For those men that work in a corporate office, it’s easy to succumb to the norms of traditional business attire. From the dark suit to the briefcase, little has changed since smoking was permitted at desks.
We’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. Done well, an on-trend backpack can be a practical, comfortable and effortless bag choice for the nine-to-five grind. But you need to get your choice right – think premium fabric options in muted colours – in order to stay the right side of professional.
Here are ten office-worthy backpacks that won’t land you in an awkward disciplinary.
1. Miansai Harbour Canvas & Leather Backpack
Miansai may be known for its jewellery, but this Miami-based brand’s bag designs are just as covetable.
This smart yet simple backpack – designed exclusively for Mr Porter – has a vintage schoolboy feel but is definitely built for the modern day, with a protective sleeve for a laptop, plus plenty of additional space to store a portfolio and those all-important documents.
Available at Mr Porter, priced £570.
2. Mismo Backpack In Eyan & Cuoio
Mismo describes its bags as the “ultimate personal companion to the urban sophisticate”, and the Danish label continues to turn out some of the very best in modern luggage to back up the claim.
This grey backpack is a fine example, crafted from water repellent linen and finished with luxurious leather accents.
Available at END Clothing, priced £339.
3. River Island Grey Roll Top Satchel Backpack
This grey and black roll-top backpack from River Island offers a dose of Scandinavian cool at a fraction of the price of other brands.
The contrasting textures and contemporary shape look as smart as any other on the market, with its large capacity ideal for carrying all that’s needed to get through the day.
Available at River Island, priced £35.
4. Reiss Giani Leather Backpack
Reiss’ black leather Giani backpack transforms the standard functional piece into something with a little extra.
Crafted from full-grained leather and finished with silver hardware, it comes with numerous pockets to store your daily essentials and adjustable shoulder straps for a comfortable wear.
Available at Reiss, priced £195.
5. Paul Smith Black Canvas Travel Backpack
A backpack for work doesn’t have to mean going hell for leather; especially when the likes of Paul Smith are turning out sleek canvas styles like this.
The standout features are its mesh back with zip fastening compartment to keep things accessible without being on show, black jacquard stripe lining, plus four slip pockets and two pen holders – because this bag means business.
Available at Paul Smith, priced £315.
6. ASOS Backpack In Navy & Charcoal With Buckle Straps
Perfect for the gent that cycles into work, this smart canvas backpack has it all: secure straps, top grab handle, wipe clean body and a lightweight shell.
It also brings a subtle touch of colour to the mix, but remains subtle enough to pair with a shirt and trousers.
Available at ASOS, priced £22.
7. Sandqvist Jones Backpack
It’s not just clothing that can be classed as versatile, Sandqvist’s Jones backpack can flit between formal and casual at ease.
One moment this Swedish brand’s design is a backpack and the next a messenger or a briefcase, providing you with three smart bags in one.
Sophisticated branding finishes the look, adding an elegant touch to this hard-working and adaptable piece.
Available at ASOS, priced £219.
8. The Cambridge Satchel Company Expedition Backpack
Step away from the standard black and brown colourways with a rich oxblood option, like this classic design from British bag manufacturer The Cambridge Satchel Company.
Sold online as well as in its newly opened men’s only store in London, the Expedition model has been hand-crafted in high quality sahara leather and features nickel push locks, adjustable webbing straps and a front pocket.
Available at The Cambridge Satchel Company, priced £215.
9. Zara Combined Backpack
This compact example from Spanish retail giant Zara features a slimline, structured silhouette that is ideal for matching with a sharp suit.
Rendered in textured beige cotton and finished with tan leather-look accents, the stripped-back design is sure to draw compliments from co-workers.
Available at Zara, priced £49.99.
10. Rains Backpack
This practical and hard-wearing backpack from Rains has been crafted in a durable waterproof fabric and features pared-down branding and strong hardware.
In short, it’s everything you would expect from the Danish brand, who produces some of the very best rain coats on the market.
Available exclusively at Urban Outfitters, priced £75.