Buying Guide for Computer Bags
Why buy a computer bag?
The simplest answer is protection. For most of us, we spend a pretty penny when we buy a laptop or tablet. The last thing you want is for it to get dinged or permanently damaged. A good computer bag will offer shock protection for your tech’s more delicate interior components. These days you can find TSA-friendly options and others that look more like fashion accessories than protective gear.
What should you consider when shopping for a computer bag?
- Materials: You’ll most likely choose between fabric or leather (including both genuine and faux versions). Both are usually fairly sturdy, but you’ll want to look for features such as reinforced stitching or durable zippers that are meant to take a bit more punishment.
- Cushioning: Regardless of the material, you should pick a computer bag with adequate cushioning. Some manufacturers will even offer shock protection, meaning that if you drop the bag, your laptop or tablet is protected from damage that could be inflicted in the fall.
- Water Resistance: This is an important feature that everyone should prioritize. While you might not have plans to hang around bodies of water with your computer bag, that doesn’t mean you couldn’t get caught outside in a sudden downpour. Water resistance ensures that water won’t seep into your bag and potentially damage your computer.
- Design: Once, computer bags were generally limited to traditional crossbody messenger bags. But these days, you can find computer bags that look like purses or can double as backpacks. Consider what’s most important to you when determining this factor.
What are some additional features to look for in a computer bag?
You will likely be carrying around more than just a laptop or tablet with you. So, consider if your desired computer bag comes with additional storage. If there is extra storage, where is it located? While not necessary, different features like a charging cord port or a TSA-friendly lay-flat design might all be value-added options that can make a bag a more attractive option.
Our Picks for the Best Computer Bags
Pros: For those who dislike utilitarian-style accessories, you’ll appreciate this fashion-forward alternative to the classic briefcase design. This laptop bag is made from vegan leather and is ideal for smaller computers that measure no more than 14 inches. It can also be used to hold tablets and has additional interior storage for accessories like a computer mouse, papers, notebooks, and more.
Cons: This won’t work because of the smaller dimensions if you have a larger laptop or tablet. However, more concerning is that the strap clamps may break prematurely, meaning you couldn’t wear this as a crossbody and would have to hold it by the top strap.
Bottom Line: Style and function combine in this fashion-forward laptop bag made from vegan leather. While it’s ideal for smaller laptops, you’ll appreciate the low-profile design that will work in most settings.
Pros: Water protection is critical when carting electronics around with you. This waterproof messenger bag that features a vintage-inspired design is the perfect solution. Along with being made from genuine leather, it’s ideal for laptops up to 15 inches. Additionally, you’ll get plenty of extra storage with nine pockets—five outer and four interior. The adjustable shoulder strap allows you to wear this as a crossbody.
Cons: The magnets that secure the belt straps could fail over time. Additionally, some people found that the zippers would stick.
Bottom Line: If you want something vintage-inspired but designed with enhanced protection for today’s tech gear, this pick made from genuine leather is a solid option. It can be worn as a crossbody with waterproof assurance and plenty of interior storage.
Pros: If you’ve just gotten your child their first laptop, it only makes sense to protect that investment with a laptop case. While the more robust options in our guide might not make sense for a kid heading to school, this simple fabric sleeve design is a classic choice that will easily fit inside a backpack. Available in a wide range of designs to fit your child’s personality, you’ll also like that this pick will work with laptops up to 15.6 inches.
Cons: While functional, you might find that this doesn’t offer enough additional features like storage and even a simple shoulder strap. Additionally, because of the designs, they might not make sense for adults who want to present a more-sophisticated image.
Bottom Line: Protect those tech investments for your kids with this simple laptop case. This is a solid option with waterproof protection and a capacity to fit laptops up to 15.6 inches.
Pros: If you want a carry-on that can do more than look pretty, this backpack from Matein is the right option. It has a built-in laptop sleeve that can accommodate laptops up to 17 inches (depending on the model you select) and even features a back strap that lets you nest it on rolling luggage. There’s even a built-in USB charger port so you can easily keep your tech gear powered while on the go.
Cons: Although this is a great travel laptop bag, it doesn’t offer the lay-flat TSA-approved design. So, you’ll still need to take your laptop completely out of your bag when going through security. This may feel more utilitarian than stylish.
Bottom Line: When you’ve got to hit the road or frequently need to have all your gear on you, this serious laptop backpack is a solid option, complete with a USB charging port, water resistance, and travel-friendly features.
Pros: If you’re not shopping on a strict budget, this distressed Nappa leather messenger bag is the perfect solution. While it’s designed to accommodate laptops up to 15.6 inches, it also has plenty of room for folders, documents, and more. Plus, you’ll get a sturdy detachable shoulder strap and external pockets.
Cons: Premium picks come with premium price tags, and the genuine Nappa buffalo leather content might make this pick out of reach for many people. Additionally, not everyone may be fans of the distressed leather look.
Bottom Line: If you want to treat yourself even when shopping for a functional work bag, you can’t go wrong with this Nappa leather crossbody laptop bag.
If you’re spending money on laptops, tablets, and notebooks, then it only makes sense that you should protect that investment with a durable computer bag. Regardless of aesthetics, make sure that you pick a waterproof bag that offers shock protection and provides adequate storage for any other items you might need to bring.