Gear > Bags

13 Best Leather Briefcases for Men

By Andrew Peloquin  |  Updated March 5, 2024

13 Best Leather Briefcases for Men
Courtesy of Tecovas

Newer generations are all about the backpack or messenger bag, loving the casual look and sport-friendly, multi-purpose functionality. But there’s something elegant, authoritative, and most important of all, masculine about a briefcase you just can’t argue with.

During the years I spent in corporate offices, I came to appreciate just how much gravitas a good-looking leather briefcase can convey. I obsessed about finding the perfect briefcase—to the point of spending countless hours testing as many briefcases as I could get my hands on, researching dozens more, and combing over hundreds of reviews. 

Based on that research, I’ve put together this list of the very best leather briefcases for guys who want to dress professionally and enjoy all the durability and functionality a well-built work bag can offer.


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
  • All leather is not made equal. Full grain leather is the toughest and most beautiful leather option, and will develop the most gorgeous patina with age. Top grain leather is cheaper but often inferior in quality. Split-grain leather is thinner, less durable, but has a higher water-resistance rating. Good-quality leather should last at least 10 years with proper care.
  • Form over function. Briefcases are made to look good above all else. They’ve got enough functionality—they offer enough storage space to hold a few work essentials and daily personal necessities—but at the end of the day, they’re all about the form. They’re built to convey authority and professionalism, not haul around your entire work life.
  • Match your work lifestyle. If you spend most of your time in a courtroom or boardroom, you’ll need a very different briefcase than if you did a lot of your work on planes, trains, and buses. The type of briefcase you buy should match your work lifestyle, both in terms of functionality and durability.

Best Overall

Kodiak Leather Buffalo Leather Pilot Bag

Why did I choose it?

Gorgeous buffalo leather aged to an eye-catching vintage finish meets sturdy construction and a versatile, spacious design. And there’s no arguing with that price tag considering the bag will last you an entire career (or two).


Best High-end Briefcase
Smythson Lightweight Large Briefcase

Best Slim Briefcase
Tecovas Barlett Slim Briefcase

Best Messenger Hybrid Briefcase
ZEPPO Business Bag

Best Inexpensive Leather Briefcase
Liberty Leather Briefcase


Best Overall

Kodiak Leather Buffalo Leather Pilot Bag


$269
 

Whether you’re hopping an international flight, striding into the courtroom, or guest-speaking at a convention, this briefcase can handle it all.

Made from tough water buffalo leather, it has been aged for a bold vintage look that makes every briefcase utterly unique.

Not only does it have ample storage space in its 17-liter interior with two compartments, but it’s also travel-friendly thanks to its luggage strap and detachable shoulder strap.





Best High-end Briefcase

Smythson Lightweight Large 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 Slim Briefcase

Tecovas Barlett Slim Briefcase


$475
 

If you only need to bring a few essentials from home, I recommend this slim briefcase. Like my favorite Tecovas boots, it’s built tough, reliable, and yet wonderfully soft to the touch with buttery-smooth leather.

The interior features plenty of dedicated compartments to make organization a breeze, with a quick-access inner pocket where you can grab your laptop in seconds. Form meets function in all the best ways here.





Best Messenger Hybrid Briefcase

ZEPPO Business Bag


$545
 

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.






Coronado Leather Bison Slim Briefcase #12


$599
 

Stand out from the crowd with this genuine American bison leather bag. Eye-catching textures, a unique color, and peerless durability combine to make this briefcase a working man’s best companion.

The inner plaid tartan fabric lining adds both elegance and protection for your delicate gadgets stored inside.

Designed, tanned, and constructed in the USA, it’s an American-made product you’ll be proud to take to work every day.





Best Inexpensive Leather Briefcase

Liberty Leather Briefcase


$130
 

Full-grain leather, handcrafted construction, and a space-efficient design make this bag ideal for the working man who needs reliability and functionality both.

The bag is surprisingly spacious on the inside, with room enough for your laptop, tablet, cables, notebooks, and other essentials, all made easy to organize thanks to the multiple inner compartments. If you’re packing heavier, just unzip the zipper on the bottom to expand its storage space.






Harber London Laptop Briefcase


$608
 

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.






WP Standard The Woodward Briefcase


$348
 

Sleek, slim, and compact while still offering ample space for the basic work necessities, this is a bag built for commuters.

I particularly like the pop of color added by the brass hardware, which stands out against the dark full-grain leather, and the zippers and buckles feel solid and long-lasting. Best of all, it’s built to last a lifetime and is backed by a lifetime warranty to prove it.






The Frye Company Holden Slim Brief


$378
 

Lawyers and accountants, this briefcase is designed specifically to store your legal pads, folders, laptops, and other slim essentials.

The interior slip pockets and exterior zip pocket give you ample storage space without being chunky or clunky, and the dual zipper closure makes it easy to open only one half of the bag at a time so you can grab smaller items without losing or spilling important documents.






Samsonite Leather Expandable Briefcase


$150
 

For the traveling professional, pair this leather briefcase with your Samsonite rolling luggage for a highly efficient and beautiful matching set.

The expandable design gives you more storage space than any briefcase I tested, but it compressed down small enough to fit under any airplane seat or in any overhead compartment.

Though not as durable as the other bags on this list, the split-grain leather offers better water-resistance.






Jack & Chris Leather Briefcase


$129
 

Sturdy, handsome, and affordable: what’s not to love? Made for travelers, it features compartments that keep all your contents on clear display for easy organization and access, a luggage/trolley strap for hands-free carrying, and an aged, vintage finish that will look more beautiful the more you use it.

It’s even got a dust, dirt, and water-resistant coating that’ll protect it no matter where you travel.






Dunhill Cadogan Ziparound Slim Document Case


$1995
 

This bag may be a splurge, but well worth it for the elegance and durability.

It’s made from refined, ultra-tough Cadogan leather, palladium-plated hardware, and gorgeous blind-embossed branding that makes it truly sophisticated-looking.

The ziparound style offers unrestricted access to the bag’s contents, the tubular handles will hold up to years of daily carrying, and the inner compartments will ensure all your work items stay securely in place.





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