Whether you’ve been going into work for the duration of the pandemic or you’re just returning to the office, everyone knows the importance of a good work bag. It needs to be big enough to carry the weight of your work gear ( laptop, charger, lunch, gym kit…) but not too bulky; comfortable enough that it won’t dig into your shoulders but stylish enough not to look like you’re off hiking on a Monday morning.
We’ve scoured the internet for bags that tick each of these boxes. Whether you’re more drawn to a tote bag or dedicated to a backpack, there’s a range of styles and sizes to suit every type of worker. Click through for our pick of the best.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
The Everlane ReNew Transit backpack is the ultimate travel bag. Featuring a 15″ exterior laptop pocket, catch-all zip pockets and two water bottle holders, it’s ideal for work or travel and comes in a range of colourways. Plus it’s made from 100% recycled polyester.
Everlane The ReNew Transit Backpack, $, available at Everlane
This shiny pillow bag is big enough for your laptop, wallet and lunch, and comes with two strap lengths, making it easier to carry.
Mads Nørgaard Shiny Poly Pillow, Scarab, $, available at Mads Nørgaard
If your commute truly feels like a mission, you can’t do better than the Finisterre Drift backpack. It’s waterproof, has a huge capacity and the slimmer design makes it comfortable to wear, no matter what you’ve got inside.
Finisterre Drift Waterproof Roll Top Backpack, $, available at Finisterre
For those who need their work bag to dress up any outfit, the Ted Baker London tote is a classic for a reason. Roomy, sturdy and with a subtle faux crocodile pattern.
Ted Baker London Allicon Croc Faux Leather Tote, $, available at Nordstom
Another backpack with plenty of pockets to keep all your work gear secure and organised, including a laptop compartment. We love this bag’s modern silhouette and the fact that the straps and back are covered with air-mesh for enhanced comfort.
Timberland Needham Flap-Top Backpack In Black, $, available at Timberland
Another padded number, this quilted tote is enormous and squishy (and benefits from soft straps to ease any shoulder strain).
& Other Stories Stripe Quilt Padded Tote Bag, $, available at & Other Stories
A sleek, minimalist option for those with a penchant for Scandi style.
Kapten & Son Bergen Sandstone, $, available at Kapten & Son
This colour-block tote bag is made of incredibly sturdy cotton canvas and comes with plenty of pockets, top handles and a removable cross-body strap. Big enough for all your gym and work bits and pieces and then some.
Madewell The Canvas Camden Tote Bag, $, available at Madewell
A Dickie’s rucksack is a staple for a reason: affordable, functional, durable and padded for your comfort.
Dickies Lisbon Backpack, $, available at Dickies
Matt & Nat’s totes are all vegan and ethically made (the lining is made from 100% recycled water bottles), making this choice not only chic and safe (with its zipper closure) but sustainable, too.
Matt & Nat Abbi Vegan Tote Bag – Loom, $, available at Matt & Nat
Ever been caught on the train home from work with no battery on your phone? You’ll never be stuck in silence again with this slickly designed rucksack, which comes with a USB port as well as the requisite laptop sleeve and secret pockets.
Nordace Nordace Siena – Smart Backpack, $, available at Nordace
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