Whether it’s for work, school, or travel, a good laptop bag is essential for women who can’t part from their laptop. All of these stylish laptop bags for women will keep you organized, hold all of your everyday essentials (with room to spare!), and most importantly, protect your laptop (without needing a designated laptop sleeve).
Some people prefer to stuff their laptop in large, fashionable bags, but we recommend finding something that at least has a dedicated laptop compartment. Luckily, there are plenty of attractive and protective options available.
The new generation of laptop carriers runs the gamut from techy styles with tons of extras to fashionable tote bags in luxurious leather. We love all different kinds of bags and have included a mix on this list to suit a variety of worker’s needs.
We are currently in the process of testing a whole new batch of bags to see if they stack up to the ones already on this list. For now, the following 5 bags reign supreme.
What is a Laptop Bag?
Before we get going on this guide, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about what a laptop bag is. Sure, you can shove a laptop into whatever you have on hand and call it a laptop bag. We’re not going to stop you.
That said, we define a laptop bag as a bag that has specifically been designed to hold a laptop. To put it another way: a laptop bag is a laptop bag first and a camera, travel, hiking, makeup, dog, etc., bag second.
Conversely, you can have a bag that just so happens to be able to hold a laptop. Take travel backpacks—they’re designed for travel, but many of them have a laptop sleeve, too. See the difference?
What to Consider Before You Buy a Laptop Bag
Finding the perfect laptop bag can be as overwhelming as finding the perfect pasta sauce. There are just so many options. Marinara, pesto, Alfredo, vodka, oil, and garlic…Whoops, went off on a tangent there. The point is there are so many laptop bags—and pasta sauces—to choose from.
The best way to combat overwhelm is to think through a few key considerations, which we’ve listed below. If you’re able to think through these points and clearly understand your needs, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect laptop bag for you. So, let’s get into it.
You should take into consideration not only the size of the laptop bag, but the size of its laptop compartment, sleeve, and/or pocket. Brands call the dedicated laptop spot inside of their bags by different names. For simplicity’s sake, we’re going to refer to these spots as laptop sleeves throughout the rest of this guide.
We probably don’t need to tell you that aesthetic is a key factor when it comes to choosing a laptop bag. You’ll likely use it frequently—maybe even daily—so you should love how it looks. Luckily, there are so many high-quality laptop bags that you should be able to find one that’s not only your style but also durable with thoughtful organization and adequate laptop protection.
We’re not here to tell you what a fashionable laptop bag looks like—beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all—but we’ve noticed the most common styles you’re likely to come across, including:
Business Casual (the bag version of a button-down and khakis)
Classic (a slightly elevated version of your elementary school bag)
Materials, Durability, & Craftsmanship
We suggest investing in a bag that’s made from high-quality materials with excellent craftsmanship. In your search for a laptop bag, you’ll probably come across materials like:
Ballistic Nylon and/or Ripstop Nylon
Various types of CORDURA® branded fabrics
Tarpaulin or TPE Fabric Laminate
You should keep your budget in mind. If you can afford it, we suggest investing in a laptop bag that will last you for years instead of continually needing to replace a cheaper one. In the long run, purchasing a more expensive, yet higher-quality bag will probably save you money. Plus, it’ll have a better environmental impact, keeping broken bags out of the landfill. As the saying goes, “buy nice or buy twice.” Of course, this requires that you have the initial money to invest in a pricier bag, which we understand not everyone has.
Types of laptop bags
While searching for the best laptop bag, you’ll probably run into the same modes of carry again and again. There are different pros and cons to each mode—which we’ll discuss below—but it’s also one of those things that’s a personal preference. Maybe you’re a huge fan of tote bags, although you can’t put your finger on why. If that’s the case, don’t let us stop you from buying a tote. You do you.
First of all, if you haven’t already gathered from what you’ve read thus far, there are a ton of laptop backpacks on the market these days, so, you have a ton to choose from.
Two straps also evenly distribute weight better than a single strap, meaning backpacks are likely going to be more comfortable to carry over long distances than other styles. Additionally, wearing a backpack frees up both of your hands, allowing you to do all sorts of two-handed activities (juggling, miming, and hand-clap games, to name a few). Backpacks can also be more versatile than some of the other options—you can take your laptop backpack on a hike, whereas a laptop briefcase probably won’t hold up so well on the trails.
Some totes close at the top, while others don’t have a closure at all. Even totes that do close can usually be left open, so they’re a great option if you’re always pawing through your bag. And because of the possibility of an open top, you can stick in longer items whenever the need arises—say if you need to pack a tripod or want to pick up a baguette on your way home.
Plus, they’re a step up from a backpack as far as professionalism is concerned. (Of course, you can find an unprofessional tote. We’re speaking in generalizations here.) The handles on a tote are also frequently large enough to toss over your shoulder, so you can have the hands-free carry that we love.
If you’re not familiar, a tote pack is the combination of a tote and a backpack (tote pack, get it?). Basically, it’s a bag that has stowable straps you can pull out whenever you’d like to have a backpack and hide whenever you’d like to have a tote.
Tote packs combine the professionalism and accessibility of a tote with the comfort of a backpack. You can walk into a meeting with a tote pack in your hands and then when the business talk is over, throw it on your back and ride on home. Getting in and out of them is usually quick and easy, although not as much as with a regular tote.
Typically, messenger bags have been designed for laptop and office gear, meaning they’re usually more mindful of organization and aren’t often too bulky or oversized. They’re also professional. You can easily find messengers sophisticated enough to rock at your law firm. Of course, you can also find more casual messengers.
Though they’re not often as comfortable as a backpack, messenger bags can be enjoyable to carry for short periods. Just look for a well-padded shoulder strap that’s properly anchored to the bag. Some messengers even have an extra stability strap to secure the bag to your body for better weight distribution and security while commuting. Lastly, like a tote, it’s easy to get in and out of a messenger. You can simply reach into your bag hanging at your side instead of swinging a backpack off of one shoulder.
Who laptop tote bags are for
Most working professionals need a bag to carry their gear to the office, to a coworking space, or across a workplace campus. For some, a laptop backpack or a messenger bag will suffice. For others, a small handbag or a briefcase is all they need. But backpacks and messenger bags can be bulky, and many designs aren’t refined enough for offices. Handbags and most briefcases aren’t large enough to carry your lunch, your laptop, and other work essentials too. Laptop bags are much more versatile, blending the look of a briefcase with the internal functionality of a backpack or a messenger bag. They come in stylish designs and a variety of sizes for your preferred setup, and they’re large enough to carry everything you need for the day.
Laptop bags also have their drawbacks. Most look like oversized handbags, so their carry handles are usually thinner than a backpack’s, and that design concentrates the pressure on your shoulder over less space. These straps range from ½ inch to 1 inch wide, whereas a great backpack has straps up to 3 inches wide. And like regular purses or messenger bags, laptop totes aren’t ergonomic to carry since they distribute weight unevenly when you have them slung on your shoulder or carry them in the crook of your arm. If you don’t usually carry a heavy load and you prioritize style over comfort, a laptop bag is for you. Note too that many tote bags don’t zip shut, instead relying on a single snap closure or just staying entirely open—which means it’s especially easy for things to fall out (if your bag tips over) or for things to come in (such as spills or the hands of someone grabbing your wallet).
Our Top Picks:
Our picks below are based on road-testing, knowledge from years of testing bags, as well as best-sellers with rave reviews. From simple leather laptop bags to fashionable bags to take you from day to night, here are the best laptop bags for women to buy in 2021:
Laptop bags that actually look like laptop bags can be cute. The everyday-bag masters over at Dagne Dover have proved it with the design of the Ryan Laptop Bag, which is both stylish and very practical.
It’s very similar to the brand’s best-selling Signature Tote, with a more durable, tech-friendly exterior made of water-resistant neoprene. The interior contains Dagne Dover’s signature compartment system. There’s a laptop sleeve, a key ring, several card slots, and mesh pockets to organize your workday essentials. A zippered exterior pocket allows you to stash items you reach for on the go, like your subway card, passport, and cell phone.
The Ryan is available in both Medium ($135, carries most 13-inch laptops) and Large ($155, carries most 15-inch laptops) sizes and can be worn as a crossbody or shoulder bag.
“I wish the Dagne Dover Ryan Laptop Bag had existed while I was in college, because it would’ve actually held up to all the heavy study materials and the laptop I carried around campus,” Insider Picks reporter Connie Chen wrote in a previous review.
- Tons of compartments
- Detachable key fob
- Convertible straps
- Water resistant
This bag for women by EaseGave is among the best laptop bags for women because of the multiple options that this bag offers you. Many adjustment options allow this bag to become as comfortable for you as you desire. You will love this bag and all that is offers with the many features. This bag will suit your needs regardless of what you need it for daily.
Many of the features included with this bag are made just for you. Whether you need this bag for school, work, or any other purpose, you will love the functionality. There are many pockets with plenty of space for other things besides your laptop. The design isn’t bulky but instead built for the minimalist with a sleek and chic style that you will find appealing. There are also 13 different color options that you can choose from to get the one that is best suited to you.
Ultimately, this laptop bag for women by EaseGave is among the best because of how incredible it is for everyday use. The main drawback is that no matter what happens, there will be pressure on the zipper, and it will separate from time to time. Overall, an excellent choice for anyone needing a good laptop bag.
- Soft leather
- Easy to carry
- Zipper seperates occassionally
The second laptop bag on our list is the best messenger bag around, which is the Brinch slim and lightweight briefcase shoulder messenger. This is a simple, slim and lightweight messenger bag that comes in a variety of pastel colors. The bag is only 4cm in thickness and is supposed to accompany other non-laptop bags you may have.
The Brinch messenger laptop bag is made from water-resistant nylon fabric and has a PU leather surround. This means the bag will protect your laptop from direct bumps to the corners, which not all messenger bags do, because of the protective surround, but also it will protect your laptop from spills, splashes, and light rain. Although small, the bag also features 2 side zip pockets, 1 pocket to hide the handles away, and. 1 rear magazine/document pocket. The carry options include the briefcase handles and the detachable shoulder strap.
This bag is available for 14-inch, 15-15.6-inch, and 17-17.3-inch laptops. And, if the shoulder straps are removed and the handles are hidden, then it can function as a laptop sleeve. The bag is well made, and many have praised the build quality of the bag. However, the functionality of the outer pockets is diminished as soon as a laptop is inside. In addition to this, its generic sizing means you’re best finding out your laptop dimensions before purchasing, as some laptops may fit more or less snugly in each of the sizes.
- Slim and lightweight design
- Removable shoulder straps and sleeve functionality
- Water-resistant and not waterproof
- Outer pockets aren’t reasonably useable when laptop inside
Some laptop users prefer a timeless bag in which they can store their electronics. Instead of investing in a product that will quickly go out of style, finding a traditional-styled bag can offer a great alternative. A laptop bag like the CoolBELL Convertible Backpack Messenger Bag gives users a neutral way to protect your electronics while you’re on the go. Built with Oxford material, you can expect this bag to repel water while keeping the internal contents of the bag safe. It also provides plenty of storage space with multiple internal and external compartments.
With double zippers, you’re never more than a few seconds away from accessing important documents while using this bag. The internal laptop strap will help to secure your computer in place. With natural weather resistance, you’ll see water bead up on the exterior of your bag because it can’t penetrate the Oxford fabrics.
This laptop bag is capable of storing computers as large as 17.3-inches in size. But you’ll still have plenty of remaining storage space, which makes this item great for students. Not only will it allow you to stay organized, but it’ll also give you the ability to take store your books and papers. This laptop bag is available in 8 different colors, but each option is somewhat neutral and guaranteed to stay in style. With three different carrying styles, it isn’t difficult to find the most comfortable option for your needs. And as those needs continue to shift, your laptop bag will accommodate them.
- Convenient external pockets
- Lightweight design
- Great for traveling
- Unresponsive customer service department
This Dachee laptop bag is among the best laptop bags for women because it is designed to be minimalist, functional, and lightweight. You will love how sleek, and cute this bag is compared to bigger and bulkier ones. This bag is made for everyday use of a laptop so that it can be portable without being heavy.
Many features of this bag are made for the same functionality that it boasts. There is a shockproof interior for a laptop sized up to 15.6 inches, and the entire bag is waterproof as well. Two side pockets are made for things like chargers, a mouse, or even notebooks. However, there is little room for anything else, as this bag is quite small.
If you are looking to carry a laptop and only a laptop, this bag is the one you want. The beautiful and unique designs make it fun to choose one as well as stylish. The main drawback is that the zipper separates because of how small the bag is overall. Ultimately, you would want to carry a smaller laptop, preferably in this bag.
- Zipper seperates
Yes, there are the average, run-of-the-mill laptop bags that saturate the market, but that doesn’t mean that you should have one too. Whether you are a student or professional women, you can have a bag that is both fashionable and functional. Our comprehensive list of best laptop bags for women is a great resource and starting point for deciding which laptop tote, case or designer bag that best suits you, your personality and style.