You spent hundreds of dollars on your laptop. You're not going to toss that thing around like a Frisbee. The right bag should keep that precious piece of metal and chips safe, but it should also make the machine mobile. That means portability, comfort, and style. After two weeks hauling four bags, we've found one that's great to look at and easy to lug.
At Gizmodo, we're married to our laptops. They are our livelihood. We bring them to the office every day, up the sidewalks and down subway stairs, so they have to stay well-protected and comfortable to carry.
With these bags, we rotated the daily drivers over the course of about a week. The bags had to fit a 15-inch MacBook Pro, a charger, a notebook, keys, wallet, sunglasses, iPhone, and in most cases a couple of extra gadgets currently being schlepped around for testing.
4th Place: Tyla Rae Paula laptop bag
This bag is so ugly it's painful. And it actually was the least ugly bag this brand offers. You could easily find something better at Target for less money. Even Marshall's.
This bag has no extra room. A weird microfiber screen-wiping cloth is attached to an outside zipper—that makes no sense. It's not at all durable. The fake leather wears off if you rub it against any surface. Not even an abrasive surface. Just a surface. The flimsy material could not reliably protect your computer. The detachable cross-body strap is both awkwardly placed and uncomfortable, and it doesn't even have room for your charger.
Tyla Rae Paula laptop bag
Color: Pebble blue
Material: faux leather, lined pouch
Pockets: an extra one on the outside, interior zipper pouch
Gizrank:: 1.5 stars
3rd Place: Clare Rojas for Incase Tote
This bag, designed by artist Clare Rojas for Incase, is wonderfully whimsical. It got compliments from strangers on at least three occasions. It's stylish, and the sturdy canvas is easy to clean. There's plenty of room for your laptop, your charger, and several pockets for all your accessories. You could even throw in your running shoes.
The tote itself just a little less secure than the other options because it lacks a zipper pocket. It's still a good bag, and it'd definitely worth considering, especially for the fact that it's unique and adorable. It took third place because it was up against some tough competition.
Clare Rojas for Incase Tote
Color: Off-white, blue, orange, brown
Material: Weather-resistant cotton canvas on the outside, cotton twill lining, padded bottom
Pockets: One big one for your laptop, an exterior zipper pocket and one open pocket, two interior pockets
Gizrank:: 3.0 stars
2nd Place: Flatiron Messenger Bag
Manhattan Portage makes fantastic bags. This one should honestly last much longer than the laptop will. The build quality (and a lifetime warranty) make it easier to consider dropping $200 on one of these totes.
This bag has a dedicated pocket for your computer and a removable sleeve for added protection. It's unbelievable how much you can fit inside it. Honestly you could probably stow a feisty cocker spaniel in there, and the bag wouldn't tear and the strap wouldn't fray. This really is a quality piece of portage—if you have a considerable amount of cash for a laptop bag, it's worth it.
Manhattan Portage Flatiron Messenger Bag
Dimensions: 23 x 12.5 x 7"
Color: Grey and black
Material: Water-resistant Cordura nylon
Pockets: Two zipper pockets on the front, three smaller sleeves as well. Two interior zipper pockets, misc. pouches.
Gizrank:: 4.0 stars
BESTMODO!! Jansport Cross Talk Messenger
You probably had a Jansport backpack in high school. You probably decorated it with a bunch of buttons and Wite-Out. This laptop bag is not that. It's much better. And it barely edged out the Flatiron. It was a close race, but this barely took the prize, because $50 is an unbelievable deal for such a fantastic bag.
Plus, it's just a little bit more comfortable. The Flatiron is bigger and bulkier, but Jansport's model is slightly more compact, and some added padding on the strap keeps it from digging into your shoulder. It just felt familiar and well-loved from the start, like some favorite tee shirt you've worn for years. So soft. So attractive. Such a pleasure to schlep to work day after day.
Jasport Cross Talk Messenger
Dimensions:16" x 12.4" x 4.4"
Material: cotton canvas
Pockets: Two exterior zipper pockets, misc. interior pockets
Gizrank:: 4.0 stars