Best Laptop Backpacks for MacBook Pro (13-inch & 16-inch) iMore 2020

A backpack is always going to be my laptop bag of choice. With straps on both shoulders, the weight of the laptop and anything else you're carrying is distributed properly to avoid back pain. I refuse to carry a computer any other way; my back just won't tolerate it. The best backpacks for your MacBook Pro (13-inch and 16-inch) will have a padded compartment for your laptop as well as other compartments for everything else you need to carry. Here are the best on the market.

Ergonomic choice: Bellroy Classic Backpack

Staff Favorite

This lightweight 17-liter canvas backpack can hold any laptop up to 15 inches in its padded laptop compartment. It's my daily driver for my 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the padded straps make it very comfortable to wear. The main compartment is plenty roomy for personal items, plus it has a couple of small zippered compartments for smaller things. There are six color choices.

$89 at Amazon

Popular brand: JanSport Cool Student Laptop Backpack

The laptop compartment of this popular brand holds up to a 15-inch laptop. However, it isn't all that padded, especially at the bottom. I'd call this bag more fashion than function, but I do love the many patterns and colors that JanSport bags come in.

From $37 at Amazon

Full-featured bargain: MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack

Carry any laptop up to 15 inches in this fully featured bargain bag. It has lots of pockets and an external USB port you can connect to your power bank (not included.) Choose from seven different colors and patterns.

From $30 at Amazon

Trusted brand: Swiss Gear Travel Gear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack

This popular and trusted brand offers an excellent choice for traveling with any size MacBook, as it holds laptops up to 17 inches. It is designed for getting through security quickly and easily. You'll find every possible type of pocket in this deluxe bag. It comes in nine different colorways.

From $70 at Amazon

The workhorse: Carhartt Legacy Deluxe Work Backpack

Carhartt is known for heavy-duty, serious working, and outdoor gear. This large, sturdy laptop back holds any laptop up to 17 inches and has pockets for everything from safety glasses to a change of clothes. Choose from Black or Carhartt Brown.

From $93 at Amazon

Slim, functional bargain: Mancro Laptop Backpack

With tons of features, this slim and highly functional backpack is sure to please. It comes with a combination lock, charging cable, and many compartments, including a padded laptop compartment that holds any laptop up to 17 inches. Choose from five different colors and patterns.

From $20 at Amazon

Deluxe bag: Osprey Nova Backpack

This excellent-quality backpack has just about every feature you could want and more. The laptop compartment is TSA-approved and holds up to a 17-inch laptop. Compression straps make it comfortable to wear even when it's loaded up. Tons of compartments hold all of your gear.

From $90 at Amazon

Trendy and colorful: Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack

Don't ask me to pronounce it, but I see this brand sold in all the cool stores. It holds up to a 15-inch laptop in its dedicated compartment, plus it has a main compartment and three other pockets. A huge part of its appeal is the tons of gorgeous colors you can choose from.

From $90 at Amazon

Executive's choice: Waterfield Pro Executive Laptop Backpack

This high-end, sophisticated backpack for laptops up to 16 inches is at home on the road or in the office. An optional, removable Executive Folio that holds your laptop can be taken alone to meetings. Leather accents and lots of pockets will please even the most selective shopper. Choose from four different color combinations.

$349 at Waterfield

Stylish and fun: Dakine Garden Backpack

This mid-sized backpack has room for up to a 14-inch laptop in a padded compartment and all of your other essentials in its many pockets. It comes in several fun patterns and colors to suit different tastes.

From $25 at Amazon

Converts to tote: Solo Parker Hybrid Tote

This fashionable bag is a hybrid between a backpack and a tote bag. It has a fully padded compartment that holds up to a 15-inch MacBook Pro, plus lots of interior compartments and feet on the bottom for extra protection.

$70 at Solo New York

Protective shell: Smatree Semi-hard Laptop Backpack

The hard outer shell on this unique backpack offers extra shock protection for your valuable laptop. It holds up to a 15-inch laptop in a middle compartment and all your other big essentials in large compartments on either side.

$60 at Amazon

Which one should you pick?

There is something for every MacBook Pro owner on this list, whether you're looking for something inexpensive but functional, or something more high-end. Keep in mind that even if accessory companies don't specify, a backpack designed to fit the 15-inch MacBook Pro should fit the 16-inch MacBook Pro as well, because the dimensions are not very different. The 16-inch Macbook Pro measures just about a third of an inch wider and a quarter-inch deeper. The difference in thickness is marginal.

My personal choice is Bellroy's Classic Backpack for its non-bulky form factor, padded laptop compartment, and comfort. I use this bag anytime I need to move my MacBook Pro from one place to another, and I don't need to carry a ton of other stuff. I've brought it on airplanes, and it fits under the seat in front of me even on the most budget airlines. Most importantly, it distributes the weight of my MacBook Pro, so I don't end up with a backache.

If budget is a big consideration, I'd go for the MATEIN Travel Backpack. It has everything you need in a backpack for your precious MacBook Pro. It comes in two sizes, one which holds up to a 15-inch laptop, and one for up to a 17-inch laptop. You can choose from a wide variety of colors. It has lots of compartments and pockets to organize and carry all of your stuff. It's made for comfort and has a luggage strap for convenience when traveling. There's a USB charger on the outside and a charging cable inside. So, connect it to your battery pack and charge your iPhone on-the-go.

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