Gear > Bags

18 Best Briefcases for Men

By Andrew Peloquin  |  Updated November 29, 2023

18 Best Briefcases for Men
Courtesy of Bennett Winch

I love a good briefcase. They’re the perfect solution for a professional setting: providing enough space to carry around daily essentials, from electronics to writing implements to grooming products to paperwork, even a spare shirt and tie.

On the style front, I’ve found that a good briefcase is the perfect accessory to amplify the upscale look of a business suit or turn even a semi-casual outfit into workplace-appropriate attire.

Modern briefcases are designed to be ultra-versatile, tough enough to keep up with the daily commute, and sized just right to be the perfect office companion.

After years of commuting and taking work with me on holidays, working vacations, and overseas business trips, I’ve become a bit obsessed with finding the “perfect” briefcase.


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
  • Professional style made modern: No longer are your basic briefcases those boxy, clunky, overly heavy monstrosities carried around decades ago.
  • Slim is in: With lightweight laptops (thanks, MacBook!) leading the charge as the work tools of use, modern briefcases are stripping down and opting for a slim design—not much bigger than a portfolio, really.
  • Sized to organize: Briefcase interiors feature compartments sized just right for most important essentials: a dedicated (and sometimes padded) laptop compartment, smaller compartments for your smartphone, chargers, and cables, and pockets for pens, styluses, USB drives, and the other tools of your modern professional life.

I dove deep into all the top-rated briefcases on the market, read through hundreds of product reviews, and tested every one I could get my hands on.

Based on my research I’ve compiled a list of the best briefcases around—some stylish leather, some modern and chic, others just practical and reliable.

Read on to find the briefcase that suits your needs and your daily work “look” to perfection.


Best Overall Laptop Bag
Bellroy Tokyo Work Bag

Best Slim Briefcase
Billy Kirk No. 508 Standard Issue Slim Briefcase

Best High-end Leather Briefcase
Smythson Slim Briefcase

Best REALLY Inexpensive Briefcase
Taygeer Laptop Bag

Best Messenger-style Briefcase
Mission Workshop Transit Laptop Brief

Best Adventure Briefcase
TOPO Designs Global Briefcase


Best Overall Laptop Bag

Bellroy Tokyo Work Bag


$189
 

Bellroy is one of my all-time favorite brands. The high-quality, affordable, luxe-looking products deliver both the form and function I’m looking for.

Their Tokyo Work Bag is easily one of my all-time favorite bags to take on a working holiday. The minimalist design ensures it looks clean and simple on the outside, but it’s packed with all the features I could want: a 16” padded laptop sleeve, tablet slip for my iPad, a side water bottle pocket, tons of internal storage space in the main compartment, multiple internal and external pockets (including a dedicated sunglasses pocket), and a hidden document pocket in the rear for my passport and tickets.

It’s also built to make carrying easy, thanks to its handy luggage pass-through, padded shoulder strap, and webbing handles. It’s water-resistant enough I can take it out in the rain without worrying about its contents getting wet, and it’s even backed by a 3-year warranty so I know it’ll hold up for years of regular travel.





Best Slim Briefcase

Billy Kirk No. 508 Standard Issue Slim Briefcase


$182
 

On those days when I only want to pack light and carry the bare minimum, this is my go-to briefcase. 

The Billy Kirk No. 508 Standard Issue Slim Briefcase strips things down, a tough exterior with a slim yet well organized interior. Both the ten-ounce waxed canvas and the nylon inner lining are water-resistant, and they’re both easy to keep clean (a damp rag and a quick wipe is all it takes) and looking good.  

Though it weighs less than one pound, it’s sized to fit a 15-inch laptop, tablet, books, legal briefs, notepads, and all my other essentials. It’s the slimmest, sleekest bag on my list, and one I’ll highly recommend to anyone looking for both stylish good looks and minimalist functionality.





Best High-end Leather Briefcase

Smythson Slim Briefcase


$1695
 

Slim, sleek, incredibly stylish, this eye-catching briefcase will be right at home in a court room, boardroom, or medical convention center.

I love its look first and foremost. The black grained calf leather is already gorgeous right out of the bag and sets it apart from the crowd. But I’ve found that the more I use it, the more beautiful it will become as it develops a unique patina. After more than two years of carrying this bag around, it’s a true masterpiece of leatherwork that earns compliments on a regular basis.

And trust me: once you run your hands over the buttery-soft leather, you’ll feel the expertise that goes into its crafting.

With an internal zipped laptop pocket (sized for up to a 15” laptop) and individual compartments for small items, I’ve found it’s truly a working man’s best friend.





Best REALLY Inexpensive Briefcase

Taygeer Laptop Bag


$26
 

I bought the Taygeer Laptop Bag as a gift for my son to take to work, but liked it so much I kept it and got him another one.

This laptop bag is very much a “what you see is what you get” product: a tough nylon-and-polyester exterior, sturdy metal hardware and zippers, convenient carrying options (including shoulder strap and luggage pass-through), and excellent water-resistance.

Storage-wise, you’ve got plenty of options, including an interior laptop compartment (sized for up to 15.6-inch laptops), a spacious main compartment, a front pocket for tablets or notebooks, and front organizer pockets for all your smaller electronics, pens, and cables, and a zippered rear document pocket.

And don’t let the incredibly affordable price tag fool you—the bag is inexpensive without being “cheap” or low-quality. 





Best Messenger-style Briefcase

Mission Workshop Transit Laptop Brief


$285
 

I wasn’t big fan of the messenger-style laptop bag—until I tested out the Mission Workshop Transit Laptop Brief. Once I got a feel for just how much room it offered, I was hooked.

This bag has space for everything: your laptop, a portfolio, notebooks, tablet, chargers and cables, AirPods, heck, even a change of clothes. Not only do you have a spacious main compartment, but the bag also features four exterior cargo pockets for even more space.

In true messenger style, the bag features attachment points that make it easy to secure on my bike on the days I’m cycling to and from work. The hideaway handles streamline the bag’s look and keeps it from snagging on anything as I’m riding. When the time comes to head inside, I just sling the padded strap over my shoulder and I’m good to go.

Features like the weather-proof exterior, tough metal snaps, mil-spec webbing handles, and sturdy custom hardware make it a bag I can trust will last for years of frequent cycling.





Best Adventure Briefcase

TOPO Designs Global Briefcase


$129
 

When I’m packing for a ski weekend or overseas trekking adventure but need to take my work with me, this is the bag I’ll reach for.

Built with mountain-ready materials—including a 420-denier nylon pack cloth exterior and 210-denier nylon pack cloth interior lining—it’s the perfect adventure bag to keep all of my clothes, electronics (including a 15-inch laptop), and documents safe.

The pass-through panel makes it easy to slide it onto my rolling luggage handle, and the adjustable contoured shoulder straps ensure comfortable carry all day long. When I need to work, all my gear is instantly accessible, and when I’m not working, it’s well protected against damage.

I’ve found the TOPO Designs bag to be bold, spacious, and perfect for quick organization on the go.






Harber London Laptop Briefcase


$521
 

Choose the classic briefcase look with this gorgeous bag. Made in Spain by expert craftsman using only premium full grain leather, it’s a bag that will grow more beautiful and unique the more you use it.

It’s designed specifically for the working man, with storage options galore: inner magnetic pouches to store my travel essentials and chargers, a passport-sized pocket that can also accommodate smaller notebooks, larger pockets for A4 to A6-sized notebooks, card slots, pen holders, a zippered pocket, and multiple interior slots that let me keep everything organized and accessible at a glance.

My 15” laptop fits snugly into the laptop pocket, and it’s a travel-friendly bag I’m always glad to have on hand when on business trips or a working vacation.






Shinola Slim Traveler Brief


$795
 

You’ve never felt smoother, softer, more buttery leather, and you’ll fall instantly in love with this sleek, sturdy briefcase by Shinola.

The leather will develop a patina and grow truly unique with years of use, but it will be highly resistant to scuffs, abrasions, and wear. Be warned, though: it’s only lightly treated, so there is a risk of damage if exposed to water or stains (coffee, soda, juice, food, etc.). However, for men who want to look their best at the office and around town, you can’t beat this briefcase. It’s light, slim, and perfect for fitting just the bare necessities for your work day.






Bennett Winch The Brief


$1050
 

Whether you do your work in a board room, C-level suite, or at a country club, you’ll be glad you’ve got this bag close at hand.

Don’t let the slim look fool you; The Brief is beautifully roomy on the inside, with internal cable/accessory pockets, a padded laptop sleeve, and slip pockets perfect for organizing my paperwork and folders.

The bag is made from a lightweight-yet-tough cotton canvas that is waterproof enough to stand up to my daily commute and travels around town, but the addition of leather details gives it a touch of class that I think pairs nicely with any business, formal, or professional outfit.

I like that I can both carry it by hand and wear it slung over my shoulder. However works best for you, this bag is designed to turn heads and impress your colleagues.






Utility Brief from DSPTCH


$228
 

Wear it as a backpack, over the shoulder, or carry it by hand, and however you do, the 16-liter Utility Brief from DSPTCH is all business.

It fits a 15” laptop, features quick release Fidlock connectors on the front panel, an internal elastic water bottle pocket and it’s luggage-compatible with a sleeve to mount onto rolling luggage. Available in a range of colors.






Herschel Gibson Messenger Tech


$70
 

I’ve had some bad luck with my bags getting ripped, torn, scuffed, and scratched when in transit, so I was glad to get my hands on the tough-built Herschel Gibson Messenger Tech.

The exterior is made from a rugged 600-denier nylon fabric that is very resilient and not easily damaged at all. The fact that it’s also derived from 100% post-consumer water bottles means it’s eco-friendly, too.

The bag has everything I need: a fleece-lined padded laptop sleeve sized for up to 16-inch laptops, a spacious main compartment with multiple storage solutions, a front compartment with both organizer pockets and a key clip to stash my keys close at hand, and both a padded shoulder strap and luggage pass-through for easy travel.

It’s tough, handsome, environmentally conscious, and, best of all, nicely affordable.






Steele & Borough Laptopbag


$164
 

With this gorgeous, durable laptop bag over your shoulder, you can head to work or on vacation trusting your work equipment will be fully protected.

Steele & Borough’s Laptopbag is built for long-lasting reliability and minimalist functionality. The exterior is a tough water-resistant nylon with vegan leather accents to add a touch of style and elegance. On the inside, you’ve got a padded laptop compartment (sized for up to 14” laptop), a zip pocket, and two smaller open pockets. On top of that, there are two exterior pockets (one zippered, one open) to add even more storage space for your work essentials.

The adjustable shoulder straps make it easy to carry the bag exactly the way you want to, and you’ll love the addition of little “feet” on the bottom that let you set the bag down without dirtying or scuffing its base. It’s a simple, reliable, and all-around well-built bag you’ll be glad to pack for years to come.






ZEPPO Business Bag


$540
 

I put the Bleu de Chauffe Zeppo business bag to the test and fell instantly in love. Right out of the box, the vegetable-tanned leather was buttery soft and so smooth to the touch. The chrome tanning process left the rich, complex grain fully visible, and even after a few weeks, I could see the patina beginning to form—promising to make a marvelously gorgeous briefcase over years of use.

But it’s not just the leather that had me hooked. Everything about this bag is just so soft: the sanded velour finish on the reverse side, the cloud-like felt interior sleeve for my laptop, and the felt lining on the shoulder pad.

All of the external and internal zippers felt very durable, and the snaps all had a really nice, crisp feel to them. Everything about this bag—from its body to the flap covering the outside pocket to its handles and straps to its gorgeous branding details—just screams “high class”, a true luxury product.

Oh, and one more thing: it’s got a nifty zippered slot at the bottom that lets you slide it through the handle of your spinner suitcase or rolling luggage.






Troubador Pathfinder Slim Briefcase


$445
 

Say goodbye to those clunky, over-stuffed briefcases, and hello to a true icon of “slim awesomeness”. This Troubador briefcase uses all modern fabrics—recycled polyester and vegan leather—to ensure your bag is as cutting-edge as you could want.

The bag is waterproof (I’ve put it to the test, and it holds up), offers ample storage space (including an exterior laptop pocket that accommodates my 15” laptop), and is incredibly easy to travel with, thanks to its detachable shoulder strap and integrated trolley sleeve.

With up to 10L of storage space, I’ve got room enough for everything I want to carry. Best of all, it’s backed by a five-year guarantee against any manufacturing defect or flaw that makes it a less-than-perfect masterpiece of briefcase craftsmanship.






Carl Friedrik Palissy Briefcase


$645
 

For the working gentleman, there are few options as elegant and stylish as this leather briefcase by Carl Friedrik.

Crafted in Florence, Italy using vegetable-tanned Vachetta leather by Artigiano del Cuoio sourced from Tuscany, this briefcase looks and carries like a portfolio, but with plenty of storage space for all your daily essentials.

Pack your 15-inch MacBook in the padded laptop pocket or your 16-inch laptop in the main compartment alongside your pens, brief pads, and notebooks.

It’s an elegant example of leatherwork and design that will turn heads everywhere you go.






Filson Rugged Twill Original Briefcase


$450
 

Filson’s briefcase takes an interesting direction by using canvas twill, a rugged material that is abrasion-resistant and features just enough wax in the finish to shrug off a light rain.

The bridle leather handles are stylish-looking but also tough, and the shoulder strap makes it easy to haul the briefcase around on your daily commute.

You’ll love how easily the zipper slides open and shut, but it’s built of super-tough brass that adds to the durability and weather-resistance of the bag.

In terms of organizational space, you get exterior quick-access stow pockets for all your most important small items, and two interior dividers sized to fit both laptops and tablets.

The interior features a tin cloth binding that resists fraying and wear and protects your bag’s contents, too.






Porter Tanker 3-way Briefcase


$674
 

This briefcase was built with two purposes in mind: practicality and versatility. It’s modeled after MA-1 flight jackets, using a triple-layered construction and a hyper-tough nylon shell that can handle your daily work routine no matter how active you are.

The button-through front pockets make it easy to access all your most important small items in seconds, while the main-zip closure allows you to slide your hand in to grab a document or unfold the entire bag to get at a stack of paperwork.

The hidden backpack straps let you haul it around town comfortably on your e-bike or scooter, or you can carry it using the top handle or shoulder straps. The busier your day, the more you’ll love this Japanese-made-and-inspired briefcase.






Flint and Tinder Weekender Briefcase


$225
 

For those weekends when you’ve got to mix work and relaxation, this Flint and Tinder briefcase is just what you need.

With 15.6L of storage space, you’ve got room enough for a weekend change of clothes (or two), your EDC items, laptop, and paperwork, so you can easily transition between professional and casual activities.

The durable waxed canvas bag is both tough as nails and resistant to water, so you can take it on any working vacation or business trip knowing the bag will endure whatever you throw at it.

The addition of leather straps, accents, and pull tabs gives it just enough of a “professional” look that it’ll be as much at home in the office as at a coffee shop or on the boardwalk. And you’ve got to love the reasonable price tag, too.





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