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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm looking for some advice on some kind of nice-looking, but functional bag to carry a pretty heavy load (laptop, lunch, jacket--up to around 10 lbs) on my long morning walks to the office. With that sort of weight, it seems that some sort of backpack would be best. I have found that the more fashionable backpacks don't carry that sort of weight well. On the other hand, I'm going to the office and not on a backpacking trip, so a full-on day pack for hiking doesn't make sense either. Maybe something like this in black would be a compromise: https://www.rei.com/product/118789/rei-co-op-ruckpack-18-pack ?

Has anyone in this situation found a good solution?

Thanks,

rhz
 

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What price range are you shopping? The bag you reference would not be the best choice. You would be better served shopping for a backpack featuring a laptop sleeve and other design features that would accommodate you office use requirements (pads, pens, pencils, lunch, etc).
 

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I would advice something like a Samsonite or Jack Wolfskin "laptop - backpack - style" rucksack with a comfortable harness system, while retaining a more - or less official look. Probably in a dark color - dark green, navy, black. Avoid excessive details like many pockets or large logos.

Like these:
https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Wolfski...58757&sr=8-37&keywords=jack+wolfskin+backpack

https://www.amazon.com/Samsonite-UB...20&sr=1-2-catcorr&keywords=samsonite+backpack
https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Wolfski...58757&sr=8-37&keywords=jack+wolfskin+backpack
However I personally would not wear a backpack with a suit or trousers/sport coat in any case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello again.

Thanks for the responses. To answer some questions:

I can spend up to $100. I'm in my early 40's, work as an engineer for a tech startup, and dress business casual (no suit, no tie, occasional blazer or sports coat).

I was originally looking at some Timbuk2 backpacks (https://www.timbuk2.com/laptop-backpacks) : liked the aesthetics of some of them, didn't find them comfortable carrying a typical load.
 

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Many backpack nowadays have a laptop sleeve or compartment so finding the one for your laptop should not be an issue. Given the load that you need to carry for *long walk*, a backpack seems reasonable. However, the problem comes when you decide to wear tailored jackets (sports coat, blazers or suits). I just cannot suggest to people to carry a backpack with tailored jacket.

That said, you can try searching a backpack, with compartment for laptop and sufficient space for other stuff, along with a side handle so that it can be carried as a briefcase with shoulder straps. That way, you can use it as a backpack when wearing casually. When you need to carry it as briefcase, the straps for backpack can be hidden and just carry it as a typically laptop bag. That should work in your requirement.

IIRC there are equivalent leather types of such bag that serves as backpack and briefcase, but that is probably over $100. You can try searching the canvas equivalent ones.

PS: just found this over Amazon that satisfied the requirement. $50 a piece.

https://www.amazon.com/CoolBELL-Con...=1520440447&sr=1-158&keywords=laptop+backpack

There are various options for you as well.

PPS: Found other options as well.

https://www.amazon.com/Sheng-TS-Mul...eID=7141123011&psd=1&keywords=laptop+backpack

https://www.amazon.com/CoolBELL-Con...442289&sr=1-364&keywords=laptop+backpack&th=1

https://www.amazon.com/Plambag-Canv...eID=7141123011&psd=1&keywords=laptop+backpack

https://www.amazon.com/Business-Mes...=1520442352&sr=1-398&keywords=laptop+backpack

https://www.amazon.com/ELESAC-conve...442481&sr=1-573&keywords=laptop+backpack&th=1

https://www.amazon.com/Bopai-Intell...eID=7141123011&psd=1&keywords=laptop+backpack
 

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A very interesting topic to me. I work for a firm that services large law firms. I have no office - so must pack ALL of my daily work requirements (laptop, ipad, cords, notebook, pens, umbrella etc, etc, etc,). My pack is quite heavy. As I walk on average over 4 miles every work day there is NO option but to have a back pack. Long experience teaches that your shoulder will be in agony with any weight and long walking unless you use both straps to a backpack. And yet, I have to wear tailored clothing most days (suits, blazers, sportscoats). For the most part, the back packs have not ruined my shoulders on suit coats. I have a newer Hardwick that has failed - but I blame their new lightweight wool. Other older Hardwicks hold up fine. I have 15+ year old US made Banks suits that have not failed. I would suggest as you buy new coats to go soft shoulder or natural shoulder. I think there is less stress on the padding etc.
As to bags, 2 years ago my employer kindly provided me with a fairly pricy blue back pack from Jack Spade. It fits everything, and I cant believe how often my customers (mostly women :) stop and ask about the bag. It's over your price limit, (retail $198) but there may be similar options. Tumi has packs I'd consider.
 

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I understand the necessity of backpacks for those that must walk long distances. In my neck of the woods, everyone drives and only walks from the parking lot into their office building.

And every time I see these “tech” guys walking into my building in their jeans, T-shirt’s, and flip flops (yes, even in the winter) and carrying their backpacks, it gives me the impression that they are all 8 years old and on their way to school. Instead of the 35 year old “professionals” they are supposed to be.
 

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I understand the necessity of backpacks for those that must walk long distances. In my neck of the woods, everyone drives and only walks from the parking lot into their office building.

And every time I see these "tech" guys walking into my building in their jeans, T-shirt's, and flip flops (yes, even in the winter) and carrying their backpacks, it gives me the impression that they are all 8 years old and on their way to school. Instead of the 35 year old "professionals" they are supposed to be.
That's really odd. I never see tech, or any other, guys wearing flip-flops into a business environment, and I work in Florida. Never. What sort of building is this, in which you work?
 

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Do you really need to put the jacket in the bag? I think that requirement is pushing you into an unecessarily large bag.

My advice is to wear the jacket, sling a medium-sized messenger bag over your shoulder, and carry a small lunch bag in your hand (brown bag or reusable) if it doesn't fit in the messenger bag. Backpacks in town here are for students, tourists, and the homeless. I'm kidding... somewhat. (Some commuters have a genuine need or just "need" to "EDC" a whole bunch of crap, haha.) Backpacks are a definite nuisance if you're riding on crowded BART trains or other public transportation.

For better or for worse, local tech worker demand (casual dress code + lots of money) means we have plenty of locally made choices when it comes to casual bags (and jeans).

Timbuk2 (Made in USA line), Rickshaw Bagworks, Chrome, and Mission Workshop all make bags locally out of technical materials and are above average in quality. In some cases, you can even visit the factory and have yours custom made. I think Triple Aught Design (TAD) makes their tactical bags ("EDC, man!") here too.

I'm assuming that you are at a typical tech startup where the workers are dressed just like local Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Uber, etc. employees. Depending on your role and the company you work for, you might want to have a more traditional leather bag or briefcase.

Then there's Filson, etc. So many choices!

By the way, many hiking backpacks sacrifice durability for extra light weight and won't hold up to daily commuting needs, as crazy as that sounds. Use caution if you go that route.
 

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Be aware that a backpack will ruin your sportcoat / blazers in very quick fashion. From a function standpoint, you may want one. But beware how often you wear it on top of your nicer clothing.
You know, I read this, but I do worse by carring a not particularly light briefcase on a strap, cross body messenger bag style, every day to work, and I've never had anything ruined by it. I am in a sport coat probably 9 out of 10 days work days.

Maybe I've been lucky? Maybe I'm carrying it at just the right angle?
 

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That's really odd. I never see tech, or any other, guys wearing flip-flops into a business environment, and I work in Florida. Never. What sort of building is this, in which you work?
I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan... home to the University of Michigan. I work in what is supposed to be a Class A professional office building. Merrill Lynch and Oracle are tenants here... along with some smaller tech firms which have no dress code. Some of these people look as though they just rolled out of bed, jumped in their car, and came to work.
 

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You know, I read this, but I do worse by carring a not particularly light briefcase on a strap, cross body messenger bag style, every day to work, and I've never had anything ruined by it. I am in a sport coat probably 9 out of 10 days work days.

Maybe I've been lucky? Maybe I'm carrying it at just the right angle?
Based on my own personal mistakes early in my work career and the number of articles from reputable sources that you will find if you google "...will wearing a backpack or shoulder strap will ruin your suit jacket", YES I would say you are lucky.

https://putthison.com/post/167019636073/a-bespoke-tailor-on-why-you-shouldnt-wear
 

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As I mentioned, this thread fascinates me. I suppose I'm hijacking the poster's thread - but I'm curious what the esteemed members would suggest to those of us (or perhaps it's just me :) ) who wear tailored clothing to work, walk 3-6 miles every work day, and have to carry a load of over 12 pounds everywhere - all the time. An attache or carry bag will rip my arm/shoulder off. I've learned that. Wheeled bags fail very quickly (and make you walk funny - which is hard over 3 -6 miles). I agree that packs are not the best thing for suits, though most of mine have survived the ordeal. But I have yet to hit on an alternative. Perhaps a Sherpa?
 

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As I mentioned, this thread fascinates me. I suppose I'm hijacking the poster's thread - but I'm curious what the esteemed members would suggest to those of us (or perhaps it's just me :) ) who wear tailored clothing to work, walk 3-6 miles every work day, and have to carry a load of over 12 pounds everywhere - all the time. An attache or carry bag will rip my arm/shoulder off. I've learned that. Wheeled bags fail very quickly (and make you walk funny - which is hard over 3 -6 miles). I agree that packs are not the best thing for suits, though most of mine have survived the ordeal. But I have yet to hit on an alternative. Perhaps a Sherpa?
Jacket off, backpack on, jacket carried over shoulder. I have excess wear on a blazer from my seatbelt.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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