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Which 17-inch laptop backpack is bes

Working from anywhere has become common since businesses realized workers don’t need to be in the office to be productive. But to do so, you need a laptop and some accessories. 

The tools you need don’t come cheap, though, so it’s critical that you take good care of them. That is where a great laptop backpack comes in, large enough to accommodate your display size and some components. A great choice for 17-inch laptops is the SwissGear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack.  

What to know before you buy a 17-inch laptop backpack?

Check the exact dimensions

The bag’s maker might say it’s suited for a 17-inch laptop, but not everybody’s 17 inches are the same. That seems strange, but unfortunately, some manufacturers round up their measurements.

The best solution for this is to check your laptop’s exact dimensions. Remember that “17 inches” is the specification for the display, so the bezel around it could add a third of an inch. Then check the dimensions of the laptop compartment and compare them to the overall dimensions of your laptop.  

Not all are approved by the TSA

It is crucial to have locks on your laptop backpack, and some have these security features built in. But if you regularly go through airport security, the Transportation Security Administration will want to take a peek inside.

Putting it through the scanner yourself is easy, as you can quickly open the locks. But if your bag is in checked luggage, the TSA might have a problem. For that reason, approved locks let the TSA use special master keys to go through your bag without having to break it open or damage the locks. 

Comfort is the key

You must feel comfortable carrying your laptop backpack. Check that the straps have thick padding so it doesn’t cut into your shoulders, and it’s helpful if the bag has lower-back support. Some bags are designed for hefty devices, and you’ll often find a chest strap connected to the shoulder straps. This helps further with even weight distribution.

What to look for in a quality 17-inch laptop backpack

Durable fabric and fasteners

Key components for any laptop backpack are durable materials and sturdy fasteners. Most laptop bags use canvas, which is resistant to tearing, abrasions and rough handling. A good-quality bag also uses solid clips, rugged zippers and high-strength straps. 

Water-resistant for extra protection

Your bag might protect your laptop from bumps and scuffs, but you never know when you’ll be caught in the rain or snow. A good-quality laptop bag is treated with a water-resistant coating to ensure no moisture or liquids enter the compartments. But remember that unless specified, bags aren’t necessarily waterproof. It will protect your laptop in a thunderstorm but you definitely shouldn’t go swimming with it. 

Support for mobile charging 

Working remotely means you must always ensure your devices are fully charged. That can be difficult if you are running to a boarding gate or waiting to catch a taxi. An excellent solution is a laptop bag that has a dedicated space for a power bank and makes charging-cable management easy. This lets you feed a cable through the bag to your mobile phone (often in a pocket on the shoulder strap) to charge while on the move.  

How much you can expect to spend on a 17-inch laptop backpack

The average price of a laptop backpack largely depends on its manufacturer, size and additional functions. A basic laptop bag with minimal padding costs $20-$40, while a solid bag with extra pockets retails for $60-$90.

17-inch laptop backpack FAQ

Do some bags have built-in chargers?

A. Yes, some laptop bags have small solar panels on the back so you can charge a mobile device. But these aren’t really effective, as it takes a long time to charge this way. Less common are bags that have built-in power banks — but these, too, must be recharged regularly.

Is a laptop bag compatible with a Macbook?

A. Yes, as there are no bags specifically manufactured for Macbooks. As long as the dimensions are correct, a Windows-based laptop or Apple Macbook will fit inside and be protected the same. 

What’s the best 17-inch laptop backpack to buy?

Top 17-inch laptop backpack

SwissGear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack

SwissGear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack

What you need to know: This backpack has ample space for your device, a portable keyboard and a few accessories.

What you’ll love: To keep everything where it belongs, the backpack has sturdy zippers on all six compartments, a reinforced carrying handle and padded shoulder straps. It also has a convenient strap that quickly slides over telescopic handles of trolley bags or suitcases.

What you should consider: SwissGear is a top brand, but the price tag might be a bit much for some users. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top 17-inch laptop backpack for the money

Nubily Waterproof Extra Large TSA Travel and Laptop Backpack

Nubily Waterproof Extra Large TSA Travel and Laptop Backpack

What you need to know: Made from robust fabrics and sturdy zippers, this laptop backpack is large enough to accommodate laptops up to 17.3 inches. 

What you’ll love: On the side is a dedicated USB port that connects to a power bank inside. This lets you quickly charge your mobile device while keeping it safe in your pocket. The bag is approved by the TSA, as it opens flat for a quick inspection.

What you should consider: It doesn’t have a built-in power bank, so you’ll need to supply your own.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Targus Drifter II Laptop Backpack

Targus Drifter II Laptop Backpack

What you need to know: This backpack has broad shoulder straps and a reinforced handle to minimize the stress of lugging your laptop and accessories around.

What you’ll love: It has three large compartments that close via sturdy zippers, with two smaller pockets for easy access. It has two water-bottle pouches and a soft-lined pocket for sunglasses.

What you should consider: It doesn’t open flat, so getting it through airport security might be a hassle.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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