In Search of a Perfect Laptop Bag…. Women's Edition


Moonsus Signature Computer BagI envy guys in tech: it seems so easy for them to choose a laptop bag. Though they have to tackle the weighty issues of nylon versus leather and budget versus prestige, they know if they pick a black across-the-body style they’ll fit in with the majority of their peers. I guess I could go that route too—no one would question me if I did—but I want a bag with a bit more style, a bit more femininity, a bit more me-ness to it.

There are plenty of companies selling laptop bags for women, but you should be aware of the options before committing to something that could cost hundreds of dollars.

Consider these factors before starting your search:

Buy online or in person. No doubt about it, you’ll get the best selection online. However, you don’t get to feel the fabric of the bag, verify it’s big enough for your laptop, or try it on to see how it suits you. eBags carries tons of brands and has reviews for the most popular models, so that’s a good place to start if you want to try online. Kolobags offers a more edited selection—helpful if you’re overwhelmed by too many choices. Offline, you’ll want to visit luggage stores; the one near me carries only a few of the more conservative brands such as Tumi and Lodis.

Fabric or leather. Just like the guys, we face the same question about what material to choose. Leather is durable and formal, maybe too formal for many jobs in technology. Leather can be awfully masculine too, especially in black. Jacquard fabric such as that used by Moonsus bags (embroidered in tone-on-tone) is feminine and attractive—their Signature Computer Bag is shown in the image above. Tumi and Lodis offer relatively conservative leather styles; for more trendy leather, look at Gina B. or Piquadro.

Tote, across-the-body, or backpack. How do you like to carry your laptop? A tote style with two handles keeps your laptop right under your arm for good control but might make you feel overloaded if you also carry a purse on your shoulder. Across-the-body styles make it easier when you travel. Backpacks are too casual for some but provide both control and ease of carrying, plus you don’t have to worry about whacking someone in the head with one when you’re walking down narrow plane aisles.

Mango Tango leopard print laptop bagColor and pattern. Black or brown is an easy choice but there are many other options in women’s laptop bags. If you want a whole wardrobe of laptop bags to go with your mood or your outfit, check out possibilities from Kara B. Their backpacks and messenger bags include a rainbow of colors and some fun prints. Mango Tango also sells laptop bags in a variety of colors and patterns (that’s their printed leopard cotton canvas bag to the right). Abbi New York offers ultra-feminine bags in silk brocade or with sequins; Frances & Grace is another brand to check out if you want something super-girly. If your style is more retro, check out Melissa Beth Designs’ Pocket Full of Puter. Casauri’s striped and dotted bags are attractive; they’re the people behind Crate & Barrel’s appealing Emily laptop bag.

What laptop bag do you carry? What do you like and dislike about it?


Jo Hillier

I have been frustrated for years by the lack of stylish feminine laptop bags. Most women love bags, they see them as an extension of themselves; an expression of their individual style. Women worldwide carry laptop bags around now so why can’t laptop bags be as gorgeous as handbags? The answer is they can. Check out Violet May’s collection for truly functional yet fabulous laptop bags with a feminine twist. The lead product is white leather with a pleated, peppermint taffeta strap and a rose satin interior. What’s more, it comes with a detachable clutch for when you want to go straight from work to a party. Check it out . I liked them so much I joined the company!

Jean MacDonald

I have the Timbuk2 Grip Sleeve in lime green. I am regularly stopped in airports and coffee shops asking me where I got it. I’m so glad I didn’t opt for black (as I would normally do!). But it looks like now they only offer black and slate blue…

I dream of finding a stylish laptop bag that could be used as a backpack, but could also be converted to a more professional briefcase look when needed. I like to walk whenever I can, but don’t like to strain my back with shoulder bags. Has anyone got a recommendation?

Robert Ouimet

I’m of the male variety, but I think the best laptop bags are made by Tom Bihn in the pacific northwet – oops, northwest.

I’ve been using Tom’s bags for over ten years now, one of them has logged close to 1 million air miles and looks like new. He’s got some great styles and colours that I think would work for you (the woman in me thinks so) too.

I’m Canadian, so you can trust me, eh ?

check ’em out online at


I use the Soma bag by Chrome:

It wasn’t easy for me to find a more feminine bag that wasn’t a tote (I need my hands free to hold coffee and what-not), so I opted for something a bit less formal and more funky/street than the average laptop bag. The quick release seat belt buckle strap is another one of those ice-breaker conversation topics when you finally meet the client in person.

Van Katwijk

I carry the Booq Boa XL. It’s great because you can wear it to work as well as on the weekends. I’d have to say it’s probably the best laptop backpack I’ve seen on the market.

pam rodriguez

i have the timbuk 2 marina bag and i love it – granted, i think it only fits smaller laptops, but i have a 12″ iBook and i can fit that plus the usual things i carry around in my purse. this season they have it in black and in pink, however, other seasons they have more colors

Anne Zelenka

Joey – that’s so interesting you have the Moonsus bag! I was drooling over those as I wrote this article. I have a Lodis that I like a lot–it’s a tote style, chocolate brown leather with caramel trim and white stitching. I bought an across-the-body purse to wear with it, because I don’t like to have two things under my arm at the same time.

My favorite feature of mine is that it has a bunch of pockets on the side for biz cards, pens, airplane tickets–all protected by a leather flap that closes with magnets so I can open and close it really easily.


I have the Moonsus bag pictured above in tan, and I absolutely love it! I always get gasps of joy from women asking where they can buy it, and compliments from men on finding such a elegant but functional laptop bag. I used to work as a management consultant and was just tired of the obsession with Tumi bags. Tumi is very well-designed, but I think their attempts at being feminine still miss the mark.

You’d be surprised at how a non-black leather laptop bag starts a great conversation when you finally meet that client in person!

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