How the Modern Laptop Backpack Came to Be

The laptop backpack is an accessory that is very important not just for carrying a portable computer but also for packing all the extras that go along with the device.

Think of things like the notebook, wallet, a charger, earphones, and sometimes snacks that you carry when you pick up your backpack.

Today, laptop backpacks are popular among the working professionals, students, and travelers.

Even though the latest designs look so impressive, the original idea for the laptop backpack dates back many decades ago as a matter of fact the bags are over 45 years old.

Within the four and a half decades, we have seen many designs of laptop backpacks. From canvas straps to leather bags, they have come in different styles. Here is a breakdown of the evolution of the laptop backpack.

The Backpacks before the First Laptop

Before the 70s, there were no clear backpacks. Kids would carry their books to school using straps of cloth or leather. The straps were fastened around their piles of books and then hang on their backs for easy carrying. This is how the first backpack came to be.

It was designed in 1938 by Gerry Outdoors but the bag never got the publicity it deserved. So kids continued using their usual leather and cloth straps to carry their school supplies.

Between the 40s and the 60s, a bigger population of kids opted for the canvass material since it was cheaper than leather.

This was the same period that the zip was invented for the backpack. This era also saw the idea of the briefcase-shaped backpack becoming popular and would offer kids a more sophisticated means of carrying their luggage.

In the early 70s, the first nylon backpack was created and it was claimed by Gerry Outdoors. The backpack was a sensation among the outdoor enthusiasts.

During this inventive period, JanSport, one of the world’s leading laptop backpack maker, invented their first backpack. Sadly laptops were not yet in public hands.

Backpacks during the Laptop Invention Era

The first complete laptop was unveiled in 1981. By then, backpacks were becoming popular, especially among the then college students. JanSport released a few laptop backpack designs during the late 80s. These styles were bigger and heavier to match the initial laptops.

The packs were specifically tailored for the laptop but instead, a majority of school going individuals opted to use the bags to carry school supplies.

During this period students would use the backpacks to carry their personal supplies since very few of them had laptops. Several companies in the laptop backpack manufacturing sector came aboard but yet again, the products took time to pick. Still in the 90s, very few people had access to the laptop. The desktops were the most popular computers.

The Use of the Laptop Backpack

In the turn of the millennium, more people were having the laptops, this urge prompted the desire for an easy way to carry their computers. Since a majority of the backpacks at the time were school-tailored, the manufacturers like JanSport saw an opportunity and came up with convenient bags for the laptops.

Even though the backpacks were initially made for the laptop, they would carry other things such as books and personal effects. Right now, things are very different, there are so many designs from different manufacturers and they all come in an array of colors and sizes.

The Modern Laptop Backpack

These days, laptop backpacks are found virtually in every store that deals with computers and stationery in both shop outlets and online stores.

The current backpacks are an improvement over the initial innovation. We have vintage-inspired and high-tech laptop backpacks and they all come attractively in appearance thus making them convenient for traveling. For example, in the high-tech laptop backpack manufacturing market, we have options that are slim and well organized internally.

Most of these designs draw their inspirations from long-distance professionals such as the cyclists. The material for the backpack is heavy-duty and mostly waterproof.

Their organizations allow the integration of features like the charger compartment, side pockets for the water bottle, and sections for your personal effects.

In the vintage laptop backpack manufacturing sectors, the options include leather and canvass classic bags. They incorporate a blend of vintage and modern touches.

The bags are a nostalgic throwback which reminds us of the 1938leather and canvas straps. The designs come with ridiculous extended warranties and the prices are usually higher than most laptop backpacks.

For those who look for a lasting and firm option in a bag, these laptop backpacks are ideal. When you look at the all the available designs of the backpacks, one thing is clear. They all embody the initial idea of being carried on the back.

As mentioned, the pioneers had a dream and even though what they carried at the time was not attractive enough, the current manufacturers still borrow the idea. In the world today, you don’t have to be rich or famous to own a modern laptop backpack.

Moreover, if you can afford the laptop then you can afford the backpack since the two usually come handy. In the stores, you are bound to face a difficult choice in deciding between two laptop backpacks of equal potentials.

This is mostly because the contemporary options are so great. For instances, how do you choose between a zippered backpack and a top-loader?

Perhaps, the only vivid advantage of the top-loader over the zipper is that the zip of the zipper may spoil but the top-loader is cost-effective.

Another case is choosing between a travel and a work laptop backpack, in case you are into both fields. Regardless of the choice you make, the modern laptop backpacks are incredible.


The evolution of the laptop backpack from the basic straps to the more equipped and slim backpacks show how far the bags have come. We live in a digital age and so the modern designs are made to suit the latest devices.  Each laptop manufacturer has its own backpack recommendation but this does not hold you back from going for a design that you fancy.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here