10 Things to Look for When Buying a Laptop Bag

In the market for a new laptop bag? Some people might find that buying a laptop bag is a simple task. But be wary of your quick decisions, you might wind up spending more time and money returning a previous impulse purchase. Consider these 10 things when you’re looking to purchase a laptop bag:

1. Screen size. Make sure your laptop will fit in the bag you decide to purchase. Measure the screen size of your computer before making any other decisions.

2. Style. There are a few styles of bags that you can choose from that will fit your individual needs.

  • Backpack-great for casual travelers and students
  • Messenger-designed for an active lifestyle, messenger bags are designed ergonomically and are more durable
  • Rolling-the purpose of rollings bags is to take the weight off your shoulders and pressure off your back. Good for carrying your stuff a long distance.
  • Briefcase-this stysle is made for professionals and usually designed for carrying on one shoulder or by the handles
  • Sleeve-laptop sleeves are made to provide your laptop wi th additional padding. Most laptop bags will come with either a sleeve or a pocket for protection

3. Padding. Padding is important to ensure that your laptop won’t get cracked or damaged. Most hard case bags do not provide the same amount of protection as soft cases.

4. Checkpoint Friendly. These bags are specifically designed to make it easier for you to go through airport security quickly. TSA tests these bags to confirm that they meet these five standards:

  • Must have a designated laptop-only section
  • The laptop-only section must completely unfold to lay flat on the X-ray belt
  • There can be no metal snaps, zippers, or buckles inside, underneath, or on top of the laptop only section
  • No pockets are allowed on the inside or outside of the laptop-only section
  • Nothing can be packed in the laptop-only section other than the computer itself

5. Extra compartments. Depending on the accessories you are wanting to carry, make sure there are enough compartments. Depending on the bag, you can find some with as little or as many pockets as you need.

6. Bag Size/Weight. Make sure you don’t get a bag that is heavier than your laptop. It may seem light at first but once you add in your computer, the power adapter, iPod, and cell phone, it will add up.

7. Outside Pockets. Messenger bags and backpacks usually come with easy outside access pockets. These pockets can be good for water bottles, keys and phones.

8. Fabric. Depending on what elements your bag will be exposed to, you may need a special fabric to protect your belongings. Most bags come in Cordura, Nylon, Polyester, Suede, Vinyl, Cotton, Denier Cordura, Denim, Duralite, Koskin, Microfiber or Leather. If you need waterproof or water resistant look for a Denier Cordura fabric or a coated canvas like the Altego Coated Canvas Cyan Series. A durable fabric is also important to make sure your bag can endure a lot of wear and tear.

9. Closure Type. The closure type is a personal preference. Depending the look you’re going for, you could decide you like zippers better than Velcro or buckles better than magnets.

10. Comfort. Do the straps look comfortable? You will be lugging this bag around a lot so having comfortable straps to minimize shoulder pain is a plus.


What type of laptop bag do you like to carry around? Backpack? Messenger?