If you are looking for a good laptop case for the MacBook Pro, you will never go wrong with Herschel Sandford Laptop Messenger Bag and Case Logic Bryker Messenger Bag; And never ever buy the Swiss Gear International Carry-on Size Laptop Bag With Portable Pocket Charger. You might as well be wearing an empty cardboard box with a rope attached to it.
We’ve reviewed nine different bags for this round-up which include MacBook Pro laptop bags from Amazon, Samsonite, TimBuk2, and TomToc! Find out why we think the products from Herschel and Case Logic are the best laptop bags for the MacBook Pro!
- Herschel Sandford Laptop Messenger Bag [Amazon (CA/UK/DE)]
- TimBuk2 Classic Messenger Bag [Amazon (CA/UK/DE)]
- Incase Black Reform Case [ Amazon (CA/UK/DE)]
- Case Logic Bryker Messenger Bag [ Amazon (CA/UK/DE)]
- tomtoc 15.6 Laptop Cross-Body Messenger Bag [ Amazon (CA/UK/DE)]
- booq Shadow [Amazon (CA/UK/DE)]
- Amazon Basics [Amazon (CA/UK/DE)]
- Samsonite Xenon 3 Techlocker [Amazon (CA/UK/DE)]
- Swiss Gear International Carry-on Size Laptop BagWith Portable Pocket Charger [Amazon (CA/UK/DE)]
At Mobile Reviews Eh!, we do tests and use the products in our everyday lives for days even weeks before doing an actual review. This review isn’t sponsored at all, and we’ve spent about $1000 of our own dollars on laptop bags.
If you like how we do our reviews, please consider buying the products on the links scattered on this article.
For each bag, we’ve hauled a ton of stuff with them, poured water on it, commuted to work on a bike with it, took it through an Airport obstacle course, and cooked with them to see how terrible the bags become after standing with them.
TIMBUK2 CLASSIC MESSENGER BAG
- Has an extra strap for added stability
- Can manage capacity
- Lots of designs/colors
- Not great for carrying a laptop
- Feels like a giant bag
We’re not actually sure if the TimBuk2 Classic Messenger Bag is actually a laptop bag. The website says it is, But the dedicated laptop storage area seems weak. Unlike the average smartphone, most laptops have relatively sharp edges, so the lack of padding makes the laptop very pronounce in the bag.
If you do get the TimBuk2 Classic Messenger Bag, consider getting a padded sleeve for your laptop.
The TimBuk2 Classic Messenger Bag is made from Cordura Fabric, which doesn’t mean much given that there’s a multitude of Cordura Fabric types, but in general, the material is going to wear well over time.
One of the things that we really like about the TimBuk2 Classic Messenger Bag is all the different colors and designs that you can choose from. We’re not a splashy person, but even I can’t stand the drab black laptop bag.
When it comes to water resistance, the Cordura fabric offers great water protection. Zippers are usually terrible for water resistance, but the TimBuk2 Classic Messenger Bag doesn’t have any exposed area, so the contents of your bag are going to stay dry.
You can store a lot in the TimBuk2 Classic Messenger Bag. The large pockets work well with oversized items like over-ear headphones, and there’s even a dedicated space for a water bottle. There isn’t a lot of small pockets to store other stuff but enough for a pen, a bunch of business cards, and something larger like a portable pack of facial tissues. There are three smaller zippered compartments for loose items.
The strap on the TimBuk2 Classic Messenger Bag is quite wide, which means you’ll be able to haul it around a bit longer. There is a secondary strap to the TimBuk2 Classic Messenger Bag, which improves the stability of the bag on your body, which is nice.
In general, the bag is fairly easy to use if you can get used to Velcro on the bag. It does take a bit more effort to open, but that’s a compromise you’ll have to make with this type of bag.
At the end of the day, for $80 bucks, the TimBuk2 Classic Messenger Bag is a good deal.
CASE LOGIC BRYKER MESSENGER BAG
- Comfortable bag to carry
- Very portable
- Smaller capacity
- No other design options/plain
The Case Logic Bryker Messenger Bag is a great handling bag. For those who only need to carry a laptop and a notebook, the Case Logic Bryker Messenger Bag is the one to get.
The laptop storage area is well padded and fits our MacBook Pro quite well. Unlike the TimBuk2 Classic Messenger Bag, there is a lot of padding on this laptop case.
This Case Logic Bryker Messenger Bag is made from polyester and only has one design and color, which is black. From a water protection standpoint, the material repels water quite well, and the zippers on the Bryker did absorb water slowly over time, which is better than most zippers.
When it comes to overall storage, the slimmer design of the Case Logic Bryker Messenger Bag means that you can’t carry as much. There are only two zippered compartments with one on the flap and one on the inside of the bag, which can store medium-sized objects.
When it comes to carrying the bag, there’s a strap. This bag isn’t too bad as a travel companion as it does offer a suitcase handle strap, and the smaller size of the bag means that you’ll have to be a bit more intentional with what you carry.
The Case Logic Bryker Messenger Bag gets the job done which is why we consider it one of the best laptop bags for the MacBook Pro.
SWISS GEAR INTERNATIONAL CARRY-ON SIZE LAPTOP BAG WITH PORTABLE POCKET CHARGER
- Largest capacity in our list
- Handles like a box with straps attached to it
- Laptop is hard to take out
We’ve seen and used a lot of Swiss Gear laptop bags as they seem to have the market cornered on providing branded bags for corporations. With that being said, it really boggles our mind how poorly Swiss Gear International Carry-on Size Laptop Bag With Portable Pocket Charger handles.
Swiss Gear International Carry-on Size Laptop Bag With Portable Pocket Charger is the only bag that allows you to custom fit the padded laptop pouch, so if you’ve got a MacBook Pro 15-inch that you’re going to upgrade to 16-inch soon, this might be a handy feature.
But you need to be mindful when you pull your laptop out as the edges of the bag will catch on your laptop and force you to drop your laptop back into the pouch. The pouch also sits at the bottom of the bag, so you’re basically dropping your laptop onto the ground or whatever surface the bag is sitting on.
Swiss Gear International Carry-on Size Laptop Bag With Portable Pocket Charger is made from polyester, which does a great job of absorbing water. This version of the bag comes in a color palette of black.
There is a slot for your tablet, located in the front pocket, but the limpy handles more often than not get in the way slot, which is annoying.
Out of all the bags we’ve used over the last few months, Swiss Gear International Carry-on Size Laptop Bag With Portable Pocket Charger has the largest carrying capacity. There are two large zippered compartments and one smaller though that’s a relative description given that the small compartment is where the tablet sits.
There are lots of dividers to help organize your documents. The dividers aren’t attached to the bottom of the bag, so if you put a smaller object into the dividers, they’ll end up pooling at the bottom of the bag.
The only thing we had trouble carrying around was our Studio3’s, as every pocket seemed to be too small for the headphones.
Overall, using the bag isn’t great. The limpy handles, coupled with the tiny strap and giant bag, makes the entire setup very awkward. As a side note, the limpy handles tend to twist on itself, so that’s a good look. Oh, and the luggage handle slot, is nothing to write home about.
The final kick to the face Is the price. Swiss Gear International Carry-on Size Laptop Bag With Portable Pocket Charger is almost $70, which makes it the second most expensive bag I reviewed but the worst performing one.
HERSCHEL SANDFORD LAPTOP MESSENGER BAG
- Ton of different ways to carry the bag
- Large handles
- Large capacity/Big pockets
- Lots of colors and designs
- Not great for carrying a laptop
- Feels like a giant bag
The Herschel Sandford Laptop Messenger Bag is a handy bag. It’s missing a couple of features, but the overall functionality of the bag overshadows the shortcomings. Personally, we really enjoy using the larger handles on the bag, and the ability to turn it into a backpack means that we don’t have to bag swap on the days that we decide to bike to work.
The Herschel Sandford Laptop Messenger Bag’s laptop compartment isn’t as snug as other bags, so your laptop will move around a small amount. There is a clip to secure it a bit more, but it could be better. The one thing that may get annoying over time is how the laptop will catch the top of the bag as you remove it.
Herschel Sandford Laptop Messenger Bag is made from polyester, and despite looking it would be quite water-resistant, Herschel Sandford Laptop Messenger Bag absorbs water like a towel. The material is lined with a layer of plastic, so moisture does not reach the inside of the bag, but it’s still unnerving to see the bag absorb water better than most microfibre cloths.
Unlike the average laptop bag, the Sandford line of bags has a variety of different colors and designs.
When it comes to storage capacity, we were able to haul around all our large items plus a small tripod, not in the main compartment. This might not be a big deal for some people, but being able to easily carry a compact tripod without having to worry about it being banged around by other things is quite handy. Also, the design of the bag also allows it to stand on its own, which is going to prevent your laptop filled bag from flopping over unexpectedly.
The only thing we wish the Herschel Sandford Laptop Messenger Bag had was a slot for a tablet. Having our iPad Pro bounce around with our notebook and other office objects was mildly unnerving. There are three zippered compartments with only one zippered compartment being inside the bag. Overall, the bag had enough slots to hold a moderate amount of objects.
The only other thing we struggled with was carrying sheets of paper. We still use paper copies of our scripts when creating these reviews, and the scripts will end up flopping down to the bottom of the bag and get mangled after a day if this sounds like a problem you’d like to avoid, make sure to have a stiff portfolio to protect the paper.
The large handles are just so handy. The average laptop bag usually has a handle, but it’s buried behind the bag and is hard to use. It feels very clumsy moving the bag from one spot to another using the handle. That’s not the case for the Herschel Sandford Laptop Messenger Bag. The handles might get in the way every once in a while, but being able to carry my laptop around without fear of the bag tipping over is quite lovely.
The other standout feature is the ability to wear the Herschel Sandford Laptop Messenger Bag is a backpack. Two thing straps are hidden behind the luggage pouch and can be hidden if need be. The backpack functionality isn’t built for long term use but was generally comfortable enough to use for our 20 min bike commutes to work.
This Hershel products is like a utility knife for your laptop which is why we think it’s one of the best laptop bags for the MacBook Pro.
tomtoc 15.6 Laptop Cross-Body Messenger Bag
- Has a water bottle compartment
- Handles well
- Decent water protection
- Decent build quality
- Secondary pockets could be bigger
- No unique designs
The tomtoc 15.6 Laptop Cross-Body Messenger Bag is an excellent alternative to the Herschel Sandford Laptop Messenger Bag and Case Logic Bryker Messenger Bag. I’m usually wary of Amazon only brands, but tomtoc has proven to be an outlier as their products seem to be of decent quality.
There are a couple of smart design features within the bag as it allows you to store a laptop, a tablet as well as two small water bottle quite easily. The device pockets are lined with a bit of felt, which might help with scratch protection. The cover on the bag also has velcro tabs that can be released to make your laptop come out easier.
tomtoc 15.6 Laptop Cross-Body Messenger Bag is made from non-descript nylon but provides decent water protection, and the zippers are quite water-resistant as well.
Out of all the laptop bags we reviewed, the tomtoc 15.6 Laptop Cross-Body Messenger Bag is the only one with a side pocket that might be handy in certain instances. There is also a small holder that’s supposedly RFID safe, but it seems too small to be useful. Our only complaint about the tomtoc 15.6 Laptop Cross-Body Messenger Bag is that the secondary pockets seem a little too small. Instead of having two zippered compartments, it should have been one.
The tomtoc 15.6 Laptop Cross-Body Messenger Bag has a decent capacity as it can hold a laptop, tablet, a couple of notebooks, a water bottle (or three), and whatever objects you have. Everything is secured using buckles as well as a velcro strap, which is handy, depending on how you want to secure all your things.
The only thing that I didn’t like about the handling of the product was the handle. It seemed more like an afterthought, and grabbing your bag by the handle makes the entire package feel off-centered, which is an unnerving feeling when you’re hauling around $1000’s of dollars of computer equipment with it. Pulling this bag from behind my car seat or from my trunk wasn’t smooth as other products as you had to dig around a bit to find the handle.
The tomtoc 15.6 Laptop Cross-Body Messenger Bag also has the standard flap on the back of the bag so that you can slide your luggage handle, though, as you zip through the airport.
With all things considered, tomtoc 15.6 Laptop Cross-Body Messenger Bag is a very easy bag to use. This tomtoc is one of the top laptop bags for the MacBook Pro that we’ve used in this roundup.
SAMSONITE XENON 3 TECHLOCKER
- Lots of dividers
- Large capacity
- Bulky, boxy feel to it
The Samsonite Xenon 3 Techlocker laptop compartment sits in the middle of the bag with a tablet pocket right in front of it. There is a nylon strap that holds both together. Our MacBook Pro fits quite loose in the pocket even with the strap pulled to it’s tightest setting.
Samsonite offers an amazing color selection of black, and the outer shell of the bag is made from 1680 Denier Ballistic Polyester, which means it will be quite abrasion-resistant.
In terms of water resistance, if you were able to funnel all the rain from a downpour onto the 1680 Denier polyester, the laptop bag is going to be fine. But the zippers aren’t.
In terms of overall storage capacity, the Samsonite Xenon 3 Techlocker wins. The large size, coupled with the dividers allows you to separate all your larger objects.
There are three external zippered pockets with the two smaller ones on the front of the bag, which are easy to access.
The padded vinyl wrap textured handles on the bag are small and flimsy, especially if you are carrying 80 quires of paper, and the shoulder strap is a little too small to do any sort of commuting with.
There is a pocket for the telescopic handle of your suitcase, which is going to be a godsend since lugging this oversized box with straps in an airport is going to be terrible.
- Good Price
- Good size
- Feels cheap
- Low storage capacity
The Amazon Basics laptop bag is the cheapest bag we reviewed on this list. It might be a good thing if all you’re looking for is something to haul your laptop around occasionally. Like most Amazon Basic products, it just gets the job done. No more. No less. Not well, but done.
The Amazon Basics bag isn’t tailored to fit a specific size of laptops, just ones that have a screen diagonal of around 15 inches, so my MacBook Pro did feel a little loose in the laptop compartment. Unlike other products, the laptop slot isn’t padded, nor is it raised, so if you accidentally drop this bag with your laptop in it, it might break.
We will note that there is a tablet compartment, but it’s not large enough to fit one normally, so we’re guessing it’s going to fit whatever Amazon tablet perfectly?
The Amazon Basics comes in glorious black and Amazon orange stitching. The exterior is somewhat water-resistant, but the zippers were terrible, so don’t take this out in the rain.
The bag isn’t that large, has two additional zippered compartments, which means you can store quite a bit in it since there are no external pockets, everything is made from this super thin material.
The handles on the bag are decent and don’t make the bag feel off-centered like the tomtoc 15.6 Laptop Cross-Body Messenger Bag does and the high-quality shoulder strap squeaks.
INCASE BLACK REFORM CASE
- Best laptop protection
- Large handle
- Not a lot of carrying capacity
Out of all the bags we reviewed, we felt that our laptop was safest in the Incase Black Reform case. It fit our MacBook Pro like a fitted suit. If you don’t have a MacBook Pro, then this bag might not work as well for you. If all you needed to do was to carry your laptop, tablet, and a couple of stuff, then the Incase Black Reform Case is all you’re going to need.
The laptop sits on a faux fur lining on one side and a piece of plastic with a cloth covering on the other. This piece of plastic with a soft feel to it is called TENSAERLITE. I will note that the laptop area unzips fully, which, according to Incase, is supposed to make going through an airport easier as you can lay it all out easily.
The laptop bag is made from Eco-dyed 300D poly Ecoya. It has a softer feel than most of the other materials, which isn’t a big selling point for us. But what we really like about Eco-dyed 300D poly Ecoya is that it has a bit of friction to it, so when you want to place your laptop bag behind you, it stays better than other bags. For this particular bag, you only have one choice for color, so you better be fond of heather black.
When it comes to weather resistance, the Incase Black Reform Case performed better than the average laptop bag as the water did absorb over time, but it was quite slow. Unless you’re planning on walking in a downpour for hours on end, water should be an issue for you.
There are only two zippered compartments, and both are on the outside of the bag. We will note that there is a larger, un-padded pocket on the inside of the bag that ~might let you carry around a table. We didn’t have any issues with using the actual zippers.
One of the standout features of the bag is the large handle that sits along the centerline of the case. This large handle makes it easy to move from place to place quickly.
The shoulder strap is a little smaller than others but works given that you won’t be carrying much in the small bag. Hauling our laptop around while we did errands didn’t bother us until ~30mins in.
Despite being marketed with an airport traveler in mind, the Incase Black Reform Case doesn’t allow you to stack it on your telescopic luggage handle, which seems odd. But it’s a smaller bag so it won’t be too terrible carrying it across your shoulders or in your hands. And the fabric also keeps it better in place on your body so not being able to cart it around on your suitcase isn’t going to be that big of a deal-breaker.
- Comes with a tracking feature
- Custom front latch
- Custom front latch is terrible to use
- Poor carrying capacity
- Hard to use
The booq Shadow is the only product we reviewed where we felt that they just wrapped a bag around a laptop compartment. The laptop storage area is large and has an annoying velcro strap to secure the laptop. Unlike the Incase Black Reform Case, the booq Shadow will work with any larger than an average laptop.
Honestly, this is probably the worst bag we reviewed. When we started this review, it looked like booq still sold this bag, but as of release time, the booq Shadow doesn’t exist on booq’s website anymore.
The booq Shadow is made from 1680 Denier ballistic nylon, which will provide you with years of protection against abrasions and tearing. With this material, the booq Shadow is going to slide around on your body.
The booq Shadow has one color, black, and offers decent water resistance as there are no zippers that are exposed directly to rain.
Storage capacity is our biggest issue with the booq Shadow, as it’s difficult to carry anything else other than the laptop. The taper of the bag means that anything longer than a sheet of paper won’t fit well in the bag.
When it comes to using the bag, the second most annoying feature was the handle at the top of the flap. It seems smart to hide the handle at the top of the case, but this results in the bag being very awkward to carry.
The most annoying thing about booq Shadow is the “custom” latch hardware. Seriously, quick-release buckles and velcro work incredibly well. The “custom” latch hardware is either too annoying to remove or comes off by itself.
The thinner strap on the booq Shadow doesn’t provide as much comfort as other straps, and the smooth 1680 Denier material allows the bag to slide around a bit too much.