How do I Choose the Best Laptop Bag?

Ken Black

There are plenty of choices when it comes to choosing the best laptop bag. While some of those choices are obvious, such as the style of bag, many more may not be. Choosing wisely will not only ensure you have good protection for your notebook computer, but a functional piece of equipment for years to come.

It's best to choose a bag with space for peripherals, like a USB drive.
It's best to choose a bag with space for peripherals, like a USB drive.

Often, when buying a computer, the laptop bag is overlooked, but it is one of the most valuable computer accessories a computer owner can have. Most choose a notebook computer simply because they want to be able to transport it from place to place. Without a functional laptop bag, that becomes much more difficult. The bag not only protects the computer from dirt or damage, it can also be used to carry other laptop parts, such as spare batteries, a computer mouse and any portable storage devices you may have.

A laptop.
A laptop.

The first thing to consider when choosing the best laptop bag is what style of bag you may want. The most common styles are the briefcase and backpack. Each one has their own advantages as laptop bags. The briefcase gives a sense of professionalism but the backpack may be easier to carry much of the time.

A laptop bag should have both a computer sleeve along with several compartments. The sleeve helps keep the laptop from shifting too much in the bag. Further, the compartments are good for storage of other parts, documents and other items you may want to transport along with the computer. Keeping these in other sections of the bag will prevent them from rubbing up against the computer and scratching it.

Another thing to consider when buying a laptop bag is reinforced stitching and a solid bottom. These to things will help extend the life of your laptop bag, especially if it is the backpack style. Choosing a cheap bag without much reinforcement in these areas could significantly reduce the functional life of the bag. In some cases, it may just be a few months before a computer owner will be needing a new one. However, if made properly, laptop bags can last five or more years.

Materials also make a difference, especially in the briefcase style. Buying a nylon or cloth bag may be a cheaper option, but leather bags are generally made better and are able to stand up to use much better. Further, leather offers a natural barrier to water when transporting the computer through rain or snow.

It's important to know the exact size of a laptop before buying a bag for it.
It's important to know the exact size of a laptop before buying a bag for it.

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Discussion Comments


One of the best bags you can get is a rolling laptop bag. I like to travel and I have spent a lot of time looking at various ladies laptop bags and I ended up really happy with the rolling bag.

I have found that although my laptop isn't too heavy it does start to strain my arms if I have to carry it around an airport. Even a shoulder bag is too painful as it really strains my neck after a long walk. I think if you have to carry your laptop for any distance you really need to invest in a rolling bag. It is so much easier to handle.


@animegal - I really think that a stylish laptop bag can be just as safe as a plain laptop tote bag. There is no reason you really need to buy leather as all laptop bags offer padding. It is really just a matter of looking the product over and feeling confident with it.

Another thing you can do if you are worried about your laptop is purchase a padded sleeve. This will double the protection of your computer inside your laptop bag. The sleeves come in fabric and there are also plastic clip on versions that protect the shell of your computer from scratches. For myself I like both a bag and a sleeve.


Do you think it is best to invest in a leather laptop bag, or is a simple fabric fashionable laptop bag OK?

I recently got a new laptop that was quite expensive and really want to make sure it is protected from bumps and drops. I have heard that leather is one of the best materials to keep your electronics safe but it is also really pricey. Most of the leather laptop bags I have looked at cost well over $100 USD and I am not sure if I am willing to pay that much without good reason. I just don't want to regret choosing the wrong bag and having my computer damaged.

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