Compartments fit up to a 17-inch laptop with copious internal organization. The bottom is water-repellent. Both the shoulder straps and the ventilated back panel are padded. A luggage pass-through lets you attach it to a rolling suitcase.
Pricey. The extensive padding can make the interior more snug than expected.
Main compartment holds up to a 17-inch laptop and zips independently. Offers a convenient-access pocket for loose items such as keys and phones. Copious storage space for everything from books to clothes to snacks.
Some reviewers question its long-term durability. Bottom lacks padding.
Stands out for its generously sized interior and multiple zippered compartments for efficient storage. Sports a rugged handle for grabbing and lifting. Extensively padded for protection and comfort.
Seam strength of the zippers and carry handle are questionable under heavy use.
Numerous colors and combinations to choose from. The laptop pocket is fleece-lined, and the colorful interior panel divider hides a thinner pocket for a tablet or documents. Water-resistant and fits under most airlines’ personal-item category.
This backpack is not the roomiest in its class. Beware of counterfeits.
After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested HP Renew Backpack to be sure that it’s worthy of our recommendation. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.
Whether you’re a student, a businessperson, or a gamer, you have the need for some type of gear to carry your laptop, as well as your textbooks or office materials.
Traditionally, students and gamers carried backpacks, and businesspeople carried briefcases, and sometimes either one of them would carry messenger bags. Now that virtually everyone has a laptop, there’s a need for a hybrid of the backpack and messenger bag. Laptop backpacks are specifically made for hauling your electronics.
A lot more goes into the decision to buy a laptop backpack than just picking one up at the store, and bringing it home to pack your things. You need to make sure it fits the important tools and supplies you bring with you every day and adequately protects your expensive electronic devices.
Why do you have to have a special backpack just for using a laptop? Why can’t you just use a regular backpack that you already have, or that you may be able to pick up more cheaply?
You certainly could use a regular backpack; however, your laptop wouldn’t be as protected. It would just be floating around in the empty space in the pack, leaving it open to damage.
Additionally, your charger and all your other accessories, such as flash drives, CDs, peripherals, and mobile devices, are also banging around in the bottom of that backpack, along with textbooks, gaming controllers, or paperwork important to your business.
With a special laptop backpack, you won’t need to worry as much about the safety of your expensive laptop or other materials. It’s constructed in a way to keep everything safe and separate, while also making it easy to find everything.
The most obvious difference between a laptop backpack and a messenger bag is the way it’s carried. Sure, some people carry a backpack just on one shoulder, but primarily it’s meant to be carried on your back, over both shoulders.
A messenger bag, however, is just carried on one shoulder, other than occasionally when you have a longer strap and carry it cross-body.
Surprisingly, messenger bags and backpacks offer close to the same amount of space and volume. While it would seem you would be able to fit more in a laptop backpack, that’s just not the case.
When looking at accessibility, the edge has to go with the messenger bag, with an exception. Messenger bags keep everything right at the ready for you whenever you need it, whereas you have to dig a little more in your backpack. However, you’ll get more versatility out of the pockets in a laptop backpack.
Once you decide for sure that it’s a laptop backpack you’re looking for, there are a number of features to look for to be sure you get a bag that will truly help you and suit you well.
Just as laptops themselves are never created equal, neither are laptop backpacks. Every backpack won’t fit every laptop. That huge screen may work out well for you, but you might struggle to find a pack to carry it in.
Laptop backpacks have sleeves or special compartments that the computers fit into to keep them protected. You need to either check the specs to see if it will fit your laptop or physically try your laptop in the bag to be sure it will fit.
The next things to examine when choosing a laptop backpack are the construction and design.
One very important factor in the construction is that it be made from a waterproof material, to be sure your laptop will be kept safe in the rain. You’ll also get the secondary benefit of being protected against spills and leaks. Sometimes they even offer a secondary level of protection, by having either foam or a hard plastic shell in addition to the waterproof material.
The other factor to check for in the design of the laptop backpack is the arrangement of pockets that are included for you to pack away your charger, other cords, flash drives, and more. Only you know how you’ll be using the bag, whether for business, school, gaming, or something else entirely, so only you know the design that will work best for you.
If you plan to travel with your laptop backpack, you may want wheels and a handle on the bag so that you can pull it through the airport, making it a true carry-on bag.
Carrying a laptop backpack rather than a briefcase or messenger bag allows you to keep your hands free, but you don’t want to compromise your comfort.
Make sure that the shoulder straps are strong enough to hold the weight of everything you’re putting in your bag; it would be a shame to drop your bag and possibly damage your laptop.
Also, be sure you can adjust them to keep the backpack riding at a comfortable position on your shoulders.
Before buying, check the angle the laptop is being stored at in the backpack, to ensure it doesn’t have a corner or edge sticking out, and poking you in your back.
Laptop backpacks are priced on a very widespread scale.
You can get cheap, non-name-brand bags with no extras for as little as $15.
Alternatively, you can choose to pay $400 for a more premium model.
Q. I spilled something in my laptop backpack. Is it possible to clean it?
A. It may be, but you need to check with the bag’s manufacturer to see how to clean your particular bag, since they are made from a variety of different materials. Sometimes you can even put the bag in the washing machine, but not always as it could ruin the waterproofing feature.
A. Only some of them. Devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and iPods charge through USB, and those can be charged on a backpack with a built-in USB power device. However, almost all laptops require a 110V power supply, versus the 5V USB chargers, so only backpacks that have a backup battery included in the bag can charge a laptop.
A. There aren’t major things that change regarding laptop bags, but older bags may not have all the extras that you’re looking for such as a battery or USB port. Like buying a new bag, just make sure it has everything that you’re looking for.