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How To Choose a Laptop Backpack

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A laptop backpack offers you an easy and convenient way to store and carry your laptop to the office or anywhere you wish to. The good-quality laptop backpacks distribute the weight of the laptop equally across the bag. These laptop backpacks are light in weight and do not let you feel like you are carrying something on your back. Here are a few features that you must look for before buying a laptop backpack.

1. Size

The size of the laptop backpack depends on the size of your laptop. The laptop should fit perfectly inside the bag so that it remains safe.

These bags have a dedicated padded compartment where you can keep your laptop. To ensure that the laptop fits inside that compartment, check the dimensions carefully.

The standard dimensions of the compartment of any laptop backpack are 15”, 16”, and 17”. Apart from this, one more factor that matters is the thickness of the laptop.

2. Materials

The material plays a major role in determining whether the backpack is durable or not. It also affects the weight of the bag. The most common materials used to make laptop backpacks are canvas, Nylon & Polyester, leather, and memory foam.

  • Leather

The leather backpacks look stylish and professional at the same time. Most of the business professionals prefer using a leather backpack as it gives you a professional look instantly. These bags are durable and last for a very long time.

  • Canvas

The canvas is a durable fabric. Canvas backpacks are water-resistant and can protect the laptop and other accessories from light rain showers. One thing to remember is the bag is water-resistant and not waterproof.

  • Memory Foam

The memory foam is considered as an ideal material for shock absorption as it soaks up all the energy. It then starts distributing the energy intelligently across the bag. This helps in providing ultimate protection to the laptop from any impact.

  • Nylon and Polyester

The backpacks made using nylon and polyester are lightweight and durable. These bags are not waterproof and do not protect the laptops from impacts or shocks. However, these light materials dry out quickly even if they get wet.

Bag material s

3. Capacity

The capacity of a backpack is measured in liters.

The slimline backpacks offer a capacity of 10-16 liters where you can fit your laptop along with 2-3 books. However, the backpacks that offer a capacity of 20-25 liters are considered as the most versatile ones. There are a few professional camera gear or weekender bags that can offer a capacity of 30 liters and more.

Most of us prefer a laptop backpack that is big enough to accommodate the laptop, headphones, lunch box, jackets, and other essentials. You can fit all of this in a slim backpack with a 10-liter capacity. These slim backpacks are very convenient while traveling.

If you wish to carry this backpack to holidays as well and put extra things in it, you can also go for a 15 liters backpack.

4. Protection

It is always good to go for a bag that offers a padded laptop compartment. This helps in protecting the laptop from any potential damage while in transit.

You can even consider purchasing a waterproof backpack or a bag offers good water-resistance levels. It is helpful in all weather conditions.

While finalizing a laptop backpack, you must ensure that the fabric is durable and is resistant to abrasion so that it does not rip off easily.

5. Water-resistant or Waterproof

A waterproof or water-resistant bag is very helpful in protecting your laptop and other accessories from the rain. You must remember that there is a difference between waterproof materials and water-resistant materials.

You must opt for a bag that is made using hard materials so that you can attain the properties and advantages of being water-resistant. The backpacks that are made using nylon and polyester material offer water-resistant properties and are well-known for their semi-waterproofing ability.

If you are looking for a waterproof backpack, there are multiple options that are designed especially for this purpose. You can buy a waterproof bag to meet your requirements.

Water usually enters the bag via the zipper or from near the seams where fabric changes (mostly from rubberized textile to canvas materials). Thus, look for bags that offer tight stitching and housing near the zippers so that water does not enter inside.

6. Laptop Compartment and Pockets

An ideal backpack should offer multiple pockets and a lot of space to keep all your items. These compartments should be well padded so that your laptop is safe from any damage.

It should have enough additional pockets so that you can keep your chargers and other cables and prevent them from tangles. There should be enough zippered pockets to keep your pen drives or USB sticks safely.

There should be some extra place for your other essentials too such as wallets, keys, phones, etc.

7. Elasticized Side Pockets

Some backpacks also have elasticized side pockets. These pockets are usually flat when they are empty but they can be stretched to fit your water bottle or other items.

You might also like to carry a power bank to charge your phone or other devices. Thus, the bag should be spacious enough to hold all of these items.

8. Comfort

A backpack should be comfortable to wear. It should have adjustable and padded straps so that it fits perfectly on your shoulders. The straps and handles should be adjustable as you can adjust it according to your convenience, without causing strain to the shoulder and back.

The padded shoulder straps are the most common ones since they help in relieving the pressure on your shoulder while you are carrying it.

You can also go for an additional sternum strap as it creates a stable and secure base and offers an equal weight distribution. It is an ideal choice for those who carry heavy bags.

Some bags offer contoured and padded backs. These backpacks adapt to the natural shape of the lower back. This natural arch shape of the bag helps in adding extra comfort ensuring you don’t have back pain.

You can also select bags that have padded hip belts. They remove the weight from the shoulder and the back. The belt places this burden on the leg muscles and is very helpful in carrying heavy bags.

Some backpacks also feature a grab and go style handle. These bags are easy to handle and are flexible to carry and move around.

9. Usage

Some people also use laptop backpacks while traveling too. If you are looking for a backpack that can be used while traveling, you should select one that offers easy access to the laptop. This is helpful at the airport security section too.

Some bags also offer easy side-access to the laptop that allows you to quickly remove it from the bag without wasting time digging through the content of the backpack.

10. Accessibility

The top-loaders bags have a large storage compartment that can be accessed using a wide or a cinchable opening at the top. The openings are covered using a flap that secures the opening using Velcro or plastic buckles.

If you like bags that offer large storing space, you might love this design. After you secure the flap tightly, the bags can also act as water-resistant as there are no zippers from where water can go inside the bag. For anyone looking for a versatile laptop backpack with ample storage space, these top-loading backpacks can be a great option.

Another alternative to these bags are the backpacks that use zippers to seal the compartments. Such backpacks usually have multiple compartments instead of one large compartment. It is easier to organize your things properly in multiple compartments than in a single compartment.

These bags offer wide zipper openings so that it is easier to access from the top. Some models even offer side access. The only concern for worry with these bags is the zippers provide leak points to the bags. The water enters inside only because of these leak points. Since there are multiple accessible openings, the chances of stealing things in a crowded area become high.

Before finalizing the model, you should check what type of storage and access are you looking for. If you are looking for a versatile bag that offers ample space for storage, go for bags with fewer compartments. However, if you like to keep your things organized, you can select bags that offer multiple pockets. Zippered pockets are useful too in such scenarios.

11. Dimensions

Before buying a backpack, it is very important to check whether you are comfortable with the fit and if the bag is proportional to the body weight. A bag that fits the torso length properly and offers a comfortable grip on the hip is considered as the best fit.

Here is how you can measure your torso length:

Stand straight and then tilt your forward so that you feel the bony bump on the neck.

Place your index finger forward and thumb in a backward position. Now draw an imaginary line in between your thumb. This imaginary line between the thumbs is the torso length.

These measurements might help you buy a suitable backpack according to your torso’s length:

Size of the backpackLength of torso
S and X-S18”
Medium or regular18”-20”
Large20” & above

The proportion of the torso is a very important factor as the disproportionate length can cause imbalance. This can result in back pain.

12. Anti-Theft Backpack

Some models of backpacks offer security features such as locked zippers, hidden pockets or camouflaged pockets. There are some bags that are made using slash-proof materials whereas few models feature built-in cables. These cables help in securing the bag in case you have to leave it somewhere and go.

Some bags offer RFID-safe pockets where you can keep your cards or other digitally sensitive things and prevent them from thefts.

13. Durability

Most of the branded bags are made using durable materials.

The heavy-duty laptop backs use ultra-strong nylon material to make the bag along with YKK-grade zippers. These bags also feature adjustable straps that are made of nylon.

Most of the backpacks use nylon and polyester as their core fabric.

For long-lasting performance, some brands use heavier fabrics such as canvas. Even leather offers a durable performance but they are a bit costlier when compared to other materials.

The most common reasons that people stop using their backpacks are either due to broken zippers or due to tears on the shoulder straps. Sometimes the stitching on the zippers also tears off.

To prevent your bag from such conditions, check the thread material and the quality of the stitching. It is preferred to go with the bags that offer double stitching. Also, if the capacity of your bag is low, don’t try to experiment and carry extra stuff.

Look for a bag that has good-quality zippers. The metallic zippers and teeth are more long-lasting than any other type of zippers, especially plastic zippers. A broken zipper can make our bag completely useless. Hence, do not compromise with the quality of the zipper.

14. Style

The style of the bag depends on your taste and preference.

The best laptop backpacks are the ones that give you a professional look. While some people prefer a vintage look, others prefer classy and sleek look.

This is totally up to you that what design do you like and what suits your personality the most.

15. Weight

It is recommended to go for lightweight bags. These bags should be both comfortable and portable. A heavier bag adds to the weight of your tech gears and eventually makes it difficult for you to carry the bag around.

16. Breathability

A breathable and a mesh-style back panel prevent you from a sweaty back. It helps you remain cool and allow ventilation while in the summer season or while long commutes. Thus, it is suggested to look for bags that are made using breathable materials.

17. Other Features

Most of the backpacks allow adjustable features and can be adjusted according to your body frame. You can look for a bag that offers chest straps as they allow you to adjust the width.

If the backpack is too heavy, you can distribute the weight using a chest strap at the armpit level. They also help in maintaining a good posture. If you feel uncomfortable near the chest portion, you can adjust the strap by moving it a little up or down.

18. Price

The laptop backpacks are very helpful and are worth investing in for long-term usage. Many people get attracted to the bags that come in a cheaper price range. These bags are not built using quality materials and are not sustainable at all.

There should be a proper balance between the quality of the bag and its price. However, compromising on the quality of the backpack might not be a great idea as you will be carrying your laptop inside it. There are few budget-friendly options too that you can opt for.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I know the bag fits my laptop?

The bags are usually sold mentioning the laptop size it fits perfectly. If you don’t know the size of the laptop, use either a ruler or a tape to measure the size of the laptop diagonally. You will be able to figure out the right bag which fits your laptop perfectly by knowing the accurate measurement.

2. Do I need to Buy Shockproof laptop bags?

It depends on various factors. It solely depends on your choice and how much you are able to afford to protect your laptop. Shockproof laptop bags offer excessive protection to your laptop and it would protect your laptop from any damage during any accidental fall. The shockproof bags generally come with a cushion and it would prevent the laptops from getting scratched as well.

3. Will I have Provision to Carry My Tablet in the Laptop Bag?

Most of the laptop bags come with this provision by default. The companies have clearly identified the various requirements of the consumers and come with various methods to satisfy the users. If you are a tablet user, you will able to effortlessly find the laptop which offers additional space for carrying your tablet safely.

4. What should I check while buying a branded backpack?

The branded bags are generally more costly than normal ones. Hence, it becomes extremely necessary for you to make the most effective decision. You need to understand the reputation of the company and read out all the customer reviews to understand the product completely. You should definitely make sure that it is worth every penny spent. It is extremely essential for you to not compromise on quality when you are buying the expensive ones in the market.

5. Are there any backpacks that come with a warranty?

Various reputed brands offer a warranty for the laptop backpacks. Please make sure to read the customer reviews and identify the one which offers excellent customer support. Don’t make a mistake of compromising on quality just because a brand is offering you a warranty.

6. Are the things carried in the laptop backpack easily accessible?

This is one of the most common questions which arise in the mind of the users. If you have so many things in a tiny laptop bag, you might feel it will get congested and it would become immensely difficult for you to find the things. You don’t want to do a treasure hunt every time you need something from the bag. It could be extremely uncomfortable! There are numerous bags which offer various compartments and pockets which would ease the process of taking out the things effectively. So, it is advisable to buy a bag which has many compartments since it allows you to segregate the things efficiently.

7. Can the Design of the Bag be User-Friendly?

There are many user-friendly stylish bags available in the market. Don’t make decisions in haste and always make sure to check out various laptop backpacks before buying one. You don’t have to compromise on the style as well. Always choose the bag which has the necessary compartments to segregate and carry your things efficiently. This would offer you immense convenience on a routine basis.

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