A lot of people take their backpack for granted when it comes to their computer equipment. Many just shove their laptop into their bags haphazardly and without any thought of what could be happening to it…

Doing this a great way to destroy your laptop, for good.

If you travel a lot with a computer, you’re going to need the best travel laptop backpack possible. That way, you can keep your computer safe from harm while moving around.

This article will help you pick from the best laptop backpacks for travel depending on your needs and preferences. Whether you want the best backpack for a laptop and clothes, or maybe a laptop backpack with luggage pass through or even a false bottom backpack, we’ve got you covered!

Whether you are bringing your laptop on a backpacking trip, a weekend getaway, or your regular commute, each of these backpacks prioritizes quality, versatility, organization, and comfort!

Every rucksack on this list is a TSA approved, has a specific laptop compartment, and the correct dimensions to carry onto any flight.

Read on to find the best traveling laptop backpack for your next digital adventure!

Quick Answer: What are the Best Laptop Backpacks for Travel in 2022?


Nomatic Travel Bag

  • Price > $$$
  • Liters > 40
  • Laptop Size > 15? inch laptop
tortuga outbreaker vs setout

Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack

  • Price > $$$
  • Liters > 25
  • Laptop Size > 15? inch laptop

Osprey Metron

  • Price > $$
  • Liters > 26
best laptop backpack for any adventure

North Face Recon

  • Price > $$
  • Liters > 31
  • Laptop Size > 17? inch laptop
grey timbuk 2 backpack for travel

Timbuk2 Uptown

  • Price > $$$
  • Liters > 30
  • Laptop Size > 15? inch laptop
lowepro photography carry on backpack

LowePro ProTactic 450

  • Price > $$
  • Liters > 40
  • Laptop Size > 15? inch laptop
Harber London

Harber London Backpack

  • Price > $$$$
  • Liters > 25

Key features to look for in the Best Travel Laptop Backpacks

For this article, we are focusing on travel backpacks that can accommodate laptops.

All of the bags listed below are travel backpacks with laptop compartments and are well equipped to organize your technical gear while you’re traveling.

Here are some features of the top laptop backpacks:

  • Backpack with a laptop compartment: A separate padded compartment keeps your electronics secure. Of course, you can also use these zipped compartments for books, your travel journal, or many other things.
  • Front-loading: Many backpacks are top-loading, which means having to dig around awkwardly to get something from the bottom. Look for a backpack that zips flat (like a suitcase) for ultimate ease!
  • Weather-resistant: If you are going to be carrying your laptop and other valuables, you want a backpack that will protect your valuables! Make sure it’s weather-sealed or includes a rain cover.
  • Carry-on size: Carry-on travel backpacks save you from having to deal with lost bags and luggage fees. All of the backpacks on this list are carry-on sized and abide by TSA guidelines.

When looking at the best carry on backpacks, size is one of the most important factors. You want a backpack that complies with TSA rules and has small enough dimensions to get onto any budget airline flight.

Most travelers only need a backpack for clothes, a good, portable laptop, and some technical gear (if that at all). Unless you are traveling with a tent, camping gear, and sleeping bag, you don’t need a hiking backpack.

laptop backpacks

1. Look for a Comfortable Laptop Backpack

Comfort is extremely important to consider when choosing the right laptop backpack for traveling. Are the straps comfortable and sturdy enough to carry your gear or a heavy pack? Is this a bag you’re going to want to lug around the streets of Paris, or from hostel to hostel?

Be sure to look for a backpack with padded and adjustable straps! Bonus points if the backpack comes with waist straps or if it has padding on the actual back portion – having a stiff piece of metal directly on your back is not always comfortable and the best laptop travel backpack will always address this common issue.

best laptop backpack versatility

2. Prioritize Accessibility and Organization

The best laptop backpacks have organization compartments. Well-thought-out design is especially important if you plan to use one for traveling. With the top-rated laptop bags, you should be able to easily access your gear, and keep everything nice and tidy when you are on the go.

A padded laptop sleeve will help you keep your laptop safe and protected, as well as remove your laptop in the TSA line efficiently. All of the backpacks on this list have a completely separate laptop sleeve, and they are built to go through TSA lines with ease.

travel backpacks that open like suitcase

3. Versatility

You want the best laptop backpack for air travel, yes, but you also need something that will be useful after you land too. Can you use your backpack on day hikes,? Is it fashionable enough to wear while sightseeing? Do you want a backpack for your camera and photography equipment?

There are obviously many uses for a laptop backpack, but first, you need to figure out what your travel-specific needs are.

Me? I prefer bags with a wide-opening main compartment and the ability to lie flat like a suitcase. My favorite travel laptop backpacks have an efficient organization system to keep my clothes and gear organized. I also prefer to have a bag I can take on the trails since most of my travel trips revolve around the outdoors.

Solo Traveller

4. Durability and Protection

This may go without saying, but when looking for the best laptop backpack for travel, you want to choose one that going to last years. A good quality backpack should also come with a great warranty. This is going to be one of your most important investments if you travel frequently!

Not only do you want a backpack that will last, but also make your laptop last as well! Protection is one thing that a lot of people take for granted – they may think that a laptop will be safe so on their back, but there is no way to predict accidents. Whether intentional or not, bags fall all the time, from tables, from being tossed around, and from (personal experience) broken bathroom coat hooks.

Make sure that the backpack that you’re buying as some sort of padding. A bit on the bottom and around the sides of the main compartment should get the job done.

Best backpacks for hiking

5. Travel Backpack vs Hiking Backpack?

Simply put, traditional hiking backpacks usually do not make for great laptop backpacks.

Often times hiking bags are top-loaded (meaning you can only access your gear from the top opening). They are also covered in straps and designed to keep weight centered on your back. Great for hiking, but oftentimes, not so great for organizing and packing/unpacking regularly.

This is why it’s a better decision to go with a compact traveling laptop bag –  something that you can carry on, easily stow, and access without having to worry about unpacking too much.

Nowadays many backpack companies that specialize in hiking are making great hybrid travel backpacks. If you plan to travel and want the flexibility of being able to hike on your trip, then I recommend getting a laptop backpack that is also comfortable for hiking.

If you are looking to hike, look for a laptop sleeve that doubles into a hydration bladder pouch, and bags with sturdy, comfortable straps.

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Reviews of the Best Laptop Backpacks for Travel

As I mentioned earlier, this article is going to focus on laptop backpacks that are specifically good for traveling with. I have reviewed our favorite backpacks below, categorized by different types of travels to accommodate your travel needs.

Best Overall Travel Laptop Backpack

Nomatic Travel Bag Overall Best Laptop Backpack for Travel

Arguably the ultimate bag for travelers; if you are nomadic, you’ll love Nomatic, which is why it’s number one on our best laptop backpacks for travel list.

A raging Kickstarter success, Nomatic raised over two million dollars and is on a mission to create the ultimate travel bag – and we think they’ve accomplished just that.

Rich with pockets and plenty of features, Nomatic leaves no stone unturned as they have created a bag that is both stylish and functional.

Although Nomatic advertises this as a bag for 3-7 day trips, a minimalist traveler will easily be able to get a ton more time out of this bag.

Some of our favorite features are the detachable waist straps with water-resistant pockets, the 15″ laptop pocket, and the roller bag sleeve. The Nomatic 40L also comes with a laundry bag… which is awesome.

The Nomatic bag is also weather-resistant! This means you can take it outdoors or into bad weather and be relieved to know that your laptop will be protected. We wouldn’t take the bag on anything longer than a day hike or like into a hurricane or anything, but for casual adventurers, the Nomatic works great and is the best outdoor laptop backpack for sure.

To learn more about this sick piece of kit, be sure to read our in-depth review of the Nomatic Travel Bag and you’ll see just why we think it’s the best computer backpack for travel.

Our team are big fans of Nomatic bags and all of them remarked on the versatility of this bag, especially when it came to organising different gear for different types of trips. With all the different pockets and zippers keeping things like chargers and hard drives organised was super easy.

UPDATE for 2021: Nomatic no longer sells or does business in the European Union, which is an unfortunate development.

  • One of the best-crafted bags on the market
  • 40L = lots of room
  • Sleek and stylish
  • Water resistant
  • Tons of pockets and features
  • Expensive
  • Mixed reviews on straps/comfort

Runner Up – Best Travel Laptop Backpack

Tortuga Set out

The Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack is the smaller version of their first Setout – and it’s just as awesome!

This bag is a 25-liter masterpiece for anyone looking for a smaller laptop bag that feels and looks great. We might have rated it second best travel computer backpack but for many this will come out on top.

But just because it looks great doesn’t mean it’s lacking in features. The Setout Laptop Backpack has plenty of organizational-features including mesh pockets and a super-secure area for your laptop.

The Setout Laptop is marketed as a laptop bag for those who do lots of air travel. If this sounds like you, then this may be your backpack from heaven.

Our testers loved how compact this bag was. They remarked that it had many features of larger bags like clamshell opening and plenty of pockets without being too large or bulky. Its size made it feel great to wear day in day out and the quality of the materials felt like it would cope well with daily abuse!

Read our complete Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack Review here.

  • Durable
  • Sexy, minimalist design
  • Tons of features
  • 25 liters
  • Pricey
  • Might be too small for some

Leather Laptop Backpack

Harber London Slim Backpack

The Harber London Slim Laptop backpack is stylish and functional. It is quite literally a laptop backpack and won’t fit too much more in (although they do make bigger packs so take a look at their site) and just perfect for minimalists who want something a little bit special.

The pack is crafted from Premium Full Grain Leather which will age beautifully and form an utterly unique patina overtime. The interior is nicely padded, there are loads of pockets for you cables as well as a handle if you want to carry it. This pack is very different to the other pack on our list and isn’t really comparable to say the more versatile Tortuga. It is however perhaps the most classy and stylish and I felt pretty hip when testing out in my home city; it certainly has more sex appeal than the functional North Face.

Different sizes are available for a number of different laptop and device sizes. If you’re looking for something stylish and professional then this just might be the best laptop backpack for travel, for you!

Our testers felt this bag was a bit more of a niche product but that for the right person this would be the absolute perfect choice. They just loved how low-key and compact the bag was whilst still being functional and looking good. They felt it didn’t add any unnecessary bulk and will look good if you’ve got a meeting to attend but want something more practical than a briefcase.

  • Durable and comfortable
  • High Quality Material
  • Stylish
  • Not cheap…
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Best Commuter Laptop Bag

Osprey Metron
Osprey Metron

If you are after something smaller, lighter and commuter friendly, then why not consider the Osprey Metron. At 26l it’s a well sized daypack which will accommodate your laptop, and lunch quite nicely. There is of course a padded laptop pouch along with enough pockets and pouches for keys, cards and pens.

The compression straps are also a nice touch allowing you to fasten the backpack down so you won’t stick out like a tortoise and barge into people (as much) when you crowd onto the morning train. It also comes with a brightly coloured rain cover making this backpack ideal for cycle commutes.

This is a very functional backpack that adapts well for work, travel, and hiking. It feels nice to the touch, is comfy to wear and opens up like a dream. I personally used this backpack for day to use for a good while before I replaced it with an Osprey Quasar which I found could also be used to double up as a hiking backpack.

Though we’ve included it here as the best bag for commuters, our team really loved how versatile this bag felt. Osprey is known for their outdoor bags and our team felt this one was suited to just about anything you could throw at it, from hiking to biking into the office. They felt the quality of the materials, the solid build and integrated rain cover made it tough enough for any adventure!

  • Versatile
  • Durable and comfortable
  • Osprey offer a robust guarantee
  • There aren’t any cons

Most Ethical Laptop Backpack

Gulu Motivator Pack

Team up with the women of Gulu for your next commuter backpack, and you’ll receive a roomy pack with plenty of small pockets for essential details. The Gulu Made brand set up shop building a backpacking factory in Uganda and has entrusted the local community with making sustainable backpacks built to last. 

These bags are designed and built by local tribes. The women of Gulu took modern comfort features into account, adding on water bottle holders and ten different organization pockets with an extra computer sleeve. 

The Motivator is the most spacious Gulu-made pack on the market and offers everything you need to commute in a sustainable style. If you are after an ethical product, this is a good one.

If you love ethical gear, we have a cracking vegan backpack round-up on the site.

Our team of testers really loved the idea behind this bag but did it stand up to the task in practical terms? Well, I’m pleased to report that it well and truly did! Our team in particular loved how spacious this pack was when it came to fitting in other items like tech and clothing.

  • Ethical brand
  • Pretty inner lining
  • Good organisational potential
  • Not waterproof
  • Not cheap

Best Outdoor Laptop Bag

best laptop backpack for any adventure

One of the best-organized backpacks, this is ideal for the minimalist traveler that wants to hit the trails too. Anyone who has been to the outdoor store REI knows how passionate those employees can get about their outdoor gear. I once had a guy talk to me about this backpack for 20 minutes, and why he travels with it literally everywhere.

The best part about The North Face Recon is how durable this backpack is. It can handle use and abuse for years before you have to replace it, and it’s extremely comfortable, even if you’re carrying heavy school books, electronics, etc. The material is sturdy, and all of the zippers are YKK.

This pack works great for hiking and outdoor adventures, as it should since that is what The North Face is known for. Really, you can use this backpack for more than travel. It’s great for school, commute, and everyday use.

This backpack has padded sections for both 15-inch laptops and iPads, and 3 separate sections for organizing contents… The laptop section doubles as a hydration pack holder with a hole to put your tube through.

It is spacious but fits under an airplane seat or in the overhead bin, but can fit a good amount of stuff.

There is a front mesh pocket that is useful for anything you need to access quickly, or storing a wet swimsuit or towel on the trails. There are two water bottle holders that stretch outwards. And for all you hikers, this backpack comes with a small waist strap.

Whether you need a backpack for the trails or for walking around the city, The North Face Recon is one of best travel laptop backpacks currently available: it’s durable, light, just the right size, and great quality.

When our testers gave this bag a runout, they were pleased to report back on two main things. Firstly the chunky but smooth zippers that gave it a premium feel. But also, and importantly for an outdoor laptop bag, how well padded the quilted laptop second was and how safe their computers felt.

  • Can double as a hiking bag
  • Durable and comfortable
  • Laptop sleeve can also be a hydration pack holder
  • Not as modernly stylish as others

Best Backpack for 17-Inch Laptops

Incase EO badass carry on laptop backpack

Incase is known for making stylish business and laptop backpacks. Expandable, easy to travel with, and well-padded, the Incase EO is also our choice for the best 17-inch laptop backpack!

The bag itself is made out of 300D polyester, and the black option has a triple-coated weather-resistant front panel. The shoulder straps are made with breathable mesh, and the back panels are padded too.

When you’re in a rush, there is a large side handle that lets you grab your backpack quickly.

The main compartment has plenty of storage space, and it expands by 35% to fit all of the clothes you may need. You can also maintain a slimmer profile if you are just using it for layovers and day trips.

This is one of the best laptop bags for travel because of the way the laptop sleeve is set up. Like some of the other backpacks on this list, you can unzip the dedicated laptop compartment to lie the backpack flat and send it through the TSA conveyer belt without having to actually remove the laptop.

In the same compartment, there is also a small pocket on the other side for other flat electronics like your iPad or Kindle.

This backpack is smaller than others on this list, but the Incase EO makes use of its space. Plus, sometimes smaller is better, so you can travel around day to day without carrying a bulky bag.

What our team really loved most about this bag was how the laptop had its own dedicated pocket away from everything else. They liked how they could keep this section secure whilst accessing everything else and the extra peace of mind that gave them while travelling.

  • Great for on-the-go travel
  • Fits up to a 17-inch laptop
  • Padded back panels
  • Main compartment expands by 35%
  • Zippable laptop compartment makes security checks a breeze
  • Might be too small for long term travelers

Best Commuter Laptop Backpack

Gregory Rhune Backpack
Gregory Rhune Backpack

The Gregory Rhune brings a durable and sustainable approach to the everyday backpack concept. All fabrics used in this pack are made from recycled materials resulting in a 51% in the production cycles carbon footprint. 

However, eco-credentials aside, this is a genuinely bloody good pack with an excellent  attention to details. Designed for an active user the Rhune packs have an integrated shoulder harness pocket that is perfect for ear buds, transit passes, or mints.

The pack is accessed by a top-lid opening that pulls back – that’s not an opening style that I am too used to but it’s fine. Insider the pack, the main compartment is split into 3 handy compartments including a very generous laptop compartment.

To the touch, the material used in construction of the Gregory Rhune feels quite strong and durable and yet, the pack feels very light to carry.

Overall, this is a great backpack for commutes and for day travel.

  • 25 liters
  • Mid-Weight 0.925 kg
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Not great for hiking
  • Small water bottle pocket

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    Best Small Laptop Backpack for Travel

    grey timbuk 2 backpack for travel

    The Timbuk 2 is quite similar to the Incase EO above. It’s a smaller laptop TSA-friendly backpack that works great for both travel and work, and is one of the best lightweight laptop backpacks.

    The material is 400D Nylon Faille. The laptop sleeve fits a 15-inch laptop and allows you to send your bag through the security line without removing your device(s). There is also a dedicated pocket for a tablet.

    There is a side pocket for your water bottle and a front pocket that is useful for your passport and boarding pass. The main compartment has plenty of space, and the one in front of it has three smaller compartments for organization.

    This backpack is comfortable too, thanks to its mesh panel on the back, and an adjustable front strap.

    The drawback about this bag is that it’s not big enough to take on most long backpacking trips; however, if you are just looking for a bag for everyday use, and quick weekend trips, this is a sleek, low-profile backpack that will keep all your stuff organized. Overall it’s absolutely one of the best lightweight laptop backpacks. Sternum straps would also have been nice.

    Our team loved how balanced the weight felt in this pack when their laptops were stowed. The way the pack is designed means the weight stays close to your back rather than out front. It also makes the pack feel lighter and easier to carry all day.

    1. Laptop compartment zips away for easy security checks
    2. Dedicated tablet pocket
    3. 5-year warranty
    4. Great for weekend trips or quick getaways (or super light travelers)
    • Might be too small for long term travelers

    Best Laptop Backpack for Travel Photographers

    lowepro photography carry on backpack

    If you are a serious photographer or have aspirations to be – this bag is next-level.

    The LowePro ProTactic 450 is far and away the most functional and stylish backpack for photographers and videographers.

    As you would hope from a high-value camera bag, the ProTactic has tons of features. In particular, we like it’s ventilated harness, removable waist-belt, tons of straps and a shlew of interior and exterior pockets.

    The most impressive thing of the ProTactic is how big it is and how well organized the compartments are. Fitting up to two DSLR’s, a 15″ laptop and some drones, this bag is versatile and able to handle all of your tech needs. It’s practically a mobile office! You can go out shooting, pull out your laptop, and begin editing right then and there.

    This is one of the best laptop backpacks for many, many reasons; more than what we’ve talked about already. If you want to learn more about the Lowpro, be sure to visit our post on the best camera bags, where we go into more detail.

    Ultimately, high-quality construction and well-reviewed durability make the Lowepro a must-have for photographers willing to make an investment.

    Our camera-toting members of the team really loved this bag and in particular the way they could keep all their different gear organised, separate and accessible. The side access feature is well designed and in practice easy to use so you can grab your camera quickly whilst knowing your laptop is safe and protected.

    • Fits 1 or 2 DSLRs
    • Four camera-access points
    • Ventilation and back support
    • Laptop pocket and additional accessories
    • Pricey
    • Only useful for photographers

    Best Laptop Messenger Bag

    aer city messenger bag

    AER has done it again! They’ve taken the same ergonomic principles that were used for their laptop backpack and applied them to a messenger bag. The result: an amazing laptop messenger bag that is very efficient, effective, and, above all, useful.

    The qualities of the AER City Messenger Bag feel familiar to the AER Travel Pack 2 Laptop Bag. Both:

    1. Are constructed from weather-resistant material.
    2. Have a sleek and sexy design.
    3. Feature adjustable interiors for maximum organization.

    The biggest difference between the AER backpack and messenger bag is obviously the latter is smaller than the former.

    But the AER City Messenger bag is still just as useful. It comfortably holds a 15-inch MacBook and can even hold a camera kit with a few lenses after some rearranging. The fact that the interior of this bag can be rearranged, much like a camera bag, makes it stand out from the rest as well. At the end of the day, this is more than a messenger bag.

    Our team were really quite intrigued about giving this a go as many are used to the traditional backpack setup. They loved how compact and lowkey the bag was whilst also providing a surprising amount of storage and organisation. They were also impressed with how comfortable the padded strap felt on one shoulder.

    • Customizable interior.
    • Sleek, ergonomic design.
    • Top-quality manufacturing.
    • Not as big as the backpack.
    • Like the backpack, straps can be awkward.

    Best Large Travel Laptop Backpack

    Tortuga Setout Backpack

    The Tortuga Setout is easily one of the best large laptop backpacks on the market. It is quite similar to the Minaal 2.0, also reviewed below, but $50 cheaper, which is what gave the Tortuga an edge in the race.

    The materials on this bag include 900d weathered polyester with a weather-resistant finish and lockable YKK zippers. The straps are injected with molded foam for your ultimate comfort. Other awesome features include front-loading, a padded and removable hip belt, hideaway shoulder straps, and side handles.

    In terms of functionality, the Tortuga Setout has a quick access pocket at the front with a full front tech pocket with a carabiner attachment and dividers. I like how this pocket zips all the way down to the bottom of the pack, so you have easy access to a jacket or bulky item that you want to quickly access or throw into your bag.

    There is a separate laptop compartment at the back of the backpack with plenty of cushions. Your laptop will sit a few inches from the bottom for extra protection in case you drop your bag. The laptop sleeve can fit a 15-inch laptop as well as a 9.7-inch tablet. The  TSA-friendly laptop sleeve also allows you to leave the device in your backpack while going through security.

    The main compartment opens up flat like a suitcase. There are two mesh pockets on the top lids; however, I think the Minaal 2.0 (reviewed below) has better mesh pockets that are more spacious and functional.

    This is an amazing backpack built for efficient, on-the-go travelers. It’s similar to the Minaal 2.0, but at 44L, the Tortuga can carry more gear, and if you do not end up using all of the space, this travel backpack has compression straps.

    Our testers were impressed by this big bag and felt for a minimalist traveller it could easily be a great primary bag. The stand-out feature of this bag they loved was the floating laptop compartment. It meant that even when you set the bag down the laptop is protected from the floor without adding too much extra bulk.

    NOTE that Torutuga makes two types of Setout bags: the standard Setout (which we’re talking about now) and one specially designed Laptop Setout (mentioned earlier). These are two different bags. If you’d like to learn more about the standard version, then read our review of the Tortuga Setout.

    • Lockable zippers
    • Molded foam
    • Removable hip belt
    • Weather-resistant material
    • 44 Liters might be too big for some

    Best Travel Backpack for Europe

    best travel backpack for europe

    The Minaal Carry On has updated their original travel backpack to the 2.0, and it’s loaded with new features that improve its functionality, and make it one of the best laptop backpacks for travel! This backpack has the perfect dimensions carry-on any flight (22 x 14 x 9 inches), including those strict European budget airlines, which is one of the reasons why we chose it as one of the best backpacks for travel in Europe

    The Minaal Carry-On is made out of heavy-duty nylon, and the fabric does a solid job repelling water, too. The shoulder straps and removable hip straps pack away easily for transit, and the strap system and cushioned back panel foam allow for ultimate comfort.

    This backpack has one of the best laptop compartments on this list. It’s located on the back side and zips all the way open to run through a TSA conveyer belt without having to remove the laptop. There are 5 smaller compartments/pockets in this section for all of your essentials (passport, small tech gear, chargers, etc.)

    The padded laptop-specific sleeve is suspended away from the sides so your laptop is protected if you drop your backpack. The new Minaal Carry On 2.0 makes the laptop sleeve accessible from both the top and the side.

    The main compartment zips all the way open like a suitcase. The larger side is perfect for packing your clothes, shoes, and other items. The 2.0 has made another major change to the main compartment: the two zippered pockets on the right are now three-dimensional, making them much more spacious than before. Think of these like built-in packing cubes.

    Our team loved this sleek and professional-looking bag, but one of the standout features they told us about what they particularly loved was the zippers. Not only are they super strong and smooth, but they’ve got built-in loops for locking them and keeping your laptop secure.

    • Perfect carry on dimensions
    • Removable hip strap
    • Rain cover that packs into itself
    • Locking zippers
    • Suspended laptop sleeve helps protect laptop if you drop your bag
    • Pricey

    Most Durable Travel Laptop Backpack

    GR1 durable backpack

    Another one of the best-organized backpacks, 26-litre GoRuck GR1 was designed and built for war zones and cities alike by a former Army Green Beret to be extremely durable and adaptable.

    For one, this is the most durable backpack on this list, designed for any weather and climate. The YKK zippers perform in sandstorms, and the 1000 Cordura material is rainproof.

    You can literally dunk this backpack into a river (as shown in the video below) and keep your gear dry!

    Oh, and every bag is strength-tested at over 400 pounds (that’s around 181 KG!). Despite all of these features, the bag was designed to keep a low-profile, and it’s easy to take on any trip.

    This bag is also extremely comfortable. The shoulder straps are padded to handle heavy loads (like 400 pounds), and this backpack is designed to sit high so the weight doesn’t hang on your shoulders.

    A Big and Tough Backpack

    The laptop compartment is one of the biggest on the market, making this travel backpack one of the best 17-inch laptop backpacks. It also has a false bottom to fully protect your laptop if you drop your bag.

    Not only is this backpack built to withstand the toughest situations, but it’s also very functional for traveling and short trips. The main compartment opens flat for easy packing. The backpack also houses a 3L hydration bladder with a tube exit port. The main compartment also has carabiner holds and a smaller compartment to fit an iPad or Kindle.

    The drawback is that this is one of the most expensive and heavy backpacks on this list. It’s probably not the best backpack for someone trying to pack as little weight as possible; however, it’s designed to withstand a lifetime of abuse and has a lifetime warranty to match. Despite the price tag, you get what you pay for.

    It’s probably no surprise that the main feature that our testers loved what just how bloody hard wearing these beasts are. I mean, they’re like, Army bags! They literally feel bombproof!

    • Most durable backpack for laptops
    • Waterproof and weatherproof
    • Strength tested
    • Can fit 17 inch laptop
    • Pricey

    Best Carry on Laptop Backpack for Travel

    Standard Luggage Carry-On Best Carry on Laptop Backpack for Travel

    Standard Luggage has created a backpack specifically designed to be used as a carry-on. Meeting all standard cabin requirements without sacrificing any space or usability, this laptop backpack is great for those who fly often.

    This backpack has many useful features. Aside from having a dedicated laptop compartment (mandatory, of course), the Standard Luggage also comes with interior compression straps, locking zippers, and several extra pockets, among other things.

    One of the coolest parts about this backpack is its customizability. Touted as a 3-1 bag, it can be used as a standard backpack, a shoulder bag, and a suitcase. In addition, it is expandable from 35L to 45L, just in case you need a little extra room.

    Construction-wise, the Standard Luggage Carry-on is made from high-grade ballistic nylon and comes with an additional rain cover. Combined with 6 adjustment points and the ability to hide away straps, all of these features make this one of the most well-rounded and effective carry-on laptop backpacks.

    Because of its customizability and durability, many exclaim that the Standard Luggage bag can even be used outdoors and for hiking. We find that it falls a bit short of some other top-rated travel laptop backpacks in this regard. That being said, nothing is stopping you from taking this bag on an adventure!

    Our team loved how lightweight this bag felt even when fully packed but at the same time, the fabric and materials didn’t feel flimsy or weak.

    • Very customizable
    • Designed SPECIFICALLY for carry-on
    • Spacious
    • Can fit awkwardly

    A Simple and Easy to Use Laptop Backpack

    best carry on laptop bag fjallraven kanken

    Fjallraven is one of the most recognizable backpack brands out there. Seriously, you can’t walk a mile in the city and not see someone sporting one of these boxy bags as they appeal to just about every type of person.

    The Fjallraven Kanken, one of the company’s flagship models, can also be used as a traveling laptop backpack. Their spacious enough to a hold a 15″ computer, included a dedicated laptop sleeve, and are pretty resistant to the elements. If you’re looking for something quick and easy, not to mention in-vogue, then buying all Fjallraven Kanken wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    Fjallraven’s do have their limits. Their boxy design is a little awkward sometimes, although these bags are still comfortable to wear. Though their water-resistant, Stanard Fjallraven backpacks do lack some protective padding as well.

    If you need an everyday backpack, and not JUST a backpack for traveling, it’s hard to go wrong with the Fjallraven Kanken. It’s proven itself over and over and will probably keep on doing just that.

    Our team loved how stylish this pack was whilst still retaining great functionality. The rectangle shape really worked well for storing things like laptops, notebooks and magazines too.

    • Rugged, water-resistant material
    • Very easy to use
    • Great for everyday use
    • Boxy shape
    • Less protective padding

    Best Hipster Laptop Backpack

    The Roll Top is a great hipster-style 20L bag perfect for carrying around your laptop as well as having heaps of room for your other accessories. What really makes it stand out for a day pack is that the laptop compartment is in a separate pocket on the back of the bag. This both makes it mega secure (especially for a roll top) and also saves the massive main compartment for everything else.

    Internally the main compartment is one massive space with a selection of pockets and organisers attached to the other side of the laptop compartment/ back panel. This works well giving you some level of organisation whilst also being super roomy.

    • Capable of carrying laptops up to 16”
    • Roll top makes it expandable
    • Durable and weather resistant material
    • Could do with more internal organisation
    • Would like an internal zip as well as the roll top

    Is Stubble & Co The Roll Top for me?

    If you’re looking for something that is both stylish, functional and also super robust, the Roll Top is the perfect choice for a laptop bag. We love that it’s got that classic hipster feel whilst actually being super practical too. The black exterior also keeps water out well, is durable enough for everyday use and is smart enough for the office.

    The best present of all… is CONVENIENCE!

    Now, you could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.

    So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card! REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉

    Buy on REI!
    Best Laptop Backpacks
    NameCapacity (Litres)Dimensions (CM)Weight (KG)Laptop Size (CM)Price (USD)
    Nomatic Travel Bag4035.56 x 53.34 x 22.861.5538.1289.99
    Tortuga Setout Laptop Backpack2547 x 30.5 x 17.11.2738.1125
    Harber London Slim Laptop Pack540 x 28 x 4.51.340.64349
    Osprey Metron2648 x 35 x 21.238.1160
    North Face Recon3048.9 x 33 x 17.80.9138.198.95
    Incase EO Travel Backpack54.61 x 38.1 x 12.70.5043.18
    Aer Travel Pack 23354.61 x 34.29 x 21.591.6839.62230
    Timbuk 2 Uptown3049.53 x 28.45 x 16.511.0938.1
    LowePro ProTactic 4502552 x 36 x 222.738.1219.95
    AER City Messenger11.141 x 28 x 130.6838.1150
    Minaal Carry On 2.0 Backpack3555 x 35 x 201.4140.64349
    GoRuck GR12650.8 x 30.48 x 17.151.4540.64335
    Standard Luggage Carry-On3554.61 x 34.29 x 19.051.6839.62219
    Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack1840.01 x 27.94 x 160.4538.1155

    How and Where We Tested To Find The Best Laptop Backpacks

    To test these laptop backpacks, we got our paws on them and gave them a good old test spin over a period of time, a few different members of our team took these laptop backpacks on various trips to put them well and truly to the test.


    A backpack is designed to carry stuff and as such, top points are awarded for how much of your crap you can cram in the thing! We’re talking about maximising internal space and storage as well as organisational features. We simply tested this out by packing and unpacking! 

    We’re also keen to see how easy a bag is to unpack too. Is it a right faff getting to your gear or is everything right where you want and need it?!

    Of course, being laptop backpacks there’s more than just throwing in your clothes to think about here. We tested each bag’s ability to fit and protect your precious laptop too!

    Weight and Comfort of Carrying

    If a laptop backpack is too heavy or awkward to carry then it just becomes uncomfortable and unenjoyable to carry around with you. Take it from me, your shoulders will thank you for investing in light and comfortable gear!

    So for this reason, we awarded full marks for packs that minimise weight and maximum comfort whilst still protecting your laptop.


    In order to test out how well a pack fulfilled the primary purpose we used it for, well, its primary purpose! So here our main focus was on how well these backpacks handle and protect your laptop. Does it come with a padded or suspended compartment, can these sections be secured, does the laptop compartment placement make the pack uncomfortable? We’ve covered all these important areas right here!


    Some people say that travel gear doesn’t need to look sexy as long as it functions. Well, not the stylish folks here at The Broke Backpacker! We believe that good gear can be cool whilst still being practical and we’ve got a lineup to prove it! So ya, we also awarded points for how good each pack looked too!

    Durability and Weatherproofing

    Ideally, in order to really test out how durable a backpack is we would drop it from a plane and then run over it… with our laptop in it! But yeah, I’m not gonna do that! So instead we inspected the materials and the build quality, paying particular attention to areas like the smoothness of the zips, seam sewing, hardiness of fabrics and areas of stress where packs tend to break.

    Another important factor is how waterproof these backpacks are, especially if they’re holding valuable electronics. So what we did here was to pour a litre of water over in and then check for any leaks!

    FAQ about the Best Laptop Backpacks

    Still have some questions? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:

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      Final Thoughts

      There are countless travel backpacks on the market for every type of travel use, but these are the best backpacks for travelers bringing along their laptop and technical gear. Maybe you’ve already fallen in love with one of our top travel bags, but if you need us to make the choice, pick the best travel laptop backpack that best fits your purpose.

      If you want a versatile backpack for a long-term travel vacation, look no further than the Nomatic Travel Pack 40L. If you are based in Europe, or on a multi-month adventure there, the AER Travel Pack 2 is an awesome bag. For us, these are the laptop backpacks for travel for most people.

      best laptop backpacks for digital nomads

      For traveling minimalists, who still carry some gear, the Incase EO travel backpack and Timbuk 2 Uptown are both great bags. Photographers should look at the Emblem V4, and outdoor enthusiasts should definitely get the NorthFace Recon.

      No matter what your travel style is, there is a bag on this list to cover all of your needs!

      Is there a laptop backpack that you particularly enjoy? Think that we’d enjoy it as well? Leave a comment below and tell us about it so we can try the backpack out too!

      And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!