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The 13 Best Laptop Backpacks To Buy for Travel in 2024

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

813 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
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Keri Stooksbury


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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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In order to safely transport your laptop from place to place, you need a protective vessel that not only works hard to keep your tech safe but is also comfortable to carry around with you.

Backpacks are the preferred bag type of students, commuters, and frequent flyers. Finding one that will fit your laptop as well as your day-to-day belongings will make travel just a little bit easier.

Things To Consider When Buying a Laptop Backpack


Laptop Backpack size
Laptop backpacks fit different-sized laptops. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

The size of your backpack should be large enough to comfortably accommodate your laptop and accessories, yet small enough to fit in an overhead bin.

Internal compartments should be roomy enough to fit not just your laptop and charger, but also all your vital necessities, including your wallet, cell phone, glasses, keys, and all the other things you rely on, to prevent you from needing to carry yet another purse or shoulder bag with you.

The size of your laptop will dictate the size of your backpack. Laptop backpacks have a dedicated, padded compartment to slip your laptop into, so it’s important to make sure that the pocket is large enough to fit your laptop.

Standard size dimensions include 15-, 16-, and 17-inch laptop compartments. The thickness of your laptop can make a difference in whether or not it fits, so be sure to take that into account.


Laptop backpack weight
You’ll want a lightweight laptop bag. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Because laptops and all of their necessary paraphernalia can be heavy to carry around, your laptop backpack needs to be as lightweight as possible.

You want to be able to work on the move, but not be so weighed down that you suffer back strain while getting there. Laptops are designed to be portable, so the backpack that you carry it in should be easy and comfortable to carry as well.

Material and Durability

Laptop Backpack Material
Meshed back panels stop your back from getting hot. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

The level of protection your laptop backpack offers is one of the most vital aspects of its purpose. Your laptop needs protection not just from knocks and drops, but also from wet weather.

Some of the very best laptop backpacks on the market are made using waterproof (or at least water-resistant) material that will protect your laptop from the elements and is easy to clean.

Make sure that the material your laptop backpack is made out of is durable, resistant to abrasions, and won’t rip or tear, leaving your laptop vulnerable to the outside.

Meshed backs, curved back systems, and padded through-flows are also useful backpack design features that stop you from getting a sweaty back when carrying your backpack for long periods of time or in hot weather.

Handles and Straps

Laptop Backpack straps
Padded straps are comfortable to wear. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

The beauty of a backpack is that it leaves your hands free for carrying coffee, checking social media on your phone, or holding on to your plane ticket. It’s essential that your backpack have strong, durable straps that will carry all the weight you put in it without tiring out your shoulders.

Comfort is also key. Handles and straps should sit comfortably on your shoulders. They should be able to carry the weight of the bag with ease and not start to come loose or strain at the seams.

Backpack straps and handles should also be adjustable so you can find the most comfortable position that doesn’t cause back strain.

Laptop Compartment and Pockets

Laptop Backpack
Laptop compartments should be padded and secure. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

A superb laptop backpack should have multiple pockets and spaces to store all of your items.

The laptop compartment itself must be well-padded to ensure that your device is kept safe from knocks and damage at all times.

Additional pockets should be carefully devised to ensure that they can hold your chargers and cables without squashing or tangling them. There should also be a good variety of internal pockets that can be zipped up tight to keep USB sticks and other peripherals safe.

There should be plenty of room for your wallet, keys, and phone, all kept safely away from the laptop compartment to avoid scratching or damage as you reach in to grab what you need.

Smart Luggage

When it was first invented, smart luggage was considered to be the most exciting thing to happen in the world of carry-on bags. Cabin bags and laptop cases fitted with this type of technology were a real game-changer.

That was until airlines banned them due to the risk of carrying lithium batteries on packed commuter flights.

You can still take your smart luggage into the cabin, but there are very strict rules that apply. You must be able to remove the battery from the smart luggage in case it needs to be checked. This news may change your mind about paying the extra dollar for these handy features.

But fear not, dear flyer, for there are plenty of excellent laptop backpacks on the market without lithium batteries that will keep your beloved laptop safe and sound while you travel.

The 13 Best Laptop Backpacks for Travel

While there are many, many laptop backpacks on the market to choose from, only a few of them really make the grade. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Best for Frequent Flyers

BEST OVERALL: SwissGear ScanSmart Backpack
An excellent laptop carrier with secure zippered compartments and a tablet pocket. The main storage space includes file holders and organized packing solutions. The padded shoulder straps and adjustable compression straps make carrying comfortable.

Swissgear Travel Gear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack

Weight: 3.3 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 9 x 18.5 x 13.5 inches

Made from superior quality, durable, and weather-resistant 1200D ballistic polyester, the Scansmart from Swissgear offers lie-flat technology to protect up to 17-inch laptops when traveling.

For your convenience, the easy-open compartments are designed to ensure hassle-free, laptop-in-bag TSA scans.

The main laptop compartment is easy to access and is separated from the additional iPad or tablet pocket. Both are fully padded and lined with scratch-free, soft material to help avoid damage during transit.

An additional large U-zip pocket on the front is perfect for keeping all of your pens, notebooks, wallet, and keys safe and within easy reach. The contoured shoulder straps are easily adjustable and the mesh panel with Airflow ventilation prevents sweating.

Packed full of useful features, this backpack not only performs well but also looks professional.

If you’re looking for a quality backpack to carry your laptop from one place to another, this a great option for frequent flyers who want to keep their tech safe and secure wherever they may be.

What We Like

  • Can leave your laptop inside your bag going through airport security

What We Don’t Like

  • No chest strap for extra support

2. Best for Those Who Want To Travel in Style

UPGRADE PICK: Incase Icon Pack
An ideal laptop carrier made from premium nylon and designed particularly with compartments for iPads, iPhones, and 15-inch Macbooks. It includes efficient and practical interior storage that keeps electronics protected.

Incase Icon Pack

Weight: 2.8 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 13 x 9 x 19 inches

This design-conscious laptop backpack is made from patented Woolenex, abrasion-resistant fabric that’s woven from 2 different thicknesses of polyester fiber.

Durable and weather-resistant, this backpack looks chic and understated, while offering practical and versatile storage options.

The main compartment is large enough to carry a 16-inch MacBook, while the front pocket offers just the right size storage for your iPad or tablet.

Both compartments are padded and offer plenty of protection for your most valued devices, as well as being lined with soft, velour-like material that will keep your screens scratch-free wherever you take them.

In terms of extras, there’s a multitude of storage pockets and zippered compartments that are designed to keep all of your day-to-day necessities safe by your side.

There are even 2 side-access pockets that make it easy to get what you need without taking the backpack completely off. A pocket also features a headphone cable hole for easy listening on the go.

The stylish, minimalist design is low-key and label-free, meaning that you can safely carry around your expensive equipment without drawing too much attention to yourself.

What We Like

  • Headphone cable pocket

What We Don’t Like

  • Zippers are not water-resistant

3. Best for the Born Organizer

TIMBUK2 Authority Backpack
An excellent bag for business trips and work commutes. It is made from highly durable materials like 400D polyester, and it includes an Airmesh breathable back panel. The laptop storage is in a rear compartment, which keeps it protected and frees up space.

Timbuk2 – The Authority Pack

Weight: 2.4 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 11.4 x 18.1 x 5.9 inches

If you’re the kind of traveler who needs to take a lot of stuff with you, then this is the perfect laptop backpack for you.

Designed to comfortably carry all of your office necessities, this strong, durable, and well-thought-out backpack has plenty of room to accommodate your laptop and lots of extra items with ease.

The Authority Pack from Timbuk2 has strong adjustable straps that can be adjusted to suit your height and width, and a grab handle for easy lifting and carrying.

The fabric is designed to not only keep your gear safe and well-protected from the elements, but also to prevent sweating.

With the main compartment that can hold up to a 17-inch laptop and a wealth of additional pockets, you’ll be able to take everything you need on the road.

It also offers a neoprene water bottle pocket, compression straps (that also add a useful hanging function), a dedicated key keeper fob so you’ll never lose your keys in the bottom again, and internal pockets perfectly sized for cell phones, pens, chargers, and cables.

Whatever you’re taking with you, The Authority Pack backpack has the perfect space to keep it safe.

What We Like

  • Rear-positioned laptop for weight balancing

What We Don’t Like

  • Backpack straps are a little short

4. Best for the Everyday Commuter

Thule Subterra Backpack
A fashionable and practical bag with a 25-liter capacity made from durable nylon. It features enhanced corner protection to keep electronic devices safe. A secondary zipper on the side of the bag allows easy access to laptops and tablets.

Thule Subterra Daypack 25L

Weight: 2.18 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 13 x 11 x 18.5 inches

The Subterra Daypack from sports luggage giant Thule is perfect for those who want to combine the sporting life with the everyday commute.

Made from the highest quality materials, the quick access compartment is large enough to hold a 15-inch MacBook as well as your iPad or tablet. This backpack also offers superior bumper protection with a soft, snuggly lining and 2-way access through the top-loading compartment or side zipper.

A useful addition to the Subterra backpack is the patented SafeZone compartment that can hold your sunglasses, smartphone, or other fragile items and can be removed for carrying separately.

There’s also a quick-access front pocket that expands to hold your charging cables or power bank, as well as a hidden vertical pocket that’s perfect for your headphones or wallet and includes a clip for keeping your keys safe.

Made from strong, durable nylon with the subtle Thule branding, this backpack is a good choice for those looking for practical and protective storage for everyday journeys.

Whether you’re traveling to work, the airport, or somewhere else entirely, this is a good-size backpack that will protect your laptop and stow everything else you need for the hard day’s work ahead.

What We Like

  • Molded side pocket to protect valuable items such as a cell phone or sunglasses

What We Don’t Like

  • Straps don’t tighten that much for smaller people

5. Best for the Money-conscious Laptop Owner

Solo New York Briefcase
A stylish and functional design that can also be used as a messenger bag or backpack for convenience. The adjustable shoulder straps are removable, and the backpack straps can easily be hidden.

Solo Duane 15.6 Inch Laptop Hybrid Briefcase, Converts to Backpack

Weight: 2.05 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 12.5 x 5.5 x 17.3 inches

This laptop backpack may look like a simple backpack, but the hidden, convertible straps can instantly transform it into a briefcase. This unique function makes the Solo Duane perfect for business travelers who like the convenience of a backpack but the professional look of a briefcase.

The interior is roomy and well-padded. The dedicated laptop compartment will hold any of the most popular devices measuring up to 15.6-inches — including MacBooks, laptops, and Chromebooks. There’s also a dedicated pocket for keeping your iPad, tablet, or e-reader safe during transit.

There are plenty of additional storage compartments, including a large exterior pocket that can comfortably hold your charging cables, and 2 quick-access front pockets for phones, keys, wallets, and credit cards.

For the price you pay, this backpack is an absolute bargain! With plenty of space to hold everything you need to work or study, the price is right on point.

Complete with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty, this backpack is great for a professional looking to impress, students who are serious about school work, or those who want an affordable laptop bag they can rely on.

What We Like

  • 3 different options to carry this bag

What We Don’t Like

  • No water bottle pocket

6. Best for the Security Conscious Traveler

Mancro Travel Laptop Backpack
This design is full of innovative features and excels as an electronics carrier. It includes a USB charging port, anti-theft technology, and dedicated protected compartments for devices. The durable polyester and the padded shoulder straps ensure a long-lasting comfortable experience.

Mancro Slim Backpack with USB Charging Port

Weight: 1.5 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 20 x 14 x 8 inches

This functional backpack offers really useful security protection for your laptop and your cards, including an anti-theft metal shackle and RFID-blocking compartments to keep your belongings safe from fraudulent use.

The dedicated laptop compartment fits up to a 17-inch laptop, while there’s a separate spacious compartment suitable for iPads and other tablets.

Made from durable, water-resistant polyester with metal zippers, the Manco Slim backpack is perfect for business users, commuters, or students. Another bonus is the built-in USB charger and charging cable which means you can charge your phone when you’re on the go.

The padded shoulder straps make this bag incredibly comfortable to carry on your back, and the grab handle is perfect for quick movements while on the go. The slim design makes it a good-looking piece that will also keep your laptop safe and secure wherever you are.

There’s plenty of space to carry everything you need on a daily basis, and the affordable price makes this a great addition to your travel gear.

What We Like

  • RFID-blocking compartments to prevent identity theft

What We Don’t Like

  • Not much space for other items with a laptop in the main compartment

7. A Clever Use of Space in a Sleek Design

eBags Pro Backpack
An excellent bag to use as a laptop carrier, with padded sleeves for electronic devices and a breathable back panel. The front exterior includes quick-access pockets, while the interior provides more storage space.

eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack

Weight: 3.3 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 8.5 x 18 x 12.8 inches

eBags is known for its clever use of space and the Professional Slim Laptop Backpack is no exception.

With a wealth of handy compartments and clever features, you’ll never be short of usable space with this strong, durable, and practical laptop backpack.

Made from twisted-poly fabric, the streamlined shape, and sophisticated design make this perfect for day-to-day use. The vented Airmesh back panel and contoured straps make this backpack super comfortable to carry around. The crush-proof pocket will keep your charger and other peripherals safe.

The dedicated laptop compartment will fit up to a 17-inch laptop, and the separate tablet pocket will also keep your entertainment gear safe on the move.

There are plenty of additional pockets for key chains, business cards, pens, and even a patented removable, crush-proof case that allows you to keep your cables safe no matter what. Genius!

If you’re not carrying something fragile, simply remove the crush-proof case and you have more space in the main pocket for large items — and you still have your laptop compartment free for a large laptop.

The slim design makes this backpack super easy to keep by your side at all times, and will help relieve the dreaded separation anxiety of worrying where your laptop is when you’re on the move.

At work or even while you travel, this slim backpack from eBags has got your back.

What We Like

  • Colorful internal lining helps to locate items quickly

What We Don’t Like

  • Quite a heavy backpack

8. The Laptop Backpack Designed Specifically for Women

The North Face Women’s Recon
A 30-liter backpack with excellent organization solutions and flexible suspension for increased comfort. The main storage compartment includes padded sleeves and zipped pockets, with multi-purpose mesh pockets available on the sides.

The North Face Recon Backpack

Weight: 2.6 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 18.9 x 10.8 x 7.5 inches

Not only does The North Face make fantastic gear for intrepid explorers, but it also make pretty decent laptop luggage, too. This particular model would be as at home on a commuter train as it would be on a mountain top.

Designed specifically to suit the female frame, the shoulder straps, sternum strap, and hip belt are all adjustable.

When it comes to internal storage, the Recon offers a large main compartment that’s perfect for stashing books, folders, and other important documents, while the front compartment has a padded sleeve that can hold a small laptop.

There’s also a fleece-lined pocket for your sunglasses or phone, an extendable mesh water bottle holder, and added lash points. This backpack can be used as a laptop bag or just a regular backpack depending on your needs.

Made from high-grade nylon, the Recon boasts a range of features that are standard across The North Face line, including the patented FlexVent suspension system, a padded mesh back panel, and a highly breathable lumbar panel for increased airflow around your body as you travel.

What We Like

  • Comfortable and breathable back panel

What We Don’t Like

  • Backpack doesn’t stand up by itself

9. A Comfortable and Lightweight Backpack

Incase Compass Backpack
An excellent laptop carrier offering padded protection for Apple products while in transit. It is a sturdy and practical design with lightweight construction and is ideal for commutes and short business trips.

Incase Compass Backpack with Flight Nylon

Weight: 1.9 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 11.75 x 18 x 5.25 inches

Updated to use flight nylon, the Compass Backpack from Incase is designed to be compact and incredibly practical. You can fit up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro in the laptop compartment at the rear to ensure comfortable weight distribution on your back.

The double zippers allow you to open the main compartment only as far as you need, without risking any of your belongings falling out. Inside are a variety of internal compartments to keep all your day-to-day paraphernalia safe and sound, as well as a couple of quick-access pockets on the outside.

The backpack is made from premium lightweight flight nylon, meaning the bag is durable but won’t take up much of your weight allowance. The padded back panel and straps allow for comfortable and stable carrying wherever you’re headed.

The many different internal compartments provide the perfect hideaways for your keys, cards, cell phone, and books or documents. Whether you’re traveling for business, study, or just for fun, the Incase Compass Backpack is good to go, whatever you need it for.

What We Like

  • Double zippers for easy access

What We Don’t Like

  • No sternum strap to alleviate the weight on your shoulders

10. A Savvy Budget Option

Matein Travel Backpack
A practical design for business trips and ideal as a laptop carrier, featuring comfortable back support and adjustable shoulder straps. It includes a built-in USB charger and a hidden pocket to keep your valuables safe.

Travel Laptop Backpack by Matein

Weight: 1.56 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 7.8 inches

Made from water-resistant, durable polyester fabric, this travel laptop backpack is great for laptop users on a budget.

With lots of lovely storage pockets and a separate laptop compartment, you can carry around your daily necessities with ease. What’s more, the comfortable airflow design with multi-panel ventilated padding makes this laptop back super comfortable to carry at all times.

The laptop sleeve comes with enough space to hold up to a 15.6-inch laptop. This backpack also comes with a cleverly designed, anti-theft pocket on the back of the bag so you can keep your valuables close and protected from theft.

Perhaps the most useful function of this particular backpack is the built-in USB charger and charging cable.

Attach your backpack to your rolling luggage using the back strap so moving through airports is a cinch. You can even tuck this bag under the seat in front of you, so there’s no need to worry about putting it in the overhead compartment.

Compact and well-designed, this is a great backpack for the price you pay.

What We Like

  • Lots of internal pockets to stay organized

What We Don’t Like

  • No bottom padding beneath the laptop compartment

11. For Those Who Have a Lot To Take With Them

EVERKI Atlas Backpack
1,053 Reviews
EVERKI Atlas Backpack
An excellent business bag ideal for carrying electronic devices on trips. It has a 32-liter capacity and includes separate protected storage for laptops and tablets. The padded shoulder straps increase the comfort levels.

Everki Atlas Business Laptop Backpack

Weight: 4 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 13.4 x 9.1 x 18.9 inches

This supercool laptop backpack benefits from a ton of extra features, making it perfect for anyone who needs to take a lot of stuff with them. Made using high-quality materials, your equipment will be well-protected wherever you may go.

Large enough for any adventure, this backpack will comfortably hold laptops from 13- to 17.3-inches in size, in the adjustable padded and felt-lined compartment that opens a full 180 degrees for easy access at airport security checkpoints.

Even when it’s fully loaded, the 5-point strap system means that this backpack is always comfortable to carry.

Aside from the main spacious storage area, there are also large, zippered pockets that are perfect for holding your iPad, tablet, or e-reader, as well as plenty of extra space for stashing your business cards, writing utensils, and other daily accessories you may need. There’s even a separate small stowaway pocket that’s perfect for storing your phone.

An investment piece for sure, but this is a great backpack that offers excellent protection for your laptop, as well as plenty of extra storage space for anything else you could want to take with you.

What We Like

  • Checkpoint-friendly compartment that opens 180-degrees

What We Don’t Like

  • Side pockets don’t fit a tall water bottle

12. For the Value Happy Traveler

AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack
This practical design features efficient compartments that include a padded laptop sleeve and smaller sections for keys and pens. There are mesh multi-purposes pockets on the sides and a cell phone compartment with easy access.

AmazonBasics Backpack for Laptops

Weight: 1.98 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 13.39 x 7 x 19.29 inches

This laptop backpack from the AmazonBasics line of products has been cleverly designed to protect and hold your laptop while you’re on the move. With multiple storage compartments, you can carry your laptop and work accessories with you everywhere you go.

Made from heavy-duty material that offers some weather resistance, this backpack looks way more expensive than it actually is.

There are plenty of internal pockets to store your pens, keys, wallet, and smartphone, and the bag holds up to a 17-inch laptop in a padded, dedicated laptop compartment. There’s even a separate handy compartment in which to store your iPad or tablet.

The adjustable and heavily padded shoulder straps make the backpack comfortable to wear, even when loaded with all your gear. There’s also a mesh water bottle compartment on the side.

While there are other, more expensive laptop backpacks available on the market, this one is both affordable and practical, making it perfectly suited for use as a budget laptop backpack.

What We Like

  • Lots of internal and external pockets

What We Don’t Like

  • Zippers can sometimes get stuck

13. Doubles up as an Activity Backpack

Osprey Nebula 32 Commuter Backpack
A highly efficient bag with a padded laptop sleeve and a trendy design. It includes features designed for commuters, but the bag can also be used for air travel or hikes.

Osprey Nebula 32 Commuter Backpack

Weight: 2.12 pounds

Overall Dimensions: 11.42 x 12.2 x 19.29 inches

This bag is loaded with features that make it a great option for traveling with a laptop. Featuring a specially designed harness and suspension system, this backpack moves with you and provides incredible ventilation and comfort, even when you’re packing a heavy load. You’ll certainly stay cool with this ventilation system, making it perfect for warmer climates.

Made from strong and durable material, this clever, TSA-compatible backpack even has a blinky-light attachment point

The dedicated laptop sleeve will keep a 16-inch laptop protected. There are plenty of additional zippered pockets and mesh organizers to keep your cell phone, credit cards, notebooks, and other daily necessities organized, and dual stretch mesh water bottle pockets. It has a capacity of 32 liters.

Made by luggage giant Osprey, this is a backpack that’s perfectly designed for those who like to stay active while keeping their laptop safe and well-protected. However, as such a comfortable and well-designed backpack, it’s well-suited to double up as a professional backpack for travelers who work and play.

What We Like

  • Protects larger laptops than many laptop bags

What We Don’t Like

  • No lockable zippers

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a backpack that will sit comfortably on your shoulders, provide ample protection, and look good, any of the above will fit the bill. While some of the big-name brands do offer superior quality at a higher price point, there are some great budget options, too.

One thing is for certain, a laptop backpack is a must for anyone on the go with a laptop. Keep your gear safe, look professional, and keep your back comfortable by choosing the right laptop backpack for your travel style.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to pack your laptop in your suitcase?

It is strongly recommended that you do not pack your laptop in your suitcase. A suitcase will be subject to many bumps and knocks between check-in, loading, and unloading at your next destination. Invest in a laptop backpack that you can take as carry-on and keep your laptop protected and on your person.

Can I carry 2 laptops in carry-on baggage?

Most laptop backpacks will only have 1 laptop compartment designed to fit a single laptop but many laptop backpacks will be large enough to fit 2 overall. Provided you have the batteries installed in the laptops and they are charged enough to prove they work, you should not have a problem taking 2 laptops in a carry-on. It is recommended you check with your airline in case they have specific requirements.

Which laptop backpack is the best for travel?

While there are many, many laptop backpacks on the market to choose from, only a few of them really make the grade. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Incase Icon Pack
  • Mancro Slim Backpack with USB Charging Port
  • Timbuk2 – The Authority Pack
  • Swissgear Travel Gear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack

What size backpack do I need for my laptop?

The size of your laptop will dictate the size of your backpack. Laptop backpacks have a dedicated, padded compartment to slip your laptop in to, so it’s important to make sure that the pocket is large enough to fit your laptop.

Standard size dimensions include 15-, 16-, and 17-inch laptop compartments. The thickness of your laptop can make a difference in whether or not it fits, so be sure to take that into account.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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