While we suspect real-life hackers wouldn't use this laptop bag (the cyber cops could just look for the guy with the laptop bag called "the hacker"), this case from Timbuk2 impresses by stealthily transforming from a saddle-style messenger bag to a backpack, thanks to hidden backpack straps that can deploy when needed. At $120, the Hacker is on the expensive side for a nonleather bag, but the company is known for making bags with solid construction, useful pockets, and valuable extras, such as a waterproof lining on the main flap and bottom of the bag.
Measuring 12 inches wide by 15.5 inches high by 6.5 inches deep, this is what we sometimes call a vertical bag, or a saddlebag. Your laptop fits in with the side edge down, rather than lengthwise. This is an increasingly popular style, as it can look less bulky than a traditional laptop bag, which has to be at least as wide as your laptop. Our ballistic nylon review unit had a two-tone blue design, but black and dark green versions are also available.