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Your laptop is probably the most powerful and expensive gadget you own, so you should keep it safe.
Accidental spills and falls are going to happen over the several years you keep the device, but keeping it in a laptop sleeve will protect it from these little threats. Unlike a case, a sleeve is typically lightweight, and doesn’t snap onto your computer. Instead, it zips up around it, creating a total barrier between your laptop and the outside world.
In this guide, we focused on the best laptop sleeves for 13-inch laptops, be they Apple MacBooks, Microsoft’s Surface laptop, or any number of lines from different manufacturers. If you take your laptop with you everywhere, it’s worth making the effort to prevent a single slip from racking up a giant repair bill, or requiring you to get a whole new computer.
What You Need to Know Before Buying a 13-Inch Laptop Sleeve
There are many factors to think about when choosing the right 13-inch laptop sleeve for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Size: The laptop sleeves in this guide were designed to fit 13-inch laptops, but that size is a little vague. Computers with the same screen size may be different widths and thicknesses (gaming laptops will be larger to accommodate bigger fans, while ultrabooks are thin and light because they’re designed for everyday tasks). Make sure to check the dimensions of your laptop before choosing your sleeve. We’ll make a note of the internal dimensions of the cases, so you can be absolutely sure your computer will fit.
“MacBook:” A lot of laptop sleeves have the word MacBook in them because Apple’s laptops have become incredibly popular over the past few years. This doesn’t mean they only work with a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, just that they’re compatible with the sleeve in question. We do have a sleeve tailor-made for MacBook owners, but we’ll specify that, so you don’t get confused.
Protection: All of the 13-inch laptop sleeves in our guide will keep your computer safe from basic wear and tear. We’ve specifically chosen sleeves that zip up around the entire laptop instead of those that are kept closed by magnets, so the chance of damage from liquid (a bottle of water opening in your backpack, for instance) is significantly lower. Note that none of the picks on our list are fully waterproof laptop sleeves, so we don’t recommend carrying them out in the rain or accidentally dunking them in a pool.
1. AmazonBasics Tablet Laptop Sleeve Case
As its name implies, this 13-inch laptop sleeve is basic — but in this case, that’s a really good thing.
It has the largest amount of internal space: it’s 14 inches long, 10.5 inches deep, and 0.75 inches tall, which means it can fit all but the thickest of 13-inch laptops. Its external dimensions are only 0.25 inches larger in every metric, which means it’s easy to carry around, too.
In terms of protection, this 13-inch laptop sleeve does a pretty good job. The outer layer of the sleeve is water-resistant, and the manufacturer says its inner foam layer helps insulate your laptop if it falls. This isn’t a hardshell sleeve, so it won’t protect your laptop as much as a more heavy-duty one, but it’s way better than carrying your laptop around with nothing on it.
This 13-inch laptop sleeve’s standout feature is a small, zip-up pocket on the front, which can hold everything from your phone, to an external battery pack, to necessary dongles, to a wireless charging pad. Extra storage space is always appreciated, and in this case, it allows you to carry everything you need to use with your laptop right alongside it.
If you have multiple laptops, or plan on upgrading soon, this 13-inch laptop sleeve is the right choice. It’s big enough to fit laptops with a wide range of thicknesses, without being too heavy or bulky because of that.
Pros: This sleeve’s water-resistant outer layer, shockproof inner layer, and frontside pocket help keep your laptop safe and secure.
Cons: Not as protective as other sleeves in our guide.
2. Nacuwa Carrying Sleeve
Accidents happen, and if you’d like some extra peace of mind when they do, this is the 13-inch laptop sleeve that best suits you.
Its internal size is 13.58 inches long, 9.65 inches deep, and 0.79 inches tall, which is pretty big, but may not fit thicker gaming laptops. Its external size is 0.4 inches larger in each dimension, so it’s smaller and easier to carry than other 13-inch laptop sleeves in our guide. But the main reason to choose this one over the rest is its ultra-durable design.
This laptop sleeve has four layers: a soft-touch coating that makes it comfortable to hold, a Polyurethane layer that gives it a nice look, a heat-molded crush-proof layer that prevents your laptop from being squeezed too hard, and a shock-absorbing inner-layer to insulate your laptop if it’s dropped.
The material on the outer layers repels water, and the zipper creates a tight seal around the laptop, which prevents dust from coming in.
On the inside, this laptop sleeve has a mesh pocket to hold your laptop, and four internal pockets to hold accessories like a mouse, laptop charger, power bank, and pens. Having extra storage pockets on the inside means that your accessories benefit from the same level of protection as your laptop. On the other hand, these accessories will eat into the internal space, which may prevent larger laptops from fitting.
Pros: This sleeve’s four layer protection will keep your laptop protected from longer falls in addition to water and dust.
Cons: Internal storage pockets keep your accessories protected, but take up space space.
3. Procase Laptop Sleeve
If you need a 13-inch laptop sleeve, and want to carry it around like a briefcase, this one has you covered.
At 14 inches long, 10 inches deep, and 1.1 tall it has the most internal storage of any laptop sleeve in our guide. Its external dimensions are only 0.4 inches larger, which makes it easy to carry — more on that later.
The outside of this sleeve is made out of a water-resistant polyurethane material to keep liquid from soaking through. Its inner layer is made out of a soft material that prevents scratches, and insulates your laptop if it gets dropped.
This 13-inch laptop sleeve has a zip-up outer pocket to hold your accessories, which allows you to keep everything you need to keep your computer powered in one place. But, its standout feature is its mini handle, which you can use to hold the laptop more comfortably.
If you take your computer around a lot, you’ll appreciate not having to keep it held between your arm and body, or holding it with both your hands. The strap is extendable, so you can find the right length to fit the right length.
Pros: This 13-inch laptop sleeve has a roomy interior that can fit most laptops, an accessory pouch, and a handle that makes your computer more grab-and-go.
Cons: It doesn’t have as many layers of protection as another option in our guide.
4. Twelve South BookBook V2
Many 13-inch laptop sleeves use the word “MacBook” in the title, but this one was actually purpose built to shield Apple’s laptops.
Because it’s tailor-made for Apple’s notoriously thin and light machines, it has the least amount of internal storage: just 12.6 inches long, 9.3 inches deep, and 0.8 inches tall. It’s designed to fit a 13-inch MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air with Retina Display. If you have a 13-inch MacBook Pro from 2016 or later, or a MacBook Air from 2018 or later, you should be all set.
This 13-inch sleeve was designed to look like a book when it’s zipped up, and its leather-bound loop matches the high-class Apple aesthetic. This is a hardcover book, so it’s more protective than it might look at first glance. It has thick layers on its top and bottom, reinforced corners to prevent damage if the laptop falls at an awkward angle, and a microfiber lining that prevents your MacBook from scratches.
It doesn’t have any external or internal storage for accessories, but the microfiber layer can be lifted to reveal a slim space to hold documents. If you’re a student taking your laptop to class, or an office worker who carries around a lot of reports, you’ll appreciate this touch.
Pros: This sleeve’s design was meant to impress with its look and protective features.
Cons: It’s designed to only fit MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops.