Professional backpacks for business travel

One night after a recent day trip, I realized my right shoulder hurt a lot. I backtracked through my day in my mind, eBags slim backpacktrying to figure out what the heck caused this. Did I reach for something in a strange way? Did I fall? But soon I realized—it was from carrying my gorgeous but large and heavy shoulder bag. (Side question: does this mean I’m getting old? Oh dear….)

When I travel with my rollaboard my shoulder bag sits right on top so weight is not an issue. But on day trips the burden is on me. So what’s a road warriorette to do? Use a backpack, of course! As a new mom of twins, I am discovering that there is something beautiful about the weight of your bag equally distributed on your back instead of unbalanced on one shoulder.

The problem is that backpacks are inherently casual. If you’re not careful it will read more “student” and less “competent professional.” When you need a backpack that will replace a briefcase, aim for sleeker bags with clean lines. Pockets are great (and necessary!) but look better when there aren’t a lot of extraneous buckles, webbing, and straps. Here are some of my favorite backpacks for business travel.

I love this slimline eBags TLS Professional Backpack (pictured above). There are plenty of pockets, compartments for everything you might need, and thick padded straps for added comfort. There is even a hidden water bottle compartment! Its gorgeous gray color makes it great for both men and women. $99 on Amazon in gray and black.Fansela backpack

This Fansela Vintage Canvas Backpack is sleek enough for professional use, but interesting enough to satisfy my need for a bag that’s not boring. It’s pretty big, with enough space in the main compartment for files and a computer. There are several colors available, but my favorite is the “Coffee” with brown leather accents. $29 on Amazon, available in Black, Coffee, Khaki, and Blue.

If you’re looking for the perfect marriage between looks, comfort, and function, look no further Solo backpackthan this Solo Vintage Leather Backpack. So much space, tons of pockets, quality construction, comfortable straps, and just lovely. I especially like the blue lining that makes it easy to find your stuff. $85 on Amazon, available in Brown.

Readers, do you use a backpack for business travel? Which one is your favorite?

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  1. I have accumulated a rejected bag graveyard in my search for the perfect bag. Shoulder and back problems motivated me to find something other than a shoulder bag. I tried some of the rolling options, but nothing was ever quite right. I finally resigned myself to trying a backpack, and I’m so glad I did. I found this Tumi backpack, and I haven’t looked back. It’s still a backpack, but it looks about as professional as possible. It’s lightweight, but durable. It has a separate section for your laptop, plenty of useful pockets, and a wide strap to go over a suitcase handle. It’s a little pricey, but has a good warranty and is the first bag I’ve used for more than a couple months, so it was a worthwhile purchase to me. For me, it’s very nearly the perfect bag.

  2. I travel with a everki versa backpack which is TSA friendly. It has a sleeve that fits over my rolling bag. It holds a ton of stuff. It is a very nice bag.

  3. I never liked backpacks for two reasons: they always looked a little messy, and I felt like my things were vulnerable to a slick thief behind my back. When I discovered, there were so many neat looking bags, and all of them had super security features at still reasonable prices.

    I bought two, one for just my regular purse stuff and a larger one with padding for a laptop, plus room for a sweater or jacket. They both got extremely heavy use for over a year and have held up amazingly. I’d highly recommend either. The smaller is the Citysafe 350 and the larger is the Slingsafe 300.

    Having said that, I do like the leather one in this post and that Tumi one is freaking gorgeous in both colors. Definitely pricey, but the quality does show. So many women have a weakness for shoes. Mine is bags. I traveled 6 months in Europe with only carry on luggage, but I’m going to have to do a post on the bags in my bag.

  4. Same. After having recurring back pain for months, I finally gave in and got a professional looking backpack. It’s a TUMI, quite overpriced, but I do love it. It is TSA-friendly (for those last few people who don’t have Pre-Check), has enough pockets, holds a ton (much more than my Lo & Co. OG), and looks sleek. The best part – one time when I took it to a meeting, it turned out that another one of my partners came in with a backpack of his own, and the CEO of my company also carries one. I still have a nice leather tote for local meetings, and the Lo & Co. OG, but I end up taking the TUMI on most of my trips.

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