If your laptop never leaves your side, then most likely you're going to need something to protect that pricey investment. While a sleeve or cover can be handy at times, nothing screams full on protection quite like a backpack or laptop bag.
With laptops getting slimmer, lighter and more powerful, they have become many people's main computers for both work and play. However, having to haul it to and from work is always a pain, no matter how light it is. So here at T3 we have scoured the vast reaches of the world of tech luggage and found the top 10 laptop bags and backpacks we think are best. Whether you're looking for svelte, business style bags, British designed rucksacks or rugged, water resistant backpacks, we've got you covered.
Osprey Nebula 34 Backpack
Perhaps the ultimate city rucksack from the experts at Osprey, the Nebula is tardis-like in use, expanding from a slim line rucksack to an enormous 34 litres for those load-carrying days. A specially airport-security approved laptop sleeve keeps your machine safely cocooned while stored but allows super-fast access when needed. Compression straps keep everything together, and external mesh pockets are ideal for rapid newspaper stashage. There’s even an attachment point for an LED bike light. A commuter’s dream.
£60 | Osprey
Topo x Woolrich Rover Pack
Handmade in the States, this packs screams quality. The top flap is adorned with Woolrich wool, adding a premium and durable finish, while the main section is a sturdy Cordura fabric. There's a padded area inside for your 13-inch laptop and a bevy of other zipped pockets to keep trinkets safe. Comfort is impressive too - the straps are padded, adjustable and don't dig into your back. It's simple, very durable and packs a lot of space into a small size.
$189 | Topo
Incase EO Hardshell Roller
Built to protect your tech on those journeys when a backpack just won't do. The front is covered in a polcarbonate hardshell, protecting your laptop which sits below in specially designed compartment that is easily accesible. There's a main compartment that should fit enough gear for a three day trip and it's expandable by 35% too, stretching the space even further. Inside you'll find a thick padded laptop sleeve and array of pockets for all your accesories. Everything feels like it's been finished with a premium touch, even the wheels roll with a definite smoothness.
Paul Smith Jersey Print backpack
Quite the design statement thanks to the print that covers the entire bag, but it packs functionality too. There’s a dedicated padded compartment that’ll protect your 13-inch laptop, while the main area has plenty of space for the rest of your kit. The shoulder straps are adjustable and, most importantly, comfortable with the mesh back lining letting the air flow. It is in on the pricey side, though.
£275 | Paul Smith
Ally Capellino AO Superlight Satchel
Practicality is key to making to a great laptop bag, something this has in swathes. All the zips and linings are water resistant, while dedicated pockets for your tablet, phone and laptop (up to 15-inches) are included too. The base is real leather, which adds a hit of class and offsets the durable, tough look of the rest of the pack.
£170 | Ally Capellino
Herschel Parkgate Backpack
Packing plenty of gear? This is a great pick. Two large compartments combined with a well sized front zippered pocket give you space to burn, not forgetting to padded laptop sleeve. The interior is built with pockets to keep your cables tangle free and organised, a great touch that we would love to on all bags. Padded mesh straps keep the air flowing, even if you’re wearing the pack all day.
£74.99 | Herschel
Cote&Ciel Monsoon Vector Grid
While the Herschel Parkgate is perfect is you’re carrying lots of kit, this is great if you’re just carrying a laptop. It’s thin, lightweight and customisable as you can remove the straps. There’s enough space inside for a 13-inch computer and enough left over for a tablet or notepad.
£95 | Cote&Ciel
Incase Icon Compact backpack
We’re big fans of Incase packs, mainly because they look good and are really made to store your tech safely. They’re functional too, like the quick access side mounted laptop compartment and the interior organisation pockets so your bag doesn’t become a jumble of cables. it’ll fit a 15-inch laptop and plenty of extras.
$99 | Incase
Evernote Abrasus Triangle Commuter
Tired of those regular shaped, rectangular backpacks? Want something designed partly by a Japanese start-up teaming with a PC software producer? Slip on this triangular, ‘stand-up’ bag and gaze upon the contents from a birds eye view.
This is actually one of the most practical bags we've used in a long time, removing that annoyance we have with many bags whereby all your gear falls to the bottom and ends up in a mess. Things are done differently here by having a sturdy, rigid bottom, so items can stand up and a selection of pockets too to store your iPad, phone and so-on in. A see-through zipped pocket on the front adds more storage, while a padded laptop section protects your computer.
It's well made and everything from the zippers to the strap feel durable, this is a bag that'll last you a long time.
Price: £125 | Evernote
Constructed from a durable fabric made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, this backpack can fit in a 17-inch MacBook Pro, so you know there’s going to be lots of space. We’re big fans of the rolled top design and the industrial finish, which complete a very swish looking pack. A padded tablet pocket is included, as is a discrete vertical zippered section for documents you want to keep from prying eyes.
eBags TLS Professional Slim Laptop Backpack
Full bags can often end looking ridiculously big, sticking out from your back a comical amount. If you’re looking to avoid that, this backpack can still cram in a decent amount of tech, yet it keeps its slim profile. Inside there’s a full padded laptop compartment, it’s separate from the rest of the bag too, so quickly extracting your computer is easy. Another section packs a load of zippable pockets so your cables don’t all merge into one at the bottom and there’s even a dedicated crushproof area, for a pair of glasses.
Booq Boa Flow
Aimed at professionals who have to constantly carry around a load of ever changing kit, the Boa Flow has enough space for a full size laptop, a pair of over-ear headphones, DSLR camera and a host of cables and accessories. Each pocket is padded, so your gear is protected and the exterior can be wrapped in an included water-resistant and reflective cover, adding further durability. The last thing you want to happen when you’re packing all this kit is to accidentally leave it in a bar, so Booq has fitted each bag with a Terralinq serial number, helping you track down your gear if it goes walkabout.
Cocoon 13-inch Brief Case
If the inside of your bag often ends up turning into a jumbled mess, then Cocoon’s nifty organisation system GRID-IT could end up being a life saver. Nestled inside this slick look graphite grey brief case, GRID-IT is a panel covered in straps, simply slot in anything from your phone, to your charger and everything inbetween and it’ll be kept safely stowed. There’s also a separate lined compartment for your 13-inch laptop, another for a 10-inch tablet and accessories pocket on the front. Ballistic water-resistant nylon protects the exterior, while wooden zippers add a classy finishing touch.
£69.95 | Cocoon
Claiming to be the ‘ultimate men’s camera bag’, the Pompidoo Amsterdam has lofty expectations, but it definitely impresses in plenty of areas. For one, the XRD Extreme Impact Protection fabric adds a lot of durability, without sacrificing style and there’s enough space to keep your DSLR with attached lens, along with two extra lenses and a tablet. The exterior is constructed from genuine distressed leather, while the zippers are all made from nickel.
£267 | Pompidoo
Thule Stravan Backpack
Offering plenty of protection for your kit, the Thule Stravan boasts room for a 15-inch laptop and tablet, both of which are housed from the elements under a storm flap. We’re big fans of the main compartment, which fully zips open and makes packing/unpacking much quicker.
£89.95 | Thule
Knomo's Bude is deceptively roomy, even though its footprint it pretty small. The bag is separated into two sections, a back space with a padded laptop and tablet pocket, while the front part can hold plenty of cables, plus books and such like. Both are protected by sturdy zips and the straps are notably comfy to wear for extended periods of time. There's a front pocket too, closed by a buckle, that's great for keys and change.
Price: £119 | Knomo
Beara Beara Luigi Backpack
Mmm… smell that leather. There’s more premium cowhide here than in Suzi Perry’s walk-in wardrobe and it’s sizeable enough to fit a 17-inch laptop. The sneaky back zip pocket stashes away valuables from tea leaves, too.
£175 | Beara Beara
Fjällräven Kanken Laptop
This Swedish outdoorsy firm made its name making rucksacks for school kids, but this laptop-ready number is all grown up. Padded compartments for a 13-, 15- or 17-inch laptop, a water-repellent body that’s built to last, and a carry handle win it points for simplicity and versatility. From
£80 | Fjallraven
YMC Zip Backpack
Each of those nautical stripes is, in fact, a zip pocket; throw open the top one and gain access to the main canvas body. Doesn’t offer as much protection for your kit as some, but hey, it’s light.
£155 | You Must Create
Piquadro Computer Backpack
Squint and it looks like a miniature golf bag, but this leather number is the ultimate traveller’s assistant. Dedicated pockets for pens, passport and umbrella, two pockets sub-divided into storage slots for gadgets, plus a clasp on the bottom to attach a rolled-up jumper or scarf. Luxury at its most practical.
£545 | Piquandro
Penfield Idelwood Day Pack
Colourful and practical, this backpack has a cavernous interior with a drawstring top. Its poly cordura build is reliably tough and the metal clasp keeps your belongings locked down.
£55 | Penfield
These handmade bags are made to order, with a selection of trims and colours available. But it’s the great fit and well thought out inside compartments that make this such a great choice. A plush pocket keeps your laptop protected, two separate pouches are perfect for accessories and the ballistic material used the in construction keeps everything safe.
Price: $319 | SF Bags
Incase Campus Mini
If you’re looking for something a bit smaller than the usual hefty laptop bag, this Campus Mini still has a dedicated pocket with 360 degree protection to keep your 13-inch laptop safe, yet its overall footprint is still very compact. There’s a main compartment for the rest of your stuff, a small zipped pouch on the front and the back has a nice padded feel. If we had one quibble it would be the thin straps, we’d have liked a bit more support, but this aside it’s a great little bag for hauling round your tech.
Price: £39.99 | Go InCasei
This commanding backpack is perfect for folk who have to carry a whole load of tech around with them at all times, yet still want something that offers great amounts of both protection and style. Constructed from a high quality full grain calf skin, this pack has impressive levels of durability and is tested in everything from water staining to handle strength. As with most of these bags, this has special areas for your laptop and tablet.
Price: €323 | Piquadro
Sitting in the sweet spot between a sleeve and a messenger bag, this has just enough space for a 15-inch MacBook Pro sized laptop, a tablet and, well, nothing much else. But that’s a good thing, especially as this helps keep the weight down and make it as slim as possible. The tech compartments have special padded protection constructed from high density foam and quality exudes from the leather accents.
Price: £39.95 | Brenthaven
Knomo has kitted this canvas coated, laptop loving school boy style pack out with a unique ID number, designed to reconnect you with your lost luggage if you ever happen to leave it in a lifeless European airport. How kind.
Price: £119 | Knomo
Tumi Kingsville Deluxe Brief Pack
This ballistic nylon backpack is chunky and tough enough to keep your tech sleeping softly inside on a mountain climb, yet still ensure you look dapper for a lunchtime meeting. The 3D mesh padded back will leave your back a sweat patch free zone.
Price: £445 | Tumi
Ally Capellino Wiggo
Crafted to perch on your favourite two wheeled cycle, the Wiggo can house a 17-inch laptop in a padded pocket, secure keys in a zipped pouch and keep everything fully working after a British storm thanks to the waterproofed coating.
Price: £185 | Ally Capellino
North Face Surge II Charged
This backpack features the usual high tech marketing blurb common with tough bags, like sweat reducing panels and a high grade nylon coating. Yet it’s the battery pack, concealed inside, that caught our eye, as it can charge your phone twice over.
Price: £155 | North Face
Knomo love adding unique little touches to their bags to make them perfect for lovers of tech. On the exterior there’s a lovely feeling, lightweight canvas material, while your 13-inch laptop and tablet are well protected thanks to a padded velveteen pouch. A rather useful pocket sits on the back, great for stuff you want close at hand, plus the strap is adjustable. Each bag from Knomo also comes with an ID tag, so if you happen to lose it – and a kind stranger finds it, you’ll he able to track it down.
Price: £99 | Knomo
Osprey Portal Pixel Port
Headlining this sturdy, durable bag is the TPU film window, which allows you to control the touchscreen on your iPad while it's safely stowed away. There's plenty of protection for your gagdets, multiple interior pockets and as it conforms to EU luggage rules, it's great for taking on a plane. Comfort is key too, with a sternum strap and a webbing hip belt - this is a strong all round bag.
Price: £80 | Osprey
Karrimor Global Venture 55+15 Rucksack
Keep your holiday tech safe with this harness equipped backpack. An ingenious travel pack also separates for when you feel like exploring the wilderness sans iPad and Kindle.
Price: £80 | Karrimor
This is from "101 gadgets you can't live without" in issue 220 of T3 Magazine. To see the full list get a digital or print copy here.
Tumi x DJ Vice Brief Pack
This bag, created in partnership with DJ Vice, is the ultimate rucksack for globe-trotting disc-jockeys. Crafted from ballistic nylon, this uniquely designed backpack features a nifty LED rimmed compartment for searching out those elusive records in even the most underground of venues. There’s also a Hypalon bottom to avoid any water damage and plenty of pouches for all your kit. Your laptop and iPad have separate compartments and best of all, there’s a dedicated pocket for a lucky poker chip. Hurry though, only 380 are being made.
Price: £495 | Tumi
Superdry Classic Tarpaulin
This PVC-coated messenger bag is clearly aimed at the fashion conscious masses, yet it still offers enough goodies to make it a worthwhile purchase for anyone. The exterior is strong and waterproof to protect your tech from even the worst the British summer has to offer and on the inside there’s a medley of pouches and pockets for a vast array of chargers and cables. Most importantly though, the large emblazoned letters will assure everyone you are indeed wearing Superdry.
Price: £50 | Link: Superdry
be.ez LE Reporter
This reporter style bag from quirky label be.ez seems to have the unique ability of the TARDIS when it comes to fitting in useful pockets. There are zipped pockets on the front, a dedicated elasticised compartment for your 15 inch MacBook, plus many more slip pockets and even a zipped pouch on the back for documents you need to keep close at hand. It’ll also stand a torrential downpour thanks to a PVC coating.
Price: £59.50 | Link: be.ez
Brenthaven Collins Convertible
Professional looking rucksacks can be quite hard to find, with many having garish colours and useless dangly accessories. However, this subtle backpack wouldn’t look out of place set against the finest Italian suit at a banker’s board meeting. No bright colours here, just a simple grey design with a durable black trim. Your tech will be well looked after by the padded interior pockets and it has enough space for a 15 inch laptop. There’s also a wealth of other pouches, both inside and out and handy tuck away straps that transform it from a rucksack to a tote bag in seconds.
Price: $89.95 (£60) | Link: Brenthaven
Herschel Supply Pop Quiz
This rucksack from American brand Herschel comes in a variety of swish colours and with a whole host of useful features to boot. With space for up to a 15 inch MacBook, along with an iPad, both of which have separate fleece-lined pockets, this is perfect for hauling round your Apple gear. There’s plenty of internal space for accessories, and even a special pocket just for your Ray-Bans.
Price: £69.96 | Link: Herschel
If you’re on the look out for a rucksack that won’t stick out a meter from your back, then this compact creation from Incase could do the trick. Packed inside the slight frame are dedicated pockets for both a tablet and a 15 inch laptop, along with plenty of room for other essentials. With your shoulder comfort in mind, Incase has equipped straps with breathable mesh and ‘integrated air-flow channels’, basically you won’t develop a chronic bad back if you wear it for longer than an hour. A weather resistant Nylon outer coating makes this ideal all year.
Price: £49.95 | Link: Incase
Transit Backpack 350AW
If you’re a keen photographer then you’ll know Lowepro are highly respected in the camera bag market. So this Transit bag will offer great protection for your DSLR and its many lenses, as well as providing a dedicated padded compartment to keep your laptop scratch free. Its true innovation, however, is the side opening pocket which allows quick access to your tech when time is short.
Price: £98 | Link: Lowepro
Marshall Bergman Corbin
If wearing a rucksack reminds you too much of your school days, this cross body bag could seem much more grown-up. It’s a bit small, so can only take an 11 inch laptop or a tablet, yet there’s a bit of left over space for stuff you’d rather keep out of your pockets. Dedicated pen holders, slip pockets and an interesting key chain could also prove useful.
Price: £134.95 | Link: Marshall Bergman
North Face Base Camp Hot Shot
If one of the features you just can’t live without in your rucksack of choice is bomb proof material, then this Hot Shot from North Face is probably your best bet. Purpose built to offer rugged protection and long lasting usability, the Hot Shot features a split 3 litre capacity, FlexVent injection moulded padded shoulder straps and enough room for a 15 inch laptop. If that’s not enough, there’s even a dedicated tablet sleeve and water-resistant zippers.
Price: £80 | Link: North Face
Paul Smith Parachute
Iconic British designer Paul Smith has continued his long line of classic luggage items with this tech focused bag. Made from strong black fabric, leather and sewn with the signature purple stitching, this is not just style over substance. There’s space inside for your trusty laptop, kept protected by a soft lining and a sturdy zip. It’s finished off with a detachable shoulder strap for when you fancy using it as a briefcase.
Price: £175 | Link: Paul Smith