2017 Update: We still stand by these stylish laptop totes and sleeves (and links have been updated!), but you may want to check out our more recent roundup of the best laptop bags for work.
Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.
We haven’t done a roundup of computer bags and laptop sleeves in a THOUSAND YEARS, so I thought we’d take a look today. Ladies, do you have any trusty laptop totes? Do you prefer a laptop sleeve or an entire tote for laptops?
- Hall of Famers: Built NY, Lo & Sons (13″, 15″), Michael Michael Kors (13″), Knomo London, Dagne Dover, Tumi, Tory Burch
- Stylish laptop totes under $150: BFB,
- Laptop sleeves (most under $100 also): Marc Jacobs, Built NY, Henri Bendel, Petunia Picklebottom, Kate Spade, Society6, Everlane
- Backpacks/ergonomically better: MZ Wallace, Knomo, Herschel, Victorinox, Incase, Tumi, Banana Republic, Poros,
- Travel sleeve for rolling bags: Lo & Sons, Henri Bendel,
- Messenger style: Dakine,
- For laptops 17″ or bigger: Lodis, Hedgren, OGIO, Kenneth Cole
|I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I’ve always just preferred a laptop sleeve to an actual laptop tote. I often feel like there’s more cushioning (particularly if we’re comparing it to a “laptop sleeve” in a regular tote), and I like that you can throw it in a big tote bag (Longchamp, LL Bean, whatever) as well as the main compartment of a suitcase, which I often do once I’m through airport security, particularly if I know I’m taking too short a flight to likely use my laptop much. Another bonus: they come in fun colors, and are often very affordable. (The Built NY ones are particularly affordable — some are as low as $9!) Pictured: this Marc by Marc Jacobs one is $72 at Zappos; we’ve rounded up a few others in the roundup at top. Marc by Marc Jacobs Scrambled Logo Neoprene Tech 13 Computer Case|
|Kate Spade has a surprisingly large selection of laptop bags, including this fun stripey number. The pictured slim bag is intended only for toting your laptop, though — if you have a lot of personal items (ahem) you’ll probably still need to pack a purse. On the plus side, though, this is one of the more affordable bags: it’s only $168 at Nordstrom. Kate Spade New York ‘Watch Hill – Stripe’ Laptop Bag (15 Inch)|
|I nearly pictured the navy in this bag, because I haven’t seen a ton of navy bags, but ultimately my love for a good sleek black tote won out. I like that this one is pretty lightweight (1 lbs 11.5 oz), but still looks polished. I like the red lining, and the fact that you can fit a 15″ laptop as well as a ton of other stuff. It’s $199 at Zappos, where the brand has a ton of other cute laptop bags. KNOMO London Curzon Laptop Shoulder Tote|
|Note that as soon as you move from nylon to leather, the bag starts to get heavier — the pictured bag is 2 lbs 15 oz! — but you get a much more polished look. It’s also worth noting that red is a great neutral for bags — wear it with black, navy, gray, brown, and more. This leather tote has a laptop pocket as one of many, many interior pockets; perfect for the organized lady. The well-reviewed bag is $298 at Zappos. Lodis Accessories Audrey Milano Tote With Laptop Pocket|
|I believe most Lo & Sons bags contain a laptop sleeve, but their new laptop tote is something to behold. It’s designed with an outer shell and an interior bag, allowing you to mix and match colors — the outer shell (in saffiano leather) also can be swapped out for a “Soft Touch Shell” that is lighter weight and has a travel sleeve to slide over your rolling bag. The bag is $428 at Lo & Sons. (They still carry the Brookline, their older laptop tote, for $198.) Pictured: The Seville Tote|
|I’ll admit, I always put a premium on weight — who wants a heavy bag? Nordstrom doesn’t list the weight on this briefcase, which also fits 15″ laptops, but it looks significantly heavier than most of the bags we’ve featured. Still, it has amazing reviews, and if I wanted the most formal look — for court, for meetings, for whatever — this would be my choice. It comes in four colors, including black, and is $625 at Nordstrom. Bosca Triple Compartment Leather Briefcase|
Readers, what are your favorite stylish laptop totes? Do you prefer laptop totes or laptop sleeves — or a more old-fashioned computer bag?
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