My trusty laptop carrier has held up for more than a decade. It’s not much to look at, but I can’t help marveling at the quality of its construction. And I got it for a steal of a price.
That’s because I devoted hours to researching and evaluating the various laptop bag options available at the time. I considered pretty much every well-reviewed bag at or below my price point, methodically eliminating less-than-perfect bags until only one remained.
Today’s laptop bag shoppers have far more options at their disposal than I did back then. Modern laptop carriers are far more sophisticated and feature-rich – and, in some cases, more durable – than their predecessors. Even if you’re shopping on a tight budget, you’re likely to find a bag that meets or exceeds your expectations.
The Best Laptop Bags for Women
Millions of consumers make buying decisions on the basis of personal taste rather than societal expectations or norms. Nevertheless, accessory manufacturers still tend to designate their designs as gender-specific. As a result, what follows is a list of the best laptop bags marketed toward women.
1. Cuyana Classic Leather Zipper Tote
Made from sumptuous Argentinian leather, the Cuyana Classic Leather Zipper Tote effortlessly merges style and practicality at a reasonable price point. The zippered top provides solid security. At nearly 6 inches deep, the oversized main compartment is big enough to hold a couple of summer outfits, making the Cuyana Classic the perfect companion on a last-minute getaway. The 9-inch handle drop is a little short, but that body-hugging fit can come in handy on your next frenzied inter-terminal dash.
2. Everlane Form Bag
The Everlane Form Bag is a snappy tote that’s more than capable of stowing a full-size laptop with room left over for small electronics, personal accessories, and perhaps a change of clothes. It’s not the most budget-friendly bag on this list, but the price point is pretty good for a bag that’s “handcrafted in Italy.” The ample drop handle is great for use around the office, and the adjustable shoulder strap is ideal for daylong sojourns. However you carry it, you’ll make a statement.
3. Cuyana Work Satchel
The Cuyana Work Satchel will set you back a bit, to put it mildly. But that’s the price you pay for uncompromising, all-Italian-leather design.
The internal sleeve fits laptops up to 15 inches wide, and the adjustable crossbody strap is a welcome alternative to the 4.5-inch drop handles. Roomy interior and exterior slide pockets dramatically increase cargo capacity in a nearly 6-inch-deep frame. And the microsuede lining is soft as can be – a welcome touch for those worried about scratching up delicate electronics and accessories.
4. Dagne Dover Legend Signature Tote
With room for most 15-inch laptops and a slew of accessories, the Dagne Dover Legend Signature Tote is Dagne Dover’s largest women’s tote. Marketed as an extended day bag or day-to-night bag, it can hold a change of clothes, shoes, toiletries, chargers, and anything else you’d need for an overnight with room to spare.
The padded laptop compartment dominates the interior, but strategically placed smaller pockets and insets organize work and play items handily. If you don’t already use one, you’ll learn to love the key leash in no time; it means no more digging for your house keys at the bottom of your bag. And the bottle holder should be mandatory for all full-size laptop bags.
Just know that the 9-inch handle drop is the only carrying option. Dagne Dover pointedly omits a crossbody strap, claiming the Legend Signature Tote is too big for a comfy crossbody.
5. Rains Tote Bag Rush
The Rains Tote Bag Rush is an affordable, surprisingly roomy shoulder bag with plenty of space for a 15-inch laptop in its main compartment. Since you’ll only need a fraction of that space for the device itself, it easily holds the rest of your workday gear too, with room left over for a change of clothes when circumstances demand.
Like all Rains bags, this tote is waterproof to 8,000 mm water column pressure and boasts water-resistant stainless steel hardware. Webbed shoulder straps make for comfortable carrying, and an internal divider allows you to separate items that might damage your laptop. A lack of small-item organization is the only real drawback to this bag.
6. Dagne Dover Ryan Laptop Bag
The Dagne Dover Ryan Laptop Bag is a gender-neutral bag that looks equally good on men and women. It’s a true laptop bag, not an oversized tote that happens to be large enough to fit a full-size laptop. With a depth of just 2.25 inches and enough height for only a 13-inch device, it won’t carry a ton of gear. But the sharp style and ergonomic design will win you over all the same.
The Ryan is slim enough to fit atop your roller bag on longer trips, and the affordable price is hard to beat. There’s just enough space inside for a change of workout clothes too. If you’re in the market for a just-the-basics gym bag, the breathable air mesh is a nice touch.
7. Mark & Graham Canvas and Leather Tote
The Mark & Graham Canvas and Leather Tote is a reasonably priced drop-handle bag with an ample main pocket and two smaller outside pockets for small-item organization. Smaller interior pockets offer additional storage options, and the robust drop handle helps you keep your grip in virtually any condition. It would be nice if it had an adjustable shoulder strap, though. Personalize yours with a laser-etched monogram.
8. Madewell The Medium Transport Tote
Madewell’s The Medium Transport Tote is a moderately priced oversized tote crafted from two pieces of top-shelf leather to create a classy, vintage look that will turn heads while keeping your work gear safe. With relatively cramped dimensions, The Medium isn’t ideal for transporting a full-size laptop, but there’s plenty of space inside for a smaller device, as well as small electronics and accessories. Choose from a roughly 8-inch handle drop or a shoulder drop of up to 15.25 inches with the adjustable shoulder strap attached.
9. Go Dash Dot Bucket Tote
The Go Dash Dot Bucket Tote is a moderately priced oversized tote with a unique layout. While most tote-style laptop bags hold laptops sideways, the Bucket Tote stores devices up to 13″ vertically in a main pocket that’s significantly higher than it is wide. The frame dimensions give it a distinctive look, whether you’re rocking the removable shoulder strap (adjustable from about 27 inches to about 52 inches) or using the 10-inch drop handles.
The Bucket Tote is rugged too; Go Dash Dot claims it’s tested to hold up to 22 pounds. The built-in shoe compartment is roomy and sturdy enough for flip flops, gym shoes, and pretty much anything in between. A padded laptop compartment reduces shock from rough handling. If you plan to bring your Bucket Tote to the gym or on overnights, you’ll love the breathable laundry compartment. And the detachable interior pouch doubles as a pragmatic clutch in situations when full-on toting isn’t appropriate.
10. Baggu Denim Giant Pocket Tote
The Baggu Denim Giant Pocket Tote is not the most rugged or well-designed laptop bag on this list. You wouldn’t expect it to be at its bargain-basement price. If you don’t have room in your budget for a stylish leather tote or compartment-filled polyester alternative, the Giant Pocket Tote is the next best choice.
This bag has plenty going for it: room to stow virtually any laptop horizontally, exterior and interior pockets for small-item organization, and two carrying choices: cozy drop handles and generous shoulder straps. It doesn’t offer much inside padding, but a low-cost padded laptop sleeve should dispel concerns about unintentional damage.
11. Madewell Leather Laptop Case
The Madewell Leather Laptop Case is a no-frills laptop carrier with enough room for a 13-inch laptop. But that’s about all it will carry, thanks to a remarkably slim 1-inch depth.
This slimness cuts both ways, of course. If you enjoy unencumbered passage through airport security, for instance, you can fit your Madewell Leather Laptop Case inside your weekender or roller bag. And semi-vegetable tanned leather delivers a down-home yet urbane look that’s sure to turn heads.
Your choice of laptop bag won’t alter your life’s course. Should you select a less-than-optimal bag – perhaps because it’s cheaper than better-constructed alternatives – you’ll get by.
But with such a vast range of choices, why should you settle for a subpar laptop bag? Millions of white-collar professionals use a personal laptop every day, with most carting a personal device into the office each morning and home each night. Why not choose a comfortable, stylish bag that will stand up to whatever you can throw at it? My old laptop bag lasted more than a decade precisely because I didn’t compromise on quality or fit. It’s still one of the best buying decisions I’ve ever made.
What’s your favorite laptop bag? What do you like about it?