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Finding the Ideal Laptop Backpacks for All Your Needs

Updated on August 2, 2013

Looking At Best Backpacks for Laptops

Whether you need to carry around a laptop for work, for school or for pleasure, a laptop backpack is a good way for you to keep the small computer safe while it is in transit with you.

Products like this are generally made so that they have a special dedicated compartment or separate special padded sleeve that is designed to house the computer away from other items in the bag as to prevent any damage from those items. Generally, notebook computer backpacks like this are sold by the size of the machine, which means that you need to know the screen size of the device to ensure that it will fit in the dedicated holding space, pocket or compartment.

If you are anything at all like me in this respect, then you have more than one computer or tablet and need a bag that will easily fit either one. What can I say, I am addicted to technology and have gadgets of all shapes and sizes cluttering up my apartment! The funny thing is that I use all of them almost daily - at least at one time or another during the day. Keep reading below and I'll let you know about my favorite mobile transport for laptops, including a good cheap backpack for your laptops, and which one I use for my notebook computer and my iPad.

all images via Amazon

Buying A Laptop Backpack in 2013

When you are ready to go shopping for a bag like this, then you will find a lot of variety at all of the local and online stores that you look at in your shopping quest. It did not used to be like this back when I first started shopping for these. In fact, hardly anyone shopped on the web back then, so it was difficult. But now there are options pretty much everywhere. And that can be super overwhelming just due to the pure saturation of all the many available choices that you have at your finger tips. I think I spent around a month trying to decide which computer bag I was going to buy just cause there were so many choices and brands.

And, I made the mistake of visiting some local area stores as well as looking at the selection of many different shops on the web. I should have just stuck with looking at what was all available online on Amazon since they seemed to have the lowest prices of all the places that I checked out during my quest.

Some of the top brands for laptops bags include JanSport, Swiss Gear, High Sierra and Targus. You can find everything from small to large laptop backpacks that are designed to fit men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes. To help you get started on your cool new bag comparison shopping, take a look at the top rated and best selling laptop backpacks below.

Since I regularly change out what I am using to carry around my computer, I am always checking out what the hot sellers are in this category. So, do not be surprised if you see some of the products below change as I come across items that are even better than what I had previously found. And if you come across a hot new product during your comparison shopping, feel free to leave me a message about it down in the comments section below. Thank you for reading and good luck with your shopping!

Best Travel Laptop Backpack

The Checkpoint Friendly Bag I Use

If you like to travel with a laptop, then a good travel bag option that has dedicated space for a small computer or tablet is just what you need to make travel a little bit more convenient. Usually, large bakpacks are best for travelers like you and me since travelers like us often need a lot of space for all of our gadgets and gear. For air travelers, a TSA-approved security checkpoint friendly laptop backpack can be a real time saver when getting through airport security.

This is actually the second of the dedicated notebook computer space bags like this that I own. It doesn't really work for my day-to-day needs, but it is perfect for the times that I fly with my computer.

For that reason, the Targus Checkpoint-Friendly Air Traveler is the top rated and best selling travel laptop backpack.

This Targus model fits up to a 15.8-inch size screen.

Targus Checkpoint-Friendly Air Traveler Backpack for 16 Inch Laptops TBB012US (Black)

Best Small Laptop Backpack

Good Business Laptops Backpack Option

If you don't really need to carry around a lot of things with your gadgets, then a slim laptop backpack might be the best option for you. The great thing about one designed to be this small and compact, yet still have room for the device, is that they are usually fairly cheap and still do a great job of protecting the machine.

I wish I could get away with one of these because they are so lightweight and feel great on my shoulders and such when carrying one around campus or the airport. But, I have too many other things to carry around for it to be practical for me. This is a great business laptop carrying case option though. One of my co-workers I know of actually uses it for that exact purpose on an almost regular basis.

Of all the slim laptop bag brands, Belkin is the best selling brand. In fact, this Belkin Slim model is the best selling and highest rated one of its size.

This one comfortably fits up to a 15.4-inch screen size.

Belkin Slim 15" Notebook Polyester Backpack, Black/Light Gray

Best Large Laptop Backpack - Fits 17-inch Screens!

Awesome College Laptop Backpack - Fits Textbooks Too!

If you need a lot of space in your bag, or if you just have a large screen size computer, then a super sized (or multi compartment) option is the one that will best meet your needs. Usually, you get multiple compartments for all of your stuff with a large bag of this size. And you will totally love having all that space - as long as you do not end up with one that gives you a lot of shoulder pain after carrying it around for a while. But you do not have to worry about that with this SwissGear product that I just love using.

The SwissGear SA1908 ScanSmart model is the best selling and top rated of all the larger sized models that are available for sale online. As you will see, it fits up to a 17-inch screen computer and has several different compartments for all those books, papers and other items that you need to carry around everywhere with you.

I can't believe that I had a laptop this big when I was in college! But I did and this SwissGear bag was the PERFECT college bag for carrying around all my stuff at school. Seriously, the amount of space it has is insane.

SwissGear SA1908 ScanSmart Backpack (Black) Fits Most 17 Inch Laptops

Cheapest Laptop Backpack

Best Laptop Backpack Under $50

For those of you on a budget, looking for the cheapest possible option can be a good choice as long as you do not compromise on getting a high quality item. It is easy to find low priced choices, but some of them are actually terrible products that will not end up lasting you for very long in the the grand scheme of themes. For this reason, it is important to do your homework so that you still get a high quality bag at the low price that you (and your budget) need. The good news is that you can actually find some options that have great reviews and offer great quality and durability all at a super low cost for you. And I want to share my favorite one of those choices with you right here.

The Targus TSB194US model is the cheapest option currently available for sale that has high ratings from buyers just like you and me, which means that you are not compromising quality for the low price. So, you end up with a great option and some extra money in the bank thanks to its low price!

In fact, this particular product is the exact one that I use on an almost daily basis! It has held up for me for almost 3 years now of constant use. I honestly cannot recommend the Targus TSB194US model highly enough because it is big enough to carry some extra things with your computer and all of its gear and accessories without being too bulky to wear comfortably for a while. And the padded compartment is also nice for carrying around an iPad or other tablet when you are not carrying around your computer.

This bag fits up to a 16-inch size screen.

Targus TSB194US Carrying Case (Backpack) for 16" Notebook - Black

What To Look For In A New Bag

most important features

When you are shopping for your new bag, the types and varieties available can be a little overwhelming at times. To help with your search, I suggest coming up with a list of things that you want out of your new bag.

Here are some things to consider:

--what size do you need? how much other stuff do you need to carry?

--do you need it to have a water-resistant bottom?

--is comfort while wearing important to you?

--does the color or design matter?

--do you prefer a lifetime warranty?

--would you like to be able to pull it behind you?

For me, I think that the most important features are lots of compartments, a good size without being too bulky and good reviews.

Other Laptop Backpacks That May Interest You

Take a look at your other great options when shopping right here!

Best Tablet or iPad Backpacks

perfect for carrying and protecting your small ereaders and other gadgets

If you are going to be carrying around a tablet computer or an iPad instead of a notebook computer, then you might not want one that has a large padded compartment or dedicated pocket space. Instead, a you might prefer to go with something that was designed to hold a tablet or iPad. Choosing something like this is a better option to keep the device safe, since it is a better fit in the padded compartment or sleeve. There is a lot of variety - from large to smaller slim tablet backpacks products that you can choose from. Take a look below at some of the best tablet backpacks for the money that I have been able to find. Check out my top picks right here.

Ogio Squadron RSS II Laptop/Tablet Backpack

Ogio Newt II S Laptop/Tablet Backpack

HP Ultra Mobile Backpack

Case Logic RBP-115 15.6-Inch MacBook Pro/Laptop Backpack with iPad/Tablet Pocket (Black)

Different Designs Can Have Different Uses

how will you use this new bag?

One of the reasons that there are so many different designs for this type of product is that it can have several different types of primary uses. Sure, there are some designs that enable the item to be used for a few different types of uses. These versatile designs can sometimes be a bit bulky compared to their counterparts though.

In fact, that is why I own several of these products - each serving a different unique purpose. And since you can find very budget-friendly options, it was really not a huge inconvenience for me to purchase multiple products.

First up, I have the travel bag that is not TSA checkpoint friendly. This means that if I take it to the airport, that I have to actually pull the computer out of the bag, which can be a real pain. This particular product is also quite bulky and does not easily fit under the seat in front of me on the plane. The result? I only use this one when traveling by car - it is my road trip bag.

My other travel bag is a TSA approved option that makes it easier for me to get through the security line in a quicker manner. This one is also a little more stiff, which gives the computer added protection when I put it up in the overhead bin. Sadly, it still does not easily fit in the area under the seat in front of me on the plane.

My 3rd travel bag is actually a Kelty hiking option that I take on planes when the trip is long and I am not taking the computer. But, I won't discuss that one here.

If I am heading out to the library or a local coffee shop to get a little work done on my own, then I use my slim design model. Why? Because I do not need a lot of space of excess items. All I need is the computer, the plug, my mouse and mouse pad and maybe a notebook or some papers. This one is not too big, light to wear over one shoulder and easy to keep up with in a crowded space.

For business or professional uses, I sometimes use that same slim designed option. Or I use just a bag with a smaller design in general. You know, one that still gives me a little room for more than just a notebook. And I, personally, try to stick with the designs that are made just for women as I have a kind of petite frame. So, if I get one of the unisex options, then it just does not sit right on me when I have it on both shoulders. That may not seem like a real big deal to some people, but it actually ends up giving me some crazy bad pain right above my bum and in the shoulders and neck region. And I like to try to avoid that if possible.

The only design for this type of product that I do not use regularly is one with wheels. I have used this type at various times in the past, but for my purposes it just does not really meet my needs most of the time. If I was having to carry around some heavy books for college classes, then I would definitely be making use of one like this on a pretty much daily basis. And maybe as I get older, I will make one of these my main travel choices since it really does reduce the stress that you get from carrying one through the airport concourse.

Search Amazon For More Great Products Right Now

Did you not like any of the products that I listed up above? If so, I still might be able to help you out. Just take a look below at some of the most popular options available right now on Amazon. You can even enter in your own search terms. And if you see something that you like or just want more information on, click on it to be take directly to the product page. Once there, you can read reviews, see more images, get complete product details and features or make the purchase.

Or, is your favorite option not even listed here? If not, add it to the list up above and leave me a comment to let me know. I just might want to get it for myself!

Do You Have A Fave Choice From Above?

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    • mytopbestreviews profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @cwilson360: Glad I can help. If you get a JanSport or one of the others with a lifetime warranty, you won't have to worry about buying another one in the future :)

    • cwilson360 profile image


      5 years ago

      I've had the same backpack for probably 6 years and it finally broke so I will definitely be using this guide when choosing a new one! Thanks!

    • rking96 profile image

      Rick King 

      5 years ago from Charleston, SC

      I will be in the market for buying a laptop backpack for business travel soon. I will keep this lens in mind. Thanks!

    • msnz profile image


      5 years ago

      Loved that hurley juniors one... Very sober and elegant

    • DarkSpotsSolution profile image


      5 years ago

      The HP ultramobile is a must have for all those who travel everywhere with their laptops!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      So many selection of laptop bags to choose from.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great choice of laptop computer backpacks =)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I don't have a backpack for my laptop, thanks for the ideas you gave!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Nice selection. Great gift ideas!

    • mytopbestreviews profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @anonymous: thanks!

    • mytopbestreviews profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @anonymous: thanks!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I don't have laptop backpack, this is great lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice selection of laptop backpacks :) Awesome lens.

    • Jan 1980 profile image

      Jan 1980 

      6 years ago

      No, I don't have but I'm going to buy it.


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