0 votes
by (200 points)
id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> School is back in full swing, which means that for anyone who doesn't have kids or isn't in college, it's a great time to travel, too. Whether you're after the best laptop backpack to carry around campus or a bag that's a good fit for getting you through the work week and then through a weekend away, you'll find it here. If you're not traveling or a student, or a traveling student, and need to carry a backpack for work or a daily commute, there are options here for those, too.

imageanti<\/strong>-theft bag" style="max-width:400px;float:left;padding:10px 10px 10px 0px;border:0px;">Read: Best laptop deals 2019: Windows and Chromebooks for under $500

I've spent countless hours walking city streets, commuting and traveling with these backpacks to see how they hold up and how useful their individual designs and features are. And if you don't find the best laptop backpack for you in this list, hit the gallery at the end for more options. I will continue to test out new bags, so if you've got a favorite that belongs on this list, let me know in the comments. And note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of some of the products in this guide.

Best all-around pick
Incase Icon
Sarah Tew/CNET The Icon backpack is a favorite for its understated style and huge carry capacity (and well-padded shoulder straps for carrying it all comfortably). Incase updated the bag with weather and abrasion-resistant fabric called Woolenex. It feels somewhat like cotton, but it's lightweight and has the high-tensile strength of ballistic nylon.

The bag is otherwise the same as the original. Four separate sections give you space for up to a 15.6-inch laptop and a tablet, plus one for flat files and another loaded with pockets for all your accessories. While water bottle/umbrella storage is absent on the outside, there is certainly room inside. 

One of my favorite features, besides the shoulder straps, is the zippered pocket compartments at the base of each strap. The right side has a charging cable pass-through so you can keep a power bank in there to charge your cell phone while you're wearing the stylish bag.  See it on Incase

See at Amazon Read more: Backpacks vs. shoulder bags: Laptop commuters take sides

Best for commuters
Timbuk2 Scope Expandable
Sarah Tew/CNET As a commuter going between New York and New Jersey, my carry needs can change daily. There are also essentials that rarely change -- keys, transit tickets, headphones, etc. -- that I need fast access to as well as being able to get to my business laptop in the cramped confines of a train seat. The Scope is the best laptop backpack that nails these needs. 

The water-resistant backpack is broken into three main storage compartments: A small organizational section in front, a side-loading waterproof 15-inch laptop compartment in the back and a spacious storage space in between. But that center section can be expanded by releasing magnetic side compression straps and opening a zippered gusset on top. The extra space gives you room for carrying a change of clothes and a pair of shoes or even a bike helmet. Don't need the space? Zip up the gusset and fasten down the compression straps and you're done. 

Dual stretch side pockets provide room for carrying an umbrella and a water bottle, and Timbuk2 even put a bottle opener on the shoulder strap for when you're extra thirsty. A front zippered compartment with an internal mesh pocket and the key leash rounds things out.  

See at Timbuk2 Read more: Best back-to-school backpacks and bags for 2019

Best basic pack
Ogio Alpha Convoy 120
Sarah Tew/CNET It doesn't get much more simple than Ogio's smallest Alpha Convoy bag. Lightweight, durable and made from water-resistant material, it has just a zipper pocket in front and one large compartment. There is a large laptop pocket inside as well as a single drop pocket and pen holder, but that's it. However, if you do need more storage there are a couple of MOLLE straps on the front to attach things to or consider stepping up to the Convoy 320, which gives you a lot more organization inside and out.  

See at Amazon Read more: Best College Laptops for 2019

Best budget pick
Solo NY Duane Hybrid Briefcase
Sarah Tew/CNET Can't decide between a shoulder bag and backpack? Hybrids like the Duane solve this with a design that works as both. Detachable backpack straps stash in a pocket on the back when you want to attach its removable shoulder strap. There's enough room for books, your lunch and whatever else you need to get through the day including up to a 15.6-inch laptop. Plus, despite a price as low as $20, it carries Solo NY's five-year warranty.  

See at Amazon Read more: The best laptops 2019: Premium midsize category

Best for professionals
Waterfield Designs Pro Executive
Sarah Tew/CNET No matter how nice-looking a backpack is, it can still make you look like a 12-year-old at the office. With a clean design and a combination of 1050 denier ballistic nylon and leather accents, the Pro Executive is a stylish laptop case and office-friendly adult backpack. 

Four external pockets keep your everyday essentials organized while two large main compartments give you room for everything from a change of clothes to a 15-inch laptop (though a newer slim 17-inch laptop will fit). The golden interior works as a light to help you find what you're looking for fast. And like Waterfield's Air Porter shoulder bag, the nylon, and leather Pro Exec stays upright when you put it down. 

The stylish laptop backpack can be paired with Waterfield's Executive Folio, which is like a slim briefcase to take you from meeting to meeting. Or consider the company's Bolt backpack instead, which is a slimmer, streamlined pack that's better for a daily commute.  

See at Waterfield Designs Read more: Best laptops, desktops and tablets for designers and creatives in 2019

Best for mobile charging
Solgaard Lifepack Solar 2.0
Solgaard Hate it when your phone runs low on power? The $165 Lifepack Solar 2.0 has a removable front panel that houses a 10,000mAh power bank good for up to five phone charges. A cable routed through the bag runs from the battery to a USB port in an external zippered side pocket, so your phone is still handy even while you charge. 

You can choose between a 10,000mAh power bank that comes with or without a built-in Bluetooth speaker. Each has a small solar panel charging port that slowly tops off its charge when not in use or can charge your phone in about four hours. The solar charging is far from the only feature, though. 

Though much of the bag's design remains the same as the original one launched on Kickstarter in 2016, the solar batteries and bag components have all been improved. There are two main storage compartments: One for your tech, which includes a suspended padded sleeve to protect it from drops, and other bulky items and a slightly smaller organizational section at the front. 

There are hidden pockets on the fronts of the shoulder straps as well as in the bottom of the back padding. The straps are comfortable, too, although there's no sternum strap to help with weight. To keep your stuff safe -- whether it's on or off your back -- this anti-theft backpack has an upgraded integrated retractable cable combination lock. 

And one last detail about this bag and Solgaard: The interior lining is made from recycled plastic bottles, and with every bag purchased the company helps remove 5 pounds of plastic from oceans.

Your answer

Your name to display (optional):
Privacy: Your email address will only be used for sending these notifications.
Welcome to Newpost Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community.