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The best laptop backpacks for gamers in 2021 - get a bargain in the back to school sale

best laptop backpacks
(Image credit: Razer)
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Being able to stash your laptop in one of The best laptop backpacks exist to keep your technological pride and joy safe, so grabbing one in the back to school sales is more than handy. After all, seamlessly transitioning from doing important work to important social media in the nearest coffee shop is the dream. And regardless of whether you’re packing one of the best gaming laptops, a svelte and professional Ultrabook, or a cheap and cheerful Chromebook that does all you need at a quarter of the price, a decent bag is an essential buy.

That's why we've rounded up some favorites below. There are plenty of recognisable brands in this list of the best laptop backpacks, and some are hardened fortresses for your tech while others are softer, everyday rucksacks. However, what they all have in common is that they are designed specifically for carrying your portable computer safely and comfortably.

Before you get started, there are a couple of things to look out for: size (the best laptop backpacks will usually be tailored to 15-inch or 17-inch devices), pockets for additional items like the best wireless gaming mouse or the best headphones, and good old-fashioned functionality. What's it made of? Is it hard-wearing or waterproof? Being caught in the rain can be a fun experience during warm summer showers, but it can have a calamitous effect on any electronics you’re carrying.

Best laptop backpacks - top 6

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Matein Travel Laptop Backpack

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Matein Travel Laptop Backpack

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Matein Travel Laptop Backpack

(Image credit: Matein)

1. Matein Travel Laptop Backpack

The best cheap laptop backpack

For: Laptops up to 15" | Water resistance: Yes | Weight: 1.56lbs

Looks classy
USB charger
So many pockets
Light colors may stain easily

This Matein backpack isn't as showy or expensive as the competition, but considering how pricey laptop bags can be, that's a welcome feather in its cap. It's got storage for days, too - this one's rolling in a ridiculous amount of pocket space.

It also has plenty of utility despite that lower price tag. As well as being water-resistant to keep your tech out of harm's way, it boasts a "hidden theft proof pocket" and an external USB charging port (?!) on the side. In addition, laptops and tablets are kept in a separate section at the back to better protect them from whatever else you might be carrying.

In other words, it's a sensible choice. The subtle design adds an element of safety as well; it doesn't scream "hey everyone, there's an expensive laptop in here." That makes the Matein one of the best laptop backpacks around if you're looking for an affordable, sturdy all-rounder.

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Herschel Heritage Backpack

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Herschel Heritage Backpack

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Herschel Heritage Backpack

(Image credit: Herschel)

2. Herschel Heritage Backpack

The best laptop backpack for school or college

For: Laptops up to 15" | Water resistance: No | Weight: 1.72lbs

Iconic design
Simple
Hard wearing
Could do with more sections

Those dreaded 'back to school' ads seem to get kicked out the door earlier each year, but an upside would be the sales that appear in their wake. And if you see this particular rucksack on offer, it's worth taking note.

The Herschel Heritage is arguably one of the best laptop backpacks for anyone heading to school, college, or university; besides being a slick-looking classic thanks to that synthetic leather diamond and trim, it's hard-wearing due to a canvas exterior. Even the zipper pulls go above and beyond thanks to a pebbled leather effect.

It doesn't disappoint when you open it up, either. That iconic striped lining is back with the Heritage, and there's plenty of room inside for everything you need. A pocket for 15-inch laptops will keep your precious tech safe, too.

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Razer Rogue

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3. Razer Rogue

The best laptop backpack for larger devices

Fits: Laptops up to 17" | Water resistant: Yes | Weight: 1.85lbs

Water and damage resistant
Larger Rogues for 17" laptops available
Minimalist design
Expensive

Razer is as close as you can get to a household name when it comes to gaming tech, and they have a range of bags to go with that hard-earned reputation. One of their most recent efforts is the Rogue, a backpack that comes in a variety of sizes to suit your needs (there are models for carrying 13", 15", and 17" laptops). 

Besides being rather handsome, the Rogue has everything you could want from the best laptop backpack: scratch-resistant padding, water resistance to keep your gear safe from the elements, a relatively affordable price, and plenty of space for all your kit. Basically, it strikes a good middle-ground between features and cost. 

Because of a minimalist look "for an urban warrior", it's meant to have a tear-resistant exterior as well. Although we're not entirely sure what an 'urban warrior' is, it sounds cool. That makes this one perfect for everyday kicking about regardless of whether you're using it for uni, school, work, or travel.

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4. ASUS ROG Ranger Messenger Bag

The best laptop satchel

For: Laptops up to 15.6" | Water resistant: Yes | Weight: 2.7lbs

Smaller and easier to carry
Hard front
Water resistant
Not as much storage space

If you'd prefer to avoid the bulk of a full gaming backpack, the ASUS ROG Ranger Messenger Bag might be up your street. Lightweight and relatively inconspicuous, this satchel won't weigh you down or attract as much attention as some of the alternatives in this guide. 

The Ranger is also packing the usual hardened front to help minimise damage from any knocks. That means you don't need to worry about it getting too battered if you have a habit of throwing your bags around. Similarly, much of its material is constructed from 1260D Gucci polyester that's water and scratch resistant. 

When you add in detachable side pockets, the Ranger Messenger Bag is ideal for those who just want to get up and go. 

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(Image credit: Lenovo)
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5. Lenovo Y Armored

The toughest gaming laptop bag

For: Laptops up to 17" | Water resistant: Yes | Weight: 3.02lbs

Tough exoskeleton
Weatherproof
Great interior padding
Big and heavy

The main thing you need a gaming laptop bag to do is protect your tech. And while all of the entries on this list feature padding or EVA shells in one form or another, none can match the hardy Lenovo Y Armored Backpack for sheer, stubborn survivability. It's built to last; this bag boasts a weatherproof exoskeleton, and the gray matte finish makes for a hard-wearing exterior. 

What's more, the rear inside pocket features padding that's basically soft red bubble-wrap. A "compression-molded back panel providing airflow ventilation" only makes this package more appealing, as do three distinct sections filled with pouches. 

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(Image credit: Targus/SteelSeries)
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6. Targus SteelSeries Sniper

The best backpack for storage space

For: Laptops up to 17.3" | Water resistance: No | Weight: 3.92lbs

So. Many. Pockets
Fits 17" laptops
Weighs more
Not naturally water resistant

If you're in it for the long haul and/or prefer being prepared for every possible eventuality (up to and including zombie apocalypse), the Targus SteelSeries Sniper bag will be your jam. A hefty 26L monster with pockets for days, it's got enough room to store everything you need other than the proverbial kitchen sink. 

Seriously, you can fit all sorts in here; whether it's keyboards, controllers, hard drives, and mice to go with your laptop, this backpack has you covered. And while the usual ventilated back padding and strap padding are greatly appreciated in making travel more comfortable, the real bonus would be a hidden "ultra valuables" pocket squirreled away inside and out of sight.

Complete your setup

Looking to upgrade your gaming setup? You're in the right place. Regardless of whether you're looking to get a new rig or a monitor for home, we've got you covered in our guides listed below.

Best gaming PCs | Gaming laptops | Best gaming monitor
Best gaming TV | Best gaming mouse | Best gaming keyboard

The price-matching software featured on each of these pages is updated on a daily basis, so it's your best chance of getting everything from the best gaming chairs to the best gaming desks for less.

Benjamin Abbott

As one of the site's Hardware Editors, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to Lego buying guides. I've been writing about games in one form or another for almost a decade (with bylines ranging from Metro.co.uk and PC Gamer to TechRadar), and have worked at GamesRadar+ since 2018. I can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.