Top 5 | Best Work Bag
A great shoulder bag provides effortless grab-and-go portability, while keeping your gear organized and easily accessible throughout the day. And if it offers versatile style that adapts to a range of settings, even better. Enter our top 5 finalists for Best Shoulder Bag. These pieces transition smoothly from work to play, offering a variety of features that make them stand out as worthy companions for the daily commute, around-town trips, or even short getaways. But which one offers that extra something special that merits the category crown? Choose your top pick below…
Who It Suits
Maybe you’re function over fashion, or maybe you’re fashion over function. The Tokyo Work Bag is an excellent do-it-all briefcase that is easy to work from, pleasing to look at, and a joy to carry.
Bellroy are experts at making products that just work. I mean that in the most complimentary sense, as time and again whenever I use a Bellroy product, I don’t have to think about it, I just use it and enjoy doing so. The Tokyo Work Bag follows that pattern and has been great to work from whether on the road or at the office. A slim and chic profile cloaks a slew of useful features. It is surprising how much you can fit in this shoulder bag for how small it appears.
The Tokyo Work Bag borrows features from all over Bellroy’s lineup and brings them together in this updated commuter package. From a tech standpoint, this can comfortably hold everything you need. Laptop (up to 16”), tablet, chargers, and any number of accessories you may have with you. Not only that, but there is also plenty of room for your EDC in either the divided front pocket, the mesh sunglasses pocket, or the elasticated mesh pockets on the inside of the main cavity.
The wide opening makes working from the bag really convenient, it can essentially be used as a large caddy. During testing, I found this bag to be a great portable office. It comfortably held my laptop, tablet, keyboard, trackpad, laptop stand, laptop charger, hard drives, card readers. Along with my EDC, a water bottle, a book etc. It feels a little bit like Mary Poppins handbag!
- Wide Opening
- Excellent Organisation
- Supremely functional
Who It Suits
Heritage fiends, this is as good as it gets. A magnificent blend of traditional materials and modern design, this is an EDC Masterpiece.
Some bags just take your breath away. The Revival Satchel is one of those. From Ontario, Canada, Wilboro is a one man team making considered and functional pieces of carry.
The Revival Satchel is the epitome of their design identity, and it all starts with the materials. Every piece of material used for manufacture is the best of the best, and complementary of one another. There is the luxurious Wickett and Craig English Bridle Leather and X-Pac® UVX40 for the liner. The hardware is a mix of Fidlock® magnetic snap closures and a Cobra Pro buckle on the strap. The internal removable laptop sleeve is a mix of felt, leather, and YKK® zippers. There is not an expense spared with this construction and it is immediately noticeable from the moment you hold it!
The Revival Satchel is not only good to look at, but great to use. It takes a little breaking in, but after a few uses, the leather begins to soften and the fun really starts. The laptop sleeve can hold a 14″ MacBook Pro or iPad Pro with keyboard, and is conveniently detachable for use at your desk. It comes with a small elasticated loop and snap closure to make sure your device stays in, and has a leather zip pocket on the front for your cables or hard-drives. The laptop sleeve is a great example of Wilboro’s brilliant design ethos, small touches that make the product all the more enjoyable to use. In the front flap admin organiser you’ll find EDC pocketing for your essentials, and enough room to store your wallet and phone.
This is the kind of bag that is a conversation starter, a happy collision of old world materials with new world design. If you’re after a truly unique offering, this could be for you.
- Heritage materials and modern design
- Removable laptop caddy
- Handmade in Canada
Who It Suits
Modern materials, expandability and modularity are the name of the game here. This is a sleek urban powerhouse that can pull double duty in a myriad of different ways.
Code of Bell are known for their shapeshifting bags and the Apex Liner Pro is no exception, with some clever expandability along with excellent material and hardware choices, this is an excellent option for the tech wear urbanite.
Code of Bell have chosen cutting edge materials on the Apex Liner pro, with a mix of X-Pac® and Cordura RE/COR through the bag. This provides great weather and abrasion resistance, making it a great bag for anyone on the go during their commute, it’ll handle most situations comfortably. Fidlock® hardware and YKK® zippers add more premium touches to this excellent bag. The Apex Liner Pro can be carried three ways cross body, shoulder, or handheld. You can even purchase their backpack straps kit to use it as a backpack too. This is a truly versatile piece. It comes in at a streamlined 7-12L depending on if you engage the expansion pocket on the front. This front pocket allows for a change of clothes, a pair of running shoes, or even just your extra commute necessities.
As is often the case with Code of Bell, there is a pocket or home for everything in the Apex Liner Pro. The laptop sleeve holds up to a 16″ computer, and the side walls are lined with pockets for cables, EDC, chargers and the like. The unique feature of this laptop sleeve is the origami-esque privacy walls that allow you to use your laptop without fear of prying eyes. This is perfect for working on the go, or even just a little more glare protection on those bright days. For a relatively small capacity, the Apex Liner Pro holds a deceptive amount of gear in a modern and streamlined package. This is perfect for those who don’t like to carry too much, or who have a dedicated bag for work items only.
Streamlined, weatherproof, and full of hidden pockets, the Apex Liner Pro is a modern commuters best friend.
- Innovative Laptop Sleeve
- Weatherproof Materials
Who It Suits
The briefcase, refined. If you love the idea of a traditional briefcase, but want it with all the amenities of the 21st century, look no further. The Émigré briefcase is the upgrade you’ve been waiting for.
The first thing that strikes you when looking at the Émigré briefcase is just how clean the design is. The Robic® recycled nylon has an intriguing texture that makes you want to pick the bag up, and it only gets better when you do.
This is a lightweight bag, at 9L it is designed for the office commuter or business traveller (jaunty luggage pass through included). Every inch of this bag is thoughtfully laid out and meticulously constructed. Custom Duraflex® buckles, YKK® metaluxe zippers, and even a custom Moleskine notebook inside the briefcase. This feels like a wonderfully premium product. The Robic® nylon is highly water resistant so you know your electronics are safe, and the internal nylon twill is ever so slightly padded to add some extra protection.
One of my favourite things about the Émigré briefcase is that it has just enough organisation. Not too much, and not too little. There is a spot for your pens, styluses and the like, and a few zip pockets for your other essentials, but not an overwhelming amount that leaves you unsure of where you put “x”. There is a dual laptop (16″) and tablet sleeve which are secured by an elasticated pull. Externally there is a small quick access pocket which can house phone, keys, and a passport. You’ll also see the attachment points for shoulders straps, backpack harness (available separately) and the luggage passthrough.
The Émigré briefcase is the perfect companion to the minimalist office goer or business traveller. Packed full of thoughtful touches and elegant simplicity, this is the standard for the modern briefcase.
- Recycled materials
- Lightweight and streamlined
- Minimalist design
Who It Suits
Waxed Cotton, Leather, and a whole slew of excellent storage, the Waterfield Tech Folio Brief is an investment piece that’ll last a lifetime. If you like your bags to be hearty and robust, but still need organisation in your days, this could be a stellar choice.
Waterfield continue to make excellent tech solutions. Not only are they functional, they’re incredibly handsome too, particularly if you’re a fan of waxed cotton and leather like me!
The Tech Folio Brief comes in two sizes, a compact which fits a 14″ laptop and comes in just under 16L, or the full which’ll hold a 16″ laptop and hold almost 20L of goodies. Both have the same lay out internally, which is magnificent. The tech folio is best described as a portable office. It presents as two main compartments. One compartment is a half zip compartment home to your laptop and tablet (with room for other items such as a water bottle or headphones), while the other full clamshell opening compartment is a one stop shop for all of your tech needs.
This second compartment is a sight to behold, particularly when loaded out. There is a pocket for everything, and it makes working an absolute breeze. Whether you’re in the office or out on location, this compartment pops open and presents you with a workstation at your finger tips. As you can see form the photo above, I have a whole selection of cables, chargers, card readers, EDC and more. All housed tidily in harmony next to one another. While it helps with organisation, functionally it is excellent too. I found myself very quickly getting used to where items were kept and it sped up my workflow considerably. These mesh pockets are robust, but also lightweight enough to be able to see the contents, while the signature Waterfield liner makes it easy to see everything.
The handles are leather bound and are breaking in wonderfully, and the included shoulder strap is one of the most comfortable I’ve used. Found on a lot of Waterfield’s bag, it has a neoprene construction that gives just enough so you don’t get hotspots when carrying for extended periods of time.
This portable office will not only stand the test of time, it’ll make each day a little easier, and a little more efficient, all while looking good too.
- Luxurious waxed cotton and leather
- Phenomenal organisation
- Exceptionally comfortable shoulder strap
VOTING CLOSES [APRIL 25TH]