How do I Choose the Best Laptop Sleeve?

Dan Cavallari

Buying a laptop can cost you a large chunk of cash these days, and just like any other large purchase you make, it is wise to protect your investment. Choosing a good laptop sleeve will protect your computer from scratches and abrasions, as well as water damage and other dangers harmful to your computer. From soft, neoprene cases to hardshell, locking cases, the array of various laptop protection options seems endless. But for a lightweight, simple form of protection, try a neoprene sleeve.

Laptop sleeves may help protect the computer from water damage.
Laptop sleeves may help protect the computer from water damage.

A laptop sleeve should fit snugly around your laptop, and the neoprene variety stretch to do just that. Others may not stretch, but they may be designed to fit your laptop specifically. Most sleeves come in different sizes to accommodate the many different sizes of laptop, so be sure to choose the one most appropriate for your particular computer. By choosing the correct size of sleeve, you will prevent the laptop from moving around too much within the sleeve, thereby preventing excess moving that can lead to scratching.

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.

Be sure to choose a laptop that includes a secure enclosure method, such as a Velcro® flap or zipper. These security methods keep the laptop from sliding out of the laptop sleeve, thereby exposing the laptop to damage. Further, choose a sleeve that is thin enough to fit inside a bag, but thick enough to protect the laptop from minor impacts and scratches. Neoprene is a good option to accomplish this, and it is also extremely resilient--guaranteeing you good value and years of use.

Other good options for a safe, secure laptop sleeve is a padded cell sleeve. This design is often made from a tough, flexible outer material like cordura or nylon. The inside of the sleeve is lined with closed-cell foam that not only keeps the laptop from sliding or moving, but also protects it from dings, scratches, water, and other harmful external forces. If you buy a padded cell sleeve, be sure to inspect any seams for strong stitching that will not come apart after repeated use.

Some varieties of laptop sleeve are made from other, more expensive materials such as leather. While these sleeves may be just as effective as other sleeves, they tend to be somewhat cost-prohibitive. Also, a laptop sleeve may come with external pockets that are useful for stowing cables, flash drives, or disks. These pockets can be extremely convenient, but be sure to inspect all seams to ensure the pocket will not rip off or loosen after time.

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Discussion Comments


I am currently looking around and preparing to buy a laptop sleeve, and what amazes me most is the sheer number of companies which are trying to sell you sleeves "specifically made" for your model of computer, but which are almost completely identical to so many other brands of laptop sleeve. It seems the most important thing is to make sure you buy a laptop sleeve that fits your computer's size, is actually resistant to damage to some extent, and looks nice; beyond that, I think they are generally much more similar to one another than companies let on that they are.


When I first got a laptop before beginning college 5 years ago, almost no one had laptop computer sleeves for their laptops. Now, though, it has become commonplace. While I think it is certainly a good idea, it's interesting to see just how much laptop use and care has changed and developed in so short a time.

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