What once was considered just for school-aged kiddos or for nerds is now a mainstream, must-have for every professional’s wardrobe: a backpack. As an easy way to lug around your laptop from meeting to meeting, hold your healthy lunch from home and give your shoulder a much-deserved break, there are a slew of backpacks available that fit your style and need.
From leather splurges to packs big enough for an overnight trip and ones that double as a purse, consider this your introduction into the new trend inspired by a classic one.
For everyday use
Much like most females have a go-to little black dress and men have a pair of loafers that fit them perfectly, having a trust backpack for all of your adventures is essential. What’s great about this bag is found it is simplicity: it’s idea for city-hopping to make client meetings, riding your bike to work in a new city or basic commuting. It’ll hold a laptop up to 15.6”, along with chargers and a water bottle. As a bonus, RFID-blocking technology ensures your cards and private information remains protected. Travel On Classic Black Bag, $90
For busy days
Between meetings, an endless flow of emails and imminent deadlines, one second wasted packing a backpack is one too many. While this type of carry-all are often seen as an easier way to commute, with less stress on your shoulders, if they’re not designed with practicality and speed in mind, you might be digging through tons of pockets before finding what you need. This backpack answers all issues: with a u-zip opening for loading and unloading quickly, a padded back panel and harness for comfort, a laptop sleeve and even a scratch-free zippered pocket for sunglasses, everything stays in place so you never have to stress. Osprey Bitstream, $140
Not all careers require you to be behind a desk—and a photographer’s lifestyle is one of them. While it can seem dreamy to float around the world snapping photographs and getting paid for it, heavy camera equipment is difficult to lug around. And if it breaks? You’re often out hundreds of thousands of dollars. To the rescue is this recommended bag that includes waterproof everything (including the zippers), padded compartments for every lens, as well as room for your laptop. Peak Design Everyday Backpack, $290
For a backpack that’s stylish — and vegan
If you’ve been avoiding a backpack because it doesn’t quite look, well, chic, for your style, you’re in luck. This vegan brand offers a fashion-forward aesthetic that won’t ruin your outfit of the day. You can fit a small laptop, your lunch and some charging cables so you’re never out of battery. Evve Milano Caracas Backpack, $159
For true digital nomads
Working from Bali this week? Perhaps Japan next? And in a month, you’ll make your way to Thailand? With more freelancers than ever, digital nomads are on the rise, scattering to coffee shops and workspaces around the world. If you’re a professional who can’t sit still, this backpack was made for you. It doubles as a travel bag, with many hidden nooks and crannies, and features RFID pockets, laptop sleeves and more. NOMATIC Backpack, $209
When it comes to your home, the less clutter the better. Your desk at work? Pristine, 24/7. For the professional who doesn’t like much fuss, enter this lightweight backpack that seals everything up neatly and easily. Inside, you’ll find laptop and tablet sleeves, hideaway shoulder straps and other zippers to help you stay organized. It is also weather-resistant and easy to lug around from a meeting uptown, and another downtown. Tortuga Homebase Backpack, $245
For a splurge
For an investment that’s timeless and luxurious, this bridle leather backpack fits the bill. It might be a tad on the sportier side but the sleek design lends itself to professional settings, as well as weekend brunch reservations. Laptops up to 14” will fit easily inside, and it’s available in both black and brown. While the expense is hefty upfront, the good news is the quality materials will last you a decade. Paul Stuart Textured Bridle Leather Backpack, $500
For full days on the go
Sure, you have to get to the office by that 9 a.m. meeting. But then you also have yoga after work. And you might decide to rent a bike to get home instead of taking the metro. You need a multi-purpose bag that’ll last you all day. In addition to the basics you’d expect in a work backpack like a laptop and tablet sleeve, this pick also features strap buckles for a yoga mat, a skateboard and other fun perks. If you struggle with the weight and strain of a backpack, you’ll also appreciate the ergonomic back panel with memory foam and the adjustable shoulder straps. Penry Pack, $79