Laptop bags are more grown-up than a backpack and offer more storage space than a briefcase for people who have to lug around a work computer. A great-looking bag to carry all your gear is a must-have for any professional wardrobe. We spent a month evaluating 23 different laptop bags and two weeks commuting with our favorites to help professionals find a bag that has killer looks but also functions just as well on the way to work as it does once you’re there.
We’ve got a Although none of our panelists considered any laptop tote bag to be the “ultimate” bag, we did find a few standouts for most professionals. Our panelists each had their own ideas about what makes a laptop bag worthwhile, but they all agreed that it should look nice, be easy to carry, and have enough space for their laptop and commuting gear. minimalist tote bag, a budget bag with a dedicated laptop compartment, and a beautiful leather tote.
For 15-inch (and larger) laptops
Matt & Nat Abbi Tote Bag is perfect for the minimalist commuter.
Get this if: You’re less concerned with frills and more interested in a bag that looks refined and can accommodate a laptop.
Maximum laptop size: 15 inches
Why it’s great: The Matt & Nat Abbi Tote Bag is a shopper tote that seamlessly transitions into a work tote thanks to its minimalist design, zippered closure, and long carry handles. It’s bigger, more durable, and more refined than the $1 bags found at a supermarket checkout stand.
The bag’s refinement is enhanced by the metallic accent color on the zipper and the long, tapered pull tab. The Abbi is made of soft, vegan leather that fits comfortably under your arm without bulging, and its construction is thick enough that the contents of the bag won’t poke fellow passengers on crowded buses or trains. The bag’s softly structured body and wide, thick base ensure that it stays upright when full and doesn’t spill its contents on the floor. The lining is made of 100 percent recycled plastic nylon, making it easier to spot-clean than the leather interior of the similar-looking bag we tested. Cuyana Medium Carryall Tote.. The interior of the Abbi features one open pocket large enough for a smartphone or a slim wallet, as well as one wallet-sized pocket with a zipper that matches the metallic finishes on the exterior.
The handles are 10 inches long, which is 2 inches longer than many laptop tote bags we looked at, including some by Kate Spade. The Abbi’s long carry handles, which make resting the bag under the arm easier (especially for those with a large bust), were another feature that caught our eye. Cuyana, Dagne Dover, Lo & Sons, and MadewellTwo inches may not seem like much, but when you’re lugging your laptop, commuting gear, and a few dinner ingredients home from an errand, you’ll be grateful for Matt & Nat’s extra drop length. ..
Your belongings will remain mess-free thanks to the Abbi’s clean, tight seams, as floor spills never seeped through this bag during our tests. And, as previously stated, the vegan leather is easy to clean. Some commuters experience a sense of dread whenever they lift their bag off the ground, fearing that it will be dripping wet from a beverage spilled by another passenger. Finally, the Abbi is one of the few bags we’d trust to keep our belongings safe while resting them on the subway car’s floor.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Because of the Abbi’s minimalist design, it lacks a padded laptop compartment. The streamlined look is worth the trade-off in our opinion, but we do recommend pairing your laptop with a mouse. padded sleeve for shock absorption.
The Abbi’s zipper, like most of the bags we commuted with, does not create an airtight seal, so water may leak in from above during a heavy rainstorm. When traveling without an umbrella, carrying the bag under your arm should keep most rainwater out.
Vegan leathers can flake and peel over time, but Sasha VanHoven, Wirecutter audience and creative strategy manager, has had a Matt & Nat backpack made of a similar material for more than a year and hasn’t noticed any peeling. Because the company’s one-year limited warranty doesn’t cover normal wear and tear, we recommend cleaning stains with warm water and dish soap and applying faux-leather polish as needed to extend the life of the bag.
Dimensions: 13.5 by 5.75 by 12 inchesHandle drop: 10 inchesWeight: 1 poundWarranty: one-year limited warrantyColors: red, chalet, desert, rosewood, black, black/rose gold, brick, leaf, pebble, red, chalet, desert
EaseGave Laptop Bag is a low-cost, stylish carry-to-work bag.
Get this if: You want a leather bag but don’t want to spend too much money on it.
Maximum laptop size: 15.6 inches; 17.3 inches
Why it’s great: The EaseGave Laptop Bagis the most affordable bag we recommend, but it doesn’t sacrifice overall design or features to save a few dollars. This laptop tote bag, made of top-grain polyurethane leather (PU leather), was thicker and more durable than the flimsy faux leather bags we tested. Dreubea Women’s Soft Faux Leather Tote.. It also has structured, rolled carry handles and mixed compartments, just like the original. Dagne Dover Signature Tote, which is nearly four times more expensive than the EaseGave.
“It had an outside pocket for everything I needed to keep close at hand, and the fake leather didn’t scratch no matter how rough I treated it.” Wirecutter’s commerce operations coordinator, Samina Begum, said, “I really think this is a great affordable bag.” For the price, our panelists praised the EaseGave’s versatility.
Spills and filthy subway platforms are kept at bay by the feet. During our spill tests, the EaseGave didn’t soak up liquids even without the studded feet. Our panelists all agreed that the bag’s metal handbag feet, which lift it slightly off the ground, are the most underappreciated feature.
Depending on the bag you get, this laptop tote bag has a dedicated, padded compartment for a tablet or up to a 15- or 17-inch laptop. The compartment closes with a Velcro strap, which, while not the most secure option, is sufficient to keep a laptop from sliding out if the bag tips over.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Although testers appreciated the EaseGave’s structured, rectangular shape, they found it difficult to carry on a crowded bus or subway because it did not compress down when tucked under an arm.
We don’t recommend storing easily scratched electronics in the EaseGave because the interior is rough and feels like a cheap, shreddable polyester blend.
The other side has a zippered pocket that runs the length of the bag, but the material is flimsy, and our commuters were concerned about its long-term durability. Samina was concerned that her keys in her zip pocket would rip through the thin fabric and scratch her computer. Only one side of the laptop compartment is padded.
The boxy shape and faux leather exterior of the EaseGave give it a light appearance, but it’s far from light. This laptop tote bag is heavier than most of the bags we tested, weighing 2.3 pounds for the 15-inch model and 2.6 pounds for the 17-inch model.
Dimensions: 15.35 inches by 4.53 inches by 12.2 inches; 17.1 inches by 4.53 inches by 31.1 inchesHandle drop: 6 inchesCrossbody strap: 27 to 47 inchesWeight: 2.3 pounds; 2.6 poundsWarranty: satisfaction guaranteedColors: various
For laptops up to 13 inches
Tory Burch Perry Triple-Compartment Tote is a pricey but lovely tote.
Get this if: You’re not concerned about the cost, and you adore the refinement of leather combined with a feminine silhouette.
Maximum laptop size: 13 inches
Why it’s great: At a usual price of $350, the Tory Burch Perry Triple-Compartment Tote Ours had perfect stitching that didn’t fray, the leather felt luxuriously smooth, and the upright design never sagged or tipped, spilling our belongings all over the floor. The refined stitching, supple leather, and structured design make this the most expensive bag we tested.
(Creating deep leather pockets without ruining the minimalist aesthetic is difficult.) The laptop compartment zips shut and has enough room for a 13-inch laptop and a couple of thin documents. This laptop tote bag is divided into two sections by an internal side pocket and a dedicated laptop slot down the middle. We appreciate the division’s organizational structure, which is almost unheard of in a high-end leather tote. And, unlike the laptop pocket in the previous model, Cuyana Tall Structured Leather Zipper Tote The Tory Burch bag’s compartment is raised off the tote’s floor, so if you drop your bag on the ground by accident, you won’t dent your laptop.
What surprised us the most was that, despite the Tory Burch’s thin carry handles, it was still comfortable enough to carry a day’s worth of commuting gear. Carrying the Tory Burch is a dream. It’s half the weight of the competition, weighing 1.8 pounds versus 2.7 and 3 pounds, respectively, for the Mosiso Laptop Tote Bag and the Dagne Dover Signature Tote (Classic).
The burnished seams held up well in our tests, not buckling under a heavy load or leaking spilled beverages. Some of the most expensive laptop tote bags we tested, like the Lo & Sons Seville Tote, aren’t leakproof, so we were pleased to learn that the Tory Burch Perry is.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Tory Burch Perry, like most black-hole bags we tested, doesn’t provide much weather protection. Although the centered laptop slot isn’t padded, we’re not concerned about damaging a computer or tablet because it’s elevated off the floor and isn’t exposed on either side. Only the laptop compartment has a zipper, and our panelists preferred bags that provided some protection and privacy for their essentials.
Dimensions: 13.6 by 5 by 11 inchesHandle drop: 10 inchesWeight: 1.8 poundsWarranty: 30-day return policyColors: brilliant red, shell pink, canyon orange, royal navy, light umber, black, gray heron, royal navy, light umber, black, gray heron, brilliant red, shell pink, canyon orange
Who laptop tote bags are for
For some people, a Most working professionals require a bag to transport their belongings to and from the office, a coworking space, or a workplace campus. laptop backpack or a messenger bagBackpacks and messenger bags, on the other hand, can be bulky, and many of the designs aren’t refined enough for the workplace. will be sufficient. For your preferred setup, they come in stylish designs and a variety of sizes, and they’re large enough to carry everything you need for the day. Most handbags and briefcases aren’t big enough to hold your lunch, laptop, and other work necessities. Laptop bags combine the appearance of a briefcase with the internal functionality of a backpack or messenger bag, making them far more versatile. Others may only require a small handbag or briefcase.
It’s also worth noting that many tote bags don’t zip shut, instead relying on a single snap closure or remaining completely open—which makes it especially easy for things to fall out (if your bag tips over) or come in (spills or someone grabbing your wallet). A laptop bag is for you if you don’t usually carry a heavy load and prefer style over comfort. Laptop bags are not without flaws. Laptop totes, like regular purses or messenger bags, aren’t ergonomic to carry because the weight is distributed unevenly when slung over your shoulder or carried in the crook of your arm. These straps are between 12 and 1 inch wide, whereas a good backpack has up to 3 inch wide straps. Because they resemble oversized handbags, their carry handles are usually thinner than those of a backpack, concentrating the pressure on your shoulder over a smaller area.
How we picked and tested
After that, we compiled a list of 55 laptop tote bags with excellent reviews, noting the price, availability across retailers, third-party reviews, size, and materials used for each bag. We read style blogs, bag forums, and online reviews to find the best laptop bags for work, and we talked to our coworkers about what makes a great laptop tote. Then, based on their overall design and price, we divided the laptop bags into five categories: black-hole tote bags, budget tote bags (usually under $50), convertible bags, traditional totes, and travel laptop tote bags. We also included details like zippered compartments, a dedicated laptop pocket, a crossbody strap, color options, and warranty coverage for each bag.
We selected 23 bags for testing, ranging from black-hole and convertible bags to traditional and travel totes, based on overall features:
Convertible laptop bags:
15-inch Newport Convertible 2-in-1 Tote/Backpack by Targus
Finally, a dozen Wirecutter staffers spent two weeks commuting with the semifinalists before recommending their favorites. We looked at overall quality, laptop compartment durability (when available), carrying comfort, weight, and water resistance for each bag.
What to look forward to
The Bellroy Tokyo Tote – Second Edition is an improved version of the previous, now defunct, Bellroy Tokyo Tote – PremiumTake your pick. It has a stronger pop-out pocket for holding water bottles and other gear, as well as a more protective laptop sleeve for screens up to 13 inches wide. It’s made of a tough, water-resistant woven fabric that won’t irritate delicate blouses as much as the original pick.
The Lo & Sons The Rowledge (Large)The nylon bag can hold up to a 13-inch laptop and is available in a variety of color combinations. is a convertible briefcase/backpack that looks great with both professional and casual outfits. It has several compartments for storing your belongings, a trolley sleeve for attaching it to luggage, and a removable insert that’s easy to clean in the event of a makeup or lunch mishap. Its zippers are water-resistant as well.
The Maribelle Travel BagThe luxurious design, which includes folded leather accents on the body and durable metal hardware, rivals that of our Tory Burch pick. It also has easy-to-use features like removable carry handles, a crossbody strap, and a trolley sleeve. is a leather option that our fashion-conscious readers might enjoy. The tote bag’s dedicated compartment can hold up to a 17-inch laptop.
The Peak Design Everyday ToteIt also includes two carry straps for securing items such as a small tripod or a light jacket. is designed with photo equipment in mind, but it can also be used for everyday essentials. It can hold up to a 13-inch laptop, and the flip-over design prevents raindrops from damaging your electronics.
Black-hole tote bags
Both the bucket design and the bucket design were liked by our panelists. Cuyana Classic Structured Leather Tote and the Cuyana Small Structured Leather Tote Although these Cuyana totes have leather tie straps, our panelists were wary of partially tying a bag closed with thick pieces of leather that easily untied. However, to protect their belongings, they preferred a bag that zipped fully or partially closed, such as the Matt & Nat Abby and the Tory Burch Perry, respectively.
We liked the Cuyana Tall Structured Leather Zipper ToteWhen we were schlepping it full of commuting gear, however, the combination of a vertical bag with a tapered shape and thin handles made it uncomfortable to carry. has a dedicated laptop pocket and a zipper closure.
The Everlane Day Market Tote It has a sleek Italian leather exterior with one small pocket and clean lines. The Everlane’s smooth leather scuffed up more easily in our tests than other leather totes we tested, including Cuyana’s. is about as simple as a leather bag can get.
The Longchamp Large Le Pliage Tote Bag is lightweight and folds up easily for storage, but our panelists preferred bags with a dedicated laptop compartment or exterior padding.
Budget laptop bags
The Dreubea Women’s Soft Faux Leather Tote Our panelists didn’t feel safe carrying a delicate laptop in this bag because it was very thin and showed wear and tear easily.
The gunmetal hardware accents on the cabinet were a hit with our panelists. Mosiso Laptop Tote Bag, but the zippers were sticky and inconvenient to use.
The Overbrooke Classic Canvas Laptop Tote Bagwas the most abrasive and filthy-looking bag we tested. During our spill tests, the bag also absorbed water. Our panelists’ skin scraped against the cheap canvas, which attracted dirt and debris with little effort.
The Sunny Snowy Laptop Tote Bag This bag is heavier, not packable, and does not close with a zip. Sunny Snowy’s bag looks like a Longchamp bag and costs 85 percent less, but the design isn’t executed as well as Longchamp’s.
Convertible laptop bags
The 15-inch Newport Convertible 2-in-1 Tote/Backpack by Targus The bag’s bright-orange interior was also disliked by our panelists. The bag has a simple design and a padded laptop compartment, but it leaked water during our tests.
Traditional laptop tote bags
The 3 pounder has a structured design and a structured design. Dagne Dover Signature Tote (Classic)Furthermore, our panelists believed the bag’s weight, rigid design, and thick, sharp edges made for a bad combination during crowded subway train commutes. is the heaviest bag we put through its paces. The carry handles are rope-shaped rather than flat, as they are on most bags, and they frequently fell off the shoulders of our commuters in our tests.
The Lo & Sons Seville Tote It’s also quite heavy (2.8 pounds), with a stuffed laptop compartment that’s difficult to secure. During our spill tests, the bag failed to keep liquids out, which was disappointing for such a costly accessory. is the second priciest of the bags we tested.
Travel laptop bags
The Knomo Grosvenor Place Laptop Tote Bag Although its roomy design and neat stitching made it appear promising, it failed our waterproofing tests.
Although the body of the Solo New York Jay Leather Tote The bag soaked up water during our spill tests, and the zippers were also sticky. Despite the fact that it is made of full-grain leather, we found the quality to be inferior to that of the majority of the other leather bags we tested.
The Targus 15″ Newport East-West Tote is well-made and provides adequate support for a laptop, but we found the carry straps to be uncomfortable, and our panelists despised the bag’s interior traffic-cone orange color.
About your guide
Kaitlyn Wells is a staff writer who focuses on pets and fashion. Her first children’s book, She has never met a pet she didn’t like, though the same cannot be said for shoes. A Family Looks Like Love, follows a puppy who discovers that love, not appearance, defines a family.