The Best Backpacks for Stylishly Carrying Your Workload

I used to think my leather tote bag was the be all end all of work bags. It fit my laptop, snacks, the occasional change of clothes, and even Meghan Markle carries one! But when you carry your life in one bag the shoulder strap aches are inevitable.


If bag pain is getting you down like it once did me, I have the solution, backpacks. They fit all your necessities (work related or otherwise), and distribute the weight evenly across your back for maximal comfort. Not only that, these bags are made of luxury materials and even designer brand backpacks are a thing! So save your beloved tote bag for farmers' market and take a scroll down to see the 10 best backpacks for work that are functional and fabulous.

Women carrying various backpack styles
Navy leather Tory Burch backpack with chain straps photo

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Best for Drinks After Work: Tory Burch Fleming Backpack

Happy hour hits and your friends decide to take advantage of the $5 cocktails happening at your favorite spot. If pop-up plans happen to you on a regular basis, then a work backpack that can double as a stylish bag is a must. Stop dragging a bulky bag to the bar and swap it out for this lambskin Tory Burch backpack. You can tuck your note-taking iPad and chargers inside, and it's so cute you'll want to use it outside the 9-5. ($558; shopbop.com)

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Olive green Longchamp nylon backpack photo

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Best For Handling The Elements: Longchamp 'Le Pliage' Backpack

Bike commuting is all the rage. It's cheaper than owning and operating a car, better for the environment, and a great workout. A backpack is a must-have bag option for carrying your things while you're enroute to your office destination. This Longchamp backpack takes the cake, made of durable water-resistant nylon, adjustable straps, and a zip closure to keep everything tucked safely inside. ($125; nordstrom.com)

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Cognac brown leather Frye backpack photo

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Best Basic to Pair with Anything: Frye Ilana Small Leather Backpack

When you're looking for a backpack you can carry everyday, unless your style leans towards color, put down that trendy lime green color you won't wear past this year. It's not practical for everyday, and depending on your office it might be defying the dress code. Try a neutral option like this cognac Frye leather backpack that will go with all of your work outfits, and I guarantee your coworkers will be asking where you got it. ($199; nordstromrack.com)

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Blush pink Senreve leather backpack photo

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Best Purse Imposter: Senreve The Medium Maestra Bag

No you're not mistaken, this is definitely a backpack! If you're the girly-girl of the workplace, opting for airy maxis over business suiting, you'll appreciate the lady-like style of this Senreve backpack. Made of pretty pebbled blush leather, this backpack not only has two adjustable shoulder straps but a top handle strap for easy carrying when accessing the inner contents. This bag also has interior pockets for organized storage, a zip closure, as well as a post front closure for keeping your contents protected. ($795; shopbop.com)

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Grey Everlane backpack with black front snap straps photo

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Best for Space: Everlane The Modern Snap Backpack

Your workspace has their own gym with class options that you can take over your lunch break or at the end of the day. Instead of carrying multiple bags for your work things and your gym essentials, find a roomie bag that can fit it all. This snap front backpack by Everlane has the capacity of about 19L, meaning it can fit your sneakers, change of clothes, and your daily items. It even has a padded laptop compartment to keep your electronics secure. ($68; everlane.com)

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Red Gucci leather backpack photo

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Best for Standing Out: Gucci GG Leather Mini Backpack

We get it, a Gucci backpack takes a chunk of change but trust me, it's well worth it. Think about it, a Gucci crossbody for work might not be practical or fit everything you need, and a tote bag can be almost too much. This Gucci backpack hits the perfect sweet spot of effortless luxury that's also practical. Plenty of storage for you work things, makeup when you're on the go, and an interior pocket to keep your cash readily available. ($1980; nordstrom.com)

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Camel Calpak leather backpack photo

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Best for Travel: Calpak Kaya Laptop Backpack

Maybe travel is a consistent part of your work routine. Constantly traveling from the office to work conferences across the coast calls for a backpack that can do it all. The Kaya backpack by Calpak is exclusively designed with the business traveler in mind. With a separate compartment for storing an up to 15 inch laptop and a back strap that allows you to slip the backpack over the handles of your wheeled carry-on it's perfect for work trips. ($89; freepeople.com)

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Mustard Yellow Fjallraven Kanken canvas backpack photo

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Best for Saving Your Shoulders: Fjallraven Kanken Padded Laptop Backpack

One of my biggest pet peeves about backpacks are when the straps start cutting into my shoulders. If you like to pile in beauty products, a book, a change of comfortable shoes, and other items so you're always prepared for whatever, this Fjallraven Kanken backpack is for you. It has a roomy main compartment, a 15 inch laptop sleeve, front and side pockets, and padded shoulder straps for easy carrying. ($115; urbanoutfitters.com)

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White Thacker minimalistic backpack photo

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Best for Keeping Things Simple: Thacker Brit Backpack

Wanting to steer clear of backpacks that remind you of your childhood years? I hear you, if ample exterior pockets and pops of color aren't you style then try this minimalist Thacker backpack. No frills with this bag, just simple clean lines, a top zipper, and a unique ring hardware at the base of the straps. It's a sophisticated backpack that won't make you feel like a kid. ($258; anthropologie.com)

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Black leather and suede Chloé small backpack photo

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Best Designer Backpack: Chloé Small Faye Backpack

For those of you with a business casual wardrobe, congrats! With that freedom, it's time to get playful with your work bag accessory. If you're able to make a splurge I highly suggest you go for this sued and leather Chloé backpack. The hardware gives it an edgy vibe that would be fun to mix up with some feminine pieces, or a classic white top and jeans combination. Wear the straps together on one shoulder for a modern way to carry. ($1240; nordstrom.com)

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