I mean minimalist in two ways here: design and size. I don’t want a ton of pockets on the outside or huge zipper handles. I also don’t want it to be bigger than it needs to be. Space for the power supply or a pencil case is fine, space for a keyboard or an extra laptop is just making it more difficult for me to carry on public transportation or one of the new scooters you always almost trip over but are surprisingly useful if you’re late for the train
I’m looking at the Waterfield Designs Zip Laptop Brief (https://www.sfbags.com/products/zip-laptop-brief-tsa), which would be perfect except shipping it to Norway would double the price. I really like the style, though.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Leather is definitely not required, but I hate fake leather.
I really like Tom Bihn bags and other products. They will probably last you a lifetime too. The quality is excellent, and they go into great detail about the thought they put into all aspects of their products.
It’s not what you’re looking for, but I have a Synapse 25l with a Cache for my MBP, a Freudian Slip (not the hideous green), and other accessories. It’s good stuff.
I used this KNOMO leather backpack. I’ve been super happy with it and have used it for a few years now. I had a messenger bag before this but I’ve found the backpack using one strap over my shoulder to be be much more convenient. It also stands up better on the floor of the office than my messenger bag did.
If you are not a fan of the appearance of Tom Bihn (great bags, btw, I have a Synapse 19) you may also not like the appearance of these, but Timbuk2 I good quality and somewhat more minimal in having pockets all over the place. I use a small size one with a 13” MBAir in a neoprene sleeve and an iPad Pro 12.9 (small bezel version) in the “slash pocket”. I suspect a 15 inch would fit but not sure.
Waterfield Designs are also great quality and actually have a really nicely set up pocket arrangement.
Another lightweight and minimalistic design comes from NutSac Bags (yeah I know. They say they made up the name because they are nuts about bags).
The best bag I ever owned was from Brenthaven. They were/are known for protecting your computer. Years ago, one of their spokesmen was famous for dropping/throwing the same bag & computer (at various events) more than 100 times.
My wife has been finding an incredible number of cheap, good-looking bags on Amazon lately. Don’t know how long they’ll last but they’re cheap and you get variety when you replace them.
I’m a huge fan of my Timbuk2 Commander bag, in the Abyss color.
I used to be a guy who bought a bag every few months, because I could not find the perfect one. Since I bought the Timbuk2 Command, along with a smaller one I use when I just need an iPad and keyboard, I don’t buy bags anymore.
For my MBP I just got a neoprene sleeve for it & fling it in whatever bag I’m taking at the time. Although it’s not available, now this is the sleeve I went with: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06XWTQFJ5/
I got that one as it folds over so no zip to scrape the side of the MBP, it makes opening / closing quicker & it was cheap.
The advantage to using a generic backpack is that no-one knows if you’re carrying sweaty gym gear or expensive electronics so you feel less of a target for thieves.
To be fair, from your original description I suspect that’s too bulky for what you’re after. It’s not the sort of bag I’d usually get, it was given to me but it’s so versatile I’ve started using it for everything & is pretty comfy too.
It’s not really about fitting as much gear as possible - quite the opposite. I just need the actual laptop, and MAYBE the power supply, and I don’t want to bump into people on the train because I have extra space to fit seventeen adapters into it…
Whenever I do need the seventeen adapters, I’ll just use the Peak Design Backpack, which has room aplenty.