Can you imagine a day without a screen? Whether we like it or not, our laptops, smartphones and other personal devices are truly essential to our work and personal lives, which means they must go everywhere with us. The number of people now working remotely or working from home has boomed since Coronavirus began (half of all UK employees, according to O2) and with that comes a newfound need for laptop bags for work as our working lives change.
Many of us have gone through changes in our lives the past few months and it is likely we’ll have more to come – especially as offices begin opening once again and people begin a new working schedule. Will you continue working from home forever? Will you work from a central office once a week – or maybe you’re itching to get back to socialising with your colleagues?
If you’re looking to prepare yourself for this next step with a new laptop bag for work, we’ve laid out the best questions to ask while choosing the right laptop backpack, briefcase, shoulder bag or wheeled bag. We hope KNOMO can support you on the next step.
WHAT TO THINK ABOUT WHEN CHOOSING THE BEST WOMEN’S LAPTOP BAG FOR WORK
- What material you like the look of?
- How heavy could this material be?
- The difference in cost
- Different shapes and style of laptop bag
- What size laptop you need to carry
- Other things you need to carry
- Durability and quality
WHAT IS THE BEST MATERIAL FOR A LAPTOP BAG?
What are you mainly using your laptop bag for?
First things first: what will you mainly using the bag for? This will help you decide on what material and then the style of bag that you need.
If you’re planning on using your laptop bag for commuting a few times a week, or that it will become your go-to bag for almost any occasion (general journeys) then then consider choosing a lighter, hard-wearing material like a high-quality nylon. Combining a professional look with a premium feel, while offering an exceptional durability that you’ll need if you’re using day-in-day-out.
If the true purpose of your new laptop bag is to look and feel the part, choosing a more luxurious leather bag depending on your personal style, such as a briefcase, backpack or tote, is perfect. Carrying a bag that fits your personal aesthetic and makes you feel like the person you want to be seen as is incredibly important – which is why we recommend starting with the material as it will lead to the overall feel of your product.
However, it is important to note how the material of product will impact both the weight and cost of the laptop bag.
How much should a laptop bag weigh?
Most laptop or computer bags weigh between 1kg and 2kg due the additional padding, straps, buckles and pockets. While leather products look fantastic and offer a premium style for those working in traditional environments, leather is a particularly heavy material especially when adding the actual contents of the bag.
If you’ll be using your laptop bag in a less “serious professional” environment, simply keeping your laptop on hand while you’re travelling, then the KNOMO Dalston Collection is a perfect starting point. Made from an ultra-lightweight, dust and water-resistant polyester, the Dalston collection laptop bags are perfect for carrying for long stretches of time while packed to the brim with your belongings.
Our lightweight, casual-but-smart recommendation has to be the Reykjavik Laptop Tote-Backpack. Weighing in at just 400g with a more structured shape, the Reykjavik is great for people who people who need to carry files or a gym kit alongside their laptop.
How much does a good laptop bag cost?
Cost is always an important factor to consider – with price points usually dependant on which type of material they are made from. In our selection of the best women’s laptop bags for work, the Dalston Collection is our entry level of range of laptop bags, each sitting under £100. The more premium nylon Mayfair Collection sits just above between £100-£200. Finally, KNOMO’ highest price point and most well-known styles are the Mayfair Luxe Collection which are £200-plus.
So why would you purposefully choose a higher price point? We love speaking with customers who have used their leather products for five or even ten years. At KNOMO we only use full-grain, which leather wears in a unique way that looks better over time, so that the patina of the bag changes as time goes on as well as softens. If you’d like to know more about the leather our bags are made from and how to care for them, click here. Or discover our favourite leather bags here.
WHAT IS THE BEST SHAPE OR STYLE OF LAPTOP BAG?
What else will you use the bag for?
Most people use their main bag for a wide range of uses, so versatility is essential to consider. Is your laptop bag really just for ‘work’ purposes such as carrying files, papers and your work laptop to-and-from the office – or even using as a smart way to pack your work items away in the evening at home?
Perhaps the plan is to use your new bag for everything - which we certainly support! Whether you’re having a night away, heading to the park for the afternoon, having a meeting with a client, or anything in-between.
Fortunately, there are multi-functional KNOMO designs that you can adapt depending on the situation. A perfect example is the Harewood Tote-Backpack, available in both premium nylon and full-grain leather, which features a set of stow-able back-straps as well as leather top handle. This means that the Harewood can be used like a briefcase tote when entering a client’s office or meeting, before being worn as a backpack when going to meet friends afterwards.
Tote vs. Backpack vs. Briefcase
The style of your laptop bag will use depend on your needs and personal taste. KNOMO laptop bags all tend to fall under one of three styles (as mentioned before, some even fall under two): Totes, Backpacks & Briefcases.
Briefcases are of course the most traditionally formal laptop bag style; the perfect fit for any professional woman who needs an easy yet instantly smart way to carry their laptop and other rectangular items, such as paper documents or magazines.
Need to carry more? Size up to a laptop tote if you’re the sort of person who likes to carry everything at once. Totes can also be the best way to carry your laptop as well as clothes in a single bag (if you’re spending a night away or going to the gym before work, for example) while still looking chic and professional.
Backpacks have quickly become the most popular style of all. At KNOMO we’ve loved seeing the meteoric rise of this bag design and how “work attire” has changed alongside. What makes laptop backpacks so great? They’re the best way to carry a lot without damaging your arms or shoulders, and they leave your hands free to use (to answer the phone, carry a coffee or grab a travelcard, etc). Best of all, KNOMO have an extensive range of women’s laptop backpacks for work in a huge range of shapes and materials, filled with smart pockets and additional features. Check out our cult-classic Beauchamp Backpack and see for yourself.
Do wheeled laptop bags exist?
Carrying a laptop PLUS all of your gear can become very heavy, especially if you have a 15” device or even larger that you have to carry for long periods of time. While wheeled laptop bags have become less prevalent as laptops have generally gotten smaller, for many people this is certainly the most practical choice.
If you’re looking for a wheeled laptop bag, we recommend choosing one that is softly structured (so it doesn’t look like you’re going away travelling), in darker colours that feels professional, and with four wheel so that it is easy as possible to push or pull along. The KNOMO Park Lane Boarding Tote also qualifies as also qualifies as a carry-on for most airlines, which makes it the perfect all-in-one option for a few nights away when you need to take your laptop and work items.
What Size Laptop Bag Do You Need?
How to measure your laptop device properly
Up there with the material of the bag and your preferred shape is the size laptop you will need to carry inside the bag. We get messages all the time from people asking if their device will fit in a certain bag, so we’ve made it as easy as possible to measure your laptop to see if a bag is right for you and your laptop which you can find listed out here if you are unsure.
All KNOMO laptop bags come with specially designed, padded device compartments to ensure they fit all shapes and sizes, from 8” tablets all the way up to 15.6” laptops. You should check the product description for these laptop measurements in inches (or centimetres) before you decide on the right laptop bag for you.
You want to make sure that you’re measuring your laptop screen correctly and give enough space for the laptop bezel – the edge that runs around the screen. It is very important to note that different laptop brands have different size screens and bezels, which is particularly relevant for MacBooks. More recent MacBook models are much thinner and have much smaller bezels around their screens compared to other popular brands such as HP, Acer, Samsung or Dell laptops. For example, the 15” MacBook Pro fits comfortably within the popular 14” Beauchamp Backpack, while it also comfortably fits a 13” MacBook Pro.
What belongings do you usually carry in your bag?
Do you pack light? Or prefer to take your whole office with you everywhere? Having to squeeze your bag closed is no fun at all, and neither is carrying a cavernous bunch of material that feels empty; once you know what size laptop you’re carrying, it is worth thinking strategically about what you usually carry in your bag (we even recommend laying it out on a table) before investing in your new laptop bag.
One of our most popular women’s laptop bags to consider as a perfect middle ground is the Maddox Tote. Fitting up to 15” devices, the all full-grain leather bag has a large space that can hold lunch Tupperware or an extra pair of shoes, kept discreetly under a full-length zip closure. If you want to keep your phone, travelcard or keys close to hand, just use the hidden top-pocket so you don’t have to rummage through the main body of the laptop tote.
CONCLUSION: HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST LAPTOP BAG FOR YOU
Above all, you want to know that your bag is going to do its job well and that it will continue to do so for a long time. KNOMO bags are meticulously crafted from purposefully chosen materials to do the best job for that design – be it lightweight, feel luxurious or... Every bag comes with a two-year warranty to make sure that should the worst happen, your bag can be repaired or replaced if necessary, to make sure you’re always got your KNOMO by your side.
Finally, choosing the best laptop bag is the one that makes you feel the most comfortable and confident. When we each go and make it happen in our own way, it's essential to do so with pride in how we feel. At KNOMO, the bags that we design, and carry are a huge part of this.
We hope you have found this guide very helpful to thinking clearly about what kind of laptop bag is right for you. Remember the three main questions: what material, which style and of course which size laptop the bag is meant to carry. KNOMO have a wide range of laptop bags that we are delighted to talk through on email, Instagram or Facebook – or simply use the Live Chat function to speak our customer services team while you browse.