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The best laptop backpacks and briefcases for traveling

Between the TSA and bouncing around in the overhead storage bins, laptops get tossed around during travel quite a bit, which is why having the right bag is a must. It’s also convenient to have a bag that can easily display a laptop for security purposes. So, what should you look for in a laptop travel bag?

Ideally, you want something protective, with additional compartments for organizing and storing accessories. You also want something that fits your personal style and is easy to transport. Waterproof material doesn’t hurt, either. Check out our list below to find your perfect laptop travel bag, including both backpacks and briefcases. And if you’re looking for bags that are suited for larger laptops, check out our list of the best 17-inch laptop bags here.

Backpacks

Tortuga Setout

There’s a good reason why travelers love Tortuga bags. They are well-built with highly durable and weather-resistant fabrics, and they’re shaped to fit comfortably. Tortuga’s new Setout series, which we have been using for nearly all our travels as of late, has become our favorite. The Setout Backpack not only can hold a 17-inch lMacBook or laptop and accessories, but it also has a ton of room for clothes. In fact, it meets carry-on size requirements, yet can fit a week’s worth of clothing if you pack accordingly.

There are a ton of extra pockets for accessories, too, and the hip belt helps distribute the weight evenly when the bag is fully loaded (it also has a compartment for things you need to access often, like a phone or passport). From internal padding to the zippers, the Tortuga Setout feels amazingly strong. For techie nomads who travel out of their suitcases, the Setout is ideal. For short-length travel, the Setout also comes in a smaller size, called the Setout Divide ($125). Don’t have clothes? Tortuga has the Setout Laptop Backpack ($89), which features all the best attributes of the other Tortuga Setout bags, minus the extra space.

Hynes Eagle 38L Backpack

Two Hynes Eagle 38L Backpacks facing each other.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This weekender polyester backpack is one of the best options for short flights that we’ve seen, with pockets and straps for everything you could need, whether you’re going on a professional trip filled with electronics or joining your friends for a quick excursion. It has a top handle, side handle, and adjustable, hide-able shoulder straps, no matter which way you want to hold it, along with two sets of compression straps for securing all your items — and, of course, it’s designed to fit into overhead plane compartments without any trouble.

The laptop pouch is found in the roomy front organizer and is suitable for 15-inch and extra slim 17-inch laptop models.

Osprey Ozone Duplex

The Ozone Duplex is like having two bags. One, called the Daypack, has padded storage for a laptop and tablet, as well as other essentials. The Cargo Bag, which secures on top of the Daypack, has room for clothes and other gear. The idea is that when you get to your destination, you can detach and leave the Cargo Bag at your accommodations, while the Daypack functions as a regular backpack. The Cargo Bag has a separate shoulder strap, too, should you want to haul each separately. The Osprey Ozone is gender-specific, however — there are two versions, one for men (Duplex 65) and another for women (Duplex 60). If you tend to carry two bags anyway, the Ozone Duplex is a neat two-in-one solution.

Everki Titan

The Titan is a colossal backpack, one capable of holding an 18.4-inch laptop. This makes it ideal for anyone with a large gaming laptop who travels frequently. Additionally, the bag features several large compartments, and so you can store plenty of gear including laptop accessories and other devices (tablets, handhelds, etc.). The tablet pocket is even lined with felt, making it safe for any screen.

Although it may seem like such a large backpack would be terrible for moving through security, the titan opens up 180 degrees, so it can move through a screening machine easily. The pack’s innovative design also makes it easy to rifle through compartments and grab the specific device you want at any given moment. It may not be the right choice for every consumer, but those with mammoth laptops and an assortment of gadgets will appreciate the Everki Titan’s bountiful pockets and smart organization.

Timbuk2 Foundry Pack

Person wearing Timbuk2 Foundry Pack backpack.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you already have a favorite luggage set for traveling, you may not want anything too large or incompatible with your other gear. Timbuk2’s slim, trim Foundry Pack is an ideal solution. It’s a backpack that plays well with luggage (including a slip-through pocket for handles), but with a focus on your electronics and meeting items. That includes an internal organizer for small bits, a laptop sleeve for laptops up to 15 inches, and a comfortable shoulder strap for changing positions. Those useful magnetic clasps also make it easy to quickly pop the pack open to find what you’re looking for. Think of it: the pack for all your quick-access business and travel stuff that’s instantly ready for whatever event you’re heading to.

Mancro Water Resistant Laptop Bag

Series of three people wearing or holding the Mancro Water Resistant Laptop Bag.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Simple, affordable, and ideal for rainy cities, the Mancro Water Resistant Laptop Bag can fit laptops under 17 inches in size and comes with a built-in USB charging port. There are also more than 10 compartments for housing tablets, phones, chargers, binders, clothing, water bottles, and anything else you may need on the road. The design hits a sweet spot that makes this bag suitable for a business meeting, trade fairs, school, and anything in between. If you’ve been trying to find an affordable laptop bag that still has all the features you need for a busy life/travel plan, you can’t go wrong with Mancro’s water-resistant option.

Briefcases

Lodis Accessories Audrey Brera Briefcase with Laptop Pocket

Lodis Accessories Audrey Brera Briefcase sitting on wooden floor.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’re looking to make a fashion statement with your laptop bag, we can guarantee you’ll want this classic shoulder bag. The Audrey Brera Briefcase features a modern, elegant style along with a padded laptop compartment. This bag has plenty of storage for all your essential items, including an exterior pocket and four convenient card slots. You’ll never fear an unauthorized pairing again with this bag’s RFID-protected pockets that keep all your devices and credit cards safe. If that’s not enough, you can also detach the shoulder strap to switch up your style.

Mobile Edge Alienware Vindicator 2.0 Briefcase 17″

Mobile Edge Alienware Vindicator Briefcase sitting next to Alienware laptop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For ample storage space for your 17.3-inch laptop, check out the Vindicator 2.0. Manufacturers designed this travel bag to comfortably fit Alienware’s 17.3-inch laptop and more within its storage space. The product is checkpoint-friendly and makes for a straightforward traveling experience. In the bag’s other two compartments, you could also transport gaming gear and accessories. Whether you’re traveling to the E3, PAX, or Comic-Con gaming convention, the Vindicator 2.0 will prove to be a trusty travel companion. You could also try out Mobile Edge’s ScanFast bags, which are checkpoint-friendly and easy to use.

Tumi Alpha 3 Triple Compartment Brief

Front side view of the Tumi Triple Compartment Brief laptop briefcase.
Tumi

It’s expensive for a laptop bag, that’s for sure. But if you’re in the market for a well-made and fashionable laptop briefcase and you’ve got the cash, why not treat yourself a little bit? But the Tumi Alpha 3 Triple Compartment Brief isn’t on our list just for its looks. It’s functional too with its tablet and laptop compartments, tons of storage for all of your little accessories (about 12 interior pockets and about 4 exterior pockets), a removable padded shoulder strap, and a laptop compartment that can fit either a 15 inch PC laptop or a 16 inch MacBook. If you travel for business often and want to do so in style, this is the bag for you.

Editors' Recommendations

Les Shu
Former Digital Trends Contributor
I am formerly a senior editor at Digital Trends. I bring with me more than a decade of tech and lifestyle journalism…
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