Your computer is an investment, and like any good investment, it’s important to take the time to keep it safe. Laptops are amazing because they are so easy to lug around, but as it goes with your phone, it’s easy to get distracted and drop that precious piece of technology. And if you’re walking around with a new MacBook Pro or new HP ProBook, the last thing you want to do is lose your focus and drop that hefty investment.
Types of Laptop Cases
What do you need from your laptop case? Do you need something that is going to provide maximum protection, or do you want something that is light, stylish and portable? To help you answer these questions and make things simple, we organized our recommendations into four categories: sleeves, shoulder bags, backpacks and hard cases.
For most people, a good laptop sleeve is all you need. A good sleeve provides protection from dust, scratches and bumps, but also will keep your laptop portable and looking stylish. A good laptop sleeve fits your laptop snuggly without much wiggle room. This keeps the laptop from jumping around inside the case. You can carry your laptop in your hands, or slide it inside of a bag with a sleeve for extra protection.
Sleeves with additional pockets can be good to carry your laptop as well as a charging block and cable, which can be nice to have when you are traveling. You’ll want a sleeve with good clasps or zippers that keep your laptop contained and don’t open on their own.
Finally, sleeves often provide the opportunity to carry your laptop in style. There are some great looking laptop sleeves available in our recommendations below.
1. Baggu Puffy Laptop Sleeve
This option from Baggu is eye-catching and protective. It’s made from recycled ripstop nylon, making it both durable and environmentally friendly. It has padded cells similar to a puffer jacket, keeping your laptop protected. Instead of a zipper, it has a foldover flap with a Velcro closure. It’s available in a variety of fun prints, such as this Simpson’s donut option. Or, go for solid black. It fits laptops up to 13 inches.
2. Madewell Leather Laptop Case
This stylish option from Madewell is made from genuine leather and it comes in either brown or black. The leather is sourced from a tannery that is Gold-rated by the Leather Working Group for sustainable practices. It’s minimally padded, so it’s best for protection against bumps and scratches rather than drops.
3. Incase Classic Sleeve
The Incase Classic Sleeve provides a great fit around your laptop with plenty of padding to protect it from drops. It even has a little extra padding around the corners for added protection. Although there’s padding, the case remains slim and portable. It’s a basic sleeve but provides plenty of protection for your laptop.
4. ProCase Laptop Sleeve
Available in seven colors, the ProCase provides plenty of personal style and protection for your laptop. It has a water-resistant outside to protect from rain and spills and a soft lined inside to keep your laptop protected from bumps and scratches. It even comes with a carrying handle to make toting your laptop around more convenient.
5. Canvaslife Marble Canvas Sleeve
Not only does this laptop bag look phenomenal, but it also comes with an impressive 360-degree protective system that’s able to entirely encompass your laptop to help keep it safe. With a waterproof and shockproof outer sleeve, this model includes both front and top zippers for easy access. It’s also available in two cool skin tones: marble (our favorite) and black marble
6. MOSISO Sleeve
Simplicity meets elegance with this minimalist design. Made with water-repellent polyester, this case really delivers when it comes to protection. With a soft, foam padding inside, this laptop sleeve keeps your device safe from scratches and other minor bumps. An exterior pocket allows you to carry your smartphone, tablet and more, so you can keep everything close at hand. While this sleeve lacks straps or handles for travel, it’s one of the best laptop cases that you can slip into a larger travel bag or backpack.
Shoulder bags provide a better and more comfortable way to carry your laptop throughout the day. If you go from class to class or travel a lot for work, we recommend going with a shoulder bag. Shoulder bags allow you to pack what you need throughout the day along with your laptop. They often provide plenty of room for chargers, cables, a snack or two (you’ll get hungry during a long work or school day) notebooks and your phone. There are hard cases with shoulder straps, but we left those in the hard cases section below. These shoulder bags have softer exteriors and are made for portability and style.
1. Case Logic PNC-218 Case
Designed to fit laptops up to 18 inches, this Case Logic model features a cushy padded base and handy built-in neoprene electronics pockets that are able to provide an extra level of protection for your valuables. With a sleek and stylish quilted pattern, the laptop bag features a front pocket to offer quick and easy access to your phone and other devices. It also comes with plenty of extra storage space. Thanks to the briefcase-like design and protective features, this is one of the best laptop cases, especially for over-sized laptops.
2. MOSISO Laptop Shoulder Bag
This stylish and affordable option from Mosiso has a carrying handle as well as a detachable shoulder strap, making it easy to carry as a briefcase or as a messenger. There are multiple zippered compartments on the exterior of the bag for carrying your daily essentials. A zipper on the bottom of the bag also allows it to be expanded if you have a thicker laptop. This is the 13-inch sleeve, but there are options for laptops as large as 17.3 inches.
3. Uniqlo 3-Way Bag
This stylish bag from Uniqlo is more innovative than its minimalist design would make it seem. Cleverly placed handles and straps allow this bag to be carried in three different ways. You can wear it as a backpack over both shoulders, as a messenger bag over one shoulder, or in your hand as a briefcase. The backpack straps and shoulder strap can be tucked away when not in use to give it a clean look. There’s an interior sleeve for carrying a laptop as well.
4. Qishare Shoulder Bag
If you want a nice, comfortable laptop carrying case but don’t want to sacrifice your style, then this design is perfect for you. Don’t be fooled by this slim case: it offers all the protection you need to take your precious laptop with you everywhere you go. Made with water-resistant and soft plush material, it keeps your device safe from dust, water, and bumps. Its pioneering design is perfect for taking on the go because it allows you to remove your device quickly to pass through airport security. This style also comes with two side pockets and a removable shoulder strap.
5. AmazonBasics Shoulder Bag Carrying Case
This AmazonBasics shoulder bag is perfect for those who are looking for a spacious laptop bag that won’t break the bank. Sure, the style is a bit plain, but it also won’t get in the way of your outfit. With plenty of storage pockets, it allows you to organize all your accessories, from mouse to cables and everything else. This style can fit up to a 15.6-inch laptop or tablet.
Ideal for students and commuters who prefer to bike, backpacks provide a secure and portable way to stow your laptop, as well as other devices and accessories. When you travel a lot — whether for school or work — backpacks can be more comfortable to carry over long periods of time compared to shoulder bags thanks to the even weight distribution on both your shoulders.
Backpacks tend to be more expensive, but the portability, storage and protection, along with stylish designs, make backpacks a great choice for students and commuters alike.
1. Timbuk2 Spire Backpack
This backpack from Timbuk2 takes inspiration from the Velcro straps found on tactical bags but keeps it from veering too into Milsurp territory with modern colors and design features. The roll-top bag has a simple clip to open and close it, meaning you don’t have to worry about zippers catching and snagging. There’s also an internal sleeve that can accommodate a 15-inch laptop.
2. Targus Newport Backpack
This stylish backpack from Targus has a dedicated zippered compartment on the back of the bag for storing a slim laptop. There’s also a hidden compartment on the back of the bag for storing small items like a phone, wallet, or, if you’re traveling, a passport. The bag is made from nylon and synthetic leather, giving it a modern and grown-up look.
3. Matein Travel Laptop Backpack
This laptop case has a built-in USB port that allows you to charge devices like your phone right from your backpack. It has pockets for your laptop, phone, wallet and plenty of room for notebooks and folders for work or school. It’s available in nine different colors, so you’ll be able to pick a backpack that fits your personal style.
4. SwissGear 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack
This is one of the most durable and useful laptop backpacks available. It’s big and bulky, but there’s plenty of room for your laptop, all your accessories, and then some. It’s great for airport travel as well since it has a TSA-friendly scan pocket that can hold and protect up to a 17-inch laptop.
5. Thule Pack-n-Pedal Commuter
A great option for those who bike to school or work. The main compartment is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about your laptop getting wet if the weather decides to change on you. It features a hideaway helmet compartment to secure your helmet when you aren’t wearing it. The back is padded and ribbed to provide ultimate comfort and extra airflow as you bike. It’s an overall great option for any bike commuter.
When you want maximum protection, a hard case is your best option. These can be a great option in situations when you need to stow away your laptop in a checked bag on an airplane (those things get tossed around like nobody’s business), or you tend to be outdoors a lot for work.
Hard cases can come in a few different varieties including hard covered sleeves, shoulder-bag-styled cases and clear covers. Of course, hard cases are a little heavier, so if you travel all day long with your laptop on your shoulders, the extra weight should be considered. But if you want the absolute most protection for your laptop, hard cases are the way to go.
1. Pelican 1495 Case
When you’re in the market for a laptop case that can withstand all the elements, Pelican is a great choice. We’re not lying when we say it’s incredibly well-built — watertight, crushproof and dustproof, the Pelican is designed to store laptops up to 17 inches and keep them safe in any environment. On top of that, a combination lock provides an extra level of protection against thieves. In short, this is a smart option for the wary globetrotter. This case features both a shoulder strap and handle so you can always keep it close at hand.
2. Thule Gauntlet Laptop Case
This case is made by Thule, a brand best known for the cargo boxes they make for car rooftops. If they can be trusted to keep your gear safe on top of your car, you can count on them to keep your laptop safe. The exterior is a hard shell and the interior is padded for maximum protection. It’s designed for laptops that are up to 15 inches. The case has a dual-zippered design for easy access.
3. DOMISO 15.6 Inch Shock Resistant Laptop Sleeve
For under $30, this is easily the most durable laptop case you can buy. For starters, it’s equipped with a comprehensive EVA shell to help protect your laptop from scratches, scrapes and falls. It also features a soft and smooth inner fabric that’s designed to keep your laptop in place without adding any unwanted stress. As an added bonus, it also utilizes a welcome slip-resistant design, so even though you don’t have to worry about dropping it, chances are you never will.
4. Supgear Laptop Sleeve Case for 13-13.3 Inch Notebook
Designed for 13 to 13.3-inch laptops, this Supgear case features four inner pockets that help maximize space. While some MacBook Pro models exceed 13.3 inches, most MacBooks and MacBook Air laptops will slip securely into this carrying case. In fact, you can store your laptop, your phone, a pocket journal and more. The hardshell case is shock-resistant, and the laptop sleeve is both dustproof and waterproof. Best of all, it’s available in two fun colors: traditional black and rose gold.
5. Nacuwa Protective Laptop Case
Designed for 15 and 16-inch laptops, this super sturdy Nacuwa case includes a shockproof and padded hard outer shell to help keep your computers safe. What’s more, it’s designed to be waterproof and dustproof as well. If you’re worried about trudging your laptop through rain or snow, this is a great case to have. It also comes with added inner pockets to store your phone and other essentials. Think of it as a wallet, but for your laptop.
6. Unik Case
This laptop case from Unik is made from a durable EVA material that offers durable protection for your laptop. The textured outer makes it easier to grip. The zippers have contrasting colored tips that make them easier to see for quick access to your laptop. The inside of the case has an elastic strap to keep your laptop in place, preventing it from moving around when you’re carrying the case. The case is designed for laptops up to 13 inches.