A 15.6″ laptop backpack with removable organizer case

Dhanisa Mashilfa
Techaeris Rated 8.6/10

If you’re in IT, chances are you pack your laptop and other accessories with you when you go from place to place or travel. There is no shortage of backpacks out there for IT professionals, and each offers up different features.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Our StarTech 15.6″ Laptop Backpack (NTBKBAG156) review looks at a pretty sturdy backpack for 15.6″ and smaller laptops, and it even comes with a removable accessory organizer case. Read on for our full review!

Specifications

The StarTech 15.6″ Laptop Backpack with Removable Accessory Organizer Case (NTBKBAG156) we reviewed has the following features and specifications:

  • 15.6 INCH LAPTOP BACKPACK: Laptop bag with padded/raised notebook/tablet compartments for drop protection; Notebook pocket with hook & loop strap & tablet pocket has zipper to secure devices; Bag/case made of 1680D ballistic nylon & durable steel zippers
  • REMOVABLE ACCESSORIES CASE: Stored in a separate bottom section of the IT backpack that is easily accessed from the side pocket; Keep your chargers, cables, display adapters, mouse, memory cards, tools, and other items organized; Case dimensions 10.5″x5.25″x3″
  • THOUGHTFUL DESIGN: IT Accessories case w/ adjustable hook and loop dividers & bungee grid for small devices/cables; Main compartment can expand when the pouch is removed; Work laptop backpack has a bottle holder, multiple storage pockets & upright design
  • ERGONOMIC & COMFORTABLE: The computer bag is contoured to protect the user’s back & shoulders w/ ergonomic & breathable padding that helps relieve pressure & strain; Comfortable regardless of how it’s carried | Adjustable shoulder straps | Soft padded handle
  • FOR OFFICE, COMMUTE & TRAVEL: Ideal for travel to the airport or office; Professional commuter tech backpack w/ trolley sleeve easily attached to rolling luggage; Business backpack is checkpoint-friendly & meets most airline & TSA carry-on requirements
  • MATERIAL: Ballistic Nylon
  • DIMENSIONS: 16.7 x 12.8 x 8″ (42.5 x 32.4 x 20.3cm)
  • TRAVEL ACCESSORIES POUCH DIMENSIONS: 10.5 x 5.25 x 3in (27 x 13 x 8cm)
  • WEIGHT: 3.2lb (1.5kg)

What’s included

  • 15.6″ Notebook Backpack
  • Cable and Accessories Pouch

Design

The StarTech 15.6″ Laptop Backpack with Removable Accessory Organizer Case (NTBKBAG156) looks a lot like many other backpacks out there. Black in colour, it is constructed out of ballistic nylon. The zippers are solidly stitched in place. The zipper sliders are constructed of stainless steel and have a yellow dot on the end of each. Overall the backpack feels well-constructed and sturdy and shows no real signs of wear after a few months of daily use.

The front of the StarTech 15.6
The front of the StarTech 15.6″ Laptop Backpack (NTBKBAG156).

The backpack itself is just over 12 3/4 inches wide, just under 16 3/4 inches high, and about 8 inches in depth. The back of the backpack is nicely padded where it sits against your back, with most of it covered in a breathable mesh. The middle of the back of the backpack has a thin flat strap that can be used to slide over the handle of a rolling suitcase while travelling. The straps do have a bit of padding, but not as substantial. Again, the part that rests against your body is also covered in mesh for breathability while the rest is the same nylon as the rest of the backpack. There is a small zippered pouch along the right strap.

There are plenty of compartments and pouches as well. The front zipper pouch opens up and has a vertical zippered mesh pouch as well as two bungie strips stitched into three sections for cables or other items. Above this is a much smaller velvet-lined pouch which barely fits a mid-sized smartphone. A rubber StarTech.com badge is stitched onto the front of this small pouch.

As for the main compartment, it zips starting and ending about halfway up each side of the backpack. The main compartment is quite large, and has a small zippered compartment towards the front, with a sleeved pouch behind it, a mesh pouch behind that, and a small clip. The bottom of the main compartment does sit partway up the backpack by default, to make room for the travel accessories pouch underneath it. The bottom can be unattached from the sides and front and set flat to make for more room, but you’ll be removing the pouch to do so.

A pretty substantial handle sits on the top of the backpack behind the main compartment zipper. It’s pretty thick and the top portion is also a rubber-like material for added strength. Behind the handle is the full-sized 15.6″ laptop compartment. The zipper here runs from the bottom of both sides of the backpack, offering ample access. There is a laptop sleeve along the back of the backpack, a small zippered pouch on the front of the compartment, and finally more space in between the two for other items. Once you do have a laptop here though, and a tablet or something in the zippered pouch, there likely isn’t much room for anything else along here.

The laptop sleeve on the StarTech 15.6
The laptop sleeve on the StarTech 15.6″ Laptop Backpack (NTBKBAG156) with a 15.6″ laptop inside.

On the left side is a water bottle pouch while at the bottom of the right side of the backpack is a small zippered access panel for the included travel accessories pouch. The pouch has a handle on one side that you can use to pull it out from the bottom portion of the backpack. It is a tight fit though and it would have been nicer if the access panel was a bit bigger. The accessories case itself is 10 1/2 inches long, 5 1/4 inches wide, and about 3 inches in height. A zipper runs around the top edge. When opened there is a main pouch with a couple of small dividers and a bungee grid on the top for cables and the like. While it offers ample space, there isn’t much in the way of organization and most of your accessories will be stacked inside as opposed to neatly organized.

Overall, the StarTech 15.6″ Laptop Backpack is pretty solidly constructed but a few of the pouches are pretty small and the included organizer does leave a bit to be desired when it comes to neatly organizing your computer accessories. While sufficient, the inside of the straps could use a bit more padding as well for more comfort if you happen to be wearing the backpack for a longer time.

Protection

The StarTech 15.6″ Laptop Backpack does offer a decent amount of protection for your laptop, given the laptop sleeve is located right against your back. It is pretty padded here on the one side, and there is plenty of room on the other with the main compartment to protect your laptop. The one thing that is lacking here is any type of water resistance or even sealed zippers so if you’re caught out in the rain, you’ll want to cover the backpack to avoid moisture getting into the bag.

Price/Value

With an MSRP of US$163.99, the StarTech 15.6″ Laptop Backpack with Removable Accessory Organizer Case is a bit pricey. While it does have decent construction, an ample-sized accessory organizer case, and is travel/airline friendly, there are likely better options out there in this price range.

Wrap-up

The StarTech 15.6″ Laptop Backpack offers great storage and an included accessories case for your IT cables, mice, and other tools you may need. It is a bit on the pricey side though, even though it is well-constructed and has been durable during our daily use over the past few months.

StarTech 15.6″ Laptop Backpack (NTBKBAG156)

US$163.99

The StarTech branding on the StarTech 15.6

Nailed it

  • Durable construction
  • Ample laptop protection
  • Decent sized accessories case
  • Nicely padded back with rolling suitcase strap
  • Plenty of pouches/sleeves for storage

Needs work

  • No water resistance
  • Accessories case could use better organization options
  • Straps could use a bit more padding on the inside
  • Pricey

The StarTech branding on the StarTech 15.6

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