More sophisticated than a duffel or messenger bag, a briefcase projects an aura signifying you’re an organized professional down to the bone. It’s the gift people purchase for young men when they graduate from law school to earn MBAs to show they’ve entered an elite playing field where intelligence is power. And it’s what driven entrepreneurs seek to stay methodical in their approach to every task.
A briefcase certainly doesn’t define a man, but it is a piece of gear that shows the world that you mean business. Walking into a room wearing a sharp suit and backpack won’t have the same effect as when you make an entrance carrying a dapper attaché. Indeed, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but first impressions are important in the business world. Type in a search query for briefcases and you’ll find a ton of options to choose from, making it difficult to hone in on the ideal choice for you. To make your search easier, we’ve created a list of the best briefcases for men. Now all you have to do is choose the top-tier carrier that speaks to you.
Briefcase vs. Messenger Bag
What's The difference?
At first glance, it seems like there’s no difference between briefcases and messenger bags. And since there are multi-carry options, it can be even more difficult to bags in general. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two carrying options to define their styles. Messenger bags are more informal and are designed to be carried over the shoulder or across the body. They’re often made with softer material and don’t typically have handles. On the other hand, briefcases are always built with a carrying handle. They’re also more spacious, so they can carry legal-sized documents with ease. And they typically look more formal than a messenger bag. The bottom line is if you’re wearing a suit, it’s a better look to go with a briefcase.
Herschel Sandford Messenger
The Herschel Sanford Messenger is built for tech-savvy individuals who are on-the-move constantly. It’s equipped with reinforced carrying handles, a luggage trolley sleeve that converts into a rear pocket, and various storage compartments to carry all your gadgets. For easy access, it has a two-way main compartment zipper and a front storage pocket for your compact essentials, such as your keys and smartphone. You can also transform it into an over-the-shoulder carrier or backpack.
Dimensions: 12” H x 17” W x 6.25” D
L.L. Bean Waxed Canvas Briefcase
For a more classic, yet semi-formal, option, check out the L.L. Bean Waxed Canvas Briefcase. The carrier has full-grain leather trim and is made from weather-resistant waxed cotton canvas. Inside, you’ll find a brushed cotton and polyester blend that will hold your gear gently. It also includes a padded laptop ps leave and several exterior and interior pockets to keep your essentials organized. Not to mention, it comes in vintage colorways that give off professor vibes.
Dimensions: 13” H x 16” W x 2.5” D
Material: Waxed cotton canvas
Alpha Industries Battalions 3 Way Bag
Coming from a company that was a clothing contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense, you’ll know this briefcase is a rugged option. The Battalions 3 Way Bag is made from 100% heavy-duty nylon and holds 19 liters with ease. It comes with two adjustable shoulder straps, two lower handle straps, top carrying handles, and convertible straps for multi-carry options. Gear up with this briefcase if you’re looking for a durable and versatile carrier.
Dimensions: 12” W x 17” H x 5.5” D
Material: 100% nylon
Mystery Ranch 3 Way Briefcase
Mystery Ranch makes some of the best bags for outdoor use, but they also produce a respectable briefcase. The 3 Way Briefcase is constructed from 500D CORDURA fabric, allowing it to take a beating. It has a Rip Zip opening for blazing quick access to its detail pockets, padded sleeve for laptops up to 15 inches, and a variety of accessory pockets to keep you organized. And it has an expandable zipper that gives you five addition liters of storage.
Dimensions: 17” L x 12” W x 12.5” H
Material: 500D Cordura fabric
Everyman Hideout 5-Way Commuter
Built tough with a PU Lined 1680 Ballistic Nylon exterior and stainless steel hardware, this stealth black briefcase will survive the wear-and-tear of the everyday grind. Keep all your gear organized thanks to a velcro-lined 18L main compartment compatible with packing cubes, which are secured from the elements via waterproof zippers. And you can keep your laptop safe with a TSA-approved sleeve, which means you won’t be required to remove your laptop at the airport.
Dimensions: 18” L x 12” H x 6” D
Material: PU Lined 1680 Ballistic Nylon
Aer Flight Pack 2 X-Pac Limited Edition
Whether you’re heading to the work, gym, or hopping on a plane for a business meeting the next day, Aer’s Limited Edition Flight Pack 2 won’t fail you. Carry it as a shoulder bag, backpack, and as a briefcase. The versatile Flight Pack 2 is made from VX-43 X-Pac sailcloth, which is a durable and waterproof laminate, complementing the YKK AquaGuard zippers. The interior is liner is a vibrant orange, making it easy to open up the attaché and find what you’re looking for quickly.
Dimensions: 18” L x 12” W x 5” D
Material: VX-43 X-Pac sailcloth
Topo Commuter Briefcase
If you’re a modern city-dweller, Topo’s Commuter Briefcase is a versatile carrier fit for the urban playground. The bag has a 1000D Cordura nylon exterior, Horween leather accents and handle, and YKK zippers. It’s built with storable backpack straps, a removable adjustable shoulder strap, internal organization pockets, and a security pocket. This USA-made 15L briefcase is just what you need for a fast-paced life with business meetings around the world.
Dimensions: 16″ W x 11″ H x 4.5″ D
Material: 1000D Cordura nylon
J. Crew Boarding Pass NYC Flight Briefcase
If you have to pick up your things and go quite often, J. Crew’s Boarding pass NYC Flight Briefcase is ready to travel. With its’ waterproof waxed canvas twill construction, the briefcase is both handsome and well-built. Made in the USA, the carrier has a padded laptop sleeve, large internal pocket, and an easy-access outer pocket for your go-to compact EDC. And it fits under any standard airline seat for smooth sky travels.
Dimensions: 15” L x 12.5” H x 3.5” D
Material: Waxed canvas twill
Patagonia Black Hole MLC
Patagonia’s Black Hole MLC briefcase is for those who need a carrier that’s more rugged than most. This briefcase is made from sturdy 100% recycled polyester ripstop fabric, 100% recycled polyester lining, and 100% recycled nylon webbing. It has a weather-resistant TPU-film laminate along with a DWR finish to battle the elements. And with a clamshell design, you can access all your important documents without any issues. It’s also TSA-approved and ready to take off for flights around the world.
Dimensions: 22.8” L x 8.6” W x 14.5” H
Material: 100% recycled polyester ripstop fabric
Timbuk2 Smith Briefcase
Marrying the classic briefcase design with modern technology, the Timbuk2 Smith is a sophisticated carrier for the everyday grind. It has a slip pocket for your files, a padded laptop sleeve capable of protecting up to a 15-inch laptop, and a wide opening for easy access. For durability and style, the briefcase is made from rugged waxed canvas and refined with leather details. For peace of mind, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Dimensions: 16.1” L x 13” H x 5.12” D
Material: Waxed canvas and leather
Bradley Mountain Courier Briefcase
A compact take on the briefcase, Bradley Mountain’s Courier is a professional accessory made to last. It’s constructed from 18 oz water-resistant duck canvas and has 10 oz bridle leather handles along with a two-way antiquated brass zipper. The attaché can fit a 15-inch laptop, a series if journals, and the prominent accessories you need to get through the day. Handmade in San Diego, California, this briefcase is an all-around winner.
Dimensions: 16” L x 7.5” H x 3.75” D
Material: Duck canvas and leather
Filson Original Briefcase
Filson’s American-made Original Briefcase is built using uncompromising materials, scubas 22 oz rugged twill and North American saddle-quality bridle leather. The carry-on sized briefcase has over 10 internal pockets so you can organize all of your essential documents and gear. It’s also designed to hold a 15-inch laptop securely Ensuring that everything inside is tucked away safely, it features a custom-cut YKK zipper closure, in addition to a storm flap closure.
Dimensions: 16″ W x 12.5″ H x 4″ D
Material: Twill and bridle leather
Hook & Albert Leather Laptop Briefcase
If you’re looking for minimalist done right, look no further than the Hook & Albert Laptop Briefcase. This business carrier has a minimalist, elegant design, as it’s made from beautiful pebbled leather. The stunning briefcase also boasts smooth leather handles, metal hardware, a padded computer pocket that can hold a 15-inch laptop safely, a business card holder, and a webbed cotton shoulder strap with a removable shoulder pad. It comes in several colorways, including Navy Blue and Espresso Brown.
Dimensions: 11” L x 16 “ W x 3.5” D
Material: Pebbled leather
Defy Defender Ballistic Nylon Briefcase
Sometimes you need a briefcase to withstand any terrain, so Defy made one that’s a dapper beast. Defy’s Defender Briefcase is made from 1050 Mil-Spec ballistic nylon, military-grade metal hardware, and Horween leather. To secure your materials, it features two high-strength AustriAlpin quick-release 1-inch COBRA buckles, as well as oversized YKK water-repellent AquaGuard rubber zippers with beautiful hand-riveted Horween Austin Calf leather pull tabs.
Dimensions: 17” W x 11” H x 3” D
Material: 1050 Mil-Spec ballistic nylon
Reiss Lindberg Briefcase
The Lindberg briefcase is all about classic style and high-quality construction. It’s made from premium pebbled leather and featured gold branded hardware, which goes well with a sharp suit for business events where you’re looking to command the crowd. The briefcase has two carry handles and a zip-fastening main compartment. This document carrier is a minimalist option for more formal occasions.
Dimensions: 11” H x 15.7” W x 3.5” D
Material: Premium pebbled leather
Billy Kirk No. 237 Briefcase
Available in a more sophisticated colorway or a camo print for a casual look, the Billy Kirk No. 237 is all about performance. It has a long zipper for easy access to your contents, a laptop sleeve closure, and an exterior snap with a finger-loop, reducing the weight of the bag by over 20%. The highly-functional briefcase is constructed from 20 oz waxed duck canvas, full-grain vegetable-tanned leather, and dull nickel-plated brass hardware.
Dimensions: 15.75” W x 11” H x 3.5” D
Material: Waxed duck canvas, full-grain vegetable-tanned leather
Killspencer Briefcase 2.0
Made in the USA, Killspencer’s Briefcase 2.0 features high-quality materials for excellent longevity. The sleek business bag is made from full-grain leather and has a stylish Swiss-made Riri zipper in an antique silver finish. It features two patented Cobra buckles, one exterior bull hide leather handle, and a nylon-lined laptop compartment with an elastic secret strap for stability. It also has an Alice clip attachment webbing strip, so you can add an accessory case.
Dimensions: 17″ L x 2.5″ D x 11.5″ H
Material: Premium full-grain leather
Bellroy Designers Edition Laptop Brief
Using premium hide leather tanned under gold-rated Leather Working Group environmental protocols, the Designers Edition Laptop Brief is a smooth carrier for formal business meetings. It has a suede-like lining, magnetized laptop pocket for portable computers up to 15 inches, and a removable shoulder strap if you want to transform it into a messenger bag. The clean design Bellroy employs ensures this briefcase will still be stylish decades from now.
Dimensions: 14.2” H x 16.2” L x 2.75” D
Material: Premium hide leather
Paul Smith Black Embossed Leather Business Folio
This briefcase for men is a folio built using black embossed leather for a textured effect. The cherry on top from a style standpoint is the subtle ‘Bright Stripe’ borders found on each carry handle, helping the bag stand out. The briefcase features a large laptop compartment designed to hold a 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro, two slip pockets, a zip fastening pocket, and tie-shaped zip-pulls. It also includes a black Paul Smith dust bag.
Dimensions: 15” L x 11.2” H x 3.9” D
Material: Leather and calf leather
Shinola Computer Brief
Shinola is most famous for their classic watches, but they’ve decided to apply their design talents to creating a timeless Computer Brief. This briefcase features pristine leather, a long removable shoulder strap, and silver-toned hardware. It has a padded foam interior to protect your goods, three open pockets for smaller items you need on-the-go, an exterior open pocket, and a detachable key fob. Shinola made a briefcase for men that complements any of their elegant watches perfectly.
Dimensions: 11″ H x 15.5″ W x 2″ D
Best Made Co. Leather Briefcase
According to Best Made Co, their briefcase is built to last a lifetime. It’s designed to carry all of your everyday necessities, including your papers, laptop, lunch, and smartphone. From start-to-finish, the briefcase is made in the USA, so you know the quality is second-to-none. It’s constructed from 100% vegetable-tanned skirting leather that will develop unique wear over time, growing along with you. It also has heavy stitching thanks to the use of a shoe-cobbling machine for superior durability.
Dimensions: 17” W x 13.5” H x 4.5” D
Material: 100% vegetable-tanned skirting leather
Hardgraft Long Haul Briefcase
Spacious enough to comfortably fit your laptop and documents, Hardgraft’s Long Haul Briefcase is a hardworking piece of gear with a classic design. The carrier is made in Italy from vegetable-tanned leather and minimal hardware, allowing to be comfortable to carry and resilient. It has a large flap with an external zip pocket hidden underneath, an adjustable shoulder strap, and a strip of leather on the back, so you can attach it to the grab handle of your suitcase when you travel.
Dimensions: 15.8” L x 11” H x 3.3” D
Material: Vegetable-tanned leather
Montblanc Extreme 2.0 Document Case
A contemporary business bag, Montblanc’s Extreme 2.0 Document Case is the type of carrier slick and stylish enough to be featured in a blockbuster movie. Built to serve the modern businessman, this Italian spill calfskin leather carrier has a spacious main compartment, one front zipped pocket, a padded section for a 13-inch laptop, three writing tool loops, two open pockets, and a zipped pocket. Get organized with this debonair document case.
Dimensions: 15” L x 4.52” D x 11.4” H
Material: Italian split calfskin leather
Lotuff Leather The Triumph Briefcase
Handcrafted in America, this handsome briefcase blends vintage design with incredible performance. It has a sleek triple-gusset vegetable-tanned construction, three full-length interior compartments, an extended zipper for quick access, and a middle section for your laptop. It also has nestling handles with a 3-inch drop for a natural carry. Perfect for a business executive, this briefcase for men projects professionalism in every way.
Dimensions: 10” H x 16” W x 2” D
Material: Vegetable-tanned leather
Bennett Winch The Leather Brief
Fitting for both a custom-tailored suit or a more laidback look, Bennett Winch’s briefcase is a smart option when you’re looking for a document carrier. Besides the ability to match any outfit in your closet, it will help you stay organized with three internal pockets, protected laptop pocket, concealed front phone pocket, and wallet pocket on the backside. Its’s made from full-grain vegetable-tanned Italian leather, 100% British cotton lining, and solid brass hardware welded in London.
Dimensions: 16.5” L x 13.8” H x 3.14” D
Material: Full-grain vegetable-tanned Italian leather
The Ultimate Guide To Business Casual
A well-made classic briefcase needs to be complemented by the proper business attire. Take a look at our ultimate guide to business casual and upgrade your wardrobe.
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