The 12 Best Laptop Backpacks of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

We love all the organizational pockets with the Herschel Tech Backpack.

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Commerce Photo Composite

Travel + Leisure / Danie Drankwalter

Since a laptop usually comes at a high price, it’s well worth it to invest in a backpack designed to protect your technology when you’re on the go. Whether you’re traveling on an airplane or trekking through campus, a comfortable, well-made backpack with a padded laptop pocket is a must-have.

Since comfort and durability are arguably the two important factors when investing, we tested 27 laptop backpacks in our New York City lab to find the best ones for everyday wear with these considerations in mind. Our testers packed the bags with computers, iPads, sweatshirts, and more, and carried them around to see how they felt. We then tossed each one onto the ground from a tabletop to test the bag’s durability (using dummy laptops, of course).

We love that our top pick, the Herschel Tech Backpack, comes with just the right amount of pockets for staying organized without losing items in the backpack abyss. Plus, the abundance of padding in the back and on the straps made it noticeably pleasant to wear for long periods of time. But if this sleek backpack isn’t for you, we also found standout options for style, sustainability, and more.

Here are the best laptop backpacks, according to our tests:

Best Overall: Herschel Tech Backpack

5
Hershel Tech Backpack

Hershel

Why We Love It: There are multiple interior and exterior compartments that provide plenty of organization solutions.

What to Consider: The bag might feel too big for some people.

Herschel’s Tech Backpack earned top scores across all of our testing categories making it our top pick. Our tester immediately noted that the bag has four separate compartments for maximum organization while traveling or commuting. There is a padded, zippered laptop pocket in the back, a spacious main compartment with several slip pockets, a designated shoe compartment at the bottom, and a large exterior pocket in the front. According to our tester, the bag has room for “up to four laptops or iPads, [or] you can add clothes and maybe a camera,” so this backpack might be a little too big for someone who travels to work with just a laptop. Despite the larger size, we thought the bag had ample padding on the straps and back that made it comfy to carry.

After tossing the backpack off of a countertop, we found that the padded and fleece-lined laptop sleeve safeguarded the laptop and prevented any damage from occurring. On top of that, the outer ballistic nylon material didn’t scuff or get scratched, and we love that it comes with a trolley sleeve on the back so you can easily place the pack on your suitcase.

Price at time of publish: $130

Laptop Size Capacity: 16 inches | Smart: No | Made with recycled materials: No

Herschel Tech Backpack

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

Best for Photographers: Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2 30L

5
Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2 30L

Amazon

Why We Love It: It comes with velcro separators for added protection for camera or video gear.

What to Consider: The magnetic top opening has a slight learning curve to open the backpack easily.

The Peak Design Everyday Backpack will give you peace of mind when it comes to protecting your camera or video equipment while traveling. Its structured design adds extra protection and the backpack comes with four stiff velcro separators to further protect fragile technology. Plus, the padded laptop sleeve in the back will ensure that your laptop travels safely. The icing on the cake of this backpack is how lightweight it feels to wear with our tester saying, “if I could give this backpack a 10 for comfort I would. It's so lightweight that it blew my mind.”

The weatherproof nylon exterior didn’t scuff or get scratched when we threw the backpack onto the floor and best of all, the laptop and iPad remained unharmed. Since the bag is designed for photographers, it comes with three separators that velcro to the side of the backpack to protect and organize camera gear. The magnetic top latch was slightly finicky to open at first, but once done, it gets easier to use.

Price at time of publish: $300

Laptop Size Capacity: 15 inches | Smart: No | Made with recycled materials: Yes

Peak Design Everyday Backpack V2 30L

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

Best Budget: Bagsmart Laptop Backpack

5
 BAGSMART Laptop Backpack for Women Travel Backpack

Amazon

Why We Love It: The padded straps are comfortable to wear and there is a portable phone charger included.

What to Consider: It’s made out of polyester fabric that could get dirty easily.

Rivaling higher-priced backpacks we tried, this option from Bagsmart proves that you don’t have to sacrifice quality for a budget-friendly price. During our tests, we found that this bag is spacious enough to fit a laptop, an iPad, a notebook, and a sweatshirt with plenty of room left over to add more. The backpack is made with a cushioned polyester fabric and foam padded straps that had our tester raving about comfort when wearing. However, because the bag is made out of fabric, it may get dirtier than a nylon pack but it didn’t show any signs of damage during our durability tests.

With four separate zippered compartments and over 10 interior pockets, travelers will also appreciate the variety of spots to organize everything. The pack also has anti-theft zippers, a USB charging port, a side water bottle pocket, and a trolley sleeve making this one of the best-designed laptop backpacks we tried.

Price at time of publish: $45

Laptop Size Capacity: 15.6 inches | Smart: Yes | Made with recycled materials: No

Bagsmart Laptop Backpack

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

Best Style: Monos Metro Backpack

4.8
Monos Metro Backpack

Monos

Why We Love It: The vegan leather material is soft and gives the backpack an elegant style.

What to Consider: We originally tested the older model but recently got our hands on the new and improved design.

Monos recently released a newer version of their Metro backpack, but for this test, we tried out the older version. While we love both versions, the newer design addressed one key flaw that we noticed during our first test of the older model. During our initial test, we found that the removable pouch in the front had buttons that were visible when we removed the pouch. This certainly wasn’t a deal breaker by any means, but in the new model, Monos fixed that issue and now the pouch has a trolley-like sleeve that attaches to a discrete piece of fabric on the front of the backpack. Now, when you take the pouch off of the bag, there aren’t noticeable buttons on the front. Besides the key upgrade in the newer backpack, we still love the soft vegan leather look of the pack and found the materials to provide protection against laptop damage when we dropped it. There are several pockets inside the main compartment and the laptop pocket is in the back, separated from the rest of the bag.

Price at time of publish: $200

Laptop Size Capacity: 15 inches | Smart: No | Made with recycled materials: Yes

Monos Metro Backpack

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

Best for Business Trips: Samsonite Just Right Standard Backpack

4.9
Samsonite Just Right Standard Backpack

Samsonite

Why We Love It: It has a sleek, professional design with a variety of pockets for extra organization while traveling for work.

What to Consider: The capacity is on the smaller side.

The Samsonite Just Right Standard Backpack is thoughtfully designed with business travelers in mind. Equally professional and functional, the backpack is outfitted with a sleek nylon material, silver zippers, and a silky, purple patterned fabric lining. When we packed the backpack with a laptop, an iPad, a sweatshirt, and a few more small items, we were impressed with the capacity, but it likely can’t fit too much more in the main compartment. However, we love that there are pockets throughout the backpack that makes it easy to pack smaller items and stay organized between the two main compartments. The zippered laptop sleeve in the back is padded and provided enough protection to keep it safe when we dropped it from a tabletop. The padding on the back and on the straps made the backpack noticeably comfortable to wear even when it was packed with our tester sharing that, “it felt lightweight and well-balanced on my back.”

Price at time of publish: $170

Laptop Size Capacity: 15.6 inches | Smart: Yes | Made with recycled materials: No

Samsonite Just Right Standard Backpack

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

Best Padding: Incase ICON Backpack

4.6
Incase Icon Pack
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Why We Love It: The backpack is outfitted with thick padding.

What to Consider: It doesn’t have a water bottle pocket or trolley sleeve.

The Incase Icon Pack thoroughly impressed us with its thick padding throughout the backpack which adds an abundance of protection and comfort. The back has a padded laptop sleeve that was noticeably thick when we first opened up the backpack. When we dropped the bag onto the floor to test for durability, none of the contents were damaged and our tester shared, “I would feel really confident that my laptop and other valuables would be protected even after very rough handling.” The thick padding in the back and on the straps provides comfort while wearing the pack, and we love that the adjustable strap is lined with a soft fabric. Although we wish this backpack came with more features like a water bottle holder or trolley sleeve, the pack has two spacious compartments, a front pocket, and a variety of smaller pockets for exceptional organization on the inside making it well worth the investment for impressively comfortable and durable backpack.

Price at time of publish: $220

Laptop Size Capacity: 15 inches | Smart: No | Made with recycled materials: No

Incase Icon Pack

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

Best Sustainable: Solgaard Lifepack: Solar Powered and Anti-Theft Backpack

4.8
Solgaard Lifepack: Solar Powered and Anti-Theft Backpack

Solgaard

Why We Love It: It’s made out of recycled plastic bottles found on beaches.

What to Consider: The capacity is smaller than other backpacks we tested.

While this backpack impressed us during testing, it also won us over thanks to Solgaard’s sustainability mission where all of their products are made with ocean-bound recycled materials. The brand uses its patented Shore-tex material to create this backpack with recycled plastic water bottles found on beaches or river banks. In addition, the backpack includes a solar-powered USB charging port so you can charge on the go without having to worry about the life of your power bank. We were able to fit all of the items on our packing list, including a sweatshirt, a laptop, an iPad, a notebook, and a water bottle, but there wasn’t a lot of space left over. The laptop sleeve is in the back of the bag and although it’s just a slip pocket, it wasn’t damaged during our durability tests. The backpack is outfitted with padding and our tester found it comfortable to wear with the adjustable, supportive chest strap.

Price at time of publish: $245

Laptop Size Capacity: Not listed | Smart: Yes | Made with recycled materials: Yes

Solgaard Lifepack Backpack

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

Best Convertible: Aer Flight Pack 3 Backpack

4.8
Aer Flight Pack 3

Aer

Why We Love It: It can be used as a duffel bag or backpack.

What to Consider: The laptop sleeve is just a slip pocket in the main compartment.

We love that the Aer Flight Pack 3 can be used as a daily commuter’s backpack or it can be converted into a duffel bag or briefcase for a business trip or weekend getaway. Our tester noted that there are plenty of pockets for organization with a designated laptop sleeve in the main compartment, another compartment with more than seven smaller pockets, and a small zippered pouch in the front. The laptop sleeve is only a slip pocket and, while it kept the laptop in place during our durability test, it isn’t as secure as it could be if it was a zippered pocket. We also found that there is tons of space for clothes for a quick weekend getaway or if you’re traveling for work, there is no shortage of space for a laptop, iPad, and other office essentials. Because the pack is made with abrasion and tear-resistant ballistic nylon, it feels sturdy and durable, sustaining no damages after we dropped it off a tabletop. Our tester noticed that the backpack, top handle, and duffel straps were equally comfortable when carrying the bag in all three ways.

Price at time of publish: $179

Laptop Size Capacity: 16 inches | Smart: No | Made with recycled materials: No

Aer Flight Pack 3

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

Best Basic: Béis The Backpack

4.7
Beis The Backpack

Nordstrom

Why We Love It: It has a simple, no-frills design for extra versatility.

What to Consider: It wasn’t as durable as other backpacks we tested.

“This bag was definitely designed by travel pros,” says our tester when giving insights on Beis’ The Backpack. Although this pack has a simple design to it, we found that it’s packed full of thoughtful features making it the perfect backpack for students, travelers, commuters, and more. We were impressed with the large capacity of the main compartment that could easily fit all of the items on our packing list, including tech items like a laptop and iPad on the inside and a water bottle in one of the two slip pockets on the sides. The main compartment has several smaller pockets and a designated padded laptop sleeve. After we did our drop test to evaluate the durability, the padding did a good job of protecting the laptop, but there isn’t padding at the bottom of the bag which had us questioning how much protection the backpack offers. Even when it was completely packed, the padded straps were comfortable to wear and the back had plenty of padding for added comfort, too.

Price at time of publish: $78

Laptop Size Capacity: 14.5 inches | Smart: No | Made with recycled materials: No

Beis The Backpack

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

Best Splurge: Lo & Sons The Rowledge Backpack

4.8
Lo & Sons The Rowledge Backpack

Lo & Sons

Why We Love It: The nylon material and leather accents give the backpack a sleek look.

What to Consider: The material is a little stiff at first which affects the overall comfort.

Lo & Sons’ The Rowledge laptop backpack is one of the most expensive bags we tested, but it seriously delivered in performance. The nylon exterior outfitted with leather accents makes this sleek and timeless bag a dream for travelers and office-goers. Although the backpack looks slightly smaller from the outside, we found that it was possible to fit a sweatshirt, a laptop, an iPad, a notebook, and a water bottle with ease. When our tester first put the bag on, they noticed slight stiffness that was a little uncomfortable but we are confident that once the bag is broken in a bit, it won’t be an issue. The adjustable straps and ample padding throughout the entire backpack add to the comfort and durability of the pack. After tossing the bag off of a tabletop, the laptop remained unharmed in the designated sleeve in the back of the bag and the exterior showed no signs of damage so we think this sturdy, well-made backpack is worth the splurge.

Price at time of publish: $465

Laptop Size Capacity: 13.5 inches | Smart: No | Made with recycled materials: No

Lo & Sons The Rowledge

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

Best for Students: Fjällräven Räven 28 Backpack

4.9
Fjallraven Raven Backpack

Amazon

Why We Love It: The backpack is comfortable and breathable to wear while walking.

What to Consider: The polyester blend wasn’t as durable as we hoped.

For students walking across campus or between classes, the Fjällräven Räven 28 Backpack is the best option. We love how breathable the back padding is and that it provides plenty of cushioning and support for traveling far distances while wearing the backpack. Our tester raved that “as someone who runs hot, I also really appreciate the breathable back and strap fabric.” While the polyester fabric is sporty and breathable, we noticed that it easily collects dust or lint after it is tossed on the ground. Despite the slight dirtiness of the fabric, we found that the backpack does an excellent job of protecting a laptop in the designated padded sleeve in the back. Plus, there are tons of pockets in the main compartment for classroom essentials, and each side of the backpack has a water bottle slip pocket.

Price at time of publish: $110

Laptop Size Capacity: 15 inches | Smart: No | Made with recycled materials: Yes

Fjällräven Räven 28 Backpack

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

Best Organization: TIMBUK2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe

4.9
TIMBUK2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe

Amazon

Why We Love It: It has plenty of pockets for organizing all of your belongings efficiently.

What to Consider: The capacity could have been bigger.

According to our tester, the Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe “has everything you'd need to travel by air or commute to work” thanks to its variety of interior and exterior pockets.  There’s a designated spot for all of your travel must-haves from laptops to pencils with a padded laptop pocket in the back, a main compartment with slip and zippered pockets, and a spacious front pocket for items like a notebook. Plus, there’s a side slip pocket for your water bottle and a trolley sleeve for attaching the pack to a suitcase. We loved the ability to access your laptop from the back zipper or through the main compartment of the backpack. Additionally, we appreciated the sleek pack’s compression straps so you can adjust the capacity of the bag, but we still thought the main compartment could have held a bit more. The padded backpack straps are comfortable to wear with our tester saying, “I feel like I could wear this all day and not feel any pinching or immediate pain.” And if you live in a rainy climate, the durable recycled nylon exterior is also water-resistant.

Price at time of publish: $159

Laptop Size Capacity: 17 inches | Smart: No | Made with recycled materials: Yes

Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack Deluxe

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

Other Laptop Backpacks We Tested

Samsonite Classic Leather Slim Backpack

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

Away The Everywhere Zip Backpack: The design is sleek and functional, but we think there isn’t enough padding for comfort or laptop protection if the bag is handled roughly.

Bellroy Classic Backpack Plus: This backpack has an impressive capacity but the oval shape is awkward to carry and the sternum straps had a tricky clasp that wasn’t intuitive.

Samsonite Classic Leather Slim Backpack: The slim design is sleek and professional without sacrificing capacity, but the outer material did scuff a bit during our durability tests.

The North Face Borealis Laptop Backpack: The bag is lightweight and comfortable to carry, but we think it would be better as a hiking or everyday backpack rather than a laptop-specific backpack.

eBags Pro Slim Backpack: This backpack feels durable and well-made, but there were too many confusing pockets and compartments for our tester.

Matein Travel Laptop Backpack: The capacity of this backpack thoroughly impressed us, but there wasn’t much padding in the back and it felt a little flimsy.

Vohler Laptop Backpack With Charger: This pack was a serious contender for our best budget pick thanks to its sturdy build and protective padding, but our thrifty pick had a few more standout features than this one.

Swissgear Travel Gear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack: Ideal for students, travelers, or commuters, we loved that this bag is durable and has plenty of storage solutions, but it wasn’t as comfortable as we hoped.

Our Testing Process

Our Travel + Leisure expert product testers spent a day in our New York City lab testing 27 highly rated laptop backpacks from a variety of brands like The North Face, Away, Samsonite, Swissgear, and more. We evaluated each pack on a rating scale of one to five based on capacity, design, comfort, and durability.

Swissgear Travel Gear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

First, to test for capacity, we used a packing list to fill the bag with a laptop, an iPad, a sweatshirt, a water bottle, a notebook, and a toiletry bag. Backpacks scoring a five for capacity were able to fit all of the packing items and provided an appropriate amount of organization solutions for the laptop, as well as the other items both big and small. During the packing process, we evaluated the design of each bag, and our top picks for the design category had plenty of padding around the laptop pocket, a variety of helpful pockets, and handles or straps that made carrying the backpack effortless and intuitive.

Monos Metros

Travel+Leisure / Conor Ralph

Then, our testers put on the backpacks and walked around for at least ten minutes to get a feel for the bag. We looked out for any pain caused by shoulder or sternum straps, pinching, or any other type of discomfort. The best bags for comfort were outfitted with padding in the back and straps, and our tester didn’t notice any awkwardness or irritation from the pack. To test for durability, we pushed the backpacks off of a tabletop and checked the interior contents and exterior for any scuff marks, scratches, or damage. Lastly, our testers were not aware of the price until after testing was complete when they rated the value based on the backpack’s performance in comparison to the price.

Tips for Buying a Laptop Backpack

Check the Laptop Sleeve Size

Most laptops measure anywhere from 10 to 17 inches in length, so it’s important to double-check the dimensions of the laptop sleeve to ensure it fits in the designated pocket. Usually, you can find the laptop length capacity of a backpack in the “specification” description of the bag.

Padding Is Key for Protection and Comfort

The more padding around the laptop, the better protected it will be if that bag is handled roughly. Since the laptop pocket or sleeve is usually in the back of the bag, there should be padding in the back to add comfort while wearing the backpack. Also, be on the lookout for additional padding on the straps to make the bag even more comfortable to wear.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Should I put my laptop in a backpack without a case?

    During our tests, we placed the laptop directly into the pocket without a case on it and found that the top-performing bags had enough padding to protect the laptop from getting damaged. However, if you feel more comfortable keeping the laptop in a case and placing it in the backpack, feel free to do so if that all will fit.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Anna Popp is a Commerce Writer at Travel + Leisure, where she writes and reviews travel products. She has been travel writing since 2018 and product testing since 2021. Anna worked with travel editors and participated in the test in our New York City lab to determine the results for the best laptop backpacks.

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