best travel briefcases

If you are looking for an easy and stylish way to transport your laptop and documents from when your on the move, then you can’t go wrong with a briefcase.

Briefcases come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. Some are even large enough to use as a suitcase when getting away for a couple of nights. Others are lightweight and sleek, meant to be used only on your daily commute.

The timeless briefcases can be the perfect bag for anyone, from the college student to the workplace professional as they come in a huge array of colours and styles.

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How to Choose a Briefcase

There are many features to consider before you purchase your next briefcase.  Take a look at the following list to help you choose your ideal briefcase.

Size

The most important thing you will carry in your briefcase will most likely be your laptop so you need to make sure it fits! Either measure your laptop or better yet take your laptop with you when searching for a briefcase to make sure it fits securely into the padded laptop compartment. Remember, however, if you are planning to use your briefcase for school or work you will need to easily fit not only your laptop but all of your textbooks and work documents as well. If you are shopping online take the time to carefully read the briefcase description (including the size) before purchasing.

Use Cases

Carefully consider what you will be using your briefcase for. Some briefcases have expandable compartments and are ideal for carrying gym gear, your lunch bag, or even extra clothes for an overnight trip. Other briefcases offer durability and extra protection for your laptop but may not include extra compartments, perfect if you are simply using the briefcase to transport your laptop to work and back.

Material Quality

A briefcase can vary a lot in its durability and quality based simply on the material it is made from. The most popular materials used in making briefcases are nylon, polyester, and genuine leather.

If durability is your main priority go with a briefcase made of thick ballistic nylon. Nylon has great protective qualities, and you can be sure your important items inside the briefcase will be safe in any kind of weather. In addition, nylon does not rip or tear easily, you can toss your briefcase into the overhead bin on an airplane or even spill a drink on it and be assured that your briefcase will be just fine.

Unfortunately, nylon does not make for the most professional looking of briefcases and may not be suitable if you are going for a sophisticated addition to your outfit.

If classy and aesthetically pleasing is your goal, spend a little bit extra and go for a genuine leather briefcase. A sleek leather briefcase gives anyone a suave professional look. Leather briefcases not only look great they are also very durable. The main disadvantage to leather is that it does require a fair amount of maintenance. 

Leather can be damaged if it is exposed to too much sun, wind, and rain. In addition, your leather briefcase will need to be cleaned with specifically designed leather cleaning products and oiled every so often to keep it looking good.

Finally, the most inexpensive type of briefcase is a polyester briefcase. A polyester bag will look very similar to a nylon bag, but it will not be as durable as either ballistic nylon or leather. The main advantage of a polyester briefcase is its affordable price.

Feel and Comfort

These days briefcases are designed to be easy and comfortable to carry with ergonomic shoulder straps and sometimes even wheels. Some briefcases have front flap pockets, making it easier to access small items like a cell phone or passport. Wide-mouth zippers are another great feature that allows you to easily move a laptop in and out of the bag.

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Should You Have a Wheeled Briefcase?

There are a few circumstances in which having wheels on your briefcase will be important.

For those with back pain, wheeled briefcases can really help to take the load of and protect your back.

Also if you're going to struggle carrying it through an airport or while traveling, then you should consider a wheeled option.

Just remember that a wheeled case can't be brought onto a table when you're at work, so unpacking it can be awkward and unprofessional.

Best Travel Briefcases 2022

Here we have our choice for the best travel briefcases by type and style:

Best Laptop Briefcase for Business Travel

essential modern briefcase laptop bag brown

Winner: Essential Modern Briefcase

Pros:

  • Full grain leather
  • Detachable shoulder strap
  • 15.6 inch laptop zipper pocket
  • Large external pocket.
  • Two large zipped internal pockets
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Can be personalized
  • Available in black, brown, or tan.

Click here to check the price

Best Travel Briefcase Garment Bag

grand leather garment travel bag in brown

Winner: Grand Leather Garment Bag

Pros:

  • Full grain leather
  • Dedicated garment carrier.
  • Carry-on luggage size.
  • Carry a suit and shirt without creasing.
  • Large main compartment for other items.
  • 16 inch laptop compartment.
  • Perfect for the gym or business travel.
  • Adjustable shoulder strap.
  • Durable cotton lining and YKK zippers.
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Can be personalized

Click here to check the price

Best Convertible Travel Briefcase Backpack

Winner: 10X Leather Laptop Backpack

Pros:

  • Fits under airline seats
  • Convertible bag for every situation
  • Unisex
  • Top and side handles
  • Full grain leather
  • Can convert from backpack to shoulder bag
  • Fits up to 15.6 inch laptop or tablet.
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Can be personalized
  • Available in brown, tan, black, or red.

Click here to check the price

Best Wheeled Travel Briefcase

voyager leather carry on bag with wheels in brown

Winner: Voyager Leather Carry-on with Wheels

Pros:

  • Full grain leather
  • Hand luggage compliant.
  • 16 inch laptop sleeve.
  • Luggage tag included.
  • Two exterior pockets for easy-to-reach items.
  • Durable cotton lining and YKK zippers.
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Designer travel bag.
  • Can be personalized

Click here to check the price

Best Large 17-Inch Laptop Briefcase

CITY large brown leather laptop briefcase

Winner: CITY Large Laptop Briefcase

Pros:

  • 17 inch laptop compartment.
  • Full grain leather.
  • Handmade in Florence, Italy.
  • Soft cotton lining.
  • Durable YKK brass zippers.
  • Spacious design, without being bulky.
  • Can be personalized.

The CITY large is available in black, brown, or tan leather.

Browse the CITY Large online here.

Best Weekender Style Travel Briefcase

weekender leather travel bag in brown

Winner: Weekender Leather Travel Bag

Pros:

  • Full grain leather
  • 16 inch internal padded laptop sleeve.
  • Carry-on luggage size.
  • Internal zipped pocket for travel essentials like your passport.
  • Plenty of space for all your gear.
  • Ideal for the gym or business travel.
  • Adjustable shoulder strap.
  • Durable cotton lining and YKK zippers.
  • Perfect overnight bag.
  • Handmade in Italy
  • Can be personalized

Click here to check the price

FAQs

Suitcases vs Briefcases

A suitcase is typically used for clothes and toiletries when going on a trip. While a briefcase could hold clothes and toiletries, of course, it is more typically used for business type uses such as carrying documents, files or a laptop. 

Related:

Briefcases and Back Pain

If your briefcase is heavy and you typically carry it by the handle with one hand it could be bad for your back. If you use an ergonomic strap and keep your briefcase fairly lightweight, you should not have any back issues. If you are finding your back is getting sore, consider a briefcase with wheels.

Are Hard Shell Briefcases Cool?

Hard briefcases used to be very common but most modern-day briefcases have a soft shell. It is rare to see a business professional carrying a hard-shell briefcase as they are no longer as fashionable.

Do Laptops Fit in a Briefcase?

Yes! Most briefcases come with a 15-inch padded laptop compartment although it is possible to get a briefcase that fits a larger laptop.

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Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed our article on the best travel briefcases.

If you have any questions or comments, contact us at info@vonbaer.com, or leave them in the comments.

Want to read more? Check out our Travel pages here.

Also see our work pages here.

Author: Albert Varkki
Albert Varkki is the co-founder of Von Baer. He understands leather products as a consumer, supplier, and a manufacturer, helping you with the inside knowledge you need, to choose the perfect leather product for you. Connect on Linkedin

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