Solo Executive
Solo Executive
Solo Executive
Everki EKP119
Everki EKP119
Everki EKP119
Spigen SGP 10551
Spigen SGP 10551
Spigen SGP 10551
Samsonite Luggage Vizair
Samsonite Luggage Vizair
Samsonite Luggage Vizair
Mobile Edge Alienware Orion
Mobile Edge Alienware Orion M18x
Mobile Edge Alienware Orion M18x
Shes sleek and modern (with maybe a hint of vintage 80s style). Shes self-sufficient. At the office or the airport, she is...the Solo Executive. We think this is the most stylish pack on our list.If Mary Poppins had been toting a laptop instead of lamps and whatnot, this is the bag she would have used. Unzips completely flat for ease of packing, and multiple compartments open accordion-style.If youve ever been caught in a downpour and had to get home, towel off your laptop and pray it still works, then youll love the mega-waterproof durability of this backpack. 11 compartments inside!Ah, a Samsonite. Is there a more reassuring word in luggage? We like the airflow padding to keep our backs from getting kind of...gross...on the go. Made from durable materials in a choice of colors.This backpack is so huge, you could fit its ridiculously long name inside - or, more usefully, a laptop up to 18.4 inches. Frequent flyers love this because of the easy, TSA-friendly, lay-flat design.
While this pack has function as well as form, it isnt going to hold the biggest or heaviest laptops out there, and doesnt have the same organisation-tastic array of compartments of some other packs.We like the look of this pack - its tough, yet slick, with a bright inside that makes it easy to find your stuff - so its disappointing to hear from one or two users that the outside marks easily.This isnt the most attractive pack on our list. Whats more, we do feel a bit like the rectangular shape kinda screams "Hey! Hey! Im carrying a laptop!", which might worry the more nervous traveler.This will only hold a laptop up to 15.6 inches - and that just barely, according to some users - so its not for you if you have a behemoth of a gaming laptop. Be careful not to overload the bag, too.Alas, with the lower price of this backpack comes a bit of a compromise on quality: the zippers are plastic (not as durable as metal zippers) and some users have reported the stitching coming loose.
Made from quality leather, with an attractive interior padded to protect your laptop: this is the only backpack in our top 5 that wed happily take to the bar after work while feeling safe from both thieves and the fashion police.
This pack combines many of the features of other models weve listed here - its TSA-friendly, with airflow channels and an intelligently designed system of straps - at a consistently affordable price. We love the bright interior.We like the fabric this backpack is made of: it keeps our stuff safe and dry and its comfy on our shoulders. Were just not so sure about the shape. Great to fit under a seat, but not so subtle about its contents. Its your call.As with a lot of backpacks this is a usable, durable product as long as you dont try to put absolutely everything you own inside it: stick to a smaller laptop and your school or work supplies, and it should last you just fine.We love the size, the design - including the handy headphone outlet slot - and the lifetime warranty. Comparatively speaking, we love the price, too: but were not sure if its enough of a budget bag to justify the quality issues.
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What You Need To Know Before You Buy

Whats In Your Laptop Backpack?

Were not gonna lie, we are total suckers for seeing what other people have in their bags. Whethers its a ladys purse, a strangers shopping cart in the supermarket, or a kids schoolbag, we love it when people volunteer to show us what it is theyre carrying around all day. Its a great way to pick up life hacks.

So we leaped at the chance to watch this Whats In My Tech Bag video from the awesomely named Techfast Lunch & Dinner. Disappointingly its a bit less of a so, youre probably wondering why I carry a roll of scrunchies/this deflated travel pillow/a single shrink-wrapped Q-tip quirky video, and more of a check out all the awesome stuff I own! Hey, since you now know exactly how I dress and what my backpack looks like, why not rob me in the street and get all this cool gear? Dont forget my tablet – here, Ill show you the secret compartment I keep it in! braggy video. But it still gives you a few useful tips about what to look for in a backpack (multiple compartments are your friend!), and products that will help you pack light (ooh, retractable USB cable).

Bonus: enjoy the hand gestures of the guy presenting this video – we found them weirdly reminiscent of dancing Muppets.

Extra bonus at 4.44: the presenter seems to think that his viewers will get a kick out of being slapped in the face.

You’ve Been Wearing Backpacks Wrong Your Whole Life (Maybe)

The bag-carrying advice in this video starts out a little obvious – if youre carrying two bags, maybe put them in separate hands; if youre wearing a backpack, its better to put it on both shoulders – although we do like the little diagrams demonstrating how Anna, the videos backpack model, has her shoulders and spine thrown off-balance while she is carrying her stuff the wrong way. This gets more useful once Anna has the backpack on both shoulders and you can really see the difference it makes to the shape of her back when she adjusts the pack (illustrated with weird sound effects…you can tell they had a little fun making this video, and isnt that the main thing?) so its weight is spread more evenly around her body.

As well as Anna, who apparently travels a lot (disappointingly, we do not learn whether that large-looking tattoo on her back is something she picked up on her travels), this video features Dr. Ludwig. Dr. Ludwig is the largely unseen presenter-cum-expert-in-ergonomics, who looks, again disappointingly, not like a vampire, but more like a supporting, short-lived character from Breaking Bad (seriously, check out his headshot right at the end of the video. You know Jesse would have shot this guy and then been torn up about it for like a season). He also clearly thinks himself quite a hoot: check out 0:20-0:30 for the first example of his mighty wit, accompanied for some reason by a soundtrack of outraged children, plus some self-deprecating commentary at 1:29.

The final portion of this video is about safe backpack use for kids. Did you know your childs backpack should not weigh more than 15% of your child? We did not know that, which probably explains why we spent so much of our childhoods toppling over backwards and lying on the ground like upturned tortoises. We also very much like the dudes rocking kids backpacks to ergonomic perfection from 3:33-3:55. Seriously. Our new fashion icons, right there.

Solo Executive

Our Top Pick

“Shes sleek and modern (with maybe a hint of vintage 80s style). Shes self-sufficient. At the office or the airport, she is…the Solo Executive. We think this is the most stylish pack on our list.”

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Ezvid Wiki’s Top 10 Laptop Backpacks

Check out this video for a closer look at the laptop backpacks on our top 5 list above, plus another bonus 5 that might interest you. If youre after a TSA-friendly backpack and youre also concerned about having to lug it around for a long time, then the Swiss Gear Unisex SA1758, at #6, is another good option for travelers: its incredibly lightweight (less than 3lb when empty) and has a lay-flat design.

At #9, the Victoriatourist V6022 is another great choice for serious travelers and/or photographers, with not only a removable, dedicated compartment for your SLR camera – something a little different that many bags dont offer – but a rain cover too.

If looks are a big factor for you when choosing a laptop backpack – and hey, were not judging, youre the one toting this thing around on your back all day – but you dont fancy the 80s leather look of the Solo Executive, then you might be interested in checking out #8. This Swiss-Army-style backpack is the hipsters choice: we can totally see pairing the VOCHIC Retro Laptop Backpack with a duffel coat and over-sized eye-glasses. We also like the Case Logic DLBP-114s scratch-resistant pocket for your sunglasses, a nice extra touch, at #10 on this list.

Let’s Get Technical: Explore In-Depth

How Do I Choose The Right Laptop Backpack For Me?

Backpack
Backpack

What questions do you need to ask yourself before you make room for a new laptop backpack in your life?

How big is your laptop?

This is the most basic question – you need a backpack big enough to fit your laptop comfortably inside. And comfortably is the word – just because youve got a laptop doesnt mean you should necessarily disregard a bag big enough to contain a , particularly if youre planning to keep the rest of your life in the same bag. More room = less strain on the zips = a longer-lasting backpack.

Where are you and your laptop going?

Youll have noticed by now that a lot of laptop backpacks promise to appease the TSA, with a lay-flat design that allows your bag to slide on through the X-ray machine while displaying your precious, definitely-not-a-bomb, maam-please-do-not-make-jokes-about-bombs-within-the-security-area, hardware for all to see. This is hella useful, but only if youre genuinely going to need it. Dont be swayed into spending extra on a feature that might be useful, maybe, if I take that vacation next year, if for some reason I decide I need to take my laptop with me… Nah. If youre a frequent business flyer or you need to fly home from college every vacation, you need this. If not, probably not.

Similarly, if youre going to be traveling-traveling – you know, if theres going to be a lot of lifting this pack in and out of luggage racks, and maybe hiking – then you might want to consider a pack that is especially lightweight, and/or well-padded to protect your stuff, and/or has air-flow panels to stop your back getting nasty and sweaty. A reliably waterproof pack might be in order if you’re going camping. (It would never occur to us to take our laptop camping, but…to be honest, it would never occur to us to go camping, so what do we know?)

How much other stuff are you going to cram in there? And what stuff?

Again, be honest with yourself. Is this backpack really just going to be for your laptop, or is everything else you own going to end up in there too? If youre someone who generally carries a purse, is all of that stuff – wallet, cosmetics, tissues, gum, copy of that Marie Kondo book youre sure is going to change your life – going to end up in your backpack too? Do you need a little pocket for your smartphone, or is that unnecessary because your smartphone lives in your hand?

Then, think specifics. If youre transporting your tablet as well as your laptop, you might benefit from a backpack with a designated tablet pocket. And maybe cast your mind back to the previous question to think about the purpose of the trips you and your laptop are taking together: will you need somewhere to put a water bottle within easy reach? Sunglasses? A camera? Some of the backpacks on our list are designed to help you carry that stuff safely.

How disorganized are you – really?

Do bus drivers hate it when they see you waiting at their stop? Is it because youre going to spend the entire journey rooting in the darkness of your bag for your change or your travel card, which you know is there somewhere, but you dont know whether its under your lunch or between the pages of your notebook or stuck to the bottom of that pack of glowsticks you bought for some reason? If so – especially if youre going on a long trip – you might benefit from a backpack with neat organisational features, like the eleven compartments in the Spigen SGP 10551 (eleven! If you dont know where your stuff is with eleven compartments, there is no hope for you), or the accordion-style compartments and bright orange interior of the Everki EKP119.

Does it look good?

In some ways this is the least important factor in choosing a backpack, but face it – if you carry something around on your back all the time, that something is making a statement about you, whether you like it or not. You might be content to go for form over function and let your backpack say whatever it wants – as long as its not “hey, check me out: Im carrying an expensive laptop” (which is why we prefer backpacks with a more subtle, rounded shape) – but if you do want to pick something a little more stylish, be sure you don’t sacrifice the durability of your pack.

Mobile Edge Alienware Orion M18x

The Best Inexpensive Option

“This backpack is so huge, you could fit its ridiculously long name inside – or, more usefully, a laptop up to 18.4 inches. Frequent flyers love this because of the easy, TSA-friendly, lay-flat design.”

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What Makes A Laptop Backpack TSA-Friendly?

TSA
TSA

Back in 2008, the Transportation Security Administration shocked travelers everywhere by revealing that they dont ask you to remove your laptop from your bag just because they get a kick out of wasting your time – or even because theyre hoping that youll accidentally leave your computer behind.

Nope – apparently, all they want is a clear and unobstructed image of the laptop as it goes through their X-ray machine. And eight years ago they began encouraging manufacturers to produce bags that meet their criteria – that is, bags that have:

  • a designated laptop-only section that you can lay flat on the X-ray belt
  • no metal snaps, zippers or buckles inside, underneath or on-top of the laptop-only section
  • no pockets on the inside or outside of the laptop-only section.

Back then, almost no backpacks met these criteria – see this Lifehacker article, which basically tells you not to bother with a backpack for your laptop at all – but over the past eight years more and more backpacks have been designed to open fully and lay flat.

If youve purchased a laptop backpack that promises to do all of the above, here are some more things you need to remember:

  • do not pack anything in the laptop compartment other than the laptop
  • when youre at the checkpoint, unfold your backpack completely so that there is nothing above or below the laptop-only section, allowing the bag to lie flat on the X-ray belt
  • no backpack manufacturer can guarantee that the TSA is not going to ask you to remove your laptop anyway, or undergo additional screening once the backpack has been X-rayed. (Theyre the TSA, man. They do what they want)
  • different countries have different security procedures, and these guidelines are for the TSA only – dont get pissy with security staff elsewhere if they ask you to remove your laptop from your bag.

Lets See How Much You Know About The History of Backpacks

Backpack
Backpack

According to Wikipedia, the first backpacks – way back in ancient times – were made of animal skin, sewn together with woven animal intestines, used to carry more bits of animal: the meat that needed to be carried home from a hunt. We love the idea of prehistoric kids opening up their backpacks at lunchtime. “Whatd you get?” “Mammoth, again…”Over the centuries, as we evolved to be a little less hunty and a little more fighty (thats right, were all anthropological experts here), backpacks were mainly used in the military. But in the 20th century, as Americans became more and more interested in outdoor pursuits like hiking and camping, backpacks began to develop.

Gerry Cunningham of Gerry Outdoors is credited with designing the first zippered backpack, in 1938, for use in rock-climbing. In the 1960s the same company began to make backpacks from lightweight, durable nylon rather than from canvas.

In the 1960s and 70s, college students began buying these outdoor backpacks to carry their textbooks and keep them dry, and through the 70s and 80s bag manufacturers began to design backpacks especially for books – check out this npr article on the evolution of the school backpack.

Laptops, meanwhile, had been around since the 1980s, but during the 90s and 00s became more available for individual consumers, leading to the emergence of specific laptop bags – including backpacks – with padded interiors and pockets for cables. In 2008, as we illustrated above, many manufacturers began to adapt their laptop backpacks to meet TSA guidelines for security screening.

The Best High-End Laptop Backpack

“Ah, a Samsonite. Is there a more reassuring word in luggage? We like the airflow padding to keep our backs from getting kind of…gross…on the go. Made from durable materials in a choice of colors.”

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