Looking for a new laptop backpack?
If you’re a tech-savvy person with a 17-inch laptop, you know how hard it is to find a decent backpack that fits your extra-large laptop. I’m well aware of this, believe me.
That’s why in this article, we’ll:
- Compare the 12 best 17-inch laptop backpacks currently on the market.
- Tell you what things to look out for before purchasing one.
- Tell you about all the different types of laptop backpacks, so you can decide which one is better for you.
Step 1: Understand What Type of Laptop Backpack You Need
Type 1: For Everyday Use (Commuting with a Car or Public Transport)
If you’re using the backpack for everyday use, and commute by public transport or car, then you’re looking for an ‘office’ or ‘business’ laptop backpack. These types of backpacks are slimmer, have a less-spacious main compartment, and have a lot of pockets and compartments for organization. Also, most of them aren’t waterproof and will retain their shape when they’re empty, because a lot of people carry a half-empty backpack to the office.
Type 2: For Everyday Use (Commuting with a Bike or a Bicycle)
Essentially, these types of backpacks are identical to the first type but waterproof or water-repellant. That’s because many tech-savvy people, including myself, like to commute with a bicycle or an electric scooter, and may get caught up in light rain. But no backpack is truly waterproof, which is why we’d recommend also getting a waterproof backpack cover, even if the manufacturer says the backpack is waterproof.
Type 3: For Traveling and Everyday Use
If you’re a digital nomad, chances are that in addition to working from public spaces or cafes, you’ll also be traveling a lot. So you’ll need a backpack that’s good for everyday use AND traveling. These types of backpacks usually come with TSA-approved laptop compartments, so you won’t have to remove the laptop during airport security. Also, these backpacks will fit the personal item or carry-on size requirements. The main compartment will be quite spacious, but you’ll also find quite a few pockets and compartments for everyday organization.
Type 4: Only for Traveling
Laptop backpacks that are meant mostly for traveling will usually put less emphasis on the laptop compartment, and more on the main compartment. Often, the laptop compartment will be less-padded, the bag will be heavily water-repellant, the main compartment will be quite spacious, and in general the bag will be a bit larger, yet still fit the carry-on size requirements. They’ll also be built from more durable materials, and have fewer pockets and compartments for organizing everyday items.
Step 2: Figure out What Size Backpack You Should Get
If you’re planning on using the backpack only for everyday use, and not for traveling, then the size doesn’t really matter. But if you’re planning on traveling, then your backpack needs to fit certain size requirements.
However, if you’ll be using your backpack as a carry-on, then it needs to be under 22 x 14 x 9 inches to fit in the overhead compartments.
That said, take these size restrictions with a grain of salt, because backpacks aren’t stiff, unlike suitcases. This means that if they aren’t packed too full, you’ll be able to squeeze them slightly to fit the airline requirements. You can get a backpack that’s one or two inches above the limit and use it anyway.
Personally, I always use my laptop backpack as a personal item in addition to my carry-on. I think that it’s a really solid combo even for 2-4 week vacations, and because my Matein laptop backpack has a rear strap, I’m able to secure it on top of my suitcase, which is nice for cramped spaces, like metros and trains.
Read Next: 16 Best Luggage Brands in 2020 Compared
Step 3: Other Things to Look out for Before Buying 17-Inch Laptop Backpacks
- What materials is it made from? You should find a backpack that’s made from durable materials. Here are the most durable backpack fabrics, ranked from the most durable to least: Ballistic Nylon, Canvas, Cordura Nylon, Nylon, Ballistic polyester, Polyester. Many brands use different, innovative materials, like twisted dobby fabric, mixes of Oxford fabrics, or Vinylon F. It’s hard to tell which ones are better than others, but between the most common materials, nylon will always be better than polyester.
- Is it water-repellant? Most laptop backpacks are coated with water-repellant coatings or have water-resistant zippers, but none of them are completely waterproof. If the manufacturer says that the bag is water-repellant, it means that it won’t get instantly wet in light rain. If you want a waterproof backpack, we suggest getting a waterproof backpack cover, which will be the best option.
- Is the main compartment roomy enough? If you’ll be traveling, or bringing your own lunch to the office, you need the main compartment to be somewhat spacious.
- Does it come with enough compartments for organization? If you’re getting an everyday laptop backpack, we suggest you find one with a lot of pockets and compartments for organizing all of your chargers and other smaller items.
- Is it made by a reputable brand? Although it’s not always true, generally, reputable brands will be more durable compared to Chinese manufactured brands. Reputable backpack brands include Samsonite, Eagle Creek, North Face, SwissGear, eBags, Osprey, Fjallraven, Rei, and a few others.
- Does the bag retain its shape when empty? Personally, I really hate it when a backpack sacks down when it’s half-empty. It just looks weird. A lot of the time, I’m carrying just my laptop in there and nothing else, and I still want the backpack to look good. That’s why it’s important to find a bag that keeps its shape when packed half-empty.
Top-Rated 17-Inch Laptop Backpacks
|1. Best Overall: Matein Business Laptop Backpack||Editors rating: 4.6|
|2. Premium Upgrade: eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack||Editors rating: 4.8|
|3. Best Affordable: Matein College Laptop Backpack||Editors rating: 4.5|
|4. Best for Traveling: Osprey Packs Nebula Laptop Backpack||Editors rating: 4.8|
|5. Best-Looking: Fjallraven - Kanken Laptop Backpack||Editors rating: 4.6|
|6. Yorepek Extra Large Laptop Backpack||Editors rating: 4.5|
|7. SwissGear Travel Gear 1900 Laptop Backpack||Editors rating: 4.5|
|8. Tocode Laptop Backpack||Editors rating: 4.4|
|9. Kroser Laptop Backpack||Editors rating: 4.4|
|10. Lenovo Legion Laptop Backpack||Editors rating: 4.4|
|11. Kopack Laptop Backpack||Editors rating: 4.4|
|12. Socko Laptop Backpack||Editors rating: 4.3|
1. Best Overall: Matein 17-Inch Business Laptop Backpack
|- 19 x 13.8 x 7.8 inches|
|- Priced Moderately|
|- Editors rating: 4.6|
Personally, I own the slightly smaller version of the Matein 17-Inch Business Laptop Backpack, which is meant for 15.6-inch laptops. Instead of 19 x 13.8 x 7.8 inches, it’s 18 x 12 x 7.8 inches inches in size. I’ve been using it as a personal item when traveling, and I believe that the slightly larger 17-inch version still wouldn’t be too large to be used as a personal item. I’ve owned this backpack for about one and a half years now, and it still looks brand-new even though I’m using it as my daily backpack.
Although in the medium price range you can find several similar options, the Matein laptop backpack is by far the most popular one. And it’s there for a reason – it’s well-made, exceptionally well-reviewed, and packed with many useful features.
On the 17-inch version, the laptop compartment unzips all the way around, which is great for airline security, because you don’t have to take the laptop out. Although the backpack is made out of polyester, I still haven’t gotten any tears and it still looks brand-new after 1.5 years of everyday use. I’ve used it in light rain several times, and although the fabric definitely isn’t waterproof, my laptop didn’t get wet.
At first glance, the main compartment seems quite tight, but it can be packed quite full. Sometimes, I’ll use this bag when I cycle to the convenience store for some shopping, and it holds a bit more than one full bag of groceries inside. It also comes with many smaller pockets inside, which are great for organizing all of my cables, laptop accessories, sunglasses, a pen and a diary, and everything else. Although it has a USB charging port at the side, personally, I’ve never used it.
But what I like the most about this bag, is that it retains its shape even when it’s empty or half-full. Also, I really like the hidden pocket at the back, which is great for storing my passport and wallet when I’m traveling, because I don’t have to check if anything is stolen every 15 minutes.
This bag has been through a lot. I’ve been in 13 different countries with it, in addition to riding my bicycle to the office every day when I’m not traveling. I’ve even used it as a daypack when I was walking several hikes through the Israeli desert canyons. All in all, I think that it’s by far the best choice on the market, especially when you consider how affordable it is.
2. Premium Upgrade: eBags Professional Slim 17-Inch Laptop Backpack
|- 18 x 12.75 x 8.5 inches|
|- Twisted Dobby Fabric|
|- Editors rating: 4.8|
If you can afford to pay extra, then you should really consider getting the eBags Slim 17-Inch laptop backpack, instead of the more affordable Matein. It’s very cleverly designed, and although overall it has less space, it’s more suited for everyday office use. The eBags backpack will look good even if you’re dressed in a suit because it’s very discreet and professional.
Although it’s not waterproof, it’s built from durable twisted dobby fabric, which people reported holds well even after a few years of use. We couldn’t find if it’s weaved polyester or nylon, but from the looks of it, it’s probably nylon, just weaved in a more durable “twisted dobby” weave. eBags hasn’t mentioned that this bag is waterproof or water-repellant, but people said that even after 10 minutes of heavy rain, nothing got wet, which is nice to know.
The laptop compartment is padded from all sides and quite large. For even larger laptops, the bottom padding is removable to get even more space. One of the best features that this bag has, is the hardshell bottom pocket for storing chargers and large headphones, which ensures that they won’t get crushed. The main compartment isn’t too large, but if you want to, you can remove the hard-shell charger casing from the bottom part, and the main compartment will become more spacious. You’ll also find another pocket where you can fit all the smaller items and a hidden bottle holder pocket on the right side of the bag.
Compared to other backpacks we’ve mentioned here, this one is on the smaller side, which is great if you’re using it for everyday use, and if you’re planning on using it as a personal item. What sets it apart though, is all the unique organization features, which you won’t find on other backpacks, and the exceptional build quality.
3. Best Affordable: Matein 17-Inch College Laptop Backpack
|- 19 x 14 x 6 inches|
|- Editors rating: 4.5|
If you’re looking for a super cheap 17-inch laptop backpack that looks good and does the job just right, then you should choose the Matein 17-Inch College laptop backpack.
Although Matein says it’s waterproof, we wouldn’t bet on it. No backpack is really waterproof, especially if it’s priced so cheaply. What’s great though, is that they’ve used nylon instead of polyester for the fabric, which isn’t typical for an affordable backpack. Nylon is more durable and more water-resistant, which is good if you’re commuting with a bicycle.
The largest drawback that you get with this bag, is that it doesn’t retain its shape when empty or half-full. Essentially, it has just one large main compartment with a padded sleeve for a laptop and a tablet, and a few smaller pockets on the sides for organization. From outside, it’s fitted with two side pockets and a larger front pocket for all the smaller quick-grab items.
We’d say that this backpack is better-suited for traveling and day-hiking, but also can be occasionally taken to the office for work. It lacks the organization features and the “structure” to be used as an everyday office laptop backpack, but it’s roomy enough and just in the right size to be used as a personal item when you’re traveling.
If you’re looking for a versatile, but affordable 17-inch laptop backpack, this one is probably your best choice.
4. Best for Traveling: Osprey Packs Nebula 17-Inch Laptop Backpack
|- 19 x 12 x 11 inches|
|- Editors rating: 4.8|
If you’re mainly looking for a backpack for traveling, then you should get the Osprey Packs Nebula. This bag is built to withstand even rough trips, so it will be perfect for digital nomads who will be using this backpack to work from a cafe in one day, and on the next one go trekking through a rough trail in Indonesia.
Although it’s quite expensive, it will last a long time, because it’s built from quality materials. Osprey is known to make one of the most durable backpacks out there, which is why they’re one of the most popular choices for hardcore travelers. That said, many people complained that this backpack could be more waterproof, so we’d advise also getting a waterproof backpack cover.
The padded 17-inch laptop compartment unzips fully, which means that you won’t have to remove the laptop when going through the security. The main compartment is quite roomy, which is nice for those who’ll mainly use it for traveling. Although the bag doesn’t retain the shape that well when packed half-empty, you get compression straps on the sides, which will make the bag slimmer when you need to. Speaking of straps, it also has unclippable straps for your chest and belly, which are great for your back when walking long distances.
That said, this bag doesn’t come with too many organization features, unlike most laptop backpacks that are meant for everyday use. Essentially, this bag has just two side pockets for water bottles and such, and one front pocket for organizing all the smaller items.
If you’re mainly planning on traveling, then you won’t find any laptop backpack better than the Osprey Packs Nebula. It’s durable, spacious, and comfortable, yet sleek enough to occasionally be used in the office.
5. Best-Looking: Fjallraven – Kanken 17-Inch Laptop Backpack
|- 16.9 x 11.8 x 7.1 inches|
|- Vinylon F|
|- Editors rating: 4.6|
The Fjallraven – Kanken 17-Inch Laptop Backpack is a good-looking versatile laptop backpack that’s good for traveling and everyday use. Although looks are subjective, we think that this backpack is the best-looking one in this list. Of course, it’s not designed for business people and professionals, but it’s made in the signature Fjallraven Swedish style, which is appreciated by most Millenials.
Fjallraven is a known brand, especially in Europe, and they make really durable and long-lasting products. This backpack is made from Vinylon F (their signature material), which is durable, naturally water-resistant, and doesn’t get dirty that fast. If you’d get caught in light rain, your laptop wouldn’t get wet, which is nice.
In the back, this backpack comes with a padded laptop sleeve that opens half-way. It isn’t TSA-friendly, so you’ll have to remove the laptop when you go through security.
The main compartment is quite simple and roomy. It has just one large pocket for several smaller items, and nothing more. From the exterior, this bag is fitted with a side pocket for a water bottle and a front pocket for smaller items.
This bag lacks all the smart organization features, that you would find on most other office laptop backpacks. Instead, it’s made in a simple, minimalist way. It’ll be a solid option for traveling or for college because it’s good-looking, versatile, and roomy. That said, it is pretty expensive.
6. Yorepek Extra Large 17-Inch Travel Laptop Backpack
|- 19.5 x 14.5 x 10.4 inches|
|- Priced Moderately|
|- Editors rating: 4.5|
The Yorepek Extra Large 17-inch laptop backpack is a really great option for traveling. On Amazon, it’s incredibly well-reviewed and really popular. Essentially, it’s a slightly more affordable version of the SwissGear Travel Gear 1900, which we placed at the 7th place on this list.
Design-wise, it’s not one of those modern-minimalist backpacks, which is the preferred style for most younger people. Instead, they went for a more classic travel backpack look, which will be more appealing for travelers and people above 40. The bag is made out of polyester and comes with durable waterproof zippers. Because the fabric is quite thick, people said that this bag still looks almost brand-new even after a few years of use.
The padded laptop compartment is unzippable all way round, which means that when you go through the airport security, you won’t have to remove the laptop from the bag. The main compartment is quite large, which is great from traveling. Out of all the bags we’ve mentioned in this list, this one is one of the largest ones, which means that when it’s packed full, you most likely won’t be able to use it as a personal item, and have to use it as a carry-on instead. From the exterior, it’s also fitted with quite a few pockets and compartments for organizing all the smaller items.
That said, because this bag is intended for traveling, we’d like to see chest and belly straps, as well as a hidden anti-theft pocket in the back, but unfortunately, the Yorepek doesn’t come with any. We think that this backpack is one of the best options if you’re planning on traveling because it’s so durable, versatile, roomy, and cheap.
7. SwissGear Travel Gear 1900 17-Inch Laptop Backpack
|- 18.5 x 13.5 x 9 inches|
|- 1200D ballistic polyester|
|- Priced Moderately|
|- Editors rating: 4.5|
The SwissGear Travel Gear 1900 laptop is very similar to the Yorepek laptop backpack ranked at the 6th place. The only differences are that the Swissgear’s model is slightly smaller, built by a much more reliable brand, and slightly more expensive.
SwissGear is a very reputable and well-known brand among travelers. Although their suitcases aren’t made to the top standards, their backpacks are known to be one of the most durable ones on the market. And what’s even better, usually they’re also quite affordable. If you didn’t know, they’re the same company as Wenger and Victorinox. They’re the same companies that make the famous “Swiss Army Knife.”
Similar to the Yorepek, this backpack is also aimed at travelers. Mainly, it’s built for traveling, but you can also use it in the office. Because of the slightly more compact size, you’ll be able to use this backpack as a personal item when traveling. Compared to Yorepek’s model, this one is made out of ballistic polyester, instead of regular polyester, which means that the fabric threads are slightly thicker and more durable. That said, some people complained that the contents of the bag easily get soaked in rain, so you’d also have to get a waterproof backpack cover.
On the backside, it’s fitted with a fully unzippable laptop compartment, which means that you won’t have to remove the laptop when going through the security. The main compartment is quite large, despite the backpacks smaller size, which will be great when you use this backpack for day-trips and vacations. And from the outside, it’s fitted with many smaller pockets for organization, which is nice.
If you’re looking for a solid and well-made backpack for traveling, then the SwissGear Travel Gear 1900 is a really solid and affordable option.
8. Tocode 17-Inch Travel Laptop Backpack
|- 22 x 12 x 6 inches|
|- Oxford Fabric|
|- Editors rating: 4.4|
The Tocode 17-Inch Laptop Backpack is one of the most affordable options meant mainly for traveling. It’s cheap, well-rated, and spacious, which really is all you need.
One important thing to remember is that this backpack is very tall, which means that you’ll have to use it as a carry-on, instead of a personal item. Although this backpack is mostly meant for traveling, it also looks good enough to be used every day in the office. It’s somewhat water-resistant, so it’s also a great option for those who are using a bicycle or a bike for getting to work. This backpack is built from oxford fabric, which is very similar to regular polyester in strength.
In the back, it’s fitted with a padded laptop compartment, which has enough space for an additional tablet and has several other smaller compartments for organizing pens, power banks, e.t.c. The main compartment is quite spacious, which is good for those who ofter carry around lots of extra stuff. On the exterior, it’s fitted with a smaller front pocket for all the quick-grab items, and two bottle holders on the sides.
If you’re looking for something cheap, versatile, and spacious, then the Tocode 17inch laptop backpack is a really solid option.
9. Kroser 17-Inch Office Laptop Backpack
|- 18.5 x 13.3 x 7.8 inches|
|- Editors rating: 4.4|
If you’re looking for something cheap for everyday use that looks professional, the Kroser 17-inch laptop backpack is a rock-solid choice. It’s affordable, practical, and well-rated, which is why it’s one of the best choices out there.
This backpack is made out of polyester, and although the manufacturer says it’s water-repellant, really, the contents get soaked quite quickly. So this option would be better for those who use a car or public transport to get to the office, otherwise, you should get an additional waterproof backpack cover. In size, this backpack is quite compact, which means that you can use it as a personal item when traveling.
In the back, it’s fitted with a laptop pocket that holds additional tablets and chargers. The main compartment is quite simple, and because this backpack is so slim, it’s perfectly sized for everyday use. When the backpack isn’t packed full, it retains its shape, which is nice. Other than that, it’s fitted with four additional smaller pockets for organization, which will come in handy if you’ll be using it every day. The two shoulder straps could be more padded, but they’ll do okay for regular use.
For a somewhat affordable option, this is a really great backpack for everyday office use.
10. Lenovo Legion 17-Inch Office Laptop Backpack
|- 19.9 x 14.2 x 7.1 inches|
|- Polyester, EVA|
|- Priced Moderately|
|- Editors rating: 4.4|
The Lenovo 17-inch laptop backpack belongs to the “Gaming” backpack type. Other laptop manufacturers have made similar options, such as Dell, ASUS, and others. We looked at many, and Lenovo’s laptop backpack seems to be the best one.
If you’re a programmer or a gamer, then you’ll probably enjoy the looks of this bag. This backpack is actually one of the most durable ones mentioned on this list, which is useful if you’ll be carrying an expensive gaming laptop. The exoskeleton is made out of EVA plastic, which helps with protecting your laptop from any damages. This backpack is actually pretty comfortable, because a lot of padding has been used, and it’s also quite weatherproof, so the contents of your bag won’t get wet after a light rain. But the best part is probably that this backpack will retain its shape fully, even when it’s empty.
The only cons of this bag are that it’s too large to be used as a personal item when traveling and that you don’t get too many pockets for organizing all of your smaller items. In addition to the padded laptop compartment in the back, you also get a spacious main compartment and a smaller front pocket with a built-in organizer for all the smaller gadgets.
If you’re down with the gaming look, this backpack is a really solid choice for everyday use. Although it isn’t cheap, it isn’t too expensive either, which is nice.
11. Kopack 17-Inch Minimalist Laptop Backpack
|- 19.6 x 12.9 x 7.8 inches|
|- Editors rating: 4.4|
The Kopack 17-inch laptop backpack is probably the most minimalist backpack out there. But hidden beneath the simple and professional looks, it also comes with quite a few pockets and compartments for organizing all the smaller items. It’s an affordable and well-rated option, which will be great for everyday use in the office.
It’s made out of nylon, and a lot of people said that in light rain, the contents of the bag won’t get wet. In size, it’s quite tall, but most of the times you’ll be able to use it as a personal item when traveling. It’s nicely padded in the back and around the straps, so it’s also quite comfortable. It’s worth noting that this bag will retain its shape when empty, which is nice.
In the back, it has a padded laptop compartment and a hidden anti-theft pocket for storing your phone, passport, wallet, e.tc. In the middle, it has one large main compartment for storing all the larger items. And from the exterior, it’s fitted with a medium-sized front pocket, a smaller pocket with a zipper on the side, and a side bottle holder.
We think that this is a really solid choice for an everyday backpack – it’s cheap, good-looking, well-reviewed, and organized.
12. Socko 17-Inch Office Laptop Backpack
|- 18.1 x 13 x 5.1 inches|
|- Editors rating: 4.3|
The last backpack on our list is the Socko 17-inch laptop backpack, which is a really affordable and well-rated backpack meant for everyday office use. It’s also quite minimalistic-looking, yet not as simple as the Kopack 17-inch laptop backpack.
The Kopack backpack is one of the tiniest 17-inch laptop backpacks out there. If you’re carrying just a laptop, a charger, and a few other essentials, the small size will be just perfect, because the bag will retain its shape when empty or half-full. It’s also in the ideal size to be used as a personal item when traveling. It’s made out of nylon and isn’t too water-repellant, so you should get an additional waterproof backpack cover if you’re planning on using it in rain.
What sets this bag apart though, is that it can be converted into a messenger bag with a shoulder strap. The two backpack shoulder straps can be hidden in the back panel, and you can attach a shoulder strap. It’s a clever system because sometimes backpacks just don’t go together with suits, but messenger bags do. That said, because of the design, the back panel isn’t padded, so it’s not the most comfortable backpack out there.
It has just one large main compartment with a padded laptop sleeve on one side, and a zippered mesh panel and a large pocket on the other side. From the exterior, it’s fitted with the two square-like pockets on the front for storing all the smaller gadgets.
The Socko laptop backpack will be a great choice for a compact everyday office bag because it’s cheap, well-rated, and convertible into a messenger bag.