Best laptop bags of 2017: Best rucksacks, satchels and more

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It’s extremely rare these days to get a case or bag included when you buy a laptop, and it may not be wise to buy one from the manufacturer as having a big logo simply advertises the fact that you’re carrying something valuable worth stealing.

To avoid being a target for thieves, and to help keep your delicate electronics safe as you travel, we’ve rounded up a selection of rucksacks, messenger bags and briefcases that are designed to do precisely that.

Need a laptop to put in your new bag? Take a look at the 20 best laptops you can buy in 2017

Also see: Best Laptop Deals

Laptop bag buying advice

Every laptop bag has a dedicated compartment for your computer, and bags usually advertise the biggest laptop you can carry by giving a screen size in inches. You might find that a laptop with a 16in screen will fit due to its dimensions, even if the bag says ‘up to 15in’ – although it may be a tight fit.

The amount of protection varies from bag to bag, with some manufacturers providing all-around padding (with double at the bottom) and others just an internal pouch with no top cover. Read our reviews to find out what level of protection each bag offers.

As well as your laptop, you’ll need room for the power supply, other accessories and your own gear, whether that’s a gym kit, water bottle, documents, keys and other gadgets. Most bags have a nominal capacity, but this is usually the total volume, rather than a single space for stuff besides a laptop.

Multiple pockets are useful as they help keep everything organised, while a bag with a large extra compartment is good for bulky items such as shoes. Look for a capacity in litres, but bear in mind that the larger the capacity, the bigger (and usually heavier) is the bag you’ll have to carry everywhere.

Some bags have a dedicated pocket for tablets and another for smartphones or media players. The latter sometimes have a hole through which you can route your headphones.

It’s useful to have several zipped pockets which can be accessed independently, rather than having to open the main zip to get at internal pockets. That gives would-be thieves a view of what you’re carrying and isn’t nearly as convenient.

If you’re after a rucksack, look for one with well-padded straps and – if you’ll be walking long distances – a chest strap to help stabilise the load. Some bags even have a hiking-style waist strap, but that’s overkill on a laptop carrier.

Many laptop bags have water resistant material either on the outside or in the lining. If this is a priority, bear in mind that only bags marked as waterproof will ensure your kit stays dry. Some bags come with a separate rain cover which you can pop over the rucksack in a downpour to keep your kit bone dry.

Water resistance doesn’t mean the same thing, and if you’re cycling in the rain, it’s wise to use additional protection such as a proper rain cover or keep some large freezer bags to seal in your gadgets.

Prices vary widely, and you don’t always get what you pay for. Buying a laptop bag from a fashion brand, for example, might be more costly, but doesn’t guarantee better quality zips or fasteners than a cheaper bag.

Read next: Best budget laptops available in the UK in 2017

STM Banks


Udee Backpack


Udee Backpack

  • RRP: £86.94 (RRP £182.62), US$109 (RRP $229)

STM Haven


STM Haven

Best laptop bags 2017: Targus CityGear


Moshi Helios Lite


Moshi Helios Lite

RiutBags R15


RiutBags R15

STM Velocity Linear


STM Velocity Linear

Moshi Arcus


Moshi Arcus

Booq Boa squeeze


Booq Boa squeeze

Moleskine Digital Device Bag


Moleskine Digital Device Bag

Wenger Swissgear ScanSmart SA1900 Backpack


Wenger Swissgear ScanSmart SA1900 Backpack

Thule Crossover 25L Backpack


Thule Crossover 25L Backpack

Knomo James Tote Backpack


Knomo James Tote Backpack

Booq Saddle Pro


Booq Saddle Pro

Booq Cobra Pack


Booq Cobra Pack

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