If you're looking for the best laptop bags (including laptop cases and laptop sleeves), we have you covered in this buying guide. The top bags for laptops can come in many shapes and sizes, including simple cases and protective sleeves. To help you decide on which is right for you we've curated the best options in each category.
Whether you're heading back to school, to college or have to the office, how to choose what type of bag or backpack to go for is important. Well, if you travel with your laptop every day, especially via public transport, you'll probably want a hard laptop case or a padded laptop backpack. If you want a backpack, see our separate guide to the best laptop backpacks. A backpack is also likely to be your choice if you commute by bike.
If you have a less rigorous commute or your meetings requirer smarter presentation, you might prefer a swanky professional laptop briefcase. Meanwhile, if you're already happy with a bag you have, one of the best laptop sleeves or hard cases will allow you to use that while keeping you device protected from damage caused by other objects. Whichever option you're after, read on for our pick of the best laptop bags around.
Meanwhile, if you're looking to upgrade your laptop for heading back to school, see our guide to the best laptops for students, or if you're looking for something specific for digital art, take a look at our roundup of the best tablets for students, as these top laptop bags and best laptop backpacks will fit a tablet too.
The best laptop bags
As far as combining looks with functionality, the Timbuk2 Tuck Laptop Backpack is head and shoulders better than the competition. There's something incredibly satisfying about the usability and style that collides in Timbuk2 bags, and their Tuck bag ads a roll-top and clasp to the standard full zip models out there.
I'm a big fan of the colour options that the Tuck offers, both in the classic grey, black or blue in the main body, and then the bright pink, yellow or blue in the zips and inside lining. Of course, none of that matters is the bag doesn't hold what you need it to hold comfortably, safely and without letting a drop of water in. And that's what we got when we reviewed our Eco Gunmetal Pop model. I loved the two front/side pockets, one with a handy inside clasp attached to a length of material, perfect for attaching your keys to, so you can get hold of them immediately.
For this writer, the star is the bright, waterproof side zip that will hold up to a 16-inch laptop snugly and securely. With its own compartment, you can get hold of your lappy without opening the main bag, and delving through your other items. This is a stylish, well-designed backpack.
Built with five layers of material, this WIWU Laptop Shoulder Bag (opens in new tab) is a great way to protect your device if you don't need the extra space that a backpack provides. The bag boasts a shock-absorbing bubble foam padding layer and a water-resistant neoprene layer underneath a fabric outer.
Despite all these layers, the bag is very streamlined, although there's little space for bulkier accessories. The main compartment will fit your laptop only, but there's a smaller, zipped compartment on the front with three small pockets. There are three sizes available, and the bag comes in black or grey.
It's expensive, but the Peak Design Everyday Messenger (opens in new tab) is one of the best laptop bags around and while the version here fits 13-inch laptops Peak Design also now to a 15-inch edition. It was designed with photography in mind, and it can carry a complete daily photography kit comprising a full-frame DSLR with 3 lenses and accessories. However, the padded laptop sleeve makes it a great option for laptops too.
It's a well-designed product, with customisable dividers that let you configure the storage spaces to meet your personal preferences. The magnetic closure works like magic, making the bag easy to secure, but still quick to open. It's also comfortable to wear thanks to an adjustable shoulder strap and additional hip straps to help balance heavy loads.
The Solo New York Duane Laptop/Briefcase Hybrid (opens in new tab) looks like a standard briefcase bag, but it reveals its secrets when you turn it on its side. This versatile hybrid carrier converts into a backpack for commuting and then flip back into a messenger bag for a more formal setting.
This is a 15-inch laptop can fit into the bag’s padded compartment, while the front pocket serves to store accessories. A pair of quick-access pockets are useful for items such as your phone, keys and wallet.
If you're going for that retro college look then then this Vintage Handmade Leather Travel messenger bag (opens in new tab) is a great choice. This cross-body satchel style laptop bag is for men and women, and despite its retro look can fit a 18-inch laptop as well as cables, accessories and notepads.
While not waterproof the leather will standup to a shower and it won't stain. Inside is a seal, zipper pocket too, and it's large enough to fit an iPad or small tablet, so you can take your entire home setup to school and college – or the office. Of course, as it's leather this isn't vegan-friendly.
A timeless but versatile bag, the Sunny Snowy Women's Classic (opens in new tab) doesn't look like a laptop bag, but its soft-lined zip compartment stores away a 15-inch laptop comfortably, while it's 17.7-inch size means it can actually fit a 16-inch Macbook, though this could get heavy.
The bag reconfigures a decades-old design in a new way to adapt to modern needs. The result is a sleek, professional look that's suitable for work use but flexible enough to use in the street or elsewhere. The style means it's more suited to smaller laptops, so if you're lucky enough to own a new MacBook Pro M2 (2022), this is the perfect bag.
The tote has a vertical valuables pocket for easy one-handed access, a tapered flat base for resting on the ground and soft-lined pocket for sunglasses or phone. The open main compartment makes for simple interaction on the go, although some would prefer a closure on the top. It can carry a fair amount, but many find it more suitable for lighter loads or for shorter distances.
The best laptop sleeves
Available in five sizes and a range of colours, the canvas DOMISO Laptop Sleeve (opens in new tab) is one of the best value laptop sleeves out there. It's super padded with five layers of protection, including a water-resistant exterior, and it has two additional compartments for small accessories such as pens, cables and chargers.
There's a detachable data cable inside the front pocket where you can put a power bank to easily charge your device by plugging into the USB port while working or walking. There's also an external headphone hole, you can listen to the music on the go hand-free. The sleeve comes with a shoulder strap and a soft handle, which make it fairly versatile to carry. This is more stylish than a budget neoprene option but still comes at a good price.
If you're looking for an unfussy laptop sleeve, the non-nonsense LOGIK L15NBK11 Laptop Sleeve (opens in new tab) is the one for you. Neoprene is a tough yet cushioning material so your device is in good hands when it comes to light knocks and bumps, and it's also waterproof.
This sleeve comes with a handle – not always a given with neoprene sleeves like this – meaning it's easy to transport. No frills and no fuss means you can pick up a durable, protective case at an economical price.
If you want a sharper design that looks the part in professional settings, this faux-leather Hyuzu Laptop Sleeve (opens in new tab) does the job. This slim sleeve is lightweight and waterproof and can double up as a mouse mat, which is neat if you need that.
The Hyuzu Laptop Sleeve even comes with an extra little bag made from the same material, which could be used to carry said mouse or other accessories. Best of all for those who want more choice, Hyuzu produces the combo in 24 colours, which is possible the widest range we've seen.
A real winner when it comes to high-end laptop sleeves, this sleek, slim Native Union Stow Slim (opens in new tab) combines functionality with a simple, classy design. It has a soft quilted interior and a resistant textile exterior with a coated canvas finish and a snappy magnetic closure.
The material is very firm, which helps to protect your MacBook, although it's larger than the device itself and the firmness means there's no folding the edges. It's pricy for a laptop sleeve, but if you're looking for durable protection that also looks highly professional, this is an option well worth considering.
The best laptop cases
If you like to keep things simple, or are a huge fan of the natural look of your Macbook, then the INCASE Hardshell Clear Case (opens in new tab) offers protection without changing the design of your device. Although designed for the 13inch Macbook Pro, this laptop hard case can be used on other 13inch devices.
This case is designed to stay on your laptop at all times, rather than just when you're on the go, and it helps keep your laptop ventilated, as well as allowing access to all ports and charging points (but grab one of the best power banks just in case).
The Thule Gauntlet 3.0 comes in both 13-inch (opens in new tab) and 15-inch (opens in new tab) versions. It has a rigid exterior and added corner and edge protection, while the padded interior protects hardware from bumps and scratches. The clamshell design means you to use your device while still in the case, helping to protect it further. It's not the cheapest laptop case of its kind, but it offers good protection.
The KECC leather Macbook case (opens in new tab) has a sleek two-piece folio design that easily clips onto your MacBook with an upper and bottom cover. The case cover is made with premium Italian pebble leather for a smart, soft finish that helps prevent fingerprint and scratches. It's slim, lightweight, and easy to install and remove.
The bottom section has a unique design with two rows of bottom ventilation, allowing safe heat disbursement, helping your MacBook to stay cool in hot temperatures. Four rubberised feet keep your device secure. Just make sure you order for the right size for your device.
If you're a fan of Moleskine notebooks, then you'll love the brand's laptop cases, which are produced in keeping with the same aesthetic. The Moleskine 15-Inch Laptop Case (opens in new tab) boasts stretch fabric on the sides and bottom to ensure a snug fit. It also has an elastic closure. ivory velour lining and light padding to protect your laptop. There's even a cute "In case of loss" label sewn inside.
Etsy offers a world of customisable designs, but our favourite right now is this handmade Paints hard case (opens in new tab) by DesignerEmpireCo. Cleverly designed to mimic oil paint, this laptop hard case will help you make a statement when it comes to your creativity. It's a natural choice for traditional artists, but will give a nod to anyone's creative profession or hobby. Multiple sizes are available, from 11 to 15 inches.
Choose the best laptop bag for you
The best laptop bags are strong and durable but also comfortable and stylish. It's also important that they're secure, so you can take your laptop from A to B without worrying about it getting damaged.
Key features to look out for include easy access laptop compartments so there's no need to open up the main compartment, or zips on the back for extra security. As well as these, you'll want high-quality design that's durable but stylish.
The style of bag that you choose will influence the material. Many laptop bags are made from fabric or canvas, but this doesn't mean they're not watertight. Several of the best laptop bags in this list, including the WIWU and Knomo are waterproof. Leather, neoprene and rubberised plastic are also great options for protection against water.
Of course, the material you choose will also influence the cost of your new laptop bag, so think about how much you're looking to spend. That said, we think it's well worth investing in a laptop bag that's going to stand the test of time. After all, the device it's protecting will cost you a lot more to replace.
The trickiest part of buying a laptop bag is getting the size right. Often laptop bags, especially sleeves, will be named for specific brands or models, most commonly the MacBook Pro, but this doesn't mean they will only fit that model.
You'll have to be most careful with hard cases as they'll be made to fit, but other than that laptop bags can be pretty flexible. To help, we have included details of what sizes each of the best laptop bags in this list are available in.
We've arranged our best laptop bags buying guide by bag type – backpack, bag, briefcase and sleeve. We've included best overall, budget, high-end and most stylish options for most categories.