When you want to protect an iPad Air, or one of the earlier Apple tablets, you would think finding a quality, stylish backpack at a reasonable price would be simple.
It is not! Although there is a great range of iPad and tablet bags and cases of all kinds, so far, too many manufacturers have been ignoring the interests of consumers looking for a backpack.
The good news is that the few backpacks available are stylish and very well made. The not so good news comes if you are looking for an economy backpack. I could only find one myself and, if you don't like the choices then you are out of luck!
Most people will be looking for a something to carry and protect an iPad Air but the backpacks on this page will be ideal for all models, including the original iPad, if anyone still has one!
Drop a link in the comments below if you come across a backpack for the iPad that I missed- we will all love you!
What an iPad Backpack should deliver.
For most of us there are four essential features:
The backpacks below rate highly for these qualities.
Ogio Newt 2
The Ogio Newt 2 is the only single strap pack on this list. Some people might not even call it a backpack, but it is the perfect size and design for everyday use.
Surprisingly lightweight, this bag offers good protection for your iPad with a fleece lining and side entry compartment. The triple bar internal structure keeps it in shape and makes it comfortable to carry.
There are many pockets, making it great for people who like to organize. The quick access phone compartment is also fleece-lined.
The quick access phone compartment is also fleece-lined.
The Defender is probably the most organized bag around. It has plenty of smart pockets for all types personal stuff, plus a protected sleeve for your iPad. The cash and credit card pockets means you do not even need to carry a wallet.
The fabric is nylon with a breathable mesh to eliminate condensation.
There is a cool, semi-weatherproof opening to allow you to use headphones from a device safe inside the pack.
It is a pretty expensive choice at over a hundred dollars but it is tough enough to outlast several generations of iPads to come.
It is a pretty expensive choice at over a hundred dollars but it is tough enough to outlast several versions of the iPad.
Timbuk2 Candybar Backpack
Timbuk2 is famous for durable and well-priced bags and backpacks of all kinds. Many of their cases may just outlive the owner!
The Candybar backpack works with 15 inch laptops, or any of the iterations of the iPad. All have molded foam interior protection for your iPad. There is a small pocket for essential accessories. It can be adjusted for use as a shoulder bag or as a simple iPad sleeve.
Even the color choices are striking with design shifts of surprising dimensions. The white Candybar would be fine for a tea party in the Hamptons. The 'Tropical Mist' version says something like 'mule for the cartel' but with style.
Belkin Slim Backpack
This Belkin Slim Backpack has a real minimalist, unfussy style. It may look slim, but there are plenty of pockets and compartments for pens, electronic accessories and credit cards. There is even a removable pouch for essentials like chargers.
This is a comfortable backpack with plenty of padding on the straps for your shoulders. Breathable mesh in the straps means no unpleasant damp patches!
A nice touch is a grommet, or a fastening loop, where you can affix headphone cords with an internal, weatherproof pocket to allow secure use of an MP3 player or smartphone.
It is one of the bigger backpacks on this page - as you can see from the photo right.
Booq Mamba Shift M Backpack
The Booq Mamba is a worthwhile alternative to the Belkin Slim if you are comfortable with a bigger backpack. It has a roomy interior that will carry plenty of accessories- including a full size keyboard.
The truth is that it is designed for netbooks and laptops up to 17 inches so it breaks my best fit rule. At the same time, if you want a place for iPad external batteries, a keyboard, adapters, or even a portable printer and handheld scanner, plus room for a books, paper and your cell phone this is a perfect size.
The ballistic nylon exterior is very tough and will keep out the rain. YKK zippers will give long service. It has quick access side pockets as well as a removable accessory pouch.
Cool fact: each bag has a unique ID number which will help if it is lost or stolen.
The manufacturers give a five-year warranty which is a fair reflection of the long service you can expect from a backpack of this quality.
Leather Ladies iPad Backpack from LeDonne
Their PR department failed by designating this as a ladies backpack. It is well designed, the leather is a good quality and the overall look is a long way from girly. Perhaps the makers think that if something has plenty of pockets and catches and there are no bull horns the guys will run?
Anyway ... The inner pocket is lined and holds your iPad above the bottom so if you drop it there is no danger of sensitive electronics hitting hard surfaces. The outer cell phone pocket is very convenient and the two main compartments give plenty of room for wallets, books, gloves and whatever else you like to keep close at hand.
For what it offers, the price is pretty reasonable at under a hundred dollars.
MacCase Premium Leather
The MacCase can be used as a backpack or a flight case. It is made of good quality leather so durability is guaranteed. Leather is one of the best materials for protection - especially when coupled with generous padding, as it is here.
There is a sturdy top handle for carrying as hand luggage- ideal for air travel. It can also be used as a shoulder bag.
This bag makes organizing accessories so easy, and the results after you have completed your packing is so neat and tidy. There is no excuse for losing anything in this bag, nor should you ever find yourself tipping everything out of the bag just to find a charger!
The front storage pouch can be removed and the front-flap gives instant access to smaller items.
The MacCase also includes a removable front storage pouch and features under flap accessory storage. It is available in black or vintage leather finishes.
STM Bags Small Revolution Backpack- roomy, secure and weatherproof!
STM Bags Small Revolution Backpack is on top of my list because it is roomy, secure and weather proof!
This is one of the most secure backpacks on the market for any netbook or the iPad. It has a unique system for adjusting the interior pocket so that whatever tablet or laptop you want to carry not only fits securely but is also suspended above the bottom of the bag. This great design is a lifesaver if you drop your bag.
The iPad pocket is also well hidden so any sneaky thief will have to look long and hard to find it. Good luck with that.
The main compartment is for books and bigger accessories. There is an organizer panel for smaller accessories like drives, batteries or charger. A tuck away rain flap offers extra protection against bad weather. There are also tuck away sternum and waist straps for better weight distribution on longer walks.
Bonus - there is even a special elastic strap to hold a cycle helmet!
Ogio makes a lot of stylish tablet backpacks for women. The model pictured above is the Soho.
This pack is plenty big enough to pull duty as an overnight bag. It has a special padded compartment for an iPad and a padded back that offers extra protection and comfort in use.
There are several colors available.
Everki Versa Laptop Backpack
While this backpack is not designed specifically for the iPad, it is one of the best electronics orientated backpacks available.
Every detail is designed to be durable. It features a water repellent nylon body and corner protection. The hard wearing leather straps are also comfortable. There is a protected, hard-shell compartment for smartphones, sunglasses, and other items that might otherwise be crushed.
Probably the best feature, though, is the way that it opens so completely. If you happen to be in a hurry to find something, no backpack is more helpful to have at your side.