How much do you have to lose if your laptop gets damaged? For most people, it’ll be huge hassle and even stressful if that were to happen. Fortunately, bad incidences can be prevented by having the best laptop bag or backpack to protect your valuable computer.
In comes us, BestLaptopBagsCanada.com, where just as the name of our website suggests, we showcase and review the most stylish, most fashionable, most professional and essentially the best laptop bags in Canada for men and women.
“A laptop bag is more than just an accesory that protects one’s laptop, but it’s also a fashion statement that expresses who you are and what you do.” – Sam Harris, Site Founder
We understand that a laptop bag or backpack isn’t an easy thing to buy especially online, which is why we’ve taken on the arduous task or researching and testing different models so you don’t have to. Given that the Canadian online market is still relatively small, it can also be difficult finding precisely the laptop bag you really desire – we scour the web to find the best products for you too.
Whether you’re a legal attorney, an accountant or general office worker looking for a slick leather laptop bag, or a backpacker or someone who leads an active lifestyle searching for a highly durable laptop backpack; fear not, we’ve got you covered.
Find Your Favorite Laptop Bag
If you already have a good idea of what you want, and you don’t want to read our buyer’s guide below, then you can just jump straight into the most exciting part – shopping for a laptop bag! Here are some of our most popular articles to get you started.
- Top 18 Best Laptop Bags For Men Reviewed
- Top 12 Best Leather Laptop Bags For Men Reviewed
- Top 10 Best Laptop Bags For Women Reviewed
- Top 10 Best Rolling Laptop Bags Reviewed
- Top 15 Best Laptop Backpacks Reviewed
Check out the article you’re most interested in, and be sure to go through the entire list and narrow down your choices to 2 or 3 of your favorite, and make your final pick based on your budget combined with style.
How to Buy the Best Laptop Bag
On the outside, it appears that a laptop bag is merely something to carry and protect your laptop around in. However, once you actually begin shopping for a laptop bag, you’ll quickly realize that there’s more than meets the eye, and there are plenty of different factors you have to consider; here are the most important.
Do big name brands matter? In the world of laptop bags and backpacks, the simple answer is yes. Granted, you’ll probably find some unknown brands or no name bags that are cheap and actually good, but those discoveries are few and far between.
Meanwhile, the best laptop bags are produced by long established names in the luggage and bag industry – Wenger, Samsonite, Swiss Gear, McKlein USA, Kensington, TUMI, Targus and Visconti among others.
They have the experience, resources and manufacturing capabilities to deliver top bag after bag; plus, they have a wide range of different styles to choose from. If you cherish your laptop and take your own personal style seriously, then buy a laptop bag from a renowned brand.
For Men or Women
While there are plenty of choices for men, there are far fewer women’s laptop bags and backpacks. However, some of the models available can be used by both genders. Our advice will always remain the same – durability and laptop protection comes first, style comes second.
Type of Laptop Bag
There are a few different types of laptop bags, and we don’t just mean stylistically. The main ones are:
- Professional and Casual Laptop Bags – These are what you typically think of when you think about laptop bags. They come in the form of briefcases and messenger bags that are designed for work or casual use. In terms of their style, we’ll discuss that below.
- Laptop Backpacks – These are often more comfortable than your typical briefcase style laptop bag, but they just don’t look as professional and sleek. If you’re on business or leisure travel, then a laptop backpack is a good option to protect carry around your laptop, as some have a convenient checkpoint friendly laptop compartment that gets you through airport scanners quickly and easily.
- Rolling Laptop Bags – This is another ideal type of laptop bag for business travel. They’re essentially laptop briefcases on wheels that look more professional and usually have a larger capacity than backpacks, albeit coming in at a higher price. You can either roll or carry them on your shoulder, with some even letting you carry it as a backpack too.
Which one you choose to purchase entirely depends on your profession and lifestyle, though it’s quite common for most people to have more than one laptop bag to serve different occassions – work, casual and travel.
This factor is the most important quality of a laptop bag. Afterall, there’s no point in having the most beautiful laptop bag if it doesn’t even do what it’s supposed to do – protect your laptop and other belongings. There are several key indicators how you can tell how durable a bag is and how long it will last for:
- How well it’s stitched inside and outside – look for double stitching and thick threads.
- How durable the material is – check the interior too, as the material used inside may be flimsy and have thin padding around the laptop compartment.
- The laptop compartment should be well padded on all sides, and have just enough space to sit comfortably within without it being too loose or too tight.
- Don’t overlook the handles and shoulder strap – check how well they’re connected and whether they’re reinforced with rivets or extra stitching.
- Make sure that all zippers open and close smoothly
- If you’re buying a genuine leather laptop bag, look into the quality of the leather (the topic of leather material is extensive and requires an entire chapter).
That pretty much sums up the most important points of a laptop bag’s construction quality. If you have all of the above points ticked, then you’re looking at a really good laptop bag or backpack. Perfection can be met by ticking off the next few headings.
Style and Aesthetics
Visual appeal is what attracts most people to a particular person or thing, and that’s especially true for fashionable and functional clothing accessories such as laptop bags. Your chosen model will often reflect your profession and character, even compliment yourself.
If you’re in a job or profession that demands a super slick image, then you better get a super sleek laptop bag to match. Genuine leather, black, brown or tan colors, metal or brass zippers, rivets and designer brands are all signs of a high class laptop bag that supports the aura you want to display to the world.
If you lead an active lifestyle and need a travel companion that can endure, then durability is even more paramount. Water resistance, high denier polyester, easy access to various compartments and extra padding are must-haves for a bag that may have to go through some demanding situations.
No matter what type of laptop bag you go for, at the highest level, all of them can be stylish and appealing for their intended use and target market.
Comfort and Convenience
If you’re going to be carrying your laptop bag frequently, either to work or traveling, then how comfortable and convenient the bag makes your journey should be a top priority. Here are some of the elements of a laptop bag that makes your life much easier:
- Handles – There will be times where you’ll prefer to carry your laptop bag or backpack by hand. During these moments, a well padded and durable top handle provides you with a firm grip and less strain on the hand.
- Shoulder Strap – If you have a messenger or briefcase style laptop bag, then the shoulder strap is your bag’s main support, therefore it’s essential that it’s easily adjustable and that the shoulder pad is well padded to alleviate pressure from your shoulder as much as possible.
- Back Padding – For laptop backpacks, you want there to be sufficient and well placed padding on the back to ensure comfort, protection of your laptop and good air flow especially for long journeys.
- TSA Checkpoint Friendly – The laptop compartment folds out completely flat so there’s (sometimes) no need to remove the laptop when going through airport security scanners.
- Luggage Handle Pass Through – You won’t see this feature often in many laptop bags, but for the frequent traveler, it’s really handy as the back strap or panel allows the telescopic handle of a suitcase to pass through it; the laptop bag sits securely on top of your suitcase and both can easily be rolled around as one unit.
- Size and Weight – Every little counts; an inch too big or small, or a pound too heavy can make all the difference between comfort levels. There is no general rule for size and weights, but just be sure to set your priorities straight – capacity and type and amount of material used (may reflect style and durability) will all affect a bag’s size and weight.
In most cases, it’s difficult to tell how a bag will really feel until it’s packed to the brim and properly used in the real world. However, by double checking the above factors, you’ll greatly increase the chances of your expectations being met.
Laptop Compartment Size
The most important compartment is of course, the one that holds what’s likely to be the most valuable and invaluable belonging in your bag; get this wrong and you’re looking at a badly fitted or damaged laptop. Granted, you first need to check that the laptop bag is designed to hold the size of your laptop.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers only mention what laptop screen size the bag is suited for instead of stating the actual dimensions of the laptop compartment, which is a more accurate way of knowing how well fitted your laptop will be. In most cases, there’ll be enough room for your laptop to fit properly.
For an ideal fit, you need to ensure that your laptop won’t move around much when inside. It also shouldn’t be too tight as filling up the bag with other contents can put too much pressure on your laptop.
Another thing to bear in mind is that many leather laptop bags lack adequate padding which can be attributed to the main material and style of the bag. In this instance, you may want to think about getting a thin laptop sleeve for more protection. This will add a big more bulk to your laptop which should be taken into consideration.
Amount of Compartments
The amount of compartments you need will depend on your profession and how organized you like to be. You should think about whether you want:
- Holders for stationary, USB sticks, a mobile phone, business cards or any other small items
- A dedicated tablet pocket
- Outside compartments or pockets for quick access to any items
- A checkpoint friendly laptop compartment
- Seperators within the main compartment for organizing documents
More compartments means that you can seperate contents a bit better, but it also means that the bag will be slightly heavier and bulkier.
Some manufacturers may offer extended warranties on their laptop bags, which may give you peace of mind if their product were to fail on you. If you’re going to be spending a good amount of money on a laptop bag, then you may want to check how long the guarantee is for and what exactly it covers.
The cost of a laptop bag can range from CDN $20 up to the thousands, though price doesn’t always reflect on quality. You can get perfectly good budget laptop bags and dud luxury models, though you tend to need to spend a bit more if you want to deliver an image of professionalism and prosperity; something that’s important in certain lines of work.
Other factors that can affect costs are – material (especially genuine leather), brand, handmade, type of laptop bag, durability and build quality.
If you’re asking yourself “how much shall I spend on a laptop bag?”, then the answer is simple – whatever you’re happy to pay up to. Increasing your price range will open up more choices, though there’s usually a style for every type of budget.
7 Tips For Buying the Best Laptop Bags
- Ask Yourself Why – Is it for work? If so, what type of work? Is it for travel? If so, is it more for business or leisure travel? You can then decide what type of laptop bag you need based on your answers.
- Set Yourself a Budget – You want to try and find the best laptop bag within your budget, but also don’t shy away from spending just a little bit more if it means getting the model you truly want.
- Double Check the Size – You want to make sure the laptop compartment’s dimensions can hold your laptop snuggly. Also, make sure that you’re happy with the overall size of the bag.
- Analyze in Store – If possible, check out the real thing in a retail store to see how it really looks and feels, then buy online if the price is cheaper.
- Read the Reviews – If going to a store is inconvenient, then read what other users are saying about the laptop bags or backpacks you’re interested in.
- Read Our Articles – If you don’t have the time to go on the hunt, then just head to our relevant articles where we’ve done the research and we’ve handpicked the best laptop bags for practically every occassion.
- Pack it Out – When you first receive your new laptop bag, you want to fill it up so that it’s full without overloading it. Then walk around with it for a few minutes to see how it holds up. The idea is to see if you encounter any faults with the bag that you otherwise wouldn’t have discovered if you were to limit its capacity on a daily basis.
Final Words From the Website Founder
If you’ve read all of the information above, then thank you so much for your time. I bet you didn’t realize that there’s so much to think about when buying a laptop bag!
Regardless, try not to get overwhelmed with information and don’t think too much. Set your top 3 things you’re looking for in a laptop bag and seek to meet your expectations.
If you do have any more questions, feel free to leave a comment on any one of our articles or contact me directly and I’ll aim to get back to you within 1-2 working days. I hope you end up buying the most stylish, most functional and best laptop bag or backpack to meet your desires.
Sam Harris, Head Editor and Founder