Looking for a minimalist shoulder bag for mbp15

I’m currently using a huge 30l Peak Design Everyday Backpack (https://www.peakdesign.com/collections/everyday-bags/products/everyday-backpack?variant=9783969316908), which was perfect in my old job where I really only took the machine home on weekends, but now I need it practically nightly.

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 :slight_smile:

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.

Buy quality, cry once.

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I’m not really arguing against quality, but Tom Bihn bags just look awful.

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.

I use one of these when I have to carry a laptop. Mine is an older one but has survived many a trip and still what I reach for when I carry a laptop.


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.

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These are great! Keep them coming!

I’ve been eyeing this from Incase and this but just can’t justify getting another backpack. They’re both very minimal but I think the size you’re looking for.

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. :slight_smile:

My current favourite backpack is one very similar to this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mil-Tec-Military-Tactical-Rucksack-Backpack/dp/B004LSBYR0/

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.

Why is there a build-a-bear, but not a build-a-bag?
The Brenthaven Elliot Slim Brief is the best I’ve seen so far, but I would love for it to REALLY hug my laptop.

For the last few years I’ve been using the Waterfield Rough Rider, which has one main compartment, and then a pair of pockets inside and outside:

I slide my MBP 15 inch into the Waterfield black ballistic Dash Sleeve before putting it in the bag, since the bag doesn’t have a dedicated sleeve:

I typically don’t carry my charger, carrying an iPad Pro and some other odds and ends. It looks like it would fit, though, if I didn’t carry the odds and ends.

Look for women’s shoulder bags. I like this one

Shoulder bag convertable

or this one

sling bag

or this briefcase

leather briefcase

I have the smaller version of this Timbuk2 bag, which I use when I only need to carry my iPad and a keyboard. I think a larger version would suit your purposes.

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Have earlier version of this bag. Using to carry iPad, Bluetooth keyboard… Assume your gear will fit.

Up to on Genuine Leather 15.6" Laptop Messenger Bag www.amazon.com/dp/B01L3KPHEY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_SzA3CbM277X4M

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.

I always found this one from Hard Graft very classy…

Bellory have some nice one too.

Oooh, purty… The Hard Graft might in fact be the best one so far… Wonder if I can get it locally…

They sell only online