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Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Solo Laptop Hybrid Briefcase at Amazon
"When it’s time for the important meeting, the backpack straps tuck away inside a rear compartment."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Laptop Briefcase at Amazon
"The CoolBell has two large compartments, plus small exterior pouches that zip closed."
Best Rolling: Amazon Basics Rolling Laptop Case at Amazon
"The briefcase can fit under airplane seats and measures 17 x 14.5 x 7.5 inches."
Best Vintage: Texbo Cowhide Leather Shoulder Briefcase at Amazon
"A sturdy shoulder strap makes it easy to carry and a top grip handle is perfect for quick access."
Best for Securing Items: Alpine Swiss Expandable Briefcase at Amazon
"The interior features pen holders and pockets for a wallet or cell phone, files, as well as laptops."
Best for Style: Wowbox Messenger Satchel at Amazon
"Vintage buckles have magnetic clasps and the interior has four slip pockets."
Best Design: Meffort Messenger Briefcase at Amazon
"All sides of the bag are well-padded to secure laptops or other electronics and side pockets help keep things organized."
Best Splurge: Polare Overnight Business Briefcase at Amazon
"The well-constructed Polare can stand up to wear and tear and includes a one-year warranty."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Solo Laptop Hybrid Briefcase
The “Solo Laptop Hybrid Briefcase” is easy to tote around because it can quickly convert into a stylish backpack that’s ideal for young working professionals. Made of gray polyester fabric, the bag features sturdy zippers, three exterior pockets that zip closed, as well as a padded main compartment for 15-inch laptops, notebooks and important files. In addition, when it’s time for the important meeting, the backpack straps tuck away inside a rear compartment and can be easily clipped onto the back to create a more traditional briefcase. The backpack laptop bag measures 12 x 4 x 17 inches and weighs 2.2 pounds.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: CoolBell 17.3-Inch Laptop Briefcase
With a wallet-friendly price tag, plenty of pockets and enough space for all the modern gadgets, the “CoolBell Laptop Briefcase” is an excellent choice. Made of water-resistant nylon, the bag comes in black, grey or purple and features strengthened shockproof foam padding to protect a 17-inch laptop or other electronics. Measuring 17.9 x 13.4 x 5.7 inches, the CoolBell has two large compartments, plus small exterior pouches that zip closed. It can easily connect to a wheeled carry-on for easy transport or it can be carried over the shoulder.
Best Rolling: Amazon Basics Rolling Laptop Case
To take the weight of a briefcase off the shoulders, the “AmazonBasics Rolling Laptop Case” is an ideal choice for comfort and convenience. The bag can be rolled using a retractable handle that tucks away for use as a briefcase. An organizational pocket in the front provides easy access to small items and a padded interior pocket can hold a laptop securely. The briefcase can fit under airplane seats and measures 17 x 14.5 x 7.5 inches. It is important to note that although the briefcase is advertised as a 17-inch laptop bag, it's best used for laptops 15 inches or smaller.
Best Vintage: Texbo Cowhide Leather Shoulder Briefcase
Made of genuine thick cowhide imported from Italy, the Texbo brown leather shoulder briefcase has a rugged, yet sophisticated look with high-quality craftsmanship. The heavy duty leather can hold a 17-inch laptop and has interior pouches for smaller items such as wallets or phones (that fold flat when not in use). It measures 16.5 x 12 x 9 inches. A sturdy shoulder strap makes it easy to carry and a top grip handle is perfect for quick access. Note, however, that the coloration of the bag can come off, so be cautious when using with light clothing items.
Best for Securing Items: Alpine Swiss Expandable Briefcase
To safely secure important items, the “Alpine Swiss Expandable” black leather briefcase comes with dual locking mechanisms and durable, high quality materials. The 20 x 19 x 4.8-inch briefcase has a classic design, genuine leather and is sturdy enough to secure belongings. Perfect for important meetings, the interior features pen holders and pockets for a wallet or cell phone, files, as well as laptops. The briefcase is extremely affordable, yet still maintains premium construction and useful functionality.
Best for Style: Wowbox Messenger Satchel
Constructed from cowhide and canvas, the “Wowbox Messenger Satchel” has a trendy look that works for everyday use or important business meetings. The brown leather-trimmed bag comes in a variety of canvas color options, including coffee, gray and green. The bag is a bit smaller than some others and measures 13 x 10.5 x 1 inches and has a comfortable (adjustable) shoulder strap and carry handle. Vintage buckles have magnetic clasps and the interior has four slip pockets for pens, credit cards or gadgets, as well as a large compartment for files.
Best Design: Meffort Messenger Briefcase
For a funky, fun briefcase design, the Meffort 13-inch shoulder bag and briefcase comes in 14 different colorful patterns ranging from geometric shapes and flowers to the Eiffel Tower or Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” All sides of the bag are well-padded to secure laptops or other electronics and side pockets help keep things organized. The briefcase measures 14.5 x 3.3 x 12 inches, however, larger sizes are available that can fit a 17-inch laptop. Padded carry handles make it easy to transport and it can also comfortably fit on the handle of a carry-on bag.
Best Splurge: Polare Overnight Business Briefcase
For a classic, long-lasting briefcase made of soft, genuine leather, the "Polare Overnight Business Briefcase" is a worthwhile splurge. It's larger than many other briefcases (17.5 x 5.5 x 12 inches), but isn’t bulky. The well-constructed Polare can stand up to wear and tear and includes a one-year warranty. The briefcase has a back belt that attaches it to a carry-on luggage, a long detachable shoulder strap, silver and bronze hardware, multiple compartments for organizing, as well as padding to protect electronics.
How We Tested
We bought a top-rated travel briefcase and our reviewers tested it for 40 hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this briefcase, from its size and price to its durability. We’ve outlined the key points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a Travel Briefcase
Price If you’re always jetting off on business trips, a solid travel briefcase that holds your computer, documents, and all the other equipment you need is a worthwhile investment. We recommend evaluating any travel-related purchase with a quick cost per use estimate to figure out how much value you’ll really be getting out of it.
Post-travel use If you’re going to be spending a large chunk of change on a travel briefcase, it could be worth looking at ones that you can use when you’re back on the ground, too. Vintage-style ones, typically made from real or faux leather, can make just as much sense for everyday use.
Size From the slimmest, sleekest design to a bag that has enough storage for an overnight trip, there’s a huge variety of travel briefcases out there. We recommend buying one with no more space than you need—this is supposed to make life easier, after all, and limiting yourself to packing what you’ll actually use helps you avoid the temptation to overdo it.