It doesn’t matter what job you have or where your office is, every man needs a bag to take to work. Even if you are like Kramer on Seinfeld and only use your work bag to carry crackers, it’s important to have something. Whenever you commute without one, you constantly feel like you forgot something and that you are, in some sense, partly naked.
Today’s work bags can serve a variety of purposes. For some, it’s a mobile office, holding everything needed to conduct business at any WiFi-enabled coffee shop. For others, it’s a place to carry gym clothes in order sneak in a lunchtime workout. But the majority of guys need a bag to perform a hybrid of different functions, ranging from carrying lunch and important papers to carting home Amazon Prime orders because your apartment doesn’t have a doorman.
Not only does a work bag need to do many jobs, it also needs to look sharp. You don’t want a backpack that makes you look like a seventh-grader or a briefcase that makes you look like a “suit” even if you wear a suit.
To help you out, we found the best bags—messenger, backpack, briefcase, duffel, tote—that will do everything you need them to do and come with the added benefit of making all your co-workers jealous of your style.
Dunhill has been making distinguished leather goods since Alfred Dunhill inherited his father’s saddle business in the 1800s. One touch of the ridiculously soft calfskin leather on this briefcase and you’ll see the difference. Your TPS reports almost aren’t worthy.
Rimowa Notebook Case
If you want to give off an international raconteur/spy vibe (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) then Rimowa’s aluminum attache case is the way to go. It blends the right mix of Mad Men-era charm with modern functionality. And it has two locks so you know the contents are secure.
Crafted from a lightweight pebble leather that has a similar feel to a football, this messenger has plenty of room for your computer, workout clothes and paperwork to peacefully coexist. The army green color insures that no one will ever mistake this for a murse.
Timbuk2 Custom Icon
The clean lines on the exterior of this messenger bag do a great job of disguising all the intricate storage options on the inside. And with Timbuk2 customization program, you can design a one-of-a-kind bag using unique textiles such as houndstooth wool and waxed canvas.
Tried and true. That’s the best way to describe Filson’s iconic tote bag. The cotton twill is tough as nails and can stand up to water, scratches, and the most fidgety subway passenger. The bridle leather used on the straps breaks in beautifully over time and the exterior pockets keep items like your book and water bottle easily accessible.
The beauty in this tote is in the details. Made from an incredible indigo fabric from Japan, it has an external pocket with a hidden zip compartment to stash your phone and wallet and an internal brass key ring. The more you beat up this bag, the cooler it will look.
Topo x Woolrich
The design of the duffel bag doesn’t change much, but Topo Designs teamed up with Woolrich to make one with premium materials that feels completely new. Using Woolrich’s renowned wool on the outside, the bag has also has a natural leather handle and lash straps.
Aer Duffel Pack
Is it a duffel bag? Is it a backpack? Well, the Aer Duffel Pack is a little bit of both, so let’s not worry about labels. The bag stuffs a lot of features into an unassuming package. It has backpack straps and a side handle so you can carry it however you like. In addition to a roomy main compartment and a padded laptop/tablet sleeves, it has a ventilated pocket to hold your sneakers.
The Runwell is the definition of a sophisticated men’s backpack. There’s no child’s play going on here. Constructed from Horween leather in Shinola’s Detroit studio, the bag features clever details such as a cardholder built into the interior of the front panel.
With its tonal color palette and discrete zippers, this backpack embodies the clean, minimal details that Incase is known for. It has two primary storage areas and offers 360-degree protection for your laptop, instead of the usual front-and-back padding.