Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Which are the best laptop bags for work, readers — which ones have the pockets you need, the weight (or lack thereof) that you like, and generally looks great on your commute?

Do you prefer to have a laptop sleeve within a larger tote bag, or a laptop bag by itself? How big is your computer — and how important is padding to you? (Or – do you prefer a laptop backpack, either for ergonomics, a biking commute, or other reasons?)

As we’ve noted in the past, a great way to save money is to buy a separate laptop sleeve to protect your laptop — and then you can move it from bag to bag at will! Society 6 is always a great spot to look for colorful, artistic bags, but Amazon Basics has a no-frills one for $11.

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Reader Favorites – The Best Laptop Totes of All Time!

Pictured below, some of our favorite laptop bags for work: 

collage of 6 of the best laptop totes for women in 2023
Looking for the best laptop totes? These are reader favorites: one / two / three / four / five / six

A Closer Look at Some of the Best Laptop Totes

black laptop tote

This one is not the most affordable, but it’s one of the all-time reader favorites — many women who have Big Jobs (partner, CEO, etc) say they prefer this bag to the many other, more expensive bags they could get.

It is, of course, the Lo & Sons Seville tote. It’s designed to carry a 15″ and 13″ laptop — you can purchase separate interchangeable options for exterior shells (so you can change your bag from nylon to leather, from black to blue, as the mood strikes). The tote comes with a “Soft Touch Travel Shell” that’s lightweight, water-resistant, and attaches to your suitcase handle. Nice.

The base tote is $578; additional shells are $220-$240.

(All of their bags have thoughtful designs like this – the O.G. is another bag that has a nice laptop sleeve; they also have some backpacks.)

black laptop tote

Tumi is always another reader favorite. They have a ton of cute laptop backpacks — if you’re definitely in the market for a tote, I like the Valetta. It’s made of nylon so it’s lightweight. It has a padded compartment that fits most 15″ laptops, as well as a travel sleeve.

Interestingly, “the bag includes Tumi Tracer®, an exclusive, complimentary program that helps reunite lost or stolen bags with their rightful owners using a one-of-a-kind 20-digit number affixed to the bag.” Huh!

It’s $478 at Nordstrom (black and gold) and Tumi (black & gold, black & silver, lavender, and a light gray).

olive green bag and laptop sleeve

Cuyana totes are another big reader favorite. They sell a laptop sleeve separately (for both 13″ and 16″ laptops); it is intended to go in their System Tote system, which has lots of snaps for you to add and subtract pockets as you’d like.

The big drawback here is that there is no top zipper, and it has no trolley sleeve to attach to a rolling suitcase. Their Easy Tote does have a top zipper (or, at least, an option for one) — you could just use the Cuyana laptop sleeve, or another laptop sleeve.

The Cuyana laptop sleeve is $98; the System Tote is $278-$298.

black work tote

We featured this BÉIS tote recently – it’s a bestseller at Revolve. It has a padded laptop sleeve pocket with velcro closure, and at 16.75″ wide it should fit most laptops. The bag does have a detachable shoulder strap, as well as a travel sleeve to fit over a rolling bag. It’s only $138!

Other bags in this price range include the Knomo laptop bags (old reader favorites that are increasingly harder to find — they do seem to have more backpacks in stock right now) and this very structured CLUCI leather briefcase at Amazon ($160).

green leather tote bag calpak

There aren’t a ton of color options here, are there? CALPAK doesn’t have a huge amount of options, but it does have a baby pink in their “classic” collection — the dark green bag pictured is in their limited collection; they also have a baby blue.

These bags are a bit boxier than some of the others, but I like that they do have a travel sleeve. The bag itself does not zip closed, but the removable laptop sleeve does have a zipper along the top.

The Haven tote is $178.

black leather tote bag

Tory Burch totes are another perennial best-selling favorite. At 14″ wide, it can fit a 13″ laptop comfortably. (It isn’t padded, but it is the middle compartment in the tote so your laptop should be protected. The bag also comes in a variety of colorways, which is nice.

The pictured tote is $478 at Zappos, Nordstrom, Tory Burch, and other spots. Note that the popular and super lightweight Ella tote is also big enough to fit a laptop (but does not have a separate compartment, so a laptop sleeve would definitely help!).

Readers, what do you look for in a laptop bag? Which are the best laptop totes in 2023?

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments!


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