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12 best laptop backpacks to buy now

As we approach the new school year, new school bags are on everybody’s mind. But once you’ve sorted out the kids, how about a new laptop bag for the daily commute? We’ve compiled our pick of the best laptop backpacks to buy this year.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Feb 7, 2022

woman on laptop sat on steps

Choosing a quality laptop bag can be a minefield. There are so many things to consider, such as comfort, durability, security features, general storage space as well as whether the bag can accommodate your laptop and accessories.

Backpacks are a better option than shoulder or messenger bags for carrying laptops as the weight is spread more evenly across the back, helping you to avoid back or posture problems in future.

So with this in mind, we’ve trawled the Mumsnet forums to find out which laptop backpacks our users recommend.

Here are the 12 best laptop backpacks for 2021.

1. Best overall laptop backpack: Fjällräven Kånken Adult Laptop 15" Backpack

fjallraven kanken laptop backpack

Price: £90.86 | Buy now from Amazon

“I love my Fjällräven Kånken - it's light and packs loads in, and I LOVE the way it fully opens up like a little suitcase.” crochetmonkey74

“They sit very nicely on your back.” Loubiemoo

It’s not hard to see why the Fjällräven Kånken Laptop Backpack is a firm favourite with Mumsnetters across the land. 

Tough, water-repellent and built to last, this classic bag has a roomy interior and is equipped with a padded, separate 15-inch laptop compartment, plus two side pockets and a front zip pocket. It also comes with padded shoulder straps for additional comfort.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Water-resistant
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • May feel too casual for some workplaces

Key specs 

  • Size: H40 x W28 x D16cm
  • Capacity: Holds a 15-inch laptop
  • Weight: 453.6g
  • Material: 100% polyester

2. Best budget laptop backpack: Lekesky Laptop Rucksack

lekesky laptop rucksack

Price: From £25.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“My daughter has a Lekesky - a cheap one from Amazon. She's not the easiest on her bags but this still looks immaculate after four months of daily use. It's an option if you can't afford hundreds for a bag.” goose1964

Casual yet stylish, the Lekesky Laptop Rucksack has a generous main compartment, with a padded sleeve to keep a 15.6-inch laptop, tablet or iPad well protected. The compartment is surrounded by other internal pockets for laptop accessories, books, files or whatever else you need for the day, plus there’s a hidden theft-proof zip pocket on the back of the bag to sit against the wearer's body. 

The Lekesky Laptop Rucksack is made of high-grade water-resistant and tear-resistant fabric, so it’s a durable option that will stand the test of time. The best bit though? It has a price tag of less than £30.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Generous storage
  • Anti-theft pocket

Cons

  • Lack of colour choice

Key specs

  • Size: H42 x W28 x D20cm
  • Capacity: Padded compartment holds laptops up to 15.6 inches
  • Weight: 805g
  • Material: Polyester

3. Best anti-theft laptop backpack: WENIG Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack

wenig laptop backpack

Price: From £24.98 | Buy now from Amazon

Cheap, cheerful and great for the security-conscious, the humble WENIG Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack is one of Amazon’s bestselling laptop backpacks for good reason.

With no fewer than 15 pockets (three main pockets, nine small inner pockets, two side pockets and one back pocket), the WENIG can hold a 15.6-inch laptop and all the accessories you need for a day at the office.

The WENIG comes with a fixed password lock and hidden anti-theft pocket on the back, meaning it’s perfect for keeping your valuables safe on public transport. It also comes with a luggage strap to attach to your suitcase.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Loads of pockets
  • Built in USB charger
  • Security features

Cons

  • Plain appearance
  • Password lock makes the bag harder to access quickly

Key specs

  • Size: H45 x W30 x D19cm 
  • Capacity: Holds a 15.6-inch laptop
  • Weight: 750g 
  • Material: Polyester

4. Best rolltop laptop backpack: Sandqvist SIV Recycled Roll Top Backpack

sandqvist backpack

Price: £135 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

“Have a look at Sandqvist - they’re lovely.” CaledonianSleeper

“Another vote for Sandqvist! I have the Stig style one and it’s great for schlepping around all my work stuff.” SpuriouserAndSpuriouser 

For the eco-conscious, the Sandqvist SIV Recycled Roll Top is the laptop backpack of choice.

It's made from 100% recycled nylon and, by using recycled fibres during manufacturing, Sandqvist are able to reduce energy use, waste and extend the life of the raw nylon material. So by purchasing this bag, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re being kind to the planet, if not necessarily to your pocket.

This Sandqvist bag has an outer zip pocket for easy access, while inside the main compartment you'll find one internal 13-inch laptop pocket, one zip pocket and two slip pockets.

Pros

  • Made from recycled materials
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No anti-theft pockets

Key specs

  • Size: H37/54 x W27 x D15cm
  • Capacity: 14 litres and holds a 13-inch laptop
  • Weight: 450g
  • Material: 100% recycled nylon and leather

5. Best laptop backpack for women: The North Face Vault Women's Outdoor Backpack

the north face vault backpack

Price: From £45.49 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have a North Face backpack which was a lifesaver when I commuted. It’s tardis-like and really well padded around the straps. Very comfortable.” whataboutbob

The North Face has a reputation for making backpacks that are comfortable and built to last, and the Vault is no exception.

It features a large main zip compartment to accommodate notebooks and binders, with a laptop sleeve and a secondary zip compartment for housing additional  items, plus two water bottle pockets.

This particular bag is tailored to fit women, with curved shoulder straps and panel lengths to match the contours of a woman’s body..

It also comes in a dazzling array of colours, so if you’re seeking something in Summit Gold or camo then The North Face has got you covered.

Pros

  • Specifically designed for a woman’s body
  • Plenty of storage compartments for tech accessories
  • Comfortable
  • Comes in a range of colours

Cons

  • May feel too bulky for some

Key spec:

  • Size: H48 x W33 x D20cm; laptop sleeve measures 11.5 x 11 inches
  • Capacity: 26 litres
  • Weight: 508g
  • Material: Polyester

6. Best laptop backpack for men: WENGER Swissgear Synergy 16” Laptop Backpack

swissgear laptop backpack

Price: £56.99 | Buy now from Currys PC World

Sturdy, comfortable and with all the pockets you could possibly need, the WENGER Swissgear Synergy is the daddy of all laptop backpacks.

This bag is suitable for a 16-inch laptop, and its padding, mesh lining and various compartments helps to keep laptops and accessories safe from minor shocks. It includes a base stabilising platform, shock-absorbing shoulder straps, a reinforced handle and trolley strap.

Although this is Mumsnet’s pick for the best laptop backpack for men, of course the WENGER Swissgear Synergy is suitable for all. And a must for anyone who loves pockets.

Pros

  • Large number of pockets
  • Durable
  • Effectively protects your tech

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Not particularly stylish

Key specs:

  • Size: H48 x W36 x D31cm
  • Capacity: Holds a 16-inch laptop
  • Weight: 1700g
  • Material: Polyester and PVC

7. Best padded laptop backpack: Eastpak Provider Laptop Backpack

eastpak provider laptop backpack

Price: £85 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

Comfort is key with the Eastpak Provider. Padded straps, a padded back and a rubber molded top handle means it’s easy to transport this backpack no matter how much you have stashed inside. And with a 33-litre capacity you can fit in quite a lot.

As well as two generous main compartments, the Eastpak Provider also has a padded laptop sleeve to fit a 14-inch laptop.

Pros

  • Excellent storage capacity
  • Comfortable
  • Strong

Cons

  • Shoulder straps may feel stiff at first
  • May feel too bulky for some

Key specs

  • Size: H44 x W31 x D25cm
  • Capacity: 33 litres with a 38x29cm laptop sleeve
  • Weight: 900g
  • Material: 60% polyamide and 40% polyester

8. Best laptop backpack for air travel: Knomo Mayfair Beauchamp Backpack

knomo mayfair beauchamp laptop backpack

Price: From £125.30 | Buy now from Amazon

“Smart and stylish and, more importantly for me, comfortable to carry.” NeedWineNow

“Knomo all the way. Not cheap but not crazy expensive. Have two and love them.” Parsley1789

Knomo Beauchamp is the go-to bag for the stylish traveller, according to Mumsnetters. But style doesn’t come at the expense of practicality. A padded laptop section can accommodate a laptop up to 14 inches in size and two inner side pockets allow for further storage of accessories.

A trolley slip sleeve means the Knomo Beauchamp can be slipped onto wheeled luggage for easy travelling and a hidden, zipped back pocket gives you somewhere safe to stash your phone while on the go.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Great for air travel

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Small capacity

Key specs

  • Size: H42 x W29.5 x D12cm 
  • Capacity: 13.6 litres and can accommodate a 14-inch laptop
  • Weight 0.8kg
  • Material: Nylon with leather trim

9. Best stylish laptop backpack: Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Rucksack

ally capellino laptop backpack

Price: £295 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

“I’ve got one of their rucksacks which I use for a laptop from time to time - had it about four years and it’s still in great condition.jaundicedoutlook

This rather luxurious Ally Capellino Fin is an excellent multi-use backpack, making it many a Mumsnetters go-to bag for work or leisure time.

This bag has a large front pocket with two mesh compartments, a zipped pocket and hook for your keys, an internal zip pocket, two interior nylon compartments, two side pockets and a padded laptop section.

Alternatively, a changing mat is also available separately if the Ally Capellino Fin Waxed Cotton Rucksack is your dream baby changing bag.

Pros

  • Lots of internal storage
  • Can be used as a changing bag

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Bag will need to be rewaxed to prolong lifespan

Key specs

  • Size: H44 x W42 x D13cm
  • Capacity: 24 litres with a sleeve for a 16-inch laptop built into the lining of the bag
  • Weight: Not stated
  • Material: Water-resistant British waxed cotton and Italian bridle leather

10. Best water-resistant laptop backpack: Rains Rolltop Water Resistant Backpack

rains rolltop backpack

Price: £95 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

“Comfy and water-resistant.” WidowTwonky

The Scandinavians know a thing or two about how to withstand the elements, particularly Danish firm Rains - a contemporary rainwear lifestyle brand known for its signature waterproof fabric.

The Rains Rolltop Water Resistant Backpack is the brand’s take on a cycling backpack, with a roll-top closure and an adjustable strap featuring a loop for a bike lock or similar. 

The bag has a large main compartment, an easy-access front pocket and a side-access laptop compartment for a 15.6-inch laptop. It also has adjustable shoulder straps, a chest strap and padded back for added comfort.

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Simple internal layout

Cons

  • No anti-theft pocket
  • No internal pockets

Key specs 

  • Size: H60 x W31 x D10cm
  • Capacity: 18 litres and a compartment for laptops up to 15.6 inches
  • Weight: 907g
  • Material: 50% polyurethane and 50% polyester

11. Best wheeled laptop backpack: Samsonite GuardIT 2.0 Laptop Backpack with Wheels

samsonite guardit laptop backpack

Price: £85.57 | Buy now from Amazon

Perfect for air travel and public transport, the Samsonite GuardIT wheeled laptop backpack is a great all-rounder. 

The interior has been redesigned to better accommodate the latest electronic devices and there are a number of internal pockets, including a laptop compartment to fit a 15.6-inch laptop. A separate pocket with a soft lining will keep your sunglasses safe without getting scratched. 

Pros

  • Can be wheeled or carried as a backpack
  • Lots of internal storage

Cons: 

  • Can overbalance
  • May be uncomfortable to wear on the back for long journeys

Key specs 

  • Size: H48 x W33.5 x D20 cm
  • Capacity: Can accommodate a 15.6-inch laptop
  • Weighs 2200g
  • Material: Polyester

12. Best laptop backpack for business travel: Samsonite Uplite Three-Way Laptop Expandable Backpack

samsonite uplite laptop bag

Price: From £65.40 | Buy now from Amazon

“It's really smart, very well made, feels and looks expensive, and expands too.” Blutopia

This sleek and elegant laptop backpack is perfect for business trips. It’s compact and lightweight enough to tuck away under seats and in luggage racks, but can also be expanded if necessary.

The Uplite can comfortably fit a 14-inch laptop, plus there’s an additional pocket that could hold an iPad or tablet.

Pros

  • Smart
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Small capacity

Key specs

  • Size: H40 x W30 x D10cm 
  • Capacity: Can hold a 14 inch laptop
  • Weight: 900g
  • Material: Nylon

Are laptop backpacks safe?

Some laptop backpacks come with special anti-theft features, such as hidden zipped pockets, in order to keep your valuables safe while travelling on public transport. But you could always purchase a security lock if you wanted extra peace of mind.

Specialist laptop backpacks come with a special compartment to store your laptop. If these sections are padded, this helps to provide extra security to ensure your laptop stands less chance of getting damaged.

How do I choose a laptop backpack?

There are several things you should consider when choosing a laptop backpack.

  • Size and weight: Will the backpack fit your laptop, its accessories and any additional items you need for work or university? Or are you looking for a smaller, more streamlined bag if you’re travelling by plane or even by bicycle? One size does definitely not fit all, so check the specifications carefully.
  • Security features: When travelling by public transport, you may want to consider how your choice of backpack can help to keep opportunistic thieves at bay. Anti-theft pockets and locks can be handy features to consider.
  • Material: Check out the material the laptop bag is made from. Is it durable? Water-resistant? Or will the bag material need special care, for example, rewaxing?
  • Organisation: Check out how many pockets there are on the inside and the outside of the bag. Do these have zips? Are there enough pockets to prevent all your things from getting jumbled?

What is the best brand for laptop backpacks? 

When it comes to the best laptop backpack, brands such as Samsonite, Swissgear and The North Face come with a good, solid reputation. But it’s worth checking as to whether these brands meet your particular set of needs before purchasing on the back of the name alone.

What is the most durable laptop backpack?

There are a number of durable laptop backpacks on our list, but our top pick is the Fjällräven Kånken Laptop Backpack. As well as being tough and built to last, this classic bag has ample storage space and is a firm favourite with Mumsnetters.

How we chose our recommendations

We scoured Mumsnet forums to find out which laptop backpacks our users rate highly - and which ones they weren’t impressed by.

We also consulted consumer watchdogs and took note of what they looked for in laptop backpacks and which brands they were recommending to their readers.

Finally, we collated all that information and then looked at other online reviews to see which laptop backpacks had received the best recommendations.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.