My previously coveted brand for laptop bags was always Acme Made because they had such pretty colours and fabrics but I went to their site lately and it was mostly cases for laptops and so on. Oh well.
I’ve been using a vintage Cole Haan laptop bag I bought a few years ago from a consignment shop for $300. It was (and still is) in excellent condition in a beautiful cognac colour, and I couldn’t be happier.
My laptop bag is not padded, but it has little gold feet on the bottom and a compartment for the laptop itself, and another section for pens and so on.
It’s probably meant for me to carry with a laptop in a neoprene case of some sort so that it’s protected, but I don’t bother and I just put my work laptop in there, tout seul. It also holds a lot and expands.
A similar laptop bag to the one I own that I had found online was from TravelTeq but it was an eye-popping 545 EUR (around $581 USD):
Another brand that was recommended for chic laptop bags was Lo & Sons, but to be honest, they are rather big and bulky to be an everyday work bag.
I am also not thrilled about their customer service (or lack thereof) and their slightly mercenary attitude when it comes to dealing with customers.
It also tips over and folds awkwardly if you overstuff it or don’t put conventional items in it, like a flat laptop, flat book, etc. The bag is too big for the type / size of the handles.
For that price, you’re better off getting an all-leather bag.
If you want a super light bag that is pretty sturdy to carry about a 13″, 15″ MAX laptop in it, I highly recommend Longchamp Pliage bags.
They look flimsy and have absolutely ZERO padding but if you want the lightest bag possible that is still chic, waterproof, and able to be used outside of a conventional work setting, they’re a go-to staple for me.
Even comes in leather for the fancier version.
Just don’t set it down roughly on the ground and be careful.
It’s pretty good as a lightweight bag that will hold a laptop without snapping.
If you want a similar style to the Longchamp Pliage but in leather and something a little more structured, it doesn’t get better than this bag from Daame which has a little section made FOR the laptop, although I’m sure it isn’t padded either:
Also from Daame is another version, with a more Tote-y look to it:
Peasants and Travelers also made an interesting looking square tote but I’m pretty sure it isn’t padded properly for a laptop if you’re looking to get rough with it:
Along the lines of UNpadded laptop bags, this one is a cute purse that boasts it’s a laptop bag but is probably not padded either, from Kempton & Co:
Kempton and Co also makes a pretty cool looking diaper bag that is also a laptop bag. NOT padded I am certain but it will definitely be big enough to carry an 11″ laptop:
A bag I would NOT recommend for laptops are any kind of Lululemon bags. They look big enough and like they can handle the weight, but they really can’t.
Another brand that all businesspeople and travelers seem to rave about (myself NOT included) is TUMI.
There is something about the brand I can’t get behind. Either with how heavy their travel luggage is, or the style.. but there’s something a little off and I can’t quite figure out why I don’t love them.
Anyway, I did find this cute laptop bag, but they mostly only have black nylon bags. Yawn.
I sort of like the idea of this brand – United by Blue, and this Cameron tote is pretty cute but again, it may not be padded. Still, it looks sturdy & big enough to carry a 15″ laptop:
If you want a chic-looking backpack, Everlane makes one that looks pretty nice for $65, made out of cotton.
I also wouldn’t rule out going to Best Buy, Future Shop or Staples to look at their laptop bag offerings.
I own a green one from Tucano Milano from Best Buy and it is a fantastic, ballistic nylon laptop bag that is very light for its size and full of padded compartments.
Of course it’s not as chic or as stylish as my Cole Haan leather one, but it does the job.
Otherwise, the best way to find a chic laptop bag is to constantly keep your eyes peeled for one. I go into travel stores, I visit independent stores, artisans.. you name it. I’m always on the hunt for a nice looking bag especially one that has a zippered top and can carry a laptop to boot.