- Buyer's Guide
Best Work Backpack 2019
The Best Work Backpack needs to find that careful balance of function and form. Allowing you to easily organize day-to-day essentials, while protecting them from the elements and delivering work-appropriate aesthetics…
When a brand keeps doing something they love, they inevitably get better. And Trakke has continued to improve their ranges, season after season, in a state of constant progression. Now, you’ll find more complex patterning and structures. Heavier weighted canvas resulting in more durable bags, with a more pleasant feel. And a transition to cotton webbing, removing a major source of synthetic product from the pack, resulting in an almost entirely plastic free & biodegradeable product. And the Bannoch V2 is a fine example of all of the above and more.
When you’re a professional, appearances matter. And the Bannoch delivers an aesthetic that nods to an outdoor heritage of yesteryear, whilst weaving in a modern sleekness, smooth lines, and lovely handfeel. This is a pack that will draw acclaim and pair with most work attire, from semi-formal to smart casual, and then deliver on the weekends as well.
There’s a minimalism here too. You’ll find few zippers. One, in fact. Inside and high above the crush zone for small valuables. And a structure that stays strong and rigid, so you’ll never score that dreaded “flat bag” look when you’re carrying light. On the exterior, there’s a new dry finish waxed canvas, that now performs even better on all fronts: easier to clean, reapply, and doesn’t soften in hotter climates.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Trakke without their signature build quality. And it’s well on display here. Handcrafted in-house at their Glasgow studio, this is a tough and well-constructed bag, designed not to fail, that’s ready to put in the hard graft, day in and day out for years to come.
Inside, you’ll find a range of pockets on hand in different sizes to suit a 15″ laptop, documents, water bottles, stationery and more. Plus the bright lining not only helps increase interior visibility but also adds a dash of personality with a fun pop of color.
Trakke’s updated Bannoch Backpack ticks all the boxes for a work-friendly pack. Understated, flexible style. Useful organization. A durable, weatherproof build that takes the commute in its stride. And that welcome versatility that helps you get more out of your gear. Ultimately resulting in a bag that’s great value for money and a solid go-to partner to tackle diverse work tasks. Congratulations, Trakke!
These are the pieces that just missed out, and in most cases, by the smallest of margins. To them, we award a High Commendation. The below were of outstanding quality, displaying fine craftsmanship and design flair. With honor, we bow our heads in the utmost respect and kudos. If this were a dais, they’d be biting their teeth into silver medals, while their flags were hoisted into the horizon – a feat not to be overlooked. And we’re sure they’ll be back, to take it one notch higher, next year.
With its timeless styling and flexible design, you’ll find yourself reaching for Bellroy’s Classic Backpack Plus to conquer a variety of work and play needs. The clean silhouette slips easily into changing environments, helping you move smoothly from the office to the gym or after-work drinks. And the well-considered pocketing keeps you organized wherever the day leads, with dual compartments and handy quick-access pockets taking care of your laptop, EDC items, smaller work tools and more. The weather-resistant build has you covered when showers strike, while the design dishes up all-day carry comfort with a removable sternum strap and contoured back panel and shoulder straps. Smart and sleek, practical for a variety of work carry needs, and adaptable enough to embrace life beyond the office, it’s a savvy pick for your work partner. Fine work, Bellroy!
Alchemy Equipment have carved out a distinct niche over the past few years, creating carry that melds performance and chic styling. And the AEL022 is an excellent example of their honed design approach. An updated version of their AEL002 pack, the AEL022 welcomes a range of useful additions such as stretch side pockets, a stowable waist belt, as well as a tweaked profile with a fuller base. The eye-catching silhouette is enhanced with a burly, water-resistant build that handles the elements with ease. Plus you get convenient access to your tech too, with a dedicated laptop compartment featuring an ejector mechanism. This is a bag built to handle everyday use, and look darn good doing so. Work-ready functionality with pared-back, fashion-forward styling. But done in a way that feels classy and understated. Kudos, Alchemy Equipment!