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While laptops are made to be portable, without a decent case or laptop sleeve, you risk damaging your relatively delicate — and expensive — equipment.
So when you’re shopping for the best laptop sleeve, you want something that’s roomy enough to fit your laptop, but snug enough to keep it secure without too much shifting.
Even if you’re carrying your laptop in a backpack, using a laptop sleeve adds extra protection not only from accidental drops, but from getting scratched up by the other items in your bag, too.
What Should You Look for in a Good Laptop Sleeve?
Once you’ve determined the right shape and size sleeve you’ll need for your model of computer, you may be surprised by the wide range and variety of options available. Here’s what you should look for.
Water Resistance: Whether due to an improperly secured water bottle in your work bag, or a spilled cup of coffee, liquid damage is definitely a top-tier risk factor when it comes to preserving your laptop. It’s essential your laptop case includes some form of waterproofing or water-resistant coating.
Padding: Shock-proof padding can help prevent damage if you accidentally drop your device or something happens to fall on top of it.
Design and Capacity: A few nice-to-have but non-essential features of a good laptop sleeve include additional pockets and zippers for other things, such as loose papers or notebooks. A bonus if it comes with a handle for days where you just need to take your computer to go and don’t need the full backpack or bag.
What Are the Best Laptop Sleeve Cases?
1. Jetech Laptop Sleeve
Jetech’s Laptop Sleeve is the perfect basic case for any 13.3-inch laptop.
The sleeve’s key feature is its “splashproof” outer layer, which will protect your computer from accidental spills that happen inside your bag. Its other standout design feature is its front zippered pocket, which is large enough to hold all of your charging accessories in one place.
Jetech says its sleeve has two foam and cushioning layers that provide enough protection to prevent your laptop from taking damage when it’s dropped. It may not have any fancy features, but Jetech’s Laptop Sleeve is an excellent choice if you don’t feel comfortable leaving your computer in a backpack compartment.
If you’re uncomfortable with your laptop being left in a backpack compartment unprotected, Jetech’s Laptop Sleeve is the right case to use.
2. Incase Facet Sleeve
If you’re at all concerned about the environment, Incase’s Facet Sleeve is an eco-friendly laptop case for laptops up to 16 inches.
Its cushioned inner layers are wrapped in recycled twill, which is naturally water resistant and soft to the touch. Instead of having a single outer compartment, the Facet Sleeve has a pair of pockets on the inside. These pockets can keep your most important accessories just as safe as your laptop.
Incase highlights this case’s form-fitting design, which makes it easy to fit in a backpack’s laptop compartment, and lighter to carry overall. If you’ve traditionally avoided using laptop cases because of their bulk, this is the clear choice.
Note: The laptop sleeve above is designed for 13.3-inch laptops, but Incase’s Facet Sleeve is available for 16-inch laptops for the same price.
3. Nomad Leather Sleeve
Nomad’s Laptop Sleeve was designed specifically with Apple’s MacBook Pros in mind, and it’s the perfect premium case to compliment the high-end computer.
It’s made out of Horween leather, which is designed to patina with age instead of wear, and its clasps close (and stay closed) because of a 42 magnet array positioned at its opening. The magnets have enough force to keep the sleeve closed, but not enough to make it difficult to open.
Our favorite little touch is the cutout on the upper-right hand side of this sleeve, which leaves the MacBook Pro’s Thunderbolt ports exposed. This allows you to charge your laptop while it’s protected in its sleeve, which is especially useful if you’re charging the laptop using a power bank in a backpack.
4. BookBook for MacBook
Twelve South’s BookBook is another laptop sleeve specifically designed for Apple’s MacBook line, and it has a totally unique design.
When it’s zipped up ,the BookBook looks like, well, a classic, leather-bound book. This gives your laptop an incredibly classy look when it’s tucked away. When it’s open the BookBook, can be continue to provide protection with your laptop thanks to a built-in suspension system that prevents it from closing. You can always take your MacBook fully out of its sleeve, but it’s nice to have the option to keep it protected at all times.
It doesn’t have an accessory pocket, but it does have a hidden space between its bottom layers to keep documents out of sight. Its sleeve design alone makes the BookBook easy to recommend, but its special touches put it over the top, and make it an excellent choice for MacBook owners.
5. Amazon Basics Laptop Computer and Tablet Shoulder Bag
Amazon Basics’ Laptop Shoulder Bag is an excellent choice for commuters, students, or travelers who don’t like backpacks or messenger bags.
It can hold laptops with screens up to 15.6-inches wide, and has a pair of wide front pockets large enough to hold tablet, notebooks, chargers, and anything else you may need. Amazon says the bag’s shoulder strap has ample padding, which makes it easier to carry. The laptop bag also has a pair of handles, so you can carry your laptop and other technology like a briefcase.
It’s larger and bulkier than the other sleeves and cases we’re recommending, but Amazon Basics Laptop Shoulder Bag is a great pick. If you’d like complete protection for your laptop, and want it to be easier to carry around with you, this is the bag we recommend.