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Can anyone recommend a good laptop bag? I live my life off my laptop and it goes everywhere with me--commuter train, around the office, to every meeting, etc. Want to protect the machine, carry a book and a box of cables & small tools, and still have a bit of room left over. And it needs to be comfortable to carry. Any help would be appreciated.

asked May 25 '11 at 16:12

Christian%20Waters's gravatar image

Christian Waters

I have an STM Scout bag for my Thinkpad x120e. I got it in the Small size, designed for 13-inch laptops, but in comes in a variety of sizes.

It's the best-designed mag I've ever used. The laptop pouch is well-padded and secure, the document pocket can carry a large textbook if necessary, and the two front pockets are perfect for a paperback, either mass-market size or larger, though not a trade paperback or a hardcover. The strap is wide and has swivels on either side, so it's never twisted.

The bag looks very classy-- their stated intent is that it's both casual and professional, and they do a good job. It's no leather briefcase, but it's certainly professional enough for an office. It's $65-- http://www.stmbags.com/catalog/laptop-shoulder-bags/scout-small-laptop-shoulder-bag/ The manufacturer site has links to retailers.


answered May 25 '11 at 16:47

tdoggette's gravatar image


How important is it to look professional? How important is theft resistance?


answered May 25 '11 at 16:23

efnord's gravatar image


Can't beat a small hard-shell briefcase for professionalism or impact resistance.


answered May 25 '11 at 16:33

efnord's gravatar image


The best laptop bag I have ever ever owned is a discrete black Timbuk2 Hacker bag that I found out about through Scott Beale at Laughing Squid. It's a small-ish convertible backpack/messenger bag, that holds my 15" laptop vertical (which I find helps minimizes bumps), has great access through a well designed flip top that serves a waterproof barrier while biking (or, you know, going anywhere in the rain), and has thick enough foam that I've never had a problem in terms of protecting my Macbook Pro. It holds JUST enough to prevent me from overloading my bag with stuff. What that means is charger, notebook, Olympus LS-10 recorder, Canon 5D+24-105 lens, and a book or two for good measure. It sits well on my back in both backpack and messenger bag mode, and it doesn't scream steal me when I bike or walk through some of the tougher parts of Baltimore.

As someone who edits a website and works as a journalist for a living, I always have my computer, my camera, and this bag with me and I have never regretted the purchase.

The only downside I can think of is that I think Timbuk2 makes a near identical bag now, but they call it something different. As far as Timbuk2 I have had 2 bags over the past 7 years, and they are both in like-new condition despite years of abuse.


answered May 25 '11 at 20:12

oliver's gravatar image



I did not see mention of the laptop size?

For my ThinkPad W510 (large 15.6" laptop) I use a Tumi T-Pass Business Class Brief backpack. It is quite roomy, and holds both the notebook, its large power adapter, external drives, a couple of bag of cables, USB adapters, flash drives and still has plenty of room left over.

For my ThinkPad X120e, I used a Briggs & Riley Verb VB401 Travel Brief bag. It think it would be large enough for maybe a trade paperback-sized book and will hold a few small tools, cables and the like, but probably not have as much room as something larger. Generally speaking, I prefer a backpack since it evenly distributes weight across my back instead of on one of my shoulders, but it is light enough to not be a problem.


Aryeh Goretsky


answered May 30 '11 at 02:16

Aryeh%20Goretsky's gravatar image

Aryeh Goretsky

I love my Timbuk2 messenger bag. I used the custom build option. Mine is about 8 years old now, still in great shape. Very easy to get the laptop out in airport security, but still keeps rain off it.


answered May 31 '11 at 10:05

kvanh's gravatar image


Theft resistance is not important as the thing is never out of my sight. Looking professional is kinda important, that is I don't want to look like a 21-year-old college student.


answered May 25 '11 at 16:30

Christian%20Waters's gravatar image

Christian Waters

edited May 25 '11 at 16:30

I have two laptop bags - a Crumpler (large, nylon, robust, waterproof) and a Kenneth Cole expandable (smaller, leather, black, slick). They both fit a Thinkpad T410s with ease, and take a book, a pad (A4), some papers and hard drive/mouse/presenter/ mains adaptor essentials. The Crumpler holds more, is better protected, but unless you can find a black/dark one, not very professional looking. The KC bag looks a lot like a briefcase/satchel, but is less padded than the Crumpler and padding is solely around the laptop compartment (Crumpler used to do two lines, one with a padded front compartment and one with solely laptop padding, I have the more padded version). In general the more padded/rigid, the less stuff you will fit in the same size bag. So if you are reasonably careful, I think getting a bag with just some padding around the laptop is best, the other stuff you cram in may also add to the protection/rigidity.


answered May 29 '11 at 05:27

Alan17's gravatar image


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Asked: May 25 '11 at 16:12

Seen: 6,088 times

Last updated: May 31 '11 at 10:05

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