If you’re heading back to school, you’ll need a great backpack to carry around all of your tech gear. The most important piece of gear of course, is your laptop. When it comes to finding a great laptop backpack, there are a number of things to consider. How much gear do you need to carry around? Do you want a bag that can store more than just productivity items? It’s also important to keep in mind that bags come in several different materials. Many bags can serve multiple purposes, such as a school bag and gym bag. In this article we’ll look at the best laptop backpacks for a variety of use cases.
Navigate this article:
Best overall: TIMBUK2 Deluxe
A monster of a work pack in premium materials, the Authority Pack Deluxe will keep you organized and ready to work at home or away. Padded backpack straps and grab handles and an air mesh back panel keep it comfortable on your back, while a luggage pass-through lets you roll it when you want to. A padded laptop sleeve holds up to a 17″ laptop and can be accessed inside or out, and a thoughtful internal organizer keeps key accessories safe and at the ready. Compression straps let you strap it all down tight for a clean look that can transition from client A to B and then bar X.
This bag is the best overall due to its impressive volume and organization, along with an attractive price under $150. If you need a bag that’s great for just about everything and won’t break the bank, this is the one to go with.
Best slim and portable backpack: BOPAI 15 inch super slim
The BOPAI Ultra Slim backpack is only three inches thick. A soft flannel compartment protects up to a 15 inch laptop and it can reduce the friction between the backpack and the computer. The back sleeve design allows the backpack to slide over the luggage handle for easy mobility during traveling. This bag also has a few hidden tricks up its sleeves, with a unique concealed double zipper to increase security.
At under $60, this is an excellent option if you want maximum portability and don’t need to carry a huge volume of stuff around each day. One of the only significant detractors for this product is you can only fit up to a 15 inch laptop inside the compartment, because the BOPAI backpack is so thin and compact.
Best for travel: Waterfield Air Travel backpack
Waterfield Designs creates some of the most beautiful bags out there. The Air Travel backpack is no exception. This backpack can fit two 15″ laptops, or an iPad and a laptop, in addition to storing all of the clothes needed for a weekend getaway. Designed for the maximum size allowed for a carry-on, the Air Travel Backpack lets you pack personal items and tech gear in two separate compartments.
Keep your personal items in its own dedicated compartment. The roomy interior’s bright yellow liner helps light up the contents so you can quickly scan for quick retrieval. The open space lets you assemble your items in the most efficient way possible. Two sturdy straps keep everything in place so your apparel stays neat and organized. Zippered mesh pockets keep small items easily accessible. A dedicated mobile office section has padded sleeves for two laptops with pockets for accessories. Perfectly sized for remote work escapes and weekend getaways.
While the bag is pricey, this one is stunning in person and has a lot of functionality if you often travel back and forth between home and school.
- Designed for the maximum size allowed for a carry-on, the Air Travel Backpack lets you pack personal items and tech gear in two separate compartments. A dedicated mobile office section has padded sleeves for two laptops with pockets for accessories. Perfectly sized for remote work escapes and weekend getaways.
Best for creatives: Peak Design Everyday 20L
An iconic, award-winning pack for everyday and photo carry, the newly revamped Everyday Backpack is built around access, organization, expansion, and protection. Unique MagLatch hardware provides lightning fast top access, with dual side access via two weatherproof UltraZips.
Inside, three configurable FlexFold dividers keep gear organized, protected, and not bunched at the bottom of your bag. There are dedicated sleeves for up to a 15” laptop, tablet, or documents, plus a variety of internal slip pockets for small items. The outer 100% recycled 400D weatherproof shell keeps everything safe. Huge external carry capacity is made possible by a versatile tuck-away strap system, and there are expandable side pockets for water bottles or tripods. Integrated luggage carry makes this bag equally suited for daily commutes and extended travel.
The Peak Design Everyday backpack is the go-to bag for photographers and videographers. If you’re majoring in the digital arts or just love to carry around your camera, this is the bag for you.
Best school/gym combo: BROMO Barcelona
If you’re looking for the best value out there, BROMO has you covered with their Barcelona backpack. This backpack is an ideal 2-in-1 solution that works for school and the gym. Perhaps the best part is the price, frequently on Amazon for under $20!
Carry your books, notebooks or clothes in a spacious main compartment, as well as a 15″ laptop. Keep your belongings organized within reach in the hidden side-zip pocket. You can carry your water bottle or an umbrella for easy access in two side open pockets. This bag even has a separate shoe compartment, ideal for storing your running or workout shoes. For those on a budget, this bag has everything and then some.
Best professional backpack: Waterfield Pro Executive Backpack
Waterfield Designs is so nice that they made our list twice. The Pro Executive Backpack is ideal for students looking to transition into the professional phase of their lives. This is a backpack that would be at home in any classroom or boardroom for that matter. It fits everything for your mobile office, and is ideal for shared office or remote workers without dedicated desks.
One of the coolest things about the Pro Executive Backpack is the crowdsourced nature of the design. The Pro Executive Backpack shows how useful a product can be when real people with real needs are behind its development. I personally contributed to the design of this bag and I’ve been using my own Pro Executive Backpack for over three years now. When it comes to craftsmanship and quality materials, Waterfield Designs really takes the cake.
This bag has a lot of pockets, two massive main compartments, and a bright yellow interior lining that makes it easy to find smaller items in your bag. You can fit a couple of laptops in this bag, up to 17″ in the main laptop sleeve, which is luxuriously padded and protected. I often carry two laptops and my iPad Pro in the main compartment with no issues whatsoever. This is the bag to get if you’re looking for a backpack that combines functionality and refined, elegant design.
Those are our picks for the best backpacks you can buy for college. There’s something for everyone. If you travel between home and school often, you should definitely check out the Waterfield Air Travel Backpack. Students that need the most portable setup should invest in the BOPAI 15 inch ultra slim backpack.
Let us know which backpack you’re taking off to college this fall. If you still need to find a laptop to put inside your bag, check out some of the best laptops available at Best Buy.