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12 Best Laptop Backpacks at Every Price Point

Laptops follow their owners everywhere these days. These are the best options for safely and comfortably toting around yours.

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Cropped photo of young cheerful african man getting laptop from the backpack.Shift Drive/Shutterstock

Your back will thank you

Backpacks are making a comeback, with a recent story in the Atlantic highlighting why more women are ditching their purses in favor of a bag that can be worn on their backs. The reasons are numerous, and functionality and style are high on that list. But the fact that shoulder bags can wreak serious havoc on the body is one of the biggest reasons some are making the switch, especially because laptops are one of the 12 items you shouldn’t carry in your purse. And considering how many people carry their laptops with them for business these days, it’s no wonder the market is responding with an ever-growing list of laptop backpacks to choose from. We’ve rounded up some of the best laptop backpacks, along with some tips on what you should look for if you’ve got your eye on one.

Close up of student's hands puts books into black backpack. Hands of student girl is putting books into backpack outdoors. Student life concept.Michelle Aleksa/Shutterstock

Why are laptop backpacks important?

“A laptop backpack is designed in a way that it distributes loads to the shoulders and hips in order not to strain your back,” says Veruska Anconitano, an award-winning food and travel blogger at The Foodellers. “When we travel, either for pleasure or for business, we need to make sure we can bring with us our laptop without putting too much pressure on our back, and that’s why laptop backpacks are important and are better than messenger bags.” This is particularly true if your back has been bothering you. But don’t overload your backpack either: Here’s what happens when you wear a heavy backpack every day.

Young man with big and grey laptop caseKateryna Trysh/Shutterstock

What should consumers look for?

Of course, not all laptop backpacks are created equal. To choose the right one for you, first consider the bag’s features, says Tess DiNapoli, a style expert with Targus. “When purchasing a laptop backpack, the first thing to look for are the features that come with the bag itself,” she explains. “Is the backpack you have your eye on capable of USB integration? Will the base of your laptop backpack be ruined once it touches rain? These are the important questions to ask up front.” Once you’ve found a few selections that provide your desired features, then you can narrow down your search for the best laptop backpack for you with the aesthetics you prefer. And if you don’t necessarily need to take your backpack with you, check out these 13 carry-on bags with 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.


Mancro Laptop Backpack


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If you’re on a budget, the Mancro Laptop Backpack is your best bet, according to Kelly Belknap, a full-time traveler and the founder of Adventurist Backpack Co. She’s a fan of this backpack because it is “water-resistant, lightweight, and comes with a built-in USB charger and cable. It fits up to a 17-inch laptop and is a great option for students who need a budget-friendly option.” If you’re looking to save money while traveling, you need to know these secrets to traveling cheap, according to travel experts.


The Hanover 2 from Lo & Sons


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Got a few more bucks in your bank account? The Hanover 2 is the best laptop backpack if you want a middle-of-the-road option. A frequent traveler and the account coordinator for Lo & Sons, Ally Jarjour of Verde Brand Communications loves this laptop backpack, in particular, because it boasts a ton of fabulous features. It has memory foam-lined straps, a removable insert that can lighten your load, and plenty of pockets to keep your travel essentials within reach. Plus, it’s made with 600D recycled poly, making it water-resistant, extra durable, and eco-friendly.


The Rowledge from Lo & Sons


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If you’re looking for a luxe laptop backpack, Jarjour recommends the Rowledge. She says this is “a do-it-all nylon backpack for women who mean business. Your days of rifling through a shapeless tote are over with a front pocket that keeps pens, keys, and earbuds at the ready. It even converts to a tote with stowaway backpack straps and easily transitions into weekend mode with a removable laptop insert.”

And just because this is a top-of-the-line model, it doesn’t mean you have to treat it with kid gloves. Jarjour adds, “Don’t stress about stowing your sweaty clothes after hitting the gym—the removable insert’s water-resistant coating makes it simple to clean.”


Targus Urban Travel and Work Commuter Laptop Backpack


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DiNapoli calls this the best laptop backpack if you’re looking to purchase one that will last for years. And if you’re a city biker, this backpack was made for you—literally. “Without crushing your wallet in the process, this backpack is specially made with the city biker in mind,” she says. “It not only contains bike safety elements such as a whistle, bike-light loop, and reflecting dots—it also has a rugged base to protect your devices against sudden drops. For the avid biker, airflow padding will keep you cool during rides while dedicated laptop compartments ensure your technology remains guarded.”


PacSafe Venturesafe X40 Anti-Theft Backpack


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Saurabh Jindal is a frequent traveler and the founder of the start-up Talk Travel. This travel backpack from PacSafe is his favorite not only because it’s spacious but also because it’s secure. It’s RFID-safe and has zip clips that prevent it from being easily opened by others. The bag itself also has mesh siding that he says prevents it from getting too sweaty on his back; it’s also made of water-resistant material that allows it to be protected in light rains. “All these make it an ideal bag for business travel,” he explains. And while this backpack retails on the expensive side, Jindal says it gives him “a lot of peace” because it’s so secure. While you’re at it, you might also want to pick up one of these 11 smart wallets for people who always seem to lose theirs.

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Targus Newport Backpack


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DiNapoli recommends this 15-inch Targus Newport Laptop Backpack, with its “minimalistic, sleek exterior and leatherette accents.” Here, you don’t have to sacrifice style for function. “Made of water-repellent twill nylon and leatherette accents, this backpack is impressive both inside and out,” she says, adding that the numerous compartments inside make it as impressive on the inside as the outside. “[It has] three different zippered pockets and dedicated compartments for your laptop, tablet, or other devices.”

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Peak Design Everyday Backpack


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The Peak Design Everyday Backpack actually comes in two sizes, 20L and 30L. Anconitano says, “The best thing about this laptop backpack is that it is so versatile that it can be used both for traveling and for every day.” In terms of versatility, she explains, “The first thing to mention is that the top lid closes over the top and onto the front of the bag. But what really makes this backpack stand out is the side access. Both sides of the backpack open completely, so you can access the main compartment without taking the bag off. This is such a cool feature when traveling, and it saves so much time!”

On top of that, she says, “The interior of every compartment is lined with Velcro, so you can attach dividers at any height. It’s a backpack ideal for people interested in looking good and at the same in taking care of their body.” This is definitely one of the things you’ll use every day, along with these 61 other Amazon products.


The Adventurist Classic


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If you’re looking to do some good with your money, you’re in the right place. For every backpack sold, the Adventurist provides 25 meals to families in need. But that’s just one reason to take a good look at the Adventurist Classic, according to Belknap. She says this backpack is “fashionable, minimalist, high quality, and comes with a lifetime warranty. It’s made with water-resistant 1000D polyester and synthetic leather, holding up well in rain, hail, snow, and sleet. It’s also padded front and back, along with a padded laptop sleeve in the main compartment, fitting up to a 15-inch laptop.” She adds that this is a backpack that could cost well over $100 for its features and looks, but it only has a $65 price tag. If you love the idea of making your purchase more meaningful, don’t miss these 30 beautiful holiday gifts that give back.

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Targus Compact Rolling Laptop Backpack


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The beauty of a rolling backpack is that it can save your shoulders and back from further strain, especially if you’re traveling for work and spending a lot of your time wandering airports with your laptop, and backpack, in tow. This one transitions between a backpack and a rollable case. It features a removable laptop sleeve that’ll keep your workstation safe, even when it’s removed.


The Adventurist Weekender


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This may be the best laptop backpack for people who love to travel or who go on frequent weekend trips. It’s padded in the front and back, and it comes with a separate hidden zippered pocket for your laptop (up to 17 inches), making it super convenient, especially when you’re going through airport security. Plus, Belknap says, “It’s completely water-resistant, the largest size you can have and still count as a personal item on a flight, and comes with a lifetime warranty.” Need some travel inspiration? Check out the best weekend getaways in every state.


Targus Spruce EcoSmart Travel Laptop Backpack


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If you’re a frequent flier, this backpack is both a smart and environmentally friendly choice for TSA screenings. It’s made from 100 percent recycled Pet polyester and PVC-free material. Plus, it has a patented checkpoint-friendly design that opens completely flat to allow your bag to roll through scanning. And that’s a feature sure to make your life—and the lives of those TSA agents you meet—so much easier as you work your way to the plane. Here are 12 things your TSA security agent isn’t telling you.

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Tumi Voyageur Hagen Laptop Backpack


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If you want to have it all and money is no object, go for this luxe choice. “With its modern style and functional design, this backpack is versatile and as good as Tumi’s reputation would lead you to expect,” says Belknap. “It’s padded, water-resistant, and comes with all the pockets, features, and bells and whistles you’d ever need.” And while the price point might be steep for some, she adds, “It’s an investment for people that expect to get a lot of good use out of their backpack and want to look professional doing it.” By the way, these are the signs of a well-made piece of luggage.

Young man opening his leather backpack.Branislav Nenin/Shutterstock

One final note

When searching for the best laptop backpack for you, DiNapoli says that “readers should keep in mind that they’re making a long-term purchase when buying a laptop backpack. They want to absolutely make sure that the backpack of their choosing will fit the model of their laptop. Also, be sure to consistently look out for new innovations in the industry which travelers can benefit from.” In other words: Don’t just settle for the first laptop backpack you find. Do your research and make sure you select a product that meets your needs and has the durability to stay with you for the long haul. Next, find out how to make your laptop battery last longer.

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Leah Campbell
Leah Campbell covers technology for Reader’s Digest as well as sites including She has a degree in developmental psychology and has written extensively on topics relating to infertility, dating, adoption and parenting. A single mother by choice after a serendipitous series of events led to the adoption of her daughter, Leah is also author of the book Single Infertile Female. She lives in Alaska. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin.