Shoulder bags, briefcases and totes are the traditional work companions. But to really succeed on the job, a good work bag will go the extra mile. Offering up appropriate organization to enhance workflow with ready access to necessary tools. Aesthetics that look the part, whether that’s a more casual style for informal work settings or sharp, slick style for executive-level boardrooms. Sufficient durability and protection from the elements so that daily use and occasional rain showers aren’t an issue.
Our Best Work Shoulder Bag finalists are all solid performers that are ready to put in a hard day’s work on your behalf. But which bag merits a promotion to category champ? Cast your vote below.
SAND Pack Co. believe in the value of multifunctional gear that can play across diverse environments, from urban streets to the outdoors and work to play. Their Utility Tote exemplifies their design approach, offering a great balance of functionality, durability and enticing aesthetics. The bag integrates a variety of tough, quality fabrics such as 1000D Cordura, 500D Cordura and X-Pac VX21 fabric, along with water-resistant zippers. All brought together with burly, handcrafted construction in Portland, Oregon. A practical range of front, back and interior pocketing keeps your work and EDC items organized without cluttering the design unnecessarily. And with its range of playful colorways, it’s a great piece for injecting a healthy dose of personality into your daily setup.
Based in San Francisco, Aer knows the importance of a bag that can tackle busy environments while bringing sleek, versatile style to the table too. So they designed the Commuter Brief 2 with a savvy blend of clean, minimalist style that suits a variety of work environments, with plenty of pockets to ensure your work supplies stay accessible and tidy whatever the day has in store. The self-standing design with its dual compartments makes it easy to store and retrieve tech, tools and other work gear. The bag also offers multiple carry options including shoulder carry, briefcase mode and a luggage passthrough. And its durable blend of weather-resistant 840D nylon and 1680D Cordura ballistic nylon will stand up to the rigors of daily use like a pro.
The functionality of military gear has been a big inspiration for ORBITGear from the get-go. And the Indonesian brand offer a fitting tribute to that inspiration with a modern twist on classic aviator helmet bags. The SP002-XPAC ADV Falcon Duke combines technical construction with military-meets-streetwear aesthetics, making this an enticing piece for the fashion-conscious carry connoisseur. Handcrafted in the brand’s Jakarta-based studio, the bag comes in a choice of weatherproof X-Pac colorways and provides external webbing and five pockets including a 15″ laptop sleeve to organize your daily essentials.
For a young brand that launched their offerings late last year, Fuller Foundry are off to a flying start. Their Briefcase offers an accomplished mix of professional, work-ready style with great organization and access to your gear. A removable magnetic shoulder strap lets you transition between carry modes as needed. Clever features such as a collapsible shelving system, lay-flat laptop storage, and a thoughtful range of zippered and magnetic pockets provide convenient, well-considered organization. And then Fuller Foundry takes access to the next level, with a main compartment that can unzip fully for unrestricted access throughout. All in, resulting in a bag that moves confidently between work, travel and play environments, adapting to changing needs while staying refined every step of the way.
Sometimes you just need to get hands-on. A passion that led softgoods designer John Clark to create the Ancoats Bag Company. The British brand is based in Manchester and provides a creative opportunity for John to not only design gear but also make it himself. All the gear is designed, prototyped and made in-house. And the primary focus is the Tote Project. This build-to-order bag has been designed to conquer a variety of demanding urban carry needs in impressive multifunctional style. The tote comes in two sizes and a choice of rugged fabric and hardware options. And the customization continues with padding and divider options too. With its hard-wearing build, flexible portability and adaptability for work and play, it’s a solid all-rounder for the carry enthusiast who appreciates that extra-personal touch in their gear.
Montreal-based WANT Les Essentiels are known for their luxurious take on functional, timeless pieces for travel and everyday urban environments. And their O’Hare Tote is an elegant choice for urban professionals seeking a refined balance of practicality and style. Made with organic cotton canvas and full-grain leather detailing, the bag has two grab handles and a removable shoulder strap for adaptable carry. Internal pockets neatly store the day’s essentials, while the clean and understated aesthetics look equally good in the office, enjoying after-work drinks, or venturing out on the weekend.
Odin Leather Goods is a family-owned and operated brand with a leather workshop based in Coppell, Texas. Their beautifully handcrafted pieces feature premium leathers and hardware, with an attention to detail that makes them worthy heirloom pieces for future generations too. But they make sure those eye-catching looks are well balanced with functional design. Case in point, the Texas Messenger. Inspired by the past but built for modern-day use, the bag nods to early 1900’s US Postal Service mail carrier bags but integrates useful features such as a 15″ laptop compartment and two front pockets under the flap. The bag’s unique solid brass collar-latch hardware allows for easy one-handed access while still keeping the bag securely closed even with heavier loads.
Always on the move, zipping from the commute to meetings to travel trips and back again? Bellroy’s System Work Bag was designed to keep up during fast-paced work days, with dual carry options and carefully considered organization and access. The bag easily alternates between shoulder bag and briefcase-style carry, with a clever fold-top opening that utilizes a magnetic closure and G-hook to quickly and easily secure or access gear on the go. A thoughtful mix of interior and exterior pockets keep your day-to-day items well organized and out of crush zones. And the sleek style makes it simple to step up your professional game while also blending seamlessly into after-hours use too.
Forming part of DSPTCH’s experimental RND line, the Unit Zipper Tote serves up a honed blend of adaptable functionality and technical, urban-friendly styling. It’s crafted in the USA with Dyneema Composite Fabric and water-resistant YKK zippers, offering a great mix of strength and protection from the elements while weighing in at just 14oz. The bag can be carried by hand, over the shoulder, or with the integrated luggage passthrough, easily accompanying you to work, on your travels, or weekend adventures. Designed with simplicity, versatility and durability in mind, the bag features quick-access and interior pockets for smaller essentials but without sacrificing its clean look and feel.
Osprey are one of the most prominent brands in the outdoor carry scene. And they’re supporting their love of the outdoors with a dedication to protecting it through sustainable construction. The Arcane Brief salutes their latest sustainability efforts with its 100% recycled, durable fabrics (specifically 500D Bluesign recycled polyester packcloth) and PFC-free DWR coating. The bag also features metal hardware to enhance the durable build, ensuring the Arcane Brief will be around for the long haul. Practical organization also makes it a bag you’ll want to use every day, with dedicated padded storage for your tech, space for documents, and storage for quick-access items.
A bag that can keep up in the energetic bustle of New York City? While looking sharp enough for the boardroom and dishing up lots of organization so you stay on top of your game? No problem for the Haerfest Apollo Briefcase. The New York City brand have created a bag that seamlessly merges chic, professional style with well-considered exterior and interior pocketing. So you get the benefit of classy looks and jumble-free daily carry. The briefcase features dedicated padded storage for a laptop and even a luggage passthrough when you need to take to the skies. And its water-resistant matte nylon and microfiber leather construction helps shed the elements when unexpected showers catch you unawares.
Whether you’re navigating busy streets and commuter crowds or want to present a more formal air for office environments and meetings, Patagonia’s adaptable Stand Up Pack helps you put your best foot forward. Three carry options including shoulder bag, briefcase and backpack mode help you easily adjust to different carry preferences and settings. Built with reinforced organic cotton canvas with a waterproof, ripstop-reinforced PET film and DWR finish, it’s burly enough to tackle daily use and the elements with ease. And its functionality continues on the organization front too, with a quick-access front pocket, rear external-access laptop storage, and a wide-opening main compartment with further pockets to neatly store daily items.
However you get to work, from hopping on your bike to catching public transport, driving, or getting your daily hike on, the Vega 2.0 Transit Brief has you covered. Three flexible carry options including shoulder bag, briefcase and backpack options let you slip through crowds, keep the load secure during active commutes, and alternate between more casual and formal settings. Plus a luggage passthrough makes for smoother travels with rolling lugagge too. There’s no shortage of handy organization to ensure all your gear is accessible but neat and tidy while going about your day. A dedicated compartment with suspended, padded storage for your laptop and a host of pocket options in the main compartment prevent the dreaded gear rummage. Rounding things off is a durable 1680D ballistic nylon build with a burly tarp shell, so you can feel confident putting this bag through its paces during the daily grind.
The carry mavericks at Peak Design keep pushing the boundaries of cleverly designed urban carry with the revamped Everyday Tote. Part of their updated Everyday Collection, the Everyday Tote moves smoothly between work and play and even doubles as a low-key photography bag. The main compartment combines a magnetic and zippered opening, providing fast access or more security as required. Customizable FlexFold dividers and an assortment of internal and external pockets neatly store tech, documents, EDC items, work accessories and more. And if you need to carry bulkier items like an outer layer, Peak Design has you covered there too with external carry straps for securing additional gear. The 15L bag’s cleanly stylish silhouette adapts easily to a multitude of settings, while the weatherproof, 100% recycled 400D nylon canvas shell easily stands up to the elements and regular use.
Mismo’s signature blend of luxurious elegance and practical functionality makes their pieces a sophisticated addition to any carry setup. But if you’re after a work companion, the M/S Endeavour particularly stands out thanks to its quality materials and craftsmanship, handsome styling and adaptable simplicity. The bag’s well-considered organization offers useful storage without becoming cluttered. Two compartments with interior pocketing store your tech, small accessories and EDC essentials in tidy order. And this bag also transitions smoothly to travel needs with a luggage passthrough for easy all-in-one carry. Crafted in a choice of fabrics with durable full-grain leather detailing, this premium piece looks and feels every bit the executive business partner.
Need a commuter that keeps you nimble and agile as you chase the work day’s tasks down? Ally Capellino’s Mansell Travel and Cycle Briefcase helps get your work carry into gear for a successful day. Forming part of their Travel/Cycle group of lightweight yet durable bags named after icons in the racing world, this is a sleek performer ready to get the job done. A padded back and base provides protection for up to 13″ tech, with further quick-access and interior pockets providing handy stash points for smaller essentials. Made with water-resistant Cordura nylon and weatherproof zippers, this slim and practical bag is ideal for streamlined loads whether you’re making a pit stop at the local cafe or revving up for back-to-back meetings.
Delivering head-turning style, premium luxury and everyday functionality are all in a day’s work for the Bonastre 41-95. Inspired by Brutalist architecture, the bag’s striking silhouette adds bold flair to a business carry setup. The zippered main compartment opens wide to easily view and access the contents, with an interior and exterior zippered pocket on hand to secure small items. Designed in Paris and handcrafted in Spain with vegetable-tanned leather, it’s a statement piece for the ages.