Everyday Carry

10 Laptop Bags to Everyday Carry Back to School in 2017

Adam Molina
10 Laptop Bags to Everyday Carry Back to School in 2017

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No one likes saying goodbye to summer, but getting ready for the coming school year means one thing: new gear. On top of the usual essentials like pens, notebooks, and textbooks that you’ll find on supply lists, many students find themselves also needing a good laptop to get things done. And if you’re going to be adding one to your EDC, it's a good idea to get a backpack that was designed to protect that huge investment. You want something that’s sturdy enough to deal with the everyday grind of school (and possibly some inclement weather), without sacrificing a lightweight design and comfortable build. It can be hard to find the perfect bag but don’t worry, we’ve got your back. In this updated guide we’ll go over a few A+ bags that will make getting to class a little easier for you.

Timbuk2 The Authority Pack

Timbuk2 has really made a name for themselves when it comes to cycling gear, but whether you’re on a bike or on foot, the 28L Authority Backpack is a solid choice. On the front are two quick access pockets for smaller essentials like pens or a pair of glasses, while a larger front compartment provides plenty of organization for notebooks or a tablet. In the main compartment is a padded laptop sleeve for up to a 15” laptop, while the ventilated back panel keeps you cool on campus.

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Thule Paramount 24L Daypack

Roll-tops are great for keeping rain out but they’re not the best as getting to your gear quickly. That’s where the Paramount 24L by Thule comes in, with side pockets designed to easily get to your laptop or tablet without needing to unroll the top entirely. It also has SafeEdge construction which reinforces the corners, so if you drop your bag a little harder than you meant to your laptop has some extra protection. A nifty front pocket also provides multiple storage options for smaller items like charging cables, pens, or even a quick snack before your next class.

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Arc’teryx Granville Backpack

Arc’teryx is a name synonymous with professional climbing equipment, but they also make practical gear for when you're not at the crag. Take the Granville backpack for example. Its sleek design and durable, lightweight construction brings the best of outdoor gear to your everyday life. You’ll get a 25L pack with padded sleeves for a 15” laptop and tablet, not to mention the peace of mind that comes with the pack's impressive weather resistance thanks to its AC^2 fabric and taped seam construction.

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Aer Fit Pack 2

Aer understood what it took to make a good backpack with the original Fit Pack, and with the Fit Pack 2 they’ve made it even better. The internal pockets got a fresh redesign making it easier to access your gear and carry more. They also have better padding along the straps for added comfort and you won’t have to worry about rain damaging your gear thanks to the 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon. The cherry on top is the redesigned shoe compartment, which is bigger and better ventilated so you can hit up the gym after class.


Topo Designs Klettersack

The Topo Designs Klettersack was made to be a comfortable option for anyone going on a day hike, which makes it perfect for campus. An exterior made of 1000D Cordura lends some protection to your valuables, and there’s even an inner drawstring closure for good measure. In the main compartment you’ll get a padded 15” laptop sleeve while a smaller outside pocket gives you quick access to anything you don’t want to dig through your bag for. Toss in two side pockets for extra accessories like an umbrella or water bottle and you have a bag you can bring to class during the week and a hike on the weekend.


5.11 Rush 12

In our Carry Smarter article, we detailed the benefits of a MOLLE-compatible backpack. One reason this type of bag might appeal to you as a student is simple: customizability. The 5.11 RUSH 12 gets its name from being able to hold up to twelve hours worth of gear, which can sometimes be how long a full day of classes lasts. This pack already has two robust front pockets and a larger main compartment, so having the option to attach MOLLE-compatible pouches means this bag can be as versatile as you need it to be.

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DSPTCH Daypack

Despite its unassuming design, the USA-made DSPTCH Daypack is the furthest thing from your generic bookbag. DSPTCH is known for making quality bags, and the 22L Daypack checks all the boxes when it comes to a modern, urban EDC. Inside the main compartment you’ll find a dedicated tablet sleeve, zippered stash pocket, and internal water bottle pockets on both sides. A separate padded compartment fits up to a 15” laptop and maintains the bag's sleek structured silhouette. The water-resistant 1680D nylon exterior keeps your belongings dry, and a large front pocket equipped with MOLLE-like elastic webbing gives you quick access and organization for your smaller essentials.



The GORUCK GR-1 is arguably the holy grail of durable backpacks. If you’re looking to invest in a pack that will be with you throughout school and beyond, look no further. The GR-1 is water-resistant and can hold up to 400 lbs, with silent YKK zippers so you can keep a low profile when you’re late to class. It also has a separate padded compartment that can hold up to a 17” laptop and is MOLLE-compatible so you can attach pouches and extra gear. The GR-1 is literally ready for war, so hauling it to and from Bio 101 should be a piece of cake.


VRSDesign Ark

One pack that’s been making its way around the internet is the VRS Design Ark Backpack. It was designed for the frequent traveler, but those same features are what makes it great for school. One of the two main compartments opens flat for easy access to your laptop or tablet. That makes it perfect not just for getting through airport security, but also good for quickly stowing your laptop between classes. The second compartment is large enough for a binder but has smaller pockets perfect for pens, battery packs, or calculators. If you do end up using it for travel, you can also just slip it onto the handle of your rolling luggage.


Incase Icon Slim

If you’ve been reading the site for a while, you'd know there are always cool new backpacks being announced. But there’s nothing quite like a classic. Take the Incase Icon Slim backpack for example. While it's plenty durable with a water-resistant nylon exterior, it's how well executed it is on the inside that counts. The Icon Slim has five internal pockets for tablets, notebooks, and other essentials, with a faux fur lining in the main laptop compartment that makes this Incase so popular. The safer your laptop, the better.

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For more back to school essentials, check out these guides:

#buying-guides #back-to-school #laptop-backpacks #bags-pouches #edc-laptop-sleeve #edc-college-lap-top-bag see all

Who Likes This (48)

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Discussion (10 total)

Karl Maria Fattig ·
sigh... nothing for a smaller laptop or netbook. I'd like an EDC focused on 13" and smaller carries... some of us don't like large laptops or large bags.
Evan ·
I carry the Incase City backpack, and I feel it deserves a place on this list. Crazy amount of internal organisation for cables, chargers etc, with enough open space to carry 4 subjects worth of uni books and a 15 inch laptop.
ThreePercenter ·

And these are pretty big bags... most people may just want a laptop sling or something simple. I have owned the 5.11 bags in all sizes, and they are great, but still big for just school EDC.
Eric Wilson ·
I'm sorry, any list of "great" EDC bags that includes a Rush 12, I have to call bullshit on. That bag is completely under featured for its caverness size. It's literally straight cordura with MOLLE webbing and minimal loop space for customization. Sure, you can add things all day to the outside of your pack, but what about keeping things inside safe? It's just a big "throw it all in" bag. I owned one and had to buy a separate sleeve for my MacBook and iPad. I'd prefer to see bags heavy on internal features like the Prometheus Design Werx SHADO pack, with a dedicated EDC pocket- or something from Cargo Works' line of EDC bags. This list is just fucking lazy.
ThreePercenter ·
I have owned it, you just have to stay organized inside the bag. There are plenty of things to stop it from being a throw it all in bag. There is a nylon strap, a rear pocket, and 3 front mesh pockets as well inside the big zipper pouch. So having a bag to keep things organized inside your bag may not be, well, your bag... but it could easily be someone else's idea of simplicity.
Eric Wilson ·
To each their own, obviously. I'm more wondering why these are ALL larger size packs with all brand name recognition. I feel like lists like this should be reserved for showing off bags that people may not have heard of. But this is in line with EDC.com's bias towards sponsor paid lists
Muhammad Nabil ·
Should include the firefighter 12H battalion. Not too bulky nor too small. Just nice. Switching from rush 12 and hazard 4.
Netaji ·
GoRuck master race.