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    Apr 10, 2020

    The Best Laptop Backpacks For Carrying All Of Your Essentials

    Your computer and your shoulders will thank you.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    If you’re schlepping your laptop to work, class, or a farther-flung destination, a protective bag that’s easy on your back is a must; being easy on the eyes is an added bonus.

    HBO / Via giphy.com

    We tested laptop backpacks for comfort, durability, and style, taking into account things like compartments and accessories, how well the bags keep their shape, and overall ease of wear to find the best for your lifestyle — whether you live out of your bag or just need one to carry the essentials.

    Mancro Laptop Backpack

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    You may not have heard of the Mancro brand — but thousands of pretty darn happy customers on Amazon have, and we wanted to find out why. When we pitted this against other laptop backpacks in its price range, the answer was clear: You won’t find a comfortable waterproof laptop bag with as many organizational compartments, as much overall space, a USB charging port, and a sturdy, stylish, lean design at this price anywhere else.

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    Let’s start by talking pockets. (How much time do you have?) The Mancro has a spacious main pocket with a separate protective sleeve for your laptop or tablet and a Velcro strap to keep it in place; an external zippered section; and a small zippered pouch on the front of the bag that’s convenient for storing your passport, keys, or any other item you might want to access quickly. It also features two side pockets for small water bottles, snacks, or whatever else you’d like to keep separate from the main compartments. And with a total of nine inner pockets of varied sizes — no more pens, Chapstick, or loose change strewn about at the bottom of your bag — this bag moves you one small step closer to getting your life in order. (Or at least getting your belongings in order before you head out the door.)

    While its built-in USB port and cord are USB 2.0, meaning it doesn’t support super-fast charging, at this price point we’d have to be pretty bratty to complain about that. If you’re out of the house for most of the day and forget to charge your phone before traveling from point A to point B, this thing makes it easy; just make sure to have a portable battery pack on hand.

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    As for durability, plenty of customer reviews have attested to its ability to last through the school year or longer. Others, however, note things like a zipper breaking or the top handle fraying within several months of use. It should be noted, though, that the bag also comes with a lifetime warranty, and a handful of reviewers mention the company sending a replacement swiftly. For its price, we think that’s a pretty sweet deal.

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    And let’s not fail to address the elephant in the room: If you’re familiar with Fakespot, a site that analyzes Amazon (and Yelp) reviews to determine if they’re legit and if negative reviews have been scrapped, you’ll find that this product doesn’t exactly pass with flying colors — if at all. Some colorways get a C or a D, and one even gets an F. That doesn’t mean it’s a crappy bag; it just means its company isn’t very smart about letting the product’s positive reviews speak for themselves. It’s also manufactured in China, and some of the description copy seems to have been translated improperly. All this led to our initial skepticism that the Mancro backpack would be as good as its Amazon page lets on, but after our testers took a look at and wore it (filled to the brim with books, a computer, water bottles, and more), it was nearly a unanimous favorite in this price category. Its size, light weight, and easily adjustable, sufficiently padded straps make it a good choice for people of all builds, and it certainly looks more expensive than a bag with a $30 price tag.

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    If you’re on a budget and seeking a backpack with a clean, sophisticated aesthetic that will protect your electronics against the elements and satisfy all your organizational and device-charging needs, the Mancro laptop backpack is certainly a solid pick.

    Get it from Amazon for $22+.

    InCase Path Backpack

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    Incase is a name synonymous with quality. It’s arguably the premier brand in the computer- and tablet-sleeve market, and you can also spot plenty of products from its wide array of laptop, travel, and camera bags on “best of” lists across the internet. The Path backpack may not have a slew of reviews to sift through just yet — it was just launched earlier this year — but you can take our word for it that this sleek laptop bag comes through in all the ways you’d expect, with the added bonus of being priced at a fraction of cost of the majority of Incase’s selection.

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    While Incase offers an assortment of bags with prices that soar well into three figures, there’s no need to drop an additional $50 to $100 (or more) if you’re simply seeking an everyday, lightweight commuting bag for carrying your essentials and electronics. The brand says it’s driven by design, “at the intersection of technology and lifestyle.” Its minimalist, clean aesthetic makes it a good choice regardless of personal style, with a design that’s neither rugged nor overtly hipster-chic; it’s the kind of bag that works with professional, day-trekking, or casual weekend wear alike, and we could see it becoming an adored go-to bag whether you’re a college student, a startup employee, or a tenured professor.

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    The Path features a water-bottle sleeve big enough to fit a standard reusable water bottle, as well as a zippered side pocket, several inner pockets that make it easier to compartmentalize odds and ends (like earbuds, keys, pens, and documents), and compartments that will fit a tablet, e-reader, and other electronic devices. Its faux-fur-lined laptop sleeve is a nice touch, a subtle detail that adds an air of luxury that we appreciate, especially for a bag that we just dropped $80 on.

    Our testers generally found the bag to be supportive and comfortable; it feels sturdy and appears to be the product of quality workmanship and careful design. It’s been crafted with what Incase calls “abrasion-resistant” fabric, designed to be protective in the face of potential scrapes and punctures and generally withstand the abuse of everyday wear and tear. (If it doesn’t live up to that promise, Incase offers a one-year warranty on all its products.) Its adjustable straps feature breathable mesh — a thoughtful detail that might help to mitigate the misery of a sweaty summer commute or exploring a city by foot all day.

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    Our runner-up in this price tier, the Herschel Pop Quiz, is also a prime example of successfully marrying understated, unisex style and functionality; ultimately it lost to the Incase because of anecdotal evidence from testers who’ve actually owned the bag that it tends to show signs of wear more quickly than we’d prefer for a bag in its price tier. The Path is also a tad lighter (it’s the most lightweight out of all three of our picks, in fact). The eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack was a worthy contender as well, but, despite being lean in design, it lost points with our testers when it came down to overall aesthetic; if you like the look of this bag, though, and if you regularly carry a camera that could use additional protection, it’s also a solid choice (with the bonus of a lifetime warranty).

    For an ultra-durable everyday laptop bag under $100 that transcends personal style and demographics, the Incase Path has got your back.

    Get it from Amazon for $80.

    Aer Fit Pack 2

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    There are a lot of top-dollar backpacks on the market designed to protect your electronic devices as well as provide you with the extra bells and whistles you’d expect in an investment-worthy bag. That said, choosing the best one-size-fits-all high-end laptop bag was challenging — different bells and whistles resonate with different folks — but ultimately we decided that the Aer Fit Pack 2 was the most worth it because of some truly innovative design features.

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    The most obvious perk of this bag is a designated compartment for shoes (which fit up to a men’s size 13), presumably of the stinky-gym-sneaker variety. If you work out regularly and head to the gym immediately before or after work (or, hey, even during — three cheers for figuring out the whole work-life balance thing!), this bag is the solution you never knew you needed to being weighed down by two different bags. While the compartment is designed for shoes, you could also choose to use it for, say, your lunch, or anything else you’d like to keep separate from the rest of your belongings. Perhaps you bike to work and want to change into a fresh shirt upon arrival; you can toss your sweaty, pit-stained tee in there and rest assured it’ll have some help airing out without tainting the rest of your possessions.

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    The Aer Fit Pack 2 is separated into two distinct sections: a front-load pouch that’s big enough to store all your gym gear (or whatever you desire), and the main compartment, with requisite padded laptop sleeve and, like our $ and $$ picks, pockets galore. There’s also a zippered pouch at the top of the bag for your keys or anything else you’ll need quick access to. Despite all this, it maintains a relatively non-bulky shape. One of our testers described the look of the bag as “turtle-shell-y” when the front section was packed to the brim, but admitted it wouldn’t necessarily be a dealbreaker given its convenient features and smart design. The water-resistant bag also has a padded mesh back for added breathability during, say, a grueling commute, and it comes with a sternum strap — that’s the one that goes across your chest — for added comfort and stability (boob-havers, beware).

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    One caveat worth mentioning: If you have a particularly petite frame, you may find the size of this bag, the largest of all our three picks, a bit overwhelming. If so, and if you don’t think you’ll make use of its shoe compartment or don’t have as many things to tote around with you on the regular, another fantastic high-end contender was the new-on-the-scene ISM Classic. It’s an optimal bag for anyone who prioritizes style just as much as (or maybe even more than) functionality and is willing to shell out $215 to prove it; it solicited no shortage of oohs and aahs and more than one “So pretty!” from our testers. While marketed as a unisex bag likely to be coveted by tech-startup types— it features a leather flap for easy phone-charging on the go, as well as a very discreet waterproof laptop compartment at the back of the bag — it found more fans in our testers who identified as female. (It would indeed complement a summer dress just as well as it would jeans and a tee.)

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    Look, we realize $135 is a hefty sum to throw down on a bag — but if you’re the kind of person who pretty much lives out of their backpack, spends most of the day away from home, doesn’t commute via car, and frequently works out? We absolutely believe the price is more than justified. (Oh yeah, and it comes with a lifetime warranty.) If you’ve checked off all the above boxes, go ahead and make life easier for yourself and consider buying this bag.

    Get it from Nordstrom for $135.