It comes for all of us eventually—the creeping realization that you need to graduate from your backpack to (gulp) a briefcase. But only the best briefcases for men will ensure that you don’t just shuffle your way into the real world, but burst into it like you own the place (or at least look like you kind of, sort of belong). Sure, your beloved book bag can haul your laptop just fine, but if you’re gearing up to fly the coop, you should probably dress like it, too.

The Best Briefcases for Men, According to GQ

Take to me to: How to Choose the Right Briefcase for You | How We Made Our Picks

Investing in a briefcase might feel a bit, uh, old old-fashioned. But your daily work bag doesn’t have to look so dusty. After all, our modern-day working experience isn’t so tied to stuffy cubicles as it is a local cafe or shared workspaces…or our own kitchen. And briefcases have morphed accordingly. These days they’re lighter, but no less well-constructed, more adaptable to the many environments and “offices” we inhabit. And, crucially, they’re a lot more stylish. That’s not to say the bags aren’t still elegant (they very much are), but they’re capable of taking a licking and still ticking. But only the best briefcases will look better the more you use them.

Briefcases also help you focus on the essentials, ensuring that you’re not overpacking while providing plenty of storage. Dedicated laptop sleeves provide safe and secure storage with siloed zipper pockets for tablets, notebooks, and even smartphone pockets. Having everything organized in one place can help eliminate the digging around that sometimes happens in larger-sized bags, as everything is essentially all right at your fingertips. 

So it’s time to grow up, but if you’re not sure where to begin, we’ve got you covered with a veritable A-team of options. From the hyper-technical to the rugged workhorses to the classically elegant, the high-end flexes to the affordable entry points. So, yes. Investing in a briefcase might feel like the turning of a page to being slightly more serious—but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun considering all the new options in the process.

The Best Everyday Briefcase

Bellroy’s got a knack for minimalist design with maximalist functionality and its Tech Briefcase is a deceptively simple bag that belies its many features. The strategically-designed interior delivers maximum storage capacity in a handsome minimalist package. Unzip the sturdy nylon shell to pack in everything you need for a day at the grind: a laptop, water bottle, and a spare sweater to battle office AC extremes. Inside you’ll find a padded laptop sleeve, a mesh zip pocket for keeping your smaller items like keys and sunglasses protected, and a generous center cavity for anything else you may need to haul to and from the office. On the outside, it’s got a cleverly hidden zip pocket for easy-access items like a book or an iPad as well as a luggage pass-through feature that lets you attach it to luggage. Its weather resistant fabric and coated zippers help protect your goods from the weather, too. But the most clever feature might be the hidden AirTag slip pocket so you can feel safe and secure.

The Best Value Briefcase

Time Resistance

Full-Grain Leather Briefcase

Crafted in Italy from fine full-grain leather with heavy brass hardware, this classic design is fit to pair with your sharpest suits.

Amazon might not be the first place you look for a top-shelf briefcase, but we’ll forgive the oversight. Crafted in Italy from fine full-grain leather with heavy brass hardware, this classic design by Time Resistance is fit to pair with your sharpest suits. Got an important meeting coming up first thing…Monday? Don’t sweat it, that’s what Prime is for.

The Best Rugged-but-Refined Briefcase


Rugged Twill Original Briefcase

Filson has a storied legacy going back to the Gold Rush days as a manufacturer of quality and dependable goods and clothing, which is to say that their Original Briefcase is built to last. Constructed from a heavy-duty twill fabric that’s similar to what you’d find on a sturdy work or chore coat, the exterior will stay together no matter how rough on it you are. It’s also lightly waxed so that it’s water-resistant if it gets caught in the rain. Critically, the bottom is super reinforced so that when you’re loading up the two wide stow interior pockets, the fabric won’t rip or shred. Plus, the interior pockets keep everything organized and at a glance when you need it most. Rugged yet refined, the Original Briefcase is pretty much exactly what you’d want from a bag nowadays: something capable yet timeless and with plenty of functionality so that you buy it once and hold onto it forever.

The Best Leather Briefcase

Briefcases are so inherently utilitarian that it might be odd to think of something so functional as sexy. And yet, that’s exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you see Carl Friedrik’s Palissy Briefcase. It feels like the briefcase you’d see the employees of Sterling Cooper carrying back in the ‘60s, thanks to an extremely elegant vachetta leather, which is the de-facto go-to material for high-end bags. But it’s not just that gloriously smooth, blemish-free exterior that will age gracefully. The gorgeous nickel-silver hardware really pops and will only look better the more you use the bag. Plus, it’s on the slimmer side of things, while still ensuring you’ve got enough room for a laptop, a tablet, and multiple other essentials thanks to a handful of interior zipper pockets. So, yes, this is a sexy bag, thank you very much!

The Best Rolling Briefcase for Travel


Alpha 3 Collection Compact 4-wheel Laptop Briefcase

A rolling briefcase is a briefcase in the same way that a flying car is a car. And we’ll admit that, personally, collectively, we’d probably opt for any other briefcase on this page, paired with some of our favorite carry-on luggage, to handle our business class needs. But with those confessions out of the way, we recognize that some of you are living that Up In the Air life, and optimization trumps vibes. So cash in those credit card points and get Tumi’s Alpha 3 Collection rolling briefcase.

It’s a softshell briefcase that holds laptops up to 15″ and lets you knock out a 2-day trade show without subjecting your spine to 12-hour days lugging presentations and paperwork. Since there’s no need to stay svelte, the Tumi brings a removable accordion folder, mesh panels, a gang of media pockets, a USB-A port (though it’s BYO battery), and enough room for a change of clothes. Maneuvering through the airport is easy, too, thanks to its 360-degree spinner wheels and a sleeve that easily attaches to your other luggage, making for a kind of rolling luggage totem pole. Of course, it passes muster as a carry-on, so you don’t have to worry about checking your work essentials. After that, your only concerns are figuring out in-flight WiFi and how to expense those in-flight whiskeys.

The Best Convertible Briefcase

Porter-Yoshida & Co.’s Tanker bag is inspired by military flight jackets: you can see it in the standard-issue sateen fabric with contrasting orange interior, which makes finding your goods easy. Visibility gets even easier: the main compartment hinges open from one side, lying flat like luggage. Technically there’s no laptop sleeve, but the slimmer zipped pocket is where you’d stash your MacBook. (We’d recommend bringing your own protective sleeve.) But we haven’t gotten to the “3Way” part of the Tanker’s name—and why we love this brief. It can go from tote to cross-body to backpack in a flash, with integrated backpack straps flipping out of a zipped pocket and clipping into place in seconds. Which makes running around town (or the terminal) a lot easier on your spine.

The Best Travel Briefcase for a Weekend Away

L.L. Bean

Stonington Daily Carry Work Bag

If you need to carry a change of clothes—maybe because work’s taking you on an overnighter, or you’re hitting the gym before clocking in—you want a bag that can handle the extra gear without looking like you dragged your weekender into an executive meeting. Bean’s hybrid is simple enough to blend in everywhere, but has enough structure to keep things looking put together. Canvas, leather handles and zip pulls, and L.L.Bean’s classic Northeastern style bring a vintage (but not old-timey) style. We’d probably opt for one of the two darker colors; they look a little more serious, and since this is untreated cotton canvas, they’ll hide the inevitable coffee spills and accumulated dirt better.

The Best Splurge-Worthy Briefcase


Goyard Ambassade briefcase

There’s a reason your favorite rappers all name-drop Goyard a dozen times an album. The French luggage and bag house deals only in absolute grails, the type designed specifically for flaunting at your side as you descend the stairs of a private jet. This soft-sided briefcase allows you to bring all that pure opulence with you into work every day, with its iconic hand-painted, coated-canvas exterior and calfskin trims practically screaming, “I’VE MADE IT!” And honestly, if you’ve hustled hard enough to afford a bag this beautiful, you really have. (Speaking of price, we should clarify: Goyard’s Ambassade is, obviously, not $0. Goyard doesn’t sell this bag online. You’ll need to call or visit a shop to get yourself hooked up. Prepare to spend four figures.)

The Best Large-and-In-Charge Briefcase

Office attire had been in the doldrums before Thom Browne came along to shift it into high-fashion territory. Of course, his brief is going to do the same. The elegant bell shape pays homage to vintage luggage, opening like a doctor’s bag so you can dig around inside easily. Brass hardware against the lightly pebbled leather, with a small hit of Browne’s signature red-white-and-blue grosgrain on the hang tag feels very now. There’s only a single zip pocket built into the lining, but acres of space in there—at eight inches front-to-back, this brief’s double the depth of almost every other briefcase option here. That means it’ll happily fit your laptop, documents, and everything else during the workweek, then swallow a couple Oxford cloth button downs and some underwear as a chic weekender bag.

Your Briefcase-Related FAQs, Answered

How to Choose the Right Briefcase for You

There are a few non-negotiables when it comes to a quality briefcase, in our eyes: A laptop sleeve, ideally padded. At least two compartments for stashing chargers and things like keys, pens, and a granola bar for the midday lull. It should close so people can’t dash off with your MacBook while you’re ordering a half-calf.

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