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What’s the Best Nice-Looking Laptop Case?

Photo-Illustration: Courtesy HBO

Whether you work on your novel from a coffee shop or commute to the office daily, it’s important to keep your laptop safe from spills and accidental damage. The right laptop case can help prevent surface-level dings as well as any accidental water damage that could destroy a day’s work (or worse, the first 100 pages of your draft). And while a laptop case doesn’t need to be exceptionally stylish, it’s a nice opportunity to showcase your taste.

We talked to 16 stylish people who routinely travel with their laptops or tote them around, including a fashion publicist, a stylist, an architect, and two interior designers. Read on for their recommendations, including the best leather laptop cases, the best laptop sleeves, and the best waterproof and water-resistant laptop cases.

Best laptop sleeves

This paper case is tough, lightweight, and washable, according to Abby DeRoche — a fashion publicist at Press Hook and the fashion marketing director at RE(SOURCE) Fashion. “The organization is amazing,” she says, referring to the array of internal pockets, cardholders, and elastic straps that she uses to arrange her laptop and accessories. When she travels, she loves having her “laptop, AirPods, phone charger, and computer charger organized and within easy reach during flights.”

Photographer Kari Bjorn of Kari Bjorn Photography used to carry his laptop to shoots in a larger zippered case, but he found it too bulky. “I switched to the Native Union sleeve case last year, and it feels a lot better,” he explains. This case is designed for MacBooks and comes in sizes from 13 to 16 inches, but it also fits other slim laptops. He loves “the magnetic closure as opposed to the zipper” on his old case; he says the latter would always get “stuck in the material on the inside.”

Juan Palacio, chief marketing officer at Foliage Friend, carries this sleeve while traveling. He especially likes the “clean design,” which is great when he needs a “professional and polished look” for work. But he likes that it’s not too smart for everyday use, either. He’s particularly taken with the scratch-free magnetic closure that secures the case without the risk of scraping your laptop the way zippers can. It comes in 14-, 15-, and 16-inch sizes.

Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo praised the Baggu 13-inch laptop sleeve as one of the best things she bought in 2021. She thought most of the cases sold online or in stores were practical but boring until she saw this gem. “I was thrilled to find the Goldilocks of laptop cases just in time. Unsurprisingly, I discovered it at Baggu, a brand that has solved a number of my other shopping quandaries with its colorful, well-designed tote bags, zipper pouches, and backpacks.” This puffy sleeve, which Corsillo describes as a miniature sleeping bag, comes in a variety of decorative designs and solid colors. It’s quilted and stuffed with recycled Poly-Fil, and it has a one-square-inch Velcro closure. “I ended up buying two — solid neon pink and black with white daisies — that I use for my laptop and 12-inch iPad,” she says. In fact, Corsillo likes and trusts Baggu to keep her stuff safe so much that she bought a smaller quilted case for her glasses.

Content creator Justin Tse says this sleeve, from teen-favorite backpack-maker Herschel Supply Co., offers “nothing crazy in terms of features,” but it’s one of his top picks for day-to-day protection since it has plenty of padding and lasts a long time.

Senior global real-estate adviser Nicole Beauchamp travels regularly for work and uses this case to protect her 13-inch MacBook Air and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. However, it fits any laptop up to 13 inches — not just MacBooks. In addition to the spacious main pocket, Beauchamp says it has an “outside zipper pocket, where I usually place the power source or battery pack.” It comes in black with a diamond quilted finish.

Best leather laptop cases

Gabriel Cruz, lead editor at the language-learning website Let’s Learn Slang, notes that the “precise fit and secure closure” of this sleeve keep his laptop well protected. He also loves the way this Woolnut case looks. The full-grain leather exterior “ages beautifully over time,” according to Cruz, so you won’t have to worry about its getting tatty down the line. You can get sizes from 12 to 16 inches to fit most laptops.

“I carry this every day,” says Yenia Hernández Fonseca, a writer and stylist at Margo Paige. She’s impressed with how “elegant and versatile” it is. Not only does it look great, but Hernández Fonseca loves that it doubles as a pad to rest her laptop on while working, plus the flap “conveniently turns into a mouse pad.” It comes in two sizes, one to fit 13-to-14-inch laptops and the other to fit 15-to-16-inch laptops. By the way, Cuyana also makes one of our favorite tote organizers.

As editor-in-chief at Investor Junkie, Clint Proctor travels often for work, whether attending conferences and meetings or conducting research. He describes this folio as the “perfect blend of functionality and fashion,” highlighting the “attention to detail” that went into making it and its “high-quality materials.” It’s available in a range of sizes that offer a snug fit for MacBooks between 11 and 16 inches as well as some models of Dell laptops. It’s made from premium full-grain leather and comes in black, navy, tan, and deep brown.

This stylish case has one large pocket to fit laptops of up to 15 inches and smaller pockets, slots, and organizers to hold other items, including your credit cards, phone, and cables. It’s recommended by Christiane Lemieux — interior designer and founder of Lemieux Et Cie — and Madison Popper, an interior designer and founder of Chill Casa Home.

Popper appreciates that it “has additional layers to store other items, such as your wallet and cords.” According to Lemieux, the “Apple Pencil, AirPod, and cardholder are genius.” Both Lemieux and Popper love that you can have this case personalized with a monogram.

Best faux-leather laptop case

These cases from Chic Geeks are “the epitome of luxe,” says Jessie Frances of Cappuccinos and Consignment. She travels the world in search of vintage and consignment gems, and this case keeps her laptop secure. It comes in a wide range of colors, and Frances loves that these “often correspond with seasonal color trends.” Each one is made to order, and you can choose the exact model of your MacBook so it will fit perfectly.

Best waterproof and water-resistant laptop cases

The case is “literally made from the same material as bulletproof vests,” explains Max Ade, CEO and co-founder of the pickleball website Pickleheads, “so it’s designed to last.” Ade adds that the case is waterproof, too. It’s designed to hold laptops up to 13 inches and features one large pocket for A4 documents and two smaller pockets for cables and chargers.

For something a little more unique, Muchaneta Kapfunde, who blogs about the intersection of tech and design at FashNerd, recommends this sleeve made from recycled fire hoses. Kapfunde likes that its British maker, Elvis & Kresse, is “sustainable, ethical, and transparent,” and she says this durable case (lined with reclaimed parachute silk) is worth the price.

Best laptop backpack

An architect and a strategic construction adviser at Real Estate Bees, Ashley Davis finds this bag a stylish yet practical choice for work. Davis notes, “It holds my laptop, padfolio, tape measure, and plenty of pens.” She adds that its straps make it convenient to “transport back and forth from the office, to client meetings, and to job sites.” She also likes being able to “secure it to rolling luggage for travel.” It’s made from faux leather and comes in a number of classic and limited-edition colors, including black, caramel, and emerald.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

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What’s the Best Nice-Looking Laptop Case?