Are laptop backpacks smart enough for work?
Backpacks have become part of the accepted smart casual dress code as a practical alternative to the briefcase. For those cycling, using a moped, motorbike or scooter to get to work, a backpack is the most practical way to support this. Backpacks are used by CEOs, sales forces and consultants globally. If you frequently travel for work, it is standard to use a backpack on planes and trains to travel from city to city, or country to country. Getting the right kind of backpacks for work is important so you come across professional and prepared.
What should I look for in a work backpack?
Colour of backpack: Consider getting a black backpack which is minimalist, not heavily branded and can be washed. Black is the colour of choice for work backpacks because it won't look stained, it is understated and goes with work clothing.
Laptop backpack: if you’re carrying a laptop, tablet and documents, get a laptop backpack with a document holder. This way, you can quickly unzip your backpack to access the items you need and look after your tech.
Secure backpack: anti-theft backpacks work well for urban travel and help you build peace of mind into your journeys. We spend years of our lives travelling to, between and through cities. Crowds, queues and packed trains are part of urban life. Make sure you aren’t bothered by other commuters with a secure backpack, so you can focus on what is important to you - even if that’s just getting a few extra minutes rest on the way home.
Washable backpack: Keeping your backpack looking smart means putting it in the wash every 6 months. Durable nylon materials are great for washability. Or, get a backpack which has wipe-clean surfaces so you can clean it in seconds on a weekly or ad hoc basis.
Size of backpack: Some people think only a slim backpack is appropriate for work. However, the most important size consideration for work is using a backpack that is large enough for your purposes. Consider using a backpack that is larger so you don’t need to carry additional bags which can be impractical and unprofessional. Keeping everything in one backpack - perhaps even one that increases and decreases depending on your requirements - helps to keep you organised, smart, your body language open and your hands free. The classic EDC backpack - everyday carry - is 16 to 22 litres. If you aren't sure what size backpack you need because you have different needs on different days - sometimes just a laptop, other times belongings for travel abroad - consider an expandable/folding backpack that changes capacity depending on what you are carrying.
Handle on a backpack: when your backpack isn’t on your back, you’ll want to carry it comfortably. Get a backpack with a good handle so you can hold it smartly as you enter a meeting or hold it on a train.
Bottle holder on a backpack: staying hydrated throughout the day is critical on the way to and from work and between work meetings. A bottle holder lets you reach your bottle quickly without having to rummage through your backpack.
TLDR; What should I look for in a work backpack? Choose a high quality, black laptop backpack that you can wash so it stays looking good over time. If work is in a town or city, get a secure or antitheft backpack so you don't spend any time worrying about pickpockets or losing important items.