How to Measure Laptop Size for Bag

Laptop bags are simply bags that have a separate compartment for the laptop. These compartments are padded for shock resistance, and the bags themselves are typically water-resistant or waterproof. That’s pretty much the similarities end. Beyond that, there are a variety of bag types and features to choose from. This article is meant to serve as a quick guide to those who want to know how to measure laptop size for a bag and how to choose the best option.

How to measure laptop size for bag

Before you start browsing the internet for guides on how to get the best laptop bag, you first need to take the exact measurements of your gadget. Relying on guesswork will get you a bag that is either too big or too small for your laptop. A laptop has three main dimensions that you’ll need to measure; the length, width and height/depth.

Start off on any of the four corners with a tape measure and go all the way to the last one. Read the measurement for each side and record it down. Close the laptop’s lid to get the exact measurement of the height. To measure the screen size, open the lid and run the tape from the bottom right corner all the way to the top right corner. Do not extend the tape to the material enclosing the screen.

If your laptop is a smaller one, expect the screen size to measure approximately 10 inches. Bigger laptops measure about 15-17 inches. A laptop’s size is determined by the screen. So, when ordering a bag, provide the screen measurement as your laptop’s size. When needed, you can also provide the length, width and height/depth measurements.

Providing the exact measurements ensures that you buy the right bag and avoid the inconvenience of having to make trips back to the laptop bag store. You have to realize that taking your laptop’s measurement is merely the first step to getting a bag that fits it. To get a good bag, there are many other things you’ll need to consider.

Factors to consider when looking for a great laptop bag

#1 What kind of bag do you want?

The first thing to consider is what kind of bag you want. The common briefcase-type bag which usually comes both a grab handle and a shoulder strap still make the bestseller lists, but one of the most popular kind is the laptop backpack. There are also luggage-style roller bags with a separate section for laptops. If you want to keep both hands free, laptop bags are the obvious choice. The briefcase-type bags have an advantage because they’re not as bulky as the other types, while roller type overnighters with separate laptop storage are a boon for travelers who don’t want to bring a separate bag for their computers while on the go.

#2 How Much Storage do you need?

Storage for these bags come down to three choices: overnighter, medium storage, and gear only. The most spacious laptop bags are good for short trips or overnight trips. These are luggage replacements; several changes of clothing plus your computer and accessories and that’s it. Medium storage amounts to a jacket or a couple of thick textbooks. Gear only is, well, just your laptop plus accessories (headphone, mouse, USB, external hard drive, supplies, and, sometimes, a document storage area).

Bags are made to different sizes of laptops. When looking at the size specification, be sure to check if they are talking about PC laptops or Macs. Even if you choose a bag for your size laptop, if you use those laptop sleeves, there is a chance that your computer won’t fit in the bag, be careful of this situation. Also, check the padding of the laptop compartment, you want the bottom to be particularly protected.

Beyond the laptop compartment and the storage space, these bags typically have a separate accessories compartment for phones, laptop gear, office gear and the like. I find this to be the most creative part of a laptop bag. There is a good chance that you will find something to match what accessories you have. For example, some bags have a felt lines scratchproof storage for devices with small screens like PSPs or smartphones.

#3 Material

Top grade bags are made of leather, but a good alternative is a ballistic nylon. Ballistic nylon comes several weights including the 1680 and 1050, with the lower number being the heavier material. Ballistic Nylon was originally developed for World War II airmen. The material is tear resistant and was intended to protect against shrapnel during dog fights.

Perfectly acceptable is polyester nylon, nice and tough but it doesn’t look quite as good as ballistic nylon.

You would want to consider a bag with slightly harder materials on the bottom. Some bags have leather bottoms or line it with waterproof material. Some manufacturers even use PVA, a plastic-based material that wraps the bottom part of the bag like a shield.

#4 Fit and Finish

Check the stitching on your bag. You want straight stitching, cleanly executed. If you’re going to rough it, you want double stitching. Grab handles should be solid. For backpacks, the straps must be secured strongly to the bag’s body.

For extra security, some manufacturers offer a limited warranty for both fit and finish and materials.

#5 Comfort

Laptop backpacks are notorious for giving wearers sweaty backs. Today’s offerings have aerated mesh at the back area as well as breathable shoulder straps. If you’re looking to haul a lot with your backpack, remember that wide straps distribute the weight more evenly on your shoulders.

For hand carried briefcase-style cases, you should buy ones that come with shoulder straps.

Oh yes, pick the bag up empty and feel its weight. Bag’s weight varies a lot. Remember that you’re going to fill up these laptop carriers, so the weight when the bag is empty is something to consider.

Wrap up

Knowing what your laptop measures and your personal requirements are the only way to get a good laptop bag. Taking the measurements is not a complicated process. Once you have the tape measure, note down the screen size, length, width, and height of the laptop. The data will help you get a bag that snugly fits your laptop.