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The best laptop backpacks for 2022

Best laptop backpacks, a photo of a girl sat on steps working with a laptop backpack
(Image credit: Getty Images / martin-dm)

Popping your laptop into one of the best laptop backpacks will protect it from harm and keep it stashed away for when you need it, whatever activity you've got planned. A backpack generally has enough space for other belongings, meaning you only have to carry around one bag, your hands will be free and there's much less chance of putting the bag down and losing it

There are a wealth of different backpack options out there, in a variety of designs for different purposes. So whether you're using your backpack for a tough commute, or taking your laptop up a mountain to edit photos of the view, there's sure to be something for you out there. 

Our guide rounds up our favourite laptop backpacks, including laptop backpacks for students. We've made our selections through extensive research, looking at customer reviews, durability, the material used and size (for more on our process, see how we test). If you would rather carry your laptop another way, see our guide to the best laptop bags, and if you need an actual laptop, check out our pick of the best laptops for graphic design around.

The best laptop backpacks

best laptop backpacks; a photo of a laptop back on a white background, it's blue with faux leather trim

(Image credit: JanSport)

01. JanSport Cortlandt Backpack

The best laptop backpack for those after a classic design

Specifications

Material: 80% Polyester, 20% Polyurethane, Fauxleather
Size: Holds a 15 inch laptop

Reasons to buy

+
Premium cotton canvas
+
15-inch padded laptop sleeve
+
Secondary flap pocket with organiser 

Reasons to avoid

-
No weatherproofing 

The JanSport Cortlandt backpack (opens in new tab) is easily one of the best laptop backpacks around.  This is a polyester laptop back with faux leather / vegan leather trim. It has a classic design with one large compartment, a 15-inch laptop sleeve lined in fleece and a removable storage pouch. 

It's a good all-round laptop backpack for study or commutes to the office or meetings. The drawback is that while this is showerproof, it's not waterproof, so you'll want to avoid a large downpour. While the one pictured comes in blue, the same laptop backpack is available in a Viking Red and Misty Rose.

best laptop backpacks, a photo of a grey laptop backpack on a white background

(Image credit: TIMBUK2)

02. TIMBUK2 Authority Laptop Backpack

The best laptop backpack with a lifetime guarantee

Specifications

Material: 400D Static Polyester
Size: Fits up to a 17 inch laptop

Reasons to buy

+
It looks smart and business-like
+
Well-organised pockets
+
Made from high quality material
+
Lifetime guarantee

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive 

Created for urban business commuting, this Timbuk2 The Authority Pack (opens in new tab) combines functionality and style to make one of the best laptop backpacks around. The design looks smart enough for this bag to be used in meetings in place of a briefcase, while it maintains the functionality and security of a backpack. 

The slimline look doesn't compromise on padding, and with a lifetime guarantee, so you're assured durable protection for your device. Yes, the Timbuk2 laptop backpack is expensive, but if you're looking for a versatile laptop bag that covers multiple uses, we'd highly recommend it.

Note, Amazon UK and Dell UK (opens in new tab) stock the Timbuk2 The Authority Pack, while in the US it can be bought from B&H (opens in new tab).

The North Face backpack product shot

(Image credit: The North Face)

03. The North Face Borealis School Laptop Backpack

The best laptop backpack for students

Specifications

Material:
Size: Fits up to a 15 inch laptop

Reasons to buy

+
Huge colour range
+
Roomy main compartment
+
Well-protected laptop compartment

Reasons to avoid

-
Won't stand up on its own

Perfect for students, this North Face Borealis 28L backpack (opens in new tab) is super-versatile, comes at a reasonable price point, and has a range of useful features. A well-padded laptop compartment will keep a 15-inch laptop safe and snug, while the front section is idea for a tablet or notebook. Inside, you'll fit folders and the stretchy side pockets will comfortably hold a water bottle. 

It also comes in at least 30 colour combinations, which almost makes up for the fact it won't stand up on its own (almost). It's worth shopping around for this one, as it is sold at different prices around the web (the different colours are different prices, too.)

best laptop backpacks, a photo of a black bag on a white background

(Image credit: The Friendly Swede)

04. The Friendly Swede Convertible Laptop bag

One of the most waterproof laptop backpacks

Specifications

Material: Rubberized PU, polyester lining
Size: Fits up to 15 inch laptop

Reasons to buy

+
More waterproof than many options 
+
Spacious
+
Functional and versatile design

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most comfortable straps
-
Expensive

The Friendly Swede Laptop Bag (opens in new tab) stands out if you're looking for one of the best laptop bags that will protect your device during a downpour. While it still can't claim to be 100 per cent waterproof, its rubberised material offers some of the best protection to keep your laptop safe during a shower. 

The Friendly Swede convertible backpack also resistant to many stains. The backpack can be used to carry as a tote bag. It may be more comfortable to carry it as a tote for longer distances. The backpack straps aren't designed for long treks.

best laptop backpacks, a black hardshell backpack on a white background

(Image credit: Lenovo)

05. Lenovo Legion Armoured Backpack

The best armoured laptop backpack

Specifications

Material: Polyester and EVA moulded front shield
Size: Fits up to 17 inch

Reasons to buy

+
Rugged and durable 
+
Multiple pockets
+
Reasonably priced

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly heavy 

Intended as a gaming backpack, the Lenovo Legion Armoured 17-inch Backpack (opens in new tab) is a toughened beast. A durable EVA moulded front shield offers maximum protection for bumpy rides or commutes, making this an ideal laptop backpack for cyclists (we've even take one skiing, great if you're a fan of painting digital art outdoors). 

There's also inner padding to protect your laptop inside, and multiple pockets to carry any other hardware you need to carry with you. Some users note that it can be a right fit and is best for carrying slim items, but it offers good protection. There are some attractive prices around too.

How to choose the best laptop backpack for you

What size should my laptop backpack be?

First of all, you'll need to get a backpack in the right size. No, not for your body (though that's a consideration), but for your laptop. Whether your laptop is 13-inch, 15-inch or a whopping 17-inch, you'll need the laptop compartment to fit your laptop. Most laptop backpacks will have the dimensions listed, so check before you buy. Note: Don't be tempted to get one that's listed as too big as you don't want your laptop to have too much room to get thrown around inside the compartment.

Also (and this is common sense) consider how big you actually need your backpack to be. A too-big backpack is going to be uncomfortable and a pain to drag around if you don't actually need the extra space.

What type of material is right for me?

This comes down to where you'll be using the backpack. If you're going to be outside a lot, you'll need something weatherproof, possibly even with a raincover (think leather, neoprene and rubberised plastic). But if you're just going to be using it inside you might not need to be so specific about the material you choose. 

However, even if you're not braving the elements, you'll still want to choose a tough material because you don't want your laptop to get damaged – and it happens easily. If you or your bag get knocked around on the train or you have to take it off and pop it on the floor, you want to know it can cope.

What should the laptop compartment be like?

Laptop compartments come in different forms. Some are flimsily divided, with no extra protection. This isn't a problem if you've got a laptop case or sleeve that provides protection, but if your laptop is naked (or in a non-protective sleeve), you'll want to source a compartment that provides protection through thick padding or a hard shell. 

What else should I consider?

Though you'll primarily be wearing your backpack on your back, you might want the option of carrying it in your hand, so consider a backpack with carry handles. Other than that, consider how many extra compartments you'll need (what else will you need to carry?), and whether you want them to be internal or on the outside of the backpack. 

Laptop backpacks come in different styles, too, so you'll want to get a bag that matches the occasion you're using it for. Go smart for the office, and rugged for outdoor pursuits.

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Ian Dean is Digital Arts & Design Editor at Creative Bloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut, SFX, and assisted on The Idler. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his love to bring the latest news on NFTs, video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Corel Painter, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5.