As an entrepreneur, a laptop is a critical tool that holds business records, work product and personal notes that are irreplaceable (but hopefully backed up to a secure location, just in case). After investing in a workhorse laptop, it doesn’t make sense to carry it around in a cheap laptop bag that could easily tear apart, making the investment just a pretty piece of plastic. And for female entrepreneurs, it becomes not only a challenge to lug it around and protect it but also to tote it stylishly, choosing a laptop bag or case that reflects their personalities and business but still is professional and functional.
Since there’s nothing worse than having a laptop bag that literally falls apart as you’re running through the airport, spilling its contents in front of harried strangers, or using one that doesn’t fit all the essentials, the right laptop bag is sturdy, well-made, and can withstand being stuffed with a laptop, tablet and assorted purse stuff like a wallet, phone and makeup.
SMB Soup put out a call to female entrepreneurs to share their favorite laptop bags – and received plenty of responses, ranging from high-end designer bags to more affordable options and even some obscure, independently-designed laptop bags. The overarching criteria that respondents cited included how sturdy the bag is, how much can fit in it and how professional it looks. And some of the bags chosen by the female entrepreneurs aren’t even specifically designed for women – for some, a unisex bag or a men’s bag is much more appealing. Here are their picks.
Janice Sellers: Targus RG0316
Janice Sellers of Oakland, Calif.-based Ancestral Discoveries, said, “My favorite laptop bag is the Targus RG0316. It has a classic look that is always in style. It has room for my laptop and its accessories, documents and a notebook, wallet and other purse items, cell phone, keys and pretty much anything I need to have with me for meetings or travel. I can even fit some snacks! It’s well made and sturdy, and I’ve been using it for years. I don’t go anywhere without my Targus!”
Alex Marshall: Longchamp Le Pliage
One of the laptop totes preferred by Alex Marshall of TheSquareFoot is the Longchamp Le Pliage Medium Shoulder Tote in black. “It’s waterproof and I don’t have to worry about getting it dirty,” she said. “My bag always has to be able to fit my laptop, workout gear and some healthy snacks for the
Sarah Blazak: Michael Kors Jet Set Tote
Sarah Blazak, marketing communications manager for Cincinnati, Ohio-based Ahalogy, chose a classically styled tote from Michael Kors, the Jet Set Laptop Travel Tote. “It has a zipped compartment for a laptop, a pocket that fits an iPad (if I’m not carrying my iPad, I’ll throw some of my smaller notebooks in there), and two smaller pockets – one I put my phone and business cards in and the other I use for Chapstick, lotion, etc. Plus I still have a ton of room for files, my wallet, a cosmetics bag, chargers, etc. I’ve used it for travel as well and it rocks – you can fit so much in it without feeling like the bag is going to explode,” she said.
Emily Daniel: Timbuk2 Commute TSA-Friendly Laptop Messenger
Nashville, Tenn.-based Emily Daniel of Spanish Lessons with Emily D really likes the Timbuk2 Commute TSA-Friendly Laptop Messenger bag. She said, “Everywhere I go, I need to carry my
computer, charger, one or two books and a planner. …The bag can transition from a professional setting to an informal setting, mainly depending on what clothes I’m wearing, as the black goes with anything. I’ve actually stopped carrying a purse because I don’t need it anymore.”
Daniel appreciates the bag’s padded shoulder strap, padded pocket for tablets and other assorted pockets, and the lifetime warranty provided by Timbuk2, although she reported having the bag for four years with no problems whatsoever.
Becky Sturm: Urban Junket JB
Becky Sturm, CEO and founder of St. Paul, Minn.-based StormSister Spatique, chose an Urban Junket laptop bag similar to the Urban Junket JB Laptop Bag (hers, however, has a built-in charger for her phone). These bags are eco-friendly, roomy and have plenty of pockets for essentials. She said, “It’s stylish, recharges my phone and tablet, and is perfect for travel.”