The best backpack or laptop bag 2018

Finding the best rucksack or satchel to keep your laptops, tablets and other tech safe on the go

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Here at T3 we have scoured the vast reaches of tech-luggage-obscurity to find the best backpacks and laptop bags around. Whether you're looking for svelte, business style messengers, high-end designer backpacks or rugged, water-resistant rucksacks, we've got you covered.

Both laptops and tablets are getting slimmer and lighter, so they're important investments that you need to protect. And while a sleeve or cover can be handy at times, nothing screams full-on protection quite like a backpack or laptop bag.

You also need a means of carting around all your chargers, batteries, cameras, e-readers, selfie sticks, fidget spinners, and copies of T3 magazine etc. 

From stylish to monstrously rugged, these are the bags of gold.

How to buy the best backpack for you

Whether you're trekking across Europe, looking for a new satchel for work, or starting a new school term, choosing the right backpack is essential. Not only should it look good, but it needs to be comfortable, and, of course, be big enough to carry all of your stuff.

Let's start off with size. Generally, a small backpack is around 6-10 litres. These are great for children, days out, and sports wear. A medium-sized daypack is around 10-30 litres, ideal of commuting and hiking. Over 35-litres and you're looking at overnight camping trips and backpacking expeditions.

We're going to be focusing on daypacks in this feature, but you can checkout our guide to the best backpacks for travelling, if that's more your bag.

Next, you need to decide the type of protection you need. Do you walk to work, come rain or shine? You might need a fully waterproof 'pack. If you want the ultimate protection, then maybe the North Face Access Pack, complete with exoskeleton, is more suited to you.

Finally, comfort. If you're going to be lugging this thing around all day, you're going to want padded straps. Your shoulders will thank you later. Other comfort features to look out for are waist and chest straps. These aren't the last word in fashion, but they take the strain off your shoulders.

If you want more suggestions, make sure you check out the most stylish and practical backpacks for men.

These are the 12 best backpacks, rucksacks and laptop bags: 

1. Burton Tinder

Vintage styling with everyday usability

Reasons to buy
+Retro styling+Drawstring closure+Padded laptop compartment

The Burton Tinder Backpack combines vintage styling everyday usability, and we think it looks great. 

The pack features a simple drawstring closure, which is great when you quickly need to whip out your laptop in a coffee shop, a padded laptop compartment, and a quick access accessory pocket. 

Yep, it may look retro, with it's vintage canvas and faux leather details, but this is a thoroughly modern backpack. It's built to last as well, with a lift time warranty.

2. Paul Smith Textured-Leather Backpack

A luxury leather backpack from one of our favourite British designers

Reasons to buy
+Luxury textured leather+Canvas lined sleeve+Understated+Great size

We love the clear, sophisticated design of this Paul Smith backpack. It's equally suited to carrying to business meetings as well as on weekend travels. 

The pack is made from black textured-leather, features a zipped pocket at the mesh-panelled back and striped webbing shoulder straps in a muted maroon, grape and navy shades. It's very subtle, and makes it that little bit more special than an all-black design. 

The canvas-lined interior features a tablet sleeve for storing electronic devices.

3. Eastpak Out of Office

A classic from Eastpak, now with a modern twist

Reasons to buy
+Classic design+Iconic brand+Cool patterns

The Out of Office pack is a simple, stylish design which comes in a number of different prints - we love the Parrot m in the company's AW16 collection. 

Now more commonly found in the school playground than war zones, Eastpak has continued to be a market leader.

The Out of Office pack is a simple, stylish design which comes in a number of different prints - we love the Parrot motif in the company's AW16 collection. 

The backpack features a separate laptop compartment, and shoulder pads with SGS.

4. Fjällräven Kanken

Fjällräven is so hot right now, but good luck pronouncing it

Reasons to buy
+Carry handle+Cute branding+Practical design

This Swedish outdoorsy firm was born from the idea of creating more a comfortable 'carrying system'.

The Kanken, specifically, was created in 1978 to help prevent back problems among school children. This modern (yet still classic) backpack is stylish and practical, with space for a 13-inch Macbook (or smaller).

The water-repellent body is built to last, and a carry handle wins points for simplicity and versatility.

5. Mammut Xeron Courier 25

A great all-rounder from Swiss mountaineering brand

Reasons to buy
+Fast access+Separate laptop entrance+Four colours

This 25-litre courier style backpack is practical and attractive, perfect for both communing and day trips. 

The large rolltop allows fast access to the main compartment which is divided with a large mesh pocket. There's also a laptop compartment, which can be accessed through a separate zip pocket (very useful for airport security). 

The internal laptop compartment is reinforced with a backplate to keep belongings protected, and the pack comes in four muted colours.

6. Finisterre Waterproof Rucksack

Commute in a kayak? No problem!

Reasons to buy
+Waterproof+British brand+Plenty of internal pockets

We love this 100-percent waterproof pack from British brand Finisterre. It can be used as a commuting bag, or on adventurous weekends away.

With a 20L capacity and multiple inner pockets to separate wet and dry things, it's a perfect sack for day trips. It's super comfortable as well, thanks to waist and chest straps which help disperse the weight.

It's made from durable coated ballistic nylon and uses a high frequency welded construction. It'll stand up to plenty of abuse, and even features replaceable components, so you don't need to bin the entire bag if one part breaks.

7. Knomo Dale

Sleek, stylish, and deceptively practical

Reasons to buy
+Small but roomy+Premium leather design+Comfortable

Knomo's Dale is deceptively roomy, even though its footprint it pretty small. We love the premium, leather design.

The bag is separated into multiple 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 pockets are protected by sturdy zips and the straps are notably comfy to wear for extended periods of time.

It can be carried like a tote or worn like a backpack, so it's two bags in one, really.

8. MRKT Kendrick

A heavy Japanese influence and made from vegan leather

Reasons to buy
+Vegan leather and felt+Japanese inspiration+Looks great

Moshi moshi! This bag from MRKT has a heavy Japanese influence and is made of dense felt and VEGN leather (ie: unlike £5 notes, it's not made from cows).

It'll take up to 13 big inches of laptop with ease, with room for your J-Pop CDs, original Neo-Geo cartridges, sushi knives, kimonos and suchlike. Domo arigato.

MRKT makes a wide range of bags. They all put striking twists on traditional backpack, briefcase and satchel forms, and are generally named after hip-hop and electronica acts, as far as we can tell. Splendid.

9. The North Face Access

Uses a steel exoskeleton to keep your tech safe

Reasons to buy
+Exoskeleton protection+Ejects tech+Button opening

The North Face Access pack is perhaps the most advanced on this list - with a steel exoskeleton to keep your tech safe, and a shell design which pops open at the press of a button. It even 'ejects' your tech to make it more accessible.

The pack features comfortable 'Flex Vent' shoulder straps. The contrasting yellow interior features four pouches and two zip entry pockets. It'll fit laptops up to 15-inches in size.

10. Patagonia Arbor 26L

We love this 100-percent recycled pack form outdoors brand Patagonia

Reasons to buy
+Recycled+Laptop sleeve doubles as water reserve+Ergonomic straps

Made from 100-percent recycled polyester and treated with a polyurethane coating and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish - we really rate this pack from outdoor brand Patagonia. 

It's equipped with a padded laptop sleeve which doubles as an insulated hydration reservoir when you hit the trails, and features Human Curve shoulder straps which ergonomically fit your body.

11. Tumi Alpha Bravo Knox

Secure as Fort Knox, it can certainly take a beating

Reasons to buy
+Durable+Used by Hamilton and Rosberg+Smart euro-traveller chic

This backpack is named after one of the most secure places on the planet for a reason - because Tumi is known for its quality, durability, and all-around sturdiness. 

This pack is chunky and tough enough to keep your tech sleeping softly inside on a mountain climb, while still ensuring you look dapper for a lunchtime meeting.

12. Topo x Woolrich Rover Pack

A great backpack from the US of A

Reasons to buy
+Handmade+Impressive materials+Cool brand

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.

13. Riutbag R10

Confuse the heck out of theives and pickpockets

Reasons to buy
+Theft-proof+So much space+Comfortable

This bag is ideal for security conscious commuters. It looks like a stylish bag for your laptop and other valuables, but any pickpocketers would be deterred by the zip-system, which is located on the rear (against your back), rather than the front of the 'pack. The R10 has 10-litres of storage, and enough space for a 15-inch laptop.

T3's video team took this backpack to MWC. They said it had plenty of space for all of their video equipment, it was comfortable, and the security at Heathrow airport complimented them on how practical it was (and this dude must see thousands of bags, so he knows what he's talking about).

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