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A laptop is a major investment, not just of money, but time, safety, productivity and security. These days, our entire lives are on our laptops, from personal projects and personal information, to work assignments, games and a central communication hub.
So when it comes to carrying your laptop around, choose a bag that can stand up to guarding it inside, outside, and from potential damage on all sides. That’s where a good rolling laptop bag comes in. Plus with a rolling model, you’ll get all the benefits of protection and organization, while saving your shoulder and back from carrying a heavy bag around all day.
What Are the Best Rolling Laptop Bags?
There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for the best rolling laptop bag online. For this roundup, we looked at durability as a main factor, but also style, efficiency, materials and price too. Here’s what to know when looking for a rolling bag to safely schlep your laptop around the world.
Handle: Having a strong extendable handle is vitally important. Even though it’s a distance from the bag and your actual stuff, a cheaply made handle can snap, break, or fall apart – not something you want on a crowded commute, airport, or bustling city street.
Having screws in the handle is a good sign that it’s a solid connection, specifically something that’s steel-reinforced. A handle that not only folds down, but also has a zippered pocket to cover it, can protect your laptop from rain and general damage too.
The smaller handles on the bag itself shouldn’t be overlooked either, even if you’ll be rolling it 99% of the time. There are always those instances where you’ll need to manually pick it up, and since it’s carrying your digital life inside, make sure it’s well-stitched, durable, and can stand up to rough treatment.
Wheels: Without wheels, a rolling bag just becomes a heavy handbag, and not all wheels are created equally. Having a set that’s bolted in helps keep it tight and on-track, with less likelihood of loosening or falling off. Even in the best case though, wheels reach the end of their road eventually, but that doesn’t have to mean it’s time for a new bag. Some wheels can be replaced with new ones to extend the life of the product, and you can also upgrade if you don’t like the wheels that came with it.
Shell: Protection on the outside like plastic bumpers make for a tough exoskeleton to further guard your gear from being crushed, smooshed, and rattled around in transit. Thickness inside helps to muffle and absorb the drops and bumps from rough city sidewalks or from when you stuff it into an airplane’s overhead bin, and an outer shell adds a first defensive layer that keeps your bag in shape and intact.
Pouches: This is where bag designers can really show off their efficiency and streamlining the use of space. A large pouch for a laptop is a given, usually dead center for the benefit of the most cushioning on either side, and often with securing straps and thick dividers. But when done right, you’ll quickly find the other compartments just as handy.
A mesh zippered pouch is perfect for pens and cards, keys, and easily accessible items, with others beefy enough to hold a whole hard drive. For less sensitive items, like folders and papers, a pouch with dividers can help keep everything neat and tidy.
Zippers: Just like with your favorite hoodie or jacket, a busted zipper is a huge bummer, and can be surprisingly expensive to fix – sometimes stretching up to the cost of the item itself. While the unforeseen happens, having a well-made zipper can decrease the odds of damage.
1. Samsonite Xenon 3.0 Mobile Office
At just over three pounds, this rolling bag is perfect for a laptop and extra gear. Made from durable polyester that can take a beating, the laptop compartment is padded all over, to help absorb the bumps and shocks of all types of traveling, with cross-straps inside to help lock it all down. The retractable handle folds down and hides in a secure pocket, and the gunmetal zippers stay right on track.
The case opens 180º to lay flat, making unpacking easy when you get to the office or your hotel.
2. Solo New York
The outside of this laptop rolling bag is made from full-grain leather, ready to make an impressive first impression at meetings, and take a beating without ripping or tearing. Inside, the front pocket makes it easy to stay organized with its zip-down ability, spots for everything, and a removable divider to create even more space.
At 6.9 pounds, it’s way lighter than we expected for a leather bag, and fits flawlessly under the seat in front of you on flights.
3. SwissGear Wheeled Laptop Case
If your laptop is 15 inches or under, drop it in this secure case, strap it down, and you’re ready to go. The inner compartment is padded for extra protection, with plenty of room left over in other pouches for clothes, files, folders, toiletries, even a tablet (with a hidden compartment too).
The wheels on this rolling bag glide super-smoothly, and the outer aesthetic design is sleek and professional. Its telescoping handle folds all the way down and zips up, plus there’s a strap along the back to connect it to the handle of your larger suitcase.
At seven pounds, it’s a bit heavier than some of the others, and though the carrying handle is connected with rivets, they were made of plastic instead of the metal on some other models.
4. AmazonBasics Rolling Laptop Case
This more affordable option holds laptops up to 15.6 inches, though some users say they’ve been able to fit their 17-inch ones as well.
A front pocket is simple to access, and good for keeping small items like keys, medications, sunglasses and earbuds without needing to open the whole thing up. The push-button telescoping handle stretches to a nicely long distance as well, perfect for taller people who have had trouble dragging too-short bags behind them.
The wheels run smooth and silent on flat surfaces, and can even be replaced or upgraded to prolong the life of the bag.