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Best Swiss Gear Backpacks for 2021

By Ross Stanley | December 25, 2020

Swiss Gear is a famous backpack and outdoor gear manufacturer. It is a really old company from Switzerland that started back in 1893. Famous for their Swiss Army knives, they also make functional backpacks for everyday use and traveling. The best swiss gear backpacks offer quality, functionality, and durability.

Whether you need a backpack for school or your business travels, you can find something that fits your needs perfectly. They keep in mind the protection of your gear and electronic devices. As a result, Swiss Gear bags double as a laptop backpack. Almost all of their models feature designated compartments for laptop. You do not need a laptop folder when you have proper padding inside your bag.

Since they use water-resistant and durable materials, some backpacks can be expensive. However, there are simpler models as well that will be easy on your wallet.

The 5 Best Swiss Gear Backpacks

Looking for the right Swiss Gear backpack? Here are some of the best Swiss Gear backpack, reviewed based on their durability, functionality, and comfort:

1. Swiss Gear Laptop Backpack

This Swiss Gear backpack is perfect for air travel in particular. It features Scansmart lay-flat technology that not only protects your laptop but also ensures smooth passage through TSA security. You will most likely not even have to take out the laptop as the laptop compartment opens up completely, and the laptop lies flat. The bag opens up seamlessly.

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SWISSGEAR Laptop Backpack

The size of the bag is adequate for a carry-on. It has a capacity of 31 liters or 8 gallons. A laptop of up to 17 inches can easily fit in the laptop compartment. Overall, it measures 18.5 inches x 13.5 inches x 9 inches. On the exterior, there are two breathable side compartments where you can keep damp things like an umbrella, water bottle, or sweaty clothes.

The fabric of this backpack is a 1200D ballistic polyester. The back is fully padded with Airflow ventilation technology to ensure you do not feel uncomfortable. Speaking of comfort, it has comfortable contoured and shoulder straps. There are adjustable side compression straps too.

It offers a lot of organization with its compartmentalized interior. In addition to the laptop compartment, you have a highly functional front pocket for valuable and handy things like your id, notepad, keys, etc. Then you have another big u-shaped pocket in the front with two zipper sliders for ease of access. On the inside, there is a separate floating tablet mesh sleeve.

  • Great value for money
  • Tough lining and stitching ensuring durability
  • Hassle-free travel through airports
  • The molded top handle offers a comfortable and tight grip
  • Many color choices available
  • After-sales support could improve

2. Swiss Gear SA1908 Scansmart Laptop Backpack

The Swiss Gear SA1908 backpack also features the ScanSmart option, which ensures speed airport security screening. The adjustable laptop straps help accommodate different sizes of laptops (up to 17 inches).

It will offer you maximum comfort with its heavy padding on the back. The Airflow back system features multiple panels that not only provide proper ventilation but also bolster back-support. 

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Swiss Gear SA1908 Scansmart Laptop Backpack

The front of the bag has many small pockets to help you organize your stuff like pens, phones, chargers, etc.

The backpack itself is quite lightweight, weighing just 2.6 pounds. It is 18.5 inches long, 13.5 inches wide, and 9 inches deep. The straps are ergonomically designed to sit comfortably on your shoulders. There are two water-bottle pockets on the outside that you can use for keeping other stuff as well.

It is waterproof with its synthetic fabric and heavy-duty zippers. The size is adequate for high school students, weekend travelers, and cabin crew. You can easily fit the backpack below the seat when on an airplane, train, or bus.

  • Simple and functional design
  • Perfect for those who like organization
  • Very reasonable price
  • Hassle-free carry-on backpack
  • Many hidden pockets to hide your important things and money
  • Not designed for outdoor adventures

3. SwissGear 5358 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

The Swiss Gear 5358 Backpack is made entirely from polyester. It has an abrasion-resistant texture that makes it stand out from the rest of the Swiss Gear backpacks. This one has a built-in USB power outlet that allows charging on the fly. You have to get a battery pack separately, though.

The laptop compartment is flagship ScanSmart i.e., it unwinds and can be sent through security check lying flat without the need for removal.

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SwissGear 5358 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack

The maximum laptop size you can fit in this compartment is 15 inches. There is a crush-resistant sunglasses compartment on the top exterior of the backpack.

Other than that, you also have insulated water bottle pockets in mesh on the exterior, as well as a quick access zip pocket for essential stuff. The interior features carefully organized pockets for individual purposes. You have a removable power pack storage pocket, front organizer compartment, and small accessories storage. You can even keep your shoes in a collapsible shoe compartment with side zip access.

It delivers comfort along with functionality Swiss Gear is known for. The back and shoulder straps have proper padding. The straps even have built-in suspension. The Airflow panel ensures ventilation and keeps your back dry.

  • Offers lots of organization and easy access
  • Very high-quality fabric, zippers, and stitching
  • Ease of carrying and traveling
  • Technology ready backpack for work on the go
  • Steel cable embedded in top handle making it highly durable
  • Big laptops may not fit in the compartment
  • No waterproof cover included

4. Swiss Gear SA5933 Laptop Backpack

This backpack is a looker. With its bright blue shades and grey accents, it offers quite some versatility. One could take it to school or college and travel with it as a carry-on. This one is particularly great for school or college students with the kind of storage it offers.

It is heavily padded at the back as well as on the shoulder straps. You would also be getting proper air ventilation.

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Swiss Gear SA5933 Laptop Backpack

Two side mesh pockets can easily fit a large water bottle or small umbrella. A small mesh zip pocket can be used to keep phone, charger, and earphones.

The laptop pocket in the main compartment does not stretch out or tear over time. The padding keeps the laptop protected. A 17-inch or smaller laptop will fit. The front pocket is big enough to keep a lot of stuff. It has several layered pockets to keep your school supplies, as well as electronics such as tablets.

The bag is extremely lightweight (1.45 pounds) and appropriately sized for most things you would need to carry to school. It is 18 inches by 13 inches by 6 inches (length, width, and depth). Since it is Swiss Gear, you can rest assured only high-quality fabrics have been used.

  • Very stylish backpack
  • Easy to carry around and access
  • Great value for money
  • It is not waterproof

5. Swiss Gear SA3077 Laptop Backpack

This one is more on the basic side with a low price tag. That said, it does offer the quality the brand is known for. There is a padded sleeve inside for placing a laptop or tablet. The maximum size of the laptop you can place in there is 14 inches. There is an audio and media port with an external headphone port.

This was probably a thing when mp3 players were used, but you could still use it today with an iPod.

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Swiss Gear SA3077 Laptop Backpack

The front zipper pocket features a removable key fob. In addition to that, you also have pockets for your phone, pen, and sunglasses.

All your everyday necessities are placed orderly in their designated pockets. As usual, you have two side pockets in elastic mesh for placing water bottles.  This bag is 18 inches in length, 13 inches in width, and 6 inches in depth. It is extremely lightweight, only weighing 1.1 pounds. It comes in red/black and blue/black combinations.

As for the comfort level, the back has Airflow padding offering comfort, support, and ventilation. Similarly, the shoulder straps have an ergonomic shape and padding.

  • Very affordable everyday use backpack
  • Very roomy with only necessary compartments
  • Lightweight bag made from light materials
  • Zippers are high-quality
  • Big laptops cannot fit
  • It is only water-resistant

Different Types of Swiss Gear Backpacks

Swiss Gear manufactures several types of backpacks. All of these are essentially designed to do what a backpack is for, but some have many more features than others. If you know the different kinds, you will be able to choose the one that meets your requirements.

Laptop Backpacks

These backpacks from Swiss Gear are primarily designed for your laptop. That said, they are not like those briefcase-style laptop bags. In fact, these are just like any other backpack. In addition to keeping your laptop, you can also keep some other gear and all your essentials like phone, pens, books, and even a change of clothes.

The laptop backpacks have a separate compartment, either outside or inside the bag. This compartment is usually padded to ensure the protection of the laptop from other stuff in your backpack and from falls. The padding absorbs the shocks even if your bag hits the floor.

The Swiss Gear laptop backpacks can easily be used as a carry-on or personal item onboard a plane. The ScanSmart feature found in some bags allows you to swiftly pass through TSA without the hassle of taking out all your electronics, especially laptops.

Tactical Backpacks

These backpacks are more robust and durable than your traditional backpacks. They utilize sturdy fabrics and heavy-duty zippers. More common with army folks, these backpacks can be used by anyway who needs something strong for keeping their gear. If you do a lot of outdoor sports, you may want to get a tactical backpack.

These feature compartments and pockets designed to keep your gear secure. You can even attach and hang stuff. Even though they are not as big as hiking backpacks, the strategic pocketing allows it to store a lot of gear that a traditional bag would not be able to.

School Backpacks

These backpacks from Swiss Gear are designed for more regular use i.e., for carrying books, laptops, tablets, gym clothes, etc. For school kids, these can be perfect as they would last for years despite everyday wear and tear they would receive at the school.

The materials used in these bags are still high-quality. However, they might not be heavy-duty and waterproof. You cannot use them for heavy gear and outdoor activities.

What Things to Look for When Buying a Swiss Gear Backpack

Swiss Gear backpacks are usually pricier than your average backpacks. That is why you should know exactly what to look for to make sure you get the best value for your money. Here is what you should consider:


When buying a backpack, a lot of people just see the pockets and compartments along with size. However, one of the most important things to ensure is if the backpack is comfortable to wear. In most cases, you will be wearing the backpack for hours on end. You do not want to strain your shoulder and back.

Luckily enough, almost all Swiss Gear backpack models feature foam padding. This not only provides support but also ventilates air. Also, the materials should be soft, especially for the straps. If it is too abrasive, you will always be uncomfortable carrying it around.

Size and Capacity

You will find that most Swiss Gear backpacks are virtually the same size. However, their capacities can vary. You need to find out how much their capacity is in terms of liters or gallons. A backpack capacity of over 25 liters is ample for, say, a weekend trip.

It comes down to your own use how much of capacity you need. For school backpacks, you may not need that much room. However, if you plan on traveling with the backpack, you need something roomier.


Another consideration should be the materials used. While you can be sure about the quality of materials when it comes to Swiss Gear, you should still find out how sturdy and water-resistant they are. Some of their backpacks also feature an internal frame that protects all the contents of the backpack.

Some backpacks are completely waterproof with high denier polyester materials and heavy-duty zippers. Even if they are waterproof, it may not mean that you can submerge them in water. If a backpack is not entirely waterproof, you can always use a waterproof cover over it.


If you are buying an expensive backpack, ideally you would like some kind of warranty with it. Swiss Gear does offer a limited three-year warranty on most of its backpacks. Keep in mind that it is a manufacturer’s warranty. You may not be able to claim it from the retailer.


What is the one thing that wears out in a backpack? It’s most commonly the zippers. Obviously, because they are the most used part of the backpack. You want to make sure you are getting a backpack with high-quality zippers. If you want something weather-proof, heavy-duty zippers are a must. Most Swiss Gear bags feature heavy-duty zippers with two zipper heads.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Swiss Gear backpack cost?

Swiss Gear backpacks are high-quality products, which is why they are more costly than average backpacks you might find with other brands. That said, most backpacks are under $100. Even the ones with easy travel ScanSmart technology cost just upwards of $50. Some of the simpler models are as low as $40.

What are the benefits of using a Swiss Gear backpack?

First of all, their backpacks are quite sturdy. Even after repeated use, you will not have ripped seam or zippers stuck. Also, one of their top qualities is that they are very comfortable to wear. Aside from the fabrics, the compartmentalization allows for equal distribution of weight. Because of that, your back or shoulders do not get strained even if you fill them up to the maximum capacity.

While they are not entirely weather-proof, you can expect to take them out with you when it is pouring. The polyester fabric is water-resistant, and the zippers do not let the contents get wet.

They are also very useful when traveling. With collapsible laptop compartments, you do not need to take out your laptop during security checks. The padding on the back also protects the laptop and other stuff inside the back.

How to clean the Swiss Gear backpack?

It is incredibly easy to clean these backpacks. Normally, you can clean them with a damp cloth. If the backpack is too dirty and stained, you can wash it in a washing machine. However, it is recommended that you read the care instructions on the backpack first to make sure the model you have is machine washable.

It is also recommended that even if the backpack is machine washable, do not dry it in a dryer. Instead, hang it out to dry.

Will I have to take out my laptop for TSA scanning?

TSA requires electronics, including laptops, to be taken out and laid flat for security checks. If your Swiss Gear back has the signature ScanSmart feature, you will not need to do that.

Since the laptop compartment can be unzipped all the way to the bottom, there is no need to take the laptop out of the backpack. It should be noted that on international flights to the US, you might still be asked to take it out for scanning.

Swiss Gear Backpacks Reviews - Conclusion

Swiss Gear is a reliable company that has experience of more than a century. You must have heard about their Swiss Army knives. but their backpacks and luggage are just as good. Whether you are a student starting college or you are a flight attendant traveling every week, you may want to get one of the best Swiss Gear backpacks.

The company uses high denier polyester fabrics and sturdy zippers that last long. The lining is usually nylon. All of this ensures that the backpack has a long life, and you get the bang for your buck. Even if problems arise, such as a broken zipper or ripped fabric, you can always contact Swiss Gear and claim warranty.

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