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Top 10 Best Leather Laptop Bags for Men in 2021

Top 10 Best Leather Laptop Bags for Men in 2021

If you own a laptop, leather laptop bags are one of the best bags money can buy. While there are ordinary laptop bags such as tote bags, messenger bags, and briefcases, nothing beats leather. However, honestly speaking, choosing the perfect leather laptop bag is not an easy task. You might face certain dilemmas due to the variety of choices. You might want to think whether you like a leather messenger bag, a leather briefcase, a leather backpack, and so on. There are just that many types of leather bags.

There is also the question of which leather to choose. Do you want your leather laptop bag to be genuine leather only? Or do you want the top grain leather or even better full-grain? And of course size matters! The size of your laptop will also dictate the choice you make.

Nonetheless, choosing the right leather laptop bag will be a matter of preference. However, we at Steel Horse Leather Co. will do our best to help you make your choice. And to make your choice easier, we have prepared a list of the best leather laptop bags for men in 2021 at the end.

Types of Leather Laptop Bags

Basically, a laptop bag is any bag where your laptop can fit. However, if we are to be strict about it, there are bags that are specifically made for laptops. Nevertheless, modern bag designs now cater to dedicated laptop storage. Here are different types of leather laptop bags. While their main purpose is to provide store laptops safely inside, they have their differences and advantages. While they might not be designer laptop bags, the quality of the construction and leather means they will last far longer.

Leather Messenger Bags

If you are thinking of purchasing a leather messenger bag then you are on the right track. Messenger bags are perfect as laptop bags. This is mainly because of their shape and design. You may even say that the messenger bag is built specifically for laptops. Thus, this is the reason why it is a popular laptop bag, especially leather messenger bags. This is because leather bags are strong and versatile. They are perfect for those who have large and heavy laptops, like those for gaming.

Vintage Messenger Bags
Welch Leather Laptop Bag

Messenger bags however are not primarily made for laptops. As its name would suggest, messenger bags are used to carry and deliver articles and other items. Thus messenger bags are also known as courier bags. These days, however, a messenger bag is more than just for delivering items. Today, the messenger bag is popular with commuters and students as well. While it is typically worn close to the body, some prefer to loosen the straps a bit and let it hang down the hips like a sling bag. It is popular especially to students since it is easier to place and remove things such as textbooks and laptops. A messenger bag also has a fashionable casual look in comparison to a briefcase.

Leather Briefcases

Picking up where we just left off, a messenger bag is indeed casual. While a leather briefcase screams “professional” even just by hearing the word “briefcase”. Typically, lawyers use the briefcase to carry case briefs to the court, and hence the name “brief” - case. Businessmen, office workers, and other white-collar professionals also use the briefcase for carrying their important documents around. But nevertheless, the briefcase is a great candidate for a leather laptop bag. Especially in this day and age where everything is digital. Carrying a laptop inside a briefcase instead of heaps of paper has become the new normal.

Large Capactiy Vintage Leahter Messenger Laptop Bag
The Gustav

The briefcase, in shape and size, is similar to the messenger bag. Although unlike the messenger bag, the briefcase has a rigid box-like structure. Giving it a more formal look and make you look more respectable. It typically has only one main internal space while some have dividers, subsections, and pockets for a tidier organization.

Leather Backpacks and Leather Shoulder Bags

It is also one of the most versatile bags there is. Its design is primarily for the convenience and comfort of the wearer. It has a structureless form which makes the backpack a bag for almost any activity.

Leather laptop bags are likewise great as a leather laptop bag. Modern designs of leather backpacks now have dedicated laptop compartments. These compartments rest nearest to the back of the wearer. It is also heavily padded on the backside, to protect the laptop from bumping into the wearer's back.

Felman Shoulder Bag
The Felman Backpack | Handcrafted Leather Backpack

Leather backpacks are great because anybody can use them anytime anywhere. It is popular especially for students who are always racing around the university campus. Imagine running around with a briefcase or messenger bag that has a laptop with it. It is either gonna swing wildly or your arms will get tired from carrying it. With a leather backpack, you can run around comfortably while your laptop rests securely on your back.

Leather Shoulder Bags

While most shoulder bags are small, there are some that are large enough to store a laptop. There may sometimes be confusion between shoulder bags vs tote bags and shoulder bags vs messenger bags. Nonetheless, they will still be used in a similar way.

Leather Duffel Bags

Leather duffel bags are mostly known for travel. Whether you are going on a quick weekender or a business trip the duffel bag will not let you down. It is a bag meant to store a lot of things, including your laptop! However, unlike messenger bags and briefcases, not all duffel bags are meant to house a laptop. A typical duffel bag is cylindrical in shape. Moreover, a duffel bag will have a loose structure. With its shape and loose structure, it is not very wise to store your laptop in there.

Dagny Duffel Bag
Dagny Weekender in Brown

If you are planning to purchase a duffel bag that doubles as a leather laptop bag, down get your hopes down. There are indeed variations of duffel bag designs that house laptops. These duffel bags have a rectangular box-type structure similar to messenger bags.

Leather Tote Bags

Another popular leather laptop bag is the leather tote bag. A Laptop tote is strong, durable, and perfect for carrying laptops of all sizes. Unlike the shoulder bag, a tote bag has plenty of storage space. Moreover, leather tote bags also offer external water protection, unlike other tote bags which are made of cloth.

Leather Tote Laptop Bag
Taavi Tote

Types Of Leather Used In Leather Laptop Bags

Another important thing to know when you want to purchase a leather laptop bag is the material. Of course, if you are looking for leather laptop bags, then you may want to know a thing or two about leather. Like where does leather come from? Are there different kinds of leather? And most importantly, what leather to buy and what not to buy.

Where Does Leather Come From?

First off, where does leather come from? Leather, or more specifically real leather, is an organic material. It is animal skin that has gone through the process of molecular change. Typically, leather comes from either cowhide or horse skin. Other notable animal skins are from rabbits, foxes, pigs, crocodiles, and even kangaroos and stingrays. Turning animal skin into leather is a very time-consuming process. It requires skill, hard work, and most importantly, patience. To know more about the process of making leather, check out our full-length article on how to make leather.

Full Grain Leather

It is by far the strongest and most durable type of leather out there. Its strength and durability are because of the microfibers found all over the topmost layer of the animal skin. The topmost layer being the natural grain.

Not all animal skins will be turned into full grain leather. This is because full-grain leather requires only the highest quality of animal skin. More often than not, animal skins will have some scars, blemishes, and other marks. While these imperfections make full-grain leather unique, some of them do not make the cut. To remove these imperfections, the topmost layer will be sanded down. Sanding the top layer will produce a fresh top surface, free of any imperfections. Additionally, some animal skins are too thick to handle and therefore undergo splitting. It does however remove the strong fibers found on the natural grain.

The Wainwright Weekender | Round Vintage Leather Weekender
The Wainwright Weekender | Round Vintage Leather Weekender

Top Grain Leather

Next is the second highest quality leather, top grain leather. To avoid confusion, the top grain is not the topmost layer of the animal skin, it is the natural grain. Top grain leather is the byproduct of splitting, sanding, and/or buffing leather. By removing the natural grain you get the top grain leather.

Top grain also has a pristine look since all the imperfections found on the natural grain were removed. This also makes the leather look uniform and refined. Top grain leather however is not as strong and durable as full-grain leather. It is the downside when removing the natural grain. The leather’s longevity is likewise affected. Top grain however leather is more flexible and easier to work with. Since it is easier to work with, its manufacturing cost is also lower and therefore costs less.

Genuine Leather

Last and certainly the least among the three in quality is genuine leather. Genuine leather is still made of animal skin therefore it is still organic. It is however from different leather scraps from either top grain or full grain or even both. Think of it as some sort of a Frankenstein leather. Moreover, since it has the lowest quality, it is not as strong nor is it as durable when comparing it to the other two. It is still real leather and it is still better than fake leather. The great thing about genuine leather is that it is affordable. Its prices are significantly lower in comparison to even top grain leather. Likewise, genuine leather is readily available, unlike full-grain leather.

What Type Of Leather Is Best

Among the three types of leather above, obviously, the best is the full-grain leather. Next is top grain leather then genuine leather. It does not mean however that the other two are bad choices. They do have certain qualities to them that the full-grain leather does not have.

If you are looking for a cheap bag most certain than not, full-grain leather will be out of the list. These leathers also have different appearances. One has full of imperfections while the others look more uniform and refined. Nonetheless, these three types of leather are of good quality for leather laptop bags.

What Type Of Leather To Avoid

In this age of technological advancement, it is pretty easy to make replicas of other things. Like faux leather, which imitates real leather. These imitations however are not as strong and as durable. They also crack and peel more than real leather. Faux leather is indeed significantly inferior.

Faux leather is made out of synthetic materials. There are two types of faux leather. These are PU Leather and PVC Leather fabric. They are basically the same however with some slight differences in the combination of materials and finishes. If you wish to know more about faux leather and PU Leather, click on the links below.

Steel Horse Leather Co. | Faux Leather | PU Leather

Laptop Fit and Compartments

When you are looking for the perfect laptop bag, you buy it because you want your laptop to be secure and protected from the inside. However, if your laptop is too big for the bag then it won’t fit. Moreover, if your laptop is too small, it might move around inside and damage itself. You will want a bag with a compartment that your laptop can fit securely. You should therefore know beforehand how big your laptop is.

Most laptop size will either be 13, 15, or 17 inches. You can measure your laptop with a tape measure. Measure it diagonally to get the full width. If your laptop is smaller than 13 inches you may want to purchase a laptop sleeve or case. A laptop sleeve will protect your laptop if it ever moves around on the inside. A padded laptop sleeve will be even better since it offers more protection. Laptop sleeves are also available for any laptop size. This however is merely optional.

Leather compartments
The Shelby Backpack | Handmade Genuine Leather Backpack

These days most leather laptop bags will have varying sizes. A good example is the laptop backpacks. Most laptop backpacks will have an available size for any laptop size. So whether you have a 13, 14 15, 16, or 17-inch laptop there might just be a backpack available for you. This is to cater to any laptop size that a person may have. It will also give them more options to choose from. It is also important to consider the pockets that are included. Does it have a zippered pocket for a small accessory, or does it come with a nonpadded or padded laptop sleeve? Is there a separate compartment for extra items or a side pouch for your water bottle? These are important aspects to consider in your search for the perfect laptop bag.

Top 10 Leather Laptop Bags

Despite the variety of leather laptop bags out there, we have gathered on what we think is the top 10 best leather laptop bags for men in 2021. Each one of these options are stylish laptop bags that make a perfect companion for protecting your laptop on the go.

Best Leather Cross Body Bags - Leather Laptop Messenger Bags

These are the best leather laptop messenger bags and briefcases for men in 2021. Whether you are looking for a casual or professional style, this selection has it covered.

The Welch Briefcase | Vintage Brown Leather Messenger Bag

A classy yet high functioning leather briefcase and messenger bag in one. It is a mature style perfect for both casual and professional occasions. The briefcase can house a laptop of up to 14 inches. Furthermore, it is made of high-quality leather, making it sturdy and secure inside and out, acting as the perfect laptop case. It also comes with a sturdy crossbody strap that makes it the perfect laptop bag for hands-free carrying. This is one laptop messenger bag that will last for a long time and age with a beautiful patina.

Top 10 Best Leather Laptop Bags for Men in 2021
The Welch Briefcase

The Viggo Briefcase | Genuine Leather Messenger Bag

The Viggo briefcase is sleek and classy. It is a laptop briefcase designed to blend within the corporate environment. It is made only of the highest quality leather. Making it a dependable and long-lasting laptop messenger bag. It also has an efficient and spacious interior design where you can easily and securely store at a laptop of up to 14 inches. The Viggo Briefcase, the perfect laptop briefcase for all your work-related needs.

Leather Briefcase
The Viggo Briefcase

The Gustav Messenger Bag | Large Capacity Vintage Leather Messenger Bag

The Gustav Laptop Messenger Bag is a bag that boasts both in style and capacity. It has a classy appearance perfect for those who value a mature vintage aesthetic. A bag that you can carry confidently on any occasion. It also has a very spacious yet very secure interior. The Gustav has 2 central compartments with a large laptop compartment and 2 additional pockets. It can house a laptop of up to 15 inches and still make room for many other daily items. It comes equipped with a very sturdy convertible shoulder strap that can switch to allow you to wear it like a backpack

Leather Messenger Bag
The Gustav Briefcase

Best Leather Laptop Shoulder Bags - Handmade Leather Backpacks

Down below are the best leather laptop backpacks and shoulder bags for 2021. A selection is composed of leather laptop bags for any occasion. Comfortable, easy to carry, and easy to store.

The Hagen Backpack | Vintage Leather Shoulder Bag

Made out of genuine cowhide, the Hagen Backpack is lightweight and soft yet a very durable laptop backpack. Making it the perfect backpack for daily wear and tear. It has an interior pocket that can house a laptop of up to 14 inches and can still carry your books and other gadgets. It is a bag that easy to access but still keeps your belongings safe and secure.

Leather Laptop Backpack
The Hagen Backpack

The Helka Backpack | Genuine Vintage Leather Backpack

Minimalistic, yet elegant. This is the Helka Backpack, do not let its simple design fool you. It is made of all-natural leather which can withstand daily use and any wear and tear. A backpack that focuses more on function rather than style. Perfect for school, work, and even on outdoor trips. The Helka has the capacity to house a laptop of up to 14 inches, with extra room for your books and documents to spare.

Top 10 Best Leather Laptop Bags for Men in 2021
The Helka Backpack

The Freja Backpack | Handcrafted Leather Shoulder Bag

A slightly larger backpack than the previous one, the Freja Backpack is also about function and durability. It is perfect for school, work, and the outdoors. It has ample space in its main compartment to fit a laptop of up to 15 inches. Plus it has three exterior pockets, an interior zippered pocket, and two slip pockets for extra space. Most of all it is very comfortable to wear even when full.

Top 10 Best Leather Laptop Bags for Men in 2021
The Freja Backpack

The Vali Backpack | Handmade Vintage Leather Shoulder Bag

This handmade vintage leather is backpack fit for your daily needs. The Vali has a large main compartment that can fit up to a laptop of 15 inches with more space to spare. The backpack is secure and safe yet easy to access. The straps are designed to strategically distribute the weight on the shoulder evenly. It is materials are comfortable and made to last for a very long time.

Top 10 Best Leather Laptop Bags for Men in 2021
The Vali Backpack

The Shelby Backpack | Handmade Genuine Leather Shoulder Bag

A bag with a sophisticated style that provides space with its many compartments. It has a pouch and separate compartment for every possible item. Its main compartment can house a laptop of up to 17 inches. Big space. It has a padded laptop compartment and a YKK zipper to keep your laptop safe and secure. Most importantly, it is made out of crazy horse leather, it is durable, lightweight, and built to last for a very long time.

Top 10 Best Leather Laptop Bags for Men in 2021
Shelby Backpack

Best Leather Laptop Bags - Handmade Leather Duffel Bags

Only the best of the best leather laptop duffel bags. Perfect for business trips and quick getaways. These bags have a large capacity to fit your laptop and much more. They make for the perfect piece of carry-on luggage.

The Bjarke Weekender | Handcrafted Brown Leather Duffle Bag

Made of high-quality leather, this handcrafted leather bag is a must for frequent travelers who have to carry their laptops everywhere. It has a functional and minimalist aesthetic. It is durable and sturdy, perfect for travel. It is also very spacious with dedicated laptop storage that can fit a laptop of up to 15 inches. It also has an interior zippered pocket and several small item sleeves that can carry any accessory. The included crossbody strap is perfect for travel.

Top 10 Best Leather Laptop Bags for Men in 2021
The Bjarke Weekender

The Eira Duffle Bag | Vintage Dark Brown Leather Weekender

The Eira Duffel Bag is a classy leather bag that comes with extra space. Its capacity allows it to house a laptop or iPad up to the size of 15 inches in a dedicated laptop compartment. Despite its size, it is a light yet durable bag since it is made from crazy horse leather. It also comes with optional shoulder straps, which are removable and adjustable.

Top 10 Best Leather Laptop Bags for Men in 2021
The Eira Duffel Bag

The Endre Weekender | Black Leather Duffel Bag

One of our best selling bags, the Endre Weekender. This beautiful bag has a smooth and stylish finish. It is sturdy and durable but also light and easy to carry. The Endre is fitted with a YKK zipper and a soft, comfortable crossbody strap for added comfort. It has a spacious interior with a dedicated laptop sleeve built to fit laptops of up to 15 inches. Likewise, this duffel bag also has 3 small object pockets and a separate compartment for shoes. It makes for the perfect travel accessory. What more could you ever ask for on a leather duffel bag?

Top 10 Best Leather Laptop Bags for Men in 2021
The Endre Weekender

Leather Bags and the Environment

Whether it is real leather or fake leather, we have to face each one’s environmental impacts.

One of the environmental impacts caused by manufacturing real leather is the animal killings. Such is considered cruel that many have already expressed their dissent against such practices. Many therefore turn to the alternative. That alternative being faux or vegan leather.

The reason why fake leather is also called vegan leather is that it is not made from any animal skin. It uses 100% synthetic materials. While many accept this as an alternative to animal cruelty, it does however still produce adverse effects on the environment. Manufacturing fake leather entails chemical waste. According to sources, these wastes are often dumped improperly and cause water pollution.

If these facts are true, and indeed they are, can leather be environmentally friendly? The answer may not be a resounding yes, but we can lessen the impact it makes. For example, practicing vegetable tanning instead of chrome tanning. Vegetable tanning uses organic and biodegradable materials to tan the leather. It does not produce any chemical waste, unlike chrome tanning. Another good example is to innovate or be more responsible for how manufacturers dispose of chemical waste.

Asta Weekender
The Asta Weekender | Handcrafted Leather Duffle Bag

What is a Leather Laptop Bag?

A leather laptop bag is any leather bag that can house a laptop. A laptop bag however will have special compartments to store the laptop. It may also have multiple compartments to store your computer accessories. Furthermore, a leather laptop bag is designed to protect your laptop against damage, dirt, and water. It will have certain features such as padded compartments to keep your laptop safe and secure.

What are the Benefits of a Leather Laptop Bag?

There are many benefits to owning a leather laptop bag. Here are the top 3 benefits that will get you interested.

First is that leather laptop bags are beautiful and fashionable to look at. Whether you are in a formal or corporate setting, a leather bag will fit in no matter what.

Next is that leather is a very durable material. It is strong, however, it is not too stiff that it feels like you are carrying a box. Leather is sturdy yet flexible at the same time. Something that will come in handy, especially when you want to store it in no tight spaces.

Finally, leather laptop bags offer great protection to your laptop. Inside a leather laptop bag, your laptop is more safe and secure. This is because it has a dedicated laptop compartment that will hold your laptop in place. Most of these laptop compartments also have padding in them. The padding will help protect your laptop from bumping into other things inside the bag. Or even those from the outside. Leather is also water-resistant. While too much water will ruin the surface of the leather, it will keep your laptop dry inside.

The Welch Briefcase | Vintage Leather Messenger Bag
The Welch Briefcase | Vintage Leather Messenger Bag

Grain Leather - Why use Full Grain Leather?

We cannot recommend full-grain leather enough. Why? Because it is the best of the best. It is as simple as that.

But for someone who is not so familiar with leather, telling the fake from the real one will be a difficult task. We do however have some tips and tricks that will help you spot the fake. Tips like checking the label and the price of the leather bag are important. You may also want to get intimate with it the leather. Some can tell the difference just by looking. However, it is better to use your other senses as well. Fake and real leather have a different feel and smell to them. If you want to know more on how to tell real leather from fake leather apart check on the link below.

Steel Horse Leather Co. | Real Leather VS Fake Leather: How To Tell Them Apart

What are the advantages of using real leather?

Why use real leather? It is because real leather is strong and durable. It does not crack easily nor does it peel due to exposure to the elements. Real leather is also beautiful, especially when you have full-grain leather. They are dependable even through the test of time and abuse. Real leather is a great investment, both in the short and long term.

How do you choose a Leather Laptop Bag?

If you want to be comfortable and stylish while your laptop is safe and secure inside then you may want to choose a leather laptop bag. There are however many types of leather laptop bags, and you may be asking which one should you choose? The answer is that: "it depends".

The style of your leather laptop bag will depend on your preference and use. Are you a person who is comfortable with a sling bag? Then you can choose either a duffel or messenger laptop bag. If you are the type that is always in a rush, maybe the backpack laptop bag may be right for you. Or if you are aiming to look professional, then a briefcase laptop bag is perfect.

The bottom line is what style of bag you choose will ultimately depend on your comfort and activity. Do not rush in choosing. Choose what style of bag you are most comfortable with. If you cannot then what is stopping you from owning more than one style of leather laptop bag?

Does a Leather Laptop Bag Count as a Carry On?

A frequently asked question is whether a leather laptop bag count as a carry on or a personal item. A safe answer is that it depends on the size of your bag. While most believe that if your bag fits under the seat in front of you then you consider it a personal item.

There are however specific dimensions for carry-on and personal items. These dimensions however will differ from airline to airline. For example, according to United Airlines, the answer will depend on the size of your bag. According to their standards, the maximum dimensions for a carry-on bag are 9 x 14 x 22 inches. Whereas the maximum dimensions for your personal items are 9 x 10 x 17 inches. It will however depend on the airlines. If you want to know more you can check on this link.

If the bags you carry exceed the maximum then almost always they will be carry-ons. However, laptop bags, most of the time are treated as personal items only. This is because laptop bag is only as big as the laptop they store. Most of the time the dimensions of the laptop do not exceed the limit. They are rarely treated as carry-ons. Regardless, most airlines will allow the bag as long as it fits under the seat in front and/or the overhead storage. Bags such as duffel and backpacks depending on their size are often treated as carry-ons.

The Wainwright Weekender | Round Vintage Leather Weekender
The Wainwright Weekender | Round Vintage Leather Weekender

Style and Look - How to Choose the Best Leather Laptop Bag for You

Of course, if you are planning to buy a leather laptop bag then you want one that fits your style.

If you are going for something casual, then vintage style leather is perfect for you. Vintage style gives off that Indiana Jones vibes. It makes you look laid back and cool for owning something that looks like a piece of history. On the other hand, if you are going for a more professional look, a modern leather style is what you need. It has a sleek design with a more uniform and refined look. It's something that is perfect for someone who wants to be taken seriously.

Straps are also an important factor in style. Whether you wear the bag hanging on one shoulder, crossbody, or backpack style. Or if you don't want to wear it at all, and carry it briefcase-style.

Honestly speaking, a leather bag will look good in any style or look. Whether you are trying to look casual or professional leather will fit right in.