A Good Quality Laptop Bag Is Surprisingly Game-Changing

They'll carry everything you need, and look good doing it.

some of the best laptop bags, including Longchamp; Madewell; Freja; Cuyana
(Image credit: Future; Longchamp; Madewell; Freja; Cuyana)

If you're anything like me, you've long been on the hunt for a bag that carries your laptop but doesn't, well, look like a laptop bag. Chances are, you've already checked out the best laptop backpacks on the market and decided that you want to opt for a laptop-friendly tote instead. Or maybe your canvas bag simply isn't cutting it anymore. Whatever the reason, the editors at Marie Claire have rounded up the best laptop bags for women, and our picks are hard to beat. We spoke to designers and women on the go—from content creators to entrepreneurs to writers—to find the laptop bags to shop now (and carry forever). 

To figure out what makes a great laptop bag the best laptop bag, I spoke to two women who design work bags for a living: Shilpa Shah, the co-founder of Cuyana, Leeanne Hundleby, the Co-Founder of Strathberry, and Jenny Lei, the founder of Freja New York. All three women cited versatility and ease of use at the top of their list. "A good laptop bag should carry you seamlessly from your office desk to a dinner reservation," Shah told me. 

Why even invest in a dedicated laptop bag instead of using your favorite leather tote? Laptop bags are specifically designed to keep you organized, and will ultimately extend your other bags' lifespan. Lugging around your computer and the rest of your work essentials can get heavy, and you’ll need to invest in a bag that can withstand the daily wear and tear. 

“In this age of hybrid office life and working on the go, bags, and travel cases have become as important, if not more so, than the tools they house,” says Hundleby. “I never know where my day may take me, and if I’ll even make it into the office, so I always have my laptop. A great bag provides constant protection from physical damage and a classy, sophisticated look to any outfit. You instantly look and feel prepared and ready to take on the workday.”

Another top priority is a laptop bag’s ability to take its wearer from day to night seamlessly. “I live in NYC, so when I leave in the morning I’m often not returning home until 9 or 10 p.m.! My bag needs to work overtime too,” echoes Lei. “That means being professional enough for work, roomy enough for my gym attire, and appropriate to bring to a nice dinner. I don’t want to feel the need to hide it or stuff it under my chair!” 


What to Look For In a Laptop Bag

It's all about structure, according to Lei. "Laptops can be quite heavy, and I need a bag that can stand on its own. I love a good slouchy tote as much as the next person, but it’s not what I want when carrying a laptop,” Lei says. “I need to be able to set my bag down without worrying that it will topple over. Structure also provides extra protection for your laptop.” 

Shop Deals on The Best Laptop Bags


MinkeeBlue Madison 16" Laptop Tote Bag, $225 $179 at Amazon

This laptop bag is adored by Marie Claire''s E-Commerce Writer, Gabrielle Ulubay, for its versatility and unique assortment of storage compartments. Highlights include a dedicated insulated lunch bag and a fold-down compartment for your shoes. Shop it now for less than $200 on Amazon.


Haven Laptop Tote Bag, $178 $142 at Calpak

283 reviewers gave this laptop bag five stars, gushing, "It's fantastic, roomy, luxurious, keeps me organized!" It's made from sleek faux leather and comes in a rainbow of colors, so you'd be forgiven for stocking up. Inside, there's a laptop sleeve and enough room for all your essentials—and then some. It also has an adjustable shoulder strap and trolley sleeve.


Dagne Dover Large Dakota Backpack, $215 $161 at Saks

Despite its minimal design, Dagne Dover's Dakota backpack is packed with technical details, making it perfect for traveling. Case in point: removable shoe bag and pouch, padded laptop compartment, and plenty of internal and external zipped pockets. Quilted shoulder straps make it comfortable enough for all-day use.


Rothy's The Essential Tote, $279 $220 at Rothy's

Rothy's aptly-named tote is made with around 816 grams of ocean-bound marine plastic, and it's currently on sale for $220, so it's about as close as it gets to a guilt-free indulgence. There's tonnes of space inside, and its neutral colorways make styling a breeze.


J.Crew Berkeley Bucket Bag in Leather and Suede, $198 $170 at J.Crew

J. Crew's sleek and timeless bag is deceivingly spacious, and the tonal-blue colourway is endlessly wearable. It's also super lightweight, which is always a plus in my book as someone who likes to carry, well, literally everything.


Strathberry The Strathberry Tote, $975 $731 at Strathberry

The Strathberry Tote exudes timeless elegance with its structured silhouette and luxe fabrication. It's been made in Spain from grained black leather that's punctuated with polished gold-tone hardware. It even has a soft microfiber lining to protect your essentials.

The Best Laptop Bags

How We Chose the Best Laptop Bags

There are plenty of laptop bags available to choose from, and it’s my job as Marie Claire’s E-Commerce Editor to discern which ones are worth the splurge. A few key factors that all of the options on this list share:

  • Internal pockets: Odds are, you don’t want to rifle through your entire bag to find your laptop charger when your computer is about to die. That’s why the bags on this list all feature some type of internal pocket. In some cases, that means that you’ll find a laptop-sized sleeve on the inside; in others, you’ll find a mini pocket for your wallet or keys. Plus, many of them have a secure fastening at the top, be it a zipper, a magnet, or a button flap. 
  • Versatile: Laptop bags have to strike the balance between being functional and looking cool enough to work with every stage of your day. The laptop bags on this list all come in neutral colors and have a sleek profile, so they won’t stick out from the rest of your outfit. 
  • Comfort: If you’ve ever carried a shoulder bag and felt it physically ache, you know the importance of finding a well-constructed and comfortable option. Some of the laptop bags on this list have specifically designed padded straps, but they’re all made with thick, durable ones that won’t break or dig into your shoulder or arm. They're also lightweight by design, so you won’t have to worry about adding your heavy laptop into an already-heavy bag. 
  • High-quality materials: We want you to love the bag you choose, and to love it for a long time. The options below are made from durable, high-quality materials like nylon and leather so that they'll last years in your collection.