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These laptop backpacks will keep your MacBook or Chromebook secure

Protect your laptop while traveling with padded sleeves, spacious compartments, integrated chargers, and more in a laptop backpack.

The top laptops are made for a busy, on-the-go lifestyle. This makes them perfect for students, whether they're in middle school, high school, or college. Even many grade-schoolers are now being tasked with lugging around a Chromebook. Luckily, one of the best ways to port these machines is already in most students' daily inventory: a backpack.

These purpose-built bags include slots designed specifically to hold and protect your precious PC, as well as accessory compartments for your chargers, battery packs, phone, and more. They also tend to be water-resistant to keep your delicate electronics dry. Of course, you could just toss your laptop into any generic backpack. But, do you really want your expensive system fighting for space with your heavy textbooks and scratchy writing implements as you or your kids head back to school?

It's also important to remember it's not just your laptop's wellbeing at stake when choosing a bag, it's also your own. You need a backpack that is comfortable to carry around for hours on end, and won't leave your shoulders or back strained when that final bell rings or your drop it on the floor of your dorm at the end of the day. Providing comfort, safe storage, and, of course, style may seem like a tall order. That's why we're here to help you choose a bag to keep that perfect laptop looking brand new. 

Specs: Size: 11.4" x 18.1" | Fits laptops up to: 17" | Weight: 2.4lbs | Volume: 28L 

The best backpack for laptops has to meet a lot of requirements. It needs to be functional, fashionable, and safe. It needs lots of space for your computer and everything else while not being too heavy or bulky to make the journey to class or anywhere you may need to go. It needs to be worth the price without breaking the bank. The Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe meets or exceeds all of these requirements, and then some.

Let's start with the laptop component since that is the most important element of any laptop backpack. The Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe has a padded laptop sleeve that holds any laptop up to 17 inches, making it great for those who carry a laptop with a little bit more size and computing power. Plus, it's water-resistant, so your laptop will be safe from the elements.

As for your other essentials, you should have no trouble fitting them into this bag. A large main compartment fits books and other must-haves. There's a dedicated stretch sleeve that holds a water bottle. Interior pockets let you store just about anything you need to have on you while on the go.

What helps to put the Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe over the top is its functionality for travel. Heavily padded, it's easy to carry with you anywhere, even if it's going to be on your back for hours at a time. If you're traveling by plane, a luggage pass-through makes it a breeze to attach this bag to your wheeled luggage quickly. It's never going to be in your way and will always be accessible when you need it. That's about as much as you can ask for from your laptop backpack.

Pros:

  • Great size without being bulky
  • Holds laptops of all sizes
  • Padded for ultimate comfort
  • Luggage pass-through for frequent travelers

Cons:

  • Lacking color/style options

Specs: Size: 11" x 17" | Fits laptops up to: 15" | Weight: 1.418 lb |  Volume: 20L 

If you're going to have a bag on your back all day, you're going to want it to look good. Backpacks aren't just about lugging around your stuff; they are a fashion accessory. And if you value a bag that compliments your look, then you'll want to check out the Topo Rover Pack.

The Topo Rover Pack is the classic backpack design that made the company famous, and there's a reason for that. It's slick as can be with its timeless daypack design, and it comes in a wide variety of vibrant, eye-catching colors that make it stand out or can be paired with your favorite fits while on the road.

You know the old saying about how fashion is pain? Well, you can throw that idea out the window when it comes to this laptop backpack because it's lightweight despite its size. It can hold laptops up to 15 inches, with room in its spacious main compartment to carry your other essentials, as well. 

This bag is also flexible when it comes to access. The flap top sports dual side-release buckle closures to keep your goods secure, and a drawstring cinch closure lets you have easy access while on the go. Strap it on your back or grab it with the top carry handle. No matter how you take it with you, it'll keep your essentials secure and will look good doing it.

Pros:

  • Stylish design
  • Expandable pockets
  • Flap top and drawstring closures

Cons:

  • On the smaller side
  • Could use more padding

Specs: Size: 15.75" x 21.5" | Fits laptops up to: 15" | Weight: 3.64lb | Volume: 40L

The Amazon Basics line has its name for a reason. These products are about as basic as can be, and this backpack is no exception. Here's the thing, though: "basic" is not an insult or a detriment. Sometimes keeping it simple works, and the Amazon Basics Backpack just works for what you need it to do.

If you're looking for a laptop backpack without any frills, this is the one for you. It comes in just three colors and a very straightforward style. But, if you just need a bag that can get the job done, stick your laptop of up to 15" right in the zippered sleeve and be on your way.

This bag does have some nice surprises. It's quite spacious, with a huge main compartment and mesh separators that let you store your essentials in handy and easy to reach but organized spaces. It can also grow thanks to a full-expansion zipper that provides an additional 10% of space. This is great for travelers trying to cram as much as possible into a carry-on bag. 

That said, the bag is a bit on the bulky side, and it is not the most comfortable option of the bunch if you're going to be walking around all day with it. You're also likely to find the options for customization lacking. It is only available in a few colors. If those aren't your top priorities, then don't worry about it. The Amazon Basics Backpack can get you from point A to point B with your essentials intact just as good as any alternative.

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Space expander
  • Lots of pockets

Cons:

  • Lacking in design options
  • Bulky

Specs: Size: 18.5" x 11.6" | Fits laptops up to: 17" | Weight: 4lb | Volume: 18L

Most backpacks just let you take what you need while you're on the go. The Solgaard Lifepack Solar 2.0 actually helps you stay on the go without needing to slow down. There is no need to slow down or search for an elusive wall outlet or even return home to recharge. This backpack is its own power source, and you can tap into it without stopping your trip in its tracks.

The biggest selling point of the Solgaard Lifepack Solar 2.0 is the built-in, removable solar-powered battery that comes with the bag. Without any need for intervention on your part, the solar panel charges a battery bank that you can connect to via a USB port any time you need it. About an hour of sunlight should generate enough power to charge your phone by 25% -- enough to keep you moving.

As for your laptop, it'll be safe inside this bag. The Solgaard Lifepack Solar 2.0 has a drop-proof laptop sleeve that can survive the bumps in the road that you're sure to hit, as well as any rough handling that happens along the way. An additional compartment is great for bringing along other items, though you'll find the space is lacking compared to some alternatives.

This backpack is not a great option for folks that like to take their whole life with them. It is smaller, with extra space taken up by the solar panel and battery bank. That also adds some extra weight so that this bag will be heavier than your average option, as well. But if having your phone and other electronics charged at all times is more important to you than carrying an extra pair of shoes, then this backpack is for you.

Pros:

  • Built in solar-powered battery bank
  • Customizable
  • Anti-theft features

Cons:

  • Heavier than your average backpack
  • Expensive

Specs: Size: 15.7" x 11.4" | Fits laptops up to: 13" | Weight: 2.09lb  | Volume: 8.5L

Travel goes easier when you cut down to the essentials. Whether you're making the commute from home to the office or you're taking a cross-country trip that you just want to make as light as possible, Rains Backpack Mini lets you cut back on the excess and keep things simple while still protecting your laptop and other essentials.

The Rains Backpack Mini manages to make something as functional as a laptop backpack that looks like a fashion accessory. It has a sleek design that belongs on a runway and offers plenty of variety in terms of color choices that you should have no problem finding one that fits your style. 

Make no mistake; this bag is small. It can only fit laptops that are 13", and there is not a lot of room for much else, save for small accessories that you'll want to have with you. Thanks to the waterproof build, it will all remain protected, so you won't have to worry about getting caught in the rain. But you also just won't have much on you to worry about, either. This is a bag made for those trying to keep things as streamlined as possible.

Pros:

  • Sleek design
  • Waterproof build
  • Great for commuters

Cons:

  • It can't carry much
  • More fashion than function

What is the best laptop backpack?

The Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe is the best laptop backpack according to our analysis.

Bakpack

Price

Capacity

Max Laptop Size

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe

$159

28L

17 inches

Topo Rover Pack

$99

20L

15 inches

Amazon Basics Backpack

$55

40L

15 inches

Solgaard Lifepack Solar 2.0

$245

18L

17 inches

Rains Backpack Mini

$95

8.5L

13 inches

Which laptop backpack is right for you?

The best laptop backpack for you is going to depend on what your average travel plans look like. If you're taking your laptop with you on a daily commute but don't need much more than that with you, a simple bag like the Rains Backpack Mini or Topo Rover Pack will do the trick.

Something with a little more volume might do the trick for those who plan to be traveling with their laptop and other gear. The Amazon Basics Backpack is a great choice for those who travel by plane. Likewise, the Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe offers a great luggage pass-through for frequent travelers, though it is functional enough to serve commuters and hikers, too.

If you're planning to be outdoors or on trails a lot, try a bag like the Patagonia Arbor Classic Pack 25L. The Solgaard Lifepack Solar 2.0 is also a great choice for students and hikers because of the solar charger that lets you stay connected even if you're away from an outlet for an extended period.

Choose this laptop backpack...

If you want...

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe

The best overall option

Topo Rover Pack

A stylish laptop backpack that makes an impression.

Amazon Basics Backpack

A no-frills laptop backpack. 

Solgaard Lifepack Solar 2.0

A laptop backpack with a built-in solar charger.

Rains Backpack Mini

A commuter-friendly laptop backpack.

How did we choose these laptop backpacks?

We chose these laptop backpacks after extensive research into the product category. We compared factors like pricing, reviews (both good and bad), different features that make each backpack stand out, and the capacity of each laptop backpack. 

What is a laptop backpack?

A laptop backpack is a backpack with a dedicated slot for your laptop. While you can likely fit your laptop in most bags, it's better to have a backpack that is specifically designed for it. 

These bags typically offer a sleeve or slot for your laptop that offers extra protection against drops and often is water-resistant.

Are laptops safe in backpacks?

Unless you get a laptop backpack, you should not put your laptop in a backpack and assume that it will be safe. Bumpy commutes, wear and tear, and the force of having it pressed against your back can do damage to a laptop if it is not protected. 

Laptop backpacks offer protection against this and are safe for laptops.

What is the difference between a laptop backpack and a laptop bag?

Laptop bags or messenger bags typically only have one strap that goes over your shoulder. While this can be convenient for some settings, it can also be bad for your posture and muscles because the weight of your laptop is not evenly distributed.

It is also typically looser than a laptop backpack, which can put your laptop at more risk.

Are there alternative laptop backpacks worth considering?

There are many great laptop backpacks out there, and we have just scratched the surface with this list. Consider what type of backpack you might need and how you'd like to use it. Here are a few other options to look into:

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