Today’s backpacks have evolved from the awkward, square "bookbag" of the past into sleek and versatile solutions for carrying your essentials. They are no longer just for students, either. Backpacks are also for professionals and executives of every ilk and industry, and are especially suited for travelers.
Compared to briefcases, for instance, backpacks distribute weight more evenly and are designed to reduce strain on your shoulders and back. They’re much easier to carry through airports and stash under seats or in the overhead bin, too.
Backpacks come in a variety of functional styles and choices, which are sturdy and secure enough to carry not only notebooks, files, folders, and a variety of tech-related accessories, but also, most importantly, your precious laptop.
Here are our choices for the 11 of the best laptop backpacks for travel from HP®. We’ll first touch on the models of backpacks that accommodate notebook computers with up to 15.6-inch diagonal screens and then we’ll check out those that fit 17.3-inch laptop models.
1. HP Active backpack
The HP Active backpack is the quintessential backpack that can get you through your day, whether you’re working, studying, going to the gym, or traveling. While it may look casual, it’s outfitted with the durable and functional specs to help you easily and safely transport your laptop and other essentials.
Secure your gear
This backpack features a padded compartment that will fit and safeguard any laptop up to 15.6 inches diagonal. Its exterior fabric is also treated with a water-resistant coating that keeps your important gear and electronics safe in any kind of weather.
Comfort for the long haul
The added and breathable fabric shoulder straps are nice and wide, to help you carry your gear around comfortably for long periods of time. It’s got plenty of pockets to store most of whatever you need, as well as carabiner loops and space for two water bottles.
The HP Executive 15.6 backpack is an executive-series notebook case that lets you travel in style. It offers a slim, sleek, and professional-looking profile made of premium materials in a small but practical footprint of a tad over 6-inches deep, just under 11-inches wide, and 17-inches long. And it’s an easily transportable 1.92 lbs.
Perfect for 15.6-inch laptops
This backpack will carry a variety of HP ENVY, HP ProBook, HP EliteBook, HP ZBook, and other notebook models of up to 15.6 inches diagonal. Along with the dedicated compartment for your notebook, there is plenty of room for other devices, gadgets, and gear. Both interior and exterior slip-and-zip pockets offer easy access to your essentials.
Charge on the go while protecting your devices and data
Charge your phone and other devices without having to open the backpack thanks to a well-designed internal pocket for your power bank, pass-through cable management, and an exterior USB port. It also has built-in theft protection in the form of an RFID-blocking pocket as well as a lockable notebook compartment and unbreakable double-teeth zippers.
Wear the backpack in its traditional hands-free fashion or carry it by its padded top handle. You can also stack it on the top of your suitcase using the convenient luggage pass-through strap.
Another backpack that fits 15.6-inch notebooks is the HP 15.6 Duotone backpack. This lightweight bag weighs only 1.32 lbs. and is perfectly sized at 12 x 5.78 x 18.50 inches for travel. It’s neither bulky nor unwieldy, so you can move more easily through airport security or the aisles of airplanes and trains.
Protect and secure your laptop
The HP 15.6 Duotone backpack has an interior padded pocket that helps you secure and protect your laptop of up to 15.6-inch diagonal screen. And its main compartment is roomy enough to carry your necessities.
Smartly and stylishly constructed
Not only does it have a small and unobtrusive footprint, but this backpack is also stylish and sleek. It has bold color combinations (and color-blocking) in black with gold accents.
The HP Pavilion tech backpack is not just for carrying your HP Pavilion notebook; it’s also the right size (at 11.8 x 6.7 x 19.7 inches) for carrying the 15.6-inch laptop of your choice. With padded space for your laptop, as well as your other tech gear and accessories, this TSA-friendly backpack is one of the best computer backpacks for travel.
It’s designed ergonomically with maximum comfort for your back and shoulders with padded back and shoulder straps. Inside, the main compartment is roomy enough for your laptop plus pockets for holding a tablet, phones, pens, folders, and more, keeping them all organized. On the outside, there are side pockets to hold a water bottle or even accessories. It’s also water resistant, with reflective material to help keep you safe.
Recharge your laptop without removing it from your backpack through two cord pass-throughs that make it easy to open and access: one for the side pocket and another connecting the front and back compartments.
A tech pocket conveniently holds your adapter in place while charging. There is also an RFID pocket to secure your credit card information and help protect against its theft while you’re moving through crowds and public areas.
Travel more effortlessly through security checkpoints
Having to remove your laptop while traveling through TSA airport security checkpoints is an annoyance of the past with this backpack. Thanks to a TSA-compliant back compartment, you need only unzip your backpack and open it. Avoid having to take out other items while digging around for your laptop, then having to then repack them.
The HP ENVY Urban 15.6 backpack is another backpack that helps ease security checkpoint experiences. One of the best laptop backpacks for air travel, it has that ultra-convenient TSA-friendly laptop compartment. It also features multiple compartments for storing and organizing all of your necessary accessories and technological gadgets.
Durable, weather-resistant design
This gray-colored, rugged-looking backpack matches the design sensibility of HP ENVY laptops. It has a durable, weather-resistant design all within a minimalist profile with genuine leather handles. Although it’s outfitted with the HP ENVY name, it will carry any laptop of up 15.6-inches in diagonal. At 12.4-inches wide by 17.32-inches high by 5.9-inches deep, it has the perfect amount of space for your laptop plus more.
Fly through security
Like the HP Pavilion tech backpack, the HP ENVY Urban 15.6 backpack will help you breeze through airport security via its TSA-compliant laptop compartment. It also attaches to your luggage by way of the handy trolley pass-through.
In addition to the TSA-friendly laptop compartment, it offers a number of innovative compartments to let you organize essentials and charge your devices. There are pockets for accessories, pens, and phones, and even a soft-material lined case for glasses or sunglasses. And an included rain jacket protects it all.
Another HP ENVY backpack that also works perfectly for any 15.6-inch laptop is the HP ENVY Uptown backpack. This sleekly designed black laptop backpack is both stylish and professional.
One of the best laptop backpacks for travel, it’s tailored to help you organize your gear while you’re traveling. So you can rest assured that your laptop and all of your related technology and accessories are not only easily accessible, but also secure.
Stylish and professional
The HP ENVY Uptown backpack features a craftsman-like attention to detail with an all-black, modern, and upscale design with genuine leather handles and weather-resistant fabric in a slim profile. It’s made with both style and comfort in mind. Weighing slightly over 2.5 lbs, it’s lightweight and easy to transport, yet practical and durable.
Keep your stuff organized
This backpack has pockets and compartments to help you keep your items organized and easily accessible. The laptop compartment is comfortably lined and spacious with easy side access as well.
Besides your laptop, you can fit a tablet and mobile phone, as well as a number of accessories such as headphones, cables, books, and much more. The exterior features side pockets for easy access to a water bottle or anything similarly sized.
There is a separate zippered pocket that holds a charger in addition to a cable routing system that enables easy recharging while on the go. The backpack also features a secured pocket that’s crafted to help deter RFID readers, thus safeguarding your credit card data.
Next up in the 15.6-inch category is another backpack that’s great for both travel and the environment. The HP Recycled Series 15.6-inch backpack not only has the space and comfort you need for traveling effortlessly, but it’s also made from recycled plastics.
This backpack will give you a few bragging rights. You can feel good about carrying around gear that’s made from recycled bottles for instance. These bottles, and other plastics, are shredded and converted into small flakes and chips that are heated and made into weather-resistant materials.
Specifically, the backpack’s exterior is crafted with 70% recycled materials, including polyvinyl butyral (RPVB) and 60% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (RPET). And the inner lining is 100% RPET.
While certain hardware such as zippers and buckles, and softer materials such as webbing, aren’t made from recycled materials, the rest of the hardware is nickel-free.
The padded laptop compartment of the HP Recycled Series 15.6-inch backpack makes it easy to sail through TSA check-ins. It zips open and lays flat. And the pass-through lets you attach it to your luggage.
In addition to the laptop compartment, which secures in place up to 15.6-inch diagonal laptops, there are a few other helpful compartments. An expandable pocket near the top lets you carry accessories and other items, as does a zipped compartment on the bottom for larger items like your AC adapter. While the soft-lined, quick-access pocket is convenient, it also protects your valuable items. There’s also an always-handy water bottle pocket on the exterior.
All of the convenient interior compartments and pockets in the world wouldn’t mean anything without a comfortable exterior. This backpack delivers with load-distributing padded shoulder straps and a horizontal sternum strap that stops it from riding up on your chest. Keep cool while you’re carrying it around with an air mesh back panel. And an easy-to-grip and carry side handle lets you turn the backpack sideways.
8. Targus Drifter for 17-inch notebook
Moving to the models that carry laptops of up to 17.3-inch diagonal screens, the first on our list is the Targus Drifter II laptop backpack. This rugged beauty boasts several generously sized compartments for storage that include a main front compartment, another area for gear and accessories, and a padded laptop compartment.
The Tragus Drifter has several large compartments for storing everyday accessories and gear. The main front compartment has a key clip and pockets for business cards as well as mesh accessory pockets for small items like coins, binder clips, and sticky notes. It also has a soft, microfiber-lined, and scratch-resistant pocket for storing fragile accessories like glasses.
There is an interior divider that offers a safe and convenient place to hold files and documents, and keep them in order. In addition to securing and separating your laptop from other items in the backpack, the padded laptop compartment features a zippered pocket for small accessories.
Focused on durability
Don’t worry about where you put your backpack down since it has a water and weather resistant base. Picking it up will be easy, too, thanks to a sturdy, well-anchored, and molded plastic carrying handle that’s supported by metal grommets and cabling. This durable backpack also features thick industrial zipper pulls that further its rugged qualities.
Comfort for travel
Its breathable mesh panels on the back side provide a comfortable carrying experience no matter whether you’re walking across the airport or across the street. In addition, the extremely thick padding on the back panel includes a large, hidden, and secret zippered compartment that is the ideal hiding spot for your ID, credit cards, wallet, or keys. This padding is also placed strategically to provide welcome lumbar support for your back.
The padded, contoured shoulder straps also offer comfort during travel. They feature a removable, large mobile phone pocket that can hold an iPhone or BlackBerry, and have an elastic loop that can hold sunglasses.
Another excellent choice in the 17-inch laptop carrying lineup is the HP 17.3 business backpack. This sleek yet simply-designed backpack is large enough to carry up to a 17.3-inch diagonal notebook, yet compact enough, at only 13 x 18.5 x 7.08 inches and weighing 1.85 lbs, to carry with you everywhere you need to go.
Stay organized and secure
This business backpack features a separate padded notebook compartment and lots of pockets to house your accessories to help you get (and stay) organized. An RFID pocket protects the encoded data on your passport and credit cards. Double-coil, lockable zippers help dissuade tampering as well as unwanted access to your laptop and the contents of your backpack.
Hands-free, comfortable travel
The comfortably padded shoulder straps help you experience hands-free, hassle-free, travel. If you choose to carry it by the top handle instead, you’ll be glad to know that’s padded as well. And a luggage pass-through, which fits over the handle of most rolling suitcases, lets you easily bring it along with your other commuting or traveling gear.
The HP Executive 17.3 backpack is another professional-looking backpack with a polished and stylish, yet slim, silhouette that looks as appropriate in a boardroom as it does in your home office. It’s made of robust, premium materials that not only look good, but also help secure your devices and gear.
Slender, yet accessible shape
Even within its slender profile of just over 18-inches long by almost 7-inches deep, it has plenty of pockets to carry your notebook, tablet, mobile phone, other accessories, files, and much more. Both interior and exterior slip-and-zip pockets offer easy access to your essentials.
Charge while in transit
While on the go, you can charge your mobile phone or other devices without needing to open your backpack, thanks to convenient pass-through cable capabilities, an exterior USB port, and a cleverly designed internal pocket for your power bank. There is also an RFID-blocking pocket and lockable zippers that deters thieves from accessing the valuable contents within.
The HP OMEN gaming backpack is not just for carrying HP OMEN gaming notebooks. This cool-looking yet functional backpack lets you haul up to 17.3-inch diagonal laptops of any model or brand.
Cool, functional design
Stand out from the crowd with this smartly designed bag. Its sharp-looking red and black signature HP OMEN style and color helps you easily identify it while traveling for work, play, or gaming purposes. With padded shoulder straps and a mesh back panel, it’s also cushioned for comfortable carrying.
There is a place for everything in this backpack. Your laptop and tablet have their own padded compartments while your accessories have their own places as well, including neat little icon-labeled pockets for your cables, mouse, and keyboard. For storing your headset, it includes a convenient hanging clasp.
Summing it up
No matter where you’re headed, whether for work or leisure, taking your gear has never been more convenient. If you have a 15-inch laptop, our top pick is the HP ENVY Uptown backpack for style and durability. If your laptop is 17-inches, then the HP Executive backpack will get you where you need to be with all the essentials.
About the Author: Jolene Dobbin is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Jolene is an East Coast-based writer with experience creating strategic messaging, marketing, and sales content for companies in the high-tech industry.
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