back to article Carry On Computing: Ten stylish laptop bags for him

If you’ve been promising yourself a new laptop holdall for ages, why not use this Bank Holiday weekend to get yourself, as the saying goes, a brand new bag? We’ll be looking bags for women tomorrow, so everyone can get kitted out with something chic, but first the swanky stuff for men. It’s not all about eye candy, though, as …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    meanwhile ... Crumpler

  2. chivo243 Silver badge

    stylish and him?

    This is El Reg, is it not? How can these words work in the same sentence? Must be a slow news day.

    That's my coat, not too stylish.

  3. The Mighty Spang

    look at the back shot of the Fossil Estate

    see how the insides squirt out from underneath the flap and let water in? i'm not sticking my laptop in that.

    first thing to look at.. if the bag is lightly loaded does its flaps stick out? I've been absolutely drenched before on my 1 mile bike ride home, so I would not buy that bag.

    you can see on the barbour little bits at the top that protect that from happening.

    The boxford looks like a crap ripoff of a Billingham bag. Although not actual 'laptop bags' (designed for professional cameramen) - you can buy matching laptop slips to go inside them and Billingham bags are pretty much bomb proof, I've had mine for years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: look at the back shot of the Fossil Estate

      You're a MAMIL aren't you? No other sub-culture could get so worked up about a frickin' back pack.

  4. Zog_but_not_the_first

    Stylish, moi?


    My approach to buying a laptop bag is best summed up by a colleague's comment, "I've seen better looking bags thrown in a skip".

    If you're looking to pose walking from the car park to the office, fine. If you're travelling internationally, especially if that includes some dodgier areas, your bag should look like the last thing anyone would want to nick.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stylish, moi?

      I once had to walk through a very dodgy area to do some work. Where did I put my laptop? Aldi carrier bag.

      Job done....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yikes, Reg goes Metrosexual !

    Tatty geek and proud.

  6. PghMike

    and then you get on the plane

    And you discover you don't have enough room to open the laptop.

  7. Sammy Smalls

    look great but....

    ....only a rucksack is versatile enough for a one bag option. As soon as you put any weight in a man-bag it either slips from your shoulder or garrottes you (depending on how you wear it).

    Not forgetting of course, that you cant use a man-bag to barge tourists out of the way on the tube.

    1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: look great but....

      Agreed. Not to mention, too much weight on one side induces back strain. If, like me, you have a substantial laptop, rather than a salesman posing toy, this is an issue.

      Backpack is my weapon of choice on the underground too!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > Backpack is my weapon of choice on the underground too!

        Careful what you say, sir

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: > Backpack is my weapon of choice on the underground too!


          +1 for you sir, had too take a triple read, very subtle, but very funny.

  8. Tromos

    Laptop included?

    Should be at the price some of these come in at.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Laptop included?

      Indeed. In fact, at those prices, I'd be looking for a bag to put the bag in to protect it...

    2. Cliff

      Re: Laptop included?

      Quite - I thought £159 was taking the piss until £245 came up.

      Why so expensive? Actually, seriously, as a question. Fabric cost is maybe a few quid, retail. Stitching - seeing as Primark can make a profit on a jean jacket for a tenner, I'm not convinced that's the premium item.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Laptop included, aka Why so expensive?

        see "why do the dogs lick their nether regions" question for the response. WTF indeed. While I'm sure there's a healthy market for these products, I thought they'd be distinctly incompatible with the register target audience. Was it tongue-in-cheeck piss-taking? (I'm not sure I'd want to see that! :)

  9. jason 7

    The Targus CDB1-001 - Best Laptop bag ever!

    Had one since 1999 and just switched over to a new one (old but unused) I bought on Ebay two years ago. Pockets galore, enough space for a change of clothes and just works as a great all round bag. Mine went all over the world in the 15 years I used it.

    I was so smitten with it I still haven't thrown my old one away (the main zip finally broke) as I had so many adventures with it. Sentimental? I guess so but it was a trusty travel and work companion for so many years.

    I'll have to buy up another good example on Ebay soon just in case.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: The Targus CDB1-001 - Best Laptop bag ever!

      "the main zip finally broke"

      Those old Targus bags used to come with a 'lifetime' guarantee, suggest you drop Targus a line...

      1. jason 7

        Re: The Targus CDB1-001 - Best Laptop bag ever!

        Ah well you see we used to buy a lot of Targus bags back in the day at our firm and bits would fall off them and break . So we used to contact them about the Lifetime guarantee.

        Turns out its nothing of the sort. Targus just tells you to FO. You see they put the handy word 'limited' in front of the lifetime warranty part.

        We had a time when we bought a load of satchel style bags from them. The main buckles would break off after just a few months. Targus refused to replace any of them.

  10. Snark

    Ouch... those prices

    Those prices are pretty amazing, do they carry it for you too?

    I've had one of the 7dayshop laptop + SLR backpacks for a couple of years now. Pockets out of it's gazoo, easily fits a 15inch laptop and fits my DSLR and 3 lenses with no effort. You can take out the SLR pouch if you want extra space, has a rain cover and waist straps as well as nice comfy padding down the back and over the shoulders. This has been across the pond multiple times with me tucking under the seat in front, all for less than £30.

    Only problem is if they stop you at security and ask you to unload it and they look in shock as more and more and more stuff comes out of it.

  11. Slacker@work

    Isn't it in the book of revelations....

    "And lo there shall come a techie and you will know him by his Wenger Swissgear...."

  12. Andrew van der Stock

    Where is Tom Bihn or Crumpler?

    I can't believe that any article like this doesn't have at least one of those two brands. I have the Tom Bihn Airport Flyer, and it's the best laptop bag full stop end of story. My Crumpler messenger bag, which looks a lot better than all of these bags, is no match for the Tom Bihn or the incredible comfy strap. They don't sell the Airport Flyer any more, so it's eBay for a replacement if my current one dies.

    1. skeptical i
      Thumb Up

      Re: Where is Tom Bihn or Crumpler?

      Tom Bihn -- hear, hear! I bought a TB backpack (sorry, don't remember the model name) in, ahhh, 2001 and I still use it almost daily. More for schlepping groceries (it'll hold eight shelf-stable quart containers plus some extra, depending on how the goods are arranged) on my bike now than computer gear, but it's darn handy for flying since it fits under airplane seats yet holds enough clothes/stuff for any trips I take anymore. Zippers are starting to go, but I guess after more than a dozen years of not-delicate almost-daily use it's entitled.

  13. keithpeter Silver badge


    ManhattanPortage messenger bag (waxed cotton) plus a laptop sleeve. The money left over can get you a cheap weekend in Prague.

    My messenger bag has 6+ years on the clock

  14. Dr_N Silver badge


    No Victorinox? I bought one in the US over 10 years ago.

    The expansion zip gave out last year: I set it for repair, but they called me up to say it was not repairable. So they sent me a brand new one gratis. That should last another 10 years.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all about practicality for me

    And I've found no single bag that fits all trips. Cameras and lenses never fit well will with a business laptop, so I'm happy if the bag can take a small camera with a pancake lens attached. Anything else is a bonus. In tnat respect, that Samsung looks good, as does the Booq. Thinking of my workplace, I can't imagine anyone being impressed with the posh bags or their prices (it's all a little too grounded, which is why I like it).

  16. Lee D

    Man bag.

    They all look like man-bags, except the last.

    I have held on to rucksack-style laptop bags. They're the only way to go. The one I have is padded enough to protect without being heavy at all. Space for a decent 17" screen and more, plus all the bits I could carry. It has headphone-out ports so you can pull out some headphones and listen to your mp3 player / laptop even in the rain. It carries comfortably on one shoulder, but I prefer two. It has the heftiest handle on the top for if you're carrying around.

    It was cheap, nothing like the £70 and £150's of the article, more like £20. It's been abroad on any number of planes, through security any number of times (sometimes stopped just because of the SHEER number of cables, batteries and bits inside it that even with the laptop removed, it looks like a bunch of cables and blocks on the X-ray... usually taking it, unzipping it, and pulling out the mass of cables from the pocket will prove that I'm a geek not a terrorist in seconds. It's protected two different laptop over several years, and they always survive the journey whether by hand, car or plane even with a BUNCH of peripherals shoved in so much that the zip is straining.

    I would hazard that if you attempted to just pull it off my back and run off you and I would end up in a tug-of-war and the rucksack / laptop would be pretty much unharmed whatever the outcome.

    And it looks like a rucksack anyway, so I have walked through London with it quite happily.

    Go on Amazon, look for "laptop rucksack" and a model that's not immediately associated with expensive hardware (or doesn't have logos visible).

    Not these over-priced man-bags.

  17. The Mighty Spang


    went to their site... wow. lots of skanky looking nylon bags, some in ridiculously bright colours. May as well buy crumpler! though if you did you would want to hack off their terrible 90s rave logo if you don't want people to know you are a pauper.

    say one thing for the crumpler site though, at least it isnt chock full of weird looking gimps like the ManhattanPortage site.

    1. keithpeter Silver badge

      Re: ManhattanPortage..

      @ The Mighty Spang

      Aghhhhhh they've changed.

      Mmine was Sanfordised cotton and cost around £50 which I thought was a lot for a bag. I've had it since 2008. Going strong. Just get a sleeve for devices (I use a little muji zipped one that has pockets for pens and notebooks on the outside, something like £12) .

  18. Camilla Smythe

    Just to add to other comments

    How Fucking Much!!1!!?

    I got my no name 'flight bag' for £15 and would be glad to go 'handbag to handbag' with anyone who thought the stuff you have chosen for this review was worth the money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just to add to other comments

      £15 is about what my ex-Austrian army backpack cost about a decade ago and it's still going strong.

  19. Craig Vaughton

    No SF Bags?

    Expensive with the International carriage, (customs duty wasn't bad, it was the glorious Royal Mail who single handedly virtually doubled the price!), but I'd have another bag from Waterfield Designs /SF Bags any day.

  20. Fink-Nottle

    Don't panic ...

    Since I was a schoolboy I've always used MKV / MKVII gas mask bags to carry my stuff. Indeed, I'm currently using a MKV lined with a few foam offcuts to tote my laptop around.

    It used to be that the genuine article could be had for a few pence from Army Surplus. These days replicas are available that lack the patina of grime and musty smell that added to the romance of the originals, but are just as serviceable.

  21. hoverboy

    Ask anyone who expects to be on a flight on any given work week...

    ...and he will tell you that there is only one brand that makes the cut: Tumi. They're expensive and pig-ugly, but after getting through a Samsonite carry-on every year I splashed out on a Tumi at five times the price. It's still good as new after ten years. You can write Tumis into your will.

  22. 45RPM Silver badge

    My last bag was Ally Capellino. It looked great - but it was flimsy as hell and wore out within a couple of years. It's been replaced by a bag from a brand so forgettable that I've forgotten what it is. Point is, the replacement is far cheaper - and seems to be wearing far better.

    You pays yer money - but doesn't necessarily gets yer quality.

  23. Kirk Northrop

    I'm amazed Timbuk2 wasn't represented too - I've had mine for three years now, and aside from the rubber coating on zipper tag I use the most becoming a bit worn, it looks good as new and holds loads!

  24. severs1966

    Timbuk 2

    No mention of Timbuk2 ?

    Shame on you. They make great messenger bags with laptop slots (mine never leaves my side), and also more dedicated laptop bags that fit the "this is my briefcase but it has a sling on it" mould.

    They also make lots of other luggage, which may or may not also be excellent.

    1. Kirk Northrop

      Re: Timbuk 2

      From experience, their luggage is less awesome than their messenger bags - I assume because they change the range constantly and only seem to do one production run of each, all the little niggles don't get resolved.

  25. 尼尔

    Calvary twill? That's a new one. Won't sell to the PBI.

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. nsld

    no timbuk2?

    Had mine sInce 1996 and still going strong and as a courier bag you can get loads loads of kit in and still ride a bike with it.

    For air travel my targus has been going almost as long.

    Neither has that cutting edge trendy look of the ones in the article but when was the last time you heard someone say they get laid thanks to a 200 quid man bag?

  28. recovering grinch

    A bit non-fash these. Check these out:

    Your average Googlista would sniff at these, except possibly the Ally Capelino.

    Check out this:

    or this:

    or for the decidedly fashion (and wallet) forward:

  29. Aoyagi Aichou


    That's a nice selection. And I thought I had won everything when I had a "Targus Commuter" transported from Canada to Europe.

  30. Zane

    So much...

    (money) for the stylish. Now can be also get a list of bags that are useful + nice?


  31. Captain Mainwaring

    Bag within a bag

    Been carrying in a laptop to work everyday now for the past 16 years and tried just about every combination of carrybags there are available on the market. The best solution I think is to purchase a well padded laptop sleeve in the matching size and place that in the briefcase or whatever external carry bag you use for work. Although it significantly increases the weight of the bag, if it should be dropped or occasionally rain soaked, the laptop seems to get away unscathed. The padded sleeves seem to be very reasonably priced as well, certainly on Amazon a good quality item can be purchased for under 20 pounds, a far cry from some of the laptop holder bags being reviewed that are coming in at over a hundred quid!

    I do drive to and from work, so I don't have to carry the bag for more than a few minutes at a time, but for people who commute on a train for hours on end, perhaps a separate laptop bag may be the best solution.

  32. Shane Sturrock

    Soft bags? Really?

    Having had multiple laptops crushed due to soft bags like these I bought a hard case 12 years back and it has protected various laptops since then very nicely. Every company I've worked for has issued these nasty soft bags and you end up stuffing all your cables and chargers in there along with the laptop and inevitably end up with it getting dents or cracks depending on the material. A hard case is where it is at.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm surprised nobody else picked up on this: "...but in my mind too many typically means it’s the last pocket you check that contains what you’re looking for." It's always in the last pocket I check, because I stop checking then!

    Like many of the other much?! Work tools should look smart, but if they still look brand new you don't use them for a living. At those prices I would be paranoid about scuffing the bag!

    My two bags are both well over 10 years old and were about £30 each. A Targus backpack for up to 15" and whatever junk I need (stuffed it with spanners, cutters and soldering equipment on more than one occasion). The other is a slightly smarter looking leather briefcase with padding for 17" and a shoulder strap. I've had to repair the briefcase as the latch slides on the front broke off, but a few minutes with an M3 tap and some HP drive mounting bolts (japanned, slotted Torx head) has restored it to full functionality.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No TUMI?

    Stands for Too Much Income...

  35. Alan Edwards

    Some of those cost nearly as much as my laptop, a 2nd hand Lenovo T410.

    The first one is *really* similar to the case I got from Aldi for £15, except mine is fake leather and has more zips and compartments. It may not last as long, but I can trash 5 of them and still come out ahead.

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