The best laptop sleeve
A laptop is a sizable investment, especially considering it's something you use daily for hours at a time. That's why it's a no-brainer to protect your computer with a laptop sleeve.
Laptop sleeves are made with durable exterior materials to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. Depending on the design, they might also come with storage compartments, handles, or water-resistant layers. If you're wondering whether you can find a sleeve that fits your laptop, rest assured -- most styles are available in three to six sizes. Laptop sleeves also come in a host of colors and designs to match your style.
Since a laptop is essentially your mobile office or study station, it's worth it to have a top-notch laptop sleeve. We're including our favorite style, ProCase Laptop Sleeve, which features a professional slim design with well-placed compartments.
Considerations when choosing laptop sleeves
Traditional: Traditional laptop sleeves stick to the basics and focus on a snug fit, occasionally featuring storage compartments. They're usually padded and reinforced to promote shock absorption, so they're a bit bulkier than other styles. They're best if you're hard on your laptop, especially if you lug it around in an unpadded bag or backpack.
Slim: Slimline laptop sleeves aim to cut down on bulk and are made of thin, lightweight materials like nylon and polyester. They rarely have pockets or compartments, with the occasional exception for slots that hold USB drives or discs. They're best if you want to cut down on the amount of weight in your bag, and if you want a sleeker, more professional look in a sleeve.
Carryall: Carryall laptop sleeves, also known as briefcase styles, feature handles or straps for easy carrying. They can be traditional or slim styles or can be a bit larger to house other electronics and accessories. They're a convenient alternative for minimalists who want to avoid carrying a larger bag.
Soft vs. hard styles
The majority of laptop sleeves are made from soft, flexible, and lightweight materials. More than anything, they function as a dust cover and an extra line of defense against impact.
Hard sleeves are made from dense materials whose main goal is to protect a laptop from impact, moisture, and even extreme weather. They're usually far more expensive, though they're worth it if you regularly bring your laptop into challenging conditions.
Laptop sleeves are equipped with a variety of protective features, but not all sleeves have the same ones. Padding is pretty common in sleeves for shock absorption, and some styles even have reinforced edges with additional padding. Another popular feature is water resistance. It's definitely a feature worth considering if you keep water bottles in your bag.
Soft laptop sleeves are generally made from fabric or leather. Nylon, neoprene, and polyester are the most popular choices, as they're relatively durable and have water-resistant qualities. Microfiber, plush, and even wool are common for sleeve lining.
Hard laptop sleeves usually have hard shells made from plastic. A few sleeves have a thin aluminum shell for added drop protection. Like soft laptop sleeves, they utilize soft, scratch-free materials for their lining.
Most laptop sleeves are simply slipped inside backpacks or bags, though some styles can be carried on their own with handles or straps. Handles often tuck away or slide inside the sleeve when they're not in use. There are a few laptop sleeves with removable straps, many of which are in an adjustable crossbody style.
The majority of laptop sleeves have plastic or metal zipper closures. Since metal ones can scratch laptops, make sure they're backed by a thin fabric barrier. There are also different closure styles including magnets, snaps, and hook-and-loops, but they're less popular and somewhat less durable.
You can pick up a simple protective laptop sleeve for less than $12. For ones with modest storage and water resistance, expect to spend between $20 and $40. If you're looking for hard cases or those from premium accessory brands, you can spend between $50 and $100.
Q. Can I fit folders or notebooks inside my laptop sleeve?
A. Most laptop sleeves are designed to provide a tight, secure fit for your laptop. As a result, it's unlikely there will be space for folders or notebooks. If you need the extra storage, consider laptop sleeves with full-size external pockets.
Q. Will a laptop sleeve protect my laptop if it's dropped?
A. While it's not guaranteed, some sleeves have protective layers to minimize impact. Sleeves with protective padding and reinforced edges are safer. If you can't find these features, opt for a sleeve with multiple layers as opposed to an unlined style.
Laptop sleeves we recommend
Best of the best: ProCase's Laptop Sleeve
Our take: Nifty sleeve that fits in a bag or can be carried separately with its extendable handle.
What we like: Top-notch construction with premium materials as well as plenty of convenient features, including double zippers and front pocket storage.
What we dislike: Storage is somewhat limited, and design is better suited for certain laptops than others.
Best bang for your buck: AmazonBasics' Laptop Sleeve
Our take: Affordable and simple option with quality neoprene construction. Available in five colors.
What we like: Easy to get a perfect fit with eight size options. Lightweight construction fits easily in backpacks and messenger bags.
What we dislike: Some concerns with the zipper, and mixed reviews on the polyester lining.
Choice 3: Mosiso's Quatrefoil Canvas Laptop Sleeve
Our take: Comes with sleeve and accessory case in an attractive, professional design.
What we like: Plush, scratch-free lining and top quality reinforced zipper. High-density water-resistant layer to minimize water damage.
What we dislike: Not available in solid covers, and some reports of odor emanating from the package.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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