Pondering the best laptop bags, if you’re someone slinging your PC or Macbook Pro to and from your office (or between travel pitstops), might recall some dorky, puffy thing with too many zippers that you’ve spotted in business class. But if you don’t want your two thousand dollar laptop flapping around in your bookstore tote when you roll up to work, just want to make a better impression in a buttoned-up work environment, or are taking your tech overseas, there’s reason to invest in a dedicated laptop bag.
Laptop bags should, at the bare minimum, insulate your precious cargo from the potential dings of a commute, while also offering enough functionality in the way of additional storage for cords and chargers, plus multiple ways of carrying it as you sprint through the terminal or subway station.
And ideally they’re significantly less dated than the canvas messenger bags you’d see in a ’90s romcom, and less stuffy than the hardcore boxy briefcases you see on Wall Street—stylish even! Thankfully, there are plenty of tech trekkers (in briefcase, tote, shoulder bag, and backpack form) that pull double duty as sleek travel and work bags. Below, some of the best laptop bags that are lookers and workhorses—ones you’d be happy to be spotted with on your commute.
The Best Casual Commuter Laptop Bag
Filson’s rugged outdoor accessories—all in twill weaves, ripstop fabrics, and high-quality leather—are the kinds of heirlooms you your dad passes down to you. But you don’t have to be a dad yourself or an outdoorsman to cash in on the crunchy aesthetic of its industrial-strength, weatherproofed bags that only look better over time. Its briefcase, with room for a 15.6-inch laptop, is the perfect kind of low-key shoulder bag for commuting. It’s got the understated appeal of a grad school TA bag (but like, the cool TA), one that dresses up just as well with a tweed suit as it does paired with some Carhartts. It’s something a little off-the-beaten-path from all the stuffy leather satchels and dorky messenger bags you might see in the library if you’re actually headed for academia, or just hopping on the subway.
The Best Laptop Bag With Street Cred
Japan’s Porter-Yoshida & Co makes some of the sleekest travel bags out there, which have inspired a cult following thanks to collabs with the likes of Marni and Comme des Garcons. This blacked-out laptop bag has all the makings of a classic Porter bag: It’s totally unbranded, padded out with all the side pockets you could conceivably need for a day at your coworking space, and reinforced with puffy water-resistant nylon that makes it extra easy to wipe off after it’s been stuffed under the seat in front of you or balanced between your feet in a subway car. The removable padded shoulder strap for carrying it crossbody is just the cherry on top.
The Best No-Frills Laptop Bag
Not looking for much except a laptop carrier through-and-through? Rains is on the case. Its line of water-repellent accessories and slickers made for inclement weather is best known for its minimalist backpacks (a favorite of the design creative set). But this super streamlined laptop case pares it back even more: It’s little more than a glorified laptop sleeve. It’s short on real estate for much else than your cables and tech essentials. But if you’re embracing the “everything you need, nothing you don’t” philosophy, it boasts the same weatherproof exterior as its rain jackets, plus a sturdy webbing belt to swing it over your shoulder in transit.
The Best Luxe Laptop Bag
Prada doesn’t make the kind of tech briefcase that you hamfistedly toss in the security bin, and hide under the seat in front of you. It’s meant for flashy travelers with a champagne budget and Timothée Chalamet tastes who are hiding out in the Sky Lounge before jetting off in first class. The nylon outer might resemble something you’d see in the bin, but the Prada design speaks for its own cultural cachet. It’s also plenty useful, thanks to partitioned compartments for keeping things organized, and a zip pocket at the front for tucking away important documents.
The Best Budget Laptop Bag
And if all you want is something unassuming to trek to your next economics class or co-working space, Herschel’s travel briefcase has all of the basics for someone who doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a dedicated laptop bag—from a cushy padded laptop sleeve that can fit most PCs and iPads up to 16 inches, to an easy-access zip compartment for things you want to keep close at hand. The Tech Gibson is just the right fit for a regular in the economy class, without looking terribly low-budget.