The 10 Best Laptop Bags For The Constantly-In-Motion

I need a new laptop bag. I’ve been carrying my Lo & Sons Seville (pictured above) to and fro across the country for at least 26,000 years (at present count), and it is indeed a great travel bag – two of my good friends have bought one as well, and both are fans – but it’s time for a new one, and I’ve decided that a tote no longer makes sense for my particular needs.

Totes are great. They are sleek-looking and functional, and if I worked in an office and carried my computer back and forth every day I think I’d be fine with one, but my computer bag must be lugged through airports and stashed in teeny-tiny underseat compartments, and when I tend to have one arm occupied by a four-year-old and the other one occupied by two cartoon-covered backpacks (that, of course, both children swore up and down they would carry themselves, mmmmhmmmmm), assorted Einstein’s bagel bags, and one VERY IMPORTANT pink bunny that MUST NOT BE DROPPED, having a tote bag strap constantly falling off of my shoulder (causing the tote and the laptop within to bang onto floors and walls and strollers and make me want to cry)…

It’s not ideal.

So I’ve been researching, and have discovered that an interesting development has taken place within the bag industry: more and more, niche retailers are working to fill the needs of the “active” working woman: one who maybe bicycles to work, or needs to carry both a laptop and gym sneakers, or – yes – hauls herself and her children through airports more often than might be logically advisable.

Here are the best styles I’ve found. Alternative suggestions are welcome – and I’d love to hear which of the below is your favorite.


Knomo Beaux Bag

In a break from the one-size-fits-all padding you find in many travel bags, Knomo bags are created to protect specific types of devices. Most of the styles also come in both nylon and leather versions, to accommodate different budgets.

Having looked at them all, my vote is for the leather Beaux backpack (which has a padded laptop compartment and separate pockets for chargers and such) – it’s elegant, but still…a backpack.


Cuyana Large Leather Backpack

In no way does this bag look like a computer bag.

…And yet?

And yet.

(To be precise, it fits a laptop up to 15″, and can be converted into a shoulder bag, if that’s your preference.)


Caraa Sport Studio Bag

Technically marketed as a “gym bag,” the Studio is soooort of a miracle: it easily converts from a satchel to a messenger bag to a backpack, has breathable compartments for workout clothing and shoes, and separate sections for work items (including a small laptop) and valuables.


Kate Spade 15" Computer Bag

Such a classic.

(I haven’t wanted a Kate Spade bag since 1997, but…there you go.)


Caraa x Athleta Convertible Backpack

On the more affordable end of the spectrum is this nylon bag, which fits a 15″ laptop and has a separate compartment for shoes (which can be unzipped and worn as a crossbody or waist pack.

It’s also collapsible. And cute.


Tumi Stanton Becca Backpack

Nobody does travel bags better than Tumi (well…according to my dad, at least. But he’s basically a professional traveler, so he should know).


Briggs & Riley Sympatico Backpack

Unisex and sporty, this nylon bag slips onto a rolling back for travel. Not my favorite of the bunch in terms of look, but super functional (and well-priced).


Piel Leather Crossbody

If you prefer a bit more of a rugged look (and a crossbody), this one has a magnetic closure and a large rear pocket.


Timberland Tuckerman Backpack

I just like that this backpack would look better and better the more you beat it up.


Patricia Nash Braided Jovanna Backpack

And finally, something a little different.

Not sleek. Not especially elegant. Maybe not even suuuuper practical.

But it’s so, so cool.

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