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Laptop Bags

Updated on November 17, 2010

What's all the fuss about laptop bags? Although they may seem to be just another gimmick to get a few extra dimes from the new laptop owner, they aren't. A laptop gets moved around; it's portable. Its very nature puts it at risk. Whether it's on your shoulder or on the back seat of your car, it gets taken for a ride with you. It can fall. It can be smashed. It can be bumped. None of these things are good for a computer. Due to these risks, a laptop needs a little extra protection.

A good laptop bag minimizes the effects of those ordinary bumps, jostles and drops that may occur during its lifetime. Of course, even the best laptop bag in the world won't be able to save your laptop if you drop it on the tracks in front of a passing “bullet” train. Even if you got a free laptop it is still valuable to you, it's still important to your daily life. A laptop should be protected. You may wondering why you can't just slap a sleeve on it and toss it any old bag. Why do you need a “laptop” bag? The sleeve will only really protect it against scratches.

Modern Belkin Laptop Bags
Modern Belkin Laptop Bags

Laptop bags provide extra padding and holds your laptop securely in place. They protect your laptop against the bumps and bouncing that a protector sleeve can't. Although the first generation of laptop bags was rather generic looking, you will find an endless array of bags, totes, briefcases, and backpacks in a wide variety of styles and designs today. A laptop bag is more than a bag for your laptop. It's a bag designed around your life. Or it should be if you've done your homework.

A pink laptop bag
A pink laptop bag

Buying Laptop Bags: Things To Consider

When thinking about going out to buy laptop bags, there are a few things to keep in mind. How much “other” stuff will you be carrying around? It has to be built to meet the demands of your everyday life. This will include what you bring or how often you travel. Another thing to consider also is the ease the bags rests on your shoulders.

Most people take at least the AC power adapter. Many more take everything from a mouse to speakers to printers. Students or business gurus may need to cart around extra books and reports. Travelers may want to fit in camera equipment, travel guides, maps, an extra set of clothes or a jacket, anything they are not comfortable leaving back at the hostel or hotel. Some may see it as a catch-all for wallets, keys, cell phones, mp3 players, pens, pencils, hairbrushes, make-up kits, or you name it. It really depends on you. If you are the type of person who likes to have everything with them in case the happen to need it, for example the latest and best noise cancelling headphones for a plane or train ride, or even an extra laptop battery, you'll want to make sure your laptop bag or laptop case has plenty of space. If you will be carrying a lot of things around, you will want a laptop bag with an equal number of little pockets to keep your stuff organized.

It's also very aesthetic, but you should also consider the color, style, and "feel" of your laptop bag. Does it represent who you are? Some may be interested in pink laptop bags if they want to express their girly and chique side. A pink laptop bag on your desk would go great next to your pink office supplies. If you aren't one for all things girly, consider other stylish laptop bags like designer laptop bags or leather laptop bags. A leather bag would be great for business needs. Aesthetics may not be your number one concern if you're a frequent traveler - if so, you may want to check out a TSA approved laptop bag which can help cut down time at checkpoints.

Two of the ultimate rolling laptop bags
Two of the ultimate rolling laptop bags

Your laptop bags main function is to protect your precious laptop. However, how you travel has an impact on how well the bag can do its job. The bag of a cyclist or subway commuter should be more sturdy than that of the carpool commuter. If your bag is likely to be bouncing around and bumping into things or people on its daily journey, it needs to be made of thicker materials and have extra padding. Reinforced corners may be a plus. If your laptop will be driven and then walked into the office each day, this isn't such a priority unless you are prone to dropping things in which case you may want to get that extra solid bag. For those needing ruggedness, a hard shell backpack or briefcase is an option. If this seems a bit extreme, there are plenty of very sturdy soft shell backpacks or briefcases around. Solid laptop bags are a good choice for casual commuter or student. Airline travelers (especially those with international destinations) may want to consider TSA approved laptop bags which shortens your trip through security. These laptop bags have a separate compartment with a clear view of the laptop. They open wide and lays flat so that you don't have to remove your laptop for security to do their inspection. Standard hard shell Back packs may be priced around $80 to $150 depending on the kinds available.

The usual cost of a laptop bag is around $30 to $40. This is the ordinary type of bags and can be used for the usual every day travel. Specially made laptop bags, like those for travelling or have been personalized, may cost around $50 and above. These are worth saving for and buying as they tend to last longer. You will feel the difference in the padding and see the detail in the product. These can be bought online or from select stores. High end laptop bags can reach as high as $350, these are more than just ordinary laptop bags, they come with rollers and even have enough room for a day’s worth of clothes to fit in.

You can easily find something that suits your needs and your wants. There are briefbag laptop bags, rolling laptop bags, top loading bags, backpack style, messenger laptop bags, and even bags designed specifically for a man or woman, providing an air of masculinity or a delicate mix of savvy yet lovely.

Designer Laptop Bags?

That's right! Many designers and manufacturers offer designer laptop bags and designer laptop cases or sleeves. From brands like Columbia to designers and names like Ed Hardy, Knomo Cholet, Tote Couture, Clark and Mayfield, and more, you can easily buy a designer laptop bag just about anywhere online.

How much does a designer laptop bag cost? For genuine designer laptop bags you could expect to pay up to the thousands. However, some sites offer ed hardy laptop bags for as low as $40, while Knomo Cholet 17" Laptop totes can run as high as $200 or so. You can expect these pricing trends to continue: Tote Couture bags cost about $40 as well; Mango Tango sells faux suede and faux croc laptop bags for about $50.

If you are looking to move around in style with your laptop you can be sure to make an impression with a designer or "big name" laptop bag - and they won't make a huge dent in your budget either.

A Kenneth Cole Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag (Black Leather)
A Kenneth Cole Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag (Black Leather)

Flying on Business? Consider A Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag

Checkpoint friendly laptop bags can save someone a ton of hassle if they fly a lot or are planning a big trip with lots of connecting flights. A laptop is often an essential thing to take with you while flying, as laptops provide good entertainment during the flight and are also sometimes necessary to work out of the office as well as keep in touch with friends and family.

In today's airport security lines, taking your laptop out and having security go through it can be time consuming and can be a hassle. However, if you have a laptop bag that passes TSA regulations you won't have to take your laptop out and put it in the bin during a security check - you can leave it right inside the laptop bag.

In order to officially meet the criteria of a checkpoint friendly laptop bag, it must first have a special laptop only section, meaning no other cords or accessories in this section. Secondly, this section should be able to unzip and unfold, and lay flat on the xray belt. If the laptop bag has any kind of metal in this laptop-only compartment then it won't meet the criteria. Lastly, there can't be any kind of pockets or subsections and there can't be anything in that section besides your laptop.

So where can you buy checkpoint friendly laptop bags and how much do they cost?

Most checkpoint or airport friendly laptop bags cost between $40 to as much as $100-$200 depending on what features and what materials you get. The Sharper Image sells a great looking 17" travel laptop case that is checkpoint friendly, while Heys USA has a "ballisticase" model that is a rolling model. Since this one is rolling, it is substantially costlier - about $170 for this laptop bag.

Another popular checkpoint friendly laptop bag is the Kenneth Cole laptop bag, which retails for $129.95. This one can hold laptops with a 17 inch screen and is made from quality leather - so you know it's durable and looks great.

If you have a 17-inch laptop: 17" Laptop Bags

If you have a 17-inch laptop, chances are that most laptop bags won't fit your model. For 17-inch laptops and bigger, or those with uniquely different wide-screen displays, your best bet would be to shop for a 17-inch laptop bag. These will be able to comfortably fit a laptop of that size, and should undoubtedly welcome any kind of accessories you have like a charger, mouse, etc.

There are as many laptop bag designs that can cater to most tastes. There are the generic bags that can cost from $20 to around $60 and then there are the more elegantly designed women’s 17 inch laptop bags. These are a lot expensive compared to the ordinary ones and prices can range from $80 to around $120. They are made of leather and will look like a ladies shoulder bag.

A laptop bag with rollers is the best choice for those who travel a lot. It is able to house more than just the laptop and its accessories. Other things like portfolios or documents can be neatly piled on to the many compartments. The rollers will make travelling along with it easy as you do not have to constantly lug it around on your back. The trauma from carrying it and putting it down will certainly spell disaster for your LCD screen. While rolling will only rock it a little and no damage is made. A 17” inch laptop will definitely need a 17 laptop bag. Do not even try to fit it into a smaller bag as this might break the casing of your laptop.

Top 5 Laptop Computer Bag Brands on

Upon last check, the top 5 laptop bag brands as determined by the best selling laptop cases bags on Amazon were:

1. Targus

2. Belkin Laptop Bag

3. HP Mini Notebook Sleeve

4. Logitech

5. Sony Laptop Bags

Trendy JCrew Leather Laptop Bag
Trendy JCrew Leather Laptop Bag

Comfort and Style When Shopping For Laptop Bags

Laptop bags, backpacks, briefcases and totes come in a huge selection of styles, designs and colors. Even with this huge selection, there are a number of companies and individuals offering custom designed bags. With these options, you can choose not only the features of your bag but the fabric along with the pattern or design that appeal to you. The style and colors you choose should be a reflection of you. If someone likes pink laptops they could even get a pink colored laptop bag to go with it. However, your love for pink or possibly even bright neon orange might not be so appreciated in your very traditional and conservative corporate office. And a pink laptop bag will certainly raise eyebrows if you are a burly and bearded male adult. In this case, you might, as others have done, purchase two laptop bags: one for the office and one for personal use.

Many laptop bags are made of the usual canvass and pads sown together. But, there those special ones that have been intricately handmade browse around online and you will find that there are many handmade pieces like those made by famous fashion designers which could cost more than your laptop! The belkin laptop bag comes in reasonable prices and along with the targus laptop bag, they offer an even wider variety of different styles to choose from. They offer laptop bags for women and men, for the sporty or the corporate type.

Comfort for many is a big deal. If you will carry your laptop around for long periods, this becomes apparent. Other types of bags may be ok for a while but if the straps are thin or improperly padded, you will find yourself tiring and sore. A briefcase without a shoulder strap can become cumbersome and heavy quite quickly. Distributing the weight equally across both shoulders, laptop backpacks have become popular, in part, because of their comfort. The messenger laptop bag has long been the standard of most laptop bags. The ease in which they are flung and sit on your shoulder will mean that you would have to pay careful attention on the strength of the strap.

Taking Care of Your Laptop Bag

A laptop bag should be cleaned after every travel. They can be washed according to the instructions given or written. Or you may just dust them off before storage. Just like ordinary bags, insects and dust mites might make it their home and will later crawl into your laptops’ many tiny crevices. This might short circuit your system and therefore defeating the purpose of getting a bag to protect your laptop.

If your bag does is not suitable to be washed with water, simply run a vacuum in its compartments to suck out all dust and creepy crawlies. It would be nice if you could air out your bag at least once a month if you use it every day.

A leather laptop bag will need some “moisturizing” in order for the leather not to lose its shine. If it dries out, the leather might crack and peel destroying the bag totally. You may want to use a colorless shoe polish and gently rub it in on the bag’s surface.

And the most important detail of all, laptop bags are meant to protect your laptop from impact. It is not designed to protect your computer from extreme weather like heat and cold. Though they are padded, fabrics are neither fireproof nor ice proof. Moisture will still seep in and cause unspeakable damage to your beloved possession!

In Conclusion...

There is much to consider when embarking on the quest to find the right laptop bags, but it is time well spent. Your laptop is an investment that needs protection from the daily risks of having a broken laptop, or having it being dropped, banged or bounced as it travels with you. It's always good to research something like laptop bags by reading articles and getting more information. There is a huge selection of bags (and information) so think of your needs and likes as you choose. Good luck!


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    • profile image


      10 years ago

      In my opinion, Targus is the best laptop bag. I'm using it for years.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • tommyur profile image


      10 years ago

      Love the Belkin laptop bags,! Are they made of neoprene like most sleeves?


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