Laptop Bags That Are Practical and Sleek
As editors, fashionistas, celebutantes, and designers gather under the bright white tents of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Bryant Park to mix, mingle, and ogle works of fashion genius, the rest of us pick up our threadbare, coffee-and-ink-stained laptop bags and wonder if there isn't more to life. Well, there is. But in a world where fashion is king, you can no longer afford to be seen with your bulky, "my-dog-ate-half-of-it" leather laptop case. It's time to update your style, and the word on the street is that sleek and sexy are in, and brown is the new black. Read on, oh, fashion-weary, to see some of the most stylin' (and don't worry, efficient) laptop bags and sleeves on the market today.
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Alchemy Goods Pike Messenger Bag
If you're sick of people laughing at your special-edition World of Warcraft bag, perhaps you need to upgrade to something a bit more stylish--and, well, manlier. The Pike messenger bag from Alchemy Goods is nothing if not manly. Made from 67 percent recycled parts--including inner tubes, bicycle valves, and seat belts--the Pike even smells manly (like, um, rubber and seat belts). I suppose it isn't quite as manly as the bullet-resistant backpack, but it's very, very close.The Pike messenger bag has a 100 percent waterproof exterior, too. Featuring Velcro fastenings, a separate pocket for your laptop, and plenty of other nifty features (an adjustable seat belt strap, a key hook and pen pockets, reflective stripes), it fits laptops up to 14.5 inches wide. The Pike messenger bag is available from Alchemy Goods for $128.
Airmail Manila Envelope Sleeve
When Steve Jobs dramatically introduced the MacBook Air by pulling it out of a manila envelope, everybody in the crowd oohed and aahed. Well, everybody, that is, except a couple of designers--who immediately conspired to capitalize on Apple's latest product. Thus, the Airmail Manila Envelope laptop sleeve was born. The vinyl Airmail Manila Envelope sleeve comes in the familiar yellow-brown color and is available in one size--the size of a standard manila envelope. Lined with fleece, the sleeve will protect your MacBook Air from scratches (but not much else). The closure on the sleeve--two red buttons and a piece of red string--is cleverly designed, and on the front is a little "Hello From Manila Mac" airmail-stamp impression. The Airmail Manila Envelope Sleeve is available from Manila Mac for $34.
Isis Dei Karma Sleeve
Are you looking for a laptop sleeve with godly powers? Look no further than the Isis Dei Karma laptop sleeve. Emblazoned with a gold, silver, and pink image of Buddha, this chocolate-brown sleeve combines statement (I've reached Nirvana, darn it!), style (a splash of hot pink goes a long way), and laptop protection.The Karma neoprene sleeve comes in four sizes and features an elastic inner "lip" that you can tuck snugly around your laptop to protect it from the zipper. The "lip" also effectively holds the laptop inside the sleeve, keeping your portable safe even if you forget to zip the sleeve up. The sleeve also features a gold leather bottom, gold hardware, and a black interior. The Karma sleeve is available from Isis Dei for $30.
Isis Dei 'Dei Tripper' Bag
Aptly named, the Dei Tripper bag looks like it would make a perfect companion for the fashion-inclined casual traveler. Sightseeing, after all, doesn't have to mean bright Hawaiian-print shirts, floppy hats, and big clicky cameras. Instead, touring can be sophisticated and subtle, like the hemp-colored Dei Tripper, which evokes images of peaceful virgin beaches rather than of gaudy tourist traps.The Dei Tripper bag, made of hemp-covered memory foam and able to fit laptops up to 15.4 inches, features brown leather trim, gold hardware, and a bright, silky red skull-and-crossbones interior. The bag has three pockets--a main, memory-foamed one for your laptop, a back zipper compartment, and a front pocket with two pen holders and a card holder. The Dei Tripper bag is available from Isis Dei for $60.
Targus Velos Messenger Bag
"Okay," I can hear you say, "all of these laptop bags so far are snazzy, but I need something a little less sexy and a little more useful." Fine, I understand--but "sexy" and "useful" aren't mutually exclusive. Enter the Targus Velos messenger bag. The Velos messenger bag has a modern look, with two interchangeable straps--one in the color of the bag for a monochrome look (so chic!) and one in a bright accent color. The bag itself is well designed, with an array of nooks, hooks, and pockets for all of your laptop needs. The Velos, made of spun polyester twill with a built-in neoprene laptop sleeve, fits a 15.4-inch laptop and is available in charcoal (with an interchangeable lime-colored strap), chocolate (with an interchangeable aqua-colored strap), and wheat (with an interchangeable orange-colored strap). Some nifty features include side rain flaps to prevent leakage, a handle that lies flat when not in use, and a zippered inside pouch with accessory pockets--plenty of room for your laptop, its accessories, and your papers/books. The Velos messenger bag is available from Targus for $75.
Targus Grove Sling
That's right, even mountain biking can be stylish. The Grove Sling, part of the Targus "EcoSmart" family of products (PVC- and nickel-free with recyclable plastic accents), is a slick olive color and features orange ("Sedona") accents. Well padded and full of pockets and zippers, the Grove Sling is perfect for people who don't want to let a little sweat and dirt get in the way of fashion. The Targus Grove Sling is made of nylon and fits laptops up to 15.4 inches. Just slip your laptop into the side, where the portable fits into its own built-in sleeve, and then sling the bag across your chest (the bag is padded for comfort). The front zipper pocket features a bunch of organizational compartments, including pen holders, a CD holder, a business card holder, an MP3 pocket with a headphone pass-through (on the strap), and a key hook. You also get an expandable mesh side pocket for water bottles. The Grove Sling is available from Targus for $65.
Malcolm Fontier Entertainer Tech
Finally, a laptop bag that doesn't even look like a laptop bag! The Malcolm Fontier Entertainer Tech bag fits your laptop vertically, which gives the entire bag a sleeker, sexier look than most laptop bags have. Unfortunately, you'll have to pay a price for sexy--with the Entertainer Tech bag, you'll be fighting to carry much more than a laptop and some papers. Let's just say that, while this is not the bag for anybody who wants to tote peripherals, it is the perfect bag for a laptop minimalist. The Entertainer Tech is made of polyurethane-coated canvas and fits laptops up to 15.4 inches--and with a magnetic flap closure and linen lining, it's easily the height of laptop-bag style. It features leather accents, a padded compartment for your laptop, a neoprene camera/iPod/passport pocket, and a built-in card holder. It has plenty of pockets for your gadgets, too--but to keep the bag looking sleek, you'll not want to stuff your gear into every extra space you can find. The Entertainer Tech comes in dark brown with light-brown accents, and is available from Malcolm Fontier for $249.
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