How do I Choose the Best Laptop Backpack?

J. S. Petersen
J. S. Petersen

Looking for the best laptop backpack can be a little intimidating, but if you keep some simple elements in mind, you'll find the best one for you. The key elements you will want to keep in mind when shopping for a laptop backpack are size, weight, comfort and capacity. The best laptop backpack will have just the right mix to accommodate all your carrying needs.

A netbook might be a good alternative to a standard laptop because of its portability.
A netbook might be a good alternative to a standard laptop because of its portability.

Possibly the most important aspect of a laptop backpack is the size. If the carrying compartment is smaller than your laptop, then the laptop backpack will not be of any use. If it is much too big, you might find your laptop shifting around inside the backpack, which could be uncomfortable, and could lead to damage of the backpack or the laptop. Try to find a laptop backpack that has a secure carrying compartment close to the size of your laptop, although it's better to err on the large size if necessary.

A laptop backpack should have storage space to hold extra necessities, like a mouse.
A laptop backpack should have storage space to hold extra necessities, like a mouse.

Larger laptops will generally require a larger, heavier laptop backpack, but there can be a significant difference depending on material and design. A laptop backpack made out of ultralight fabrics might be a perfect fit for a small, light laptop, when overall weight is an important comfort factor. On the other hand, if you have a larger laptop, you might prefer a heavier laptop backpack with more padding and thicker shoulder straps for both comfort and durability. If you plan to use your laptop backpack frequently, you will definitely want to bring your laptop with you when you shop for a laptop backpack, so that you can try out different backpacks and find out which is the best fit.

Once you have found a backpack that fits your laptop and is comfortable to wear, you will want to consider if the carrying capacity fits your needs. If you will be carrying a power supply, car charger, mouse, and CDs or DVDs, make sure that the laptop backpack you pick has the storage space to hold the extras you will be bringing along. Some laptop backpacks include built-in CD/DVD holders, cell phone pockets, headphone openings, or drink pockets. These can all be nice features, but they will probably add to the cost. Consider how often you will use the extras, so you can decide if they are worth the extra cost and weight. The best laptop backpack for you will be the one that fits all your needs for comfort and carrying capacity.

A laptop backpack should have enough storage space to hold headphones.
A laptop backpack should have enough storage space to hold headphones.
J. S. Petersen
J. S. Petersen

Jeff is a freelance writer, short story author, and novelist who earned his B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Creighton University. Based in Berkeley, California, Jeff loves putting his esoteric knowledge to good use as a wiseGEEK contributor.

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Discussion Comments

Catapult

Some companies are now making laptop and notebook backpacks that can go through airport security without needing to take the laptop out. While this might be a cool thing to have, it probably is not necessary unless you travel constantly.

recapitulate

Lately there has been an increased popularity of laptop sleeves, rather than backpacks, and there are a number of reasons for this.

For one, a sleeve can wrap around your laptop much more snugly than a backpack, offering the best protection from things like dust and water. For another, a sleeve fits into any number of other sized bags, which is helpful in a world where many laptop users have a variety of other things that they need to carry around with them as well.

Jim Hronchek

I like the sling the best. Some time ago I had a lower back injury. It has since healed well, but I still need to watch it. The sling seems to do well for me.

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