Which leather laptop backpack is best?
Keeping your laptop safe from bumps, drops and water is critical if you want it to last a long time. There are plenty of fabric backpacks to choose from, but none of them can ever match up to the stylish looks of a solid leather backpack.
Skilled artisans usually mentor for several years before they master the craft, which makes every leather product unique. However, if you want to take the hassle out of comparing bags, the Kenneth Cole Reaction Manhattan 16-Inch Laptop Backpack is an excellent choice.
What to know before you buy a leather laptop backpack
Authentic leather vs. synthetic leather
Especially when buying a backpack, take note of the material used. Authentic leather is made from animal hide and goes through several processes to achieve the desired look, texture and quality. On the other hand, synthetic leather is commonly made from polyvinyl chloride or polyurethane, which are plastic-based. It has a similar texture to real leather but is less durable and more affordable. It is also sometimes called vegan leather.
The quality of the leather
Leather comes in different qualities, depending on the manufacturing process.
- Full-grain leather: the highest quality, with the smoothest surface and only a few imperfections.
- Top-grain leather: the most common and the second-highest quality. It is thinner and more pliable.
- Genuine leather: the lowest-quality leather, often the leftover parts after the high-quality products are made.
Choose the correct size
An important consideration when looking for a laptop backpack is to ensure it’s large enough. The dimensions the maker assigns aren’t the size of the entire backpack but usually just the size of the largest compartment. For example, a 16-inch laptop backpack isn’t 16 inches from top to bottom but rather the maximum size of the pocket the laptop slots into. Consider the size of your computer, and get a backpack that is large enough.
What to look for in a quality leather laptop backpack
A laptop is a valuable asset, and you should always protect it as much as possible. That’s why a good-quality leather backpack has ample padding in the laptop compartment. This prevents damage from impact shocks, drops and bumps. There should also be some padding on the shoulder straps and some added protection if there is space for a tablet or cellphone.
Comfort and adjustments
As with any backpack, comfort is important, especially if you’ll be wearing it for long durations. The padding on the shoulder straps will help immensely, but it’s much better if the straps are adjustable to suit your shoulder width. A carry handle should also have some material to prevent finger strain, and it’s an added bonus if the backpack has a trolley strap.
Many backpacks have an additional compartment in the front to store smaller items and accessories. If you regularly store credit cards or your wallet in this section, get a good-quality bag with radio frequency identification blocking. This prevents RFID readers, such as card scanners or portable payment terminals, from scanning and accessing your cards.
How much you can expect to spend on a leather laptop backpack
Genuine leather is more expensive than other materials for backpacks, and the makers are usually skilled artisans. This affects the price, as an entry-level backpack costs $80-100, while high-quality ones run $400-$500.
Leather laptop backpack FAQ
How do you care for a leather backpack?
A. A leather backpack is no different from other leather products. You should regularly clean it with a soft brush or cloth and blot away water as soon as possible. Apply a leather conditioner every three to six months to keep the leather from drying out or cracking.
Are leather backpacks waterproof?
A. Top-grain and full-grain leather are somewhat water-resistant due to their high quality, but genuine leather and synthetic leather need a water-resistant coating to keep liquids out. You can apply leather conditioner or leather wax to high-quality materials to enhance their water-resistant properties.
What’s the best leather laptop backpack to buy?
Top leather laptop backpack
What you need to know: This backpack is made from real full-grain Colombian leather and is large enough to keep your 16-inch laptop dry and safe.
What you’ll love: With adjustable and padded shoulder straps, this backpack has five zippered compartments. The two pockets on the front are sufficient for smaller items such as keys or a notepad. One padded pocket is large enough for a 12-inch tablet, and inside is a hidden pocket for your passport or banking cards with RFID-blocking technology.
What you should consider: Some users said that the padding on the shoulder straps could be thicker.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top leather laptop backpack for the money
What you need to know: This affordable leather backpack has a distressed look that makes it seem vintage.
What you’ll love: Three pockets on the outside close through a leather strap and metal buckle. The main compartment is large enough for laptops up to 17-inch and several accessories such as charging cables and a notepad. There are two zippered compartments where you can easily store your cellphone or bank cards.
What you should consider: There isn’t a dedicated slot for the laptop, but it is held in place through a Velcro strap.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Stylish and elegant, this full-grain leather backpack is sturdy and has ample space for all your gadgets.
What you’ll love: A large pocket on the front closes with a snap-on magnet, and two smaller pockets on either side are perfect for small items. The main compartment has a dedicated slot for your laptop and extra room for other loose items.
What you should consider: The leather strap and metal buckle on the front pocket are only decorative.
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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