With the world now open and more people travelling, here at CGMagazine, we wanted to revisit the age-old question of which is the best laptop bag. With the magazine now travelling to more events and having to take all our gear with us, we found ourselves in the same position and wanted to find the best bag for the job. We needed to figure out how to take our precious laptop with us and make sure it was safe on our upcoming trips to game previews and events. There are plenty of alternatives on the shelves of your local shop, and online shopping malls are a wasteland in themselves.
With that in mind, we have put together a list of recommendations for the best laptop bags, whether you are going on holiday, back to school or just need to travel for work. We looked at a wide range of bags to find the best options across a wide range of prices and features.
We have compiled a list of the best laptop bags based on price, value, style and features. We may add to this list as more bags become available throughout the year. We also only include bags we at CGMagazine would personally use, so while there may be many more options on the market, if we would not personally carry our laptops in one of these bags, they sadly will not make the list.
Alpaka Alpha Messenger Bag
At $196.00, the Alpha Messenger Bag from Alpaka is on the high end of this list of the best laptop bags for travel and back to school. However, the features on offer make it well worth a look. This sleek, minimalist case is packed with features that make it perfect for students and travellers who need to carry advanced electronic devices. The sleek, contemporary bag has a front pocket that blocks RFID signals and lockable zips to prevent unauthorized access to your valuables inside.
Yet the Alpha Messenger Bag is so well designed that you won’t even notice you’re carrying it, even for long periods of time. Comfort is ensured by the bag’s ergonomic shape and padded shoulder strap, and its adaptability is enhanced by thoughtful details such as a reversible strap and the ability to carry it like a briefcase.
The Alpha Messenger Bag has plenty of room for all your electronic devices, from a 14″ laptop such as the Matebook 14S to headphones and an iPad Mini in the padded front pocket. With so many compartments and pockets, this bag makes travelling a breeze and keeps you from feeling cluttered. The Alpha Messenger Bag definitely one of our best laptop bags for keeping your school supplies organized and safe.
Freitag F304 MOSS
Perhaps one of the more unique choices on our 2023 list is the addition of the Freitag F304 MOSS laptop bag. This compact and padded laptop bag is perfect for your laptop up to 15″, a tablet, or your Kindle Oasis with the latest book you are reading. Unlike many bags on this list, the Freitag Freitag F304 MOSS is not made from traditional fabric and instead is made using truck tarps, discarded bicycle inner tubes and car seat belts. While it sounds a bit strange, especially considering these bags will set you back $280.00 USD, the company puts a lot of thought into each item they produce.
FREITAG is based in Zurich. This is where a large part of the truck tarpaulins are taken apart, washed and cut to size. The bags are carefully designed to give each one a unique and special look. While they are constructed using recycled materials, each bag you purchase has an almost bespoke feel, ensuring no two bags are the same. They are incredibly comfortable to use, and the rugged material makes them great for unpredictable weather conditions.
Even better, the Freitag F304 MOSS has everything you would need to ensure your laptops and all your items for travel are safe and secure for the journey. While a bit more expensive, the unique characteristics and distinctive style, along with the innovative method of manufacturing, make them well worth the investment and one of the best laptop bags of 2023.
Targus 15.6″ 40th Anniversary Cypress EcoSmart Briefcase
I have been using Targus bags off and on for years, ever since I got one of my first laptops for University back in the early 2000s. Now years later, I am still impressed with the design, utility and value these bags offer. With their latest 40th Anniversary Cypress EcoSmart Briefcase, Targus has hit the perfect balance between creating a great-looking bag and one that does everything I could hope for while lugging my laptop around.
While it may not be a new concept in the world of textiles, the EcoSmart Briefcase is made from fabric woven from 21 recycled water bottles, making it a much less wasteful option than some competitors. It also has an all-new exterior in a sleek charcoal shade with bold ruby accents and a matching interior that stands out from the dull look of many bags on the corporate market.
This EcoSmart briefcase features a workstation pocket with a file folder divider and a large front quick-access pocket that holds your ID and mobile phone, as well as a padded compartment lined with XPE foam that fits laptops with up to a 6″ screen. Its versatile construction allows you to carry it in one hand, sling it over your shoulder or attach it to your trolley with the trolley strap. The 40th Anniversary Cypress Briefcase is a stylish option that can be slung over the shoulder or across the body for easy transport of your day’s essentials, making it one of the best laptop bags of 2023.
TIMBUK2 Classic Messenger Bag
If you’re looking for a bag with a timeless design, look no further than TIMBUK2’s Classic Messenger Bag. With its comfortable design and versatile use, the Classic Messenger Bag offers everything a frequent traveller could want. Timbuk2’s Double-Loop CAM buckle allows you to adjust the straps quickly and easily, and the curved Air-Mesh strap padding ensures comfort. It will fit your new Macbook, Surface Laptop or anything else you could use for work and does so securely and comfortably.
With SR buckles partially hidden behind the flap, this messenger bag has an ingenious and secure closure system. The TPU liner and corner flaps protect the internal water bottle pocket from the elements, and the TPU liner and corner flaps also repel water from the outside, helping to keep water out of the bag. A variety of internal pockets and organizational features allow you to distribute your load effectively. The polyurethane exterior has a water-repellent coating and can be worn as a cross-body bag in sizes small and above. The shoulder strap can also be worn as a crossbody, although it is removable.
Kensington Contour 2.0 Executive Briefcase
Last but not least, the Kensington Contour 2.0 Executive Briefcase is a reputable brand of laptop case. It’s a great option for those on a tighter budget, as it can double up as a laptop bag while still providing the necessary padded and zipped laptop compartment.
The Contour 2.0 is a stylish laptop sleeve that fits laptops up to 14″ and is perfect for carrying to and from work, school or other appointments. By conforming to the shape of the user’s body, the Contour moves the weight of the laptop away from the shoulders and closer to the user’s centre of gravity, reducing strain on the back and shoulders. Strategically placed pockets allow it to be carried comfortably over one shoulder.
The padded interior holds all your accessories, and the durable, puncture-resistant fabric keeps your electronics safe while you’re on the move. The Kensington Contour 2.0 is one of the most versatile laptop cases around, especially considering its low price. It may not have as much room as some of the other options on the best laptop cases, but it is still a great buy.