Offices and coffee shops are now opening, freeing us from #workingfromhome. Thanks to the pandemic, we changed our style, and shouldn’t our carryalls, work bags get an upgrade too? The best work bags for men are more versatile and colorful than ever before. Just as we embraced athleisurewear, messenger bags, briefcases and such are now found in performance materials and have compartments for umbrellas, water bottles and straps to hold a skateboard.
The best work bags for men can handle it all, but the real question is what’s the best men’s work bag for you? Before we dive in, it’s important to know your basic style options, because there are a few. Because we’re suckers for a great bag, we’ve always covered the best work bags for men. They include:
Yep, tote bags for guys are making a big comeback. Maybe you used an oversized tote bag way back when, but now high-end designers are creating tote bags for guys for work and play. They can be used for work, gym and even the market. We’ve even covered our favorite men’s fanny packs, and if you’re really into the hands-free mode, try a crossbody bag that stows the stuff that would normally weigh down your pockets. Depending on your occupation, you might be able to get away with a more casual work bag, but if you work in a more conservative environment such as a law firm, then your day-to-day activities might call for a more formal bag.
Regardless of what job helps you bring home the bacon, we’ve gathered the best men’s work bags for you right here.
1. Away Everywhere Bag
Away’s Everywhere bag is part of a new breed of briefcase; more sleekly designed and multifunctional than ever before. Made with water-resistant nylon, this briefcase has an interior organizer, room for a 15-inch laptop and even a change of clothing. There’s even a waterproof umbrella zippered compartment. It has a trolley sleeve which makes it easy to sit and secure on top of your rolly bag. Use it for work or a weekend away. It does come in other colors and in leather as well.
2. Troubadour Basecamp Backpack
If you’re someone who lives in the city, meet your dream work bag. Made from 100% natural vegetable-tanned leather, this smart and sleek rolltop backpack will turn heads in the best way possible when you head back to the office this fall. For starters, we love a rolltop’s ability to offer flexibility when it comes to packing. Bringing an extra jacket to the office for after-work drinks? This thing can expand to allow you more room on top of your daily work essentials. But beyond that, this work bag is handsome, plain and simple. It’s not loaded up with ugly pockets or lines but instead favors simplicity while delivering a bag that can house essentials, a 16″ laptop and even a water bottle.
3. Nixon Ransack Backpack
BEST TAILORED BACKPACK
Looking for a neatly designed backpack that won’t look out of place in an office? Then take a gander at Nixon’s Ransack. The Californa-based bag and watch company Nixon teamed up with UK firm Millerain for a limited edition collab. This neatly styled backpack is done in Millerain tan waxed cotton, so it’s as rugged as it’s good-looking. The main compartment has a padded laptop sleeve, as well as room for books, a tablet and even shoes. There’s a plushly lined media pocket that’ll keep your phone safe and secure, and yes, you can strap your skateboard to it as the backpack has adjustable straps made for them.
4. Haneda Want Les Essentiels
Sleek meets durable with this smooth nylon work bag. Don’t let the slim exterior fool you, this leather-trimmed briefcase has room to fit a 15″ laptop plus some of your other important office essentials — such as charging cords and notebooks — which can be kept in the interior pockets and slots. But it’s the polished silver hardware against the midnight black bag that really elevates the entire look.
5. Supreme Bandana Messenger Bag
BEST DESIGNER DEAL
Finding anything Supreme that hasn’t been sold out and/or is reasonably priced is like finding a unicorn. Welp, this unicorn doesn’t need a bale of hay or candy to stick around. Affordably priced and pretty darn cool-looking, Supreme’s messenger bag is made from a poly-tarp fabric, so it’s super sturdy. It has a zippered stop and solid color adjustable straps.
6. Corkor Cork Vegan Leather Briefcase
Made with cork leather, this PETA-approved briefcase bag is roomy, light and looks great. The interior has a padded laptop pocket, a tablet pocket, a spot for your phone, and other slips that keep everything neat and organized. There are also exterior pockets to keep metro cards and other things you need to grab quickly. The adjustable shoulder strap is padded for additional comfort. Corkor also makes stylish
7. Freitag F41 Hawaii Five-0 Extra Small Messenger Bag
The colorblock pattern echos nautical flags, so this bag has that whole summer fun ocean vibe going for it. While it’s cut like a messenger bag, it’s worn as a crossbody due to its size. It measures 6 inches high by 12 inches wide by three and half inches deep. If you’re looking for a work bag that’ll hold your phone, keys and other important items while you’re wrestling with the subway or bus, this does the job. It’s made from 85% recycled truck tarpaulin, 10% discarded car seatbelts, 5% discarded bicycle innertubes and is part of Selfridges’ Project Earth roundup of items that are sustainable.
8. L.L. Bean Boat and Tote, Open Top
BEST CLASSIC TOTE
There’s a reason why generations have been using L.L, Bean’s tote to carry all sorts of stuff — the bag is virtually indestructible. Made of some seriously sturdy 24-ounce cotton canvas, these totes can hold a laptop, or any dry good you put in it and it will always look good. The handles have been tested and can hold up to 500 pounds — not saying that you have to carry that much in it, but it’s good to know they won’t snap off if you stick your grocery shopping in it. They come in three sizes, you can choose from short or long straps, and even their colors. Like most L.L. Bean stuff, this bag can be monogrammed. The tote shown is the large size with the shorter handles.
9. Briggs & Riley Delve Convertible Briefcase Backpack
You know that saying “business in the front, party in the back”? That kinda-sorta applies to Briggs & Riley’s briefcase. Sleekly designed to look masterful on any exec’s desk, the straps convert to backpack style. Made from coated PVC, the material can handle rain, snow and even hail. It fits a 15-inch laptop, has interior and exterior pockets and even an RFID pocket to protect credit cards.
10. CoolBell Convertible Backpack
When it comes to the best work bags for men, this versatile bag is a crowd favorite. It features several multipurpose pockets and can be converted from a backpack to a messenger bag in seconds. The canvas bag, which is available in an assortment of colors, holds a 4.5-star rating and has more than 1,000 positive customer reviews on Amazon. Not bad for a lesser-known brand and a $50 price tag.
11. Topfox Canvas Messenger Bag
If you’re the type of person who likes to have a spot for everything — down to paperclips and pens, then this highly organized messenger bag might be for you. The canvas over-the-shoulder crossbody bag boasts several large compartments, each with its own variety of pockets and storage slots. And at under $30, it’s quite a value.
12. Filson Cordura Ripstop Backpack
Filson is a brand synonymous with durability, and this backpack is perfect for work and play. Whether you’re going to the office or headed on a weekend getaway, this bag will do the job. Made with Cordura ripstop, this fabric will stand up to anything and still look like it’s new. There’s a top handle, and the straps are ergonomically designed, padded and adjustable. The inner laptop pocket is water-resistant.
13. Fossil Men’s Defender Messenger Briefcase
BEST VINTAGE-STYLE BAG
The Fossil Defender Messenger is a fresh bag with a vintage look. The classic design includes a carrying handle that allows you to unclip the messenger shoulder strap and use it as a traditional briefcase. The cherry on top is the detailed stitching, which adds a bit of something extra, while the bronze hardware pulls the whole piece together. Sometimes it’s all about the aesthetic.
14. Vans Construct Backpack
Break away from the pack with this modern-designed backpack. This backpack is as durable as it is selfie-worthy. Made with Cordura, the fabric is like Superman; it’ll stand up to anything. Inside there’s a padded laptop sleeve (fits 15-inch laptops) and a tablet sleeve, too. The main compartment is lined with fabric that’s been treated with anti-odor material. If you accidentally leave your gym clothes in the pack for a day or so, no one will notice. Phones and small cameras are safe when stowed in the fleece-lined media pocket. There are outer stretch mesh water bottle pockets and the padded straps are ergonomically designed. Whether you wear this biking to work, or on mass transit, no matter how you’re jostled or move, everything will stay put due to the internal organizer.
15. United by Blue 25L Convertible Carryall
If you’re going to update your work bag, and only want one bag to do multiple jobs, this backpack carryall hybrid can fulfill all your needs. Inside there’s a padded laptop sleeve that will hold a 15-inch laptop. It has expandable water bottle pockets, an inside hidden zippered pocket and padded shoulder straps that can be clipped off the bag. It’s a smart-looking bag that will tidily hold groceries, gym clothes, a spare outfit, and yes, even work-related things too. Made with 100% recycled polyester, this bag holds lots of stuff but has a tiny carbon footprint.
16. Nixon Stash Bag
BEST VINTAGE-STYLE BAG
If you carry enough stuff that weighs down your pockets, but would get lost in a messenger bag or a tote, this crossbody bag from Nixon does the job. Made from recycled ocean plastics, the main interior compartment and outside zippered pocket can hold a small tablet, earbuds and a bunch more. If you’re carrying something delicate, use the plush-lined slip pocket to keep it safe. The crossbody work bag for men also comes in blue, black and two prints.