I recently purchased a new laptop. This one is an investment as I intend to use it for consulting and moonlighting. I take my laptop with me commuting to and from work, as I've got opportunity during the commute to bring it out and do work. Since this laptop is an investment I want to do the best I can to protect it from damage. I put my laptop into my backpack, in the compartment built into the backpack for laptops. However, to be honest with myself, the backpack I've got is just the garden variety that you get at Sam's Club. It's a Swiss Gear backpack I got 4 or 5 years back. Yesterday I took a close look at the compartment for laptops and found that it really isn't well padded. The public buses and trains that I take to commute normally jostle a lot. Clearly the best thing to do would be to purchase a better backpack with proper padding. But, at least at the moment that exceeds my budget. Especially when I look at some of the brands out there where a really good backpack with good padding for laptops is around $200.

So, I'm wondering if there something I can put into my current backpack's laptop compartment which will give it good protection from the bumps I normally experience in my commute? I've thought of maybe using old clothes or a towel, but wonder if that would just leave lint that could go into the air vents of the laptop. What other material might I consider?


1 Answer 1


Go to Walmart and go to the camping section. Buy a camping sleep pad made of closed cell foam. They are usually blue. They run about $8. I think the brand is Ozark Trail. The foam is tough, yet absorbs shock well. Much better than something like bubble wrap. The foam is easily cut. So, you can use a couple of layers on the bottom and thinner layers to surround your computers on the sides, if you like.

You will also find a lot of other uses for the padding. I cut a 2' x 2' square for padding for a chair. And, at $8, I have one pad rolled up stored away for future use.

I found a nice computer backpack at T.J.Maxx made by Targus for less than $20. It is brown, kind of ugly, but it is nicely padded and doesn't attract attention like a shiny black or colorful computer backpack.

I would also highly recommend the pads for camping with a sleeping bag or just sleeping on a hard floor as well because the 1/2" of foam make a huge difference for both insulation and cushioning.

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