Link It Up: laptop case 37signals 31 Jul 2006

155 comments Latest by Sara

Let’s say someone’s in the market for a laptop case. What do you recommend? Link it up.

155 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Garrett Dimon 31 Jul 06

I second the Waterfield recommendation. (http://www.sfbags.com)

petrilli 31 Jul 06

I’d “third” the Waterfield bag recommendation. While they aren’t the cheapest, I do think they are the best made. My Cosmo bag has seen a few hundred thousand miles with nary a scratch.

Upside is that most people don’t know who they are, so you always have a different bag than everyone else around. Even if you go with someone else’s bag, the Sleeves are awesome.

Eric Puidokas 31 Jul 06

I love my Brenthaven Metro (http://www.brenthaven.com/catalog-metro-black.html). It fits my 15” macbook pro perfectly.

For Apple computers, I’d definitely go Brenthaven.

rob 31 Jul 06

At the upper end there isn’t much better, in my mind, then www.tombihn.com. If you don’t order laptop bag there then at least get the “Snake Charmer” bag to organize chargers, LAN cables, etc.

For a lower price option the Targus makes some very comfortable bags.

Eric Coleman 31 Jul 06

I’ll second the Timbuk2 messenger bag… I have 2 of them, and I friggin love ‘em ;)

Kaan 31 Jul 06

I’ve had the same Brenthaven bag for 4 years, and completely love it. I looked through their website (www.brenthaven.com) to find mine, but it looks like they’ve changed the line through the years. My bag has safely carried several 15” Macs over the years, and has plenty of little pockets for other stuff, too. The build quality is excellent and the shoulder pad is super comfortable, too.

If I had to buy another bag today, I would absolutely look at getting another Brenthaven (although I would also look at Waterfield, since I’ve heard great things about them).

rob 31 Jul 06

At the upper end there isn’t much better, in my mind, then www.tombihn.com. If you don’t order laptop bag there then at least get the “Snake Charmer” bag to organize chargers, LAN cables, etc.

For a lower price option the Targus makes some very comfortable bags.

Jordan Berkowitz 31 Jul 06

I guess I have to be the first to not recomend the Waterfield bags. I do agree that the construction is quite nice, but the bag seemed to be overbuilt. I currently am eyeing the Cashmere Blazer at http://www.crumplerbags.com/ … it has great storage and beautiful divider layout.

Beyond that … their website is a trip.

Jonathan Lipps 31 Jul 06

I second the Crumpler bags. Perfect for cycling with, even in rain. Heavily padded, great materials, plenty of pockets. My 17” powerbook bag will last forever. Most importantly, the manufacturer has an awesome sense of humor.

Jordan Berkowitz 31 Jul 06

I guess I have to be the first to not recomend the Waterfield bags. I do agree that the construction is quite nice, but the bag seemed to be overbuilt. I currently am eyeing the Cashmere Blazer at http://www.crumplerbags.com/ … it has great storage and beautiful divider layout.

Beyond that … their website is a trip.

Eric Coleman 31 Jul 06

I’ll second the Timbuk2 messenger bag… I have 2 of them, and I friggin love ‘em ;)

Glen Barnes 31 Jul 06

I’d go with the STM Bags out of Australia http://www.stmbags.com.au/home

I have the medium curve bag which rocks as a shoulder bag.

michele 31 Jul 06

What about a stylish one for ladies? I’ve been looking forever and have not found anything. Any thoughts?

richard 31 Jul 06

I just picked the Kensington Contour Cargo Messenger Bag up from Amazon a few days back for my MacBook Pro, and it’s excellent, with all of its pockets for holding all of my gadgets, and a built in sleeve for my laptop… most of all, though, it’s comfortable as hell.

I’m carrying the same amount of stuff I had in my old bag, and this one seems several pounds lighter. Kensington’s Contour series is incredibly comfortable to walk around with.. they’ve won some awards recently for the entire line… supposed to be better for your back.

Kaan 31 Jul 06

I’ve had the same Brenthaven bag for 4 years, and completely love it. I looked through their website (www.brenthaven.com) to find mine, but it looks like they’ve changed the line through the years. My bag has safely carried several 15” Macs over the years, and has plenty of little pockets for other stuff, too. The build quality is excellent and the shoulder pad is super comfortable, too.

If I had to buy another bag today, I would absolutely look at getting another Brenthaven (although I would also look at Waterfield, since I’ve heard great things about them).

Anonymous Coward 31 Jul 06

Get a neoprene sleeve (I have an ugly one from Crumpler) and buy a really nive breifcase with some class. I have a Leonard Heyden classic breifcase. My girlfriend has one of these: http://www.leonhard-heyden.com/en/php/ausgabe.php?option=serie&wert=DIE_KUH_ELSA which is absolutely gorgeous.

Laptop bags are ugly. Get a real bag.

Anon 31 Jul 06

www.mezzi.com

(get them for as cheap as $20) on eBay

A variety of sizes and finishes.

Lightweight, stylish, customizable foam inserts (!).

Italian.

Who could ask for anything more?

David Barrett 31 Jul 06

I know less is supposed to be more, but surely the size of the laptop is a pretty crucial factor here?

Geoff 31 Jul 06

I use this Tumi backpack: http://www.tumi.com/backpacks_messengers/backpacks/category_search/norfolk_convertible_computer_messenger_backpack/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=66865

Works as a backpack and a briefcase. Definitely wouldn’t go backpacking with it, but great in airports, traveling, etc.

Jonathan Lipps 31 Jul 06

I second the Crumpler bags. Perfect for cycling with, even in rain. Heavily padded, great materials, plenty of pockets. My 17” powerbook bag will last forever. Most importantly, the manufacturer has an awesome sense of humor.

Anon 31 Jul 06

www.mezzi.com

(get them for as cheap as $20) on eBay

A variety of sizes and finishes.

Lightweight, stylish, customizable foam inserts (!).

Italian.

Who could ask for anything more?

optimus 31 Jul 06

Acme Made highly recommended, though not for people who tote every peripheral and gadget along with their lappy.

The felt/flannel charcoal one is gorgeous.

David Barrett 31 Jul 06

I know less is supposed to be more, but surely the size of the laptop is a pretty crucial factor here?

Anon 31 Jul 06

www.mezzi.com

(get them for as cheap as $20) on eBay

A variety of sizes and finishes.

Lightweight, stylish, customizable foam inserts (!).

Italian.

Who could ask for anything more?

Pedro Belo 31 Jul 06

any foofbag owner?

ok, it’s not a case, but anyways…

Anon 31 Jul 06

www.mezzi.com

(get them for as cheap as $20) on eBay

A variety of sizes and finishes.

Lightweight, stylish, customizable foam inserts (!).

Italian.

Who could ask for anything more?

Griff 31 Jul 06

I like Tumi bags and had a great expandable leather briefcase that was doing great after nine years up until my rental car was broken in Toronto and it was stolen (with laptop, iPod, personal mobile phone, and my HP15C RPN calculator…so sad). I have been shopping myself and while I still like the look of Tumi, I would have to say that Briggs & Riley have them beat on pure utility (lots of nice pockets and features.


D Zine 31 Jul 06

I kept my Powerbook in a friend’s Jack Spade messenger bag on a flight back from San Fran and it held up great. Comfortable, well designed; Powerbook, iPod and my Moleskin fit like a glove.

I think only their ‘Tech Briefcase’ is designed for laptops but if you don’t toss around your laptop like a mad man, you really don’t need crazy amounts of padding in your bag.

http://www.jackspade.com/

Griff 31 Jul 06

I like Tumi bags and had a great expandable leather briefcase that was doing great after nine years up until my rental car was broken in Toronto and it was stolen (with laptop, iPod, personal mobile phone, and my HP15C RPN calculator…so sad). I have been shopping myself and while I still like the look of Tumi, I would have to say that Briggs & Riley have them beat on pure utility (lots of nice pockets and features.


Anonym 31 Jul 06

www.mezzi.com

(get them for as cheap as $20) on eBay

A variety of sizes and finishes.

Lightweight, stylish, customizable foam inserts (!).

Italian.

Who could ask for anything more?

OC Runner 31 Jul 06

Had great success with anything from Briggs-Riley. Best warranty on the market.

http://www.briggs-riley.com/businesscases/nonrolling/233_verticalcomputerbriefbackpack.asp#

Anonym 31 Jul 06

www.mezzi.com

(get them for as cheap as $20) on eBay

A variety of sizes and finishes.

Lightweight, stylish, customizable foam inserts (!).

Italian.

Who could ask for anything more?

Geoff DiMasi 31 Jul 06

Surprised noone mentioned Spire.

Not in love with their bags, but I love their boots.


OC Runner 31 Jul 06

Had great success with anything from Briggs-Riley. Best warranty on the market.

http://www.briggs-riley.com/businesscases/nonrolling/233_verticalcomputerbriefbackpack.asp#

Anonym 31 Jul 06

www.mezzi.com

(get them for as cheap as $20) on eBay

A variety of sizes and finishes.

Lightweight, stylish, customizable foam inserts (!).

Italian.

Who could ask for anything more?

Neils 31 Jul 06

Timbuk2!!

Chris H 31 Jul 06

www.ebags.com

Has a lot of the brand names from above, plus a pretty useful “Laptop Bag/Case Finder” that let’s you find all bags that will fit your particular laptop:

http://www.ebags.com/info/laptop_center/index.cfm?fuseaction=laptop_center

The finder was very useful to me when looking for a bag that would fit my 17” PowerBook. The one I got (although not the prettiest bag in the world) was from RoadWired:

www.roadwired.com

Anonym 31 Jul 06

Sorry for the multiple posts - the MT comment system kept giving me an error so I didn’t think it posted. Sorry, I didn’t mean to spam.

Mobil'Homme 31 Jul 06

I’ve been using the Ogio Hip Hop for about a year and find it extremely durable, useful, and understated (once you remove the big ass “OGIO” logo).

What makes it so useful is that it has convenient, dedicated pockets for the stuff I carry in my bag: sunglasses, cell phone (I use it for a digital camera), water bottle, and airlines tickets (I thought this was stupid until I used it). It also has a ton of interior pockets and an easy-to-access slot for laptop. For someone who tends to misplaced stuff, “a place for everything and everything in its place” really helps.

Oh, and at $45-$70, it’s dead cheap.

Van Gogh 31 Jul 06

Waterfield makes some really stylish bags that are also VERY durable. I’ve had my RacerX for nearly 2 years… with daily use it still looks brand-new. My favorite feature is the mountain-bike grip handle.

More imporatant… it stays upright when I set it down, even fully loaded.

http://www.sfbags.com/index.htm

Oliver 31 Jul 06

Waterfield! What really striked me was their customer service. Personal, and to the point. It seems to be as if they’re the 37signals in bag’s business. Just read their story…

Howard 31 Jul 06

I’m a big fan of my Laptop Armor aluminum case. I’ve had soft cases for years and watched laptops get bounced around. I finally got myself this Haliburton style laptop case and it has completely babied my laptop. I get constant compliments and fun looks when I bring the case into a meeting.

lem 31 Jul 06

Stylish and light - The Minimalist:

http://www.zegari.com/minimalist.php?&products_id=1

Jeff Ward 31 Jul 06

I use this one by M-Audio:

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/StudioPack-main.html

It has lots of space for cables and additional mobile audio production stuff.

Paul 31 Jul 06

Booq bags are the best

Dave Astels 31 Jul 06

It’s a no brainer…. Brenthaven. I have a shoulderbag model as well as a backpack. They fit 15” & 17” macs wonderfully, with a bevvy of useful pockets and such.

Tough, well padded, and well designed.

gregor 31 Jul 06

holy cow, i’m late to the party.

i second the stm bags comment. i have one, they are fantastically well made, and the chicks dig them. :-)

http://www.disistotech.com/profile.html

Charlie Jones 31 Jul 06

The best bags I’ve seen in a long time. If you aren’t familiar with them, you start with a base bag and then accessorize. Depending on the level of protection you want and the model of laptop, you select a protective insert that attaches to the inside of the bag. Some of the inserts double as a stand-alone sleeve. I’ve got the ID bag with a 12” Apple Brain Cell insert.

Their bags range from smaller “trip to the cafe” bags, to outright massive “road warrior” briefs. Great products…

Tomas 31 Jul 06

got the AcmeMade Clyde bag (http://acmemade.com/theclyde.html) and so far very satisfied. it’s a bit pricey, however very nice, simple and, i guess, durable. i’d recommend.

Tomas 31 Jul 06

got the AcmeMade Clyde bag (http://acmemade.com/theclyde.html) and so far very satisfied. it’s a bit pricey, however very nice, simple and, i guess, durable. i’d recommend.

Stacy 31 Jul 06

I like to have 100% of everything I need when moving around with my laptop - bricks, surge protector, chillpad, mini usb HD, cell phone charger, etc. And also room for limited papers/folders/stapler, etc. And a great pair of wheels to boot. Just bought a Targus Rolling Travel Notebook Case from Office depot for $95. Short on style but long on functionality.

geoffco 31 Jul 06

Crumpler any day of the week. I’ve got The Horseman, can’t fault it, even on 2 laptops, lunch and a library days… :-)
Oh, and a 7 million dollar home for the photo gear. And Brian’s Hot Tub for when I need laptop and photo action all at the same time.

Don’t get me started on my wife’s crumpler collection.

Travo 31 Jul 06

All the cool kids get crumpler.
www.crumpler.com

anon 01 Aug 06

Any recommendation for a student that needs to carry both laptop and some three notebooks?

Joel 01 Aug 06

http://www.naturkompaniet.se/index.asp?ItemId=10580

The swedish “DePendler” (made by the famous Fjällräven) is by far the coolest laptop case. It has this frame that makes you able to sit upon it like a traveling chair, great for waiting on trains/buses etc.

hmmm 01 Aug 06

The phrase “Link it up” is really annoying.

STxN 01 Aug 06

Ha, how many of these laptop bags are mentionned on [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boblbee]Wikipedia[/url]? xD

http://www.boblbee.com

STxN 01 Aug 06

Ha, how many of these laptop bags are mentioned at [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boblbee]Wikipedia[/url]? xD

http://www.boblbee.com

STxN 01 Aug 06

Ha, how many of these laptop bags are mentioned at [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boblbee]Wikipedia[/url]? xD

http://www.boblbee.com

Neil Albrock 01 Aug 06

I use a Crumpler ‘Very Busy Man’ and I totally love it. Really well made, huge enough for all my junk and looks after my 15” Powerbook beautifully. I just bought one of their snazzy iPod cases too, yummy..!

Tim Marman 01 Aug 06

+1 for Booq. I just bought a Folee XS to replace my aging Tumi Vesey Messenger bag (which might have also been the worst designed bag ever). By contrast, the Booq is smaller, lighter, holds more, and is more “convenient”.

I’ve only had it for a week or so, but definitely loving it. It’s stylish but understated with black ballistic nylon and orange trimming. Definitely check it out.

Bob Aman 01 Aug 06

I don’t know where I got it, but I found myself a photo backpack with a laptop compartment. Tag on the backpack says it’s made by “Delsey”. In any case, it’s the best designed backpack I’ve ever owned, and my biggest reservation about upgrading to a 15” MacBook Pro has been that it would (just barely) no longer fit in this particular backpack. That says something I think.

For sure though, I greatly prefer laptop backpacks to over-the-shoulder laptop cases or laptop briefcases. There are a few people out there who carry only the laptop and powerbrick, but I’ve always found that carrying around the little adaptors and cables and whatsits that go with the laptop has been incredibly handy at conferences and meetups and such. Someone always needs something, whether it be a dongle or an adaptor or just a spare plug on your tiny surge strip. I prefer to be the guy who’s well-prepared (less is not always more), which means a bit more weight, which means a backpack. Plus I actually do have a camera in there, so the backpack form factor is a total no-brainer.

Jeff Wheeler 01 Aug 06

One more vote for Waterfield (sfbags.com). They’re excellent… beautiful, simple, and protective.

I really love mine…

mcdj 01 Aug 06

Jack Spade makes lovely bags. Also check out this little known leather sleeve from down under. Sweeeet.

http://toffee.com.au/

k 01 Aug 06

I use my Freitag bag with my Powerbook in the narrow back compartment in a Waterfield sleeve. Definitely not business attire, and doesn’t say “laptop”

http://www.freitag.ch

k 01 Aug 06

I use my Freitag bag with my Powerbook in the narrow back compartment in a Waterfield sleeve. Definitely not business attire, and doesn’t say “laptop”

http://www.freitag.ch

Jeff Hartman 01 Aug 06

And that email is jeff at jeffhartman dot com.

Anon 02 Aug 06

www.mezzi.com

(get them for as cheap as $20) on eBay

A variety of sizes and finishes.

Lightweight, stylish, customizable foam inserts (!).

Italian.

Who could ask for anything more?

Peter Davison 02 Aug 06

I’ve always liked pelican cases. They’re pretty much bullet proof.

http://www.pelican.com/cases_detail.php?Case=1490CC1

Jack Orange 02 Aug 06

There is a new site coming out called “Crowdstorm” which does this kind of thing (or that’s what their blog says at least). They want to be able to let people post items and see what their friends are recommending to buy - finding buzz around products.

Jack Orange 02 Aug 06

Forgot the link:

http://www.crowdstorm.com

Kerri 02 Aug 06

Waterfield. Not only are they terrific, durable bags that keep your gear safe, they have excellent, fast, personal service. But the kicker for me? They’re made in San Francisco by San Franciscans who are paid to make top quality bags.

I use a sleevecase with d-rings, a flap, a strap, and a piggyback. Sveltest, sleekest laptop bag you’ve ever seen.

Griff 02 Aug 06

So, while I have already touted Tumi bags, I saw Paul Mansour’s comment above in which he stated that Glaser Design bags were superior. I have to give Paul a nod of agreement since visiting the website and my recent customer experience.

I visited the site and requested a catalog last night (though I am still struggling with the price). I received an almost immediate email from Mr. Glaser, indicating that they would ship the catalog the following day. Today, I got a phone call from Mr. Glaser, thanking me for my compliments regarding the product (which is a real piece of art based on what I can tell on the website) and inviting me to call once I get the catalog to discuss the different bags, organization options, and my needs to ensure that I get the right one. I am definitely impressed. Much like my experience with Basecamp!

Nathan de Vries 03 Aug 06

A couple of people have already said STM bags, and while I agree with going for STM…I don’t necessarily think the bags are such a good idea.

Personally, I use one of the neoprene slips that STM sells, and throw that inside a Black Wolf bag. It means I get the comfort of a bag-maker that’s knows their stuff, but also the security of my laptop being protected.

I guess I just haven’t seen any bags specifically for laptops which fit my profile of a great, everyday bag.

Joe Ganley 07 Aug 06

I’m also a bit of a bag freak, and partial to Waterfield for my non-laptop cargo needs… but when carrying a laptop, I’ve always felt that you really want a backpack, not a shoulder bag. I have an eBags ‘store brand’ (I guess) that I’ve had for years and love. It would easily hold two laptops. Carrying 20-30 pounds on one shoulder is a recipe for back problems.

slumos 07 Aug 06

Marware Sportfolio. (They have various sizes but this is the one I have.)

A computer bag should be for carrying / protecting a computer, not a computer and books, your phone, car keys, coffee tumblers, etc. That said, the stretchy neoprene pocket is just genius. I’ve had everything in it from accessories, to files, pens, even my wife’s PowerBook and both our chargers.

When I need to carry a bunch of other crap, I put my Marware bag inside the outer bag with the rest.

rshah21 13 Aug 06

I’ve used just about all of the bags listed aboe, and would probably rank them as follows:

SpireUSA’s Meta backpack (can carry two laptops)
Crumpler Crisp Suit (can carry two laptops)
Timbuk2 Commute (ah for the days when Timbuk2 would let you customize their laptop bags, not just their messenger/cargos) (one laptop)
Northface Offsite (one laptop)
Samsonite Pro-DLX medium bag (two laptops)
Booq Python (can carry two laptops, too big for airline carryon)

The Meta is huge - too big, as a matter of fact. The Samsonite is my traditional “business” bag that I use when flying. Since moving to a MacBook Pro that, with parallels desktop, can emulate a PC, I’ve ditched the other laptop and moved to the Nrothface offsite, which is an excellent commuter bag with good interior pocket design as well as exterior pockets for all the stuff you need on the subway

George Merrill 15 Aug 06

I’ve got to tell you. With the recent airport problems, I can see in the very near future the possibility of NO CARRY ON’s at all. Including laptops. Worldwide. Which means The Zero Halliburton laptop case is by far the most protective laptop case you can buy. I’ve owned a Zero Halliburton for four years and exclusively use it to carry my laptop. That aluminum sided case will take the harshest abuse from the hairiest ugliest airport baggage handler you can imagine. It’s not the cheapest, but well worth protecting the thousands of dollars worth of time we all cram into our laptops.

george merrill 15 Aug 06

Here’s the link.
http://www.zerohalliburton.com/computer/aluminum.jsp

Bob Fleck 15 Aug 06

For photographers, the Lowepro Stealth Reporter series is a good bag. Messenger style, holds a laptop, 1 or 2 full size camera bodies, lenses, and all the other misc. gear.
The original goal of the series was to create a camera bag that didn’t look like a camera bag, since laptop+cameras+lenses >= $6000 for a traveling digital photographer.
I’ve had one of the older models for 4+ years, and it’s still rock solid. One buckle broke about 2 years in, and Lowepro sent me a new one with no hassle.
http://www.lowepro.com/Products/Shoulder_Bags/notebook_camera/

Sara 18 Sep 06

I like my red laptop sleeve I got from Rainebrooke.
http://www.rainebrooke.com

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