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12 laptop backpacks that are perfect for commuting, school and travel

Upgrade your backpack with a style that's both cute and functional.
Kara Birnbaum / TODAY

Even as adults, back-to-school season feels like a solid time to refresh your routine (or create an entirely new one if summer destroyed it). While there's less of a need for new notebooks or crayons at this age, there are things we use all year long, like backpacks to carry our work necessities.

There are no shortage of backpacks on the market, so we decided to round up a few of our favorites and more options to consider that are good for not just for commuting, but also for school and travel.

Best laptop backpacks, according to editors

Open Story Signature Commuter Backpack

Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 6 inches | Capacity: 19L | Fits laptops up to: 15 inches | Trolley sleeve? Yes | Colorways: Four

This backpack is one of my favorites for its ability to fit an astounding amount of things. I've used it for work and travel as a personal item (FYI: it's perfect for overpackers like me). For work, I can fit my laptop, headphones, bulky wallet, planners, reading book and other essentials. For traveling, I was even able to fit an entire blanket in there alongside those items.

Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack

Dimensions: 18 x 12.25 x 6.5 inches | Capacity: 24L | Fits laptops up to: 16 inches | Trolley sleeve? No | Colorways: 14

The boyfriend of senior SEO editor Jess Bender recently switched over to this backpack and describes it as "deceptively roomy," praising how much it can hold despite its size. Other useful features include padded shoulder straps (which he also says are comfortable), an expandable water bottle pocket and a side storage sleeve for easy access to essentials.

Baggallini Soho Backpack

Dimensions: 11 x 15 x 6 inches | Capacity: ~16.2L | Fits laptops up to: 16 inches | Trolley sleeve? Yes | Colorways: Nine

Both Bender and myself are fans of this backpack, as well. Don't be fooled by its small size; it holds an impressive amount of stuff. "After commuting to various jobs for over a decade, I can wholeheartedly say that my Soho backpack is the most comfortable work bag option I’ve tried out," Bender says.

"For its size, it’s surprisingly spacious thanks to several interior and exterior pockets — I’m able to comfortably fit all of my daily necessities (laptop, keys, sunglasses, a buffet of lip glosses, snacks, emergency umbrella, various tote bags, etc.) and still have room to spare."

Away F.A.R Backpack 26L

Dimensions: 19 x 12.6 x 7.7 inches | Capacity: 26L | Fits laptops up to: 15 inches | Trolley sleeve? Yes | Colorways: Three

Associate editor Emma Stessman says that while this one is "not technically a laptop backpack," it's become her go-to for both work and travel. "It's super roomy so I can fit my laptop, gym clothes and anything else I need for the day," she says. "There are two spots you can keep your laptop — in the sleeve in the main compartment or a hidden back zippered pocket. Plus, it has a bunch of other pockets so it's easy to keep everything organized."

Herschel Supply Co. Little America Backpack

Dimensions: 19 x 11.25 x 7 inches | Capacity: 30L | Fits laptops up to: 16 inches | Trolley sleeve? No | Colorways: 22

This backpack was a personal favorite of mine after my mom gifted it to me when I got my first "big girl job" out of college. I had a long commute (2+ hours most days) and needed a bag that would hold everything I could possibly need. This was the perfect pick and is still a favorite for commuting and traveling to this day. It even fits under the seat on most planes so it counts as your personal item instead of a carry-on.

Caraa Stratus Backpack

Dimensions: 17 x 12 x 5 inches | Capacity: 16.7L | Fits laptops up to: 15 inches | Trolley sleeve? Yes | Colorways: Two

This isn't the first time assistant partnerships editor Lauren Witonsky has raved about this backpack and it won't be the last. She praises its ability to fit everything she needs and more including several outfits, shoes, a makeup back, toiletries, her laptop and even a water bottle. With 15 total pockets and compartments, you won't be left wanting for storage.

Troubadour Ki Backpack

Dimensions: 10.5 x 15.3 x 3.9 inches | Capacity: 10L | Fits laptops up to: 16 inches | Trolley sleeve? Yes | Colorways: Four

While this laptop is definitely more of a splurge pick, it's also a favorite of several members of the team, including SEO writer Jannely Espinal.

"The Troubador is the best backpack I’ve tried in my life as a professional commuting in NYC. It’s slim, chic and light," she raves. "What I love the most about this laptop backpack is the numerous compartments — from the front, the hidden pocket on the back and the inside big slots on the interior."

More laptop backpacks

Matein Travel Laptop Backpack

Dimensions: 12 x 18 x 7.8 inches | Capacity: 30L | Fits laptops up to: 15.6 inches | Trolley sleeve? Yes | Colorways: 25

A No. 1 bestseller on Amazon with more than 71,000 verified five-star ratings, this backpack is praised by reviewers for its versatility and sturdiness. It even has a built-in USB charger so you can keep your devices fueled on the go.

JanSport Central Adaptive Backpack

Dimensions: 16 x 13 x 6 inches | Capacity: 21L | Fits laptops up to: 15 inches | Trolley sleeve: No | Colorways: Four

This backpack comes equipped with two side pockets, a utility pocket in the front with a built-in organizer and adjustable straps for different kinds of mobility devices, all in addition to the laptop sleeve.

"It looks very spiffy on the back of my wheelchair (I got the tie-dye pattern; it’s beautiful)," raved one five-star reviewer. "It’s making my work days easier by letting me keep all the materials I need handy and easy to get to."

Aer Go Pack 2

Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 5.5 inches | Capacity: 20L | Fits laptops up to: 16 inches | Trolley sleeve? Yes | Colorways: Three

Whether you're taking a day trip somewhere, heading to work or just rushing to class, this laptop has space for all of the essentials and then some. It has several compartments that are easily accessible, including a zippered pocket at the top that's perfect for keys and cell phones. Plus, it's designed to pack flat so you can throw it in your suitcase without taking up too much valuable space.

Vera Bradley ReActive Campus Totepack

Dimensions: 12 x 16 x 6.5 inches | Capacity: 25L | Fits laptops up to: 14.75 inches | Trolley sleeve? Yes | Colorways: Four

For the days a traditional backpack doesn't match your look, this "totepack" is an ideal solution. In addition to the standard backpack straps, it also has two handles at the top so it can be handled like a tote bag. It has many pockets, including a hidden zippered pocket in the back.

Calpak Kaya Laptop Backpack

Dimensions: 15.5 x 11.5 x 4.5 inches | Capacity: 15L | Fits laptops up to: 15 inches | Trolley sleeve? Yes | Colorways: 21

You've probably seen this popular backpack everywhere from the streets to the airport. A popular pick from the brand, it has a designated zippered back pocket for your laptop and several additional compartments. "It looks so mature and professional, keeps me organized and I have received several compliments," raved one five-star reviewer.

During the brand's back-to-school sale, you can score 10% off with code BACKTOIT, making this backpack just under $125.