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Backpacks vs Briefcases: How to Choose the Perfect Bag for Work

No matter what you do to pay the bills, a professional work bag is almost as important as the clothes on your back, whether that’s a suit, smart dress, or jeans and a button-down. Of course, as with choosing appropriate work attire, you need the right gear for the job. 

Well, we don’t just sell suitcases here at Briggs & Riley, so whether you’re deciding between laptop backpacks vs. briefcases, allow us to help you find the best work bag with our guide. No matter what your gig is, rest assured you’ll be able to carry around all your belongings with ease and style. 

Briefcases for Work

It goes without saying, but a briefcase is the best work bag for someone with a professional career that takes them into an office environment. 

You likely have to be a bit more dressed up (not including casual Fridays, of course), so aesthetically, it’s a great match. When choosing a briefcase, think about what you want to put in your work bag. Our Adapt Expandable Brief has a slim profile, but it expands to give you an extra two inches of depth when needed. It fits up to a 15.6-inch laptop, but it also has other bells and whistles such as a power cord organizer, dividers for files and personal items, and a lockable (and padded) laptop compartment. 

Meanwhile, the Dispatch Messenger is a sleek, unisex professional work bag that organizes your laptop, files, and a wide array of digital devices. Bonus points for doubling as a great travel bag. Our four-wheeled Large Spinner Briefis like a mini-office on wheels for road warriors who have to bounce around to different locations regularly (working from home included!). Yet, it can be packed like a traditional brief or laid flat like a suitcase — how’s that for functionality? 

Work Backpacks 

Backpacks vs. briefcases: Obviously, you’re not going to walk into a law firm with a backpack, so this option is best reserved for those who work in a more casual, jeans-friendly work atmosphere or the hospitality industry as you can stash your uniform or a change of clothes (including workout gear) for when you get off your shift. Bring your lunch to work? A backpack is an excellent mode of transport for that, too. 

Briggs & Riley has elevated the backpack by making it more sophisticated yet functional. Take, for example, our sharp Essential Backpack. It’s made from lightweight micro-weave nylon, so it’s soft to the touch yet durable and resists wear, moisture, dirt (though it’s easy to clean), and damage. Full-grain Napa leather touchpoints and accents for a luxurious (and grown-up) feel that ladies and gents alike could appreciate. It’s spacious enough to fit everything from your laptop to a change of clothing and shoes. There’s also an interior slip pocket that fits letter-sized files or folders and an organizer for business cards, writing utensils, and more. 

Suppose you have a job that isn’t strictly professional, yet a backpack may not be appropriate for something like an outside meeting with a client. In that case, our Convertible Duffle Backpack gives you the option to carry the bag like a briefcase or a backpack — it’s a win-win. 

Crossbody Bags for Work

crossbody bag is an excellent option if you don’t need something too serious for your job, but you’re always on the go. Not only are they comfortable because the weight of the bag is evenly distributed on both sides of your body, but crossbody bags free up your hands so you can jet to work while drinking your coffee. Our Expandable Crossbody professional work bag is sleek and slim but expands when you need extra space for all of your electronic devices, files, and other business essentials.


For a style that’s more like a crossbody travel purse, there’s our Rhapsody Crossbody. Sleek, simple, and with enough space to hold all of your bare essentials. As you can wear this bag in front of your body, you won’t have to worry about someone stealing your electronics or other essential documents. 

 

Tote Bags for Work

Versatile, durable, reusable, and stylish, a tote bag is a must-have essential no matter what type of job you have. Our Essential is light-weight, yet it has enough generous space to fit necessities such as your laptop, reading material, files, and more. If you’re looking for a simple tote that packs a punch, our Kinzie Street Horizontal Tote is fashion and function wrapped into one. It features a generously padded tablet slip pocket with screen-protective felt lining so that you can pack other items (from chargers and power bricks to work materials to a cosmetic bag) without having to worry about damaging your device. 


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