Bring Your Tech Anywhere: The Best Laptop Backpacks In 2022
Whether you regularly commute to work, are a frequent business traveler, or are a student heading to college, you likely need to carry your laptop with you. Ensuring that it’s transported safely should be your number one priority, and for that, you need one of our best laptop backpack recommendations. Let’s also not discount the fact that your bag should also be comfortable to carry (after all, you only have one back!), ideally with adjustable shoulder straps and a breathable and contoured back panel. Of course, you might also want to look stylish, too, and require other essential features that can help keep your tech safe from the elements.
Choosing the right backpack is ultimately a personal task but to make life easier, we’ve put together a list of some of the best laptop backpacks currently on the market. Some of these are great for the classroom and the office, others are ideal for traveling, and many are multi-purposeful and can take you from campus or office to a weekend trip.
- Disaster-Proof: Able Carry Max Backpack
- Editor’s Choice: North Face Borealis Backpack
- Great for Students: Deuter UP Stockholm
- Premium Pick: UAG [U] Mouve Backpack
- Campus to Hike: Troubadour Ridge Backpack
- Best for Traveling: SwissGear 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack
- Great for Public Transit Commuters: Burton Tinder Laptop Backpack
- Best for the Office: Lenovo Laptop Backpack B210
- Best Theft Prevention: Nomatic Anti-Theft Backpack
- Best for Bike Commuters: Thule Pack n Pedal Commuter Backpack
- All-Arounder: The North Face Recon Backpack
The Best Laptop Backpack
The Able Carry Max Backpack is an incredibly durable, versatile backpack with tons of pockets for organization and a laptop sleeve that fits devices up to 17 inches. Our tester used the Max backpack for both work and play and even took it on two regional flights where it had to prove its water-resistant capabilites. Turns out, this rugged backpack is not only water-proof but disaster-proof.
The Max Backpack has a sturdy build, with heavy-duty zippers and a low-profile shape – no sharp corners, no sagging parts, so it won’t get snagged or hung up on anything. It comes with 19 pockets, so it’s an organizational lover’s dream. The laptop sleeve is suspended on the rear wall for shock absorption against drops and is easy to access. The only complaint our tester had was regarding the cord/block organizer pocket inside the laptop sleeve – it was slightly tight for his needs. The Able Carry is also a very comfy backpack with thick shoulder support and a back air channel to keep you cool on the go. It doesn’t come with a hip belt, but if you really need one, you can attach your own with the webbing loop in the air channel. Read the in-depth review here.
XPAC fabric and 1000D nylon, water-resistant construction
Thick shoulder support, ventilated back pads
Laptop sleeve fits devices up to 17″
A ton of internal and external pockets
bottle pocket on the side
Total capacity 30 liters
- Weight3.8 Lbs
After having The North Face Borealis Backpack in my ever-widening collection of packs for over a year, I’ve gotten a great sense of how this laptop bag performs in a variety of scenarios. My conclusion is that this laptop backpack is absolutely perfect for the Pacific Northwest. Need to head to class but might go on a hike later or the next day? This bag goes from work to school to the trail and anything between with ease and has a generous 28-liter capacity.
There’s an exceptional amount of pockets in this bag, from the sneaky fleece-lined valuables pocket to the dual mesh pockets for water bottles, there’s a pocket for nearly everything you might need. The main compartment features multiple mesh zippered pockets, pen holders and other organizational features. Of course, there’s also a separate zippered and padded laptop compartment. This pack also features a sternum strap for heavier loads, padded shoulder straps and the FlexVent back panel to keep your back from getting too steamy when it’s warm out. Read the in-depth review here.
Plenty of organizational pockets, multiple separate compartments
Separate laptop compartment for up to 15-inch devices
Dual mesh water bottle pockets
Fleece-lined valuables pocket
Comfortable FlexVent panel
- BrandThe North Face
- Weight2.74 Lbs
The Deuter Up Stockholm has become a staple in my collection due to its sleek look, large capacity, and overall performance. It earns its editor’s choice award, but each of the top five items in this guide was in the running and it was quite a close call. The UP Stockholm has a few features that make it a standout.
One of my favorite features is the zippered flap closure, I often forget to close my backpack and this change in closure systems allows for a lot fewer dropped items when I do forget to zip up my pack, or, if I am carrying a large item, it can easily remain in my pack. I love the sneaky front pocket for easy access to valuables, 22-liter capacity, and laptop sleeve, although it could be padded a little bit more. Additionally, the sternum strap and padded shoulder straps make this laptop bag easier to carry. Lastly, this bag’s construction features 37 plastic bottles, making this model not only one of the best laptop backpacks available but one of the most eco-friendly items on our list, too.
Sternum strap and padded shoulder straps for easy carrying
Eco-friendly construction featuring 37 recycled plastic bottles
22-liter capacity, laptop up to 15-inch
Zippered front compartment for valuables
Dual water bottle pockets
Bag for tablet
- ModelUp Stockholm
- Weight3.1 Lbs
The UAG U Mouve Backpack is a great everyday backpack for anyone, however, it is one of the top laptop backpack models for students thanks to its organization and ease of use. The fun color options are excellent, too, and allow for some creative self-expression. The multiple compartments and pockets are great for students who have notebooks and other items to tote around and the molle straps make great pen holders.
When I’m carrying a little less, this is my go-to backpack. It doesn’t have the biggest capacity on this list but it’s certainly enough for a day at school or the office. A dedicated laptop compartment fits devices up to 16-inches, and there’s also a water bottle side pocket that can easily accommodate my 40L water bottle.
Multiple compartments for easy organization
Elastic laptop sleeve fits laptops up to 16-inches
Key ring, pen holders and water bottle pocket on the sides
- BrandUrban Armor Gear
- Weight1.26 Lbs
One of the first things I did when I got the Troubadour Ridge Backpack was show my partner the seemingly endless array of pockets. This laptop bag is truly an organization lover’s dream. The initial website description says “A place for everything” and that’s absolutely correct. I love the large main compartment and laptop sleeve with plenty of padding on the back to keep your laptop secure.
The two retractable bottle holders are great and offer space for even large 40-ounce bottles. The waterproof fabric, lining and zippers have held up incredibly well in both Portland and Seattle, which is a must for me as someone who often commutes on foot. For travelers, the upper handle slides over your luggage handle so that you can roll all of your luggage with ease. Incredibly stylish, comfortable, and capable of securely carrying laptops up to 17-inches, this is the best laptop bag for the office and travel, but it is on the pricy side.
Waterproof fabric, lining and zippers
Breathable back and padded shoulder straps
Three large pockets for organization
Padded compartment for easy access to a 17-inch laptop
Two retractable bottle holders
Trolley sleeve slides over a suitcase handle
- Weight2.8 Lbs
The SwissGear 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack is an extra-roomy backpack made from durable and weather-resistant 1200 ballistic polyester. It’s ideal for frequent flyers, with a TSA-approved lay-flat design for convenient scanning.
Modern in its design, it’s packed with organizational features including a separate laptop compartment that fits 17-inch laptops, a floating tablet pocket, as well as an accordion-style zip folder and large zippered pockets. It doesn’t disappoint with its ergonomics either. The SwissGear 1900 features contoured and padded shoulder straps, side compression straps so that you can customize the fit, plus a breathable and cushioned signature Airflow back panel. If you prefer to grab-and-go, there’s also a heavy-duty, rugged molded handle. There’s not much else you could ask for in a 17-inch laptop smart backpack.
Durable 1200 ballistic polyester construction
TSA-friendly ScanSmart lay-flat design
Spacious internal and external storage for optimal organization
Comfortable contoured shoulder straps and ventilated airflow back panel
Reflective accents on shoulder straps for safety
Fits portable computers up to 17-inch in size
Floating tablet sleeve
- BrandSwiss Gear
- Weight3.11 Pounds
If your style is laidback and rugged and you prefer the convenience of a drawstring closure combined with the security of a dual clasp closure on your laptop backpack, then you will appreciate the vintage meets modern styling of this Burton Tinder bag. It features an externally accessible padded laptop compartment for easy retrieval of your electronic devices and is spacious internally with an overall capacity of 25 liters. It’s durably constructed from hard-wearing triple ripstop polyester.
It’s comfortable to carry and had been designed with adjustable webbing so that you can attach a rain jacket or perhaps a yoga mat if that’s more your vibe. There are adjustable, ergonomic shoulder straps as well as a sternum strap so that whether you’re lugging books so heavy they resemble bricks or carrying lighter loads, you are assured that you’ll be comfortable. There’s also an additional external zippered pocket along with an internal mesh pocket to store valuables. Supplied with a full lifetime warranty, it’s an excellent choice whether you’re heading on the daily commute, into college, or enjoying a weekend hike.
Durably constructed with polyester and a PU-coated backing
Vintage rucksack styling with minimalist design
25 liter capacity with interior and exterior pockets
Ergonomic shoulder straps and adjustable sternum strap
Externally accessible 15-inch padded laptop compartment
- Weight1.44 Pounds
We’ve picked this minimalist and elegant backpack from Lenovo as our best office backpack because of its simple and sleek look that can fit in anywhere. Combine that with the fact that it’s made from a durable and water-repellent fabric and you have the ideal everyday laptop backpack for men. The streamlined design is absolutely perfect for modern life, whether you’re commuting to work or jetting off on a business trip. The size makes this a great carry-on item to slip under an airplane seat.
With an integrated laptop compartment, Lenovo Laptop Backpack B210 can accommodate most laptops up to 15.6-inches and there’s also a series of other convenient storage pockets for all those must-have accessories. It’s also comfortable to carry, designed with padded shoulder straps and a nicely quilted back panel. It gets a big thumbs up from our team, and it comes in a couple of contemporary color options. As a bonus, it’s one of the most affordable laptop bags on our list.
For more handy bags like this, check out our guide to the best day packs.
Constructed from durable, water repellent polyester
Casual and stylish slimline backpack design
Plenty of conveniently positioned pockets and compartments
Integrated tech pocket suitable for a 15.6-inch laptop
Quilted back panel and adjustable shoulder straps
- Weight13.6 Ounces
Looking for the absolute best laptop backpack and don’t mind paying extra to get it? Well then, the Nomatic Anti-Theft Backpack is for you. Not only is this a stylish and secure bag, but it’s also innovative as well, featuring a simple expansion process that provides a flexible solution to all your packing requirements. The Nomatic is one of the best ones out there partially because it greatly expands when in use. We also love the fact that you can unsnap the back panel, tuck in the shoulder straps, snap it back down and use your Nomatic like a briefcase.
The standout features don’t just stop there, though. It’s also an excellent choice for the security-conscious man or woman or anyone who travels regularly. There’s an exterior perimeter zipper that’s lockable plus hidden RFID blocking technology to protect your cards and ID documents. Not only is the Kodra tarpaulin fabric water-resistant and hard-wearing, but it also features a reflective printed ink pattern, ensuring that you and your backpack are visible at night. With plenty of storage pockets as well as a removable and interchangeable storage panel, this laptop bag offers versatile customization.
Durably constructed from water-resistant 500D tarpaulin fabric
Expands 50% when in use, snaps shut when not
Lockable exterior perimeter zippers for increased security
Removable and interchangeable panels allow you to customize your storage
RFID lockable security pocket
22 compartments in total to keep you organized
Fits up to 15.6-inch laptops
Up to 30-liters capacity
- Weight4 Pounds
The Thul Pack-n-Pedal backpack is ideal for busy commuters, particularly those who prefer to travel to work on two wheels. The main compartment is fully waterproof and features a roll-top closure which ensures the contents of your bag remain dry. This laptop bag is also supplied with a hideaway high visibility rain cover for even more protection against the elements and to ensure you remain highly visible even when you are cycling at night. Featuring a 360-degree reflective screen print, you can be seen from all angles.
Inside this commuter-style backpack, you’ll find a removable padded 15-inch laptop compartment while externally there’s a helmet attachment system to securely hold your bike helmet in place when it’s not being used. The Pack-n-Pedal’s design features airflow channels both to the back and shoulder straps so that you remain comfortable on your commute. If you love cycling and still want to look stylish on your ride into the office, this is an excellent choice.
For more amazing products for bike fans, check out our guide to the top cycling backpacks.
Waterproof main compartment
Padded, removable 15″ laptop compartment
360-degree reflective elements increase visibility at night
Breathable back panel and shoulder straps for maximum ventilation
Hideaway helmet attachment system
- Weight2.56 Pounds
You are spoilt for choice with this Recon computer backpack from The North Face which comes in a wide variety of different color options. Made from a highly durable and hard-wearing synthetic fabric, this iconic backpack from their range has a generous 30-liter capacity. The design has been recently updated to feature a stretch front stash pocket, providing even more flexible organization of your everyday carry. The main compartment itself features a padded and fleece-lined laptop sleeve that can safely store a 17-inch laptop and other larger items.
As you’d expect from The North Face, this bag doesn’t just look the part; it’s also comfortable to carry. Featuring their FlexVent suspension system, it’s been engineered with a breathable lumbar panel as well as a padded mesh back panel to provide plenty of ventilation. This North Face backpack is also based on a flexible yoke that benefits from custom injection-molded shoulder straps. They’ve pretty much thought of everything, so all you need to decide is which of the extensive choice of colors you prefer to be seen out and about carrying.
Large capacity 30-liter backpack with stretch front stash pocket
Padded, fleeced 17″ laptop compartment
FlexVent suspension system and breathable lumbar support
Padded mesh back panel and custom injection-molded shoulder straps
Multiple organization pockets and compartments
Two mesh water bottle pocket
Sternum strap with whistle buckle
- BrandThe North Face
- Weight14.9 Ounces
Why Trust Us
We've spent a lot of time digging into the backpack world lately with guides focused on stylish backpacks, college backpacks, laptop bags, and more. It's been several months of backpack testing and research here at GearHungry and as a writer who works remotely and travels a lot, I always need a laptop backpack handy so that I can work from wherever my adventures take me. Backpacks also keep my hands free to carry other things which I enjoy.
Who This Is For
This guide is for anyone looking for laptop backpacks for the office, school, or weekend trips. We've got a variety of colors, sizes and backpack shapes to ensure there's something for everyone. Even if you don't find what you are looking for here, we hope that the buying guide gives you an idea of what you want to look for.
How We Picked
We selected the best laptop backpacks through testing and through researching best sellers and highly-reviewed items. We wanted to ensure each product listed had its own unique features and was of high quality.
How We Tested
We tested the best laptop backpacks through commuting to coffee shops and various workstations around Portland and while traveling all around Oregon and Washington. These backpacks went to Bishop, CA, Leavenworth, WA, Bend, OR and so many more places.
Features To Look For In Laptop Backpacks
There are plenty of features you should consider before investing in your next laptop backpack. We've quickly outlined what we believe to be the key ones below.
Laptop size - Size matters. You need your backpack to be large enough to comfortably accommodate all your everyday essentials, including of course your laptop, yet ideally small enough so that it can fit in an overhead bin if you are a regular traveler or commuter. You also don't want anything so large and heavy when it's fully packed that it's uncomfortable to carry.
The other consideration when it comes to size is how large your actual laptop is. Standard-sized laptop compartments range from 15" to 17" so make sure you select one that's appropriate for your device. If you have a particularly large or small laptop, you'll want to ensure you find a laptop backpack that accommodates it appropriately without it moving too much or preventing the zippered compartment from closing correctly.
Protection - Be sure to go for a solution that features a dedicated compartment or padded sleeve to keep your tech protected against any potential damage while in transit. Also consider going for a waterproof fabric or at the very least one that offers a good level of water resistance, especially if you do intend to commute in all weather conditions. We also recommend that you select durable and hard-wearing fabrics that are resistant to abrasion and which won't rip or tear easily.
Comfort - Comfort really is key, so make sure that you go for a backpack that has adjustable and padded shoulder straps that fit securely. Two shoulder straps are also ideal to distribute weight (a messenger bag or shoulder bag does look stylish but is absolutely less comfortable than a regular backpack) and we also suggest looking for thick padding. An additional sternum strap is also recommendable if you regularly intend to carry heavy loads as this will help create a more secure and stable base with better weight distribution. You might also want to consider selecting a backpack that features a grab-and-go style handle just in case you want to be able to carry your bag this way.
Storage - The best computer backpacks should feature plenty of versatile storage internally and externally and combine multiple internal pockets and compartments so that you can organize all your gear efficiently. External pockets are great for small items that you need quick access to. We also love models with a side water bottle pocket so that you can keep your liquids away from your tech.
Weight - Your backpack itself should be as lightweight as possible so that you're not weighed down once it's filled with all your tech gear and other items. Portability and comfort are both essential in the best laptop backpacks.
Breathability - Look out for ventilated and breathable mesh-style back panels that will help you remain cool and prevent a sweaty back if you're carrying your backpack in the summer heat or for long commutes.
Laptop Backpack FAQ
Q: Are laptops safe in backpacks?
A: Generally, yes. In theory, the safest place for a laptop would be on a desk where it cannot move. However, that's not the point of laptops. Laptops are great for remote workers or anyone who enjoys changing up their workspace, or simply needs to from time to time. Modern laptops are often durable but far from invincible. For the best protection for your laptop, look for a water-resistant or waterproof bag, and a padded laptop sleeve that is separate from the main compartment and other spaces. I also prefer external water bottle pockets that help keep liquids far away from technology.
Q: What is the difference between a laptop backpack and a laptop bag?
A: A laptop bag is often carried differently than a laptop backpack. A laptop bag could look like a tote, messenger bag, or other style options. A laptop backpack, on the other hand, has two shoulder straps and is designed to hold a laptop and other tech gear, like a keyboard or mouse or battery bank. Some specialty backpacks will also hold camera equipment and other technology.
- How To Buy The Perfect Backpack - The Verge