A Buyer’s Guide to Laptop Bags

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One of the benefits of laptop computers is that they’re extremely portable and mobile. Because of this, it’s important that every laptop user has a laptop carry bag/case for transporting their computer around.

Not only do laptop travel bags protect your computer (as they provided a padded bubble for it to reside in), some also allow you to store all of your papers, pens, etc. in their additional pockets, while others can act as something of a fashion statement.

This guide has been designed to help you find the right laptop travel case for your needs.

Basic Features to Consider

Before thinking about the different kinds of laptop carry bags out there, it’s a good idea to first consider the features you’d like your bag to have.

A lot of these can be determined based on how you plan to use the bag.

Are you frequently flying with your laptop? If so, buying a laptop travel case that is labeled as being ‘checkpoint friendly’ will allow you to get through airport security faster.

Will you be carrying lots of papers/documents or other laptop-related items (such as an external hard-drive)? Make sure to get a laptop bag with lots of additional pockets.

Do you just want an extra protective layer for your laptop while you store it in your backpack? Buying a laptop sleeve might be the answer here.

If your laptop particularly heavy? Rolling laptop bags have wheels on the bottom of them, enabling you to pull them along (saving you from straining your shoulders/back).

Finally, consider the size of your laptop. Laptop bags are often made to fit a particular sized computer, so be sure to know your laptop’s dimensions before buying as you want to be sure your laptop is going to fit snuggly into the case

Different Styles of Laptop Bags

There are many different kinds of laptop travel bags out there – from shoulder bags and wheeled bags to laptop sleeves and messenger bags. Each type is designed for a different kind of person has its own set of benefits.

Here’s a quick look at each style of laptop bag:

Laptop Shoulder Bags
Laptop shoulder bagThese are perhaps the most common style of laptop bags, and are what you’ll see most people using as they travel to work or through an airport.

These bags typically have a handle on the top as well as a large shoulder strap (that can either be worn over one shoulder or across the body).

Laptop shoulder bags often have additional pockets and storage areas to keep other items, and they’re usually very professional looking, making them a great all-round laptop travel bag.

Rolling Laptop Bags
Wheeled laptop bagRolling laptop bags (also sometimes known as ‘wheeled laptop bags’ or ‘laptop roller bags’) make transporting your laptop over smooth surfaces (such as airport lobbies) an absolute breeze.

Being able to pull your laptop bag along (with the use of the extendable handle and the wheels on the bottom) means that you can take all of the weight off of yourself.

Because it’s difficult to wheel to different bags along, if you’re planning on buying a rolling laptop bag it would be wise to think of it as both a laptop bag and your carry-on bag when flying.

This means you’ll need to buy a bag large enough to store both your laptop and a decent amount of carry-on luggage.

When buying a laptop bag with wheels, make sure that the bag itself is appropriately padded, as your laptop computer inside will likely be bumped about a lot as you wheel it over bumps on the floor. In addition to this, look for good quality rubber wheels (like the kind you’d find on a pair of roller blades) as they’ll help to make for a smoother ride.

Because of the additional wheels and the handle (not to mention the probable increased size), these bags are often the heaviest and the bulkiest of all laptop bags.

Backpack Laptop Bags
Backpack Laptop BagsAnother way to carry your laptop around is on your back. Backpack laptop bags (although fairly geeky looking) are a great and easy way to carry your laptop, and they leave your hands free for other tasks.

Because the straps will distribute the weight across your whole back, it will make carrying the bag easier than if you were to have just one shoulder strap.

These kinds of bags are great for students or for those people who like to walk to work, as they can double-up as regular backpacks.

When buying a laptop backpack, look for one that has adjustable padded straps (for comfort and support), as well as multiple pockets for your other items (such as school books and stationary).

Messenger Bags
Messenger bagMessenger bags are specifically designed for people on the go (such as those who cycle to work).

They’re designed to be carried with the strap going across your body, meaning you’re free to use your hands.

These bags can be pretty stylish, and are designed to not necessarily look like laptop bags.

One buying a laptop messenger bag, look for one which has a padded, adjustable strap. If the strap isn’t padded, it will quickly start to dig into your should and will be uncomfortable.

Laptop Sleeves
Laptop sleeveLaptop sleeves slip snuggly around the outside of your laptop and provide and extra layer of protective padding.

They’re usually made from neoprene (meaning they’re extremely light), and are great if you’re carrying your laptop short distances, or storing it in the backpack.

Because most laptop sleeves don’t come with any kind of handles or straps, they are less of a carry-case and more of an extra layer of protection.

As you can see, each type of bag has its own set of uses. Because of this, some people who travel frequently actually like to have multiple laptop bags – each for a different occasion. For example, the one they take with them when they’re flying might be different from the one they take with them to the office.

If you’ve got any thoughts or insights on this topic, feel free to leave a comment below!


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  2. How to Travel With a Laptop
  3. The Best Waterproof Cameras – A Buyer’s Guide
  4. What’s the Best Laptop for Travel?




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  • Isabella Sarah

    Need rolling laptop bag when go for a long journey. Get a good idea!!!