Author Topic: Proper business backpack  (Read 8148 times)

MgoSam

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Proper business backpack
« on: September 01, 2014, 09:07:40 AM »
Hey,

I travel a decent amount for work, and use a backpack for carrying binders, my laptop, and other work related documents. This is the same backpack I use when visiting customers or going to trade shows, and it has been brought to my attention that it looks juvenille. The owner wants me to use a rolling bag that I think is hideous, and is an absolute pain as it is too bulky to carry in one hand, and when you are traveling with two suitcases (one for clothes, another with samples), it requires getting a cart or trying to juggle them.

In short, I want something that I can carry with my shoulders that still looks professional. An attache case or briefcase would likely cause a shoulder to hurt as my bag will likely be heavy. Does anyone have any recommendations for professional looking backpacks, or perhaps a messenger bag would suffice? Any idea how much to spend as this will be out of my own pocket?

Russ

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2014, 09:13:07 AM »
lol "business backpack"
no such thing

a proper messenger bag won't look any more businesslike, but possibly a briefcase with shoulder strap would be alright. If you route the strap through the handle you can carry it on both shoulders like so: http://lifehacker.com/5902785/turn-any-messenger-bag-or-briefcase-into-a-backpack-in-an-instant

theadvicist

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2014, 09:14:09 AM »
I've never bought from them, but have often thought of it: http://www.careerbags.com/ They specialise in work appropriate bags and luggage, and I think they have some back pack options.

I don't think they're the cheapest, but I kind of think appropriate work attire is an investment (usual caveat about buying it second-hand or on sale if possible etc).

Goldielocks

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2014, 09:31:52 AM »
Check out swiss log gear. And luggage brands.

There are several brands with all black, low number of zippers and pockets available.  You may need to spend $100 though.   The CFO/ senior vps at my west coast company use them. 

I am not sure about sales samples.. Would you not have too much stuff to carry?  Enough protection for your samples?

I just saw an advert for a heys leather backpack too.

« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 10:16:47 AM by goldielocks »

Calvawt

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2014, 10:02:49 AM »
I use a black Swiss Gear backpack and so does our Chief Information Officer.  As long as it is in good shape I see nothing wrong with using a backpack over a rolling bag.  I have never had any adverse comments on it.

Left

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2014, 10:35:15 AM »
I had a rolling backpack in highschool, I didnt roll it because of the stairs and crowded halls, but because of the handlebars, it provided a good frame for the backpack. kept the things from moving around too much and gave me a solid side against back so I could carry it without problems.

not sure if it'd help you, but I like backpacks with frames now, like camping backpacks with them too

for a business one, how big of a backpack do you need? I've found some army "duffle" bags work well and can be worn like a backpack too. But I don't know how professional it looks

strongmag

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 03:23:11 PM »
I did this search a while ago. Recommend searching around on ebags.com for some of the leather/stylish backpacks they offer to get an idea of what would work for you and still look good. One of my relatives was a CEO of a public company and rocked a professional leather backpack, so I think you can find something that works.

mlipps

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2014, 03:29:01 PM »
I've been contemplating this one from LLBean for a while now:
http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/78814?page=commuter-day-pack

Metta

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2014, 03:53:35 PM »
I bought an Eaglecreek convertible backpack/rolling luggage about 20 years ago and it is still in fairly good condition despite several years of non-stop travel. Their stuff is expensive but very durable and looks reasonably professional. I love pretty much everything they make. Here is their convertible brief case that turns from briefcase to backpack:

http://shop.eaglecreek.com/convertabrief/d/1409_c_116


Moonwaves

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2014, 04:04:12 PM »
That convertible Eaglecreek one looks great. It is also possible to get rolling cases that convert to a backpack in a similar way - I have one (a Samsonite) I got years ago. But I wouldn't really recommend it for work because rolling it means the wheels get dirty and wearing it on your back after that means you end up with dirty wheel-sized smudges on your back. Unless these days they've come up with ones that have covers for the wheels to solve that problem.

Of course, it might be that they want you to get something like this nifty little number. :)

gecko10x

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2014, 05:07:58 PM »
Swiss gear laptop bag. There are a few models and they are reasonably priced (got mine from Sam's for $40) and look professional.

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2014, 07:38:07 PM »
I had the same problem and decided to keep my backpack. If someone is going to judge me for not looking business-y enough, I figure that is their problem.

I don't care for messenger bags. They look nice but are not very comfortable to walk with.


chucklesmcgee

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2014, 09:40:05 PM »
If someone is going to judge me for not looking business-y enough, I figure that is their problem.

Depending on your role in a company, that could very quickly become your problem.

MgoSam

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2014, 04:51:19 PM »
Swiss gear laptop bag. There are a few models and they are reasonably priced (got mine from Sam's for $40) and look professional.

This is what I currently have. I haven't had any complains from anyone except my company's owner. Thus far, he has been ok with me using a backpack especially as he has traveled with multiple suitcases before, but I think he would prefer something that looks less college(ish).

gecko10x

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2014, 05:55:57 PM »
Swiss gear laptop bag. There are a few models and they are reasonably priced (got mine from Sam's for $40) and look professional.

This is what I currently have. I haven't had any complains from anyone except my company's owner. Thus far, he has been ok with me using a backpack especially as he has traveled with multiple suitcases before, but I think he would prefer something that looks less college(ish).

Certainly he can think what he wants, and you may very well have to go with his opinion. FWIW, I work at a Fortune 500 company, and those type of backpacks are very common among IT and consultants that I interact with.

Left

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2014, 06:25:12 PM »
hm I just remembered this lifehacker link, back when they did diy "hacks" more often
http://lifehacker.com/5972434/waterproof-any-canvas-bag-with-wax

not sure how well it would work for a "business" look, but wouldn't it help people that carry paper/electronics if they could get wet? That was one thing I hated about highschool backpacks, it got wet when it rained...

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2014, 10:31:53 AM »
About 10 years ago I bought a Wenger Swissgear backpack.  Used the heck out of it at my last job, including international travel.  I noticed that a LOT of other business travelers use them as well.  Highly recommended.

I've seen some backpacks that can be turned sideways and carried like a messenger bag/briefcase.

unpolloloco

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2014, 10:45:10 AM »
If one (or both) of your suitcases is a roller bag, you (usually) can stack pretty much anything on top and use the bag as an impromptu cart for traversing an airport.  Especially if you add a bungee cord or similar (that can be taken off when you're anywhere near a customer).

OSUBearCub

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2014, 02:47:35 PM »
I think a great all-leather backpack with minimal futz-ery and doo-dads would fit the bill. 

Check these out, they're Canadian, wear like iron, and should patina nicely with age:
http://usa.roots.com/leather/backpacks/LeatherBackpacks,default,sc.html

domustachesgrowinhouston

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2014, 02:55:35 PM »
Any chance you could ditch the paperwork and binders?

I've converted to doing most of my "paperwork" on the computer, which allows me to travel much lighter (just a tablet, sometimes a notebook).  I can use it for spreadsheets, typing (takes a little getting used to) and even presentations.  If I'm presenting one-on-one I just use the tablet, otherwise I can hook it in to a projector or LCD.  It makes the traveling part of my trips much more enjoyable now and I don't have to worry about getting on the plane early before everyone fills the compartments up with their carry-on suitcases.

MgoSam

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2014, 03:31:31 PM »
Any chance you could ditch the paperwork and binders?


I would like to. Right now our ordering system isn't automated, so paperwork is required. For the binders, it would be far easier to just put them into a booklet, this is what we do when we mail out a catalog, but the owner is adamantly opposed to this, and since he's the one that signs the check I will do it his way.

SummerLovin

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2014, 06:42:36 PM »
It wasn't clear to me if the owner was going to foot the bill for the wheeled suitcase. If he is then I'd get one, otherwise stick to what you have.  BTW for mustachians you guys have some pretty expensive tastes!  Other that what he already has, I hadn't seen anything under $200:)

OSUBearCub

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2014, 06:46:11 PM »
It wasn't clear to me if the owner was going to foot the bill for the wheeled suitcase. If he is then I'd get one, otherwise stick to what you have.  BTW for mustachians you guys have some pretty expensive tastes!  Other that what he already has, I hadn't seen anything under $200:)

A classic, well-constructed, leather backpack will last forever.  I'm a buy it once keep it forever kind of guy for luggage.  Also, Roots is like most good retailers - you can send their luggage and bags back for repairs, refurbishment, or replacement for the life of the bag.  (But I get your point, I had to choke back some serious sticker shock before taking the plunge lol)

domustachesgrowinhouston

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2014, 06:50:31 PM »
For expensive bags, i like the idea of saddleback leather.  Not sure if i like the bags (or the price) but the back story is really neat. And from Texas!  Probably doesnt help, but its a good read.

yandz

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2014, 07:39:35 PM »
Not cheap (haven't been able to talk myself into it) but I am totally into these bags and they are convertible from backpack to briefcase.

http://www.qwstion.com/us/backpack-pacific-navy.html


mlipps

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2014, 08:26:35 PM »
It wasn't clear to me if the owner was going to foot the bill for the wheeled suitcase. If he is then I'd get one, otherwise stick to what you have.  BTW for mustachians you guys have some pretty expensive tastes!  Other that what he already has, I hadn't seen anything under $200:)

Hey, mine was only $80!!

mlipps

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2014, 08:27:00 PM »
For expensive bags, i like the idea of saddleback leather.  Not sure if i like the bags (or the price) but the back story is really neat. And from Texas!  Probably doesnt help, but its a good read.

I got my husband's wallet there last Christmas. It's pretty gorgeous.

Goldielocks

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Re: Proper business backpack
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2014, 06:27:02 PM »
I think a great all-leather backpack with minimal futz-ery and doo-dads would fit the bill. 

Check these out, they're Canadian, wear like iron, and should patina nicely with age:
http://usa.roots.com/leather/backpacks/LeatherBackpacks,default,sc.html

Ha!  I would love one of those, or something similar.. but at $268 I'm a gonna wait a while...