Best notebook backpacks: choose the best for you and your laptop

Best notebook rucksacks
A selection of some of the best laptop rucksacks money can buy

Choosing the best backpack for your laptop isn't exactly easy.

After all, there are hundreds of options to choose from. So here's our quick buying guide to the very best we could find.

1. Slappa Kampus

Price: $115

This spacious backpack is great for outdoor types. Made from 'ripstop parachute poly material', it's light, strong and very roomy. As well as offering space for a notebook of up to 18 inches in size, there's room in its drawstring main compartment for your clothes and toiletries. There's plenty of side pockets for your accessories too. They're mostly on the outside of the bag, which makes sense given its design. There's a waistband for securing the bag in place but the cushioned Slappa logo can feel uncomfortable on the small of your back.

2. STM Impulse

Price: $120

This bag's ideal for students and business travelers, who will find its stationery pockets and pen slots very useful. It can hold your accessories too, though it's not the roomiest bag on test. It's far more suitable for the office commute than as a short-stay backpack. As well as a padded pocket for your notebook (up to 15 inches), there's also a handy slot for your iPad. The cushions on the back are well placed, making it really comfortable to wear. If you're not keen on the bright-orange zips, there's a black version available that has more subtle grey zips.

3. Slappa Stovepipe

Price: $130

Another spacious drawstring design that can carry an 18-inch notebook along with half your wardrobe, it also boasts great waterproofing. Just the thing for music festivals. Its black-and-red design is particularly eye-catching. The red details are very bright, but they'll probably dull with use, especially if you take it to a muddy festival… Like the KAMPUS reviewed earlier, it has a band for the waist, which is designed to keep the bag from moving on your back. There is also a chest strap to hold the shoulder straps in place. Plus, there's a nifty Slappa logo on the back.

4. Booq Mamba Shift

Price: $195

Booq's backpack shines with quality and style. Its lightweight construction makes no compromises on build quality; it feels comfortable on your shoulders, and the exterior material is water resistant. Your notebook sits securely in the rear section; well planned interior pockets hold accessories and other gear, and pockets integrated into the shoulder straps are great for your iPod or iPhone. Register its serial number with Terralinq to help get it back if lost. Only its high price and lack of outer pockets on the body keep it from a full five stars.

5. Kensington Triple Trek Ultrabook

Price: $80

One of the smaller backpacks here, Kensington's Triple Trek Ultrabook Optimized Backpack is perfect for your MacBook Air. It's well made, though the zips are a little stiff, and its black outer casing with grey and lime green interior trim suits those who prefer a minimalist design. The inner section boasts two large, lightly padded pockets, one for a notebook and one for your iPad. It sits well on your back too, but is best suited to those with a smaller frame.

6. Jill-e Olivia


Currently an Apple Store exclusive, this bag boasts a gorgeous leather build with gold-colored metal fixtures and zips. By threading the adjustable strap through the D-ring at the base of the bag, it can be worn as a rucksack, or you can shorten the strap and use it as a shoulder bag. A neat idea, but the straps lack the padding offered by some of its rivals. Relatively few pockets and a short zip mean it rates higher for style than function too. It's an ideal substitute for a handbag if you're looking for a handbag/laptop bag combo, but it's very expensive.

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