of your laptop screen.
5. Lightweight and comfortable
One factor to keep in mind when it comes to size is the accompanying weight of the design. Small, compact bags are usually lighter, while large briefcases and backpacks are often a bit heftier.
You definitely don’t want to carry around anything too bulky or cumbersome all day long, so try to find the sweet spot between durable fabric, adequate size, and lightweight construction. Additional features like shoulder padding and ergonomic straps make the best laptop bags more comfortable.
You need a heavy duty laptop bag that can withstand all the abuse you can dish out. From crowded college campuses to bustling, busy streets, chaotic airport terminals to overpacked subway stations, life in the city or on-the-go can get a bit congested.
The best laptop bags will be strong enough to withstand any bumps or collisions along the way, whether it be with a person, a turnstile, or a spilled cup of coffee. You should never worry about a handle ripping off, the bottom falling out, or the seams tearing.
Even though you might be carrying a durable bag made with iron-strong fabric, the laptop inside is still fragile.
Padding beneath the shoulder straps is essential to alleviate the stress and pressure put on your body, but padding within the panels is necessary to prevent your delicate, digital device from getting dinged up. Double-check that your bag of choice offers protective security features designed to keep your laptop nice and cocooned.
Ventilation is super important for PC gamers who want to take their laptops to local area network (LAN) parties or eSport competitions. Your gaming PC racks up some serious heat as the internal fans work in overdrive to keep up with your advanced graphics card.
If you shut it and slide it into your bag once the battle is over, it could end up overheating without enough air flow. Padding is important, but it shouldn’t be so thick that it prevents your laptop from breathing easy and cooling down.
8. Weather resistance
Finally, those who expect to be traveling with their laptop bag in areas with heavy rainfall should think about adding weather-resistant features to their list of priorities when picking out a carrying case.
Even if you’re only dashing between doors, you should avoid designs that could leave you vulnerable to water damage. You probably won’t find a bag that’s 100% waterproof, but you can find one made with water-resistant fabric and sealed all-weather seams.
As you browse our spread of the best laptop bags, keep these different features in mind and weigh what’s most important to you.
Best messenger bags
Messenger bags are worn over the shoulder with a single strap that goes over one shoulder and under the opposite arm to lay diagonally across the chest. The strap usually attaches to the bag at two upper corners. The bag itself then rests either at your side or along your lower back. They’re the perfect combination of form, fashion, and function.
1. HP Spectre Slim 14-inch laptop bag
Ladies, the HP Spectre Slim topload bag is one of the best laptop bags for women that you could get your hands on.
It’s impossibly stylish, with a sleek, slim profile built for a 14-inch diagonal laptop and made with an elegant split-leather material featuring premium silver finishes.
However, it boasts more than beautiful craftsmanship; this messenger bag delivers exceptional protection with a durable exterior that protects against spills and scratches.
2. HP Signature Slim 17-inch laptop case
Male shoppers hunting down the best laptop bags for men should take note of the HP Signature Slim laptop case.
It combines the modern simplicity of an urban fashion icon with a noticeably refined design, featuring a heather grey, contoured silhouette.
If you could use a little more organization in your life, you’ll be excited about the pockets within pockets that offer additional storage for your phone, pens, and various business accessories.
Best laptop backpacks
Attractive laptop backpacks have become staple school and work accessories. If you prefer two-shoulder straps versus one across your body, check out these great backpack options.
3. HP Value 17-inch laptop backpack
If you’re looking for one of the best laptop backpacks that knocks every feature right out of the park, then the HP Value laptop backpack might be right for you.
Its aesthetic is subdued and blended with essential practicality, but the distinctive exterior vertical pocket and unique steel blue interior are sure to get you noticed.
Style points aside, you’ll appreciate the breathable, mesh-covered straps, padded and contoured for daily comfort, as well as the fully-cushioned back panel.
4. HP Active laptop backpack
Perfect for students always on-the-go, the HP Active laptop backpack is one of the best laptop bags to take between school, work, the gym, and anywhere else you might be headed throughout the day.
Its water-resistant exterior keeps your electronics safe and dry, including laptops up to 15.6-inch diagonal.
And the carabiner loops and two water bottle pockets help you stay active and keep you moving throughout your busy day.
Best travel laptop bags
Frequent flyers need high-quality travel laptop bags and sleeves that can reliably tote their electronic devices between terminals.
5. Targus Metro 16-inch roller bag
This rolling laptop carrier is a must for any traveler who needs to pack along their 16-inch laptop.
Wet weather is no problem thanks to the polyester, water-resistant fabric, and if you need to bring an extra outer layer or clothing for an overnight trip, you can stash it in the large zippered compartment.
With a zip-down workstation including a business card holder, pen loops, cell phone case, and storage pouch, you’ll stay organized while you’re on the road.
6. HP Powerup laptop backpack
Tired of your battery dying mid-flight? Then you’ll love the HP Powerup laptop backpack, a revolutionary laptop bag with a built-in battery that allows you to charge your laptop, tablet, and smartphone from wherever you are.
With innovative sequential charging, you’re in control of the power priority on the 22400 mAh battery, meaning you’ll always be ready to go by the time you arrive at your travel destination.
Best business laptop bags
Working professionals should carry bags and briefcases that exude a refined, sophisticated style.
Impress your clients at meetings or head to and from conference rooms with convenient protection with one of the best work laptop bags in tow.
7. HP Spectre 13-inch laptop sleeve
If you already have a well-loved briefcase, the HP Spectre split leather laptop sleeve may be the perfect, complimentary accessory.
Slide it out and remove your laptop to reveal a luxurious layer to your business presentation. Or tuck it beneath your arm to carry between colleagues’ desks.
The micro-suede interior will protect your device, while the copper finishes on the split-leather exterior are guaranteed to impress the eye.
8. Knomo Newbury carrying case (briefcase)
The classic Newbury briefcase is a go-to choice for any business professional who wants everything within easy reach on non-stop working days.
We think it’s one of the best work laptop bags because it’s not only heavy duty, made with durable leather, canvas, and a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) base, but it’s also supremely tech-savvy.
It features an RFID-blocked pocket to protect against identity theft, a back magnetic exterior pocket, and a KNOMO ID in case it’s ever misplaced.
Choose between handles or a cross-body strap, and take advantage of a cleverly concealed, zip-lined back section that can attach your Newbury to your suitcase whenever you need to travel for business.
Best gaming laptop bags
Those who use their PCs for pleasure and play more than professional pursuits need one of the best laptop bags to bring their gaming rigs to LAN competitions and eSports events.
Pack up and get the team together with a bag that makes all your essential gaming accessories conveniently portable.
9. HP OMEN X Transceptor laptop backpack
When it comes to laptop bags for gamers, this one wins first place.
The HP OMEN X Transceptor backpack helps you say goodbye to tangled cords once and for all by organizing and protecting all your gaming gear.
Now you never need to deal with unraveling the knot between your headset, laptop charger, and USB mouse; everything has a place of its own with icon-labeled pockets.
An innovative, roll-top design gives you the flexibility to head to wherever the action is while the Fidlock buckle requires only one hand for quick access and added comfort.
There you have it. We’ve outlined the nine best laptop bags you can use to transport your device for school, work, travel, or play.
Remember to keep an eye out for your favorite features, and if you don’t want to shop by category, you can shop by size instead with this handy list:
About the Author: Kaelee Nelson is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Kaelee is an experienced writer based in Southern California and specializes in creating informative content related to technology and digital culture.