Best Men’s Backpacks for Work, According to 7 Real Users

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on email

These days, it’s becoming more acceptable to use something more practical, like a backpack, for your work bag.

They not only keep your hands free, but they also make commuting a lot easier.

With that in mind, we’ve put together some of the best work backpacks for men:

Matt Ernst

Matt Ernst

Physical Therapist, Oxford Physical Therapy

Posture is at the root of good spine health. Loading your spine with an ill-fitted backpack can contribute to spine issues both acutely and ones that will build up over time.

  • Don’t pack more than 25 pounds – and choose a backpack that has two wide and padded straps to distribute the weight. If you will be walking or commuting by bus or subway, waist and/or chest strap can also be helpful.
  • The backpack should fit two inches below the crest of your shoulders. That’s the imaginary line across your back that connects the tops of your shoulder blades. The backpack can extend to two to four inches above your belly button and should be no wider than your back.

Marc Snyderman, Esq.

Marc Snyderman

President, Snyderman Law Group, PC

eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack

I’m a lawyer and an entrepreneur and I’m always on the go. I basically carry an office with me everywhere and needed something lightweight, sleek, fashionable and very versatile. I tried a lot of bags and this one from ebags has been the best to keep up with my hustle and not look like a college kid walking down the street or heading into meetings.

It’s great for any kind of travel, it fits under the seat on an airplane or at your feet on the train and is easy to just work straight from it with the separate pouch for the laptop battery and many pockets.

Alan Zucker

Alan Zucker

Founding Principal, Project Management Essentials

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

I searched for the perfect men’s work bag for years. A couple of years ago, I purchased the large Timbuk2 Messenger bag. I love it! The bag has a huge and easily accessible main compartment.

I am an instructor and consultant and am carrying a lot of things. The bag can fit large textbooks, a bag of markers and Post It notes, and a bag of cords and dongles. Everything fits. There are easy to reach internal and external water bottle holders. And, there is also room for my MacBook and iPad.

The cross-should strap is more comfortable than a backpack or traditional briefcase. It is easy to sling the bag over my head, carry it on my shoulder, or use the handle.

Related: Best Briefcases for Men

The bags are also very durable and backed by Timbuk2. I was so happy with this bag that I now have a collection.

William Chin

William Chin

Web Consultant, PickFu | Product Manager

AER Duffel Pack 2

I am Product Manager by day and Web Consultant by night. As you can imagine, that means I am constantly on the move from the office to a number of different places all in one day. I was also in the Canadian Army for nearly six years before I started working in the private sector, so I’ve owned many different types of bags.

By far, the best bag I have ever owned for day travel or business use is the AER. They are not as pricey as Tumi bags, are extremely durable and have a lot of travel space.

The Duffel Pack 2, is a cross between duffle bag, knapsack, and soft suitcase. If you’re looking for something that won’t break the bank, looks nice and is durable (for work), this is the bag for you!

Shayne Sherman

Shayne Sherman

CEO, TechLoris

Osprey Pack Porter 46 Travel Bag

Finding a good backpack for work, or play is tough. I’m a big fan of the Osprey Pack Porter 46 Travel Bag. What I love is the versatility of it and the way it helps protects the things inside.

As a day-to-day getting to and from work pack, the StraightJacket compression straps that this bag has. For those days when I’m not carrying a lot of stuff, which is a lot of days, I can snug everything up with the straps and rest easy knowing my laptop is secure. To add to the peace of mind, the laptop sleeve is perfect. Easily accessible from the outside, yet protected if I get jostled while walking.

It’s also great for quick business trips, as it can hold a decent amount and still be considered carry on luggage. This is huge because before getting this bag, it was too easy to miss moving something from the work back to the travel bag. Now, that’s not a worry, since the carry on bag and the work bag are the same.

Sabin Speiser

Sabin Speiser

Brand Strategy and Marketing Consultant, Speiser

Swissgear Laptop Bag


This bag is 10 out of 10. I’ve put ten years of hard use on mine and it remains as serviceable as when I bought it. All the zippers work and there are no tears, scuffs or almost no noticeable damage anywhere. The cross-chest buckle is broken, but I never used it anyway.

I mainly work out of my home office, but I also travel to client offices in the Bay Area and around the country. I take the Swissgear laptop bag everywhere. I love how sturdy it is. For example, the top handle isn’t a nylon strap, it is a plastic-covered steel cable.

There are lots of pockets and compartments which help me stay organized on the go. Although I only carry a 13” laptop, I also carry two phones, a tablet, Bluetooth headphones, a computer mouse, paper pads, pencils and pens, chargers, USB, display and lightning cables that I need to keep sorted. Everything has a place in this bag and is easy to get to.

This bag is heavier and pricier than other available laptop backpacks. That’s the tradeoff you make for durability. I am so glad that Swissgear has not updated the model since I bought it, because when I eventually need to replace it (which could be quite a while from now) I want to buy the exact same thing.

Thomas Rush

Thomas Rush

Head of Platform, ConsenSys Labs | Founder, BootStrapp

Triple Aught Design Axiom 24

After 2+ months of researching backpacks in stores and across Reddit, blogs, articles, and more (and after purchasing and returning a Nomadic backpack due to lower-quality materials), I purchased a Triple Aught Design Axiom 24.

It has nearly everything: it’s waterproof, has solid organization, is comfortable, and it falls into the category of what some people call “BIFL” – or “Buy it for life” – meaning you can buy it once and use it for years and years because of the high-quality materials and construction.

Pete Silvester

Pete Silvester

CEO, Summits

Targus Terminal T-II Backpack

Targus probably isn’t the sexiest brand, and I wasn’t that excited when I used some leftover Singapore Air miles to buy my Targus work backpack (Model# TBB574-70), but I would be buying exactly the same model if I can if ever this old beauty died on me (not any time soon).

I call it The Cockroach because its black, shiny, would be the last thing surviving a nuclear holocaust, and annoys my wife by showing up under her feet.

It’s top three points are:

  • Exceedingly comfy to wear, even when loaded up
  • Sneaky pockets everywhere, which is handy because I’m sneaky.
  • Travels really well, particularly with some handy places to put passports and computers where I can whip ’em out in nanoseconds.

Naomi Rose

Marketing Officer, Pad & Quill

When messengers and briefcases simply don’t strike your fancy, an office-friendly, refined backpack is the right way to go. They’re a great accessory and incredibly functional, especially if you travel for work or want to multitask your bag for weekend trips. Backpacks ease the strain of a heavy bag and are easier to carry.

However, not just any backpack will do. You’ll want to strike that perfect balance between corporate and casual. And no, before you ask, you cannot use your ratty old backpack from college.

Your work backpack ought to be professional, feel quality, and look incredible. Everyone has their own tastes, but it’s pretty safe to assume you’ll need to space to store a laptop, some chargers, an iPad, and an interior tailored to your unique needs.

Peak Design’s Everyday Backpack

For starters, it’s weatherproof, minimalistic exterior really sets the tone of this backpack. Also, the soft-shelled exterior lends itself conjunction to the unique interior.

The interior arrives quite utilitarian but completely customizable. Their FlexFold dividers serve as a boundary between fragile tech and it helps keep things organized. I like it’s flexibility, especially for those whose job changes on the daily.

Best for: Cafe nomads, freelancers, and photographers.

Watch out for: The rounded top makes it an awesome bag, but it also gives it a slouchy silhouette. You may want to try this one out for a week or two and see if you can tolerate the laidback look it gives you, even with your most perfect posture.

Heritage Laptop Backpack for Men

First of all, this thing is tough. It’s constructed out of rugged full-grain leather, stitched together with parachute-grade stitching, then reinforced with hand-pounded copper rivets and antiqued brass hardware. It can tackle any commute and any job you task it with.

One standout feature is its rolltop opening. This is a great way to keep your belongings protected against the elements as well as thieves. It provides a great shape and can broaden out the shoulders. It also adds a vintage twist to a completely modernized backpack. Inside it’s more freeform than the Peak Design backpack.

There’s a dedicated laptop/tablet pocket, a small zipper pocket for keys, and the rest is up to you. Another clever feature is its’ side access pocket, it’s a great way to get what you need without having to dig in your bag.

Best for: Professionals in a more formal work environment, commuters, and guys who expect a lot from their bags.

Watch out for: Rolling the rolltop down each time can be a bit fiddly. However, you can easily latch it closed simply folded over when in a rush.

Shinola Backpack

This Shinlola backpack is an icon, and for good reason. The luxurious leather starts out a bit stiff but quickly breaks in. It also features three total separate zippered compartments.

There is a laptop compartment at the very back of the bag, then a bulkier middle pocket for everyday essentials, and finally a small section for various tech detritus. One thing I like about this bag, in particular, is its hardware. The gunmetal really polishes off the look and accents the leather well.

Best for: Casual work environments and college students headed to work after class.

Watch out for: It’s got quite a hefty price tag for such a relaxed design. Just make sure you really love it before buying it!

Rhake by Mission Workshop

Meet the Rhake by Mission Workshop, it’s a cult favorite for a reason. This bag is all features, no-frills. There’s room for the usual workload with space for a laptop, an iPad, keys, water bottle. However, the interior compartment can be much more (or less) depending on your needs.

The 22-liter interior can be ballooned up to fit an extra set of clothes for the gym or shrunk down to hold just the necessities.
The exterior is dressed down and purely tactical. The clips and straps add a nice bit of color contrast to the bag that gives it a little more flair.

Like the Pad and Quill Heritage Backpack, it also has that expanding rolltop feature which is handy. Also, since it can hold so much, I really like that the Rhake offers shoulder and back padding.

Best for: Multitaskers. If you want to score a hiking backpack and a work backpack, this is the one for you.

Watch out for: Be careful this will pass muster in your work environment.