Best Rugged Laptop Cases – For the Off-road Writer

December 8, 2008

Otter 7030 Laptop Case 

The off-road writer – now there’s a niche.  

If you find yourself toting your laptop on camping trips, hiking trails or perhaps everyday is a rocky adventure scaling the urban jungle, you may want to take extra precautions in protecting the prized possession that holds your latest masterpiece – the laptop. 

As long as you have hard drives with movable parts (Come on 500GB SSD!) and manufacturers like Apple producing laptops with glass screens (new Macbook/Macbook Pro) you can never be too cautious. There are extreme solutions and everyday precaution gear.  This article is all about the EXTREME.  As in, "I dropped my laptop bag halfway down the Himalayas and it took a lickin’ and kept on tickin’".

Aside from the overkill look of the 80s James Bond aluminum briefcase, there are a handful of "practical" off-road laptop bags:  OtterBox is arguably the king of rugged gadget cases.  Toting the 7030 laptop case will add a whopping 6 pounds to your mobility but it gets the job done for $189.95.

Otter 7030 Laptop Case 

If you want to double-up with a hard-shell sleeve and a hard-shell bag check out Axio or Booq (Vyper Exo System). Both manufacturers offer a hard-shell sleeve as well as bag/backpack hard-shell for double protection. Caution!  This solution will add noticeable weight to your mobile platform, but you can tumble freely and look cool doing it. 


Axio – Hardsleeve & Hardpack  $99.95/$169

Booq Exo System

Booq Vyper Exo System $205


Update: Two more cases were brought to our attention after the first run of this article – The Radiator and Pelican. The Radiator by Civilian Lab for MacBook off-roaders is reasonably priced in comparison to other models but limited to the 13" MacBook. specializes in rugged cases for gadgets.  Their products are for the hardcore off-roaders, as there is nothing civilian-like about their products.



Radiator by Civilian Lab $57



Pelican 1495CC#2 $179.95


I will be writing a three-part series in the new year on Which Bag Carries Your Geek’dm, covering my experiences with the best laptop bags, backpacks and slings. Stay tuned…. 

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