How to Carry a Laptop on a Motorcycle?

If you have a motorcycle and you commute to work, the chances are that you’ll have to carry some technology around with you.

Lots of people have laptops these days but there are plenty of challenges for the motorcycle rider.

Is there the best way for how to carry a laptop on a motorcycle?

And what are the challenges that you might have to deal with?

What Challenges Will You Have to Manage?

Motorcycles can be a great way to commute to work because they don’t use much fuel.

But if you have a laptop that you need to carry back and forth, then how should you carry it on your motorcycle?

Here are just some of the challenges that motorcycles riders face under these circumstances:

1. Weather Conditions

The biggest hurdle that any rider will have to face is the weather.

Bad weather, such as heavy rain and wind, can create a nightmare scenario for any rider carrying a laptop to work and back.

Furthermore, the problem can be compounded if you carry your laptop in a bag that isn’t waterproof or one that leaks water inside.

Even if you set out to ride on what looks to be a nice day, rain can set in and damage your precious technology.

2. Too Much Movement

The other big issue is movement. In fact, many bags will swing and sway when you’re riding a motorcycle.

This is obviously not ideal and can cause damage to the laptop.

In the worst cases, the laptop bag may even simply come loose and fall from the bike, causing even more damage.

3. Cumbersomeness

For many people, carrying a laptop on a motorcycle is just cumbersome, especially if the right bag isn’t used.

This can cause some level of distraction when you’re trying to wrestle with a heavy laptop bag that’s not comfortable and this is when other problems on the road can occur.

What About a Messenger Bag?

best messenger bag for biking reviews

The messenger bag is a very popular choice for people carrying laptops.

This style of bag usually has short handles to grasp but also features a sling strap that can easily be worn over the shoulder. 

When you are walking around, this is a great way to carry a laptop and other gear. The problem is that it isn’t an ideal bag for carrying a laptop on a motorcycle.

Even when worn over the opposite shoulder for maximum stability, a messenger bag with a laptop on a motorcycle is not an ideal situation. The biggest issue is that messenger-type bags often swing around. 

This swinging is only going to be amplified on a moving bike and this can cause a number of problems.

What if your concentration is thrown off by a swinging messenger bag and you’re trying to navigate busy city streets on the way to work?

What if that swinging messenger bag accidentally swings out on a corner and hits someone on the side of the road or even another vehicle?

Not only can this be a distraction for a rider who should be concentrating on the road and other traffic but a swinging messenger-style bag can also damage a laptop and other gear if it happens to swing out and hit something solid.

Check out the best messenger bags for biking here.

The Best Way to Carry Your Laptop On A Motorcycle

So what qualities do you need in a laptop bag if you’re going to be riding a motorcycle? Consider the following:

  • The bag should offer stability and a method of securing it so that it doesn’t move around too much.
  • The bag should have secure fasteners so that the contents won’t spill out on a long or bumpy ride.
  • The bag should be able to be worn comfortably so it doesn’t distract the rider.

Using a Backpack

One of the best bags for carrying around a laptop securely on a motorcycle is a backpack with two straps and fasteners.

Ideally, it should have a sternum strap so that it can be secured across the chest of the rider and improve stability. 

This also ensures that the backpack will remain still even when riding at speed and around corners in city traffic.

If poor weather is a concern, it’s also best to use a dry bag. Many backpacks will actually ship with a waterproof outer covering also.

Read more about what is the best commuter backpack here.

Using a Pannier

The other popular option is to use a comfortable pannier.

These can often be worn just the same as a backpack but they have the added advantage of being able to attach to many motorcycles. 

Once again, it’s best to ensure that the pannier has a waterproof covering so that bad weather can be managed easily.

What About Padding?

Whether using a pannier or backpack, it’s also important to ensure that any technology inside doesn’t move around too much and get damaged during the ride.

In this context, it’s best to choose a bag that comes with sufficient paddings inside, such as foam inserts or foam inside the lining of the bag.

Alternatively, it is also an option to pad the laptop inside a thick neoprene sleeve and then place it in either the pannier or the backpack so that it’s protected.


These days, many people use laptops and have to commute to work and back with them. For motorcycle riders, this can be an extra burden.

They have to deal with bad weather, road conditions, and dynamism of movement that other motorists don’t.

All of these factors can cause damage to the laptop and other technology as well as cause distraction to the rider and other motorists.

Given these issues, there are two primary ways of securing a laptop so that it can be worn during a motorcycle ride:

  1. Using a backpack that can be securely fastened over the shoulders and across the chest, and
  2. Using a pannier that can either be worn on the back or attached to the bike.

Related articles: