There are not many general options for men to carry a laptop. It all comes down to two main styles of bag: men’s messenger bags and backpacks. Whether you are a professional or a student, and you work at the office or the coffee shop, you need a way to safely transport your laptop with you. Some of the factors to include in your search for the best laptop bag that will meet your needs are style, comfort, and functionality. Do you need it to look professional? Do you walk or bike to work? Does where you live get a lot of rain or snowfall? Let’s examine why the answers to these questions will be important in your selection of a nice bag to transport your laptop.
First let’s explore style. This is perhaps the messenger bag’s strongest point and the backpack’s weakest point. Backpacks generally do not look as professional as a messenger bag which make them far less suitable for business use. Messenger bags on the other hand, are currently fashion trending and everyone from discount gear manufacturers to top designers have all taken note and together have produced a wide array of options in terms of materials used, construction methods and paneling, design details, and overall style. Some of the cutting edge designs are more suitable for students, and some are luxury items for CEOs. There are also many types of generic men’s messenger bags made of either black or brown leather, or black textiles, which are exactly what many professionals desire. The messenger bag is the winner for professional use and more stylish options.
Now let’s consider comfort. This may be more or less important to you, depending on how far you must carry your cargo on a regular basis. If you only use the bag to carry your laptop from the parking lot to your office, this may not be of much concern to you. Some messenger bag makers have taken note of the one-strap comfort problem, and augmented their straps with thick layers of memory foam that conform to the shape of your body to maximize the comfort. Even still, most backpacks and their even weight distribution across two shoulder straps will be much more comfortable to carry for longer distances. Many backpacks also have additional straps around chest and waist. If you bike to your destination you can’t beat the stability of the backpack’s two shoulder straps, especially if it also has the chest and waist straps. Some messenger bags do have an extra stabilizer strap that fastens under the armpit of the shoulder strap arm, but it usually does not keep the bag as stable across your back as a backpack. Another consideration is that carrying a heavy bag on the same shoulder all the time can actually lead to long-term posture problems and unusual upper-body muscle soreness on one side of the body, even on days when you are not carrying the bag. For walking or biking medium or long distances, the backpack is superior for comfort.
Finally let’s look at a few functionality differences between backpacks and men’s messenger bags. One limitation of messenger bags is that most of them have one large compartment, sometimes divided with a laptop sleeve and strap, as well as a an outer place to put small flat items like wallet contents. Backpacks usually have two main compartments, the primary divided with a laptop sleeve, and a secondary almost as large as the primary, plus a smaller outside pouch, and another flat compartment on the outside of the smaller pouch. This makes it much easier to separate things like the power adapter, small things like keys, wallets, pens, mobile devices, note cards, and bike tool kits. Not only that, but backpacks now often have water bottle holders on either side of the main compartment to keep your potentially leaking liquid containers outside of the compartment that contains your fragile (and not water-proof) laptop. The main feature that the messenger bag has over a backpack in functionality is that the single large flap design that wraps over the entire bag often provides near water-proof protection from the elements for the laptop compartment, where as a backpack’s zipper compartments will leak water into the main compartment in heavy rain or snow. This is a draw between the backpack’s better compartmentalization and exterior water bottle holders, and the messenger bag’s wet weather protection for the laptop compartment.
In summary, there are many factors to consider when selecting either a men’s messenger bag or a backpack to carry a laptop, and ultimately the best bag for you depends on the priority of your needs.