If you're like many people, your laptop is your main computer but with the added convenience of your being able to carry it around wherever you go. Laptops have grown slimmer and more portable, but they have also become more powerful and valuable, giving you all the more reason to invest in good laptop protection.
It's very rare for laptop manufacturers to throw in a laptop bag along with the purchase of a laptop these days. And even if your seller includes a laptop bag made specifically for your own laptop, the bag usually features a big, glaring logo from the manufacturer that, for one thing, cramps your style and, for another, is a telltale sign for thieves that you're carrying something worth stealing.
Laptop bags designed purely for protecting and carrying around your valuable gadgets are your best bet, and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of choices to choose from. Keep in mind that we can't cover all or even most of these laptop bags, but we've rounded up the eight best and most popular bags, from commuter rucksacks to rugged packs and elegant business-style leather bags, that you can easily find in most stores, online or otherwise.
1. Moshi Urbana Briefcase ($149.95)
Designers of the Moshi Urbana Briefcase had the laidback yet stylish professional in mind. This slim and lightweight briefcase is made from soft but durable fabric that comes with a water-resistant coating to keep your gadgets safe from the rain and comes with leather straps outfitted with an adjustable cushion for carrying over your shoulders without strain. On the inside, you'll find a padded compartment with room enough for a 15-inch laptop as well as a tablet and a smartphone, and plenty of pockets for your cables and accessories.
2. Tylt Energi+ ($169.99)
This backpack's claim to fame is the built-in battery charger that comes with the pack. If you're the type of person who easily runs out of juice for your gadgets on the move, the Tylt Energi+ is a great choice for you. This bag includes a 4.1 A battery with cables that can be routed through seven pockets and charge up to three devices at one time. At the back of the pack, you'll find a fully padded laptop compartment that can accommodate up to a 16-inch laptop and another pocket lined with soft material for a tablet up to 10 inches. Instead of pockets, this bag has a zip-up accessory bag to keep your cables and adaptors in order. The only caveat is you had better be ready carrying around such a heavy pack.
3. Timbuk2 Commute ($125 to $180)
Timbuk2 offers a lifetime warranty on its laptop bags, so that alone should be enough to convince you to get one for yourself. Not that you'll be needing to use the warranty soon. The Timbuk2 Commute is easily one of the most durable messenger/briefcase gadget bags available, with its hard-snap metal buckles, heavy Velcro closures, and a waterproof top flap. Your laptop is safe and secure inside the padded sleeve that comes with the bag and you have plenty of pockets left for a variety of accessories, from cables and adaptors to pens, keys and more. Bonus tip: The Timbuk2 Command is just as amazing as the Timbuk2 Commute, though you'll find it lighter and easier to access your laptop with its silent open-and-close system.
4. Mission Workshop Sanction ($195)
The Mission Workshop Sanction is the ultimate rugged laptop bag. It's a rucksack that is comfortable enough for carrying on your back for long periods of time, yet stylish enough to carry your laptop and other essentials to the office. This bag's claim to fame is the waterproof, weatherproof material it is made from. You'll find lots of water-resistant laptop bags, but waterproof is different. Waterproof means your bag won't get a single drop of water inside. At all. Even the zippers are coated with urethane to make sure your gadgets stay dry. Inside, you'll find a large zippered pocket that can protect any size of laptop, protected by double clasps outside to make sure your gadgets are secure.
5. Incase EO Hardshell Roller ($299.95)
Incase is a premium name in laptop bags. The Incase Icon Pack is a solid name in the industry, and we've debated whether to include the sleek backpack in this list though we've decided to keep the EO Hardshell Roller instead to give frequent travelers an option. This roller bag is designed with a polycarbonate hardshell that keeps any laptop (up to 17 inches) and everything else inside snug and secure while your bag gets bumped around at the baggage counter. Inside, you'll find an easily accessible, dedicated compartment for your laptop and plenty of pockets to organize your cables and accessories. The EO Hardshell Roller has enough space for a three-day trip and you can expand it by 35 percent to get more room.
6. Booq Boa flow ($224.95)
The Booq Boa flow is the ultimate carryall for the gadget geek. This turtle's shell-shaped backpack might look compact to you, but you can actually fit in a 15-inch laptop inside a foam-padded sleeve in the main compartment, a DSLR in the bottom compartment equipped with a protective frame, and all the cables and accessories you need to keep the two working properly. On top of that, you'll still have plenty of side pockets for a water bottle, a music player, and other essentials. Its exterior is made of ballistic nylon that makes it water-resistant, making it even more protective for your gadgets. Each Booq Boa laptop bag, including this one, comes with a Terralinq number that, if you register with the Terralinq website, can help you find your bag should you lose it.
7. Waterfield Designs Staad Laptop Backpack ($319)
It's definitely not cheap, but you get what you pay for with the Staad bag from Waterfield Designs. This bag is easily one of the most elegant-looking backpacks for your laptops, making it a great option if you want to carry your laptop to the office without looking like you're carrying a backpack from high school. The Staad backpack comes in two sizes: the Slim version can carry a 13-inch laptop in a padded pocket lined with soft black material, while the Stout version, which costs $10 more, is made for 15-inch laptops. You'll find the back of the pack and the straps fully padded and the inside equipped with extra pockets for a tablet, your accessories, and maybe one or two shirts. Outside the bag is made of ballistic nylon with a large leather flap to give the bag a vintage feel.
8. Brenthaven Collins ($59)
The Brenthaven Collins messenger bag is the perfect choice for you if you're looking for a bag to carry around your laptop and nothing else. Unlike all the other bags we've mentioned, this bag, which is actually part sleeve and part messenger bag, has room enough for a 15-inch laptop, a tablet and nothing else, so it's lightweight and easy to carry around without having to lug all those other things you don't need. Plus, at $59, this bag is more affordable than your other options, though don't let the price trick you into thinking it looks cheap and flimsy. The Brenthaven Collins bag features high-density foam to protect your gadgets and also stylish leather accents to add some flair.