Our Favorite Samsonite Backpacks Reviewed

  • June 30, 2020
  • / By Keith Terrell
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Whether you want to pack for a quick weekend getaway, have all your essentials packed in for a long day at work, or just want to look trendy at the mall, there’s a Samsonite backpack for every occasion. 

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As it stands, we would any day pick backpacks over other baggage options - modern backpacks are more lightweight, trendy, equipped with more features and are just plain convenient compared to other options - and when you add a reputed brand like Samsonite to the mix, you know you’re in for a good deal. 

If you’re a Samsonite fan and are looking for recommendations to replace your previous backpack, or are seriously considering switching over to Samsonite from another brand (a mighty good decision, may we say?), here’s a roundup of our favorite Samsonite backpacks, as well as a 101 on the company itself, right from their origins to what makes them one of the top backpack brands in the world and why you should definitely consider picking out a Samsonite for your next backpack.

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Samsonite Tectonic PFT Laptop Backpack

Best Laptop

Tectonic PFT 17

Samsonite Novex Perfect Fit

Best Travel

Novex Perfect Fit

Samsonite Wheeled Computer Backpack

Best Wheeled

Wheeled Computer Backpack

Samsonite Classic Leather Backpack

Best Leather

Classic Leather Backpack

Samsonite Zalia Backpack

Best Women's

Zalia Backpack

A lovely combination of style and convenience, the Samsonite Tectonic 17” Perfect Fit Laptop Backpack is our pick for the “best laptop backpack” - the name says it all! 

The backpack comes packed with a ton of great features that make it great for laptop carrying, such as a separate padded compartment for laptops up to 17 inches, a super-spacious main compartment that can easily accommodate the million other things you’re bound to carry (we get you!), as well as an organizer pocket right up front that includes a tablet sleeve.

All in all, a great option for all your tech-carrying needs.

Samsonite Tectonic PFT Laptop Backpack

Source: samsonite.com

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 13 x 9 x 19 inches
  • Weight: 3.09 pounds
  • Color: Black and red
  • Material: 100% 1680D polyester
  • Laptop Size: 17 inches
  • Overall Size: 18 inches

Benefits

As mentioned, this Samsonite backpack features a perfect-fit adjustable compartment so that your laptop will enjoy a custom fit, if it falls anywhere between 13 and 17.3 inches.  

In addition to the aforementioned appealing features, the Samsonite Tectonic also features an exterior oversized pocket on top where you can stow away tiny items such as your shades and earphones. Prioritizing the user’s comfort, Samsonite has made the straps on this backpack padded and adjustable, in addition to equipping it with a padded top handle, so you can always give those shoulders a break (you’ll very rarely need it with those straps, though!) and exercise those hands instead to conveniently, comfortably carry the backpack. 

Apart from these, the backpack also features a strap on the rear so that you can use it with a rolling luggage trolley handle, should you ever need to. To keep the moisture at bay and make carrying comfortable even on those sunny days when rivulets of sweat make their way down your back, the backpack features a 3D padded mesh on its back panel, and its 1680D polyester construction ensures that the backpack is lightweight yet extremely durable and strong.

Pros

  • Extremely trendy design without compromising on functionality
  • The custom-fit compartment, along with the padded bottom, keeps your laptop extremely secure.
  • High-quality zippers that work very smoothly 
  • The pockets are softly lined as additional protection for your belongings.
  • Super comfortable to carry and use, with a good finish

Cons

  • Some users found the threads fraying in the backpack within a couple of months of using it.
  • Many users also found the backpack material to be of poor quality, with holes near the shoulder straps seeming to be a common occurrence.

Verdict

When you take all things into consideration, the Samsonite Tectonic 17 is a solid option for your tech-carrying needs, especially your laptop - it provides the kind of security and comfort you’d be hard-pressed to find in other laptop backpacks.

That being said, many users found the quality of the bag’s material poor, so if you do fall for this backpack, especially its trendy looks, and decide to invest in it, maybe consider not overstuffing it and carrying heavy objects frequently. If that’s something you were anyway not going to do, this backpack is a must consider.


Novex Perfect Fit

The Novex Perfect Fit is our "best travel backpack" fit for the world of convenience it presents; of course, in addition to being travel friendly - it’s exactly the right size to fit in all the essentials for a quick getaway and get through airport security easily; it’s TSA checkpoint-friendly too. What this means is that you can easily stow it under the seat or in the overhead cabins and not worry about long lines at check-in.

Samsonite Novex Perfect Fit

Source: samsonite.com

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 12.2 x 7.25 inches
  • Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Laptop Size: 15 inches
  • Overall Size: One size

Benefits

Like the Tectonic 17”, the Samsonite Novex also features a Perfect Fit adjustable laptop sleeve; however, unlike its bigger cousin, the Novex can only accommodate laptops between 13 and 15.6 inches. In addition to this, it features a SmartSleeve that can easily slide over upright handles, providing easy mobility for users. The backpack also features a padded tablet pocket and an organization pocket in front to carry all those essentials you may quickly need to access. 

Of course, as mentioned earlier, what makes this backpack such a huge draw for those traveling with their laptops, in addition to the Perfect Fit system, is that it’s TSA friendly. 

Put together the carry-on sizing, comfortable, padded, adjustable straps, the retractable SmartSleeve, and the adjustable laptop system and you have a backpack that’s travel perfect, indeed.

Pros

  • Tons of compartments for efficient organizing, with high-quality zippers dividing them
  • Can stand on its own and hold shape
  • Spacious yet has a slim, sharp shape and is lightweight
  • Affordably priced

Cons

  • Though the straps are comfortable, they may be on the tighter side for those with broad shoulders, even when completely loosened.
  • Some users have complained of poor-quality fabric, with stitches coming apart in the water-bottle compartment and at the straps.

Verdict

While we love all things Samsonite, we’re not too great a fan of this backpack unless it’s meant specifically for traveling; if it is, it excels in that area. Firstly, the fact that it’s carry-on sized is a huge draw - while it may not be hard to find backpacks that are TSA friendly, the task gets significantly harder when you consider the Novex’s excellent laptop and tech-friendly features.

For that alone, this backpack is worth serious consideration, and when you add in the other features, it gets increasingly difficult to say “no” to this backpack! That said, do keep in mind that there have been complaints regarding the material, so weigh what’s important to you - extremely travel-friendly vs quality.


Wheeled Computer Backpack

Where the Novex is great for a quick trip, the Samsonite Wheeled Backpack is great for a mini-vacation. Should you choose to carry it on vacation, it can easily fit in your laptop and tech gear; should you use it for a business trip, it effortlessly turns into a mobile office while also fitting in those business suits!

Samsonite Wheeled Computer Backpack

Source: samsonite.com

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 8 x 4 x 21 inches
  • Weight: 5.4 pounds
  • Color: Available in black/ charcoal and black/ bordeaux
  • Laptop Size: 17 inches
  • Overall Size: One size

Benefits

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the Samsonite Wheeled Computer Backpack is like the Wolverine of laptop backpacks - made of Rip-Stop fabric that’s resistant to pulls and tears, you can be assured that this laptop comes with a really long life! Whether you throw it onto the back of a bus or stow it away in the overhead cabins or check it in, this backpack’s durable, strong construction will more than survive the trip. 

In addition to this, the backpack features in-line skate wheels that facilitate smooth, easy movement, a laptop compartment that can accommodate laptops up to 17 inches, and tons of organization pockets to easily and efficiently organize and store your belongings, both big and small.

The backpack also features an ice-pick pull handle for easy pulling along and an entry point for earphones. Should you choose to carry the backpack on your shoulders, the contoured straps with extra padding will keep you super comfortable.

Pros

  • Extremely well designed with many pockets and spacious compartments
  • Smooth-rolling
  • Extremely durable and solidly constructed 
  • Very affordably priced
  • Can pass off as carry-on luggage in some airlines

Cons

  • Some users have stated that the ice-pick pull handle broke very easily, after just a few uses.
  • The zippers require both hands to open/ close and are of low quality.
  • The backpack falls over if the front is loaded and the material flops when unzipped.

Verdict

The Samsonite Wheeled Computer Backpack is one that we would almost blindly recommend; it’s durable like few other backpacks, extremely functional, affordably priced, versatile, and convenient - in short, it’s got almost everything going for it! You may need to keep an eye out for the few cons, but in our opinion, mostly easily avoidable. Definitely a must consider!


Classic Leather Backpack

First things first - the Samsonite Classic Leather Backpack is one helluva looker - whether you want to make heads turn at the office or the mall, this backpack is it. The Classic Leather is a gorgeous backpack constructed of high-quality leather and features a great design without compromising on any of its functionality and efficiency - you can easily fit in two laptops, all your files, your essentials, and a few extras too, while you’re at it!

Samsonite Classic Leather Backpack

Source: samsonite.com

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 12 x 6.5  inches
  • Weight: 3.73 pounds
  • Color: Available in black and brown
  • Material: Leather  
  • Laptop Size: 15.6 inches
  • Overall Size: One size

Benefits

The Classic Backpack, despite its slim-looking shape, can easily accommodate your 15.6-inch laptop, in addition to a tablet in the tablet pocket that comes included in the organization pocket in front, two phones in two separate pockets each, an array of pens in the pen pockets and other essentials in the mesh zip pocket! Phew! Oh, and need we remind you of its spaciousness, as indicated by the ability to easily carry two laptops in it? 

This deluxe backpack also has a SmartSleeve that easily slides over standing handles that make traveling easier.

Pros

  • Lightweight yet extremely spacious
  • Extremely trendy and functional 
  • Well designed; has a slim, sophisticated shape despite its spaciousness

Cons

  • The backpack is on the expensive side when compared to the $55-100 range of the others.  
  • Leather can be a little bit of a high-maintenance fabric!

Verdict

We’ll say it again; if you want to be the center of attention and make heads turn, nothing like this backpack to fulfill your desires! A classy, sophisticated appearance backed by an efficiency that’s hard to beat leaves very little to fault with this backpack. If you’ve got the funds and like stylish backpacks, this backpack is "the" one.


Zalia Backpack

The Samsonite Zalia Backpack is designed specifically for its women audience, which means its smaller (or "more petite", shall we say?), is lightweight, and comes in women-favored colors. You know, like beige, in addition to the standard, classic black. It does come with the standard Samsonite features though, such as laptop and tablet compartments, a SmartSleeve, and organization pockets, so it isn’t just about the looks with this backpack!

Samsonite Zalia Backpack

Source: samsonite.com

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 17.3 x 12.2 x 7.10  inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Color: Available in black and beige
  • Material: Nylon with Saffiano polyurethane detailing  
  • Laptop Size: 14.1 inches
  • Overall Size: One size

Benefits

As mentioned earlier, the Samsonite Zalia features laptop and tablet compartments - it can fit a 14.1-inch laptop and a 10.1-inch tablet in its compartments. The SmartSleeve easily slips over suitcase handles, enhancing mobility, while the many internal and external pockets, including coin, cell phone, and pen pockets, allow for easy organization. 

To add to its stylish look, the backpack features a shiny nickel logo along with Saffiano PU details. Additionally, it features protective metals studs on the bottom.

Pros

  • Can easily be carried as hand baggage on flights
  • Very well-made and extremely pretty, with a minimalist design!
  • Spacious enough to accommodate two laptops (even a 15-inch HP, as stated by some users) though it looks extremely slim and classy 
  • Comfortable to carry

Cons

  • No side pockets or water bottle pockets
  • Not waterproof

Verdict

While we’re not fans of the fairly obvious stereotyping (light colors, flashy detailing, smaller size), we can’t fault the backpack’s functionality, and apparently, neither can the many customers who’ve purchased this backpack. Many users love the backpack’s combination of good looks and efficiency - you know, like a Bond girl. All said and done, this is a fairly good backpack to own, though we wouldn’t recommend it for any heavy-duty usage.


Samsonite - a Brand to Reckon With!

One of the most reputed luggage manufacturers and retailers in the world, US-based Samsonite has been ruling the market since its initial years. With a range of product offerings, right from briefcases to larger suitcases to even small bags for essentials, Samsonite grew from being a small suitcase company to a company that is, today, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Passengers at an Airport

A Brief History

Founded by Jesse Shwayder on March 10, 1910, in Denver, Colorado, Samsonite was first known as the Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company. Founder Shwayder was a luggage salesman and brought his expertise working on the field to the company. One of the first products of the company was named "Samson", after a character in the Holy Bible, (Shwayder was a religious man!) until the company ultimately started going by Samsonite in 1941 owing to its vulcanized fiber suitcases, one of its most popular products - a far cry from the religious beginnings!

By 1965, the Samsonite suitcases were the company’s best-selling signature products, making the company’s name synonymous with the products; this ultimately led to the company changing its name officially to "Samsonite."

In addition to suitcases, the Samsonite Furniture Company, a subsidiary of the company, also made and sold furniture, specifically card tables and folding chairs. In 1961, the company also went on to manufacture and distribute Lego toys in the North American market; this ended in 1972, though the company continued distributing the toys till 1986 in Canada. 

After changing many hands (Shwayder sold the company to Beatrice Foods in 1973 who sold it to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 1986 who sold it to multiple people in the 80s and 90s), the company was finally acquired in 2005 by Marcello Bottoli, Louis Vuitton’s ex-CEO, who pulled the company back from the brink of bankruptcy. However, Bottoli left the company in 2009. 

The company did eventually go on to file for bankruptcy and had to raise funds by going public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and there’s been no looking back ever since! The company went on to acquire many other companies, the most significant acquisition being the acquisition of competitor Tumi for $1.8 billion; the acquisition of this luxury baggage company marked Samsonite’s biggest acquisition to date.

Samsonite Brands

Samsonite currently sells a range of backpacks, travel accessories, wallets, belts, luggage, duffel bags, and business bags that are sold under various brands. The following is a list of brands that Samsonite has sold and currently sells:

Woman on a Summit
  • High Sierra
  • Samsonite 
  • eBags 
  • Samsonite Red
  • Hartmann Luggage 
  • American Tourister 
  • Tumi Inc. 
  • Kamiliant Speck Products 
  • Gregory Mountain Products

Strategies for Success

Many reasons lie behind Samsonite’s success in the market, and one of them is its successful, innovative strategies. Samsonite is constantly working to capitalize on its strengths and diversify its business, all while maintaining the strength of the business. Some of the strategies that have led it to success are:

  • Efficient brand and product marketing/ advertising
  • Innovative and contemporary product offerings 
  • Targeting fast-growing markets 
  • Seizing new opportunities for business 
  • Continuously work to improve efficiency

Target Market

In its initial years, Samsonite’s target audience was "turn-of-the-century travelers"; mainly those looking for affordable yet classy luggage and especially those who were swayed by trends but still had one foot firmly grounded in "convenience!" Eventually, the company’s main target audience evolved to include businessmen and those traveling for leisure. 

Today, the company has a wide target audience, ranging from students to businessmen to vacationers to the fashion-conscious elite, with fashion guru Alexander McQueen even launching one of the company’s brands - Black - and Samsonite opening up stores in fashion capitals around the world.

Why Buy a Samsonite Backpack

There are many reasons why you should opt for a Samsonite backpack; not only is the company known for its innovative products, excellent strategies, and market leadership but also for the following reasons:

Adventure Essentials
  • Samsonite leaves customers spoiled for choice with a range of styles offering various combinations of style, sophistication, and functionality. Whatever the style, though, you’ll find that each product features an original design and is extremely durable.
  • Long day at the office that you’re finishing off with a party? Your Samsonite backpack is the perfect accessory - it can suit a range of settings, from official to downright party animal!
  • Samsonite offers an impressive array of products such as laptop backpacks, suitcases, casual backpacks, rucksacks, travel accessories, and even wallets and belts.
  • Samsonite backpacks, however trendy and stylish, are backed by solid efficiency and performance. Backpacks come equipped with a range of features such as contoured straps with extra padding, tech-friendly layouts, and design, lightweight yet durable, and in a range of different materials, from leather to nylon to polyester.
  • Samsonite backpacks become your personal style and identity statement.
  • Most Samsonite backpacks come with 3-year limited warranties.
  • With over 100 years in the industry, the brand is highly reputed and experienced, so you can rest assured that you’re buying quality products.
  • All of Samsonite’s backpacks are designed to help users maintain a healthy posture, by minimizing pressure on the back, spine, and shoulders. All of Samsonite’s backpacks feature dri-fit meshes to help users keep cool, while padded, adjustable shoulder straps keep shoulders comfortable.
  • Backpacks feature multiple compartments that enable efficient organizing of belongings.

Price Range

Samsonite has a wide range of products that span a variety of prices. Some of their bags and backpacks start as low as $30 and go all the way up to $500. Their luggage options start at around $50 and can go up to the $1,000-1,200 range.

The accessories are of various types - toiletry and cosmetic kits, wallet and passport covers, battery packs and adapters, RFID gadgets, umbrellas, portfolios, and laptop sleeves - and start at around $2 for a luggage tag and go on to $100-120 for toiletry kits and under-seaters.

The Final Word

All said and done, there’s very little margin for error when you pick out a Samsonite backpack. High quality, affordable prices and a range of convenient features make this brand a much-loved brand among luggage and backpack shoppers across the world.

Man Driving

Additionally, the backpacks are versatile - you can get through a variety of settings with the same backpack, as well as use one backpack for many purposes, right from carrying your tech gear to clothes for an overnighter to your own mobile office. 

If you were looking for a new backpack or just wanted to explore good backpacks in the market, our picks are a great place to start (and even finish - each of these backpacks is a great investment!). While they have their own cons (which product doesn’t?), the pros far outweigh the cons in our books, so we’d gladly recommend these backpacks to anyone looking to buy one!