- Buyer's Guide
Best Tote Bags for Work 2020
The humble tote can sometimes get overlooked in the world of work carry. But they’re generally more accessible than messengers, more office-friendly than backpacks, and more versatile than briefcases. All good reasons to consider them on your short list for your next commuting companion.
A good tote will offer easy access to gear throughout the day, whether you’re reaching for a public transport card, hunting for a charging cable, or extricating a folder. Additionally, a lot of totes have versatile styles that make them suitable for both work and play, moving from the daily grind to weekend excursions, or office meetings to after-work drinks. And many offer at least a couple of carry options, allowing you to carry by hand, over a shoulder, or even convert the tote to backpack-style carry. So with the above in mind, we’ve selected some of the best tote bags for work that suit a variety of budgets, personal style tastes, and carry loads…
Google designed the Pixelbook as a tech device you could take anywhere. And Bellroy designed the Classic Tote – Google Edition as the bag to carry it wherever the day or night takes you. Designed in partnership with Google, the tote features dedicated padded storage for a Pixelbook or 13″ laptop device. And there’s a solid range of additional pocketing on hand too, thoughtfully positioned to keep all your day-to-day and work tool essentials tidy and easily accessible. Helping access is a tapered flat base that allows the bag to stand upright on the ground. And the fabric is sustainably made from recycled plastic bottles.
The Arc’teryx Granville 18 Tote brings the brand’s signature mix of clean style, highly weatherproof construction, and EDC versatility to your carry setup. Durable and minimalist, it’s a bag that slips easily into a range of environments, making it a solid choice for a work and play all-rounder. It features carry handles and a shoulder strap, with a stash pocket for small valuables.
Need a tote that offers adaptability for various loads, protection from the elements, and smart style for a range of work settings? Bedouin Foundry have just the bag for you. Their ruggedly stylish Bosun’s Tote is handcrafted in Salford, England. And like all Bedouin gear, you can expect excellent durability and quality materials. The bag’s 18 oz Rugged Cotton Twill exterior is hard-wearing and weatherproof, and complemented by Italian vegetable-tanned leather straps that can be worn over the shoulder if desired. The rolltop opening can be adjusted to suit various loads and is secured with a hard-wearing AustriAlpin Cobra buckle. Additionally, four exterior slip pockets and an interior laptop sleeve are on hand to organize your gear.
Bellroy have come a long way since first starting out with wallets. Now with a solid range of bags under their belts too, you’ll still find that dedication to clean style, intuitive design and practicality across their range. Case in point, the Melbourne Tote. Understated on the outside, pop the nifty magnetic strip open to reveal interior organization for a 13″ laptop and other small essentials. Timeless in style and functional for work and play, you can carry it by hand or sling it over your shoulder. Plus it’s made with sustainably produced fabric and environmentally certified leather.
Peak Design’s signature mix of clever features, urban-friendly style and adaptable functionality come together in a revamped version of their Everyday Tote. A magnetic and zippered closure gives you the option to alternate between fast access or added security. The internal organization is on point too, offering a variety of pockets and customizable dividers to store tech, accessories, work tools and personal items. And for those bulkier items like outer layers? No problem. External carry straps take care of those too. The weatherproof, recycled 400D nylon canvas shell protects your gear from the elements, while the tote’s pared-back aesthetics move easily from the office to lunch meetings and work trips.
DSPTCH’s RND line is an experimental range of bags allowing the San Francisco-based brand to get creative with designs and materials that are a little different to their core offerings. And forming part of the line is the Unit Zipper Tote. Simple, versatile, and strong, the tote is made with laminated Dyneema Composite Fabric that’s tough and weatherproof without weighing you down. Adding to the weather protection are water-resistant YKK zippers, with an exterior-access zippered pocket for smaller items. The tote has two carry options including a removable shoulder strap and top grab handles.
Filson have been creating hard-wearing, functional gear for more than a century. And their Rugged Twill Tote Bag embodies their commitment to tough, reliable gear that will get the job done. The tote is made in the USA with a durable, abrasion-resistant and water-resistant Rugged Twill and Bridle leather handles. Four external pockets provide easy-access organization, while the open main compartment can accommodate a variety of work and personal items.
WP Standard is in the business of making leather carry goods you’re going to want to hold on to for a long, long time. And then pass on to your kids. And maybe even their kids. Beautiful pieces that are built to last and function well over many years of day in, day out use. One such piece is the Zipper Tote Bag, crafted from full-grain leather that will get even better-looking with use. The bag builds on the foundation of their open-access Vintage Tote, adding a zipper to the mix through popular request. The Zipper Tote Bag is large enough to fit a 15″ laptop, with a drop pocket for small essentials.
Founded in 2007 in Montreal, WANT Les Essentiels have carved out a reputation for timeless, quality pieces that balance form, function and a touch of luxe. Their O’Hare Tote is one of their most iconic pieces and features a host of internal organization options, all contained within an elegant and clean silhouette. The bag is made with organic cotton canvas and full-grain leather detailing. Two carry handles and a removable shoulder strap let you adapt easily on the go, while its chic style moves effortlessly from the office to the airport or weekend excursions.
Swiss carry brand QWSTION do a great job of combining versatile style, functionality and sustainability in their bags. Just like their adaptable Tote, which can be carried as a tote or backpack. Your gear is easily accessible courtesy of the twist-lock flap or the side zipper. Inside there’s a padded 15″ laptop sleeve, with further pockets also available for smaller items. This version features an attractive blend of vegetable-tanned leather and water-resistant, organic cotton canvas. However, a variety of other colorways are available too to suit your own style.
Danish brand Mismo expertly blend classic, minimalist styling, premium materials and functional design in their M/S Shopper. A piece that looks effortlessly suave wherever it goes, while serving you well with its durable build and straightforward design. The bag can be carried by hand or over the shoulder and features an interior pocket for smaller items. Crafted with water-repellent cotton canvas and vegetable-tanned full-grain leather, it’s a quality piece that will serve you well for years to come.
Understated British style, quality materials, and straightforward functionality make this dapper tote a savvy pick for work and play. The bag is crafted with Italian biodegradable nylon and features Italian vegetable-tanned leather handles that can be worn over the shoulder or carried by hand. An exterior zipped pocket securely stashes frequently used items, while four interior pockets keep the contents tidy. The Brad Tote also features a leather base and leather corners, keeping your bag protected from wear and tear as you go about your day.
KILLSPENCER have been in the carry game for over a decade. Time well spent honing their craft and offerings and building a reputation for top-notch construction with a generous slice of urban cool. And their M-11 tote delivers both, combining a chic and clean silhouette with premium materials. The bag is made in the USA with bullhide and vegetable-tanned leather and features a soft paracord strap that can be carried over the shoulder or converted to carry the bag as a backpack. The bag is large enough to carry an 11″ MacBook Pro and has an interior pocket for small items.
Founded by two brothers, Chris and Kirk Bray, Billykirk has been crafting quality bags for over two decades. And the No. 235 Leather Tote is a premium piece you’ll be using for just as long. Made in California with premium full-grain leather, the bag features a self-standing design for ease of access. Three interior drop pockets organize smaller items within easy reach, while an included luggage tag comes in handy for travel use.
A design with decades of history behind it, inspired by the MA-1 military flight jacket but built for modern-day use, the Tanker 2Way Tote combines instantly recognizable style and practical, everyday functionality. Meticulously crafted in Japan, the tote comes in a choice of colorways with a distinct “rescue orange” lining. A combination of internal and external pockets let you easily organize your daily setup, while the carry handles and shoulder strap give you flexible portability.
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