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Backpack vs Messenger Bag vs Briefcase

salamander293

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I’m looking to buy a new leather bag to use as a daily driver - I’m trying to decide between a brown leather backpack, brown leather messenger bag w/shoulder strap (my only concern for this one is they are kind of bad for your hips/shoulder/posture), or soft brown leather briefcase. Which should I go for? I’ll be carrying a laptop, couple pens/paper, small accessories, really not all that much. I’m a graduate/professional student heading to classrooms, libraries, cafes etc…what do you guys think?
 

DorianGreen

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I’m looking to buy a new leather bag to use as a daily driver - I’m trying to decide between a brown leather backpack, brown leather messenger bag w/shoulder strap (my only concern for this one is they are kind of bad for your hips/shoulder/posture), or soft brown leather briefcase. Which should I go for? I’ll be carrying a laptop, couple pens/paper, small accessories, really not all that much. I’m a graduate/professional student heading to classrooms, libraries, cafes etc…what do you guys think?

I admit being biased, but I see the backpack as an absolute abomination of the current era. Here in Berlin almost everybody is sporting one, and they bear it on the bus and on the underground and don't mind at all disturbing other passengers. Besides, it's just ugly, any bag is better than a backpack to me.
 

TheShetlandSweater

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I’m looking to buy a new leather bag to use as a daily driver - I’m trying to decide between a brown leather backpack, brown leather messenger bag w/shoulder strap (my only concern for this one is they are kind of bad for your hips/shoulder/posture), or soft brown leather briefcase. Which should I go for? I’ll be carrying a laptop, couple pens/paper, small accessories, really not all that much. I’m a graduate/professional student heading to classrooms, libraries, cafes etc…what do you guys think?
Leather backpacks look stupid, IMO.

Briefcases are good, but don't get one that's too formal.

A lot also depends on how you use it. For several years, I used a Frank Clegg briefcase--and it was great for carrying around a laptop and papers--but once I changed jobs, it became inconvenient. I needed something I could store bulkier items (like a water bottle or scarf or shoes) in, and the compartments in the Clegg briefcase didn't allow this. The Clegg also took too long to open and was a bit heavy to carry around. I say all this just to point out that a bag should be very practical and you should really consider the specifics.
 

Betta

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I may be alone in the backpack club but these look really sleek to maybe pull off with CM

1677131777182.png


For EDC non CM:

1677132164731.png
 

JFWR

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I really like what Floto Bags offer in terms of attache cases, brief cases, etc. I would highly recommend them.
 

SouthernGothic

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I used a backpack for decades. From elementary up until I was 52.
If in tailored clothing, I carried it by the handle.
My then fiancee, now wife, convinced me I looked like a school boy and should get a messenger bag.
I shopped around and settled on an inexpensive leather model with buckle enclosures.
I could feel the difference in how I presented myself.
Backpacks are for kids or for hiking and I spent too many adult years with the wrong style of bag.
My advice, for what it is worth(free), is to get a satchel/messenger bag with a removeable shoulder strap.
Avoid synthetic materials. Get canvas, leather, or a combination.
Something casual but classy.
In casual clothing, carry it by the shoulder strap.
If in tailored clothing, ditch the strap and carry it by the grab handle.
Until you are in a purely super professional field, there is no use to go for the full formal briefcase.
I have used mine in both the field (archaeology), art profession, and in more professional situations (hospital meetings-as a patient).
Even weighted down with laptop, trowels, binoculars, sketchbook and etc., I never found an issue with my posture.
Also, don't think you have to have the best at first...unless you have the cash to do it. Get one that looks good and then experience will tell you what might be better.
 

Tried and True

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I‘m a longtime brief/attaché user who, in recent years will, on occasion, use a backpack. Usually when I need to carry a laptop. For decades I scoffed at backpackers in a business setting but then came a time when was dealing with a particularly uncomfortable bout of swimmer’s shoulder when my daughter suggested that I try using a backpack. I initially resisted but then she gifted me a leather backpack which was less unsightly than most. I don’t think I’ve actually ever worn it as designed, instead just slung over one shoulder.

This is the bag:
 

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pasadena man

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This is a question I have spent a lot of time thinking about once I realized that straps had absolutely devastated the shoulder line of a number of MTM jackets. I also think that backpacks look infelicitous with, and are conceptually contradictory to, CM tailored clothing.

My solutions: horses for courses, and always get a detachable shoulder strap:

-Filson twill briefcase for EDC and generally mucking around. Will carry beverages.

-The Frank Clegg “Obama” tumbled leather zip top bag for tailored clothing.

-Hrothgar Stibbon Salisbury briefcase with brass lock for matters involving significant money, because nothing says serious business like English bridle leather.

-Alligator zipped portfolio for swanning about town and the flaneur look. Holds a Mac Air and is very jaunty.
 

SouthernGothic

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This is a question I have spent a lot of time thinking about once I realized that straps had absolutely devastated the shoulder line of a number of MTM jackets. I also think that backpacks look infelicitous with, and are conceptually contradictory to, CM tailored clothing.

My solutions: horses for courses, and always get a detachable shoulder strap:

-Filson twill briefcase for EDC and generally mucking around. Will carry beverages.

-The Frank Clegg “Obama” tumbled leather zip top bag for tailored clothing.

-Hrothgar Stibbon Salisbury briefcase with brass lock for matters involving significant money, because nothing says serious business like English bridle leather.

-Alligator zipped portfolio for swanning about town and the flaneur look. Holds a Mac Air and is very jaunty.
I just took a look at the Hrothgar Stibbon site and that Winchester is a thing of beauty.
 

acconrad

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What do you do for work? None of these answers help unless we know the context of your situation.

An expensive Frank Clegg will look garrish in a tech office. A GR1 backpack will look too rugged and silly pared with a suit in a law office. Knowing how you want to use it will help us help you.

Personally I use a GR2 cause I work in tech and it doubles as my carry on for flights (as I always travel with 1 carry on only)
 

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