10 Best Men's Backpacks For Work that are Professional and Stylish

Editor’s Note: We have updated this list for 2019 with some new bags we think you will love. Some of our initial picks have gone out of stock so we went ahead and updated our top picks and added more budget-friendly options. We hope you enjoy the update!

In today’s world of fast paced business, having a reliable way to lug around your business essentials is more important than ever. Whether it’s during a bustling morning commute or a hectic business trip, a work backpack provides a comfortable and hands-free way to navigate a busy work day.

Many brands have begun offering modern backpacks for business professionals that rival more traditional forms of business carry. Long gone are the days of unstructured polyester backpacks that look too sloppy to wear to the office. Instead opt-in for a carefully crafted business laptop backpack made of premium materials that will look great with a suit.

Here we review our top picks for the best men’s backpacks for work that tick the boxes for both professional and stylish. More importantly, these backpacks have the features you need for comfortable business carry during your daily commute or next work trip.

Table of Contents

Best Backpacks for Business Professionals

Professional backpacks for work are different from your run of the mill backpacks for school or travel. A good men’s work backpack should be functional enough for business carry while also looking like it belongs in a professional setting. This means choosing a backpack made of high grade materials with an emphasis on finer craftsmanship and design. 

Here we list our favorite men’s backpack for work that strike a balance between business functionality and mature style.

Briggs & Riley @work Medium Cargo business backpack

Briggs & Riley @Work Medium Cargo Backpack

Briggs & Riley offers a true daily backpack for business professionals with their Medium Cargo backpack. The style is mature enough to blend in with more formal settings while the inside jammed packed with pockets and organizers for busy days when you need to take your work with you.

Read more about the Briggs & Riley @work Medium Cargo Backpack

Features at a glance:

  • Dimensions: 18” x 13.5” x 8” 

  • Capacity: 27.3L

  • Material: 1600D Ballistic Nylon with leather accents.

  • Laptop Compartment: Up to 15.6”

The best men’s work backpack for daily carry and travel.

The Briggs & Riley @work Medium Cargo backpack is perfect for anyone who needs a versatile backpack that will look good commuting to the office or boarding a plane.

The Briggs & Riley @work series offers a few different size options for their Cargo backpacks and although the Cargo also comes in a larger size, we like the 27.3 liter capacity of the Medium Cargo backpack as an everyday backpack for work. The interior is divided into three main compartments; laptop compartment, main compartment with file pockets and the front organizer pocket for smaller items.

Available in grey or black, the 1600D ballistic nylon and leather accents give the Medium Cargo backpack a refined look that can be worn with a suit or other business attire.

Kenneth Cole Reaction Slim Tech Laptop Backpack

Kenneth Cole Reaction Slim Tech Leather Backpack

The Slim Tech backpack by Kenneth Cole is a beautifully crafted leather business laptop backpack that will have no problem finding its place at client meetings or busy subway commutes.

Where the backpack really shines is in it’s compartments and organizers. Everything from your laptop and tablet to your files and business cards will have a home. For a bag that can carry so much, the Kenneth Cole Slim Tech backpack is surprisingly slim and handsomely sleek.

Read more about the Kenneth Cole Slim Tech backpack

Features at a glance:

  • Dimensions: 16.25” x 12.5” x 4.5

  • Material: Full Grain Columbian Leather

  • Laptop Compartment: Up to 15.6” 

  • TSA friendly laptop compartment that opens flat

A sophisticated leather backpack for business professionals.

The Kenneth Cole Reaction Slim Tech backpack is perfect for anyone who wants a premium work backpack with modern tech carry features such as a TSA friendly laptop compartment, separate tablet sleeve and tons of organizers for things like cables, power banks and headphones. 

Many backpacks for business professionals don’t have a well rounded approach to carry. These backpacks either don’t have enough compartments for proper tech carry or look too casual to wear to the office. The Kenneth Cole Slim Tech backpack however is incredibly office appropriate while still having the storage features we have come to expect from more casual laptop backpacks. The backpack itself is slim enough to avoid the awkward bulk that many men’s backpack have. The Columbian leather is high quality and provides the bag structure for a refined look.

Victorinox Fliptop men’s professional backpack for work

Victorinox Altmont fliptop professional laptop backpack

Although better known for their Swiss Army Knives, Victorinox has long been present in the carry space for some time now. With their Altmont series of professional backpacks, the brand has managed to bring their Swiss Army Knife multi-functionality into backpack form.

What we like most about this backpack is its spacious main compartment that opens fully to reveal two separate organizer panels. Small details such as file dividers, storage for tech cables and a separate tech compartment make the Victorinox Altmont Fliptop backpack a clear choice for those who need a handsome backpack for work without having to sacrifice function. 

Read more about the Victorinox Altmont Fliptop backpack

Features at a glance:

  • Dimensions: 19.3” x 13” x 10.23”

  • Capacity 26L

  • Material: Polyester

  • Weight: 2.2lbs

  • Laptop Compartment: Up to 15” 

The Swiss Army Knife of work backpacks

When it comes to backpacks for business professionals, few manage to combine the functionality and style of the Victorinox Altmont Fliptop backpack. This backpack is great for anyone who wants a sleek and minimalist styled backpack to wear with everything from suits to business casual.

Those who need considerable space for their tech will love the separate laptop compartment on the back of the backpack. The compartment features both a padded sleeve for a laptop up to 15-inches and room for your tablet. Inside the main compartment you’ll find organizer pockets lining the compartment walls. These pockets are perfect for smaller tech accessories such as chargers, cables and power banks.

Like a well-designed multitool, the Victorinox Altmont Fliptop backpack is versatile enough to be used daily for busy city commutes or occasionally for air travel. Those same tech pockets can hold toiletries and at 26-liter capacity, the main compartment is large enough to store extra clothes or other travel items.

Samsonite Kombi Large backpack

Samsonite Kombi Large Backpack

Stylish yet professional, the Samsonite Kombi Large is one of the best work and travel backpacks thanks to it’s roomy main compartment and business organization pockets. We especially love the main compartment pocket sleeves that allow for safe storage of a laptop and business files while still having extra room for personal items like a jacket or extra pair of shoes.

Read more about the Samsonite Kombi backpack

What we like most about Samsonite is that they offer backpacks similar to Tumi or Briggs & Riley but at a much more affordable price. In this regard, the Samsonite Kombi is a great value for the price. The backpack does a great job at keeping a professional look without being too boring. This is thanks to the ballistic nylon material that gives the bag its structure, keeping the Kombi looking professional when worn. The Kombi also features leather accents and tough points throughout the bag that give it a touch of sophistication.

When it comes to functionality, the Kombi Large is the perfect size for both daily work commutes or business travel. It’s not too bulky yet the main compartment is large enough for extra clothes, a pair of shoes or other items. Since the Kombi is structured, you won’t have that awkward bulk that other backpacks get when full which is perfect for business professionals who would look awkward with more casual backpacks.

The Samsonite Kombi can be broken down into two sections; the main compartment with laptop and file sleeves and the outer pockets which include a business organizer for stuff like your tablet, business cards and smaller items. The bag also includes a fleece lined accessory pocket for small items like sunglasses. 

The Samsonite Kombi series of backpacks is available in a few different sizes. We like the Kombi Large backpack as a versatile work and travel backpack but Samsonite also offers the slightly larger Kombi Square and the slimmer Kombi Small.

Solo Thrive men’s backpack

Solo Thrive backpack

The Solo Thrive is a large capacity backpack for those who need reliable yet affordable backpack for work. The main compartment is large enough to fit everything from books to gym clothes and the front pocket organizers are perfect for organizing smaller items. In addition, the separate padded compartment is huge and can fit a laptop up to 17.3 inches.

If you are looking for an affordable work backpack that packs some serious carry, then the Solo Thrive is for you.

Read more about the Solo Thrive backpack

Features at a glance:

  • Dimensions: 19.5” x 15” x 8.5”

  • Material: Polyester

  • Weight: 2lbs

  • Laptop Compartment: Up to 17.3”

  • Internal tablet pocket 

The best professional backpack for those on a budget

Solo is known for offering some of the most affordable yet attractive men’s work backpacks on the market today. With the Thrive backpack, Solo has managed to include a ton of small carefully designed features that are usually only found in more expensive professional backpacks. 

Examples include contrasting orange liner to easily spot items in the bag. This is a key feature if you are like us and tend to lose small items in the main compartment. The bag also features a small quick-access pocket in the front of the bag that can fit small items like a phone, tickets or passport.

Combine these features with its large capacity and ergonomic back and shoulder straps, and you have an attractive work backpack that can double as a travel and weekend bag when needed. 

Aer Day Pack backpack

Aer Day Pack

For business professionals who still want to show up in style, the minimalist design of the Aer Day Pack may be just the ticket for a polished backpack with all of the must-have features of a professional work bag. 

The Day Pack hides a lot inside of its minimalist exterior. When open you’ll find a main compartment perfect for business carry. There are multiple pockets for a laptop and paperwork while still allowing enough room for personal items. Where bag really shines is in its front panel organizer and stash pockets. It is these details that make the Aer Day Pack such an attractive option for those looking for a reliable work backpack.

Read more about the Aer Day Pack

Features at a glance:

  • Dimensions: 18” x 12” x 5.5”

  • Capacity 14L

  • Material: 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon, water-resistant coated front exterior

  • Weight: 2.2lbs

  • Laptop Compartment: Up to 15.6”

A modern professional backpack for work

The first thing you’ll notice about the Aer Day Pack is it’s sleek minimalist design. For those who work in professional settings, the bag is the perfect balance of stylish without being too casual for more conservative work environments. 

Inside is where the magic happens. The Aer Day Pack is great for those who like to carry the basics on their daily commute to work. What you won’t get is an extra-large main compartment like some of the other backpacks on this list. Instead at a 14-liter capacity, you will have to be a bit more deliberate in what you carry. 

The front pocket is the highlight of the Aer Day Pack. The entire front of the bag peels back to reveal a serious organizer for tech accessories, keys and other smaller personal items. When you also include a semi-hidden quick access pocket for small items like a phone or wallet and you have the perfect backpack for everyday carry to work.

Rains men’s work backpack

Rains Backpack Review

Rains offers a modern rucksack perfect for those who want a slim, sleek and simple work backpack that will look good with everything from a suit to more casual workwear.

The bag itself is made of waterproof material and even features waterproof zippers and hardware. For city commuters, the waterproof nature of the Rains backpack will be a saving grace next time there is a heavy downpour while on your way to work.

Read more about the Rains backpack

Features at a glance:

  • Dimensions: 18.5” x 11.2” x 3.9”

  • Capacity 13L

  • Material: Waterproof 50% polyurethane, 50% polyester

  • Laptop Compartment: Up to 13”

  • Hidden outer back pocket with waterproof aqua guard coil zipper

Sometimes the best backpacks for work are the simplest

If we were to list the reasons why we love the Rains backpack, it would not be a long list of features. Instead, our love of this bag consists of things it lacks. The bag lacks exterior storage pockets. It lacks tons of interior organizers and pockets. It also lacks loud branding and design. In short, we love the Rains backpack because it’s simple.

Along with being simple, the Rains backpack pairs great with more formal work wear such as a suit jacker or dress shirt. Its slim design allows it to be worn in more formal work environments without looking out of place.

As for the technicals, the Rains backpack is made out of a waterproof material that repels water keeping your laptop and important business paperwork dry during even the heaviest of downpours. Add in slim adjustable straps and you have the perfect professional looking backpack for city commuting. 

Travelpro Platinum Elite men’s business backpack

Travelpro Platinum Elite Business backpack

Travelpro offers a work backpack for those who are serious about organized carry with the Platinum Elite Business backpack. Packed with organization pockets and separate compartments for your laptop, personal items and business paperwork.

Style-wise, the Travelpro Platinum Elite Business backpack has a handsome design that won’t look out of place at the office. Travel features such as a theft blocking pocket and trolley sleeve means the Platinum Elite Business backpack is also perfect for carrying on business trips. 

Read more about the Travelpro Platinum Elite backpack

Features at a glance:

  • Dimensions: 17.5” x 16” x 8.5”

  • Capacity 23L

  • Material: Nylon with DuraGuard® coating resists stains and abrasions

  • Weight: 3.6lbs

  • Laptop Compartment: Up to 15.6” 

A men’s professional backpack for work and travel

The Travelpro Platinum Elite Business backpack is great for those looking for a versatile backpack for work and travel. For daily use, the backpack allows for some serious organization of your daily essentials such as paperwork, books, tech and smaller items such as business cards and pens. 

For frequent business travelers, the Platinum Elite Business backpack fits under the dimensions for most airline personal item backpacks and can easily fits under most airline seats. The backpack also includes a trolley sleeve so that it can be carried on luggage handles during hectic travel. 

Both daily work commuters and business travelers alike will love the included anti-theft feature in the Travelpro Platinum Elite Business backpack. The bag includes a theft blocking pocket where you can safely store sensitive things like passports and credit cards.

Tumi Alpha 3 Brief Pack

Tumi Brief Pack

Tumi offers a spacious backpack for those who need to take their work with them with the Brief Pack. With tons of pockets and organizers, you are bound to fit just what you need during your next work commute. Perfect for business trips and daily carry alike, the Tumi Brief Pack puts an emphasis on real world business carry with pockets for everything from laptops, paperwork, business cards and personal essentials. 

Read more about the Tumi Brief Pack

Features at a glance:

  • Dimensions: 17” x 12” x 8”

  • Material: Ballistic Nylon

  • Weight: 3.3lbs

  • Laptop Compartment: Up to 15”

A high quality business backpack for work and travel

The Tumi Brief Pack is a part of Tumi’s Alpha line of bags and backpacks which focus on professional business carry and travel. The Brief Pack comes in a variety of flavors, while the Tumi Alpha Brief Pack reviewed here is designed for everyday business carry the Tumi T-Pass Brief Pack version has more of an emphasis on business travel features such as a TSA-friendly laptop compartment. 

What we love about the Tumi Brief Pack is how it is designed as a professional backpack for work first and foremost. All versions of the bag include a roomy main compartment that can fit everything from business paperwork, books or extra clothes for the gym or light travel. Separate pockets for a laptop and tablet make accessing your tech a breeze while smaller media pockets are perfect for storing smaller accessories like chargers, cables and headphones.

What separates the Tumi Brief Pack from some of the other bags on this list is its price and quality. When it comes to pricing it's no secret that Tumi bags are expensive. But you get what you pay for as the quality in the Tumi Brief Pack is bar none. Tumi’s use of ballistic nylon and high grade leathers makes the bag look and feel like a high quality bag. 

Incase Icon professional laptop backpack

Incase Icon Backpack

The Incase Icon laptop backpack was made for work commuters who are serious about tech carry. Built from the ground up for comfortable laptop carry, the Incase ICON backpack is one of the brand’s most popular backpack releases thanks to its dedicated tech accessory pockets, conveniently placed organizers, and ergonomic back panel and shoulder straps.

Read more about the Incase Icon laptop backpack

Features at a glance:

  • Dimensions: 19” H x 13” W x 9” D

  • Capacity: 17L

  • Materials: 840D Nylon

  • Weight: 2.2 lbs

  • Laptop Compartment: Up to 15”

Best men’s work backpack for tech carry

If you are a working professional who carries a lot of tech then the Incase Icon backpack is worth a closer look. The Icon is made to hold a MacBook or laptop up to 15 inches in its separate padded laptop compartment. The rest of the bag is filled with pockets and organizers for tech accessories like a mouse, cables and a power bank as well as daily essentials such as keys and sunglasses. The main compartment is on the slim side but is perfect for anyone looking for a work backpack that can carry business files and folders. 

The bag is an office-friendly work backpack thanks to its sleek nylon exterior and minimalist design. The Incase Icon comes in a variety of sizes. At 19-inches in height, the original Incase Icon may be a bit too tall for shorter people. Because of this Incase now offers the Icon is smaller sizes including an extra small Incase Icon Dot.

Types of men’s work backpacks

When shopping for a new men’s backpack for work you may notice that most work backpacks can be divided into three distinct flavors; tech carry, business carry and business travel. Each has their own set of special features with the most versatile backpacks sharing features with all three categories.

Business professional with backpack

Tech Carry

Work backpacks with an emphasis on tech carry will have special pockets laptop, tablet and electronic accessories. Unlike other business carry and travel backpacks, tech carry backpacks may be slimmer in design and have smaller main compartments as a result. A good example of tech-focused backpacks are the Incase Icon and Aer Day Pack.

Business Carry

Backpacks with an emphasis on business carry will have larger main compartments and special pockets for things like business paperwork, binders and books while having smaller organizers for business essentials like pens and business cards. 

Business carry backpacks are designed to look professional enough to wear to the office with more formal business attire. Examples of business carry backpacks include the Kenneth Cole Reaction Slim Tech backpack or the Samsonite Kombi.

Business Travel

Business travel backpacks are professional looking backpacks that are made especially for those who travel for work. Features on business travel backpacks include larger main compartments for clothes or other personal items as well as travel specific features such as TSA friendly laptop compartment and a trolley sleeve so the bag can be attached to luggage handles. Examples of business travel backpacks include the Tumi Brief Pack and Travelpro Platinum Elite Business backpack

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Above we reviewed the three main types of backpacks for business professionals. Now we will go over our criteria for choosing the backpacks on the list. 

Made for business carry

The backpacks we considered must be made for business carry. Although having tech and travel features is a huge plus, there must be enough space and functionality for proper business carry such as paperwork, folders, a laptop and tablet as well as organizers for small items. 

Versatile

The perfect work backpacks should also be versatile. This means it should be able to double up as a travel bag or work to gym backpack if needed. Extra room for personal items was a must. We believe a good men’s work backpack should be more than just a glorified briefcase. 

Professional and Stylish

The best backpacks for work also look the part. This means a professional backpack should be made of high grade materials such as leather and ballistic nylon. The bag should also be well made with no fraying or poorly constructed stitching. Brands like Tumi, Briggs & Riley and Samsonite are all great examples of brands that make good quality backpacks for work that also look professional enough to wear in more formal settings.