The 10 Best Computer Backpacks to Buy in 2018

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It can be hard to find the right laptop backpack; sleekness is often prioritized over space, and for those with bulkier computers, finding a bag that isn’t designed for the newest wave of smaller, thinner laptops can be difficult. Plus, given the huge variety of styles out there — tactical, academic, sporty, rugged— it can be hard to find one that has all the features you want and an aesthetic that speaks to you. That’s not even mentioning the split between those who want bags that are carried on the back vs those who prefer having a wheeled case to reduce strain on the spine. Here, we've evaluated a wide selection of laptop bags and drilled them down to just the best of the best. Read on for a handful of options, from a budget bag that still comes with smart tech perks to a lightweight backpack that clocks in at just over a pound. 

Our Top Picks

01 of 10

Best Overall: The North Face Router Daypack

The North Face Router Daypack

Amazon

With five colors to choose from, including red, pine green, and black, this airport-friendly bag really pulls out the stops when it comes to features. This backpack is built to last, with 500D Cordura nylon matte ripstop fabric that holds up against daily wear and tear. We love the attention The North Face’s design team has put into constructing it for comfort. The proprietary FlexVent suspension system is comprised of custom injection-molded straps and a padded back with a groove for the spine and a moisture-wicking panel. Inside, laptops are kept secure in a lie-flat compartment that’s lined with fleece for extra protection, with another compartment for books, notepads, and binders. There’s also a separate compartment in the front, with a fleece-lined pocket for tablets, a zippered pocket (handy for USBs), and elastic webbing that keeps cords tidy.

02 of 10

Best Budget: KOPACK Slim Business Laptop Backpack

For less than $35, this slim backpack has a ton of built-in features — beginning with 17 slots for easily organizing your everyday carry items — and at less than 2 pounds, it won’t weigh you down during the day. Reviewers who guard their laptop as if they were their children love the anti-theft laptop zone, a hidden compartment built into the back of the backpack that lets users access their device without exposing all the personal items in the backpack (handily, this compartment can be locked for extra security). We also appreciate that, especially at this price, it’s a smart backpack, complete with an external USB charger port and cable. Not only is it more convenient, but it’s better for the cable, which won’t be exposed to the debris that seems to accumulate at the bottom of oft-used bags. It’s also built for comfort; the S-shape straps are made from breathable fabric for better wear and support. The cherry on the cake? It’s anti-scratch and water resistant.

03 of 10

Best Leather: Solo Reade 15.6 Inch Vintage Colombian Leather Backpack

With gorgeous espresso-toned leather, the Solo Reade is a classically stylish bag that does a thoroughly modern job of keeping laptops and other devices safe during the rigors of the daily commute and travel. Its exterior is made of beautifully supple full-grain, premium Colombian leather, and there’s a quick-access pocket and zip-down organizer that keeps essentials like passports, notebooks, and portable chargers quickly at hand. There’s a large compartment toward the wearer’s back for laptops, while another main compartment can hold a tablet, larger notebooks, and a book or two. There’s a subtle aesthetic touch we love, too: The interior is lined in a gorgeous peacock blue leather that adds a little elegance to what could be a more rugged backpack. The padded backpack straps are super-comfortable and help take the heft of the backpack without putting strain on your shoulders. Plus, the backpack comes with an “Unstoppable” five-year guarantee. 

04 of 10

Best Tactical: Seibertron Waterproof Molle Tactical Laptop Backpack

With sizes for both 14.1-inch and 15.6-inch laptops, this tactical backpack is one of the best-rated on Amazon — and has a wallet-friendly price at less than $60. Reviewers love the amount of space in this bag, which has enough room to hold a device or two, binders, and all the cables your electronics demand. Commuting every day? The backpack will hold up just fine in light rain, but don’t expect it to stay totally dry in a downpour (we recommend waterproofing on your own). It's not just for hauling around the city, either. Users love that, despite all the space, there’s not a lot of bulk to this pack — it still fits under a plane seat for short trips. Wearers can also switch up the backpack style with the included luggage strap to convert it into a messenger-style bag. If black’s not your thing, but you still want a military feel to your bag, it also comes in khaki.

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05 of 10

Best Wheeled: Perry Ellis Rolling Laptop Case

With four sets of spinner wheels, this backpack is one of the best wheeled laptop bags out there. There’s plenty of room inside to carry equipment for whatever the day calls for, from meetings to an after-work gym session — even umbrellas — and the interior laptop pocket fits screens up to 15 inches. There are handy design touches peppered throughout this bag’s construction, too. We love, for example, the self-repairing, lockable zippers that deter would-be snoops and thieves, and the telescopic handle that locks at two different heights to suit both shorter and taller users. If you’re traveling for work, the bag will fit easily under the seat in front of you, and long walks through the airport are made less dreadful thanks to the spinner wheels, which help reduce pressure on the spine. You can buy assured as bag also comes with a three-year limited warranty in case of manufacturer defect.

06 of 10

Best Budget Wheeled: AmazonBasics

At this price point, you’d be understood if you thought this bag might not hold up — but reviewers have found that this bag holds up quite impressively against the daily grind. The under-seat bag does a great job of keeping what you need within easy reach thanks to a front pocket that can handily store business cards, notepads, and pens for quick access. Inside, there’s a main zippered compartment for binders and presentation materials as well as a separate laptop pocket that holds computers and tablets up to 17 inches — though anything above 15.6 inches or so can be a bit of a squeeze. It weighs just 5.1 pounds, so rolling it behind you easy. The bag seems designed for airport power walkers, too, thanks to the smooth wheel glide and push-release handle that, if a bit flimsy, keeps the telescopic arms from abruptly sliding back down.

07 of 10

Best Waterproof: Thule 24L Paramount Rolltop Daypack for Electronic Devices

There’s waterproof, and then there’s weatherproof — and this backpack is the latter, holding up well in a multitude of conditions. The bag is sleek and capable, offering 24 liters of space. The bag holds up to a 15-inch Mac laptop or a 14.1-inch PC in its dual-density sleeve (we love the built-in Safe Edge corner protection, too), which users can access two ways. We also like the roll-top closure that expands to accommodate whatever the day brings, whether it’s a change of clothes for an after-work gym sesh, groceries, or folders and binders for an upcoming meeting. Don’t worry about durability: The backpack is insured by a 25-year manufacturer’s guarantee from Thule. Users note the bag is great for short overnight trips, though if you’re walking a lot, shorter wearers might not love the long torso on this bag.

08 of 10

Best for Large Laptops: YOREPEK Extra-Large Backpack

With laptops getting slimmer and small (and tablets getting slimmer and larger), it can be hard to find a laptop backpack that can accommodate bulkier devices. YOREPEK’s laptop bag, however, holds up to a 17-inch computer with no issues, and there’s additional pockets for smartphones, tablets, books, passports, and more. We also love how durable the pack is, especially for the price. It’s constructed from tough nylon with waterproof zippers, and the compression straps are super comfortable. As with many other laptop packs, this bag includes both a headphone port as well as an external USB charging port with a built-in cable, so your phone won’t die streaming Spotify during your morning commute.

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09 of 10

Best Slim: Incase EO Travel Backpack

With a sleek profile and minimalist styling, this backpack does a clever job at hiding its great features. There’s a back panel that’s comfortably padded as well shoulder straps that come kitted out with breathable mesh for easier and less tiresome carrying. The panel on the front is woven with weather-resistant, triple-coated material, so items stay fairly dry, though it won’t do a great job in downpours. Inside, there’s a padded pocket for laptops up to 17 inches, as well as a pocket for tablets. The bag is also great for frequent travelers: Beyond just hauling your laptop and other gear for the daily commute, the bag can expand up to 35 percent for extra room for clothes and changes of clothing (though don’t expect to fit clunkier shoes in as well), Plus, the bag can also speed up getting through security at the airport, thanks to a MacBook compartment that opens flat so you don’t have to take out your device.

10 of 10

Best Lightweight: Trustbag TR013008 Laptop Backpack

With a sleek, modern design that’s great for either students or those needing a bag for the work commute, the Trustbag is a budget-friendly model at less than $30 that does its job well — and has quite a few clever bonus features to boot. The backpack is made out of nylon, which keeps the bag lightweight (it's just 1.2 pounds) and durable, and the back panel is built to be breathable and keep air circulating. There’s also plenty of organization inside: the laptop compartment is padded to hold up to a 15.6-inch laptop, while two sealed pockets help important contents stay put. Those who need to keep their phones charged throughout the day love the external USB charging port, complete with cable, that ensures your phone does die on the commute. If you don’t love the light gray, there are also black and blue versions available.

Our Process 

Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular computer backpacks on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 60 different backpacks overall, screened options from 35 different brands and manufacturers and read over 80 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.