The more technology pervades our culture, the more important it is for us to be constantly connected, instantly reachable. Back in the day, when our grandfathers left their office at 5pm, they were officially off duty, “offline” because there was no “online.” Imagine how amazing would it be to enjoy happy hour drinks without having to check your phone to make sure nothing blew up at the office in the time since you left. Imagine taking a long weekend trip without lugging your laptop with you, just in case you need to do some work.
Unfortunately for most of us, the days of being able to “clock out” are long gone. But if you look on the bright side, being able to work remotely has enabled us to take longer vacations or just build a more flexible lifestyle for ourselves in general.
So for the working masses who are forever searching for a WiFi signal in a hotel or coffee shop so they can escape the doldrums of the fluorescent-lit office, it’s important to have a well-designed, ultra-functional laptop bag to haul to and from work, and wherever else you’ve decided to compose emails from. Check out 15 of our favorites.
Tom Bihn Horizontal Brain Cell
Designer Tom Bihn has been crafting rugged bags since the 1970s and Horizontal Brain Cell laptop bag is one of his best offerings. Crafted out of heavy-duty nylon, your laptop (it accommodates up to a “15 laptop) will hang suspended in a sling of thick foam padding inside a corrugated plastic shell, ensuring that it’ll be protected, no matter how much battering the bag takes.
United By Blue Lakeland Laptop Bag
United by Blue is an eco-conscious company dedicated to making quality apparel while helping to preserve the ocean, and with this Lakeland Laptop Bag, they do exactly that. Available in a variety of natural hues (and all-business black), the bag is made out of waxed canvas, has leather straps and brass hardware, and a dizzying amount of interior and exterior pockets to keep all of your stuff organized.
Herschel Supply Co. Clark Messenger
Herschel Supply Co. is known largely for making stylish backpacks, but with this offering, they’ve cemented their dominance over the messenger bag category. With fleece-lined interior sleeves to protect your Macbook and iPad and multiple mesh organizers to keep everything organized, it’s the ultimate work bag.
Timbuk2 Commute Laptop Messenger Bag
San Francisco-based bag maker Timbuk2 was originally called “Scumbags,” but the owner quickly changed the name, probably because no one wanted to brag about owning a scumbag. You’ll brag about owning this bag, though. It’s large enough to double as a weekender bag, but is designed to look all-business, so you can use it as your luggage for an overnight work trip. The best part? It’s TSA-compliant, so you can send it through security without removing any of your devices.
Mystery Ranch 3-Way Expandable Briefcase
Montana-based Mystery Ranch has been crafting high-quality bags since 2000 (and we’re talking high-quality—they’ve created custom bags for the Navy SEALS), so anything they have on offer is going to be a good bet. This 3-Way Expandable Briefcase allows you to carry it in multiple ways (including as a backpack) and has a ton of pockets to keep your stuff organized while on-the-go.
Topo Designs Mountain Briefcase
If you’re the kind of guy who spends your weeks in the office and your weekends in the wilderness, the Mountain Briefcase by Colorado-based Topo Designs is for you. It has the classic shape of a briefcase, but with its waxed canvas exterior, rugged leather accents, and zippers with bright red pulls, it’s decidedly different than what other working stiffs would carry. It has a ton of interior pockets, but the best feature is the two cinch straps on the bottom, which can hold a jacket or anything else you’ve got that can be rolled up.
Chrome Industries Buran Laptop Messenger Bag
California-based Chrome Industries is known for creating indestructible products that are guaranteed to last for life, and the Buran Laptop Messenger Bag is one of their best offerings. Crafted from abrasion-resistant nylon, it fits up to a 17” laptop, is fitted with reflective straps for night visibility (especially handy for bike commuters), and has the brand’s signature belt buckle shoulder strap, which is fitted with a bottle opener (perfect for helping to facilitate the drinking of an post-work beer).
Mission Workshop The Monty Messenger Bag
A relatively new San Francisco-based brand, Mission Workshop seeks to make handmade goods for people in motion, and they succeed in spades with The Monty Messenger Bag. Rugged and weatherproof, the bag features a roll-top closure, a main compartment that can fit up to a 15” laptop, and two exterior quick-access cargo pockets for things like your wallet LINK or your phone.
Dsptch Tech Messenger
San Francisco-based Dsptch’s Tech Messenger takes a traditional messenger bag and turns it on its head—the bag has a unique freestanding design that allows you to access your stuff while sitting on the floor of your cubicle or on the conference room table. It has a padded laptop sleeve that will accommodate up to a 15” laptop, a separate tablet compartment, and built-in cord management system to keep your various chargers in check.
Whipping Post Vintage Messenger Bag
Named after an Allman Brothers song, Whipping Post creates high-quality leather goods that give a nod to musicians (their signature item is a wallet with a special slot of a guitar pick). You don’t have to be a touring musician to carry this Vintage Messenger Bag, though—the high-quality, buttery leather bag features a suede-lined laptop compartment, and a media compartment for an iPad or a magazine (if you’re analog like that).
Filson Original Briefcase
Filson has been crafting gear since 1897, so you can be assured that whatever they create is going to last a lifetime. The Original Briefcase is no exception to that rule—crafted out of rugged twill canvas (available in a variety of colors) and English Bridle leather, the bag features a roomy interior compartment with three dividers for your laptop and other large items and slotted pockets to keep small items organized.
Hard Graft Flat Pack
London-based Hard Graft is committed to using the very best materials to create quality accessories, and this Flat Pack Messenger is one of their best offerings. Made with gorgeous vegetable-tanned leather, the handsome bag features a unique embossed “X” on the exterior of the bag for added style, a padded front to keep your laptop safe, and as a bonus—access to the main compartment is limited to the inside of the bag.
Jack Spade Waxwear Zip Brief
Jack Spade, like it’s sister brand, Kate Spade, is known for creating quality bags, so this chocolate brown Waxwear Zip Brief is a good choice. Its slim profile will automatically make you look put-together while the exterior, coated with weatherproof Waxwear, will repel wear and tear like a champ.
Killspencer Briefcase 2.0
Los Angeles-based Killspencer’s Briefcase 2.0 manages to look slim while still being able to fit all of your essentials—up to a 15” laptop, power cables, tablet, notebook, and anything else you need to conquer the day. It’s also fully customizable to your liking—you can choose from a variety of materials prior to purchasing, including leather, suede, nylon, and even jacquard cotton camouflage.
Want Les Essentiels Heathrow Commuter Bag
Founded by two Montreal-based twin brothers, Want Les Essentiels specializes in creating quality travel accessories that will make traveling an art again instead of a chore. This sleek Heathrow Commuter Bag looks way more expensive than it actually is—its slim profile, leather accents, and a detachable cross-body strap make it the perfect bag to haul your laptop to and from work.