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Buyers Guide


The Best Work Backpacks for Professional Women

by , February 22, 2018

Updated August 2018

When it comes to work bags, backpacks are great options for maximum carry comfort. But not just any pack will do. In a work environment it needs to look the part – neutral colorways and smart, low-key designs all contribute towards creating an air of dependable professionalism. And of course a work backpack also needs to offer everyday practicality, with sufficient organization and space to carry your work supplies and any other EDC items you may need.

So with these factors in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best work backpacks for professional women. Stylish and functional, these bags are well suited to the generally smaller frames that women have, and they all offer the adaptability to step outside the office when the work day is done…

Thule Vea Backpack 17L (US$ 99.95)

Thule Vea Backpack 17L

The 17L Thule Vea combines sleek aesthetics with thoughtful organization to conquer the work/workout divide. The bag features separate storage for work essentials and gym supplies. The back compartment offers dedicated storage for a 15″ laptop, 10″ tablet, documents and small tools and accessories. The main compartment features a front opening for easy packing and access, with space for gym clothing, shoes and other smaller items.

The North Face Kabyte (US$ 108.90)

The North Face Kabyte

The North Face Kabyte combines understated styling with comfortable carry and good organization. The bag offers a dedicated laptop compartment with a useful ejector handle for quick access. The front compartment features multiple pockets for organizing smaller tech, tools, accessories and EDC items. And with its slim silhouette you’ll move easily through the commuter crush crowds and keep things low-key in the office.

RAINS Backpack (US$ 115)

RAINS Backpack

If you appreciate RAINS’ clean aesthetics but want slightly more organization, consider this backpack which includes an interior 13″ laptop pocket, interior zipped pocket and a concealed exterior phone pocket. The weatherproof pack is secured with a carabiner and magnetic closings and offers an understated style that suits a range of settings.

Matt & Nat Brave Backpack (US$ 145)

Matt & Nat Brave Backpack

An elegant piece from Matt & Nat (a Montreal-born brand who create lovely vegan products), the Brave Backpack features a wide-opening top closure for easy access, with space for up to a 13″ laptop. An interior zipped pocket and phone pocket provide convenient storage for smaller items, while exterior side and front pockets keep frequently used items at the ready.

Matt & Nat Kowloon Backpack (US$ 150)

Matt & Nat Kowloon Backpack

The Kowloon Backpack is a chic, compact bag that looks equally good in work and play environments, and comes in a bunch of great colors. The main compartment opens wide for easy packing and access, with a zipped pocket and phone pocket for storing small items. The bag fits up to 13″ devices and is a smart option for more minimalist carry setups.

Bellroy Slim Backpack (US$ 169)

Bellroy Slim Backpack

With its slim, discreet profile and useful organization, Bellroy’s Slim Backpack adapts to a variety of formal and informal settings alike, and nods to heritage-style. A range of interior pockets keep your day-to-day essentials tidy, including a padded pocket for up to a 15″ laptop. And with its magnetic closure you can easily and quickly access gear on the go. Add a quick-access exterior pocket to the mix and you’re ready for the commute and after-work drinks with just one bag.

Bellroy Classic Backpack Plus (US$ 179)

Bellroy Classic Backpack Plus

Classic styling meets everyday functionality with the Bellroy Classic Backpack Plus. The attractive and durable water-resistant Venture-weave exterior protects your gear on the go, while useful organization keeps items secure yet conveniently accessible. The pack features a dedicated laptop compartment with a YKK AquaGuard zipper, front and top quick-access pockets, and interior pockets for smaller items. And with its comfortable suspension and contoured back panel, you can enjoy strain-free carry throughout the day.

KNOMO Beaufort 15″ Backpack (US$ 199)

KNOMO Beauchamp 14" Backpack

Looking for plenty of pockets while maintaining a stylish and compact silhouette? The KNOMO Beaufort 15″ Backpack is a fine choice, with multiple interior pockets on hand to keep your tech, documents and other work supplies tidy and accessible. Plus with quick-access storage on the front there’s no need to rummage for your phone or wallet on the go.

Côte&Ciel Moselle Memory Tech Backpack (US$ 185)

Côte&Ciel Moselle Memory Tech Backpack

Want to demonstrate your fashion-forward sensibilities? This Côte&Ciel Moselle is a definite head-turner, while also offering handy features that give substance to its distinct style. The pack provides back panel access to the main compartment, with padded storage for a laptop and smaller pockets to keep work tools and EDC items accessible.

Bellroy Shift Backpack (US$ 220)

Bellroy Shift Backpack

Bellroy’s Shift Backpack expertly merges office-savvy style with active performance features. The water-resistant Venture-weave exterior provides protection from the elements, while the integrated lumbar support and removable sternum strap keeps you comfortable on the go. The innovative Slide Hook closure enables convenient one-handed opening and closing, along with adjustable volume to suit different loads. And thoughtfully positioned pockets keep your essentials easily accessible without having to rummage.

Côte&Ciel Isar Small Backpack (US$ 255)

Côte&Ciel Isar Small Backpack

The elegant draping form of the Isar Small Backpack instantly draws the eye, but like the Moselle above, this pack offers more than just eye-catching aesthetics. The Isar Small has two separate compartments for convenient organization. The back compartment stores up to 13″ tech devices and other flat items such as documents, while the front compartment is useful for bulkier items such as lunch and an outer layer.

Loxley England Mini Gloucester Rucksack (US$ 284)

Loxley England Mini Gloucester Rucksack

Clean and classy, the Loxley England Mini Gloucester is handcrafted with full-grain leather and looks equally at home in the office or exploring the city on the weekend. The main compartment features a double-ended zipper for easy access and opens wide to conveniently pack and retrieve items. Inside you’ll find a zippered pocket that’s ideal for stashing small valuables out of sight.

KILLSPENCER Mini Daypack (US$ 475)


The Mini Daypack from KILLSPENCER offers a refined balance of understated style, quality craftsmanship and adaptability. Equally smart in work environments or slung over your shoulders during your downtime, the pack is made in the USA with full-grain leather and a Riri zipper. A choice of interior pockets provide tidy organization for your daily tools and supplies, including space for up to a 13″ tech device.

Ally Capellino Sandy Calvert Leather Rucksack (~US$ 675)

Ally Capellino Sandy Calvert Leather Rucksack

There’s no denying the luxurious price tag, but the timeless design and quality craftsmanship of this bag will serve you well for years to come. The Sandy Calvert Leather Rucksack is made with Italian vegetable-tanned leather that will take on a unique patina with use. A front zipped pocket ensures frequently used items are within easy reach when you need them, while the interior features a zipped pocket for small items and a padded sleeve for up to a 13″ laptop.


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