Most backpacks are able to carry a laptop but just be aware that some are not capable of this. Clearly the very small backpacks which are designed for light hiking will not be suitable for a laptop.
It is also worth knowing that although many backpacks have the space to hold a laptop, that they do not offer any type of protection to your expensive laptop. We think that is a very important things to have and this is usually provided by some type of quality padding.
The final consideration is the size of your laptop. For example Chromebooks have 10-16" screens, some basic essay and note taking laptops are 10-14", more powerful laptops are 14-17.3" with 15.6" being very popular.
Generally speaking, if the screen size is larger, then the overall size of the laptop is larger, but the actual laptop size will vary from brand to brand depending on the design.
These types of backpacks are now widely available in the UK market. Below we have included the top 10 according to buyer reviews. Hopefully you will find this information useful.
Our Top 10 List of Backpacks suitable for holding and protecting a laptop
Wenig Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack
92% buyer satisfaction based on 12,000+ online buyer reviews
- Available in black or grey and measures 17.7 x 11.8 x 7.4
- It has 3 main pockets and 9 inner small pockets, with 2 side pockets and 1 back pocket The laptop pocket fits 15.6 inch, 15 inch or 14 inch Macbook/Laptop
- It also has a built in USB charger outside and built in charging cable inside
- It is made of water resistant and durable Oxford cloth with metal zippers.
- It has wide breathable mesh padded shoulder straps
- Both sides of the shoulder strap have a pocket design, where you can hang sunglasses and other small items
- It also has a luggage strap that allows your backpack to fit on luggage/suitcase, and slide over the luggage upright handle tube for easier carrying
This is an antitheft business travel computer bag. It has a fixed password lock and metal zippers. It also has a hidden anti-theft pocket on the back. .
Travel Laptop Backpack
92% buyer satisfaction based on 24,000+ online buyer reviews
- The dimensions: 19.29x 11.8 x 5.43 inch and it will carry a 15.6 Inches laptop, along with all the rest of your gear
- Comes witha USB and head phones interface with built-in cable design. I really liked this feature
- This backpack is pretty secure with a fixed password lock and good metal zippers, it is safe guaranteed for protecting your valuable items inside.
- Made from a high quality polyester material with a great luggage strap thats comfortable to carry
- This is a massive seller as its cheap but still good quality
Samsonite Pro-DLX 5 - 17.3 Inch Expandable Laptop Backpack
96% buyer satisfaction based on 500+ online buyer reviews
- From the price you can see this is a premium level backpack
- Laptop backpack 17.3 inch expandable to 39 x 20/25 x 48 cm - 29/34 litre - 1.70 kg
- This model is made from extra strong ballistic material. There is aRFID protected pocket, a handy powerbank pocket and easy pass which allows electronic devices to stay inside bags while charging
- Note the powerpack has to be purchased seperately
- There is a soft touch top zipped service pocket, music pocket with headphone gate, bottle holder, ergonomic backpack straps and smart sleeve
- Includes a combi padlock with TSA function for added security.
This backpack may look the same as many of the cheaper models but it is just in a different league. I expect its aimed at business men or women who travel every week and want the best they can buy.
I dont think its overpriced at all but actually really good value for a stylish model, that will look professional and will last a lifetime.
MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack
96% buyer satisfaction based on 13,000+ online buyer reviews
- The laptop compartment is 16 X 10 X 2 inches.
- Spacious main compartment of this laptop rucksack, suitable for books, clothes and other daily necessities; front compartment with keyfob hook and plenty separation pockets, helps youeasy to organize things.
- There is a great lockable zipper in the main compartment and a hidden anti-theft pocket on the back
- Comes with a USB Port built in USB charger outside and inside
- Made of durable polyester fabric with smooth metal zippers. Breathable sponge mesh of the backand straps, relieves the stress of your shoulder
Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack 15.6-17.3 Inch
94% buyer satisfaction based on 8,000+ online buyer reviews
- Multipurpose Backpack: 19.5x 12.5 x 5.3 inch laptop bag applies to laptops up to 17 inch
- Another anti-Theft styleBackpack thats super safe backpacks for travel, work or school.
- This computer bag includes 2 main pockets, 9 inner pockets, 2 side pockets, provides separated space for your Laptop, Phone, iPad, keys, wallet, binder, books, clothes, bottle and more.
- Comes with built in USB charger outside and has a charging cable inside
- The headphone Jackis also very handy
- High quality of polyster lining and eco-friendly oxford fabric
LOVEVOOK Laptop Backpack
92% buyer satisfaction based on 5,000+ online buyer reviews
- This backpack measures 42 x 30 x 14 cm and has a large capacity with many compartments
- USB Charging Port: This uni backpack has a USB port, so you can put the power bank in the backpack and use your mobile phone while charging it.
- With 15.6 inch laptop compartment featuring a padded sleeve for a 15.6 inch laptop to better protect your laptop.
- Waterproof: This business backpack is made of high-quality canvas, it is scratch-resistant, durable and waterproof, items will not get wet in the bag when it rains.
Estarer Ladies Leather Black Laptop Backpack
90% buyer satisfaction based on 500+ online buyer reviews
- 16"(H) x 13"(W) x 4"(D).
- Fully water resistant
- Takes up to a 15.6" laptop, with a padded pocket for an iPad as well as many additional pockets
- The front tassel features a ring on the backpack,which can be easily removed and attached to your keys,wallet or purse.
- Hands-free for Comfort:With a reinforced back panel and straps to distrubute weight properly,but also has a top handle if you want to carry it like a purse.
- Whether a working woman or a frequent traveler, this great leather backpack handbag is versatile as you can comfortably use it for school,office,travel and outdoor activities.
TIDING Mens Leather Laptop Backpack
92% buyer satisfaction based on 50+ online buyer reviews
- Measures 31.5 x 12 x 40 cm and will hold a 15" laptop
- Stylish mens leather business backpack
- Can convert to briefcase,crossbody handbag or a tote bag
- Removeable shoulder strap easily switch to different style on different occasions,
- The pocketing is smart and efficient with some charming details. There is a large compartment with a padded sleeve for 15.6inch Laptop. Four front pockets with card slots and pen slots to carry your belongings,
- This leatherlaptop bag is really suitable for many applications and will perfectly switch between backpack and briefcase.
Laptop Backpack, Anti-Theft
94% buyer satisfaction based on 6,500+ online buyer reviews
- This is a larger backpack at 12.4 x 7.5 x 18.9 inch with a capacity of30L.
- It holds up to a 15.6-inch Laptop and iPad.
- It has a SPACIOUS MAIN COMPARTMENT with room for books, binders, folders, clothes, lunch box, and other daily necessities.
- A MULTIFUNCTIONAL COMPARTMENT with several pockets, pen pockets, and a key fob hook organizes your items and makes them easier to find.
- There's a lock shackle hidden inside the side pocket,making it hard for somebody to open your backpack without you noticing.
- A small anti-theft pocket located on the lower back keeps your passport, wallet, phone, and other valuable items safe and handy.
- This USB backpack is more convenient for charging your phone but you have to install your own power pack
Kids College Travel Laptop Backpack
86% buyer satisfaction based on 500+ online buyer reviews
- Dimensions: 12.2"x6"x17.7"(L*W*H) 31cm*15cm*45cm
- this business laptop backpack has the separate laptop compartment that fit up to15.6 Inch Macbook/Laptop.
- Its made from nylon oxford fabric thats strong and also water resistant
- This USB backpack has USB charging port outside and charging cable inside (POWER BANK NOT INCLUDE)
- Just note that the water resistant fabric is not completely waterproof as it seems to suggest !
How to Choose a Backpack for a Laptop?
There are many of these type of laptop backpacks available on the UK market. Above we have listed the top models for style, price and value. There are of course many important features that a backpack should have. These include padding, the amount of room, the comfort of the straps etc.
Generally speaking, backpacks are used mainly for backpacking, hiking or when camping. However that is simply no longer the case. These days they are used for a whole variety of purposes. These include:
- Hiking & Camping
- Traveling - day trips, weekend trips, longer trips
- Hand luggage - this includes at airports and also as carry on luggage, TSA friendly, and anti-theft backpacks
- For business and especially for carrying laptops of different sizes (14-14.9", 15-15.9", 16-16.9" and 17"+) and daily commuting
- For college and school
- For sports of all types including going to the gym
- For cyclists
- For fishing
- As a fashion accessory including designer backpacks
As you can see from the list above, backpacks are so much more than just for the traditional uses of hiking and camping.
Important Backpack Buying Questions?
- Which type of laptop backpack do you need?
- Will the backpack fit your size of laptop or tablet?
- What size or capacity is the backpack?
- What features do you want in your backpack?
- What fabric the backpack is made from?
- Do you have a preferred look or appearance for your backpack?
- Do you have a preferred brand?
- Does it need to be anti-theft?
What Size are laptops?
- Laptops come in 9", 11", 11.6", 13.3" 14", 14.1", 15.6" and 17.3" sizes with the 15.6" size being the most popular - this refers to the diagonal screen size so the actual size of the laptop will be slightly smaller. As an example a Dell Inspiron 17 has a 17" screen but measures 16.5" long x 11.25" width and a depth of an 1"
- Asus chromebooks can vary in screen size from 12.5" to 14"
- Apple MacBook Air has a screen size of 13.3"
- Apple MacBook Pro has a screen size of 15.5"
- Dell XPS 15 has a screen size of 15.6"
- Lenovo Legion has a screen size of 17.3"
The general rule is that if you use the screen size as a guide, then make sure the laptop sleeve is big enough to hold that.
Are Backpacks safe for laptops?
Backpacks are safe for laptops to a certain degree. When you travel with a laptop there are going to be risks of theft, loss or damage. A good quality backpack can certainly help prevent all of those to a point.
One things to be really aware of is the overall weight of your backpack and what items are also stored inside the backpack. As regards items avoid having anything that is sharp from coming into contact with a laptop or any item that may be magnetic.
With reference to weight, if the bag is just too heavy, then the seams can split, or the shoulder straps could break and if the pack falls, then it will only give limited protection to your backpack.
Having some anti-theft features helps a little with reference to backpacks. The anti-theft is mainly to prevent RFID fraud, but it can also help avoid people hacking your laptop. Some laptops also have slash proof and cut resistant materials. You can also buy locking cables.
Where a laptop sleeve exists make sure to use it as these are padded and offer a degree of protection
Backpack Capacity Comparison Guide
- 18 litre backpacks measure 18 x 9 x 7" and are ideal for cycling, running or light hiking
- 20 litres is a very small backpack
- 23 litre capacity measure about 19 x 13 x 5" and will hold books, notebooks, writing instruments and a laptop
- 33 litre capacity measure about 19 x 14 x 8.5" are good for daily business use and will have various compartments, padded straps and a laptop holder
- 33-35 litres measure about 19 x 11 x 6" and they are good for carry on luggage (On average about 10 Kg when packed) or a hiking daypack
- 39 litres measure about 21 x 13 x 9" and is good for a universal backpack, will hold most laptops and most of these are expandable
- 50 litres measure about 23 x 15 x 8.5 and are ideal for hiking and camping
It is never simple to be 100% accurate about the size or capacity of a backpack. That is because the many makers of these use different rules to measure the actual capacity.
The best definition, and the one that most manufacturers use, is to measure the volume of their backpacks by adding up the total volume of the closed storage on their packs. That includes the main compartment, and the various pockets on the pack.
Some smaller manufacturers will include open pockets like side water bottle pockets or rear mesh pockets in addition to the closed storage. It isn't always easy to directly compare like for like.
Backpack capacity is measured in litres, and in all honesty, that type of measurement doesn't really help most people. which is why we have helped explain what it really means in the above table.
Some backpacks use a padded sleeve for protecting your laptop/tablet devices. While they do not offer complete protection, they do help offer some and they are also light in weight, which is also an important consideration for travel.
The size of this is all important of course. Many of these will hold a 15.6" laptop, but there are not that many that will hold a larger 17" laptop. So be careful when you are buying. Measure the actual width and breadth of your device, and then compare this against the actual size of the padded sleeve.
Safety is of course one of the important ones. Any bag can be broken into is the thief has enough time. However some backpacks are designed to be anti-theft. That makes them more difficult to break into.
The types of pickpocket you see in airports, ports, train and bus stations take advantage of travellers being distracted.
That allows them to get easy access to pockets and bags. If you make these tough for them to get into, then they will more than likely leave you alone.
Typically these bags have seams covering the main zipper area. Most of them use the material on the straps to do that. In addition to that, they will also be rip resistant, and some of them will be anti-slash.
A favourite trick of thieves is to use a sharp knife to slash the bottom of the bag, and then quickly remove items inside. An anti-slash bag will stop that.
Locks and Zippers
A big weakness in most luggage is the quality of the zippers. Not only do these come off, but they can often stick and jam. Always look for good quality metal zippers, ideally dual zippers, that can be pulled together, and then a lock attached to the ends of the zippers.
Many of these, but not all, will have hidden compartments. These can be useful especially for important documentation.
This does need quite a lot of thought. Over the years backpacks have become much better designed and manufacturers have added many features. We have listed the main ones below:
- Size of the main compartment - this is one of the most important features and is often overlooked.
- Padded straps - these provide comfort when carrying the backpack. They should be wide and comfortable to stop them digging into your shoulders.
- Water bottle pocket - some people prefer to have a water bottle or drink's holder. This is available on some backpacks, and on some models there are a couple of these, usually on the side of the pack
- USB charging - today a lot of backpacks come with a charging point using a USB to charge up phones, tablets, laptops etc.