The 5 Best Business Backpacks in 2019

Editor's Choice
Our Rating5/5 Rating

#1 Herschel Little America Backpack

Looking for the best-all-around, every-day commuter backpack that will provide comfort, quality, and style? Check out Herschel’s Little America Mid-Volume Backpack. 

 

  • Comfort: Contoured shoulder straps and air mesh back padding ensure this business backpack won’t hurt your joints.
  • Color Variety: Sick of basic black backpacks? This business backpack comes in 28 color and counting!
  • Price: Not only is this business backpack comfortable and good-looking, but it’s also affordable!

 

 

 

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#2 eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender

Are you a frequent flier in need of a TSA-approved, secure, comfortable business backpack that can hold your electronics and a spare outfit or two? Look no farther than the eBags TLS Mother Lode.

  • Carry-on approved: This business backpack is approved for both international and domestic carry-on
  • Unzips all the way around: Packing, finding gear, and unpacking has never been easier
  • Comfort: A padded-air mesh back panel allows for not just comfort but breathability as well.

 

 

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#3 Incase Icon Pack Business Backpack

Are you looking for a large backpack that can help keep you organized while protecting your electronics? If so, check out the Incase Icon Pack. With 17 different compartments, you’ll be able to keep your chargers, electronics, books, granola bars, and everything else you can imagine organized and protected.

 

  • 17 Compartments: Need to keep your items organized? You can with the 17 different compartments this business backpack has to offer.
  • Comfort: A padded back and contoured shoulder straps ensure your joints will be happy no matter how full your backpack.
  • Durable: This bag can even stand up on its own, whether it’s full or not, making packing (and unpacking) a cinch.

 

 

 

 

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#4 Pacsafe Metrosafe LS350 Anti-Theft 15L Backpack

If you work in a highly confidential job and need to ensure your gear is as protected as possible, check out thPacsafe Metrosafe LS350 Backpack. This bag prioritizes security without sacrificing comfort or quality.

 

  • Security: “Cut proof materials” and lockable zippers help keep your gear safe from pickpockets and thieves. Plus,  an RFID blocking pocket ensures your ID, credit cards, and more will stay out of the hands of hackers.
  • Price: Despite the bells and whistles this business backpack has it remains on the lower end price-wise.
  • Comfort: Adjustable, padded shoulder straps and a padded back panel ensure the utmost in comfort.

 

 

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#5 Swiss Gear Travel Gear 1900 Business Backpack

If you’re looking for a new, quality business backpack but don’t want to break the bank, check out the Swiss Gear Travel Gear 1900.

 

  • Price: More affordable than most travel backpacks on the market
  • TSA Approved: Travel often? You can’t beat this bag
  • Comfortable: Padded shoulder straps and a sturdy, Airflow-padded back panel ensure the utmost in comfort

 

 

 

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Newsflash: Briefcases are out. Backpacks are in. If you travel for work, often flying to a new city in the morning and then home at night, you probably know this. However, if you’re looking for a gift for a new grad or a career-driven friend, we wanted to make sure you were briefed as well.

Back before Y2K, people didn’t really travel with laptops. Some did, but not to the extent they do today. Thus, a briefcase could suffice. It could hold various files, paperwork, a yellow legal pad, pens, and more. Today things are different. Gone are the notepads, gone are the physical files, and in are the laptops, smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and more. While they’re more efficient, they’re also heavier, which means it’s easier to lug them around in a backpack than a traditional suitcase.

And while you can buy a traditional JanSport backpack, a North Face backpack, or whatever cool backpack you may have had in high school or college, we recommend you invest in a business backpack. Not only will it protect your gear better, but it will better protect your back as well. 

Looking for the best business backpacks on the market? We’ve got you covered.  

Best for the Budget Minded: Swiss Gear Travel Gear 1900

SwissGear is our top choice for a budget-friendly backpack

If you’re just starting out in your career, you can’t afford to spend a lot of money on a business backpack. And if you can? You may not want to! If you’re looking for a cost-conscious business backpack, check out the Swiss Gear Travel Gear 1900.

Swiss Gear Pros

  • Price: This backpack is more affordable than other travel backpacks on the market.
  • TSA Approved: Go through airport security quickly with this travel backpack.
  • Comfortable: Shoulder straps are contoured and padded. Back panel is padded with Airflow ventilation for superior comfort and support.
  • Durability: Backpack is made of 1200D ballistic polyester and can withstand harsh weather as well as heavy use.
  • Padded laptop sleeve: Can hold and protect up to a 17″ laptop.
  •  Multiple Compartments: In addition to a laptop compartment, the backpack has front pockets and breathable side pockets.

Swiss Gear Cons

  • Sporty Look: While this is a business backpack, it looks like you could be ready for a weekend of rock climbing. If your office has a strict dress code, they may oppose the casualness of this business backpack.
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Best For Security: Pacsafe Metrosafe LS350 Anti-Theft 15L Backpack

The Pacsafe Metrosafe backpack is the most secure we've come across

Do you work in finance, or in accounting for one of the top accounting firms? If so, security is definitely a top priority for you and you need to not only ensure that your laptop is password protected at all times, but also physically protected at all times as well. In cases like these, the Pacsafe Metrosafe LS350 Backpack is our top business backpack for you.

Pacsafe Metrosafe Backpack Pros

  • Security: This backpack places security above all other needs. It is comprised of “cut proof materials,” (steel mesh) and features lockable zippers to prevent pickpockets and others from slicing open your bag. It also has an RFID blocking pocket to secure your credit cards, IDs, and more.
  • Price: With so many features, you’d assume this backpack would be at the higher end of our list but you’d be wrong. In fact, it’s one of the more affordable backpacks.
  • Comfort: Bag features adjustable padded shoulder straps as well as a padded back.

Pacsafe Metrosafe Backpack Cons

  • Travel: If you want to use this as a carry-on when you travel, it’s great. However, it’s important to note that unlike other travel backpacks, this does not have the type of handle that allows it to slip over your luggage handle.
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Best For Extra Storage: Incase Icon Pack

The Incase Icon Pack business backpack is not a budget-friendly backpack, but it does have the most storage. Thus, if storage is your top priority and you don’t mind spending a bit more than you normally would, the Incase Icon Pack tops our list of business backpacks.

Incase Icon Pros

  • 17 Compartments: Most business backpacks have a laptop compartment and a few others as well, but this one has 17! Have cords, electronics, food, clothes, and 13 other items you want to separate? Then this is the backpack for you.
  • Comfort: Padded straps and back made this backpack excel in the comfort category.
  • Durable: Bag is tough and can even stand up on its own, which makes loading and unloading a breeze.
  • Padding: Several compartments are padded, offering extra protection for your gear.

Incase Icon Cons

  • Price: As we said above, this backpack is not budget friendly.
  • Travel: No pass through handle or strap so you can place backpack atop a roller bag suitcase.
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Best For Air Travels: eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender 

Looking for a great and secure business backpack?

If you travel often for work (whether just a day trip or even a simple overnight trip), you’re going to want a TSA-approved, small, lightweight, comfortable backpack. In our opinions, the best for your money is the eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender.

eBags TLS Mother Lode Pros

  • Unzips all the way around: It’s as easy to pack like a suitcase
  • Hidden passport pocket: Perfect for international travel
  • Security: Zippers feature lockable rings
  • Comfort: Back panel comprised of padded-air mesh for breathability. Adjustable and removable sternum strap available as well.
  • Carry-on approved: Size approved for domestic and international carry-on.

eBags TLS Mother Lode Cons

  • Bulky: Users have commented that this bag is bulkier than other business backpacks, particularly for shorter people.
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Best for Commuting: Herschel Little America Backpack

The Hershel backpack is our top choice for commuters

If you’re looking for an everyday backpack for your morning commute, you’ll want something comfortable, durable, and most likely attractive. If that’s the case, check out the Herschel Little America Backpack. It’s the most attractive of the backpacks on our list and is also affordable.

Herschel Little America Pros

  • Comfort: Bag has contoured shoulder straps and air mesh back padding to make it super comfortable.
  • Color options: This Herschel backpack comes in 28 different colors and patterns.
  • Compartments: Front pocket features a hidden zipper and key clip, while main interior pocket features a padded and fleece lined 15-inch sleeve.
  • Price: Business backpack is affordably priced

Herschel Little America Cons

  • Mac-built: Bag is ideal for Mac laptops; some non-Mac’s have had issues fitting in the 15″ sleeve.
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Who is the Business Backpack Best Suited For?

Business backpacks are suited for the modern day worker bees who use a laptop or tablet while in and out of the office. They are suited for those that commute to and from to the office, those who meet clients out of the office, those who travel on airplanes, and those workaholics who like to be connected to a secure VPN 24/7. All of this is done with a laptop or tablet, of course.

Business backpacks are androgynous and their goal is to be functional. While (most) businessmen and women no longer have to carry around large files, they do need to carry around a laptop or tablet or other electronics, which can get heavy. While women can throw their laptop or tablet into a big shoulder bag, the bags get heavy and can cause back and shoulder pain. The same happens to men who tote messenger bags or other shoulder bags. While electronics are much more efficient than files, they can be much heavier too.

This is why you should consider a business backpack.

Why You Should Consider Using a Business Backpack

Business backpacks help prevent joint pain

If you’re a workaholic, are career-driven, or just don’t want to get fired, you likely bring your laptop home with you every night. After all, the job doesn’t necessarily stop just because you’ve left the office! The pro (and the con) with modern day technology is that you’re connected at all times. This makes doing a good job easier, but it can also wreak havoc on a work-life balance.
While a business backpack may not be able to help improve your work-life balance, it can help protect your back, posture, and health.

Business backpacks (and all backpacks in general) are better at distributing weight than shoulder bags so won’t cause as much strain on your shoulder or back. This can not only help prevent joint pain, but it can keep your posture better aligned, too. Less back-strain = less joint pain = less trips to the chiropractor and overall better health!

In addition to keeping you pain-free, business backpacks help keep you organized as well. As opposed to a large purse (which can often be an endless pit), business backpacks have multiple compartments to hold your goods: there’s a space for your laptop (usually padded and lined with flecce or another type of scratch-proof fabric), a space for your book or kindle, another space for your chargers, and even room for gym clothes if you don’t’ have time to change before going from the office to the gym. They’re typically even a place to hold your water bottle!

So, how do you know which business backpack is right for you? Check out our buying guide.

Business Backpack Buying Guide

Man wearing a business backpack

There are thousands (or maybe hundreds of thousands) of purses on the market, and likewise, there are thousands of backpacks on the market. So where should you start?

Well, first of all, make sure you specify to the salesperson or in your Amazon search that you are seeking a business backpack. Business backpacks have special laptop compartments while most non-business backpacks don’t. Next, make sure you look at the below categories:

Design

If you’re going to get a business backpack, you’re going to make sure you use it. But the truth is no matter how functional it may be if it’s ugly, you likely won’t use it. It’s human nature. Thus, the overall design is important in terms of aesthetics, not just functionality.

In terms of functionality, however, you’re going to want to think about where and why you will use this backpack: is it just for going to and from the office, or will you travel on a train or plane with it as your carry-on bag? If so, you’ll want to make sure it has external compartments for easy-to-grab items (think phone charger, portable battery, book, or perhaps a granola bar or water bottle).

Will this backpack need to get you somewhere other than home after work, like the gym or a restaurant? If so, is there room for gym clothes or non-work attire?

We recommend sitting down and making a list of why you want a business backpack and where you think you’ll use it. Once you have this mapped out you’ll understand the functional needs and then can move on to other considerations.

Security

Losing a laptop is the worst – especially when losing one to theft! Laptops aren’t just expensive, but they hold a lot of secrets: access to confidential emails and documents, company finances, and so much more. Thus, it’s important not only to password protect your laptop to prevent files from being stolen, but it’s also imperative to protect your laptop itself from being the victim of theft. A good business backpack can help.

One of the best ways to prevent a laptop from being stolen is by not letting anyone know you have one. Some backpacks have internal, secure compartments that hide a laptop even when the backpack is open. Others have extra security measures such as wire mesh fabric (to prevent someone from slicing your backpack and stealing its contents), security clips and smart zippers (to prevent against skilled pickpockets), and even turn-and-lock hooks.

In addition to theft, you’ll want to keep your backpack secure against water damage or other hardware damage (ie dropping it). Some travel backpacks are waterproof or water resistant and keep your backpack secure should you have to run out to your car in a torrential downpour. Others are super-padded to protect your its contents should you fall or drop your backpack.

If the threat of theft or physical damage are major concerns for you, then make sure security is at the top of your list for backpack requirements.

Internal Compartments

Do you carry a lot of stuff? If so, you’re going to want a business backpack with a lot of compartments. While a padded laptop compartment is standard on all business backpacks, some (like the Incase Icon Pack) come with up to 21 different pockets!

Internal compartments are helpful when you want to stay organized. If you want to know exactly where your chargers are, your portable battery, even your book, you’ll want a bag with a decent amount of internal pockets. Not everyone needs 21 (that’s a bit much), but we recommend finding a good backpack with at least five different internal compartments.

Comfort

Comfort is one of the most important aspects of a business backpack. A backpack with naturally distribute the weight of its contents, but you’ll want to look at straps and back support.

How does it feel when it hangs off of your shoulders? Are the shoulder straps padded, and do they contour to fit your body? If not, you may want to find another.

How does the backpack feel against your back? Do you feel some of your items jutting into your spine, or do you simply feel the pad of the pack? If the latter, you’ve found a good business backpack.

Size

Not everyone needs a massive backpack. If you only need to carry a laptop and notebook, you don’t need a big backpack. However, if you do want a backpack that you can take on an overnight business trip that can also hold your pajamas and toiletry bag and whatever else you may need for a night away from home, then you may want to invest in a slightly larger backpack.

If you do go for a large size, just make sure it’s TSA-compatible and small enough to be considered a carry on bag.

Do you have a favorite business backpack? Leave a review on the one you own and what makes it your favorite.

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