How to choose the right laptop bag, case or backpack 

Whether you commute to work, take your laptop with you on travels or are simply looking to protect your laptop when you’re not using it, laptop bags are essential accessories for carrying and protecting your valuable devices.

Available in various sizes and types with bags, backpacks and cases, how do you know which laptop bag is right for you? 

We’ll walk you through how to measure your laptop properly and which bag you need based on your needs. 

Table of Contents

  1. What are the types of laptop bags?
  2. How do I know what size laptop bag I need?
  3. How do I choose a laptop bag?
  4. Do I really need a laptop bag?

What are the types of laptop bags?

Laptop Bags

Laptop bags are lightweight with an easy-carry handle to make it easier to transport your device.

Usually, they include a zipped pouch large enough to hold the charger or a mouse and a small keyboard but don’t include space for larger items like notebooks or water bottles.

Navy laptop carry bag

Bagbase Portfolio Briefcase BG033

Laptop Cases

Laptop cases are a slim and sleek way to protect your laptop and offer protection against scratches and minor bumps.

They are usually designed to cover the laptop without any carry handles or additional pockets for carrying other items, although some may have a front slip pocket.

If you already have a work backpack or prefer to use a tote or messenger bag, a laptop case can be easily slotted into larger bags but protects your laptop from being knocked against other items.

Grey laptop case with front zip

Bagbase Essential 13″ Laptop Case BG67

Laptop Backpacks

Laptop backpacks are a popular choice. They are a comfortable way to carry your laptop as the weight is distributed evenly across your back, reducing strain. This also leaves your hands free for phone calls or carrying coffee and is ideal for those who prefer to cycle to work.

For those commuting to work, laptop backpacks have additional departments for storing essentials like chargers, notebooks, packed lunches and water bottles. 

Black Laptop Backpack

Quadra Tungsten Laptop Backpack QD968

Laptop Charge Backpacks

Laptop charge backpacks are a new version of a laptop backpack which combines the functionality of a regular laptop backpack with the convenience of built-in charging capabilities.

They include a built-in power bank or USB charging port, allowing you to charge your laptop or device on the go. With a USB port outside of the bag, simply plug in your cable and attach it to your device for charge on the move.

Charge backpacks are ideal for individuals who frequently travel or have a busy lifestyle, enabling them to stay connected without worrying about battery life.

Quadra Grey Laptop Charge Backpack

Quadra Project Charge Security Backpack QD925

How do I know what size laptop bag I need?

To determine the correct size laptop bag you need, measure the length of your laptop screen diagonally, in inches.

Laptop bags are usually designed to accommodate specific sizes, such as 13-inch, 15-inch, or 17-inch. 

Choose a bag that matches or is slightly larger than your laptop’s diagonal length.

How do I choose a laptop bag?

Protection and padding

Choose a bag with adequate padding to protect your laptop against any impact. The padding should be thick enough to absorb shocks and protect against accidental drops or bumps.

A soft lining will also prevent your laptop from getting any scratches. It’s not essential, but it can keep your laptop in its best condition.


Consider the comfort of carrying the bag, especially if you have a long commute or will be using your laptop on the go a lot. Ensure the laptop bag has an easy carry handle and is lightweight.

Check if backpacks have padded shoulder straps and a breathable back panel. Adjustable straps can help distribute weight evenly and ensure the bag’s weight is manageable.

Storage space

Do you only need to store your laptop, or do you need to store other essential items like cables, chargers, keyboards and more?

If you’re solely looking for laptop protection, choose a case as they take up the least space whilst adding valuable padding. If you need to carry your laptop on your commute, a laptop backpack will provide a padded compartment for your laptop with enough space to safely store the rest of your essentials. 

Interior compartments make it easy to quickly find your essentials, while exterior compartments are useful for quick access to your water bottle.

Man putting his laptop into a laptop backpack


Investing in a bag made from high-quality, durable materials and expert craftsmanship will give you a product that will stand the test of time, especially if you’ll use it regularly.

Look for bags made from durable materials such as nylon or polyester that include reinforced stitching and robust zippers for longevity. 

A water-resistant material can be an added advantage to protect your laptop from unexpected spills or light rain (perfect for the UK!).


Style is another important consideration when choosing a laptop bag, as it will need to match your style and be suitable for its purpose.

For work, tech or sleek designs will keep you looking professional, whilst vintage styles are a perfect mix of sophistication.

For everyday use, a sporty or casual look might suit your wardrobe better to keep you looking on-trend season after season.

Do I really need a laptop bag?

Even if you keep your laptop at home, it can still be at risk of bumps, scratches or spills. Accidents happen. If you regularly take your laptop out and about, a laptop bag is essential for protecting your device.

  1. Protection – A laptop bag provides essential protection against scratches and spills with padded compartments designed to keep your laptop safe. The small expense of a laptop bag could save you hundreds of pounds if it prevents damage to your laptop.
  2. Organisation – Laptop bags often have compartments and pockets for storing accessories, documents, and other essentials. This helps keep your belongings organised and easily accessible, which is especially useful for work.
  3. Convenience – Laptop bags are designed to make it easy to transport your laptop. They typically have padded straps or handles, making it more convenient to carry your laptop to wherever you need it.
  4. Style and Professionalism – Laptop bags come in various designs and styles, allowing you to choose one that suits your personal taste. A professional-looking laptop bag can enhance your overall appearance and give a more polished impression in formal settings.
Women carrying charge laptop backpack charging her phone

Shop our selection of laptop bags

Choosing the right laptop bag is essential for protecting your device and ensuring convenience during travel or daily commutes.

Whether you’re a student or professional, the right laptop bag will make your life easier and more organised while keeping your laptop safe and secure.

Now you’ve got an idea of what laptop bag to look for to suit your needs, shop our full selection of laptop bags with affordable bags, cases, backpacks and charge backpacks from trusted brands available at Activewear Group.


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