Best Laptop Bag for Air Travel of 2020: Top 6 Picks

Last update: Sep 24, 2020

Whether you’re a frequent flyer or occasionally on a flight for business trips, you will have to bring your laptop along a lot. But airlines have rules that limit the size of your carry-on items.

That’s why you need the best laptop bag for air travel that not just helps you pass through the airline security easily but also protects your laptop well and meets other requirements.

Here are the best laptop bags for air travel you can buy in 2020:

  • Best Overall (Laptop Backpack): MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack
  • Durable (Laptop Backpack): Mancro Laptop Backpack
  • Best for Frequent Flyers (Laptop Backpack): SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack
  • Best Overall (Laptop Briefcase): Ytonet 17 inch Laptop Bag
  • Lightweight (Laptop Briefcase): Case Logic 15.6-Inch Laptop Attache (VNAI-215) 0.88 lbs
  • Spacious (Laptop Briefcase): KROSER 18” Laptop Bag Stylish Laptop Briefcase
6 Best Laptop Bags For Air Travel
Best Overall
MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack
  • Laptop Backpack
Durable
Mancro Laptop Backpack
  • Laptop Backpack
Best for Frequent Flyers
SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack
  • Laptop Backpack
Best Overall
Ytonet 17 inch Laptop Bag
  • Laptop Briefcase
Lightweight
Case Logic 15.6-Inch Laptop Attache (VNAI-215) 0.88 lbs
  • Laptop Briefcase
Spacious
KROSER 18” Laptop Bag Stylish Laptop Briefcase
  • Laptop Briefcase

Best Overall (Laptop Backpack): MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack

MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack
MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack
9.8Outstanding
Pros
  • Able to charging cable and charge your smartphones – USB port design
  • You can secure it in place to slide over the luggage tube - a strap
  • Comfortable to wear - soft multi-panel ventilated padding
Cons
  • No built-in rain cover provided

At under $30, the MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack is by far the best designed, and well-made bag that we’ve ever tested.

It has a lot of space to house a 15.6in laptop, Frontier's personal item, and all the clothes in it, all at good organizing. The ability to hold a charging cable and charge your smartphones through the special external built-in USB charger is definitely awesome.

There’s also a strap so you can secure it in place to slide over the luggage tube.

Finally, it’s very comfy to wear, even loaded down, thanks to the soft multi-panel ventilated padding.

MATEIN Travel Laptop Backpack Specifications

Weight

1.56 pounds

Dimension

18 x 12 x 7.8 inches

Material

Polyester material & metal hardware

Fits Devices

15.6 Inch Laptop as well as 15 Inch,14 Inch and 13 Inch Macbook/Laptop

Highlight Features

soft multi-panel ventilated padding; a luggage strap; USB port design

For durability, storage space, and convenience, you can’t go wrong with this best overall performer from MATIEIN.

Durable (Laptop Backpack): Mancro Laptop Backpack

Mancro Laptop Backpack
Mancro Laptop Backpack
9.6Outstanding
Pros
  • Durable, solid, and sturdy - metal zippers, USB Charging design, shockproof waterproof polyester fabric, and high-density internal nylon
  • Simple maintenance – washable fabric, rust-free hardware, and not many compartments
Cons
  • The magnetic strap on the right side pouch is too strong
  • The charging cord isn’t removable

Mancro Laptop Backpack is an extremely durable option that our tester team (as well as many other customers) like a lot.

It highlights sturdy yet smooth metal zippers, solid USB Charging design, high-grade shockproof waterproof polyester fabric, and high-density internal nylon material. Under daily use or travel abuse, it holds up pretty well.

We’ve tested it over a year now and so impressed that there are no tears anywhere.

The fabric itself is also lightweight and quite easy to keep clean. The total dimensions are just right for carry-on air travel.

Mancro Laptop Backpack Specifications

Weight

1.5 pounds

Dimension

20 x 12.2 x 5.7 Inches

Material

high-quality polyester fabric shockproof with high-density nylon lining

Fits Devices

15.6 inch, 15-inch, or 14-inch Macbook/Laptop.

Highlight Features

Rust-free metal zippers, USB Charging design, shockproof waterproof polyester fabric, and high-density internal nylon; washable fabric

In the market for a new, ultra-durable air-travel laptop bag for long-term usage? Look no further!

Best for Frequent Flyers (Laptop Backpack): SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack
SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack
9.4Outstanding
Pros
  • Allow for quick opening at airport security - ScanSmart lay-flat technology
  • Sturdy and endurable – water-resistant 1200D ballistic polyester
  • Store everything neatly - lots of compartments
Cons
  • Heavy
  • The shoulder straps could be better
  • Zippers are a bit clunky

The SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart is a bit more expensive but it’s a must for frequent flyers.

The only model in our list that can make sure a hassle-free laptop-in-bag TSA scan, which is a big thank you to its ScanSmart lay-flat technology that can quickly open when needed.

Its material, on the other hand, is considered one of the most durable out there.

The 1200D ballistic polyester has water-resistant properties, and it can handle phenomenally well against harsh conditions, tough uses, and heavy loads.

Besides, there are lots of compartments for neat storage.

SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack Specifications

Weight

10.4 ounces

Dimension

18.5" x 13.5" x 9"

Material

durable, weather-resistant 1200D ballistic polyester

Fits Devices

17" laptop

Highlight Features

ScanSmart lay-flat technology; water-resistant 1200D ballistic polyester; lots of compartments

For those who are a frequent flyer or want a specifically-designed laptop backpack for air travel, the SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart is a nice option.

Best Overall (Laptop Briefcase): Ytonet 17 inch Laptop Bag

Ytonet 17 inch Laptop Bag
Ytonet 17 inch Laptop Bag
9.2Outstanding
Pros
  • Stay organized without crushing stuff - lots of different compartments & a secure laptop sleeve
  • Fit under the airline seat nicely – measured by 17.3 x 13 x 6 inches & feature a flexible expansion zipper
  • Extra support & comfort – shorter shoulder straps
Cons
  • A bit less convenient - The larger front compartment has only one zipper
  • The shoulder strap adjustment for length does not stay in place

The Ytonet 17-inch laptop briefcase holds securely a 17” or 15.6” electronic device while it is compact enough for air travel and fits under the seat.

Aside from the laptop sleeve, there are lots of different compartments which we find very useful to stay organized without crushing stuff.

The best thing is it's not overly heavy or bulky, all thanks to the flexible expansion zipper which transforms a laptop briefcase into a duffel bag, and vice versa if needed. It's nice that when zipped, it can be considered a "personal item" size instead of a carry-on.

Additionally, the shoulder straps are shorter than usual, allowing you to carry it higher and up closer to your side for extra support and comfort.

Ytonet 17 inch Laptop Bag Specifications

Weight

2.5 pounds

Dimension

17.3*13*6 inch

Material

high-quality water-resistant polyester fabric

Fits Devices

17 15.6 inch laptops

Highlight Features

measured by 17.3 x 13 x 6 inches & feature a flexible expansion zipper; shorter shoulder straps; lots of different compartments & a secure laptop sleeve

Considering its durability, lightness, well-organized compartment arrangement, and price, the Ytonet 17-inch laptop briefcase deserves getting two thumbs up.

Lightweight (Laptop Briefcase): Case Logic 15.6-Inch Laptop Attache (VNAI-215) 0.88 lbs

Case Logic 15.6-Inch Laptop Attache (VNAI-215) 0.88 lbs
Case Logic 15.6-Inch Laptop Attache (VNAI-215) 0.88 lbs
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Very lightweight & have a slim-profile design – minimal padding & simple construction
  • Serviceable for short walks - adjustable shoulder strap
Cons
  • Snaps are plastic instead of metal.

This case provides reasonable protection for the laptop under most conditions of air travel, and extra compartments for accessories with zippers, make it easy to organize.

Above all, it highlights lightweight and slim-profile design compared to other counterparts, where minimal padding is key for such lightness. That said, it holds up well against scratches and bumps.

During our tests, we found that the adjustable shoulder strap was serviceable for short walks. The zippers seem well made and durable.

Overall, if you want a minimalist TSA-friendly laptop bag, this is a great choice.

Case Logic 15.6-Inch Laptop Attache (VNAI-215) 0.88 lbs Specifications

Weight

14.1 ounces

Dimension

15.2 x 1.7 x 10.5 inches

Material

polyester

Fits Devices

15.6" laptop

Highlight Features

minimal padding & simple construction; adjustable shoulder strap

If you're looking for a very lightweight inexpensive laptop case for air travel, then this is for you.

Spacious (Laptop Briefcase): KROSER 18” Laptop Bag Stylish Laptop Briefcase

KROSER 18” Laptop Bag Stylish Laptop Briefcase
KROSER 18” Laptop Bag Stylish Laptop Briefcase
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Able to expand the main compartment capacity for extra storage - an expansion zipper
  • Better organizing – feature three compartments on the front and three full-sized in the middle
  • Easy to use – double-sided zippers
  • More security and protection - RFID pockets
Cons
  • Not hold its shape well

Similar to the Ytonet laptop briefcase above, this model features an expansion zipper that will enhance the main compartment capacity (from 7.5” to 9.5” wide) if needed.

Meanwhile, it highlights more pockets and compartments, including three on the front and three full-sized in the middle. Our most favorite is those fully-sized compartments have two zippers to open on either side.

And, the handles are extra padded for more comfort when carrying a heavier load.

Don’t worry, its dimensions are still compact enough to fit most airline carry-on storage space – measured by 18” x 12.8”, weighing 2.88 pounds.

A big bonus is there are RFID pockets to keep your essentials more safely, such as bank cards, IDs, and passports.

KROSER 18” Laptop Bag Stylish Laptop Briefcase Specifications

Weight

2.88 LBS.

Dimension

18”x12.8”x7.5”;

Material

high-quality environment-friendly fabric and sturdy PU handles

Fits Devices

17.3” computer, iPad, files, pens, wallet, notebooks and all your items

Highlight Features

an expansion zipper; feature three compartments on the front and three full-sized in the middle; double-sided zippers; RFID pockets

Giving the most spacious interior storage space, the KROSER 18” Laptop Bag is a great choice for long-day air-travel trips.

How To Choose The Best Laptop Bag For Air Travel?

Size

First and foremost, a laptop bag must fit your laptop and the accessories coming alongside.

A bag that’s too small cannot hold the entire device while a too-big bag will be bulky. You should measure your laptop’s dimensions to determine a bag size that fits. Here’s how to measure your laptop to find the best bag size:

Besides, the laptop bag must not be bigger than the carry-on size limit, which varies among airlines, to fit the overhead cabin on the plane.

Your laptop bag shouldn’t exceed 19 inches in height, 13 inches in width, and 7 inches in thickness.

TSA-Friendly Design

There are certain standards a laptop bag must meet to be considered TSA-friendly:

  • Feature a designated laptop-only section.

  • Nothing but the laptop in the laptop section.

  • No pockets outside or inside the laptop-only section.

  • No metal zippers, buckles, or snaps on top, underneath, or inside the laptop-only section.

  • The laptop-only section can unfold to lie flat on the X-ray belt.

Handle and Wheels

Some laptop bags come with wheels and a handle so you can drag them around instead of carrying with your hand. If you like the convenience of this feature, you should look for a laptop bags with wheels and handle.

Which Brands Make The Best Laptop Bag For Air Travel?

MATEIN

Founded in 2014, MATEIN offers backpacks with the highest quality and the most affordable price to serve a wide range of users. Its products are also known for high durability so they can stick around for a long time.

Mancro

This brand works to offer customers innovation and style. It has a dedicated design team to create products for different professions so you can surely get whatever style you want.

SwissGear

SwissGear makes products that accompany you no matter where you go. Over decades of experience, the brand has focused on innovation, superior quality, and style for travel gear, offering you trustworthy options.

FAQs

What is a TSA approved backpack?

A TSA approved backpack is one with a dedicated section for storing a laptop and accessories required to go through the TSA checkpoint. With a TSA approved backpack, you don’t have to take your laptop out of the backpack at the checkpoint.

Can I bring 2 backpacks on a plane?

Yes, you can. According to carry-on rules, you are allowed to bring a suitcase along with a small personal item. So, as long as your two backpacks can fit the overhead cabin and under the seat, you can carry them on the plane.

What happens if my carry on is too big?

If your carry-on is too big, you may have to check the bag at the boarding gate and pay a checked bag fee. Each airline has a limited size for carry-on and personal items, you should make sure your items meet the requirement.

Will a backpack fit under an airplane seat?

The answer to this question largely relies on the size of your backpack. Most laptop bags are compact and will fit under the seat.

Is a backpack allowed as a carry-on?

Yes, it is, as long as it fits the overhead cabin or under the seat in front of you. The rules for carry-on items vary in types and sizes, but the general principle is that it has to fit one of the two aforementioned spaces.

Conclusion

Now that you have reached the end of this post, we hope that it will help you pick the best laptop bag for air travel to use in your future trips. Remember to choose the right size and a TAS-friendly design is a bonus.


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