The best laptop bags and cases allow you to easily, safely and stylishly travel with your laptop from work, school and holiday destinations.
Although the world is now addicted to smartphones and, to a lesser extent, tablets, there is no beating a laptop for sheer productivity, especially when you're on the move. However, if you take a chunk of aluminium with you to school, college, university, or work, you're going to have to protect it. What better way to carry your laptop and the various accessories that go with them than the best laptop bag?
When choosing your case, you'll want to consider the size of the laptop compartment itself, as well as any additional pockets that could house other hardware, including a trusty charger. Then there are the handles, which are a personal thing; some laptop bags have several. Last but not least, it’s best to choose a material that suits your lifestyle, whether that’s practical and rugged nylon, or luxurious leather. After all, a leather briefcase isn’t great when it's raining and you're on a bicycle.
Whatever your needs or budget, we’ve rounded up the best laptop bags to keep your laptops and tablets safe in style.
Of course, if you have one of the best laptop bags you also need one of the best laptops, so make sure you read T3's guide on those after reading this. You might also find what you're looking for in our best backpacks, with options for school, your commute, or travel.
Best laptop bags ranking
Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Laptops are expensive and their contents are precious, so if you carry yours on your back, you better trust the bag you put it in. Eastpak is a trusted brand when it comes to making tough and durable bags, and its Provider backpack contains a padded laptop compartment for a 15-inch machine, as well as plenty of space for the rest of your clutter. It also has side compression straps, two large zipped compartments, and a padded back panel and shoulder straps for a comfortable fit, which really matters if you frequently lug your laptop and a load of paperwork home every day. It’s great value and is built to last.
If you’ve got the kind of job or hobby that demands you take a decent camera as well as a laptop on trips, look no further. Most camera bags are bulky, but by stripping it back to the essentials the Lowepro ProTactic BP 350 AW II is a welcome exception. Weighing ust 2.12kg when empty, most of the bag is just one compartment – accessed from the back or sides, top and rear – with Velcro dividers to house cameras, lenses and/or other gadgets (in our test it was good for a DSLR camera with a 24-70mm lens). A separate zipped pocket on the inside of the bag’s main lid stores an 11-inch laptop. On the outside of the bag are two small side pockets, with modular add-ons including clip-on holders for a water bottle, lens or tripod.
The Harber London briefcase is anything but old fashioned. It’s hand-made from beautifully soft, full-grain cowhide leather, which will only look better with age, and it has an elegant, understated look that manages to look both formal and relaxed at the same time. Available in tan, deep brown and black and comes in two sizes: 13” medium fits a 14" laptop; while the 16” large version fits a 16” laptop. The pockets are lined with soft, suede-like microfibre to protect your devices.
It's been created with both work and travel in mind. The magnetic pouches are handy for charging cables but also for things you might want to keep to hand when travelling – a mask and hand sanitiser, for example. There’s a leather strap on one side of the case so that you can slip it over the extendable handle of a suitcase, and there's also a detachable shoulder strap. Read our full Harber London Laptop Briefcase review for more.
Want Les Essentiels’ Kastrup backpack is ideal if you want something business-like but still favour a backpack. Designed for Mr Porter, contrasting textures of cotton-canvas and leather make the black bag interesting. There’s a dedicated sleeve for your laptop inside, plus multiple pockets for bits and pieces. Minimalist in design, it’s unlikely to go out of fashion anytime soon and thanks to its careful construction and use of quality material, it will see you through your next promotion and beyond. It’s not the cheapest, but will seem great value if you consider cost per wear.
This urban backpack is all about a laptop sleeve capable of holding a 15-inch Macbook Pro in a (slightly elevated) section that also houses a padded sleeve for a tablet and a zipped mesh pocket for cables and pens, but there are plenty of other reasons to love it. The tough fabric is one; as well as being waterproof and durable, it’s reasonably lightweight (the bag only weighs 1.09 kg when empty). Another is a crush-proof SafeZone pocket for storing sunglasses, and possibly a phone. In use, the 21-litre capacity Crossover has plenty of room inside and out, while an airflow channel keeps ‘sweaty back syndrome’ at bay.
If you like your clothes simple and minimalistic, this may be the laptop bag for you. Knomo’s Princeton Briefcase is subtly stylish, with a slim profile (29 x 41 x 7.5cm) while being super practical, It’s made from durable twill polyester with faux-leather trim and a soft protective lining to carefully shield your laptop from shocks, bumps and scratches.
Besides a padded section to house any laptop up to 15.6 inches, the bag also has a full-length exterior pocket for quick access to notes or necessary bits and pieces such as your keys and phone. The shoulder strap can easily be adjusted to ensure you get the best possible fit and the top handles are made of leather for strength – after all, your laptop is precious. It’s great value and comes with a two year guarantee, but it does weigh 1kg.
If you fancy yourself as more of an Indiana Jones than a Don Draper at work, you might want to consider a camel twill briefcase. A little structured but a lot stylish, the Filson bag is crafted in Seattle from ‘rugged twill’ that’s resistant to water and wear. It’s also trimmed with resilient bridle leather for a touch of luxury. The spacious interior is fitted with three handy compartments and precisely sized to meet airline carry-on requirements, while there’s two top handles and a detachable shoulder strap so you can use it how you like. It’s not for everyone, but someone who appreciates craftsmanship and something a little bit different will love this bag.
CityLite shoulder bag is slim and lightweight, featuring a spacious main compartment with room for additional notebooks or paperwork, and a front accessory pocket to save you fumbling for a pen or mouse during a meeting. It’s got soft feel handles and a padded shoulder strap or comfort, which isn’t bad for its diminutive price tag. The only drawback is that it doesn’t look very fashionable. But if you’re after a simple bag that looks business-like without making a big investment, this case is a winner.
The Knomo Reykjavik tote backpack is stylish while providing plenty of storage space for your portable devices. Crafted from lightweight, splash-resistant polyester and hard-wearing leather trim for protection and strength, it’s built to last. There’s a padded section to protect any laptop up to 15 inches, as well as a main compartment with a contrasting lining and two mesh pockets for wires and small accessories. If that’s not enough space to stash USB pens (and emergency snacks) there are also two pockets with zip fastenings, although these may be handier for keeping your smartphone, cards, headphones and house keys safe. The Keykjavik has a unique myKnomo 'if lost' ID number that can be registered with the company and will help reunite you with your bag if lost, although of course your computer may be too big a lure for most thieves.
Some designer bags are only cool for one season, but Paul Smith’s signature stripes are a classic. This briefcase is trimmed with slim rainbow bands along the top handles, adding plenty of personality to an otherwise plain leather briefcase, while remaining subtle and professional looking. It’s a clever way of getting around a strict dress code. Of course, designer labels don’t come cheap, but as it’s made from durable textured leather it will wear incredibly well, while its padded internal sleeve will keep your laptop in top condition. The bag has two top handles, a two zip fastening as well as lots of zipped pockets for all your work must-haves.