Best Laptop Backpacks For The Digital Nomad

When looking to purchase a new laptop bag or backpack, it is easy to find yourself overwhelmed with the sheer number of options and styles out there to choose from. This wide range of pack diversity can make you have to spend more time picking out your new bag than your actual laptop.

In order to find the best laptop backpack, the options simply need to be narrowed down. If you are in this position, consider this list as a cheat sheet to finding out more about what your personal or professional needs are from this bag, thus allowing you to make a more educated investment.

New bags are being tested all the time, so fear not if this list doesn’t seem as comprehensive as you would like. However, all the major categories are covered – whether you are looking for a simple over the shoulder style that is ideal for professional meetings, a daily commute type, or one that is designed for school and campus life, you will be able to find it here.

COMPARISON TABLE

Product Name

IMAGE

RATINGS

Price

Price:
$160

Weight:

2 lbs.

Tear Resistance:

Yes

Weatherproof:

Yes

Price:
$130

Weight:

1 lbs.

Tear Resistance:

Yes

Weatherproof:

Yes

Price:
$15

Weight:

1 lbs.

Tear Resistance:

No

Weatherproof:

No

Price:
$80

Weight:

3 lbs.

Tear Resistance:

No

Weatherproof:

Yes

Price:
$40

Weight:

2 lbs.

Tear Resistance:

No

Weatherproof:

Yes

Timbuk2 The Closer Case

As a reliable company known for producing messenger bags for nearly anyone, The Closer Case is making strides on its own as the ideal commuter bag for those who move around a lot day by day.

Pros

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    Weatherproof
    Constructed with a coated fabric, this item does a great job at keeping the elements out. This means that a surprise rain shower on your way to class or the subway will be of no concern to you, and you can continue on your merry way instead of immediately running to find shelter to protect your valuable electronic devices.
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    Storage Friendly
    One side features a pocket made of neoprene that can an umbrella or a water bottle, and you will find other small zippers and pockets around the interior and exterior of this product. The interior pockets allow for easy cell phone and key storage, with both zipper options and open pockets available. You can also fit a packed lunch, a book, and possibly a lightweight jacket, but keep in mind that this main compartment area can fill up pretty fast.
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    Convenient
    The laptop compartment within this product is a separate section on its own in the back. You’ll appreciate the convenience of this when you need to quickly access your laptop and don’t want to spend crucial minutes digging around the main compartment to free it from the other miscellaneous items floating around in there.

Cons

  • Small in Size
    The various compartments tend to fill up rather quickly, and the overall size of the different aspects of this item run a little small. For example, a water bottle smaller than a 14 oz canister will probably be needed in order to fit into the water bottle pocket.
  • Lacks Sturdier Protection
    While the thin, sleek style is great for using around town and with your daily commute and activities, it lacks a level of padded protection that other items do have.

Final Thoughts: This bag is perfect for being used around town as a daily commute bag, allowing you to easily organize and comfortably transport everything you could need that day. Get this laptop bag here!

However, those looking for a sturdier travel bag may need to keep reading.

North St. Weekender Meeting Bag

This one-of-a-kind bag is made to order right in Portland, Oregon. This particular design is unique as it can be used either on its own or as an external expansion to the Weekender Travel Series full-sized backpack.

Pros

  • Tear Resistant
    Made out of both abrasion resistant and tear resistant materials (with weatherproof zippers to boot), this option really has all of its bases covered.
  • Lightweight
    Despite the heavy-duty nature of the construction, you will find that the bag itself is quite light on your shoulders. Of course, it can be weighed down pretty heavily with books or laptops and other personal items, but without fear of stretching or tearing the high-quality build.
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    Diverse
    Shoulder straps that are detachable can be stored in a back pocket of the item to allow for efficient transition from backpack to briefcase. This creates three easy ways to carry it: from the top handle, backpack or shoulder sling (depending on the straps), and as a part of the entire set when clipped to the Weekender Backpack.
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    Customizable
    Users will find a range of Velcro strips in this design that can be paired with removable organizer pockets, allowing the interior of the bag to be customized to suit the user’s individual needs on any occasion.

    The zippers also have the benefit of being able to go all the way down, allowing you to lay it flat to go through all the contents. Gone are the days of fumbling around a small, dark backpack while trying to get through airport security – simply lay this pack flat and send it through the scanner.

Cons

  • Price
    Coming in at around $130, this meeting bag is not the least expensive option available to the market. However, the entire Weekender Travel Series has been highly reviewed and is well worth it.
  • Size
    Unfortunately, only laptops and sketchbooks up to 15” will fit in this handy model, so those who have larger personal items may need to keep their options open. However, what this product lacks in size, it makes up for in possible add-ons and extensions.


Final Thoughts: This bag is perfect for being used around town as a daily commute bag, allowing you to easily organize and comfortably transport everything you could need that day. Get this laptop bag here!

However, those looking for a sturdier travel bag may need to keep reading.

AmazonBasics 15.6-Inch Laptop and Tablet Bag

Amazon is a well-known company that is clearly familiar with a person’s basic needs requiring laptop-carrying. Thousands of users have tried and loved this inexpensive product.

Pros

  • Price
    At only $15, this cost is hard to top. At this point, basically any quality level would be happily accepted. Fortunately, this AmazonBasics item does not disappoint. Despite the low price tag, you will find everything you need out of this product.
  • Essential Storage Space
    Using a simple design featuring three sections, this backpack includes a lightly padded back compartment for your laptop, a zippered pocket for your small miscellaneous items, and a few front drop pockets that are ideal for your cell phone and other accessories. Keep in mind that there isn’t room for much else after this.

Cons

  • No Frills
    Sometimes, the bells and whistles are nice. This product certainly does lack some of the luxuriousness of other items, but it can still handle all the basics quite well.
  • Less Protective
    The simplicity of the build also applies to the laptop compartment, as it is only lightly padded to keep the item as lightweight and as slim as possible.


Final Thoughts: If you don’t need much else out of a bag other than simple back and forth transportation, this is the bag for you. Keep in mind though that you still need to be quite careful picking this up and setting it down, especially if you spent upwards of a couple hundred dollars on your actual laptop. For a basic, straightforward laptop bag, get it on Amazon here!

Solo Elite Backpack

Finally, a big bag that manages to hold everything it needs to without getting overly bulky when full. The Solo Elite Backpack can fit laptops up to a slim 17.3-inch model in the designated zippered back compartment.

Pros

  • Lightweight Design
    For such a large bag that even has a separate laundry or shoe compartment, it weighs under 3 lbs. and won’t present as much of a burden on your back so long as you do not overload it.
  • Maximum Capacity
    Interior zippered pockets provide ample space for small miscellaneous items, and a convenient top pouch is easily accessible for keys and IDs. The shoe / laundry compartment is also incredibly helpful and opens the door to all kinds of other laptop travel capabilities. You will also find two side zipper pockets that are perfect for water or any other necessity.

Cons

  • Lacks Structure
    While the nylon shell feels nice and is aesthetically appealing, it does tend to lack structure and ends up caving in occasionally, leading it to become stuck within the zippers. However, what this backpack lacks in structure it makes up for in comfort and convenience.

Final Thoughts: As far as traveling bags go, it doesn’t get much better than the Solo Elite. While it may be a bit bulkier than the average commuter is looking for, this model is great for traveling or for carrying a spare change of clothes to the gym. Buy it here!

Mobile Edge SmartPack Backpack

With all these specialized bags out there, finding something to suit multiple tasks can be tricky. Looking for a product that can be used for almost anything? The sturdiness of the Mobile Edge Smartpack makes that possible at an affordable price.

Pros

  • Many Design Options
    This item is available in eight different colors, so no matter what type of color you prefer, you are sure to find one in your style with this product. This can’t be said all the time for other items – those of us who are pickier about their color options can appreciate the array of design options.
  • Comfortable
    The back panel as well as the shoulder straps of this item are thoroughly padded to aid the load placed on the user’s back and shoulders without adding too much bulk to the fit. Even when fully loaded, the top grab handle can be safely used without damaging the rest of the item’s structural integrity.
  • Inexpensive
    At only $40, this high-quality pack is a steal.

Cons

  • Basic
    While this product can hold all the essentials, even with zippered pockets on the front for smaller items like IDs and sunglasses, it is still a pretty basic design.

Final Thoughts: This item is ideal for those in need of a basic day-to-day commute bag, prioritizing simplicity and comfort over a more flashy, fashionable design. Buy this smartpack laptop bag here!


Laptop Backpack Buying Guide

As you can see from the diverse list above, there are many different options out there to choose from.

Why Invest in a New Case?

  • Protection

Any person who has ever owned a portable electronic device (such as a music player, cell phone, or tablet) can testify to how common bumps and scratches can occur on said devices, and how costly these damages can be. Normal wear-and-tear is to be expected, but many scrapes and scruffs can be avoided by simply adding an element of protection to your laptop with a backpack.

  • Stylish

Your laptop carrying case is an accessory all on its own, so many people choose to make a statement this way by selecting a boldly designed case.

  • Affordable

When dealing with something as costly and personal to you as your laptop, properly protecting it and accessorizing is completely worth the small fee (by comparison) of this purchase.

What to Consider with Bag Build

  • Sleeves

Probably the most basic build available, these will simply cover your laptop and nothing more. These are best for those who do not require much protection for their laptop or if they simply do not transport their electronics very often.

  • Briefcase Style

This style is used to carry the bag by the handles, although some also come with a strap to do a cross-body carrying method, which has the benefit of being hands-free. These tend to look more traditionally professional.

  • Messenger

Messenger bags use an ergonomic cross-body carrying method. However, when the bag is heavily loaded, it can create an unbalance strain on one shoulder.

  • Backpack

Backpacks tend to have a larger carrying compacity and overall are more comfortable to carry than messenger bags, but to each their own.

  • Style

Whether you are looking for a casual floral bag or a sleek, professional laptop carrying briefcase, your perfect design is out there.

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