3 professional backpacks for business travel

Do professional backpacks that are appropriate for business trips exist? Reader T asks….

I have been traveling for work for several years and have always carried a regular briefcase. I injured my back a few months ago, and my doctor recommended that I start traveling with a backpack to reduce the potential for a future injury. I’ve never seen a professional looking backpack. Can you recommend some that are reasonably priced?

That’s a great question. I have seen people bring some terrible-looking backpacks into work before, so I understand your concern. There are plenty of attractive, affordable options. It just takes a little more searching to find them! Here are three of my favorites.Briggs Riley Convertible

Briggs & Riley BRX Luggage Excursion Convertible Brief. ($125) Briggs & Riley have are one of my favorite luggage brands—they make solid bags that travel well, plus they include a fantastic warranty. I like this particular bag because it is slimmer and more compact, and the clean lines make it more professional. The best thing is that it will convert from a shoulder bag to a backpack—so if you are ever in a situation where you need to be at your professional best, this bag will accommodate that. But you can still wear it as a backpack while dashing through the airport, saving your back from strain.Swissgear backpack

SwissGear Computer Backpack. ($65) I own this backpack, and I will be honest. This is not the most professional bag I’ve ever seen. But it will hold so much stuff it is unbelievable (I call it “the amazing expandable backpack”). You can load it up with two computers, files, notebooks, bottles of water, all the chargers you could ever need, not to mention your personal items, and it is still comfortable to wear. There are a million pockets to keep you organized. If you tend to travel to offices that are more in the business casual dress range then you will be fine carrying this bag.Solo backpack

Solo Vintage Colombian Leather Laptop Backpack. ($78) If you need a very sleek option, this Solo Vintage backpack is a great option. It is gorgeous and will hold up to a 15.4” laptop. There are plenty of pockets, the straps are well-padded, and the turquoise lining makes it easy to find things inside.The reviews are rock solid, with one reviewer coming back to update that after a year of vigorous travel it still looks great and functions well. IMO this would be acceptable in all but the most formal of offices.

Readers, do you have a backpack to recommend for business travel?

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  1. I used the Everki Flight. I like the style, it carries comfortably, is TSA friendly and is large enough (but not too large) to carry the items that I need. Plenty of pockets to keep things organized.

  2. I have a variant of the SwissGear one you showed above. I agree that it’s not very formal. However, SO many business travelers have it that I think it’s become acceptable even in business formal offices. I’ve taken it to business formal client and have never been looked at askance (to my knowledge). I would bring it to just about every situation except perhaps an interview.

  3. Targus – it is padded in all the right places so it is comfortable to tote, and it has an opening on the back so you can slide it on your wheeled luggage and not carry it on your back in the airport.

    My PT told me to start using a backpack to balance the weight I carry to minimize the risk of getting tendinitis again. No issues since!

  4. Tumi T-Tech. Quite expensive, but I’ve been using it for years and it still looks exactly like it did the day I took it out of its bag. Room for everything, TSA friendly (which doesn’t matter now that I have Global Entry / Precheck.) I am a partner in a consulting firm and I am not the only partner who carries one.

  5. I use the TravelPro Crew 9. It’s being discontinued now but you can still find it. Its great in black very professional looking. TSA friendly and holds a lot of stuff.

  6. I love my Tumi T-Tech (purchased on clearance at a Tumi outlet a few years ago), but I have been eyeing the Tylt Energi as a possible upgrade. I like the idea of being able to charge my devices on the go without having to scour for power outlets.

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