If you want to impress someone, it never hurts to walk confidently into a room carrying a sharp briefcase by your side. Nothing screams ‘I have it together’ more than a briefcase. Whether you are going on a job interview or meeting a client for lunch, you are sure to leave an impression if you have the right look.
Once upon a time, briefcases were primarily used to carry important documents, contracts, notepads, pens, and pencils. However, within the past 20 years, the needs of this piece of business gear has shifted and now carries electronic devices (such as laptops and charging cables). As the needs of business people changed, so has the design of the briefcase.
Modern briefcases aren’t just used by lawyers and gangsters (as movies would lead you to believe). Anyone that needs to transport all of their important gear from one place to the next (such as teachers, students, writers, artists, salespeople, or musicians) can benefit from a well-designed briefcase.
There are tons of different styles out there, and we have sifted through many different brands to find the perfect options that are stylish, impressive, practical, and durable. Below, we have compiled a list of some of the best briefcases on the market, so that you can go to your next client meeting with style and confidence.
- MCKLEIN LEATHER ATTACHE CASE
- Classic design
- YTONET LAPTOP BRIEFCASE
- Water-resistant shell
- SOLO GRAND CENTRAL ATTACHÉ
- 5 year warranty
10 Best Briefcases
McKlein Reagan Leather Attache Case
This hard shell case comes in black, brown, and dark brown, and each color has a rich sheen and texture that looks like it costs a lot more than it actually does. Each case has gold accents along the top where the handle and locks are, and the inside is lined with a light gray material that has black accents.
Dual locks make this case incredibly secure, and easy to use. Past users haven’t had any complaints about difficulty with the locks- which can sometimes be a problem with these types of briefcases. The interior has a large central compartment that is perfect for larger binders or office equipment, and the upper compartment has sectioned off spaces for small items such as pens and pencils, and can safely store important contracts and documents.
Like any hardshell model, this is designed to take a punch. With the addition of dual locks, you can feel secure in knowing that all of your important documents and devices are not only safe from becoming damaged but are also safe from potential thieves who begin to salivate that the mere sight of a quality briefcase.
This case is going to cost you a little bit more than some of the more reasonable and affordable options on this list, but it is nowhere near the highest price point when it comes to briefcases (which can climb surprisingly high). It will most likely set you back the same amount of money you would spend taking two of your favorite clients out to a nice steakhouse for an evening.
If you are looking for a briefcase that will make you look like Don Draper when you roll up to your next meeting, this is the perfect selection for your style. It’s sharp, durable, and doesn’t carry the high price tag that some of the higher end briefcases carry.
- Classic design
- Offered in three different colors
- Will hold legal size documents
- Slightly more expensive than other models on this list
- Some users have problems with the hinges staying open after prolonged use
Ytonet Laptop Briefcase
This briefcase is available in two different designs. One design is a solid black with black accents, and the second design is black with sleek gray panels and gray accents. It has tons of pockets to ensure that there is a perfect place for all of your important devices and papers. This briefcase is a perfect marriage of style and functionality.
The exterior of this unit is coated with a water-resistant material so that if you are walking to a meeting in the rain, you won’t have to worry about all of your gadgets getting wet in the rain. It has a front pocket and a rear pocket that is ideal for contracts and magazines, and a padded, shock resistant layer of foam that is ideal for tablets, laptops, and cell phones. It has a comfortable and padded shoulder strap for short trips, and an elastic band along that back that is perfect for affixing it to the handles on a piece of luggage.
The exterior of this case is made from a canvas material, so it’s not as safe as hard briefcases. However, the interior is designed with the idea that it is being used to tote expensive devices, and the shock-resistant interior padding is designed to keep your things safe for those coffeeless mornings that you forget your case on the roof of your car and you drive away.
What makes this briefcase fantastic is that is offered at an incredible price point. This product will set you back around the same amount that you would spend to take a client out for a nice lunch.
If you want a briefcase that combines the professional design of some of the best briefcases on the market, but also has the functionality of a messenger bag, this is an excellent option that is a great deal.
- Shock absorbing interior materials
- Water resistant shell
- Not big enough to carry a MacBook Pro
- Some users report problems with the zippers
Solo Grand Central Attaché
Many feel that you cannot perfect for the classic design of the sharp black briefcase, and this model adheres to that idea. The hard exterior shell is covered in a matte black material with two seam lines running up the center and has a thick classic handle.
This vintage style briefcase has all of the features that you would expect from this type of style. It has two combination locks that run along the top that are easy to turn and pop open once the correct numbers are lined up. The main compartment of this model has a large open space on the bottom that is great for larger items such as tablets or binders. The top compartment has organized slots that are designed to hold two pens, a smartphone, smaller notepads or a calculator, and the top section is great for binders and books.
The hard exterior shell makes this model really able to be thrown around and take a punch. Unlike some of the soft shell models, the interior doesn’t have any padding or slotted pockets, so if you don’t fill the interior with products, they have a tendency to rattle around a little bit.
This briefcase is offered at an incredible value, and it will likely cost you the same amount as you would spend to take a client out for a nice lunch. In addition to the incredible price point, Solo also claims that their products are ‘Unstoppable’, and will refund or replace your product up to 5 years in there is any reason you are unhappy with the quality.
If you want a hard shell briefcase that sports that classic style but doesn’t carry the same heavy price tag as some of the other high-end briefcases on the market, this is an excellent choice so that you can invest more money in your business, and less money in office tools.
- Dual locks
- Classic design
- 5 year warranty
- Some users have difficulty with the locks
- Reports that the sometimes the hinges lose tension and will not stay open
AmazonBasics Laptop Bag
The design of this briefcase looks as if a classic hardshell design merged with a messenger bag. You get all of the added benefits of a messenger bag- ease to carry, and endless pockets- with the sharp exterior look of a hardshell design. It is only available in one color: black.
This case will be able to comfortably hold most size laptops (the dimensions of this product are 14.7 x 2.2 x 11.2), and also has additional pockets to be used to store tablets, pens and pencils, notepads, and binders. It has a comfortable shoulder strap if you perfect to carry this model as a shoulder or messenger bag, but it also has the classic briefcase handles if you prefer to carry it that way (and the shoulder strap is able to be easily detached).
One of the best features about this particular briefcase is that it is made of incredibly lightweight and durable material. It doesn’t have a hard shell like some of the others, and the interior lining doesn’t have any extra padding for an extra layer of protection for electronic devices. If you intend on using this case for your laptop or tablet, you will have a be a little more careful with it than you would some of the other models.
It is no wonder that the AmazonBasics is also one of the most affordable briefcases out there on the market, while still offering incredible design and materials. The cost of this product will run you about the same as it would cost you to buy yourself and a client a nice cup of coffee. As is to be expected with a company like Amazon, if you are not satisfied with it in any way up to 1 year, you can return it for a full and easy refund.
If you are looking for a briefcase that is a little lighter on both your shoulders and your pocketbook, this is an excellent choice. It has a sharp and professional design, and it light enough that you can really pack it full without breaking your back.
- Brand recognition
- Some users report that the shoulder strap has a tendency to unsnap while in use
- Some users with there was a little bit more padding on the bottom
Alpine Swiss Briefcase
This model is only available in one color: black. The outside shell is covered in a matte black material that has two seam lines running up the middle of each side. The handle and locks are accents with gold hardware, and it has four metal protective feet at the bottom to prevent it from toppling over when not in use.
In addition to having a hard outside shell to protect your belongings from damage, this model also comes with a sturdy set of dual locks to keep your important things safe from prying eyes. Often, users run into problems with locks that stick, or locks that just never lock in the first place- but not with this model. Many of the past users have found that these locks are solid, and make a pleasant clicking sound when unlocked. It also has a large center compartment for larger items, and a separate compartments on the top for miscellaneous office supplies.
Hard shell briefcases are known for being able to really take a beating, and not becoming dented or looking worn. The metal feet along the bottom ensure that when placed on its side it won’t topple over, and will stay in place by your side even on a bumpy subway or train ride.
Sometimes hard shell classic briefcases can become quite costly, but not in this case. The cost of this model will run you about the same amount as it would most like set you back if you took a client out for a nice steak dinner. Plus, Alpine Swiss is so confident that you will love their product that they also offer a 1 year money back guarantee if, for any reason, you find that this item doesn’t meet or exceed your expectations.
If you are in the market for a great suitcase that makes you look stylish like Don Draper, but has the price tag more suited to a Michael Scott- this in an excellent option to bring to your next business meeting or out of town conference.
- Classic design
- Functional locks
- Organized internal compartments
- Some users find it to be a little heavy
- Some find that the latch is hard to close
Samsonite Leather Briefcase
If you are looking for a case that is a little bit more modern than the classic hard shell designs but also want it to be just as durable and strong- this is a great solution. It has a thick but soft leather outer shell that comes in just one color: glossy black. It has very comfortable handles along the sides and also has a detachable shoulder strap for those times you want to wear it like a messenger bag.
At a glance, this model looks like a classic hard shell briefcase, but upon closer inspection, you can see it have all of the zippered pockets and compartments that one looks for when shopping for a soft shell case. It has two zippers on the front and on that back that are great for storing items that you need quick access to- such as phones, plane tickets, and wallets. The interior is sectioned off into different compartments to store your laptop, tablets, binders, and contracts all separately to keep you organized. It also has the ability to be expanded outwards so that you can carry even more stuff.
The leather that composes this bag is incredibly tough and can take quite a beating. The zippers are tough and very few past users have run into any problems with the zippers- such as snagging or splitting. It weighs in at just over 3 pounds, making it lightweight yet tough- a perfect combination for a briefcase.
This briefcase is a little bit more expensive than some of the other models that made this list- but this is nowhere near the most expensive case on the market. Given the brand recognition of Samsonite- this is an excellent price for a trusted brand that uses the highest quality materials.
If buying name brand products is something that is important to you, but you aren’t willing to pay top dollar for one of the more expensive models out there on the market- this is an excellent compromise that will likely last you for many appointments, conferences, and out of town meetings.
- Brand recognition
- Made from Genuine Leather
- Doesn’t lock
- A tad more expensive than some of the other making this list
- Some find that the leather is a little too hard
RoadPro Aluminum Briefcase
Design is the name of the game when it comes to this model. It sports a sharp silver aluminum frame that doesn’t look like many of the other models out there on the market. The hardware of this unit is also silver, but with black accents as well.
The interior of this case is lined with a soft gray material with a simple design. The main compartment is able to hold larger items such as binders, file folders, and tablets- and possibly smaller laptops. The top of the case is lined with matte black material with snaps that can hold calculators, pens and pencils, and other smaller items that you wouldn’t want rolling around down in the main compartment. It also has dual locks at the top to ensure that all of your important documents are safe from prying eyes.
Aluminum is one tough material, and this case can stand up to whatever it is that you can throw at it. Some past users have found that over time, the edges can become a little dinged up, but that in no way affect the competence of this unit.
One would assume a hard shell model such as this one would be a little bit more expensive than some of the others like it on the market- but that’s where they would be wrong. This model is incredibly affordable, and will likely only set you back the same amount as it would take a client out to a nice afternoon lunch.
If you want to pick up something a little different that perhaps reflects you are a little more modern and sleek than some of your other coworkers, this is a great briefcase to conquer such a task- and it is able to do so without putting any unnecessary strain on your wallet, or on your back.
- Modern design
- Dual locks
- Edges can become dented over time
- Some users have found the interior panels become dislodged with continued use
The design of this bag is simple and sleek, and it is only available in one color: black. It has comfortable handles on the top, but it also has a padded shoulder strap that is able to be attached whenever you are going to be traveling on foot for a while (like through an airport) and you need something that is going to take the weight off of your back a little bit.
When it comes to the Taygeer Briefcase- pockets is the name of the game. This case has so many pockets on the outside as well as the inside that it would almost be impossible to be unorganized when using this product. The interior also unzips along the side to provide an additional 1.2 inches of storage space for those times you need to pretty much pack up your entire office and bring it along with you.
The fabric that this model is composed of is water resistant, which means you don’t have to worry about the status of all of your important documents and devices on the rare occasion that you stuck in a rainstorm. Sometimes this style of bags can be faulty because the removable shoulder strap isn’t very durable. The clips for this case are made from a sturdy metal to ensure that your shoulder strap is always attached to your bag, no matter how full you may have packed it.
For as tough and durable this bag is, the price simply cannot be beaten. This bag will likely set you back about the same amount of money that you may spend on taking one of your favorite clients out for a nice lunch at a diner.
If you were looking for an affordable case to lug around all of your heavy office gear while you are out of the office for the afternoon, or out at a conference, this is a great option to get all of your tools safely from point A to point B, and won’t break the bank while getting there.
- Water resistant materials
- Lots of pockets
- No locking mechanism
- Some users claim it initially has a distinct chemical smell
- Some past users claim should strap digs into shoulder
Lifewit Tactical Briefcase
This briefcase is designed like a tank. It is a little bit bulkier than some of the other models on this list, but that’s just because it’s made to carry just about anything you would ever need when working away from the office. It only comes in one color: black. It has handles along the top the velcro together, and a comfortable shoulder strap when you need to bring it along on longer trips away.
Pockets, pocket, pockets. This case has the most pockets out of the other options on this list. The exterior pockets aren’t just for holding magazines or passports- they are designed to hold bigger items such as snacks, bottles of water, or calculators. The interior is split into two compartments. The first one is designed to hold all of your devices securely in place, such as tablets or laptops. The second compartment is great for books and binders, or it could be used for a toiletry bag and a change of clothes if you are on an overnight business trip and did not want to check a bag at the airport.
The materials used to construct this case is coated with a water-repellent substance, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your devices or your documents if you happen to get caught in a rainstorm. It also has a strap on the back, so it is able to be affixed to a suitcase and rolled through the airport with ease.
You are going to a little bit more for this soft shell case than you would for others on this list, but the quality of materials and the overall carrying capacity makes it well worth the little bit more.
If you need a briefcase that you can load up just about the entirety of your office into before hitting the road- and not spend an arm and a leg- this will be a welcome addition to your already fast-paced life you undoubtedly lead.
- Water repellant
- Tons of storage space
- Some complaints that the shoulder strap isn’t very comfortable
The design of this case is simple, and it only comes in one available color: black. All of the accents and the zippers on this product are also black. The front panel is a has a small place to store smaller items, as well as a flat zipper to store things such as boarding passes or passports.
The best part about this case is that it has tons of space to hold all of your work tools, and places to hold things that aren’t for work, and it is able to do this while still offering a sleek and compact design. The main compartment is separated into three sections that are really great for keeping all of your different tools organized. You will have to put in a lot of extra effort to remain unorganized while using this product.
There’s no reason to panic for the fate of your documents and devices with this case- the exterior is coated with a water-resistant material that makes it a great choice if you happen to live in an area of the country that gets a lot of rain.
Considering the price of many of the other soft shell cases on the market, this particular brand falls right in the middle of the road. It is not the most expensive unit out there, but if far from being the least expensive. Considering the amount of room and all of the pockets, this comes with a fantastic deal.
If you are in need of a case to schlep all of your work supplies around, this is an excellent choice because of all of the pockets that is has, and how it is able to keep everything separate and organized.
- Lots of storage and pockets
- Some find the shoulder strap to be uncomfortable
- Not enough small to medium sealable compartments
The Criteria We Used to Find the Best Briefcases
We want you to arrive at your next business meeting or conference in style, and with all of your important necessities easily organized at your size for easy access. With so many different styles, brands, and styles of briefcases- we had to sort through a lot of different brands to weed out the best of the best. While it is almost impossible to mess up the exterior design- cases that didn’t serve much functional purpose were automatically ejected from consideration. There were a number of criteria that we used when selecting the best bags out there to make sure that they would exceed all of your needs.
Briefcases can go from affordable to painfully expensive in the blink of an eye. The most affordable cases out there start around the same price as you would spend on a nice lunch for two, and work their way up to the price of a used car. While it would be nice to think that we all lived in a world where everyone could afford to carelessly drop that much money on a product designed for carrying office gear- it’s most likely not the case. When we selected products for this list, we tried to keep the prices reasonable while keeping the quality good. While you won’t find us recommending any crocodile skin briefcases- there are a few on here that are made from genuine leather that won’t completely break the bank they way some of the others out there can.
Looks are important when it comes to selecting a good briefcase. You want something that will keep all of your office gear safe- but how you look sets the first impression to clients, coworkers, and bosses- and there is no such thing as a second first impression. Everyone has a different personal style- some are more drawn to classic looks, while others like to stay a little more trendy. We tried to make selections that would appeal to everyone, while also maintaining functionality.
The mark of a really great briefcase is one that can keep you just as organized away from your desk as you are sitting at your desk. One way of achieving this is by sectioning off the main compartment into different sections so that you have a place for your laptop or tablet, a place for all of your important documents, and smaller pockets that can be used for pens and pencils and other miscellaneous items. We tried to make selections that had a lot of different compartment and functional pockets, but while still looking sleek and sharp.
Durability is important because accidents do happen- and the last thing that you want is a cracked laptop screen. Hardshell cases are really able to take a beating to protect its contents, but softer models do not have this level of protection. When selecting soft shell cases, we tried to find one that had added layers of protection for laptops– such as additional fabrics designed for shock absorption. Additionally, we wanted to make sure that we selecting cases that were resilient to various weather conditions. While you are most likely not going to be holding an important meeting in the middle of the woods, you might, however, run into a rainstorm while walking down the sidewalk into the building. We liked to pick products that had fabrics that were coated with water-resistant fabric so the next time you get caught in the rain walking into a building you won’t have to worry about all of your devices getting wet and becoming water damaged.
Other Factors to Consider
You can take your time when finding the perfect case for you. Sure, it is designed to serve a functional purpose, but it is also designed to set an impression to all of the people that you will be meeting in all of your business endeavors. If you find yourself to be more of a classic business person- then a hard shell briefcase might be the thing to complete your look. If you are a little more casual and a little more modern, you might find that the soft shell cases are a perfect fit for you.
Above all else, however, functionality is key here. Take a moment to consider what you will be using it for. If you often worry about prying eyes sifting through your important documents, a hardshell with a set of dual locks may help you sleep easy a night. If you are someone who just really struggles with staying organized, a case that has an overabundance of pockets- such as the Lifewit Tactical Briefcase- might really be a benefit to you. Additionally, if you are someone that has to travel a lot for business, you might benefit from a briefcase that is a little bit bigger than most so that you can also pack a change of clothes and a toiletry bag.
Sometimes you just need to unshackle yourself from your desk- and if you have a laptop there is really no reason that you have to stay cooped up inside, especially when the weather starts getting warm. If you are finding that you are going a little stir crazy sitting in front of your computer monitor day after day, it might be time to pack up your office gear into a briefcase and head outside. You might be amazed at how much a little bit of fresh air and sunshine can really help turn around your attitude. Just make sure that you have all of the paperwork that you need, and a fully charged laptop before heading out for the day.
A good briefcase is like having a well-organized assistant. Take your time in your search for the perfect one that fits your needs, and we are sure that you will be thankful that you did.
Q: Who uses briefcases?
Contrary to what you may believe, they are not just used by gangsters to transport big stacks of money or big important CEOs. If your work or hobbies require that you utilize laptops, tablets, textbooks, binders, or any type of office supply- and you want to take that work on the road, a good briefcase will help you achieve that and keep you organized. Briefcases are designed to perform two distinct tasks: to help keep you organized whenever you have to step away from your office but need to continue to work, and also make you look like a sharp and savvy business person.
Q: How much do briefcases usually cost?
The price of briefcases out there on the market varies wildly. Some will only cost you about the same price as you would spend on a couple of magazines at the airport, while some of the higher end models can rival the cost of what you probably spent on your very first beat-up used car. Why are there briefcases that are so expensive? Well, think about why some women’s purses are more expensive than others. Some of the reasons are because of the brand recognition- many of the same top brands for women’s purses- such as Fendi and Gucci- also dabble in the world of briefcases. Another reason they can be so much more expensive is that they are made from high quality and rare materials such as alligator and crocodile skin.
Q: Is there such a thing as an out of style briefcase?
There is really no such thing as an out of style briefcase. Selecting the right one for you is all a matter of personal style and taste. If your personal style reflects a more classic look, you might find yourself more drawn to the vintage style briefcases that look like they would be carried by someone like Don Draper. And there is nothing wrong with looking like Don Draper- no matter what year that it is. The more modern designs that are made from softer materials and look like messenger bags are designed for the businessperson that likes to look modern and up to date- typically an early adopter when it comes to technology. No matter what your style- you will never look bad when carrying a briefcase.
Q: What’s the difference between a briefcase and an attache case?
While sifting through all of the different styles of briefcases, you might have stumbled across a few attache cases, and likely wondered what the difference between the two was. The answer to that question is that there is little difference between the two. They are both designed to carry papers, books, and laptops, and they generally have the same rectangular design. The point in which they differ is how they are organized. While a briefcase has a central large compartment, and attache case has two separate compartments that are closed via a flap with a snap.
Q: What is a messenger bag?
Messenger bags are something that is recently coming into style within recent years. They don’t really live in the same circle as briefcases and attache cases because they are considered to be more casual. They first become popular in the original Pony Express days, and were used by- you guessed it- messengers and postal workers. They are typically worn on one shoulder and crosses the body to sit just below the opposite hip. Today, they are used the same way briefcases are used- to transport books, documents, and tablets- but they portray a far more relaxed and casual impression.
Q: Should I buy a messenger bag or a briefcase?
Due to the fact that they both serve the same function, you have to then look at where you will be using it and around what type of company. If you need to portray a sharp and professional look to your coworkers, bosses, and clients- a briefcase is the way to go. If you are a college student, the fun, and relaxed high school teacher, or just someone that likes to carry their business gear with them wherever they go- you might find messenger bags are more suited for you.
Q: What is better, a hardshell or a softshell case?
Hardshell briefcases portray a more classic feel, and typically have locking mechanisms at the top. If you are carrying important documents or big stacks of cash that you want to remain safe from prying eyes or thieves- hardshell is probably the way to go. The only downside to the hardshell cases is that if your laptop or tablet doesn’t fit perfectly inside, it has a tendency to slide around a bit- which can be problematic. Softshell cases usually don’t have any locking mechanisms, but they typically have compartments that are designed primarily for laptops- meaning they have shock absorbent material to keep your expensive devices safe if you happen to drop it.