Laptop Bag Round-up: 15″ Edition

After multiple weeks of going into work on Saturdays and/or Sundays in an effort to catch-up on work, I finally broke down and requested a laptop for work. I’m giving up my trusty, giantess iMac 27″ that I’ve been using. I’ll miss the luxury of acres of screen real estate, but I’m hoping to reclaim a little bit more time at home.

Having a work laptop means seeking out a new carry-all bag that could fit a large 15″ MacBook Pro when needed. Thanks to the a shoutout on Twitter last week, I got lots of recommendations. If you’ve ever in the market for a laptop bag, I thought I’d share some of the recommendations I received. Many were recommended more than once, often with caveats of having withstood years of use and abuse and traveled hundred or thousands of miles. I was so glad to see that folks were so satisfied with their bags —  from so many different bags.


In no particular order:

  1. Cocoon SLIM Backpack with GRid IT Organization System $89.99 (via Cocoon)
  2. The Maker’s Bag which holds a 13″ laptop $130 (via Tom Bihn)
  3. Cote & Ciel Seine Bowler also only holds a 13″ laptop $195 (via Cote & Ciel)
  4. Waterfield Vitesse Messenger bag from $159 (via
  5. The Cadet $160 (via Tom Bihn)
  6. Inateck Carrying Case $19.99 (via Amazon)
  7. Cote & Ciel Moselle Backpack only holds 13″ laptop $195 (via Cote & Ciel)
  8. Uptown Laptop TSA-Friendly Backpack 2015 $119 (via Timbuk2)

I absolutely loved how unique and interesting the Cote & Ciel bags looked but the ones I liked the best were too small for the behemoth laptop sadly. And many of the bags large enough to truly hold a 15″ laptop for me were just too big (I’m only 5’4″) or too business-y looking for days when I might not need to schlep the laptop around. In the end, I had a nice chat with the folks at Tom Bihn who assured me that I could squash a 15″ laptop into The Maker’s Bag though it is not recommended. I just need to get it from the office to my car to my house and back — and usually just on the weekends so I’m willing to take my chances. (Just don’t tell my IT dept I said that!). So I placed my order this morning, before I hopped on a plane for SF. I also ordered their tool/pen wrap which can double as a DPN keeper (the knitters will know what that is!). How cool is that? So I think I’ll have a great EDC and can cram the behemoth laptop in when I need to.

Should I need to transport my laptop for a business trip I have an enormous Timbuk2 backpack that I bought for a trip to China a few years back that’s so big I could use it as a sleeping bag in a pinch.

Big shout out to everyone on Twitter who helped me on my hunt: Arman, Lee, Tindra, Ray, Calligraphy Nut, A Better Desk, Carmina, Dave, Jojo, Sandra, Ken, Brad and Daniel and even the folks at Tom Bihn!

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11 comments / Add your comment below

    1. Aren’t those Cote & Ciel bags fantastic? I might end up ordering one of those at some point too. I just couldn’t find enough information to determine if I could cram my laptop in there at all and didn’t want to chance it. But they are so fabulous!

      1. Yes, they are! I had never heard of them before, even though I think of myself as a bag fan. I love my Tom Bihn Synapse, but for days when the load is light and/or I’m not biking, those Moselle semi-backpacks look really stylish! I wish they listed weights on their website like Tom Bihn does. (Thanks for the great post and enjoy your Maker’s Bag! What color?)

  1. Excellent choice. I would have picked the same, and I don’t worry much about my work machine (sorry IT). I just got a smaller Tom Bihn briefcase to go in my larger Tom Bihn travel bag – a Tri-Star, which was a life changer – to be an airplane undersea bag.

  2. I recently went on a bag hunt myself (having restarted working at a location where everything has to come and go with me each day.) Having purchased a number of bags I wasn’t looking to spend much but I still wanted flexibility and durability. I stumbled across the R&R Collections Washed Canvas Messenger bag at eBags for $21 and haven’t been disappointed for a moment. The strap isn’t perfect and I did add another sleeve inside for my laptop, but for a bag that is apparently durable, well designed, and has a large capacity I really couldn’t argue.

    It’s been a month so time will tell if it’s a good long term choice, but for now it’s fitting the bill.

      1. Will do and if you ever want an additional pair of eyes when comes to a product search, please don’t hesitate to let me know…I’m always looking for an excuse. 🙂

  3. LOVE the TB bags! Details…color? I have 2 Swifts (defunct cork & Kiwi), a purple MCB, & a green MB. I love them all. Cannot wait to hear about the tool wrap; I may need to make an order soon.

  4. Got my Maker’s bag when earlier this year – love it. I remember going to their store when they had one in Pioneer Square here in Seattle – I’ve actually got a bag whose label is in French and says something like “Don’t hate us because our President is an idiot. We didn’t vote for him”. Bush was President. ;D

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