We invest so much in our laptops and when we travel, laptops undergo a lot of “shipping and handling”. From TSA checks to quick emails in the airport, the unpacking process can take a toll on our tools if we don’t have the right bags to keep them safe.
When evaluating the best laptop bag for your travel, there are three main things to keep in mind: organization, protection, and comfort. We will also add in style as a bonus feature, but those three key features will be the focus of our review. Being lightweight goes along with comfort. Unlike our top carry on travel backpacks, which also provide laptop storage but cater more to travel capacity, these packs below specialize in protecting your device.
Travel Laptop Backpacks for Business and Pleasure
This review includes a wide array of laptop backpacks suitable for both travel and day use. There are a variety of styles and specialities with each backpack. Some provide more organization, while others provide more storage capacity. However, they all will keep your laptop safe. If you like the look but the backpack isn’t quite right, most brands feature several options in their laptop backpack lineup.
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Here are the best lightweight laptop backpacks for travel, in no particular order:
Incase Icon Pack
This unisex laptop backpack has become popular over the years because of its classic design and its versatility. As a laptop bag, Incase made sure there is proper protection and support around the laptop compartment.
Organization: Though it looks compact on the outside (just about the size of a regular backpack), the inside can hold a shocking amount of luggage. Aside from the five exterior pockets and an interior zipper pocket, there’s also a dedicated laptop panel and a wide main area that can hold almost anything.
If you also have a power bank and you want to charge your phone on the go, there’s a hip pocket for easy access. For tablet and iPad users, there’s another side pocket near the bottom for quick access. The Incase Icon can fit up to 15-inch laptops and up to two tablets.
Protection: What’s great about the Incase Icon is the material. Made of 100 percent nylon, it has a heavy-duty exterior that can take whatever bumps you may get along the way. When it comes to cleaning, this 840D nylon is your best friend. By using clean wipes, it can look and feel brand new. And, in case you’ll be breaking it in during the rainy season, worry not because the Icon is also water-resistant.
Comfort: The Incase Icon is ideal for any traveler. Unlike other backpacks, the shoulder straps are thinner. It also has comfortable molded back panels that add ventilation while you’re traveling. It is known to be one of the most comfortable laptop bags in the market.
Though the Incase Icon leans on the pricier side, many still advocate for this because of its overall day-to-day performance. Plus the quality is built to last.
- Brand: Incase
- Model: Icon Pack
- Weight: 1.74 pounds
- Colors: 7
- Other: Fits up to 15.6″ Laptop
OneOdio Messenger Shoulder Bag
Simplicity and elegance. This is what OneOdio’s Messenger Shoulder Bag stands for. For travelers who are looking for a bag that will securely store all of your tech gadgets while traveling, the OneOdio is a great go-to pick. Because of its compact and durable design, this messenger bag fits many travelers who do not like mixing their clothes and other packages with the laptop.
Organization: The OneOdio Messenger Bag has one goal: to keep your digital keepsakes. It’s pretty straightforward when it comes to compartments and design. There’s one front pocket with three internal pockets for smaller belongings (like a watch, phone, and a small notebook).
At the back, there’s also a slim zipped compartment where you can store receipts, notebooks, and other paper documents. A4 paper size can fit on this compartment since the external dimension of the bag is 17.3 x 11.5 x 1.5 inches.m Then, the main compartment is solely dedicated to laptop and document storage.
Protection: Since the OneOdio focuses on the laptop storage, they’re able to invest more in creating an impact-free interior. The biggest interior has a noticeable blue bubble foam padding that adds that extra shock absorption between your device and the surroundings.
It’s also made of high-quality materials that can withstand frequent travel. It’s water and tear-resistant, but it’s not fully waterproof.
Comfort: This messenger bag has a shoulder strap with adjustable padding. If you’re bringing it as a handheld carry, the bag’s leather handle grips help manage the weight of your bag.
For laptop protection, the OneOdio Messenger Bag provides a simple and affordable option for everyone.
17.3 Inch Briefcase Messenger Shoulder Bag with Handle and Shoulder Strap Multi-Functional Waterproof Carrying Case
- Brand: OneOdio
- Model: Messenger Shoulder Bag
- Weight: 1.45 pounds
- Colors: 1
- Other: Fits up to 17.3″ laptop
Mobile Edge Core Gaming
If you’re looking for a lot more space and a lot more padding for ultra laptop security, the Mobile Edge Core Gaming Backpack is the one for you. Don’t let the “Core Gaming” name mislead you though, this backpack is so versatile; it’s ideal for heavy-duty laptop users. Mobile Edge is one of the leading brands in laptop and tablet storage.
Because of the specialized compartments, the Mobile Edge Core Gaming Backpack can be your ally if you want to bring your whole desktop/workstation life on the go. Aside from gaming and professional laptops, it can also store most of the popular gaming consoles on the market.
Organization: For travelers who are gaming and tech-savvy, the Mobile Edge Core Gaming bag could be the ideal solution for your needs. It has an external USB 3.0 Quick-Charge compatible port and built-in charging cable. That means you can charge your phone or device on the go.
Inside, the bag has three separate sections. There’s an organizer section for pens, phones, business cards, keys, and smaller accessories. The pack also has a securely padded section for the laptop and tablets. For bigger luggage (like a full mechanical keyboard), there’s another divider, too. If you’re bringing a headset, there’s a strap on the upper part of the bag to hold the accessory.
The exterior of the bag has four side pockets that can hold multiple mouse accessories and gaming controllers.
Protection: Since the bag has high-grade separators for each section, there’s no need to worry if your pens would be scratching the surface of the laptop. The bag is TSA check-ready so that the laptop compartment can open up easily.
Comfort: As mentioned earlier, the bag may seem bulky, but if you’re not filling the entire bag every day, it will have a slim build. It also has padded air-mesh shoulder straps, ventilated back panel, and trolley straps for a variety of use and configurations.
- Brand: Mobile Edge
- Model: Core Gaming Laptop Backpack
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Colors: 1
- Other: Fits up to 17″ laptop
The North Face Borealis Backpack
The North Face brings the modern classic with the twist. The Borealis bag features the iconic North Face front design, with its interlacing front bungee system for external storage. This particular backpack brings added padding for laptops. It has a specialized system that supports the laptop from bouncing during travel and gives the user a ventilated feel at the back.
It doesn’t have all of the mesh compartment add-ons, but that’s one of its advantages. It’s simple enough to function as a well-rounded bag and at the same time, durable enough to protect your valuable laptop.
In the front, there’s a compartment with internal organization and an additional padded section for tablets and notebooks. It also has a more secure zip pocket for key and wallet storage. For additional storage, The North Face bag also has a fleece-lined pocket for sunglasses or other electronics.
Protection: The Borealis Backpack is made of durable 600D Polyester Toile. There’s also a padded top handle to protect the laptop from external impact.
Comfort: The North Face brand is known for creating comfortable backpacks. This goes the same for the Borealis. It has a sternum strap with whistle buckle and soft shoulder pads. It has a waist belt to add support, but you can remove this if you prefer to.
- Brand: The North Face
- Model: Borealis Backpack
- Size: 29L; weighs 2 pounds
- Colors: 37
- Other: Fits up to 15″ laptop
Briggs & Riley Slim Flapover Expandable Backpack
This Briggs & Riley bag is probably the most stylish on the list. With a modern front and minimalist, neutral colors, the backpack is suitable for business and play. In fact, the whole Briggs & Riley lineup of laptop backpacks is impressive, so if this Flapover model doesn’t suit your tastes, they have many more high quality bags to choose from.
Organization: If you’re a little OCD about how things look and are organized in your bag, you will love the Kinzie Street Slim Expandable Backpack. Once you remove the external flap, it gives you access to two main sections. There’s a sturdier section for the laptop and other documents. Its dimension is 17 x 11.5 x 3 inches, so it can hold laptops up to 15.6″ inches.
The second section has a softer cover and since it’s opened vertically, the compartments are incredibly pleasing to look at. There are smaller compartments for pens, wires (chargers), and other small accessories. Then, it also has slimmer pockets for wallets or passports. There’s a zipper pocket for essential accessories like keys and cash.
Protection: Storing your laptop in the Kinzie Street Slim Expandable is such a breeze. The vertical format helps the bag not to wobble while walking. The laptop section is also more compact than the main one so it can withstand subtle impact while traveling.
And since it’s made of proprietary polyester fabric blend, it can resist wear, moisture, dirt, and abrasion. For a boss look, choose the Briggs & Riley Kinzie Street Slim Expandable Backpack!
- Brand: Briggs & Riley
- Model: Kinzie Street Flapover Expandable Backpack
- Size: 19.8L; weighs 2.43 pounds
- Colors: 2
- Other: Fits up to 15.6″ laptop