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We’re slowly working our way back to normal life; offices, schools and coffee shops have opened back up again. Getting back to the commuter groove was easier than we thought, and we’re not as wistful as we thought we’d be about #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 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:
Lots of guys have embraced tote bags, as they can hold tons of stuff. Just ask any dad as he takes his kiddo to pre-school. You can find tote bags in technical fabrics, and many have spots for your laptop, lunch, and more.
Briefcases, yes briefcases have been updated too. The new modern re-styled briefcase is nothing like the clunky item your dad banged round. These new briefcases are soft, made to carry almost anything, and some even convert into a backpack or messenger bag.
You’ll always find backpacks on any best workbags for men list. The adult version is is less clunky than the one you dragged around in college. They have a sleeker design, and most can accommodate gym clothes, and quite a few of them turn into an overnight bag. That’s if you pack judiciously. One of the best in the market, the Day Owl (see below) was voted into our best of 2021!
For guys who prefer the hands-free mode, there are our favorite men’s fanny packs and messenger bags.
Prefer to travel as lightly as possible? Then a sling bag or crossbody bag is perfect for you. They’re designed to hold essentials and look cool doing it.
Regardless of what job helps you bring home the bacon, we’ve gathered the best men’s work bags for you right here.
1. Day Owl The Backpack
WINNER BEST BACKPACK 2021/BEST OVERALL
It’s such a great backpack, that we here at SPY dubbed it the top backpack of 2021. After finding out that tons of our readers bought them, we had to find out why they were so awesome. Site Director Tim Werth gave it a road test, “The first day that I tested this backpack I got caught in a really annoying surprise rainstorm, which was actually perfect for product testing purposes. When I got to work, my laptop and clothes were still dry, and the backpack itself dried out quickly. Seriously, I love this bag.” This backpack has tons of pockets, a spot for a water bottle, and a padded laptop sleeve. It comes in nine colors too.
2. State Graham Tote Bag
MOST PROFESSIONAL LOOKING TOTE BAG
Sleek and sophisticated, this tote bag has million dollar looks and a decent price tag. But looks aren’t everything. Want to know how good this bag is? One reviewer wrote “I was able to fit in my 16-inch laptop and a couple of shirts and sneakers. This was a great purchase, and I’ll will be buying another.” Made of durable nylon, this deep tote bag was designed for anyone on the go; dads, moms, and you. There’s an interior pocket, and a luggage slip sleeve on the back.
3. Ted Baker London Nevver Striped PU Leather Document Bag
BEST DESIGNER DEAL
British designer Ted Baker has a host of men’s bags for work and play. Right now, a bunch of them are on sale at Selfridge’s. We chose to highlight his document bag as the absolute best deal. Here are the reasons why: we liked the sporty, almost retro vibes the stripes gave off as they raced down the bag. It’s a document bag and a messenger bag. It has a padded laptop sleeve, interior zippered and sleeve pockets, and an outside back luggage sleeve too. Most imprortantly, it’s slim. Which means, if you’ve a bad habit of dragging things home with you that you don’t really need to work on, this bag will force you into carrying only what you really need to deal with at home. Think of this bag as a tool designed to help you create a healthy work/life balance whilst looking good at the same time.
4. HEX Evolve Sling
BEST FOR MINIMALISTS
Can’t stand the idea of carrying anything other than what you must have to get around, then sling bags will neatly do the trick. Made from recycled materials, Hex’s rectangular-shaped sling bag has a water-resistant shell, and only weights half a pound. Smartly designed, there’s a back panel zippered pocket to keep valuables close to you. The back is also padded, so it won’t chafe when strapped across the chest. The front of the bag is a large zippered compartment with an interior mesh pocket. This sling bag does convert into a fanny pack.
5. MCM Cubic Print Shell Backpack
Is MCM flirting with the ghosts of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braques? They’re the founders of cubism, and you may have noticed MCM’s new deconstructed logo. It’s cubic. It’s cool. And it works for people who are fans of the brand but aren’t into logomania. This fresh take on MCM’s classic print turns a backpack into art. The sturdy nylon backpack has three exterior pockets: two slip pockets on the sides, and the front’s zippered pocket holds the stuff you need to grab immediately. The cotton-lined interior has a padded laptop sleeve, and the main compartment has two slip pockets.
6. Troubadour Basecamp Backpack
If you’re someone who lives in a 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.
7. Filson Dryden Leather-Trimmed Nylon Briefcase
BEST DUAL PURPOSE
Exec on the outside, gym rat on the inside. That’s one way to describe the personality of Filson’s Dryden briefcase. Made with ballistic nylon and trimmed with vegetable-tanned leather, this incredibly sturdy briefcase has room for both a laptop and gym gear. In fact, this briefcase can fill up to 10 liters worth of whatever you need to stuff in it.
8. 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.
Read More: Best Briefcases for Lawyers
9. Nixon Mode Pack
The main body’s made from recycled bottles picked up a long the coastline. The process is called 600D polyester REPREVE® Our Ocean. The interior is lined with 200D recycled PET, that’s fabric made from plastic bottles and containers. Constructed to hold 20 liters of stuff, a padded laptop sleeve that will hold a 15-inch device, outside lined media pocket, padded straps and back, and a large main loading entry. Whew! Thoughtfully designed and created, this is a lightweight backpack that could conceivably, take home all your office work. And not hurt your back. Buyers have been raving about it since this backpack hit the market two years ago. One wrote in “Great pack! Perfect size for computer and any essentials. Lots of pockets. Would recommend this to anyone looking for a multi use pack.” Nixon’s smartly made backpack comes in gray, orange, black and navy.
10. 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
11. Timbuk2 Especial Stash Messenger Bag
Messenger bag men listen up, if this is your preferred bag, then grab Timbuk2’s Especial Stash. It’s water-resistant on the outside and has a waterproof 15-inch laptop case on the inside. If you’re biking everywhere, you’ll love the reflective tape on the outside flap. It’s got lots of interior space and pockets for all your goods.
12. RAINS Messenger Bag
Based upon Scandinavian minimalism, RAINS has an entire line of bags and gear. This carabiner closed messenger bag has a soft compartment for a 16-inch laptop, and well as a main compartment. Completely waterproof with magnetic flap closures, this messenger bag’s strap detaches if you’d rather hand carry it. It comes with a two-year product warranty. The messenger bag comes in three colors, and there’s even matching raincoats, pants and shorts.
13. 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.
14. 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 an under $60 price tag.
15. 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.
16. Coach Houston Map Bag
Coach is an American Heritage brand that keeps pumping out sophisticated leather goods year after year. Luckily for us, their Houston Map bag is 72% off the original price. Who doesn’t love a sale! This silky soft leather bag has magnetic snap closures so nothing falls out, and is fully lined inside. The back outer slip pocket is large enough to hold a wallet and keys. The main interior compartment could hold two electronic devices — two tablets or a small chrome book. And inside the main compartment there’s a zippered pocket. Its’ obviously much bigger on the inside.