Laptop Backpacks for School and Work – The Hollywood Reporter
Whether you’re a commuter, a business class jet-setter or a coffee shop-frequenting freelancer, a good backpack can make it easier to schlep your stuff to wherever you call the office. If you’re not into briefcases or prefer to stay hands-free, the best backpacks can help keep your office or school essentials safe and sound — and you feeling comfortable and stylish.
What do we look for in the best backpacks for work or school? Our criteria includes a designated laptop sleeve (since you’re likely shuttling your computer back and forth), convenient pockets for organizing your tech and supplies and durable fabric to withstand everyday travels — all features that on-the-go professionals and students will appreciate.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best work backpacks that also double as carryalls for traveling, school and even day trips. From luxury options by Coach and Monos, to budget-minded bags and sustainable designs, check out our top picks below.
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Herschel Tech Backpack
Although Herschel’s best-selling Little America backpacks are also great for the office, we’re also fans of the brand’s versatile Tech Backpack for its convenient luggage trolley sleeve, the fleece-lined 16-inch laptop compartment and the many interior pockets for organization. It has a 30-liter capacity and a shoe compartment, so it works great as an overnight bag and for flights.
Samsonite x Sarah Jessica Parker Carried Away Convertible Backpack
BEST CONVERTIBLE TRAVEL BACKPACK
You don’t have to be a Sex in the City fan to love this convertible backpack (aptly named Carried Away) from Samsonite and Sarah Jessica Parker’s collaboration. Available in black and blue, the travel-minded bag can be worn four ways and comes with a removable shoulder strap that can turn the included pouch into a cross-body carryall. The backpack has all of the sleeves and compartments you need to stay organized (including a 14.1-inch laptop compartment), and frequent travelers will appreciate the luggage handle sleeve and discrete security pocket, the comfortable shoulder straps and the designated water bottle holder.
Lovevook Laptop Backpack
BEST BUDGET WORK BACKPACK
Available in different sizes to accommodate 14-, 15-, and 17-inch laptops, this backpack is a great option for students and includes a hidden anti-theft pocket on the back and a built-in USB port for easy tech charging. The large top zipper closure makes it easy to find everything inside, and the bag has plenty of interior and side pockets and zippered compartments for keeping everything from pens and loose cables to water bottles in place.
Timbuk2 Authority Laptop Backpack
BEST FOR CYCLISTS
You don’t have to be a bike commuter to appreciate cyclist-beloved brand Timbuk2’s Authority laptop backpack, which has a ventilated mesh back panel, padded backpack straps and reflective tape so you can ride comfortably and safely in the evening or in foggy settings. It can hold laptops up to 17 inches (you can access your device from inside or outside of the bag), and the interior organizer keeps all of your essentials in one safe and convenient place.
Burton Tinder 2.0 Backpack
If you’re looking for something that doubles as a work backpack and a day bag, look to Burton’s 30-liter Tinder backpack (you may have seen a similar one on Coach Beard in Ted Lasso). The outdoorsy brand’s classic rucksack backpack is made of 300D ripstop polyester (so it can withstand some knocks) features ergonomic shoulder straps, an adjustable sternum strap and side compression straps for all-day comfort. Inside, there’s a laptop sleeve that can be accessed from the outside, a compartment for tablets and other small tech devices and interior mesh zip pockets.
NuRoad 17.3-Inch Convertible Laptop Backpack
BEST FOR LARGE LAPTOPS
If you’ve got a beast of a laptop to carry around, NuRoad’s heavyweight hybrid backpack holds devices up to 17.3 inches and then some. It has a top handle and a detachable shoulder or crossbody strap in addition to the standard backpack shoulder straps, so you can carry it four different ways. Inside, the full zip-round compartment makes it easier to organize and pack your belongings, and the many exterior and interior pockets (including expandable side pockets and hidden zippered compartments) offer a designated spot for all of your stuff.
For travelers, the handy luggage pass-through sleeve on the back lets you attach it to your wheeled suitcase, and the RFID-equipped bonus pouch offers extra peace of mind (some security experts say that it may not be necessary). Plus, get $25 when you spend $150 when you use the code 25OFF through Sept. 7.
Tumi Voyageur Hartford Laptop Backpack
At just 1.5 pounds, Tumi’s nylon Voyageur Hartford laptop bag is one of the best lightweight work backpacks for women, but it works for anyone who wants to keep their cargo light while staying organized. Available in other colors, the carryall has a padded sleeve for 13-inch laptops, zippered pockets on the front and side, a water-resistant collapsible interior water bottle holder, a quick-access phone pocket with a magnetic closure and a back luggage handle sleeve. The front zipper pocket has a locking pull and the bag is finished with a monogrammable leather key ring and leather top handle.
Monos Metro Backpack
BEST VEGAN LEATHER BACKPACK
For those who like the sleek look of leather but prefer an animal-free material, luxe travel accessories brand Monos’ vegan leather backpack is a versatile choice. The minimalist bag is made of water-resistant material and features the company’s modular design, so you can swap extra storage accessories depending on your needs.
It comes with a removable Classic Kit to organize everything from toiletries to travel essentials, and the main compartment opens clamshell-style so you can fully open the backpack. The interior boasts a 15-inch laptop compartment and the exterior is finished with a trolley sleeve for attaching your backpack to one of Monos’ equally stylish rolling suitcases. (All luggage is currently on sale for up to 20% off, by the way.)
Troubadour Explorer Pioneer Backpack
BEST MINIMALIST DESIGN
If clean lines, comfort and durability are your style, you’ll want to stow your stuff in Troubadour’s luxe Explorer Pioneer backpack, which has ergonomic memory foam shoulder straps and a breathable electro-molded back panel that keeps you dry and cool. The minimalist bag uses a waterproof fabric and lining made from recycled materials, and the smooth zippers are set in waterproof tape to ensure your belongings are safe and dry. A padded laptop sleeve holds devices up to 16 inches, and the front of the bag fully opens for easy access to whatever’s inside.
Other features we like: the separate shoe bag with antimicrobial lining, the chic vegan leather trim, and the minimalist, seam-light design that keeps the bag from feeling too bulky.
Kenneth Cole Reaction 17-Inch Four-Wheel Laptop Backpack
BEST ROLLING BACKPACK
One of the best work backpacks with wheels, Kenneth Cole Reaction’s rolling laptop bag features a retractable top handle, 360-degree spinning wheels and tuck-away shoulder straps so you can quickly go from carrying to pulling. It holds 17-inch laptops or smaller in a separate padded compartment as well as tablets and other devices in another pocket. Ideal for traveling, the backpack has a front pocket with organizer pockets, a back compartment with a garment strap and handy side pockets for water bottles and more.
Day Owl The Slim Backpack
BEST SLIM BACKPACK
Sustainable bag brand Day Owl’s mission is to reduce waste with its eco-conscious goods, which it does by turning landfill-bound materials from waste collection network First Mile into waxed canvas fabric, lining and trim for its stylish backpacks. The stain- and water-repellent Slim backpack has a space-saving profile that lives up to its name, thanks to the 3.5-inch depth and flat-front and floating top storage pockets.
It fits laptops up to 14 inches and a spill-resistant bottle pocket is the perfect size for holding water (or a bottle of wine), while the bag is finished with conflict-free metal zippers. What’s great is that you’ll get 25% off a new backpack when you trade in your used Day Owl bag, ensuring that their process is fully circular and good for the earth.
Briggs & Riley @Work Cargo Backpack
BEST FOR BUSINESS CLASS
Frequent jet-setters won’t mind stowing this Briggs & Riley’s large @ Work Cargo backpack under their business class seat, with its innovative design and a durable exterior made of 1600D ballistic nylon. (The brand’s lifetime guarantee promises free repairs, too.) Made with tech-savvy professionals in mind, the bag can hold laptops up to 17 inches, tablets, and the rest of your tech accessories with features like pockets and compartments for headphones, USB cables and chargers, plus an RFID pocket. Lockable zipper pulls keep your belongings secure, and you can customize your bag with the leather ID tag and monogramming.
Caraa Large Studio Bag
BEST LUXURY CONVERTIBLE BACKPACK
Whether you wear it as a backpack, a satchel or a cross-body bag, Caraa’s multi-tasking Studio Bag (available in small, medium and large options) will carry your belongings in style. It’s made of waterproof Italian nylon and leather, polished Italian hardware and high-performance polyester mesh, so it works just as well as as a work backpack or an office-to-the-gym bag. You can throw in a 15-inch laptop, jewelry, shoes, wet clothes and a water bottle (thanks to dedicated compartments for each) as well as the rest of your belongings in the many pockets throughout. And if you decide to use it as a back, the padded mesh back and shoulder straps will keep you comfy and dry.
Coach League Flap Backpack
BEST DESIGNER BACKPACK
Coach is already known for its luxury leather goods and premium craftsmanship, which is why its League Flap Backpack is an excellent designer option that’s as fashionable as it is functional. Made of buttery-soft leather, this structured carryall has a laptop sleeve, zippered pockets that give you convenient access from outside of the bag and compartments for organizing items like your cell phone, keys, notebooks, pens, a water bottle and more.
Brevité The Runner Backpack
BEST FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
If your work involves swapping out lenses or editing photos on the spot, the best backpack for photographers includes Brevité’s The Runner, which is made with durable 600D polyester. This compact and lightweight carryall has customizable interior dividers so you can configure your own setup, a pocket for a 16-inch laptop and enough space to fit a full-sized DSLR camera, three lenses, your tripod and more. Well placed pockets (including a hidden one) let you organize your SD cards, passport and other small items, and the luggage pass-through sleeve makes the bag a handy one for frequent travelers. It’s available in a wide variety of colors, too.