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Best Laptop Backpacks for Travel in 2019

You could get away with any carrying case or backpack for a while, but if you’re packing a lot of stuff alongside your laptop and travel frequently, you should consider dedicated laptop backpacks that have reinforcement and lots of storage space.

Best Laptop Backpacks Reviewed

Everyone’s choices and needs are different, so its hard to choose a few great backpacks out of an entire sea of them. However, we can give our view of what our favorite backpacks are and what we like in them. We’ve handpicked five of them and given our verdicts on each one. Be sure to read our buyer’s guide at the end too for some insight on choosing the right laptop backpack for yourself.

Our Top Pick

Our Top Pick

SwissGear 1900 Scansmart

Lots of Storage and Great Design

The SwissGear 1900 Scansmart laptop backpack can fit in laptops as large as 17 inches. You can get this backpack TSA scan without having to unload everything in a bin. The laptop compartment is padded for extra protection and the bag itself is waterproof.

Our top pick is the SwissGear 1900 Scansmart because it is a laptop backpack that balances affordability, quality, space, and ease of use in a great manner.

Budget Pick

Budget Pick

Matein Travel

Flawless and Affordable

The Matein Travel backpack comes in two sizes: 15.6 inches and 17 inches. Regardless of which one you buy, you’ll have TSA scanning ability, lots of pockets including a hidden anti-theft pocket, and a water-resistant design.

For what you pay for the Matein Travel, you’re getting a simply phenomenal laptop backpack that outperforms even those twice as expensive.

SwissGear 1900 Scansmart

You might think it’s a strange name for a laptop backpack, but it’ll make sense once you realize you can send this bag for a TSA scan without having to unload your stuff in a bin. The SwissGear Scansmart has over 7,000 reviews on amazing, with 75% of them being 5-stars. That’s a testament to how good this laptop backpack is.

The laptop backpack includes a laptop compartment that unzips from the rest of the bag for quick access. It has a heavy-duty design with a waterproof black polyester exterior. The laptop compartment is also padded. You can carry laptops as large as 17 inches in this, and you’ll be able to cram in a tablet as well thanks to its separate compartment.

Pros

  • TSA scan friendly
  • Laptop compartment unzips separately for easy access
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Waterproof design

Cons

  • Zipper quality not on par with the rest of the backpack

Matein Travel

Affordable, minimalistic, and robust, the Matein Travel is a crowd favorite for how much it has to offer at such a low price. It earns out budget pick award for this very reason. You can get this laptop backpack in two sizes: 15.6 inches and 17 inches.

You get a dedicated laptop pocket and plenty of additional storage space with the backpack. There is also an embedded USB port on the backpack’s side area and a luggage strap to attach it to a carry-on. It has a water-resistant design, and the polyester used in it makes it very lightweight.

Pockets on this laptop are found everywhere for laptops, folders, tablets, and much more. There is also an anti-theft back pocket that sits against your lower back hidden in the back padding.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Minimalistic design
  • Integrated USB charging
  • Anti-theft hidden pocket

Cons

  • None, considering the price

Mobile Edge Core Gaming Backpack

If you’re a gamer who owns a massive gaming laptop, the Mobile Edge Core backpack is an excellent choice to carry around your bulky laptop.

Heck, your laptop doesn’t even have to be necessarily bulky for it to fit in this bad boy. Mobile Edge does design backpacks specifically for Alienware and Razer gaming laptops, but this laptop backpack can hold them and much more. It can hold up to 17.3-inch laptops. It is also TSA checkpoint friendly, so you won’t need to unload everything in a bin.

The backpack offers simply huge storage space. There are pockets and places to hold your headphones, USB cables, and even a keyboard alongside your laptop. There’s also a dedicated pocket for a large battery pack with a conduit to charge on the go.

Pros

  • Incredibly rugged
  • Comes in Velcro or molded front design
  • Huge storage space for computer peripherals and more
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Some gaming laptops won’t fit well

Incase Icon Backpack

Stylish, lots of room, and great construction quality make the Incase Icon Backpack an excellent choice for everyone. Its minimalistic, modern look makes it ideal for business-casual users. It has a professional look and enough room for everything you’ll need for work.

The backpack has a 17-liter volume and can hold most laptops up to 15.6 inches with ease. In addition, you can cram in multiple tablets, your lunch, and much more into this laptop backpack. All your electronics will fit into this carrier with ease. The backpack, however, isn’t waterproof and there isn’t much cushioning on the bottom of the laptop backpack.

Pros

  • Highly efficient use of capacity
  • Separate access for laptops and tablets
  • Great design
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • Not much cushioning on the bottom

The North Face Borealis

One of the coolest aspects of this laptop backpack is that it comes in an absolutely huge array of color and design options. No matter what your preferences are, you’re bound to find a color combination that suits your needs with The North Face Borealis.

This backpack can hold 15-inch laptops and a small tablet alongside one. It has a total volume of 28 liters, so it’s rather large – perhaps even larger than necessary. However, it has some great features.

The simple design works whether you’re a student or a traveler. It is very burly and durable and even comes with a water bottle pocket on the outside and organizational pockets both inside and out.

Pros

  • Lots of space
  • Huge color options
  • Great organization
  • Versatile design

Cons

  • Burly and large

Buyer’s Guide

    When looking for laptop backpacks, storage space is probably what you’ll first think of. It’s important to have a laptop compartment size that holds your laptop. Buying a bag that is too large or too small won’t keep the laptop secure, so it’s essential you buy a backpack that is large enough to accommodate the laptop and peripherals but not too large that everything shakes inside.

    Many laptop backpacks also come with a securing system that is made of adjustable Velcro straps or other material to secure smaller laptops than the compartment. You also want to consider storage space for any tablet you may have, chargers, cables and accessories, and textbooks or documents.

    Protection and padding are important as well. Laptops and electronics are fragile machines so they need to be as secure and padded as possible to prevent damage from impact. Padding or sheaths are commonly found in most decent laptop bags.

    The securing system is also very important, as is the suspension system. One overlooked aspect in laptop backpacks is the suspension below on the bottom of the bag. This is critical as your laptop shouldn’t have any impact when you place it on a solid table or ground.

    The pack should also be rigid enough to support being placed on the ground. You don’t want a backpack that collapses on itself when you place it on a hard surface. If you live in wet conditions, choosing a backpack that is waterproof should also be a consideration.

    Design includes aesthetics as well as comfort. It’s hard to judge aesthetics, as everyone’s taste is different, but comfort is certainly something you can look out for. The main reason to prefer laptop backpacks over any other type of carrying case is because of their even distribution of load across your back and shoulders.

    Additionally, the bag should also be made of great quality material. Good quality polyester, zippers, and pocket stitching will ensure the backpack lasts you a long time and you don’t have to shop for another for a good while.

    Why should I choose a laptop backpack over a laptop messenger bag?
    A laptop backpack offers more convenience than a messenger bag if you have to pack additional items like tablets, textbooks, documents, and more alongside your laptop. A backpack distributes the weight across your back and over two shoulders in a better way than a messenger bag. Laptop backpacks also often have more interior compartments and pockets to organize your things better.

    Are messenger bags bad for your back and shoulders?
    Messenger bags aren’t all that bad for your back and shoulder if you’re only carrying a lightweight laptop and a few other things. However, if you’re carrying books alongside a considerably heavy laptop, it can put additional strain on one side of your back, on a single shoulder, and your neck. For heavy loaders, we recommend laptop backpacks instead.

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