Best Men’s Backpacks for Work in 2021
Briefcases and messenger bags won’t do—you need to be ready to go at your leisure, and for that, you need a stellar, workplace-friendly backpack. There are a very specific type and style of backpacks that’s appropriate for maintaining a professional and serious image, and we’ve found the cream of the crop. Pick from twelve different best men’s backpacks for work, and scan the buying guide below for more information on key features that you shouldn’t compromise just for style. Function and maintaining your professionalism—we’ve got you covered.
The Best Men’s Backpack For Work
The Modoker Vintage Laptop Backpack offers the perfect mixture of modern materials and a vintage design. It has the look of an old-school college backpack, an aesthetic that never seems to go out of fashion. If you don’t want to turn up to work with a hiking backpack that makes you look like you’re about to climb Everest, this is a great alternative.
It’s made from 600D nylon fabric, a lightweight and tough material that can handle a lot of weight. The total capacity is only 25-liters, so it’s not the biggest backpack on this list by any stretch. However, the limited space is cleverly assigned, with separate pockets for your tablet, laptop, water bottle, and more. It’s also water-resistant, scratch-resistant, and won’t tear if you get it snagged on something sharp.
Made from 600D nylon fabric
- Weight1.4 pounds
We’ve said it on GearHungry time and time again – Osprey is the backpack king. If you’re looking for the best backpack on the market and you’ve got money to spend, Osprey should be your first port of call. They used the highest-quality materials, design packs with the user in mind, and incorporate hiking technology for comfort. The Osprey Nebula is the perfect Osprey pack for work.
In terms of pockets, it has a dedicated TSA-approved laptop sleeve (up to 17”), a front panel stretch mesh pocket, and two mesh water bottle pockets. The internal space is cleverly divided so you can keep all of your work equipment separated. Whether you’re heading out on a tough hike, jumping on a cross-country flight, or going to the office, this pack is one of the best.
TSA-approved laptop sleeve
Scratch-free slash pocket
Dual water-bottle pockets
Loop for blinky light attachment
- Weight1.98 pounds
Sometimes basic is best. You don’t need an endless list of features on a backpack. You just need it to carry your work gear comfortably. The AmazonBasics Classic School Backpack is probably the most basic backpack on this list. In fact, it’s one of the simplest designs on the market. It’s similar to classic school backpacks from Herschel and JanSport, just a lot cheaper. The exterior has a pencil-case style pocket on the front and a water bottle pocket on each side.
The interior of the bag is surprisingly spacious, thanks to the wide-open zips. It can comfortably fit a small laptop, all of your documents, a packed lunch, and a spare change of clothes. It’s ideally suited for one-day use. The only thing it really falls down on is the back and shoulder support. The straps are basic and the back section is just flat. This isn’t a problem for short distances but it’s not ideal for walking long distances.
Fits small laptop (13”)
Three exterior pockets
Available in seven colors
- Weight13.9 ounces
If you’ve never owned a piece of Swiss Gear, whether a laptop case or wallet, then we’re truly sorry. There are few that dare to contest with the superior construction of Swiss Gear—with 900D polyester, this professional bag boasts the emblazoned Swiss Gear iconic logo (which is a sign that you’re a man who focuses on quality), and an all-black exterior. While there is designated laptop storage space, it’s not padded, so don’t overstuff your bag.
One seriously awesome feature of this back is the D-ring accompanied by a headphone port. Listening to your tunes on-the-go has never been easier. Apart from the killer construction, you get dedicated organizational storage sleeves on the inside, allowing for quick access to material that matters. You’ll never have to look foolish by stumbling through your bag to find work-related items again. You could say were a bit Swiss Gear Hungry (see what we did there?)
Designated laptop storage compartment
Expandable storage in second and third compartments
Superior construction; 900D polyester, made for continuous use every single day
- BrandSwiss Gear
- Weight1.6 lbs
Supporting your shoulders and looking good while doing it, the Carhatt Legacy upholds your professional and respectable appearance, while providing excellent storage. This one-of-a-kind company produces a respective one-of-a-kind product, giving you front pocket organization pockets, YKK zippers for maximum durability and security, all wrapped-up in triple stitching to keep your pack on your back even with the heaviest of loads.
With all the hardware and additional stitching power, we were shocked to find that empty, this pack only weight 1.4lbs, which seriously helps when carrying around a laptop, tablet, and additional materials for work. Speaking of laptops and tablets, there’s a dedicated storage space for each with full padding—you’ve got all you need right on your back with Carhatt.
Designated laptop & tablet storage sleeves w/ padding
1200D poly construction
Lightweight at only 1.4lbs
- Weight1.4 pounds
Victorinox is one of our favorite brands—from watches to backpacks, they really have it all on lockdown. Their Almont pack comes with the same great durability and ferocity that you’d expect. With a padded back pad and adjustable shoulder straps, fatigue will be kept at bay. Excellent storage and a smart design (with the emblazoned logo, of course) make this as functional as it is professional.
Victorinox knows you’re not just on a single device (none of us are), so they added a dedicated tablet sleeve alongside the 15” laptop compartment for maximum gadget wielding. Speaking of gadgets, this comes with a pretty unique feature—two vertical zipper pockets on the exterior give you quick-access storage, but also come with a built-in bottle opener. Durable, long-lasting and functional, Victorinox delivers on their good name.
Padded shoulder straps for ample support
Padded back panel to reduce lower back pain and fatigue
- Weight2.31 pounds
Oakley has been an American favorite for decades, and it’s clear to see why. With serious attention to detail and superior build quality, their Voyage 23I cracked our list. With a customer interior and ID windows in your external pockets, you’re prepped to go wherever the road takes you. Fitted and comfortable shoulder straps allow you to fill the 24 liter capacity to a tee without feeling fatigue. The shoulder drop is quite large, so adjustments will have to be made.
While this bag doesn’t come with dedicated laptop storage, you’re gifted a large main compartment, making up most of the storage capabilities of this bag. If you’re a gent with a few little ones running around, you know that messes happen—a lot. With 100% polyester construction, this pack comes machine washable, and simple to wipe clean with a baby wipe or rag. Reduce back strain, and look like a total boss while doing it.
Machine washable; great if you have little ones that tend to make messes near your work items
Polyester lining to cradle your items
- Weight1.84 pounds
The perfect blend between corporate and casual, the Moleskine ID backpack allows you to flip from a suit to some shades for the weekend. With elastic band construction and magnetic closures, you get a few key rings to attach EDC tools and small items to. Slip a 13” laptop or your tablet and phone into the designated electronics sleeve for maximum safety during transit.
You know how those few times that you need a pen, there’s none to be found? This bag comes with two pen holders, a pocket for cards and/or your ID, and an internal side pocket for quick-access essentials, such as clearance badges for work. Moleskine’s customary My Moleskine feature comes with all their bags, allowing you to take down notes on the fly. Go minimalist in appearance without sacrificing space and organization.
Holds up to a 13″ laptop
Minimalist design with ID window/custom note-taking feature
Ultimate transcendence from corporate to casual, and back again
- Weight2.24 pounds
The PANS Work Backpack might look like a standard-issue military pack but it’s actually perfect for the daily commute. True, the design is inspired by the military and that means it’s tough, comfortable, and spacious – everything you want from a work backpack. Inside the pack, you’ll find plenty of purpose-built space for laptops, tools, and much more. It has a total capacity of 64 liters, which should be more than enough for your workday.
The outside of the pack boasts Molle webbing, allowing you to attach other packs to the exterior. Another feature we like is the robust plastic handle. Combined with the large straps, chest strap, and waist strap, and you’ve got a backpack that’s comfortable to wear, no matter how much you’re carrying.
Robust carrying handle
Reinforced shoulder straps
Chest and waist strap
Available in nine colors
- Weight2 pounds
The Oakley brand is a hallmark of quality and well-thought-out design. We don’t need to convince you that they know what they’re doing when it comes to creating performance gear. But what helps this Oakley Backpack stand out from the rest of the packs on this list? One of our favorite features is the large top opening section – it makes it easy to grab your laptop or a folder without having to open the whole bag. The exterior of the bag is stacked with smaller pockets for quick access to a charging cable, smartphone, or keys.
Made from 100% polyester, this pack is naturally tough and water repellant. It has a total capacity of 30L and padded straps to make it easy to bear the load. It even has dedicated straps for carrying skateboards, just in case you want to turn up to work in style. This might not be the most professional-looking work backpack in the world but it’s perfect if you have a relaxed job.
Fits up 17” laptop
Padded back panel
Padded shoulder straps
Protective eyewear pocket
- ModelEnduro 2.0
- Weight1.51 pounds
As you’d expect from a North Face backpack, the North Face Recon is built for all-weather performance. You can take this pack to work in the week then go mountaineering with it at the weekend. It is designed to carry a laptop, so you can tell the makers had the modern world in mind when they were perfecting this pack. It boasts a total of 30L of interior space, with a stretch front stash pocket, and excellent organization. The main compartment is split into two sections – one for your laptop and one for everything else.
One of the best things about this backpack is the quality of the materials used. It’s made from 600D polyester, 210D Cordura nylon ripstop, and 1680D ballistic nylon in the boot. We were also super impressed by the quality of the zips. This might seem like a small detail but broken zips can ruin a backpack.
Made from 600D polyester, 210D Cordura nylon ripstop, and 1680D ballistic nylon
FlexVent suspension system
Multiple stretch exterior pockets
Extra padded tablet sleeve
Available in 22 colors
- BrandThe North Face
- Weight2.5 pounds
The Mark Ryden Business Laptop Backpack has a smooth and professional look that makes it perfect for work. The exterior of the bag is made from a waterproof PU material that provides impressive protection. It will keep your laptop and documents safe from the weather and also provides some level of shock resistance. The design of this bag also really stood out to us.
Made from waterproof PU
Fits a 17.3” laptop
Padded air cushion back panel
Integrated whistle and USB charging port
Adjustable waist strap
- BrandMark Ryden
- Weight2.34 pounds
Men’s Backpack for Work Buyers Guide
Backpacks will give off a childish vibe if you choose the wrong one. Sizing, material and style all need to be on-point. We’ve outlined the key features to keep on your list when picking a professional backpack.
What To Look For: Workplace Backpacks
- Capacity: Professional use means having the ability to stash and store multiple items from the office. Itineraries, stacks of documents, your electronics (tablet, phone, laptop) and their respective cords and cables. Low capacity also means a smaller backpack, and that will appear small and bulky on your back, emulating the look of a kid leaving school in the mid-afternoon. Look for 17 liters and up, and you’ll be good to go.
- Designated Laptop Storage: Your laptop is an extension of you’re ability to work. While a designated pouch isn’t a breaking point, it’s definitely good to have one, especially if you’re known to overstuff your bags. Too much pressure on your screen can cause damage over time, but with a designated sleeve, there’s a significant amount of padding to protect it.
- Professional Style: This is pretty relative. Minimal paracords, solid colors and a low number of pockets all make a pretty professional appearance. Unless you’re working for a grassroots campaign, having a “hiker-ready backpack” isn’t going to cut it for workplace appeal.
Your Attire Defines Your Professionalism
Every part of your workplace attire needs to be on-point. Your watch needs to be sleek, facial hair needs to be perfectly styled and maintained, and your suit (or corporate casual wear) needs to actually look like it belongs draped over your shoulders. Getting a perfect 10/10 style can either be accentuated or ruined with a backpack; we’ve selected the most masculine designs and functional packs, giving you a reason to carry them around while also making a statement. How people perceive you defines your future interactions with them; stay professional, make it work for you with one of the backpacks we’ve selected.