- Buyer's Guide
Is This the Perfect Convertible Bag for Work and Everyday?
It’s all about finding balance in your life, whether it’s with your work and time spent with the family or even a balanced diet to stay healthy, but when it comes to bags it’s about finding balance in its function and form. For over 20 years, Incase has been a company dedicated to creating a better experience through good design. So it comes as no surprise that the new Two-Way Convertible Brief checks off many boxes in the search for the perfect daily bag for work, the commute, and travel.
Smart for work, comfy on the go
When it comes to convertible bags, versatility is key. The Incase Two-Way Convertible Brief is both a softshell brief and backpack and solves a couple of issues through its transformative design. Its ability to convert at a moment’s notice makes the transition between work and active lifestyle simple. As a brief, the bag can easily be taken into a client’s conference room or another professional setting without worry about looking like you’re still in school or about to traverse a mountain. As a backpack, the bag can be worn for the commute or other instances when you need both hands free.
Another factor to consider is the style of the bag. Outfitted in an all-black exterior with minimal external pockets, the bag is streamlined and universal for any setting without looking pretentious, immature or simply out of place – if you’ve seen a gym duffel or 45L hiking pack in a corporate conference room before raise your hand.
Protection from bumps, scrapes, and the elements
Protection and durability are highlights of any good bag. The Two-Way Convertible Brief is wrapped in an 840D nylon exterior with matte PU coated zippers to withstand the elements such as light rain and dirt from getting in.
Foam padding surrounds the bag where it may be needed most including the sides, back, laptop sleeve, and the base, to help protect your valuables from daily dings. I would avoid harsh drops or submersion into a pool of water, but with normal use, this bag should last a long time.
Staying prepped with pockets
For daily use and travel, organization and capacity is important. The signature Incase faux fur lining helps to protect a laptop and is quite smooth to the touch. There is ample space to hold larger laptops as my 15″ MacBook Pro had plenty of breathing room in the dedicated compartment. There are two front pockets that divide the exterior of the bag. One opens wide on two sides with two diagonal sleeves inside making for quick access or on-the-go storage such as through airport security. I did find these sleeves to not be as functional or useful, but the pocket itself is nice and can hold a water bottle. The other is a bit more hidden with a single zipper that opens up to a pocket that can hold a standard-sized notebook fairly easily.
The main compartment also opens on two ends for both easy access while maintaining the structure and security of the bag so items won’t fall out easily. The interior is comprised of one medium-sized mesh zipper pocket for wallets, loose change, and anything that may need a bit more security. There are also three other sleeves that can fit multiple items such as a phone, hard drive, etc. and two pen sleeves. There is also a key ring that is easily accessible to store keys safely. Additionally, there is one last padded sleeve that can also hold a laptop, iPad, or documents. I found the main compartment had ample storage for most daily essentials and even a light jacket rolled up.
Convertible convenience for work, travel and play
While on the go, comfort and convenience is king. And this bag excels in that department. The two carry handles are padded, easy to grip and extra secure with the added button clasp. A top handle also makes it easy to grab and carry especially if placed under a seat on a plane.
When worn as a backpack, the lightweight, airmesh shoulder straps are ergonomic and strong. An adjustable sternum strap helps to balance out the weight for a more secure experience.
One thing to note is that the adjustments, due to the stowable strap design, may feel awkward at first as it is upside down when compared to traditional packs. All of the details are covered, with the dangling loose ends having an elastic band to keep them clean out of the way. Attaching the straps is very simple and straightforward. Pull the two straps out of their zippered pocket along with the two ends that are tucked away and snap into place.
One more key design element that helps make this a killer crossover bag is the luggage pass-through area. The bottom of the pass-through is zippered, which makes it nice and clean when not in use. However, don’t mistakenly use it as an additional storage pocket as the top is left wide open without a zipper to secure valuables. A zipper on the top may be a nice touch, but I also found that I could place my water bottle in this area quickly and when used as a brief.
An all-rounder with flexible appeal
At $149.95 it’s not the cheapest nor the most expensive option for a convertible bag, but it is very reasonable. Most quality leather briefcases will run well north of $300 and if you get into the designer brands then you’re looking in the thousands.
What this bag provides is understated style and versatility for daily, active, and travel use. This is a great all-in-one solution for most creatives who want to avoid spending a ton on a leather briefcase and the stale corporate look, as well as those who want a professional image and don’t want to be judged by wearing a backpack into the boardroom. This bag should be considered as a solid go-to for most people.