How do you select a business laptop bag?

Working from home, on the road, sitting at a different desk in the office every day. One of the consequences of flexworking is that you have to switch workstations frequently. Whenever you do, you have to bring your keyboard, mouse, laptop stand and laptop with you. That makes having a good laptop bag essential. It is like stuffing your desk in a bag, so you can work with an ergonomically correct posture wherever you are.
How do you select a business laptop bag?
Why is a good bag so important?
A laptop can weigh anywhere from 1.5-4 kilos. A bag with a laptop and accessories such as a mouse, an external keyboard, papers and a wallet can easily weigh 4-6 kilos. A laptop backpack offers many benefits compared to laptop bags with a shoulder strap. For example, your posture will be better (since the bag rests on both shoulders, instead of only one) and your muscle tension is distributed more evenly between the left and right sides of your body.

Regardless of whether you use a backpack or a shoulder bag, health experts say that the maximum distance you should cover with a bag that weighs 4-6 kilos is just 90 metres (Mital et al., 1993). For longer distances, they recommend using a trolley to reduce the strain on your body and in particular your back.

How is the bag used?
Before you can choose between a shoulder bag (sleeve), trolley or backpack, you must first ask yourself what you will use the bag for most. Do you often walk longer distances with the bag, e.g. because you use public transport a lot, or do you only have to cover the short distance between your car and your workstation? Perhaps you prefer to take your bike to work? This is important information that helps you determine the right kind of laptop bag for your needs.

A laptop backpack or sleeve, for example, is great for use on public transport. However, because of the strain it puts on your back, it is less suitable if you have to cover long distances on foot. Although a trolley is less suitable if you have to go up or down many flights of stairs, it is ideal for walking longer distances or business trips. Lastly, if you often find yourself working on the road at places where you may not have access to a table, e.g. a hotel lobby, an ergonomic laptop bag that lets you work out of the bag itself - might be perfect for you.
Laptop backpack
A laptop backpack is a backpack with a special compartment in which you can store your laptop.
  • A backpack protects your laptop against damage and dirt.
  • A backpack has multiple compartments for your computer accessories.
  • Because of the shoulder straps, a backpack is ideal if you have to walk, cycle or use public transport. The weight is evenly distributed across both shoulders.
Laptop sleeve
A sleeve is a protective cover that fits around your laptop.
  • A sleeve protects your laptop against damage and dirt.
  • It is ideal if you want to protect your laptop without having to lug around a big backpack.
  • If you prefer to use a bag instead, our sleeves come with a detachable shoulder strap that you can easily store.
  • There is not a lot of room for accessories.
Laptop trolley
A laptop trolley is an efficient combination of a laptop bag and a travel trolley. It is perfect for people who spend a lot of their time on the road.
  • Your laptop is well protected during travel and you have plenty of space to safely store your documents without any risk of damage.
  • It is ideal if you (frequently) have to walk longer distances.
  • You do not have to carry a heavy bag on your back.

If you are travelling by plane, you can easily bring your laptop trolley with you as carry-on luggage. This is ideal if you want to get some work done in the air. Note: always check with your airline company before departure to make sure your laptop trolley does not exceed the maximum dimensions of carry-on luggage.
How to determine the size of the laptop compartment?
Once you've decided what kind of laptop bag you want, it is important to make sure that your laptop fits inside nicely. Your bag should not be too big, because that will allow your laptop to move around and increase the risk of damage. Of course, it shouldn't be too small either. Before buying a laptop bag, it is important to consider the size of the laptop compartment. This size is (usually) written in inches.
After calculating the size of your laptop, you have to make sure that your laptop will actually fit inside the laptop bag. To do so, it is helpful to know the size of your display in inches as well as the full length, width and depth of the laptop itself.

How many inches is my laptop screen?
If you do not know the size of your laptop, you can easily measure it with a tape measure. Make sure to measure diagonally, as shown in the image. Next, you convert the number of centimetres into the corresponding number of inches. There are myriad tools online that can perform this calculation for you.
If your display measures between 35.8 and 39.6 centimetres, that means you have a 15- to 15.6-inch laptop. You should therefore look for a laptop bag for laptops up to 15.6 inches in size.
Note: some laptops have a broad edge around their display. If your laptop has this too, you should include it in your measurement. Because of this edge, your 15-inch laptop might not actually fit inside a 15-inch bag. It is therefore advisable to pick a larger bag.
To choose the right laptop bag, you must first answer a few questions:
  1. How do you travel? By public transport, car, bike or on foot?
  2. Do you encounter many flights of stairs along the way and how long is the distance you have to cover on foot?
  3. What do you want to store in your bag? Just your laptop and a few accessories or documents as well? In other words, how important is it to have additional storage space?

Lastly, you want a bag that looks nice. It comes down to picking a bag that offers the functionality you need, is suitable for the type of transport you use and the distances you have to cover on foot and looks good to boot.
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