Best Briefcases For Men Ready To Get Down To Business

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Briefcases don’t just hold your files and documents; they show your style.

A well-chosen briefcase can bring a look together and do so while being one of the most useful accessories in a guy’s arsenal. In this guide, we’ll help you find a practical and stylish briefcase through our in-depth reviews.

Beyond the reviews, we will also cover all the key considerations you should be mindful of when selecting a briefcase – this includes important features like material, capacity, style, weight, and more.

Let’s get down to business:

5 Tips for Buying a Briefcase

1. Material

Modern briefcases are made from either leather or synthetic fibers.  Here are some things you should know about these common materials:

  • Leather: This is the traditional pick that is both durable and versatile. If your budget allows, get a briefcase made from top-grain or full-grain leather as it’s a better investment.  These quality leather grades can last for several years and develop a nice patina.  Avoid genuine leather if possible, as it’s susceptible to cracking and degrading in one or two years.
  • Synthetic Materials: Nylon, polyester or other manufactured materials are easy to care for and lightweight.  Additionally, these synthetic materials can withstand a ton of abuse – perfect if commuting or traveling via air.  

2. Capacity

Briefcases come in different sizes for different occasions.

  • Super Slim to Slim: Ideal for the minimalist man carrying just a laptop and a few essential documents.  The streamlined design also looks modern.
  • Standard to Large: Great if you plan on carrying more than just a laptop and some papers.  Ledgers, record books, and other business or court documents can fit in here.
  • Large to Extra Large: Plenty of storage potential but can also become unwieldy.  

3. Comfort

Here are a few subtle design details that can significantly increase the comfort and versatility while carrying:

  • Shoulder Strap: A wider strap helps to displace the weight, so it doesn’t dig into your shoulder.  Some briefcases include a pad on the shoulder strap for additional comfort.
  • Handles: The addition of handles is welcomed, especially if you want to give your back a short break when the bag is overloaded.  
  • Wheels: Some larger briefcases may include wheels – perfect for those men who don’t want to break a sweat when heading to their next meeting.

4. Style 

Carrying a polished leather briefcase with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt will look out of place.  So too, would a casual briefcase when arriving at a boardroom meeting.  Take just a moment to think about your current wardrobe and how you plan on using the briefcase for the next few years.  This way, you get more use out of your new briefcase.

5. Extras

Some briefcases come with added features that provide some more utility.  Here are a few to be mindful of:

  • Travel-Friendly: These briefcases are convenient because they meet TSA regulations and provide easy access to essential documents like tickets and passports.
  • Water Resistant: This feature is excellent for men using the bag for professional reasons because it protects the documents and devices within from rain or other spills. It also makes the briefcase easier to clean.
  • Warranty: A warranty can be a good idea for a briefcase as it protects the user if it becomes damaged or if a strap or handle breaks.
  • Combination Lock: A lock can keep documents and devices safe, but it can slow you down at checkpoints.
  • Fold Over Closure – Rather than relying on a zip-top to the briefcase, fold-over closure helps soften the look to make it appear slick or modern. Again, it’s largely a personal taste – but one is worth noting.

The Best Briefcases for Men

1. Best Briefcase Overall: Filson Leather Weatherproof Briefcase

Filson’s description that this is “a briefcase you can pass on to the next generation” is not an exaggeration; this is a top-quality bag. Its leather is fully waterproof, and the briefcase features a flap that covers its brass zipper to fully protect your electronics and files inside.

The briefcase has pouches on the outside to store anything you need quick access to, be it a laptop or a document, and has a detachable strap which affords you the option of using the double handles to carry it, or the strap to sling it over your shoulder.

This briefcase has an impressive carrying capacity of 13 pounds and exudes a sense of quality – from the brass hardware to the felt trim work on the shoulder strap, the bag harkens back to a time when things were built to last.

Pros

  • Fully waterproof and protected against common causes of deterioration, like salt
  • Branded hardware lends a sense of pride of workmanship and quality
  • Exterior pocket for easy access of a few items
  • Several internal pockets

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Relatively high maintenance

What You Need To Know

Although this Filson briefcase may be lacking in some of the bells and whistles of other briefcases; it makes up for this through pure craftsmanship and quality.

2. Best Luxury Briefcase: Shinola Guardian Leather Briefcase

This briefcase pays attention to what matters in luxury products – the details. The interior is lined with Shinola’s iconic fabric pattern, the exterior uses fine smooth leather that is not disturbed by needless pockets and zippers, save for a well-placed logo at the top of the bag.

The designers of this briefcase clearly understand that part of the luxury allure is restraint, and this bag has the perfect amount of functionality without disturbing its focus on style. It comes with a shoulder strap and a double handle, the latter of which is what we recommend – as this is a luxury briefcase, not a workhorse.

The bag’s design does include a padded interior section, however, so if you chose to carry your laptop in here you can rest assured it will be well protected.

Pros

  • Slim, minimalist design
  • High quality leather and hardware
  • Brand name recognition
  • A business briefcase that presents well

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No closable exterior pockets
  • Few internal pockets

What You Need To Know

From its sleek and classic design to its fine leather and patterned canvas interior, this briefcase has the subtlety that you would expect from a luxury piece.

3. Best Organized Briefcase: Kenneth Cole Reaction Laptop Briefcase

Not only does this briefcase provide a multitude of scaled carrying compartments, but they are gusseted, providing added room and support. The bag is made of full-grain leather and has a padded computer pocket which means it will protect its contents from both bumps and the elements.

Both the front and back of this briefcase have zippered compartments, which is perfect for men who need to carry more than just their laptop – there are plenty of pockets for gear for other devices, or even more than one computer.

For those that carry a variety of electronics or documents and need to keep them organized and protected, this briefcase is an excellent choice as its expandable compartments offer more than enough capacity and separability for the typical businessman.

Pros

  • Many zippered pockets
  • Gusseted compartments allow for large loads
  • Full grain leather means this bag will last

Cons

  • Zippers may catch on things, not airport friendly

What You Need To Know

For those who need to carry a multitude of items that are best separated, or guys who just need to take their whole office with them from place to place and keep it organized, this is the briefcase for the job.

4. Most Durable Briefcase: Saddleback Leather Co. Slim Leather Briefcase

This briefcase is remarkably durable and clearly built for a man who wants a leather bag that is meant to be used rather than simply to look stunning, which it does. The briefcase has no breakable hardware – think magnets, zippers, and snap buttons.

Everything from the leather (full-grain cowhide on the outside, pigskin lining on the inside) to the thread that is used to sew it together is chosen for its durability. Saddleback even chose thread that doesn’t degrade when exposed to the sun, which means this briefcase is built to last from the bottom up.

There are additional features that you wouldn’t expect in a briefcase but are excellent touches that add to the versatility of this bag – like a false bottom that can be used to store important documents like passports or cash.

Perhaps the most stunning and over the top feature of this briefcase is its warranty – Saddleback Leather guarantees the bag for 100 years, so if it ever fails you whether you’re on the Appalachian trail or walking down Pennsylvania Avenue, you can easily replace it.

Pros

  • Multiple color options
  • No breakable parts

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Relatively heavy for a briefcase, 5 pounds

What You Need To Know

If you need a briefcase that is built to last, quality materials, and a design that is built for durability make this briefcase second to none.

5. Best Laptop Briefcase: Samsonite Leather Slim Briefcase

This leather briefcase is an excellent choice for a man whose main purpose for a briefcase is carrying his laptop – be it to and from the office, or around town to the nearest public workspace.

The bag has adjustable straps that allow you to carry anything from a 13” to 15.6” inch laptop. Electronics tend to make a bag pretty heavy so it’s great that this bag weighs in at a mere 2.6 pounds, quite light compared to other leather briefcases.

The briefcase itself is quite slim (2.5” wide) and is also checkpoint friendly meaning you have easy access to your laptop and can pull it out of the bag for inspection quickly. There’s also a large side compartment where you can store items needed for quick access like notepads, cellphones, and passports.

Pros

  • Dual handles and shoulder strap
  • Padded tablet compartment
  • Checkpoint friendly

Cons

  • Interior compartments not leather
  • May not fit larger specialty laptops

What You Need To Know

This is the most versatile laptop briefcase available owing to its adjustable compartment, large carrying capacity, and lightweight.

6. Best Leather Briefcase: Saddleback Leather Co. Thin Leather Briefcase

Guys who are interested in a briefcase for the dual purpose of style and utility will find that all Saddleback briefcases are excellent, but this one is particularly well-rounded for a man’s various needs.

One particularly special feature of this briefcase is its shoulder straps. They have two pads for added comfort but also adjust from 34” to 59” inches which will accommodate a guy that’s anywhere from five to eight feet tall. The briefcase also features D-rings that allow you to use the shoulder strap as backpack straps, making this briefcase fully convertible.

Like other Saddleback Leather briefcases, this one comes with a 100-year warranty, which you’re unlikely to have to redeem because of how this bag is designed – from intentionally large and thick strips of leather to the minimal stitching to reduce the chance of tears, this is a leather briefcase made for guys who will use it.

Pros

  • Durable materials (full grain leather, stainless steel)

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Leather requires considerable maintenance

What You Need To Know

Leather products should be built to last, but unfortunately, not all leathers live up to this reputation –Saddleback Leather Co.’s Thin Front Pocket Briefcase certainly does and its versatility makes it a truly exceptional briefcase.

7. Best For Young Professionals: Filson Rugged Twill Briefcase

A young professional often can’t count on exactly what will be asked of them on any given day at work – it may be running to Starbucks for the office during a rainstorm or going to be the eyes and ears of the company at a meeting in Dallas. As such, a briefcase like this one is the best choice for a young professional – it’s versatile, durable, and looks great.

The briefcase is made from a patented fabric called Rugged Twill that resists water, and it has a storm flap to protect documents (and hardware) from water damage. The leather strap, which can be worn across the body or over the shoulder is removable which makes this a great choice for a man who may need to go on business trips and put it through security checkpoints.

The utility of this bag does not take away from its style at all – it comes in five reserved colors, and has leather accents to complement the twill body, resulting in a professional yet energetic look.

Pros

  • Water resistant
  • Easy maintenance fabric

Cons

  • Lacks a padded compartment

What You Need To Know

This is an excellent introductory briefcase for a man who is just getting into a more sophisticated working environment and needs to navigate between style and utility.

8. Best Travel Briefcases: Tumi Alpha Bravo Aviano Slim Brief

The slim profile of this briefcase is perfect for a man who expects to be traveling frequently, be it for work or pleasure. The backside of the bag has a slip for attaching it to a luggage handle, which can be closed by a zipper if needed. There are numerous external compartments for storing quick-access items like keys, passports, and boarding passes.

The interior of the bag has both a padded tablet compartment and laptop compartment, so you can easily store all of your electronics on the inside, and chargers and adapters can be stored in the external pockets.

During our research, we found most reviewers were very satisfied with this bag for commuting and also longer journeys, the only small issue being that the zippers can ring against each other – if this bothers you consider tucking them in.

Pros

  • Slim design means this briefcase isn’t cumbersome
  • Travel friendly features

Cons

  • Slim design may limit carrying capacity

What You Need To Know

If you need a briefcase strictly for traveling or commutes, this is the perfect briefcase for the job.

9. Best Rolling Briefcase: Alpine Swiss Rolling Briefcase

This briefcase is an excellent choice for men who will be carrying heavy loads that would otherwise be a burden but for the rolling feature and telescoping handle. Other briefcases might begin to deteriorate quickly due to design and stitching flaws, but this briefcase has a hard-plastic frame and riveted seams to ensure that it holds up.

The briefcase is TSA checkpoint approved, and although it is quite large, it doesn’t give up any of the other aspects you would expect in a work briefcase – multiple compartments, sleek modern design, and accordion-style file divider. Furthermore, the compartments are fully open due to wrap-around zippers that give the briefcase an easy to access design that some classic briefcases lack.

A tangential feature of this briefcase is that it can stand up on its own, lending it to use in meetings or courtrooms where a lawyer or businessman needs to be able to put their briefcase down and still have access to its contents without fiddling around too much.

Pros

  • Telescoping push-button handle
  • Large carrying capacity
  • Hard plastic structure

Cons

  • Not appropriate for all occasions, very utilitarian

What You Need To Know

If you’re a man who knows that you need to be carrying a significant amount of gear around for work, or you just want to protect your back, this briefcase is an excellent choice.