How to Choose the Best Laptop Backpack

Laptop People

Like most people, you probably take your laptop with you wherever you go. Of course, this means that you need a laptop backpack to make sure that your computer gets to your destination with one piece. In this day and age, laptop backpacks are a dime a dozen which means that picking a good one can be a bit trying.

While it may seem deceptively simple, there is actually a lot to think about when choosing a laptop backpack for yourself. This includes the size, quality, comfort, and style. If you don’t want to drown in all of the technical terms and discussions, don’t worry. We have got you covered with all that you need to know – read all about it here!

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Choosing Laptop Backpacks

One thing that there isn’t a shortage of is laptop backpacks. You will have no difficulty finding bags in different shapes, sizes, and colors. While this may seem like a stroke of luck, it also requires you to pay better attention to just what it is that you are buying. After all, you will have a tougher time trying to weed out the good from the bad. This article will act as a guide to help you do just this.

Laptop Backpack vs. Laptop Sleeve

There is often a debate between carrying laptop backpacks and laptop sleeves. Sleeves are lightweight enclosures for your laptop and are often unable to carry more than just the device. Backpacks, on the other hand, resemble daypacks but have a more specialized design.

The main appeal of laptop sleeves is that they are light, take up less space, and are more subtle to carry around. Backpacks, however, can be a little bulky. There are advantages to this added size and heft, though. These packs are able to protect your laptop a lot better, especially as you are traveling. Their bigger size also means that they can carry items and accessories for your laptop, in addition to the laptop itself.

Now, the decision does depend on your preference and your requirements. Nonetheless, more often than not, backpacks will trump sleeves in terms of comfort, durability, and space.

Types of Laptop Bags

There are actually several different types of laptop carriers to choose from. These include briefcases and totes. In terms of actual bags, though, there are two styles to choose from – messenger bags and laptop backpacks. Here is what you need to know about them:

Laptop Messenger Bags

These type of bags come with a single strap which can be carried over or across your shoulder. Messenger bags are good for those who want something that they can take to work as they tend to look more professional. Also, these bags have easy access points so they work well for those who need to quickly access their device.

Laptop Backpacks

These have become multi-purpose packs that are used by travelers, students, and business people as well. The advantage with these backpacks is the comfort afforded to the wearer because of the functional design. On average, the backpacks, have larger capacities as well which lets them carry a greater amount of items.

How Big Should Your Laptop Backpack Be?

Especially if you use your laptop backpack as a multi-purpose bag, you may be tempted to get the largest one possible. While this will allow you to fit more things into the backpack, it can also compromise the safety of your laptop. This is particularly true for those smaller laptops of 13 inches or less.

Ideally, the length of the backpack should be very close to the diagonal length of the laptop. This will ensure that the laptop will not move around while you are walking with the bag on your back. If the device is given too much room to slide about, it will almost certainly get damaged.

Most laptop backpacks have a pocket, sleeve, or compartment that is meant just for the device. This is what you need to pay attention to when trying to find a bag that will fit your laptop. On average, most backpacks are built to take laptops that are about 15 inches in size. So, if you have a larger one – perhaps 17 inches or more, you will need to find a bag with a compartment able to fit your laptop.

While the diagonal length is what you should focus on, also measure the width of your laptop. This is so that the laptop will fit snugly in the compartment. It is also a good idea to look for compartments that can be secured with a strap or mesh sheeting so that your laptop will remain fixed in one place.

Top Loader vs. Panel Loader

With top loader laptop backpacks, there is one opening at the very top, and there usually is just one main compartment. The advantage with backpacks that can be packed and unpacked like this is that it is a fuss-free design. In some cases, you will find that these type of backpacks are also more watertight than other designs. This is because there are no zippers or other openings for the water to seep through.

The panel loading laptop backpacks are ones that have compartments that have zippers separating them. These can be opened from the side. These laptop bags are best suited for individuals who like organization and want to store all of these items separately.

Storage and Organization Features

As mentioned, you will typically only find organizational features on panel loading laptops. However, if you are looking for storage options, you should think about what you want to carry in your laptop bag. In many instances, the items that you are carrying may be accessories for your laptop or other digital items. This is why organization and adequate partitions are important with this type of backpack.

You should look for lots of slots and compartments so that it is easy to store each item such as cables or wires separately. This will also make it simpler to find them in a rush. If you want the laptop backpack to double as a work or school bag, look for compartments that let you store pens, pencils, and other pieces of stationery.

If you really want to maximize your space as much as possible, laptop backpacks with external pockets will also be useful. With the exterior compartments, the backpack can also function as a handbag, allowing you easy access to your phone and money, too.

Protection Features on Laptop Backpack

One of the main reasons that you need a laptop backpack is so that you can protect your device while you are in transit. So, it would be logical to assume that one of the most important things about such a backpack would be safety and protection.

The primary way to judge how well a backpack would protect your laptop is to take a look at how much padding there is. The more padding there is, the less shock or force your device has to deal with. In addition to padding on the sides, you should also look for thick, firm padding on the bottom of the bag as well.

Then, there is the placement of the pocket. Ideally, there should be some space between the bottom of the laptop and the sleeve that houses the laptop. This will minimize any impact that the laptop will have with various surfaces.

It is important to note that the amount of protection (and padding) is directly related to the weight of the backpack. So, the better equipped a backpack is to protect your laptop, the heavier it will be.

The Carrying System and Straps

On laptop backpacks, the straps are typically well padded and wide. This is a good feature to have as it evenly distributes the weight across each shoulder. You can then avoid having the straps cut into your flesh while carrying your bag.

It is more common to see laptop backpacks that come with chest or sternum straps. Now, this helps to keep the bag steady on your back. As we have established, you don’t want your bag to move a lot with your laptop in it. The sternum strap makes sure that it stays in one place.

It can be a little difficult to find laptop backpacks that have waist straps. If you are only planning on carrying an average-weight laptop and a charger, then you aren’t going to require a hip belt. However, if you want to carry a heavier load in your bag, then you will need a waist strap. In this instance, a hip belt will help you to naturally carry most of the weight around your hips. This will avoid putting undue pressure on your shoulders or back.

Laptop Backpack Material

The material that your laptop backpack is made from is important as it will determine the durability of the bag. The most common material for laptop backpacks is nylon. This material is strong and will stand up to daily use. Nylon material that is thick and has a higher denier will prove to be the best fabric for a hardwearing backpack.
While polyester is not as strong as nylon, it does have its own benefits. Laptop backpacks that are made from polyester tend to be water resistant, at least to a certain degree. So, if you are expecting rain or drizzle on your daily commute, you will be better off with a backpack made from this type of material.

Choosing Travel-Friendly Backpacks

Since it is difficult to be parted from your laptop for too long, most people are taking their devices – and laptop backpacks with them on the plane. To be able to do this with minimal hassle, you should look for a travel-friendly laptop backpack.

There may be a chance that you will be asked to remove your laptop from the bag and place it in in a separate container. This is why you should choose a backpack that has easy access points and where it is simple to pack and unpack your laptop from.

You will need to pay attention to the size of the bag as well. Look for ones that will easily fit into the overhead compartment of the plane and will not take up too much room. Of course, to ensure that it will be kept protected during the flight, make it a point to look for a backpack with proper padding.

These are the most important things to know about choosing your laptop backpack. As long as you make it a point to pay attention to this advice, you should be able to make a good decision fairly quickly.

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