5 Best TSA Laptop Backpack For Travel

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If you are in a hurry and want to find out what the best TSA laptop backpack for travel is, then we recommend the Kenneth Cole Reaction Manhattan Colombian backpack as the best one.

Nowadays, the rigors of work-related travel demand the best laptop backpacks. The Best TSA Laptop Backpack For Travel will undoubtedly go a long way in alleviating the wearer or user from any physical strain and fatigue. 

To achieve such a critical task, the best laptop bags have a robust support structure to distribute weight evenly and make carrying your laptop bag around less exhausting. 

In addition to a good aesthetic design, the laptop backpack should have an ergonomic design that is functional and versatile.

In this article, I’m going to review the following laptop backpacks:

The Best TSA Laptop Backpack For Travel

All backpacks included on this list meet the standard TSA guidelines. To find out the best deal, just hit the link on each mini-review below.

Best For Business-Related Purposes: Kenneth Cole Reaction Manhattan Colombian Backpack

Kenneth Cole Reaction Manhattan Messenger Shoulder Satchel Bag & Backpack, Black, 16' Laptop Bagpack

If you are a regular airport visitor, it will be necessary to avoid all the hassle of removing your laptop each time it needs to be screened. 

The Kenneth Cole Reaction Manhattan Colombian Leather backpack is an excellent Checkpoint-Friendly laptop bag that is well-equipped to alleviate all your travel-related concerns. It comes in a single color, black, and retails at an affordable price.

Among its best features is its spacious interior with enough storage space for all your travel needs. It even has a small pocket on the exterior to safeguard your valuable knick-knacks. 

The laptop compartment is well padded and can comfortably fit a laptop of up to 16 inches. Even the zipper pocket designed to hold your smartphones has been lined with a soft material to protect your valuables.

Another excellent feature is its anti-theft compartment strategically placed on the lower back padding. This secret compartment is a perfect hiding place for cash, passport, and other critical documents.

The material that has been used is fine Colombian leather that is designed to withstand all manner of tear and wear. This pleasant finish results in a weather-resistant exterior and an elegant and beautiful finish.


  • It contains a secret anti-theft compartment to hide your valuables.
  • This bag has several compartments and pockets to separate your laptop and other belongings.
  • It has been excellently done with a subtle finish of Colombian leather on its exterior.


  • Its inner compartments lack straps to secure necessities like your laptop adapter.
  • It is a bit on the pricier side.

Best For Outdoor Enthusiasts: Pelican U100 Urban Elite Backpack

Pelican U100 Elite Backpack With Laptop Storage (Black)

The Pelican Elite Backpack with Laptop Storage is another excellent option for hauling your laptop. 

The company has been manufacturing premium bags and backpacks built and designed to withstand the roughest and harshest conditions. Not surprisingly, the Pelican backpack has been made to last.

Outdoor enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the high-end bag is waterproof and crushproof, providing more than adequate protection when you wish to use your laptop outdoors. 

The company has utilized more than forty years of experience to develop the ultimate laptop bag for the outdoors. It can comfortably contain a computer of between 15 inches to 17-inch sizes.

The open button and latch are quite effective and easy to open. The bag’s front compartment is also well-padded and protected against unforeseen impacts. 

It is the perfect place to conceal your tablet or iPad. Furthermore, the backpack is also fitted with a covered water bottle, making your outdoor experience more fulfilling and liberating.

An obvious drawback is that the bag does not always comfortably fit laptops of size 17. It comes only in black and is equipped with a large volume and capacity. 

In addition to being waterproof and crushproof, the backpack is also equipped to protect your laptop from dust.


  • It has a watertight compartment to protect your laptop from water damage.
  • The inner compartment containing the laptop features a crushproof design.
  • It is quite large and can hold a variety of items.


  • The inner lock mechanism has been known to open without warning.
  • It is quite heavy, even when empty.

Best For Everyday Use: NOMATIC Travel Pack

NOMATIC Travel Pack - 20L Water Resistant Laptop Bag - TSA-Ready Expandable Black Backpack

The NOMATIC Travel Pack is another easy-to-choose laptop bag for your everyday use. It is designed to be used by college students or career people who are not eager to experience the outdoors. 

Although the NOMATIC Travel Pack is equipped to protect your laptop against water, it is not specially designed for the outdoors. The laptop bag is somber black and has a sleek, minimalist design. 

Starting at 20L, the NOMATIC Travel Pack is quite a popular user bag. It is quite slim, but it expands in size whenever you need to fit more luggage in your backpack. However, it does extend to several sizes, with the most massive being 30L.

One of this bag’s most notable and unique features is its strap system, which is quite advanced. This feature allows you to transform your backpack into a briefcase and vice versa should the need arise. 

Another common feature is the water bottle pocket and the hidden pockets that make this bag versatile and functional for your laptop.

A common drawback and disadvantage of this bag are its often faulty zippers, which have a habit of getting stuck when you least expect it.


  • It contains a secret anti-theft compartment to hide valuables and crucial documents.
  • It is made of waterproof materials that are long-lasting.
  • It features a slim design that can expand should the need arise.


  • It is a bit on the expensive side.
  • The zippers have a habit of getting stuck.

Best For Light Work Travel: Everki EKP121-1 AtlaTravel Friendly Laptop Backpack

EVERKI Atlas Business Laptop Backpack, 13-Inch to 17.3-Inch Adjustable Compartment, Men or Women, Travel Friendly (EKP121), Black

The Everki AtlasTravel Friendly Laptop Backpack is another attractive offering that promises to fulfill all your travel needs. It retails at a paltry $142 (note: price might change), making it one of the most reasonably priced laptop bags. 

Its capacity is an impressive 32L, meaning it is affordable and large enough to contain all your travel needs. A laptop up to 17 inches wide is bound to fit comfortably within its large volume and frame.

It is a versatile and functional bag with a separate compartment for securely and safely carrying your laptop or tablet securely and safely. Another compartment has been specifically designed to hold a passport or mobile device.

It is situated at the top of the bag, making accessibility relatively easy. Its ergonomic design makes it a comfortable traveling companion.

This bag also features padded shoulders wide enough to withstand any weight you may be lugging. 

A unique feature of this individual bag is the balance strap system that can make your load considerably lighter. Its cheap pricing and functionality undoubtedly make it the ultimate choice for travelers.

Despite its functional design and affordable pricing, the bag lacks some safety features other bags offer. It is neither waterproof nor crushproof.


  • It is TSA-approved, making security checks relatively easy to go through.
  • It features separate compartments for your laptop, smartphone, and water bottle.
  • It is quite large and is designed to fit more than just your computer.


  • It is not resistant to the elements, as it has been known to come apart at the seams.
  • It is not crushproof.

Best Functionality: SWISSGEAR 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

SwissGear 1900 Scansmart TSA 17 Laptop Backpack, Black, 19-Inch

The Swissgear Laptop Backpack is another popular choice for travelers. This bag is a contender for Best TSA Laptop Backpack For Travel with its functionality and versatility. 

Its TSA approval means that this bag allows travelers to go through airport checkpoints without the hassle of removing contents for inspection. It comes in black and is ideal for any travel-related use. 

Not surprisingly, this bag has proven to be a popular hit with many users. It has a characteristic lay-flat compartment that the TSA has approved. 

This compartment allows you to lay open the contents of the bag. It easily opens at a 180° angle, allowing TSA inspectors to check your A bag without rummaging through its contents. 

The Swissgear Laptop Backpack also features internal and external compartments to protect your laptop and smartphone from any conceivable harm or damage.


  • It is made of a superior polyester material designed to withstand the elements.
  • It is TSA-friendly and is designed for fast and efficient security checks.
  • Its robust shoulder straps are designed to offer maximum support.


  • Its zip has a habit of jamming and getting stuck.
  • Its material is not as durable as others and has been known to rip after a few months.

TSA Guidelines for Laptop Bags

The TSA has developed specific guidelines for what constitutes a checkpoint-friendly bag. If a bag meets these stringent standards, you can keep your laptop in the bag through screening. 

Should the laptop bag be deemed to meet these requirements, you must remove it for inspection. 

In a bid to smoothen the security screening process and better protect laptops from damage, TSA has, in the past, requested bag manufacturers to adhere to specific design standards. 

Ideally, such laptop bags should produce a vivid image of the laptop when the load is screened. The sole objective is to allow TSA to screen the laptops without any obstruction. 

They can then inspect the device’s internal structure to see if it has been tampered with. Of course, the security officers are obliged to remove and screen your laptop separately should there be sufficient cause to do so. 

Currently, most laptop bags’ design does not allow them to be sent through the X-ray machine with the bag inside as the resulting image is vague and unclear. 

However, in the recent past, the TSA and manufacturers have considered the benefits of TSA-approved designs.

For your laptop to pass the test of a checkpoint-friendly bag, it must have a compartment that can be placed flat on the X-ray machine to produce a clear image. 

Besides, such a laptop bag should not contain metal zips, buttons, or buckles. There shouldn’t be anything else contained in the laptop compartment.

What to Look for in a Laptop Bag

There are certain things that a laptop backpack should fulfill before it qualifies as a great design. These factors range from ergonomic design to the material chosen for the bag. 

If you are a commuter carrying your laptop from home to work or vice versa, you might have to contend with a laptop backpack. 

This bag offers certain ergonomic advantages that a briefcase may fail to meet. Its relatively larger space means you can carry more than just your laptop. 

Most laptop bags have a versatile, multi-purpose room that feels quite comfortable.

The bags featured in this article have been found to meet the test of ergonomic design. They contain sufficient storage space to keep your laptop comfortably and securely. 

Separate and distinct compartments and pockets for separating all the different stuff you possess go without saying. 

In addition to a great ergonomic design, a good laptop bag should ideally be manufactured from a hardy, weather-resistant material that can withstand the ravages of time and weather. Such a material should be ideally waterproof.

Leather and 1200-denier polyester are examples of hardy materials that come to mind. Besides an aesthetic design that is easy on the eyes, an ideal laptop backpack should be comfortable to wear and carry around. 

Padding on the shoulder straps and back panel makes the job much more comfortable. A laptop backpack has specific minor details that make it ideal for the outdoors. 

Your laptop bag might have been intended for rugged outdoor conditions if its manufacturer designed it to be crushproof or waterproof. 

Dedicated pockets and compartments for a water bottle are a plus for such backpacks.

Read more about whether anti-theft bags are worth it.

Wrap Up

You are looking for a bag that combines all the features. The perfect bag should possess both aesthetics and ergonomics together. The ideal bag should fit the bill and the price tag. 

The best bet for you as you travel for business is the Kenneth Cole Reaction Manhattan Colombian Backpack

It combines elegance and functionality and has few rivals matching the care and sophistication level. It does come at a rather steep price, though. However, this should not worry you.

Going by the latest reviews on several sites, this laptop backpack is the ultimate travel companion. 

Its manufacturers intended for it to last, and you can tell by the fine Colombian leather on its exterior that its manufacturers have a keen eye for detail and sophistication. 

If you are going for that sleek, minimalist look that screams elegance and class, then you can never go wrong with the Kenneth Cole Reaction Manhattan Colombian Backpack. 

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Hey there, I'm Mac. I love traveling. This site is dedicated to sharing everything about traveling, tips and guides, and reviewing essential travel gear. This will help you. Read more about me .