Home News The Top Backpacks for Laptops

The Top Backpacks for Laptops


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Notes on Backpacks Our previous pick in this guide, the Lululemon Everyday Backpack 2.0 23L has unfortunately been discontinued upon brand rep advice; so, we are currently researching alternative models as potential additions to this list in future updates.

work backpack
work backpack

Backpacks have long been our preferred mode of carrying laptops and other necessities on our daily commutes, not only because they’re more ergonomic than totes or messenger bags but also due to the extra space they offer compared to briefcases and stylish appearance among rolling bags.

Since 2015, we’ve conducted rigorous testing of over 75 backpacks on buses, trains, cars, bikes and airplanes and identified five exceptional ones: tailored professional bags; durable packs that easily accommodate tech devices; travel companions who make life simpler; budget-conscious options and ergonomic office-to-gym options.

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Our Selection of the Best Messenger Bags.

Read Style’s recommendations and research here.

Troubadour Apex 3.0 Backpack is an attractively designed bag.

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe. A sturdy bag designed specifically to transport tech: perfect for transporting laptops and iPads.

July Carry All Backpack Series 2 ensures stylish travel from office to airport:

Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack is an elegant yet functional option available at an economical price point.

A large and ergonomic gym backpack: the Aer Duffel Pack.

How We Selected and Assessed Other Good Laptop Backpacks.

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Our Top Messenger Bag Picks

Read More from Style With its elegant yet classic aesthetic, the Troubadour Apex 3.0 Backpack will surely impress.

Our top pick for best backpack is the Troubadour Apex 3.0 Backpack.

Elegant and sophisticated, this expensive backpack provides superior styling, ergonomic design, and thoughtful features that make each penny spent worth its while.

At $245 from both Amazon and Troubadour, the Troubadour Apex 3.0 Backpack offers modern briefcase style while providing all of the benefits and comfort associated with backpacks! Ideal for boardroom meetings while offering all of the benefits and comfort associated with a backpack.

Note: The Apex 3.0 Backpack is an upgraded and slightly redesigned version of our previous pick, the Troubadour Apex Backpack (no longer available). Crafted using 90% recycled materials and featuring an improved top handle made of bonded neoprene; there is even an unexpected hidden pocket on its left shoulder strap We extensively tested both versions before selecting either version as picks.

Apex is our most expensive pick; but its style and quality more than justify its higher cost. Crafted of recycled polyester for durability with vegan-leather trims for style. Its elegant softly geometric form stays streamlined when full without collapsing when empty.

Apex cargo bags provide your goods with superior protection during inclement weather, with advanced waterproofing treatment without using fluorocarbon-based components and zippers covered by waterproof tape for extra security.

Apex backpack is truly remarkable in terms of ergonomics. Boasting soft and ventilated back panels as well as contoured memory-foam shoulder straps – something rare among non-technical elegant packs – its carrying experience remains enjoyable even with heavier loads; padding feels luxuriously soft against heavier loads.

An ergonomic top handle wrapped with neoprene makes carrying this bag by hand simple; perfect for commuters on overcrowded buses and trains! Additionally, its luggage pass-through sleeve provides extra security when placed onto rolling suitcase handles.

One tester noted that its large structure and padding may make the Apex seem like “a lot of backpack.”

Careful organization makes for an effortless experience inside and out with this backpack. The main compartment offers ample room to store larger items, while its organizer panel boasts slip pockets, zip pouches, and pen holders. Resting comfortably against your back, its 17-inch laptop compartment features extra padded padding as well as an additional tablet sleeve; additionally there are deep but flat front-zip pockets and two spacious water bottle pockets on its exterior for additional storage solutions.

An expandable pocket on the left shoulder strap of Troubadour bags is intended to provide quick and easy access to wallets, phones and ID badges. In practice however, we did not find this feature particularly effective: placing our iPhone against our shoulders was uncomfortable while expanding this pocket made the bag appear less sleek. Although Troubadour added this pocket as part of their 3.0 Apex model update it does not add much value; its presence does not reduce weight either way and its presence should not bother anyone; its presence doesn’t reduce weight either way and its presence should bother anyone either way and its presence remains harmless either way.

Faults that do not prevent purchase.

This backpack’s structure, padding and size may make it appear cumbersome when carrying only light loads.

This bag features a zippered pocket on its left strap for easily accessible items, like your phone; however, carrying rigid objects may prove uncomfortable due to their position within.

Dimensions: 19 by 12.5 by 6 inches.

Weight of 17 inch laptop: 2.2 pounds with 25 Liter Capacity.

Troubadour products come with a five year limited warranty against manufacturing flaws.

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe. A rugged backpack designed to transport your technology safely.

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe.

Holds all types of tech and can withstand severe abuse.

This durable backpack offers easy storage of tech products like laptops, keyboards, tablets and handheld gaming devices – we managed to fit them all at the same time with enough room left over! However, its utilitarian aesthetic may not appeal to everyone.

Amazon currently offers $159 in Amazon Credit to help keep all your tech organized and safe. Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe features multiple ergonomic features designed to reduce burden while protecting valuable cargo – for just $159 this bag keeps all of your tech protected and organized.

Timbuk2 bags pack an astonishing amount of gear into their slim profile while remaining compact enough for daily use. Our testing revealed they can fit a 13-inch laptop, its charger, keyboard, tablet, two power banks, two Nintendo Switch Lite chargers and various cables – with plenty of room left over Not to mention accessories such as planners or notepads, keys or travel mugs.

Compression straps in the lower front of your bag offer an effective method for compressing it for travel on buses and trains, but some of our testers were put off by their noticeable metal buckles.

The Authority Deluxe features an abundance of pockets in its front section, such as stretchy mesh zippered pouches, pen holders and two plush-lined tech compartments. Just behind this section lies its roomy main compartment which boasts an attractively padded sleeve that can fit laptops up to 17 inches; two exterior front zip pockets provide easy-access items; while flexible side pockets can even easily hold 24-ounce bottles.

Timbuk2 Authority Deluxe Backpack is built for tough conditions – its resilient recycled nylon exterior protects against bumps and bruises while ample padding and waterproof boot ensure electronics arrive safely at their destinations. Furthermore, Timbuk2 stands by this bag with a lifetime warranty.

The Authority Deluxe features thick padding to provide all-day comfort, making it a pleasure to carry. Plush and breathable padding on its back panel and shoulder straps makes this pack even easier, while an adjustable height sternum strap helps distribute weight evenly while simultaneously keeping their pack secure.

Cracked interior and exterior surfaces – Cracked surfaces within or on exterior are becoming an increasing problem, both interiorly and externally.

An aesthetic of utilitarian function may not appeal to everyone.

Timbuk2 packs are known for being durable and protective; however, unlike our Aer option, this particular Timbuk2 model does not come equipped with a suspended laptop compartment.

This item provides one water bottle holder on the right side, potentially leading to uneven weight distribution.

Dimensions: 18 9 by 11 8 ins by 5 11/8 inches.

Weight of 17 inch laptop size: 2.6 pounds and capacity is 20 liters.

Timbuk2 offers a lifetime warranty covering defects in materials and craftsmanship; however, this does not cover general wear-and-tear or cosmetic issues.

July’s Carry All Backpack Series 2 provides an office-to-airport travel pack designed for maximum ease.

Check Out Our July Carry All Backpack Series 2 Picks.

Sleek Voyager Backpack This backpack provides travelers with all of the features necessary for travel, such as a sturdy luggage sleeve and passport pocket. Leather accents and gunmetal hardware add style; its thick material may feel warm in warmer environments.

The July Carry All Backpack Series 2 is the ideal travel companion, whether rushing between meetings or flights. Elegant yet practical, its features make life simpler while remaining stylish – plus, there are some special ones designed just for travelling.

The Carry All is a fashionable take on an iconic design, made of sleek nylon-twill material for maximum style and refined detail. Boasting leather-wrapped carry handles and zipper pulls with gunmetal hardware finishing off its stunning aesthetic and simple structured shape with leather wrap around handle for transport as well as gunmetal hardware for added shine, it makes an impressionful statement in its own right.

Carry All bags make ideal travel accessories. Their freestanding shape and sturdy luggage sleeve make this bag suitable for rolling suitcase handles while its hidden passport pocket tucked beneath its top carry handle makes this piece truly special.

As travel can often bring unexpected experiences, it’s comforting to know that this bag offers reliable protection from unexpected rainstorms – we were caught in one recently.

The Carry All’s pockets are an especially helpful and delightful feature With its spacious main compartment with tablet sleeves and zippered pouches for storage purposes; an expandable top-zip laptop compartment that can accommodate laptops up to 16 inches; as well as quick-access front pocket that provides room for smaller items – the Carry All is packed full of thoughtfully thought out storage solutions.

But its standout feature – its fully enclosed and zippered water-bottle pocket on its left side (when worn)–really caught our attention. This thoughtful addition allows users to store beverages safely away without risk of clashing with its elegant aesthetics.

The Carry All is ideal for medium loads. Boasting a 20-liter capacity, its spaciousness allows it to easily store all of your essentials (even enough for an entire weekend’s clothing, toiletries and tech) yet remain compact enough not to lead to overpacking.

Adjustable straps make an excellent midsize cargo bag, as their thick padding offers more cushion than those found on Everlane bags, yet is still light enough for effortless carry when your load isn’t full. When your bag’s not overstuffed it lays more naturally over your shoulders for effortless carry.

Our only reservation about this Carry All: Without mesh padding on its back, this thick nylon material may feel hot against your body in hotter environments.

There may be imperfections, but they shouldn’t be deal-breakers.

This backpack features one water-bottle holder on its left side when worn, which may contribute to uneven weight distribution.

Contrasting with Away and Italic travel packs we reviewed, this bag does not feature air-mesh back panels for added breathability; making it less comfortable to carry during long travel journeys.

Dimensions: 16 inches by 11 inches and 6.5 inches in depth.

Weight: 2.2 pounds and 20-liter capacity, this laptop bag fits laptop sizes up to 16 inches.

Warranty: July offers its Carry All Backpack with a five-year warranty, promising to repair or replace manufacturing faults within five years from purchase. Cosmetic damages or normal wear and tear won’t be covered under this plan.

Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack provides affordable luxury at an unbeatably attractive price point. Both fashionable and practical, this bag will make a bold statement no matter where it goes.

Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack is our selection.

Understated and Versatile This budget-friendly tote features an unassuming design combined with practical features like its magnetic top closure and multiple pockets to give the impression that it costs significantly more than it does; unfortunately, unlike our other selections it does not come backed with warranty protection coverage.

Everlane’s ReNew Transit Backpack is an effortlessly chic yet feature-filled backpack designed to meet both form and function needs. Perfect for daily commuters as well as weekend travelers alike, its capacity can comfortably carry midsize loads for just $95. Available from Everlane.

This style exudes modern, wear-anywhere elegance. The Transit is tailored for contemporary styles who appreciate versatility. This model strikes an ideal balance between clean aesthetics and slightly slouchy silhouette, making it suitable for use both inside the office or out and about. Plus, its recycled polyester exterior comes in various subdued hues.

The Transit is both functional and feature-packed; its main compartment features two slip pockets designed to store notebooks or tablets safely, plus an interior water bottle pocket. A zipper along the side opens to reveal a separate, padded laptop compartment capable of accommodating computers up to 15 inches – although its side-access placement may take some getting used to.

This zippered front compartment makes it simple to access all of your commuter essentials quickly and conveniently, while its external side water-bottle pocket can accommodate 24-ounce water bottles easily. Furthermore, its fold-over top offers another zippered compartment secured by an invisible magnetic closure – perfect if your manual dexterity is limited.

Transit’s lightweight tote weighs 1.42 pounds when empty and features soft contoured straps with length adjustments available on-the-go for custom fitting. Capable of accommodating medium-size loads securely while remaining mobile and portable.

Although the Transit boasts an expansive 27-liter capacity, we advise against filling it up entirely; its light padding makes it best suited to carrying more moderate cargo – we found ourselves easily transporting laptop, water bottle, notebook and sweater without issue.

The Transit is an outstanding value; one of our more budget-conscious options yet still boasting an upscale aesthetic; testers were often amazed when told of its sub-$100 price point.

Though its water-resistant exterior and all-metal hardware don’t compare with those from Timbuk2 or Aer, or our selection from Troubadour Apex 3.0 or July Carry All bags, its water resistance holds up over time well – in fact, one tester who regularly used her Transit for one full year reported no visible wear-and-tear signs whatsoever.

Remarks should only be used as constructive criticism and should not become dealbreakers.

Side-zippered laptop compartments require you to insert and remove your computer at an awkward angle; our other selections provide easier-access top-zip compartments; however, their placement on the left of a pack could prove challenging if you are left-handed.

One tester noted that as their bag became fuller and fuller, its magnetic closure for its foldover top would loosen and allow more air into their bag.

Due to lack of warranty protection, we advise against purchasing this backpack.

Due to this bag’s immense popularity, we’ve experienced regular stockouts.

Dimensions: 17.50 by 12.75 by 7.25 inches.

Weight: 1.42 lbs | Capacity: 27 Liters | Maximum Laptop Size 15 Inches

Warranty Coverage: No Longer Available The Aer Duffel Pack 3 gym backpack no longer comes with any warranty coverage.

Fitness fans will adore our Aer Duffel Pack 3 selection, the Aer Duffel Pack 2. Crafted specifically to accommodate fitness activities, it features ultra-comfortable straps and ample organization space–even including a ventilated shoe compartment! Measuring over 20 inches tall, it fits best on people with larger backs.

Fitness enthusiasts who frequent the gym early or late during their workday – without minding carrying heavier bags – will appreciate Aer’s stylish, protective, and highly ergonomic Aer Duffel Pack 3 available on Amazon for $179.

Duffel Pack 3 was our go-to selection for comfortably carrying heavy loads while evenly dispersing weight across our laptop backpacks we tested. Even at 2.9 pounds, its ergonomic design means any additional ounces don’t matter too much.

Back panel and contoured shoulder straps feature plush, breathable mesh padding to ensure ultimate comfort when carrying heavier loads. A secure sternum strap quickly clicks across your chest for precise positioning – an added feature highly regarded by physical therapist Sarah Lloyd that makes carrying heavy bags much simpler.

Duffel Pack 3 keeps gym gear organized by providing a number of compartments to separate sweaty clothing and shoes from other belongings. As its name implies, its spacious main area opens wide for top-to-bottom access of duds; antimicrobial protection helps reduce odors; while its base features an air vent to separate trainers that may produce unpleasant odours from other belongings.

The Duffel Pack 3 is an all-in-one carryall solution perfect for work or gym use, boasting numerous slip pockets and an extensible mesh zippered pouch designed specifically to hold laptop chargers – everything needed to safely transport all of your belongings.

This Aer pack provides easy access to your belongings on the move with two zippered front pockets that seamlessly integrate into its pleated exterior, an easily reachable top pocket padded with soft material for your phone, two elasticized side water-bottle sleeves and two elasticized side water-bottle pockets – providing convenient access to everything.

Our most protective laptop compartment, this 16-inch model offers ample padding and plush lining that won’t scratch delicate surfaces, as well as a false bottom to protect from bumps or drops. In tests conducted under heavy rainfall conditions, its water-resistant Cordura material and sealed waterproof zippers managed to keep everything dry despite heavy rainfall conditions.

The Aer Duffel Pack 3 exudes quality from every aspect of its design, from its ballistic-nylon exterior and Duraflex plastic hardware, YKK brand zippers, and lifetime warranties on its products.

As they say: Flaws but no dealbreakers

When not carrying much, the thickly-padded shoulder straps and back panel of your pack may feel cumbersome and cumbersome.

Duffel Pack 3’s 20.5-inch length and 18.7 liter capacity may prove cumbersome for smaller frames; if this is the case for you or you fall under 5-foot-10 height, an alternative may provide better access: Aer Fit Pack 3, with its shorter 17.5-inch length and 18.7 liter capacity may offer better access.

Though heavy and long, this bag’s 21.4-liter capacity may not compare to some of our other picks; its efficient layout maximizes space; most of its bulk comes from padding inside.

Dimensions: 20.5 by 11.75 inches by 8 inches.

Weight of Ladder:2.9 Pounds Weight Capacity of Ladder:21.4 Liters Maximum Laptop Size this Tool Will Support: 16 Inches

Warranty: Aer’s Duffel Pack 3 comes with a lifetime warranty to ensure its quality and performance for its entire useful lifespan. Any repairs due to manufacturing defects will be completed free of charge while general wear and tear won’t be covered.

How We Selected and Evaluated

In order to select top-quality laptop-friendly backpacks suitable for daily commuters, we analyzed each backpack according to four criteria.

Comfort and Fit: Our selections feature adjustable features designed to ensure they fit comfortably on a variety of bodies, while remaining enjoyable to carry throughout their commutes. Some models feature contoured straps, breathable mesh padding or even sternum straps which clip across your chest to stabilize the bag – physical therapist Sarah Lloyd from Spear Physical Therapy was available to offer guidance on how best to wear one ergonomically.

Laptop Protection: Our goal was to find packs with adequately cushioned compartments designed to safely store at least 15-inch laptops while protecting them against inclement weather conditions.

Organization: An ideal commuter backpack should include not only its main compartment, but also an easily accessible front pocket and space for water bottles to stay secure and accessible. Our selections come equipped with extra features designed to protect tech devices, travel documents, gym gear and other necessities.

Quality and Durability: To evaluate each bag we conducted a rigorous evaluation that examined its construction – stitching, fabrics, padding, zippers, snaps, buckles and sliders were tested to assess durability and ease of use. Many of the backpacks we recommend come backed by warranties as well.

Aesthetics: Our selections offer a range of styles, from chic packs that rival sleekest totes to durable solutions suitable for protecting tech gear and gym essentials – perfect for office environments.

Price: We set out to find bags under $300 and were thrilled to find many excellent options that fulfilled this criteria.

Wirecutter staffers conducted rigorous tests on laptop backpacks that met our initial criteria: we took them on real-world excursions My colleagues and I wore each backpack during commutes on trains, buses, bikes, cars; airport security; long walks through all weathers – every scenario possible in order to thoroughly put each pack through its paces.

Additional laptop backpack options can be found.

Are you searching for an elegant yet smaller-scale pack to organize tech? Look no further: the Aer Day Pack 2 provides plenty of pockets and organization to corral gadgets – including a 16-inch laptop sleeve – while still remaining ultra-comfortable thanks to ultra-padded shoulder straps and ultra-breathable back panels providing ample ventilation. However, due to its 15 liter capacity it may only suit light travelers due to its sleek exterior aesthetics when compared with more ultra techie options such as Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe or our other ultra techie options.

If your daily commute involves cycling and you require a durable bag to endure the elements, look no further. Chrome Urban Ex 2.0’s 20- and 30-liter versions provide reliable protection. Their rugged waterproof exterior comes equipped with handy loops for helmet or U-lock attachment; their roll-top closure enables expansion or contraction as desired; both its back panel and shoulder straps have cushioned padding for comfort; while an adjustable chest buckle secures it around corners.

Travelers searching for an attractive yet cost-conscious travel backpack, without needing water bottle storage space, will appreciate The Italic Rafa Backpack’s sleek nylon construction with comfortable padding straps, sturdy luggage pass-through slots and chic leather accents at half of our July Carry All Backpack Series 2 pick’s cost – but keep in mind no bottle holder has been included due to becoming scarce over time.

Competition. Our list isn’t comprehensive – only what remains from previous editions of this guide are included here.

Amazon Basics Laptop Backpack has received rave reviews, yet we find its design offensively unsightly. Unfortunately, when conducting our tests it was unavailable.

Gaining access to our expensive Sandqvist Alva was difficult.

We found the straps on the Away Front Pocket Backpack to be rigid and uncomfortably firm, making its use inappropriate for travel purposes.

Testers found the Bellroy Classic Backpack less appealing among our options; its larger version proved uncomfortable during testing purposes.

The Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack has an eye-catching pop art-meets-streetwear aesthetic, but we found its weight and cost prohibitive as well as its heat becoming too uncomfortable during our testing to remain comfortably against our backs.

Fjallraven Raven 28 was our go-to bag, but that has since changed since we discovered the July Carry All with its integrated luggage pass-through feature.

Testers were impressed by the aesthetics of Herschel Nova Backpack Mid-Volume but found it unsuitable for office environments. Even with all straps fastened down tightly, its front pocket often got hidden by its top flap despite efforts at tightening them all tightly down.

Lo & Sons Hakuba shoes were cumbersome and hot to wear both inside the office and at the gym.

The Lululemon City Adventurer Backpack 20L proved too small for us as a work-to-gym bag, and even its 10-liter counterpart (Osprey Arcane Small Day) could not hold enough belongings for an entire workday’s worth of necessities.

Matein Travel Laptop Backpack was constructed cheaply.

As a commuter bag, the Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L proved too big and disorganized for my needs.

Public Rec Pro Pack Plus travel backpack may look luxurious but we found its availability to be inconvenient; hopefully more stocks should become available shortly.

The waterproof Rains Backpack Mini may look appealing but lacks adequate room (9 liters), rendering it unsuitable for carrying laptops comfortably; moreover, its thin straps lack cushioning and are difficult to adjust.

State Kane Double Pocket Large is spacious and well organized; however, its material may become hot to touch after extended use and its straps may feel stiff or underpadded.

The Topo Rover Pack is well constructed, comfortable, and suitable for most environments; however, its tall and narrow shape restricts capacity and may make it seem inappropriate in certain workplace environments.

This article has been edited by Ingela Ratledge Amundson and Jennifer Hunter.

Zoe Vanderweide has been an experienced fashion journalist for almost 30 years and serves as staff writer at Wirecutter’s style and accessories section. Specializing in street fashion as one of her passions – you may catch her painting rainbows around town with her daughter.

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