Laptop backpacks make a great accessory for transporting your valuable gadgets – they are safe and comfortable. But is buying a laptop backpack as simple as going into the first shop you encounter and buying the one whose design and style you like the most? Not really. There are a number of things you should consider if you want to buy a laptop backpack.

Size. Make sure you know what your laptop size is, measured in inches (this is the size by which you’ll be searching for the backpack most of the time). Basically, you can carry your computer in a backpack larger than needed, but if you want to be sure it is safely snug on your back, go for the proper size. However, the posted size might not always be 100% accurate, so it’s best to put your computer inside prior to purchase and see for yourself. If you need plenty of room, you might opt for a top-loader instead of a backpack with a zipper.

Weight. Go for the light one. Even if your laptop is light and relatively small, you might end up carrying lots of things in your backpack, especially when traveling. The last thing you’ll need when walking miles with your backpack on is the unnecessary weight.

Comfort. Take a look at shoulder pads – backpacks which have them are a lot more comfortable and even though they are more expensive, they will pay off once you spend hours with the bag on your back. Also check the back-part of your backpack for extra pads or special curves which are great for comfort and can help reduce back pain, especially if the backpack is equipped with an extra strap that goes across the stomach. Look for netting material on the back part and shoulder straps which may let the air flow and decrease sweating, especially if you are on a bike in hot weather. If you live in a cold climate, you might not need the netting or even pads in case you always wear a thick jacket.

Quality and material. You know that’s a valuable thing you’ve got on your back, right? You don’t want it to get wet when it’s raining, so make sure to choose a waterproof backpack. Check the zipper – does it seem like it can withstand a backpack full of your things? Of course, you’ll try not to cram it up, but it’s always good to have a reliable item with you, just in case. Also take a look at the inside padding and outside firmness– they should be good enough to ensure protection in case of a hit or drop.

Additional pockets and compartments. Depending on the purpose of this purchase, you definitely want to know how much and what sort of things your new backpack can carry – water bottle, pens, notebooks, maybe even a cooler compartment, if you want your chocolate to stay solid on a hot day. However, all the comfort takes its toll in weight – so double check whether you really need what you think you need.

Style. If you only need to take your laptop to work, you might want to buy a backpack which fits that purpose. If you want to go traveling with it, you might choose a sportier one.