It is the age of digital nomads, with working online becoming a popular way to get your life-work balance.
Or maybe you study, or edit photos, or watch movies (Hey – don’t judge, losing yourself in a movie can be heaven when you’ve been traveling for a while!).
Whatever your reason, if you travel with a laptop, you’re going to want a bag that caters for that and keeps your expensive travel companion safe and secure.
After all, where’s the sense in compromising the safety of your laptop that you probably spent ages choosing, by slacking off when it comes to choosing the backpack?
But not to worry!
Luckily for you, I’ve done some research so that you won’t have to!
This article will list 13 really good options for laptop bags and then give a quick guide to the sorts of things you should be looking for to choose the best laptop backpack for women.
- Top 13 Best Women’s Travel Laptop Backpack Reviews 2020
- OGIO Soho Laptop Backpack
- Kenneth Cole Reaction Laptop Travel Backpack
- Patagonia Refugio Backpack
- JanSport Digital Student Laptop Backpack
- Travelon Anti-Theft Urban Backpack
- The North Face Women’s Isabella Backpack
- Dakine Women’s Jewel Backpack
- SwissGear Scansmart 1900 TSA Laptop Backpack
- Fjallraven Raven Laptop Backpack
- Kopack Women’s Anti-theft Laptop Bag
- Anti-theft Laptop Backpack with USB Charging Port
- Osprey Daylite Plus Backpack
- Osprey Tempest Women’s Backpack + Padded Laptop Sleeve
- How to Choose the Best Laptop Backpack for Women
Top 13 Best Women’s Travel Laptop Backpack Reviews 2020
OGIO Soho Laptop Backpack
This is one very good looking backpack. I don’t usually pay much attention style, I’m a practical gal at heart.
But this backpack just cries out style.
Provided you’re not carrying excessive amounts of weight (the shoulder straps don’t appear to have comfort as their priority), this bag will serve you well as a decent laptop backpack.
- Padded laptop compartment fits 17” laptops.
- Adjustable women’s specific shoulder straps.
- Padded base protects laptop when you put the bag on the ground.
- Plenty of extra pockets, compartments and sleeves for extra organization.
- Side pockets are not elasticated so don’t have space for a bottle when the pack is full.
- Potentially not the most comfortable pack to carry.
Kenneth Cole Reaction Laptop Travel Backpack
This is a backpack for those who favour durability and practicality.
The 600D Polyester outer material is durable while the fully lined interior has not just a padded laptop pocket, but a padded tablet pocket as well.
- The front compartment consists of 2 large pockets with additional side pockets so gear organization won’t be an issue.
- High quality 2 way zippers reach all the way down the side of the pack for easy access to any compartment.
- Exterior USB port connects to inner USB cord and pocket for a power bank.
- Adjustable, padded shoulder straps, a grab handle on the top, and a strap for attaching to the telescope handle of wheeled suitcase gives you a range of options for carrying.
- Weighing 2.75 lbs, this may feel a little heavy.
Patagonia Refugio Backpack
This women’s specific backpack is one of the most popular Patagonia daypacks on the market.
The shoulder straps are tailored for the female shape and the back panel is shorter and narrower.
This makes the backpack very comfortable to wear.
- Made of durable 630D Nylon plain weave material with water repellent finish.
- 3 main pockets, with separate laptop and tablet sleeves, and side drink bottle pockets.
- Air flow mesh back panel is padded and breathable.
- Lined with 200D 100% recycled polyester so you can feel good about the environment and the durability.
- Possibly a little on the small side. You’ll fit your laptop, a small drink bottle, a warm layer and possibly not much else.
JanSport Digital Student Laptop Backpack
This backpack is admittedly probably designed more for school kids, but hey, we’re all young at heart. And, there are so many amazing designs to choose from that there is sure to be a color you love.
This backpack is massive, which makes me wonder how the average school kid could carry it without looking like a snail. But it’s durable and has plenty of pockets, so it fits the bill in my books.
- This pack has a removable laptop sleeve which I think is extra handy. The laptop sleeve fits 15” laptops but if your laptop is bigger, there is still space for it in the main compartment, you just won’t be able to use the sleeve.
- 38L capacity is huge, and all for around 1.5 lbs.
- Plenty of pockets, 3 zippered pockets on the front, 2 on the sides for water bottles, and 2 main compartments.
- This is one large backpack, but not necessary designed with comfort in mind so may uncomfortable to carry when fully loaded.
Travelon Anti-Theft Urban Backpack
This is a simple, but well designed and good looking backpack that is durable and anti-theft.
It has just enough pockets to keep your things organized and the outer is water-resistant.
- Padded, fleece lined laptop compartment will keep your laptop super safe.
- Slash resistant straps, lockable zips and a pocket with rfid blocking card and passport slots all contribute to a pretty anti-theft pack.
- A comfortable neoprene top handle and sleeve for slotting the pack over the handle of wheeled suitcase makes it easy to travel with.
- Laptop pocket will only fit laptops up to 15.6”.
- It may be a little large on a small woman so try before you buy so you’re not disappointed!
The North Face Women’s Isabella Backpack
This 21L women’s specific backpack is one of the best women’s backpacks out there. It’s got a pretty unique pocket configuration which could work really well once you get used to it.
Being North Face and made of durable Nylon material, you know it’s going to be great quality.
- There is a stretchy mesh kangaroo pocket on the front with a diagonal opening which could be really handy for stuffing less valuable items like food or a small jersey.
- Where drink bottle pockets would usually be, there is a stretchy mesh pocket on one side and non-stretchy, fleece lined zippered pocket on the other.
- The padded laptop compartment is fleece lined, and the front compartment has so many little pockets and sleeves, that there will definitely be somewhere for everything.
- 21L is a bit on the small side.
Dakine Women’s Jewel Backpack
This is another pack with a million colors and patterns to choose from so it will be impossible not to find one you love.
This is a good option for travel with plenty of room for everything you’d need for an overnight trip provided you don’t have to carry it for too long.
- The bottom front pocket is insulated which makes it perfect for keeping your lunch cool.
- The top front pocket has slots for pens and other small items while an extra fleece-lined pocket on the very top is ideal for sunglasses or your phone.
- The main compartment is roomy while the padded back compartment has space for a laptop and tablet.
- This is another pack where the size isn’t compatible with the support system. It will likely not be comfortable to wear for long periods if fully loaded with heavy stuff.
SwissGear Scansmart 1900 TSA Laptop Backpack
This is a very well made laptop with a few unique features that you’ll either love or ignore.
Mainly, the middle zip runs right the way down the sides of the pack so that the whole thing can open up like a book into two halves.
On one side you’ll see your laptop through a mesh screen and on the other side will be the front pockets.
This is for TSA security purposes but depending on who you get on the day you may still be asked to take your laptop out.
- This is a top quality, highly durable backpack.
- The zips are lockable.
- Bottom front pocket and front compartment has multiple slots and interior pockets for easy organization of small items.
- The back padded laptop compartment will fit a 17” laptop.
- Zippered side pockets as well as mesh pockets for drink bottles.
- Weighing in at 3.3lbs, this is a little heavy.
Fjallraven Raven Laptop Backpack
This is one for the tomboys out there. With its handsome olive green (or black) canvas-looking material, I really like the look of this backpack.
The material is actually Fjallraven’s own G-1000 Heavy Duty Eco which is made from recycled polyester and organic cotton that is water-resistant and waxable in case you want real waterproofing.
It’s rugged enough to survive the outdoors but mature enough to not look too out of place in an office.
- 17” padded laptop compartment at the back.
- The main compartment is very spacious and will easily carry everything you need for a few days on the road.
- Another large front compartment with additional sleeves and zippered mesh pockets makes it really easy to organize all of your stuff and keep small items safe.
- The side pockets aren’t stretchy so smaller items may fall out.
Kopack Women’s Anti-theft Laptop Bag
This is one sleek, good looking urban backpack that has the advantage of being anti-theft.
It is a slim backpack so it doesn’t have a massive capacity, but there is definitely space for everything you’d need for a day trip or light hand luggage.
- A pocket in the back panel keeps valuables close to your person and safe from pickpockets.
- The zippered opening to the laptop compartment is underneath the shoulder straps and clips closed so there is no way the laptop compartment can be accessed while the pack is being worn.
- Comes with detachable USB cable and charging port.
- The dual layer zipper is anti-stab and lockable.
- Padded s-shaped straps are designed with comfort in mind.
- Laptop compartment holds 15.6” laptop.
- No way to attach the back to the handle of a wheeled suit case unless you add another strap.
Anti-theft Laptop Backpack with USB Charging Port
This is the backpack you’ll want for those business trips that require you to take a short flight.
With its professional style, lockable zips and USB charging port, you’ll arrive charged and safe and ready work.
- Anti-theft features include combination lock and durable metal zippers.
- USB charging port has built-in charging cable.
- Sleek grey design makes this a business-friendly backpack.
- Made of water repellent, durable fabric.
- Fits laptops only up to 15.6” so any larger will need a bigger backpack.
- You need to purchase your own power bank for the charging port to be any use.
Osprey Daylite Plus Backpack
This is the versatile daypack you’ll want to take with you on longer walks or travel to more distant shores.
Your laptop will be safe and secure while the pack itself is a reliable Osprey design, guaranteed to be durable and very comfortable.
- 20L pack has room for the essentials for a day trip or light weight hand luggage.
- The padded laptop sleep (or hydration sleep depending on your preference) has space for most laptop sizes.
- The harness is very comfortable, so you’ll be happy carrying heavier loads.
- It’s the right size to fit under the seat in front of you as carry-on luggage when you fly.
- Unfortunately, the mesh side pockets are not for water bottles (they will fall out) which makes me wonder what they are for… Sorry Osprey, this is one of the few areas you’ve failed a little.
Osprey Tempest Women’s Backpack + Padded Laptop Sleeve
Finally, just because I’m a minimalist and a bit of a rebel, I’m including a more DIY option (this is what I do).
This daypack/laptop case combo is a great example of what can work really well if you don’t like any of the options above.
Using a padded laptop case in a good quality daypack that has a rain-cover, may fit the bill if you’re keen for a versatile option.
Your pack can then be used for hikes and day trips where your laptop is not welcome, and may even be more durable for the money, given that extra attention hasn’t been given to the laptop compartment.
And, if you want to be really rebellious and take it a step further, you can make your own laptop case with some basic sewing skills (yes, you know me too well, I did this).
- A daypack designed more for hiking will be very comfortable to wear and comfortably carry more weight than some laptop backpacks.
- Rain-cover will be more waterproof than relying on water-resistant material.
- Padded laptop case can be removed and left behind when you’re not traveling with your laptop.
- It won’t come with any fancy cord holes or charging ports and won’t be anti-theft.
How to Choose the Best Laptop Backpack for Women
Laptops are fragile creatures, and they have their needs. They like to be dry, and they don’t like to bumped around.
That means we need to find a bag that will adequately house your precious machine, keeping it safe from the elements and rigors of travel.
The two main things to look for (aside from size – you want it to actually fit your machine and laptops do come in different sizes) are padding and waterproofing.
The best laptop backpack for women will:
- Have enough padding to make sure that your laptop will remain protected from drops and bumps.
- Have good waterproofing to make sure that your laptop will be protected from rain or other unpredictable water sources.
- Be comfortable and adjustable shoulder straps so that you won’t dread the actual carrying part.
- Have enough other pockets to keep things like power cords organized and contained.
- Be a reasonable size, ie. not so small that you can’t fit anything else, but not so big that you look like you’re about to climb Everest.
Other options include lockable zips and USB ports but these aren’t deal breakers in my books.
You will likely have other preferences, such as color, style, material, etc. But these are the essentials to look for.
Does my laptop backpack need to be TSA approved to travel with it?
The simple answer is no. But it may make things easier for you. The TSA, or Transportation Security Administration is based in the United States so this is less relevant for anyone traveling outside of the USA.
A TSA approved laptop case means that you don’t have to remove your laptop from the bag before going through security.
What’s the difference between Men’s and Women’s backpacks?
The main difference is shorter back length, designed to fit a shorter women’s torso. But women and men come in all shapes and sizes so some backpacks may be interchangeable gender-wise in this respect.
Other differences mainly surround the design of the shoulder, chest and hip straps. Women’s packs will usually be a shape to better accommodate the female form.
What’s the difference between a laptop bag for business vs. travel?
The main difference here is going to be style. A backpack for business will be sleeker and more professional looking than a backpack for travel.
But it may also have less of the features that a traveling backpack might have, such as waterproofing, a rain cover, or good quality shoulder and hip straps.
Should my laptop backpack be anti-theft?
Anti-theft can mean different things. But usually, a the very least, it will mean the zips are lockable. More hi-tech anti-theft backpacks will have slash-proof material and hidden pockets for valuables.
If you’re going to be traveling to dodgy parts of the world (and let’s face it, there’s no way of knowing whether a place is dodgy or safe, it all comes down to the people who happen to be present at the same time as you), or putting your backpack in the overhead locker on a plane, I would definitely recommend lockable zips.
Should my laptop backpack have a charging port?
This probably isn’t an essential feature unless a) you already have a power bank and your phone has terrible battery life, or b) you are traveling places where charging points may be few and far between.
This is really a personal preference, but for me, a charging port is basically a fancy way of saying “you have a hole in your backpack”.
I travel with a power bank and it doesn’t make much difference to me whether the power bank is on the table beside me or in my backpack while it’s plugged into my computer.
So that about sums up this guide.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and have found some good laptop backpacks to make your quest easier!
Be sure to comment and download our e-book about solo travel safety!
Get 50 Solo Travel Safety Tips eBook for FREE
No more reading loads of posts about solo traveler safety. Get your 50 point safety list in one eBook. Be ready, stay safe!