The best laptop tote bag

It’s always best to bring your laptop in a carry-on bag rather than checked luggage. Checking a laptop puts your device at risk for getting stolen or badly damaged during transit.
It’s always best to bring your laptop in a carry-on bag rather than checked luggage. Checking a laptop puts your device at risk for getting stolen or badly damaged during transit. (BestReviews)

If looking stylish while protecting your laptop is important to you, then many of the traditional offerings for laptop carriers might not be up to your standards. Messenger bags are effective, but they have a decidedly utilitarian look — they aren’t fashionable.

There are plenty of backpacks on the market with dedicated laptop sleeves, but these look very casual and might be more suited for a student than a working professional. Laptop tote bags like the Bromen Women 15.6-Inch Vintage Laptop Tote Bag combine the best features of one of the trendiest types of purses with the protective and smart features of a laptop bag.


What to know before you buy a laptop tote bag

They’re stylish while professional

Laptop tote bags are quite versatile and easily transition from the office setting to a more casual one, like a restaurant or bar. They look far more sophisticated than a messenger bag or backpack, making them ideal for an important work meeting or conference. If you don’t have time to stop at home to pick up a going out purse after work, a laptop tote bag looks like a fashion bag, so it seamlessly transitions into your social plans and goes well with both professional and trendy outfits.

Why a regular tote won’t do

There are plenty of functional and fashionable tote bags on the market that are great for days at the beach or out and about in the town. So you might be wondering why you can't use your standard tote bag to carry your laptop. Only tote bags made to carry laptops have features designed to protect your device, such as padded compartments, straps that secure your laptop in place, zippered closures to conceal your expensive device and more. A regular tote might look like the perfect shape and size for a laptop, but it isn't equipped to keep your pricey computer safe from drops, falls or theft.


There’s room for more

Many laptop tote bags are designed with compartments for the many other things a user might carry throughout their day. In addition to the laptop compartment, there are also pockets and sleeves of varying sizes for things like makeup, a wallet, a phone, chargers, tissues and more. Many even have a compartment for storing important documents.

Laptop tote bag features

Multiple and adjustable straps

A laptop tote bag with different types of straps that are adjustable will make your day much easier. Some have shoulder straps as well as top grab handles, so you can leave your hands free when you need them for carrying a coffee and talking on your phone. Look for a bag with a shoulder strap that is both adjustable and padded to get the most comfortable feel. On some bags, the main handles are also adjustable in length so you can make them long enough to go over the shoulder, great for times when your bag is heavy and you want to wear it closer to your body for better balance.

Protective features

Your laptop tote bag should have features that keep your laptop and all of your belongings safe. The dedicated laptop sleeve will ideally be padded to protect your laptop against bumps and drops. Make sure there is something holding the laptop in place whether that be buckles, Velcro straps, snap buttons or a zippered closure. Metal feet are also a nice touch as they protect the bottom of the bag from scratches and scuffs when placed on the ground.


Do confirm the size of your laptop before choosing a laptop tote bag. If the laptop compartment is too small, you might be tempted to simply leave it open so your device can fit in the bag, but stick out. However, this does not provide your laptop with much protection. A bag that is too big for your laptop leaves room for it to move around during transit. Having the proper size laptop tote bag will ensure that your device is securely in place and entirely covered.

Laptop tote bag cost 

Laptop tote bags range in price significantly. Both material and designer dictate the price tag. You can find those made with synthetic materials from generic brands for as little as $25, while leather or suede bags, as well as those from designer names, can cost upwards of $70.

Laptop tote bag FAQ

What is the best material for a laptop tote bag?

A. There are several materials that are excellent for laptop tote bags. If you're looking for something affordable, wear-resistant and easy to clean, nylon is a good choice. It doesn't rip easily and can be wiped off when dirty. Leather is another good option, which is long lasting and has a sophisticated look. However, it will be more difficult to clean than nylon.

Can I fit a laptop sleeve inside of a laptop tote bag?

A. You might be able to fit a laptop sleeve inside of a laptop tote bag. However, the existence of the padded and enclosed built-in laptop compartment is meant to eliminate the need for a separate sleeve and cut down on bulk inside your bag.

Which laptop tote bag should I get?

Best of the best laptop tote bag

Bromen Women 15.6-Inch Vintage Laptop Tote Bag: Available at Amazon

Our take: This stylish bag is made with faux leather, ideal for the environmentally friendly fashionista.

What we like: With an attractive vegan leather, metal hardware and dozens of eye-catching color options, this bag looks like a traditional fashion accessory but in fact, protects your device. It has a foam-padded sleeve that can accommodate a 15.6-inch computer.

What we dislike: The interior doesn't hold very much beyond a laptop.

Best bang for your buck laptop tote bag

Ecosusi Laptop Tote: Available at Amazon

Our take: This tote is loaded with features that help the day of the business professional go smoothly.

What we like: With several compartments for items like documents, an iPad and, of course, a laptop, this tote makes it easy to stay organized. It has stylish details like fringed tassels and metal hardware and it has feet to keep the bottom clean.

What we dislike: The bag does not hold its shape when empty.

Honorable mention laptop tote bag

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Laptop Carry-On Travel Tote Bag: Available at Amazon

Our take: This bag has been thoughtfully designed for the travelling professional.

What we like: Loaded with travel-friendly features like a luggage strap, a quick-access exterior pocket and water-resistant material, this bag is ready to protect your laptop throughout a long journey. It even has organizational pockets for cords and power banks.

What we dislike: It is pricey for being made of polyester.

Julia Austin is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.


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