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The best laptop bags for 2021: Top laptop backpacks, sleeves and cases

best laptop bags
(Image credit: Westend61 at Getty)

The best laptop bags come in many forms. Whether you're looking for a bag, backpack, case or sleeve, this guide has it covered. We've hand-picked the best options in each category to help you decide which is the best option to protect your device.

How to choose why type of bag to go for? 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. 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, see our guide to the most powerful laptops around, or if you're looking for something specific, we've put together a guide to the best laptops for animation

The best laptop backpacks

best laptop backpack

(Image credit: JanSport)

01. JanSport Baughman Backpack

The best laptop backpack for those after a classic design

Specifications
Material: Cotton Canvas, Polyesteryarndye, Fauxleather
Size: Holds a 15 inch laptop
Reasons to buy
+Premium cotton canvas+15-inch laptop sleeve+Secondary flap pocket with organizer 
Reasons to avoid
-No weatherproofing 

You can't go far wrong with a tried and trusted JanSport backpack. The JanSport Baughman is a full canvas bag with nylon mesh and vegan leather bottom and trims. 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 it's not particularly waterproof, so you'll want to avoid a downpour.

best laptop bags

(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
+Smart+Well-organised pockets+Quality material+Lifetime guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive 

Created for urban business commuting, this TIMBUK2 Authority Backpack 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, you're ensured durable protection for your device. Yes, it's expensive, but if you're looking for a versatile laptop bag that covers multiple uses, we'd highly recommend it.

best laptop bags

(Image credit: The Friendly Swede)

03. 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

If you're looking for one of the best laptop bags that will protect your device during a downpour, The Friendly Swede convertible backpack stands out. While it still can't claim to be 100% waterproof, its rubberised material offers some of the best protection to keep your laptop safe during a shower. It's 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 bags

(Image credit: Lenovo)

04. 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 is an armoured beast. A durable EVA moulded front shield offers maximum protection for bumpy rides or commutes. 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.

The best laptop bags

Best laptop bag: WIWU Laptop Shoulder Bag

05. WIWU Laptop Shoulder Bag

One of the best laptop bags overall

Specifications
Material: Neoprene and flannelette
Size: Fits up to 15.6 inch
Reasons to buy
+Three size options available +Water repellent 
Reasons to avoid
-Little space for larger accessories.

Built with five layers of material, this WIWU laptop shoulder bag 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.

best laptop bags

(Image credit: Peak Design)

06. Peak Design Everyday Messenger

A messenger bag that adapts well to carrying a laptop

Specifications
Material: Felt
Size: Fits up to 15 inch
Reasons to buy
+Customisable storage dividers+Zippered laptop sleeve+Sleek design
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive 

It's expensive, but Peak Design's Everyday Messenger Bag is one of the best laptop bags around for all but the largest 15-inch models. 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.

best laptop bags

(Image credit: Solo New York)

07. Solo Duane Laptop/Briefcase Hybrid

One of the best laptop bags for the office

Specifications
Material: Canvas
Size: Fits up to 17 inch
Reasons to buy
+Three comfortable carrying methods+Water-resistant exterior+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Zip doesn't open all the way round.

The Solo Duane Convertible 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. 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.

Best laptop bag: Knomo Copenhagen Briefcase

08. Knomo Copenhagen Briefcase

The most stylish laptop bag

Specifications
Material: Polyester
Size: Fits up to 14 inch
Reasons to buy
+The best-looking bag on this list+Lightweight+Water resistant 
Reasons to avoid
-Small

Inject some fun and colour to your day with the Copenhagan briefcase from Knomo. This is without a doubt the most stylish laptop bag you can buy today. The stunning red colour is bold and bright, so you'll always be able to spot your luggage among the crowd, but it still looks smart. The downside is that the Knomo Copenhagan only fits laptops, Macbooks or notebooks up to 14 inches, but for many of us that's the largest device we need when working remotely.  Knomo also has full-leather laptop carriers and briefcases for men, such as its Durham laptop carrier.

best laptop bags

(Image credit: Bellroy)

09. Bellroy Classic Tote Laptop Bag

A classic laptop tote bag

Specifications
Material: Woven farbric
Size: Fits up to 15 inch
Reasons to buy
+Smart, versatile look +Two compartments
Reasons to avoid
-No closure at the top of laptop compartment

A timeless but versatile bag, the Bellroy Classic Tote doesn't look like a laptop bag, but its soft-lined zip compartment stores away a 15-inch laptop comfortably, while some have said it serves for a 16-inch Macbook. 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 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. Bellroy also produces an even sleeker Tokyo model for those who want a smarter look. 

The best laptop sleeves

laptop bags

(Image credit: DOMISO)

10. DOMISO Laptop Sleeve

The best laptop sleeve overall

Specifications
Material: Canvas
Size: Fits up to 17.3 inch
Reasons to buy
+Super soft+Great protection+Excellent value
Reasons to avoid
-Not the strongest zip 

Available in five sizes and a range of colours, the canvas Domiso Laptop Sleeve 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.

best laptop bags: LOGIK L15NBK11 Laptop Sleeve

11. LOGIK L15NBK11 Laptop Sleeve

The best simple laptop sleeve

Specifications
Material: Neoprene
Size: Fits up to 15.6 inch
Reasons to buy
+Excellent value +Waterproof 
Reasons to avoid
-As plain and simple as you can get 

If you're looking for an unfussy laptop sleeve, the non-nonsense LOGIK Black Laptop Sleeve 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.

best laptop bags

(Image credit: Hyuzu)

12. Hyuzu Laptop Sleeve

A smart laptop sleeve that comes in numerous colours

Specifications
Material: Faux Leather
Size: Fits up to 16 inch
Reasons to buy
+Stylish design+Lots of colours to choose from+Five size options 
Reasons to avoid
-No handle 

If you want a sharper design that looks the part in professional settings, this faux-leather Hyuzu Laptop Sleeve 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. It 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. 

best laptop bags

(Image credit: Native Union)

13. Native Union Slim Stow for MacBook Pro 13

The best high-end laptop sleeve for the MacBook Pro

Specifications
Material: Leather
Size: Fits up to 13 inch
Reasons to buy
+Smart, professional look+Magnetic closure
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

A real winner when it comes to high-end laptop sleeves, this sleek, slim Native Union Stow Slim 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

best laptop bags: INCASE Hardshell Clear Case

14. INCASE Hardshell Clear Case

The best hard laptop case overall

Specifications
Material: Wood
Size: Fits up to 13 inch
Reasons to buy
+Clear finish+Gives access to ports
Reasons to avoid
-Only fits up to 13-inch MacBooks

If you like to keep things simple, or are a huge fan of the natural look of your Macbook, then the INCASE Clear Macbook Pro Hardcase 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. It's 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. 

best laptop bags

(Image credit: Thule)

15. Thule Gauntlet 3.0 MacBook Pro Case

A rugged case for MacBooks

Specifications
Material: Polyurethane
Size: All
Reasons to buy
+Sleek design+Rigid material
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive 

The Thule Gauntlet 3.0 comes in both 13-inch and 15-inch 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.

best laptop bags

(Image credit: KECC)

16. KECC leather Macbook case

One of the best cases for a Macbook

Specifications
Material: Leather
Size: Fits up to 16-inch Macbook
Reasons to buy
+Premium look+Available for different models
Reasons to avoid
-Thicker than other similar cases

The KECC leather Macbook case 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.

best laptop bags

(Image credit: Moleskine)

17. Moleskine 15-Inch Laptop Case

A smart laptop cases with Moleskine's classic look

Specifications
Material: Matte black polyurethane on a woven support
Size: 15 inches
Reasons to buy
+Smart, classic design+Matches Moleskine notebooks
Reasons to avoid
-More expensive than other cases

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 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.

Best laptop bags: Designer Empire "Paint" Hard Laptop Case

18. DesignerEmpireCo Paints Hardcover Laptop Case

A colourful hard laptop case

Specifications
Material: Plastic
Size: Fits up to 15 inches
Reasons to buy
+Colourful design options+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-No handle

Etsy offers a world of customisable designs, but our favourite right now is this handmade Paints hard case 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 and backpacks 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. 

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