- Buyer's Guide
8 Laptop Backpacks for the Budget-Conscious Commuter
Straight up, we’ll let you in on a little secret. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a quality pack. Hunt through the myriad options out there and you’ll find some real backpack bargains. Packs that deliver a dialed-in mix of function, durability and work-friendly style all at a very reasonable price tag. And to help you in your search, we’ve picked 8 laptop backpacks that make great sense for the budget-conscious commuter…
Well built, with a good range of features and at this price point, the 20L Thule Lithos Backpack offers great value for money. The wide opening gives easy access to the main compartment, where you’ll find a padded and suspended pocket for a 15″ laptop and a sleeve for a 10.1″ tablet. There’s also a zippered interior pocket, as well as an exterior front organization panel to take care of smaller items. Side pockets keep hydration or an umbrella at the ready, while a padded back panel and straps enhance load-carrying comfort. Useful details such as an attachment point for a bike light and strap management for excess webbing round out this understated and functional pack.
Looking for timeless style in an uncluttered and functional design? Bellroy’s Campus Backpack rises to the challenge with a clean profile that adapts to campus, work settings and weekend use. The 16L pack features a protective sleeve for a 15″ laptop, along with an interior zipped pocket that keeps small items within easy reach and out of crush zones. There’s also an external quick-access pocket with an AquaGuard zip, plus a key clip for added convenience. Add in the comfy padded suspension and durable construction backed by a 3-year warranty and you’re onto a budget-friendly winner.
The Conceal Backpack finds that sweet spot between exterior minimalism and everyday functionality. The stripped-back silhouette adapts easily to a variety of work environments and is well complemented by a considered interior. You’ll find padded storage for a 15″ laptop, additional pockets to keep the interior tidy, and even a removable sling. Handy when you just want to carry the essentials. And you get travel adaptability too with a luggage passthrough sleeve and reinforced high-stress areas to withstand demanding use. Water resistant, abrasion resistant, and low-key in style, it’s an enticing all-rounder for the daily commute and travel needs too.
The sleek, urban-friendly styling of the AllRoute Daypack looks right at home in work settings. And it’s got the practicality to match, with padded 15″ laptop storage and dedicated zip access to quickly get to tech on the go. A front pocket and side water bottle pockets keep frequently used items close at hand, with additional interior organization in the main compartment. And with its memory foam back panel and cushioned straps you can hop from city streets to outdoor excursions and enjoy all-day carry comfort.
Battling torrential downpours during the commute? Chrome Industries have your back with their Urban Ex Daypack. The waterproof Knurled Welded™ construction provides superior weather protection, while reflective MOLLE webbing helps keep you visible on the go and accommodates external carry for the likes of a U-lock. The wide opening reveals a 13″ padded laptop sleeve in the main compartment, plus additional internal pocketing for organization. And for quick-access items? No problem, a front pocket provides a handy stash point. The 18L pack also includes a removable back panel frame sheet for enhanced structure and support.
If you’re after urban/outdoor flexibility, you can’t go wrong with the now updated Urban Assault 21. The pack combines Mystery Ranch’s widely respected rugged build quality with a clean design that suits a range of informal work environments. It comes in a bunch of colorways and offers Mystery Ranch’s legendary 3-ZIP opening for access throughout the main compartment. Inside you’ll find suspended sleeves for a tablet and a 15″ laptop as well as zippered pockets for smaller items, while a lid pocket stores small quick-access items. And when it’s time to play, this tough 500D Cordura pack will easily keep up whether you’re hitting wilderness trails or simply out and about in town.
Winner of our Best Work Backpack award, the 14L Aer Day Pack delivers a slick approach to urban EDC. The pared-back silhouette suits a variety of work environments, plus the self-standing design creates a mobile workstation and prevents the annoying need to hunt for a propping-up point. Two compartments and multiple pockets ensure ready access to tech, work supplies and EDC items with no time-wasting rummaging. And with its water-resistant, durable build you’re set for years of trusty commute carry come rain or shine.
Partial to a thoughtful blend of eco-friendly construction and efficiency in your EDC? Then pinqpong’s 15L Cubik Small Backpack is a worthy contender for your commuting carry. It’s made from 100% PET recycled materials, showcased in a street-chic and practical design. The wide opening allows visibility and easy access throughout the main compartment, where you’ll find a document sleeve and a tech sleeve that fits up to 13″ devices. The exterior front base pocket is useful for bulkier items like laptop chargers, while a padded back panel and shoulder straps take care of your commuting comfort.
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