Laptop Backpacks review - 09/2019

Whether in the university, in the office or on journeys - laptop backpacks are a practical companion. Because they not only provide a secure storage space for your laptop, but also for everything else you need in everyday life. We have tested 5 laptop backpacks and paid special attention to the comfort and security of the laptops. Our test winners are the Giga backpack from Deuter: This backpack offers good protection due to its water resistance, is visually very appealing and protects the back when carrying. Our favourite with the test grade 9.5/10!

last modified: 11.10.2019, 11:07
Winner Best price winner
Our winner: Deuter Giga Backpack Thule 153427 Lithos Backpack Lifeasy Sports Backpack Outdoor Herschel Little America Backpack Eastpak Austin backpack DAKINE 08130057 Campus 33l Backpack

Deuter
Giga Backpack

Thule
153427 Lithos Backpack

Lifeasy
Sports Backpack Outdoor

Herschel
Little America Backpack

Eastpak
Austin backpack

DAKINE
08130057 Campus 33l Backpack

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Back ventilation
  • Robust material
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Good partitioning of the compartments
  • Optically appealing
  • A practical cooling compartment on the side
  • Secure laptop compartment
  • Beverage bag
  • USB port
  • Laptop compartment padded with fleece
  • Small practical side pockets
  • Individual colour selection
  • Large volume
  • Simple and clearly structured
  • Closeable side pockets
  • Large capacity and plenty of storage space
  • Many small pockets
  • 2 outer beverage bags
  • Chest strap
  • No cooling compartment
  • Small space
  • No cooling compartment
  • Tubular and without the possibility to get to the centre of the things
  • Single large compartment from which only the laptop compartment is separated
  • Very uncomfortable straps
  • No padding on the straps and on the back surface
  • Unpadded back and straps
  • More suitable for tall people
  • Laptop wobbles quickly back and forth in the compartment. Moreover, it is not very padded

The Deuter backpack is a versatile, robust backpack.

A very comfortable backpack to carry, but with little space.

A very practical laptop backpack with many small details.

A comfortable to carry and well-equipped backpack, but doesn't include a better compartment separation.

A handy backpack for everyday use, but the straps are somewhat stiff and there is no padding.

A very large backpack that offers plenty of space and storage space. Particularly uncomfortable for smaller people.

Wearing comfort
Versatility
Robustness
Handling
Scope of delivery Backpack Backpack Backpack Backpack Backpack Backpack
Quality impression Very good Very good Very good Very good Good Very good
Height 50 cm 45 cm 54 cm 53 cm 43 cm 52 cm
Width 32 cm 34 cm 33 cm 30 cm 35 cm 33 cm
Depth 25 cm 20 cm 14 cm 18 cm 11 cm 20 cm
Weight 900 g 670 g 620 g 907 g 440 g 750 g
Capacity 28 l 20 l 30 l 25 l 18 l 33 l
Laptop compartment Yes, 15 inches Yes, 15 inches Yes, 15 inches Yes, 15 inches Yes, 15 inches Yes, 15 inches
Bottle holder 2 2 Yes No No 2
Small compartments and/or bags Inside: Laptop compartment and small side compartment, pencil compartments and small flat compartments ; Outside: bottle holder, flat front compartment Outside: bottle cage, small compartment; inside: Laptop and tray compartment, flat zipped compartment Outside: bottle cage, refrigerator compartment and small compartment; inside: Pen compartments and flat zipped compartment Outside: small pocket; Inside: two small, softly padded laptop compartments on the sides Outside: two side pockets; inside: Laptop compartment Outside: 3 small compartments for pens or the like; inside barely padded laptop compartment
Chest strap Yes No No No No Yes
USB-Connection No No Yes No No No
Bag clasps Smooth-running zipper Snap fasteners and zipper Snap fasteners and zipper Magnetic, tie string for tightening Drawstring and snap fastener, the outside pockets have zippers Smooth-running zipper
Handle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stability Empty: No stability; Filled: Yes, it's safe Empty: No stability, Filled: Yes, it's safe Empty: No stability; Filled: Safe depending on contents Empty: No stability; Filled: Yes, it's safe Empty: No stability; Filled: Yes, it's safe Empty: No stability; Filled: Uncertain and tips over quickly
Material Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester Polyester
Robustness of the material Very good Very good Very good Good Very good Good
Processing Good Good Good Very good Good Good
Water-repellent Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Waterproof Yes, but to be on the safe side you should take the contents out of your backpack as soon as possible. Yes, but to be on the safe side you should take the contents out of your backpack as soon as possible. Yes, but to be on the safe side you should take the contents out of your backpack as soon as possible. Yes, but to be on the safe side you should take the contents out of your backpack as soon as possible. Yes, but to be on the safe side you should take the contents out of your backpack as soon as possible. Yes, but to be on the safe side you should take the contents out of your backpack as soon as possible.
Washable No, can only be wiped off with a damp cloth No, can only be wiped off with a damp cloth No, can only be wiped off with a damp cloth No, can only be wiped off with a damp cloth No, can only be wiped off with a damp cloth No, can only be wiped off with a damp cloth
Test seal: Deuter Giga Backpack, Rating 1.4
read review
Test seal: Thule 153427 Lithos Backpack, Rating 1.45
read review
Test seal: Lifeasy Sports Backpack Outdoor, Rating 1.65
read review
Test seal: Herschel Little America Backpack, Rating 1.85
read review
Test seal: Eastpak Austin backpack, Rating 2.65
read review
Test seal: DAKINE 08130057 Campus 33l Backpack, Rating 2.95
read review
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*All prices include VAT (if applicable, extra charge for delivery. Check the particular online shop to find information about the availability. Changes of indicated prices since the last update remain reserved.

Deuter

Giga Backpack

Test seal: Deuter Giga Backpack, Rating excellent

The Deuter - Giga Backpack is very comfortable to wear despite the harder padding. This is supported by the hip belt and the chest strap, which can be locked. The laptop is well protected in its own pocket close to the back and all other items can be placed in the other compartments. The u-shaped zippers make it easy to get your hands on everything.

The material is very robust and waterproof and therefore the care is not very complicated.

read review

Deuter - Giga Backpack

Winner: read review
  • You should pay attention to the ergonomics of the straps
  • Even heavy things should be able to be transported without much effort
  • Laptop size is essential for choosing your new backpack
  • You should ask yourself if the laptop is the only thing you want to transport, or if you need to carry more
 

In the run-up to the test, we defined practical requirements and the following test criteria:

  • Wearing comfort
  • Handling
  • Laptop security
  • Sturdiness
  • Versatility

In order to evaluate these criteria, we have defined several tests for laptop backpacks. First, all compartments are checked for size and function. The backpacks are filled with 2, 5 and 8 kg in order to assess the wearing comfort at different weights. It is also checked whether the backpacks are stable when empty or fully loaded. The robustness of the backpacks is then tested. The rucksacks are then sanded over asphalt and the effect assessed. The backpacks are also tested for water resistance. Especially the density of the zippers is tested.

In further test runs, it is checked which laptop sizes fit into the backpacks. In addition, it is tested how safe the laptops in the backpack are from external influences and whether the material in the backpack protects the laptops. Finally, it will be tested to what extent the backpacks can be used for other purposes, e.g. shopping. The insulation of backpacks with cooling compartments is tested. For this purpose, a cooled bottle of water is stored in the cooling compartment and the temperature is measured after one hour.

In order to rule out errors and to ensure the stress of everyday use, each test takes place in several rounds.

The test criteria are given percentages depending on their importance. The final score is then objectively calculated from the test criteria using an algorithm.

Product selection
Our product selection is based on an observation of the current market. In addition to popular branded products, we also include insider tips in our selection. Criteria such as price and range of functions are an important factor for us. The test field is also determined by analysis and evaluation of customer reviews and external tests (e.g. Stiftung Warentest).

The devices are purchased anonymously or lent to us by the manufacturer. Dealers and manufacturers have no influence on the tests and our evaluation.

As soon as new relevant products come onto the market, our test field is extended by these. The new products go through the same test as the already tested devices.

Whether on a train, a plane or a bicycle: Notebooks are constantly transported from A to B and back again. But how do you protect your expensive computer from transport damage, the next downpour, dirt or scratches? Best with a laptop backpack. In specialized trade, online shops and also in fashion shops there is an almost infinite selection, which does not make a purchase decision easy. We'll help you find the perfect backpack for your notebook.

The most important information right at the beginning: The optics should not be the decisive criterion. Because that is what matters only in the second place. It won't comfort you if your computer is defective after a crash, but is in a nice bag. In addition, such a backpack should fulfil far more tasks than to protect the computer. After all, you will not only want to transport the computer but often also a lot of accessories and other things like purse and Co. with it. That's why functionality comes first.

Notebook sleeves, e.g. made of neoprene, are only there to protect the computer from scratches, moisture and small damages. They quickly reach their limits when falling from great heights or under heavy pressure. In addition, only the laptop can really be stowed there. It is usually impossible to store the power supply unit. You can see again and again that some owners stuff the computer as well as the power cable or the flat Bluetooth keyboard into these tight cases. In most cases, the notebooks are scratched from the outside. Notebook sleeves are only suitable for short transport routes or to protect the PC in a bag that contains other objects. But not for the hard everyday life. They also lack padding.

A backpack with a shoulder load on both sides is much healthier than a rucksack with a shoulder load on one side only
A backpack with a shoulder load on both sides is much healthier than a rucksack with a shoulder load on one side only

In addition to backpacks, there are also conventional shoulder bags. There are really well equipped and functional bags, but a shoulder bag is not as comfortable to carry as a backpack. Especially when the load becomes heavier with proper accessories, a shoulder strap on just one shoulder can be annoying or even painful. Bags can also slip off the shoulder or even fall off if you are in a hurry at the station and are bumped into. Shoulder bags usually make sense if you travel by train and bus more often and want to work there. You always have to remove a backpack before sitting down. With a bag, you can also get to the contents faster. For a short way to the office, shoulder bags are certainly an alternative. But a backpack is more comfortable, less stressful, safer, more flexible and therefore also our clear recommendation.

The glacier mummy "Ötzi" found in the Ötztal Alps in 1991 dates back to the Neolithic Age, around 3,300 BC. The site is also one of the oldest records of rucksacks: Ötzi carried a so-called "Kraxe", a carrying frame for the back, which is considered the ancestor of today's rucksacks. Already so long ago, many people appreciated the advantages of carrying objects or luggage on their backs. No wonder that Ötzi carried his belongings in a rucksack on the arduous way through the mountains. Backpacks almost do not interfere with the sequence of movements, do not restrict the freedom of the arms and you have both hands free. In addition, they are gentler on the body than bags because the transport weight is evenly distributed. From the peep-hole to the jet backpack, from the diver's bottle to the baby seat: in almost all cultures on the globe and in almost all epochs backpacks have been and are carried. Because it is the gentlest way to carry objects with you. Over the millennia, backpacks have been developed further and further and are now light, practical helpers for every day and numerous areas of use.

There are hundreds of different types of backpacks: from small daypacks to trekking bags, from tank bags for motorcycles to drinking backpacks and school packs. Each type is adapted for specific purposes and each fulfils its purpose. Also within these categories, there are different materials and designs. Some have integrated wheels and can be converted into a trolley, some are made of leather, others can be folded up and put in your trouser pocket. But you are looking for a backpack for your notebook and your special requirements. So let's start with the basic points.

Even though it might be tempting to buy a much bigger backpack than necessary because you can transport other things with it, we advise against it. Oversized bags can cause the notebook to move back and forth and be scratched or even more damaged. It should have a firm fit in the backpack, but without being too tightly stowed. Many manufacturers divide their products into inch sizes. This is a good orientation aid. But you should consider the frame thickness and the thickness of your notebook. Some backpack compartments are very flat and there isn't enough room for bulkier notebooks.

Thick padding that protects the mobile PC also affects the dimensions of the backpack. So it's no use if the backpack is small and light, but you're worried about the contents in the S-Bahn when someone pushes you against the holding bar again. The rule of thumb is: The more robust the backpack, the larger its dimensions.

Basic rule: The bigger the backpack, the more robust it is.

Of course, the size also depends on what you want to take with you. You should think carefully about what you can add to your laptop and power supply. Keyboard, mouse and hard disks should also be safe to store. Maybe you also give lectures from time to time, then it should have additional compartments and pockets to store for example the presenter stick and the video cables. It is advisable to consider all eventualities when searching. Otherwise, you may not be able to find all the stuff you sometimes have with you in your backpack.


In case you are often on the road for a few days and prefer to travel on a plane with hand luggage only, there are travel backpacks with integrated compartments for notebook and accessories. These backpacks are even available as trolleys with pull-out handles and wheels if your luggage is heavy. Such combinations are usually too big for everyday use and for short distances. In many cases, it is advisable to buy a smaller notebook backpack and stow it in a large trolley for longer journeys.

When it comes to choosing the right backpack, it makes a difference whether you only travel by car or train from time to time or by bicycle to the office every day. On a bike or scooter, a hip or chest strap is helpful to protect your luggage from slipping. After all, you don't want to find your precious freight on the road. That's why there are different equipment features for each model. If you travel a lot on foot or in warmer regions, a ventilated back section with a net makes sense to avoid sweating.

If you also like to carry things like cell phones or keys in your backpack, external compartments make sense so that you don't have to open the main compartment every time the phone rings.

For cyclists, there are also messenger bags for notebooks, which have an inclined and wide chest strap instead of two shoulder straps, so that you can get inside quickly. To do this, loosen the chest strap and simply turn the pocket over your shoulder forwards in front of your stomach. This can be very practical.


If you have a lot of accessories for the PC with you, the backpack should have enough compartments ready. Make sure that each part has its own compartment. Cable clutter and objects scratching each other are annoying. Some compartments, which are specially designed for cables, have small Velcro straps, with which you can pack the power supply unit neatly and cleanly. It is also advisable to have additional pockets for small items such as spare batteries for the Bluetooth mouse, the USB stick or a ballpoint pen.

The floor should be repellent and robust
The floor should be repellent and robust

Backpacks are not only carried on the back through the country. They are always parked much more often than you think. For example, in the crowded train, at the bus stop or at work. Especially when you pick it up again, it often drags a piece over the ground. A reinforced, resistant underside prevents the rucksack from chafing through faster than one would like. For this reason, you should also make sure that not only the side parts, but also the underside are sufficiently padded to avoid strong impacts on the notebook.

The most beautiful and cheapest backpack for your notebook is of no use to you if the carrying strap tears and the backpack then falls down the stairs. That's why you should take a good look at the workmanship. All seams should look clean and no threads should hang out. Also the workmanship and quality of the zipper is important. It should be sewn in well and the fabric at the edge should not be wavy or too big. Otherwise the zipper will "bite" and you won't get it back or forward. Large, robust zippers often cause fewer problems than small plastic zippers and are more durable. A tip: From time to time you can keep the zipper in place with a little detergent or soap.

Pay attention to strength, clean workmanship, interior and possible padding.

You should pay particular attention to the carrying straps. Some of them have to withstand high loads, so a high-quality finish is advisable. Reinforced edges, hems and a firm underside guarantee you additional long pleasure with your backpack. Everyday life can be really exhausting: From time to time you might bump into a rough wall and then it's good if the fabric doesn't get through immediately. Therefore a solid material is good for durability.
A good indicator for the quality is also often the interior. This is because savings are made every now and then, as can be seen from very thin linings and poorly processed seams. The upholstery should also feel firm and should not move between the lining and the outer material. In the best case, the upholstery is even sewn.
You should also pay attention to colour fastness when making your choice. Remember that on hot days sweat can form on the back, which then also reaches the back part. Non colourfast outer fabrics can bleed out. In the worst case your clothes will be affected.

The same applies to the material: functionality comes first. If, for example, you travel a lot by bike, it's worth purchasing a waterproof material. In this area, there are many different designs such as rubberized fabrics or membranes such as Goretex. Attention: Never confuse "water-repellent" with "waterproof"! Water-repellent fabrics can only withstand short showers or light drizzle. If you want to be on the safe side, use a waterproof material. This can usually be recognised by the indication of a water column in the product description. But rucksacks don't just keep tight because of the outer fabric - the seams should also be welded and the zipper should also be sealed. Some bags are rubberized and are sealed absolutely watertight by rolling them up and closing them with a belt buckle. Alternatively, waterproof covers for backpacks are also available from retailers. However, these never really fit exactly and only offer protection against short downpours.

The contents of the backpack should be well protected from water
The contents of the backpack should be well protected from water

For drier use, the choice of material depends on your needs and preferences. From high-tech synthetic fibres to denim and leather, there are no limits. Often it is the look and the style that decide.

The weight also depends on the material. Thick, heavy outer fabrics and some upholstery can weigh a lot. So if you walk a lot especially longer distances, a backpack made of lightweight materials can make things easier.

The carrying straps should fit ergonomically and be sufficiently padded. On longer journeys, belts that do not fit well or belts that are too sharp-edged can cause problems with the shoulders. The straps should also be flexibly adjustable and adaptable to your physique, whether you are 1.65 or 2.15 metres tall. Backpacks that hang too low press in the back, backpacks that sit too high strain the shoulders and neck.

You should also pay attention to a good fit. Especially the back part is important. The backpack should fit snugly and not press on the shoulder blades or the spine. This can be painful, especially during long marches.

Carrying should be comfortable when you have to walk longer distances
Carrying should be comfortable when you have to walk longer distances

The carrying strap on top of the backpack is also often underestimated. You need it more often than you think, and always when the rucksack is quickly moved. For example, on the train, when a passenger joins you and you have to take the backpack off your seat, or when you pull your luggage out of the box on the plane after landing. That's why this loop should also be robust and well sewn so that it doesn't tear.

A rubberized, stiffened underside can also be advantageous, if necessary also with small feet. Then the backpack won't tip over immediately if you have to put it down for a moment.

If you decide on a large combination backpack in which you also carry many other things such as clothing or heavy equipment, a hip belt is very helpful. With such models, the sometimes high weight is distributed equally between the shoulders, back and hips.
The opening should also not be underestimated. This should be as large as possible. In the best case, the zipper goes through from top to bottom to be able to open the backpack correctly. If the openings are too small, everything has to be pulled out at the top and the cables can suffer.

For some time now there have also been special backpacks that make it possible to charge the notebook or tablet using an integrated power bank (mobile battery). Depending on the model and the computer, it can also be used to charge the notebook or at least extend the battery life. This is a great feature especially if you want to work a lot on buses and trains without sockets. But not every laptop can be powered with it. Some systems charge via USB output, others have DC converters. You should also pay attention to which power supply your computer needs and whether it fits the power bank. In addition, a notebook needs much more power than a smartphone or tablet, so the power bank should have a lot of capacity to help you.

With a USB adapter you can easily charge your mobile phone from the outside of your backpack
With a USB adapter you can easily charge your mobile phone from the outside of your backpack

There are also backpacks with a solar panel attached to the flap. This is especially worthwhile for outdoor enthusiasts. If there is enough sun, a solar mat can extend the working time of the battery by a good deal. But you also need the right PC model. Neither a power bench nor a solar mat is sufficient for a powerful gaming notebook. Small netbooks or convertible tablets are more suitable for this.

Both USB battery and foldable solar panels are of course also available individually. You can also take a Powerbank with you in your backpack. Solar mats can be attached to the backpack with rubber bands. This is usually the cheaper option. A tip: If you have both, you can always use the solar panel to store electricity in the Powerbank when the sun is shining.

Conclusion

As you can see, the variety of laptop backpacks is very large. But fortunately, it is limited by personal needs and requirements to a clearer selection. And finally, it's the style that suits you best. We can promise you one thing: There are perfect models for every user and every notebook.

How do we test at askgeorge.com?

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Each test is preceded by an extensive search:

  • Which suppliers are on the market?
  • What current products are there?
  • What are the comparison criteria?
  • What tests are we going to run?
  • What is the test procedure?

When everything's settled, we'll bring the devices to us. For each product the test procedure, the measured values and product properties are documented in detail. We create photos and videos. We evaluate the results for you, summarize everything in a test report and calculate the test grade.

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