Are you tired of wrapping your laptop in t-shirts, in order to keep it protected in your suitcase? Do you want a carry-on with a dedicated laptop compartment, so you don’t have to worry about your device ever again? Great, we’re on the same page!
In this review, I will show you some of the best carry-ons with a laptop compartment that money can buy. I found some amazing suitcases, backpacks, and rolling totes, all of which have a dedicated spot for a laptop. And the bags vary in price from $40 to $400, so there’s something for you no matter how tight your budget is!
Read on to find the perfect carry-on luggage with a laptop compartment for you!
Best Carry-On Suitcase
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Best Carry-on Backpack
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Best Rolling Tote
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Hardside suitcases with external compartments make me really happy. They give you the organizational capabilities of softshell suitcases, but with all the sturdiness and durability of a good hardshell. And that’s an excellent way to describe the Delsey Helium Aero.
It’s a carry-on suitcase with two packing compartments and an external laptop compartment. I don’t have the exact dimensions of the laptop compartment, but I can tell you that it will fit any device up to 15.6”.
The suitcase is made from 100% polycarbonate, so it’s lightweight and durable. It features four double spinner wheels that allow for easy manoeuvring of your luggage. They are smooth and quiet and let you just breeze through the airport. With some help from the telescopic wheel handle of course, which locks into both stored and extended positions.
Both packing compartments of this carry-on are fully lined. One features tie-down straps, while the other one has a full-panel zippered divider for easy organization. And there are two zippered pockets inside the suitcase, which are perfect for all your smaller items.
Keep in mind that the external compartment takes away from the capacity of the main packing compartments. So, if you plan to put a lot of stuff in the outer compartment, you won’t be able to fit that much things inside the suitcase. But, you can always expand the overall capacity of the bag, and gain some extra packing space.
The Helium Aero carry-on features a TSA lock, which allows you to lock the packing compartments. Unfortunately, you can’t lock the laptop compartment of this carry-on, and that’s the one thing I don’t like about this suitcase.
If you prefer softshell suitcases, I think you will really like the Victorinox Werks Traveller. It’s made by the brand that brought you the classic Swiss Army Knife, so you should expect quite a lot from this bag. Especially considering that it is not at all cheap.
But it is a suitcase of amazing quality. The bag is made from 600D Ballistic Nylon fabric and features abrasion and water-resistant coating. Its exterior is very durable, but we expected nothing less from Victorinox.
The suitcase comes with a padded 15” laptop sleeve. It’s not attached to anything, so you can just use it on its own – it’s actually a really good sleeve. Plus, it has an extra compartment for your tablet, allowing you to carry two devices in the same sleeve.
I really like this feature, especially since it allows you to decide where you want to keep your laptop. You can put it in the main compartment if you want to keep it snug, or in one of the external compartments, if you want it easily accessible.
The Werks Traveller suitcase has a very spacious packing compartment, with multiple internal pockets and expandable capacity. It even has an internal apparel compartment, which lets you separate your dirty clothes from your clean clothes.
This softshell carry-on also features double spinner wheels and a multi-stage wheel handle. The wheels are very sturdy and are even suitable for off-road adventures – perfect if you’re bringing a fancy suitcase on a camping trip. Obviously, they perform exceptionally well on smooth airport floors and allow for effortless manoeuvring of your luggage.
Softshell suitcases with laptop compartments are rarer than you think. Sure, most of them can easily fit a laptop inside, but not a lot of them have padded sleeves for your valuable devices. And that’s why we love the Travelpro Elite carry-on; not only does it have padded sleeves for both your tablet and laptop, but the bag also features a USB charging port, which lets you charge your devices on the go.
There’s a dedicated power bank pocket on the side of the suitcase, making it super easy to charge your phone or tablet, without having to sit down next to a power outlet. And the nylon exterior of the bag features DuraGuard coating, which will protect your belongings in wet weather.
The laptop and tablet sleeve is actually in the front compartment of the suitcase. This compartment also features an RFID safe pocket, four slip pockets, and plenty of room inside the compartment itself. It’s great not just for your tech, but also for all items you want to have handy at the airport or during a flight.
And the suitcase just gets better and better. The packing compartment is very spacious, with a tie-down strap system that features zippered pockets on the straps. There’s also a TSA compliant wet pocket inside the suitcase, which is just the right size for your toiletries. And you can expand the capacity of the suitcase whenever you want, and get two extra inches of packing space.
The Travelpro carry-on has four double spinner wheels, and a height-adjustable wheel handle. There are also top side, and bottom grab handles, which ensure that packing up the suitcase and placing it in the overhead compartment is going to be as smooth and simple as just manoeuvring it around the airport.
READ MORE: TRAVELPRO PLATINUM ELITE REVIEW
SwissGear makes some really amazing backpacks. And I particularly like the 1900 Scansmart – it is a sturdy backpack, with a TSA-friendly laptop compartment. Meaning that going through TSA checkpoints will be quick and easy.
The backpack is made from 1200D ballistic polyester, which has a weather-resistant exterior. The material is treated for improved water and abrasion resistance, and it will keep your tech safe and dry no matter how much it rains outside.
It will do the same for your back, thanks to the Airflow backpanel. It is heavily padded and covered with breathable mesh, allowing for good ventilation. These features help keep your body dry after you’ve worn the backpack for several hours on a hot July day and seriously improve its overall performance.
The laptop compartment of this pack can fit 17” laptops, so it’s a good option for everyone. And it also features a smaller tablet sleeve, allowing you to keep all your tech in the same compartment.
But you don’t have to have to do that – the backpack has plenty of other pockets and compartments where you can keep your gear. With an overall capacity of 31 liters, a spacious main compartment, and multiple external and internal pockets, packing for a weekend away will be ridiculously easy.
On top of all that, this SwissGear backpack also features an organizer panel in the front compartment, with plenty of slots for your smaller items – pens, wallet, cables, chargers, etc. This makes it a great laptop backpack overall, and not just a great carry-on.
Another great laptop backpack is the Atlas. It is available in two sizes and I’m going to focus on the bigger bag here. It features a spacious main compartment, an additional compartment with an organizer panel, a front slip pocket, and a total of four external zippered pockets.
The backpack also has a TSA-friendly laptop compartment, which can fit devices up to 17.3”. And there’s also a tablet sleeve in this compartment, where you can store tablets up to 13”. If you own a smaller laptop, you can also opt to get the smaller backpack – that one is designed for laptops up to 15.6”. The smaller backpack has the exact same features as the larger one; the two bags differ only in size and weight.
One great thing about this backpack is that it fits under most airplane seats, as long as it is not completely full. Which pretty much means you can travel with this pack and a small suitcase, without paying any extra baggage fees. And the luggage strap in the back of the Atlas lets you mount it on top of a suitcase, making it remarkably easy to move around with several pieces of luggage.
You can also carry it like a regular backpack without getting uncomfortable. The backpanel features padded and ventilated inserts, while the harness has a 5-point balance strap system. This lets you really customize the fit of the backpack so that the stain on your back is reduced as much as possible.
The sternum strap also helps with this, as it ensures that the two shoulder straps will not budge while you’re walking around.
Samsonite is one of the best luggage brands in the world, and I’m not talking only about suitcases. They make plenty of other bags, including travel backpacks. And the Novex is one of the best travel packs they ever made.
If you’re on a tight budget, this is a great option for you, since the backpack is very affordable. It’s in the same price range as the SwissGear pack, but it features a very different design. The Novex backpack has a sleek and formal-looking exterior, making it an excellent option for shorter business trips.
This pack has a TSA-friendly laptop compartment, which fits devices up to 15.6”. The compartment is equipped with Samsonite’s Perfect Fit laptop system, which allows for a customized fit of devices of various sizes.
This means that your laptop will always fit snugly in this compartment and that you never have to worry about it falling out. Plus, there’s another mesh sleeve in this compartment, which is perfect for all your laptop accessories, or even another device.
And the other features of the backpack don’t disappoint either. The main compartment is roomy enough to fit clothes for 2-3 days, making it a great bag for short trips. The front compartment features an organizer panel, with slots for both a smartphone and a (9.7”) tablet, as well as some other items.
There are also two external zippered pockets, as well as two open side pockets. And the backpanel is padded and ventilated throughout, ensuring that you will stay comfortable while you’re wearing the Novex.
A rolling underseat tote is a perfect companion to a checked suitcase. It’s large enough for any items you couldn’t fit into the big suitcase, as well as for all things you like having handy during flights. And the Travelpro Crew 11 is easily one of the best rolling totes money can buy.
It is an awkward size – it will definitely fit into overhead compartments, but it might not fit under every seat. Which shouldn’t be an issue if it’s the only bag you are bringing inside the cabin.
This tote is made from ballistic nylon, which has a DuraGuard coating for improved scratch and stain resistance. It features an internal laptop sleeve, which can easily fit most 15.6” devices. And there’s also a tablet sleeve that fits standard 9.7” tablets, which is pretty great.
The main compartment of this bag is surprisingly roomy. It can easily fit two changes of clothes, making this bag a great choice for shorter business trips. And the multiple internal and external compartments provide space for any smaller items you want to have handy and help you stay organized while you’re traveling.
In fact, the external front compartment of the bag even has an organizer panel, with slots for pens, credit cards, keys, etc. These are actually really useful for those who frequently travel for business, especially with all the extra space for files and folders.
The Crew 11 bag features two in-line skate wheels and a retractable wheel handle. This makes it really easy to move around with the tote since you don’t have to carry it in your arms all the time. You can also mount it on top of a larger suitcase, thanks to the luggage strap in the back, which makes this tote an excellent addition to your checked suitcase.
Olympia is one of our favorite brands when it comes to affordable luggage. Their bags are inexpensive, but still very sturdy and durable. The Lansing carry-on is a great example of that; the bag is made from 420D ripstop nylon, which is a tough material with good water resistance.
This is a small underseat bag, so it’s great if you’re looking for a carry-on as an addition to your checked suitcase. It has a spacious main compartment, which can easily fit all of your in-flight necessities. And there’s a padded laptop sleeve inside the bag that can fit devices up to 15.6”. One of the pockets inside the bag is also large enough to fit a standard-sized tablet, allowing you to travel with two devices in this wheeled carry-on.
The actual packing compartment of the bag is spacious enough to fit clothes for a couple of days, making the Lansing a great option for short business trips as well. And there are three zippered pockets inside the bag, which let you travel organized. Plus, there are also four external zippered pockets, which are perfect for any items you like having handy at the airport.
This bag features in-line skate wheels and a retractable wheel handle, for easy manoeuvring. And it has a luggage strap in the back, which lets you mount it on top of a larger suitcase.
The only downside of the bag is that it won’t fit under all aisle seats. But that’s going to depend on the airline you’re flying with. And you shouldn’t have any issues getting it to fit under window and center seats.
Looking for a smaller bag that can fit a 17” laptop? The Bryant by Solo New York is a great option for you! This spacious rolling tote can fit even the bulkiest gaming laptops, and they’ll stay safe in the carry-on’s padded laptop compartment.
The bag has a total of two spacious packing compartments, with the laptop sleeve being inside the larger of the two. These are roomy enough to fit your laptop, all of its accessories, and enough clothes for 2-3 days. Plus, the Bryant rolling bag also features a front compartment with an organizer panel, which is perfect for all of your smaller items.
And there’s an external zippered pocket, for all the items you want to have handy during your travels. It will help you stay organized while you’re traveling, and it’s just the right size to fit your wallet, passport, and boarding pass.
This bag has two in-line skate wheels, so you will need to tilt it to get them rolling. Thankfully, that’s going to be rather easy, with the retractable push-button handle. You can store it in its own compartment when not in use, which is very helpful. Especially when trying to get this bag to fit under airplane seats.
And that’s not something I can guarantee you. It is a pretty thick bag, so you won’t be able to fit it under the seat on smaller airplanes. Plus, it’s also going to depend on which seat you have if there’s anyone sitting next to you, etc. But, you can fit it in the overhead compartments, so you won’t have any issues if this is the only carry-on you are traveling with.
I’ve focused on three types of carry-ons here – suitcases, backpacks, and rolling totes. But which type of bag is just right for you?
Carry on suitcases are the best option if you want to travel with just one bag. You don’t have to pay any extra fees for checked baggage, and they can actually fit quite a lot of stuff. If you normally go away on shorter trips, a carry-on suitcase is just what you need.
Backpacks and rolling totes are great for people who want a bag in addition to a checked suitcase. They usually have much smaller capacities than suitcases, so you can’t fit too many items inside. But, they’re a great option if you want to use them for items that you would like to have handy during the flight.
Actually, they are much better than suitcases in that respect. And all the backpacks featured here have TSA-friendly laptop compartments, which means that getting through checkpoints is going to go smoothly and quickly.
So, what kind of luggage do you think is the best fit for you? Scroll down to see our favorite pick for each of the three types!
The size of your laptop is the most important thing to consider when buying carry-on luggage with a laptop compartment. You could be looking at the best carry-on bag in the world, but it’s worthless if it can’t actually fit your laptop.
Most of the luggage featured here can fit a 15” laptop, and some bags can even fit 17” laptops. In general, it is much easier to find luggage that fits smaller laptops. So, if you normally carry around a 13” device, you can get any bag features here and you will be fine. With 15” laptops, it’s all about the dimensions.
Some luggage can fit a 15” MacBook Pro, but won’t fit a 15.6” Lenovo or Dell laptop. Be sure to check the actual dimensions of the laptop compartment, to make sure that it will fit your device.
It’s not so easy to find good luggage that can fit 17” laptops, so I didn’t include a lot of options here. Underseat bags are generally too small to fit such large devices, so you will have to get either a suitcase or a backpack. Be sure to check out my review of the best travel backpacks for 17” laptops, for a lot more options!
Materials play a big role in the durability and performance of luggage. You deserve only the best, so I tried to focus only on carry-on luggage that is made from premium materials.
For suitcases, that’s polycarbonate. This is a sturdy but lightweight material, which bends upon impact. It is going to take a lot of effort to break the shell of a PC suitcase, and that’s exactly how we like it.
What about softshell bags? Nylon is generally preferred to polyester because it has better water resistance. But in this case, it’s all about the coating. The two materials have very similar properties, and they behave in a similar way. But good waterproof coating is what makes a good bag great – it ensures that your laptop stays dry no matter what, which is the most important thing.
Let’s be real – nobody wants to go on vacation, only to wind up with a water-damaged laptop. This is an issue not even travel insurance can help you with, and you would have to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to fix your device.
You don’t have to worry about this with the hardside suitcases. Polycarbonate is entirely waterproof, and unless you plan to use your luggage as a floating device, your laptop will be fine.
With other types of luggage, look for weatherproof/waterproof coating. This is the only way to ensure that your carry-on will manage to keep your tech dry. And even then, I recommend taking some extra precautions – if you know it’s going to rain a lot, put your laptop in a plastic bag. Or get a waterproof cover for the backpack.
Not sure which carry-on with a laptop compartment is just right for you? That’s okay. I’ll give you my favorite in each of the three categories – if you don’t have a favorite bag here, go with one of my top choices.
The best carry-on suitcase with a laptop compartment is the Delsey Helium Aero. With two packing compartments and an external laptop compartment, it is the perfect companion for short trips or business. And it is made of super-durable polycarbonate materials.
Want to get a good carry-on backpack? Go with Samsonite’s Novex. It features the Perfect Fit system inside the laptop compartment, which ensures that your device is going to fit snugly into the dedicated compartment. This eliminates the risk of the device falling out while you’re opening up the TSA-friendly compartment.
The backpack also features a padded and ventilated backpanel, a very spacious main compartment, multiple external pockets, and a compartment, which lets you stay organized while you’re traveling.
If you want a simple rolling tote, I recommend the Olympia Lansing. It is a small bag, which will fit under almost any airplane seat, apart from aisle one. The bag has a padded laptop sleeve that fits devices up to 15.6”, as well as several other pockets that let you organize all of your belongings.
The actual packing compartment is roomy rough for 2-3 days’ worth of clothes, making this our favorite option for short business trips.
Those are the top three pieces of carry-on luggage with a laptop compartment that we recommend. However, all of the bags featured in this review are excellent options, and you won’t regret getting anyone.
Head over to Amazon to see their prices and color options, and check out our related posts, if you’re still looking for the perfect carry-on!
BEST CARRY ON LUGGAGE FOR BUSINESS TRAVEL