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Jiri Vondrous | Adobe Stock

The 13 Best Tech-Protecting Travel Bags and Cases

Anyone who has had the misfortune of seeing their burst open suitcase come around the bend at baggage claim knows that travel is not always kind to your luggage. While expensive tech is one of the many things you should never pack in a checked bag, you should still take measures to keep your laptops, cameras, smartphones, and other gear from getting damaged on the road. Whether you want to keep your gadgets in prime working order or you’re searching for a gift for the techie in your life, here is the best protective gear to keep your technology safe while traveling. 

All of the products featured in this story were hand-selected by our travel editors. Some of the links featured in this story are affiliate links, and SmarterTravel may collect a commission (at no cost to you) if you shop through them.

Best Protective Gear for Laptops

Best Protective Laptop Bag: Thule Gauntlet Attaché

Thule Gauntlet Attaché
B&H Photo

Yes, you heard that right—the makers of some of the toughest rooftop cargo carriers have dipped their toes into the tech world and they are not messing around. The Thule Gauntlet Attaché fits laptops up to 16 inches and features a rigid exterior, protective corners, and clamshell opening that allows you to work right from the case without removing your device. 

Best Protective Dual Laptop Bag: YOREPEK Travel Backpack

YOREPEK Travel Backpack

I recognize that not everyone finds themselves dual-wielding laptops as often as I do, but if you’re going on a trip where you need to pack both your work and personal device, then YOREPEK Travel Backpack is for you. With its multiple spacious compartments and outer pockets, this bag also functions as a great carry-all pack for any tech you want to keep on hand, such as smartphones, iPads, chargers, and noise-cancelling headphones.

Best Protective Laptop Sleeve: The Matador Laptop Base Layer

The Matador Laptop Base Layer

Padded and waterproof, the Matador Laptop Base Layer is a great lightweight option for storing your laptop during travel. An adjustable folding closure allows you to create a snug fit for devices between 13 and 16 inches. You can use the sleeve on its own and carry it by the top handle or (my personal preference for extra protection) bundle your laptop up in the base layer before storing it in your backpack.

Best Protective Gear for Cameras

Best Protective Camera Backpack: The Jumper by Brevite

The Jumper by Brevite

This one sells out fast and for good reason. The Jumper by Brevite is a roomy and lightweight camera bag that can hold more than just your photography gear. In addition to the central compartment (fitted with organizational dividers), this bag features a laptop sleeve, a luggage passthrough sleeve, and a passport sleeve for easy access. Add the Rain Cover for extra protection against the elements.

Best Hard Shell Protective Camera Bag: Hazard 4 Plan-B Hard Shell Go-Bag Sling-Pack

Hazard 4 Plan-B Hard Shell Go-Bag Sling-Pack
B&H Photo

If you prefer a laptop hard shell case, the Hazard 4 Plan-B Hard Shell Go-Bag Sling-Pack is a great option. It’s a bit heavy-duty for the casual traveler, but perfect for photographers who plan to be more intensive with their shoots. A waist belt adds extra support when wearing the case as a sling backpack, while the top handle allows it to be carried and moved with ease.

Best Compact Protective Camera Bag: The Matador Camera Base Layer

The Matador Camera Base Layer

If you are a grab-and-go photographer who’s always on the move, the Matador Camera Base Layer offers a minimal design without sacrificing the safety of your gear. A magnetic closure means no fumbling with zippers that will make you miss your shot. With a water-resistant dry-bag liner and a storage pocket for small accessories like lens caps, this bag has everything you need and nothing you don’t.

Best Protective Gear for iPads

Best Protective iPad Case: MoKo Case

MoKo iPad Case

With a shock-proof design and responsive screen protector, this case offers foolproof protection without the bulky look of some other tough cases. It also features a slot for an Apple Pencil as well as auto wake and sleep functions. You have the option of six colors including a basic black and navy blue, as well as a 3-year or 4-year protection plan.

Best Protective iPad Case for Kids: EasyGrab Tablet Case

Otterbox EasyGrab Tablet Case

Otterbox has made a reputation for itself as one of the top brands in protective gear, and the EasyGrab Tablet Case lives up to the hype. The fixture at the back of the case acts as both a stand and a way to attach the iPad to the back of the car headrest for an instant on-the-go television. The grip ridges and drop protection technology can withstand your little ones even as they grow restless during a layover or on a long road trip.                                                       

Best Protective Gear for Smartphones

Best Protective Case for iPhone or Galaxy Smartphone: Casetify

Screenshot of Casetify website

A popular presence on social media, Casetify takes home the win for best protective phone case for iPhone and Galaxy devices. Unlike a lot of protective gear, Casetify offers a huge variety of colors and designs, so even if you’re drop-prone you won’t need to sacrifice style. 

Best Protective Case for Google Pixel: Spigen Tough Armor

Spigen Tough Armor Google Pixel Phone Case

For Google Pixel users, try out the Spigen Tough Armor. With an overall streamlined look—available in basic black, sleek gunmetal, or trendy rose gold—this case offers shock protection and raised edges to shield the screen and camera lens from impact damage.

Best Protective Gear for Miscellaneous Tech

Best Protective Smartwatch Case: Misxi Hard PC Case

Misxi Hard PC Case for Smartwatch

A smartwatch is probably the last thing that would come to mind when picking out protective gear, but these accessories are exposed to a lot of potential damage. The Misxi Hard PC Case tempered glass cover snaps over the face of your smartwatch, protecting the device from shocks and falls. 

Best Protective Gear for Stylus: Apple Pencil Case Holder

Apple Pencil Case Holder

The Apple Pencil Case Holder is the grown-up version of your middle school pencil pouch. Available in black or rose gold, this carrier lets you keep your stylus, charger, and various attachments all in one place and—most importantly—keeps your pencil from rolling away down the airplane aisle.

Best Protective Gear for Airpods: MOBOSI Military Airpods Case Cover

MOBOSI Military Airpods Case Cover

When you’re spending upwards of $200 on earbuds, it can’t hurt to shell out a few more dollars to make sure your investment lasts a long time. This Airpods Case Cover from MOBOSI is shockproof, with an anti-slip grip and carabiner clip to make extra sure your case isn’t going anywhere.

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