The modern office is getting more casual by the minute. If anything, people are so used to working from home that the old office-style rules no longer apply.
Often, it's out with the suit and in with smart-casual clothes like jeans and a blazer. But many men still carry an old-fashioned attaché briefcase to work. That's a great look when wearing a suit and tie – but with smart-casual officewear? It just looks weird.
So what's a stylish guy to do? Isn't wearing a backpack with a suit one of the cardinal sins of men's style? Not anymore – enter the business backpack for men.
#1. Why Wear A Business Backpack To Work?
If there's one thing that should come above all else when considering buying bags for men, it's comfort and safety. If a bag will cause your body damage through continued use, that's not a bag you want to spend your hard-earned cash on.
Backpacks Allow For Even Distribution Of Weight
Unlike a briefcase, the carrying weight is distributed evenly across the shoulders and back when wearing a business backpack for men.
A great thing about business backpacks is their adjustable straps, allowing the wearer to balance weight just right according to their natural posture.
The wearer of a business backpack for men can raise and lower the pack's height on the back and vary the pressure felt on either shoulder using the strap adjusters.
There is also the option to pull down on the straps with your hands – distributing the weight of the pack to your arms and your shoulders, which will help provide comfort and stability while walking.
Backpacks Carry A Bigger Load
Typically, backpacks have a greater carrying volume than your average briefcase.
The purpose a backpack holds significantly influences the amount it can carry. However, most everyday-use business backpacks hold 20 liters to 35 liters.
A backpack on the smaller end of this range would be sufficient for casual use, whereas the larger 35-liter packs are designed more with longer trips in mind.
Waist straps help lighten the shoulders' burden by taking on a lot of the backpack's weight.
For those gents that don't want to carry their business backpacks all the time, the rolling backpack might be the bag for you. These bags feature wheels at the base and an extending handle that allows the wearer to push or pull his business backpack rather than carry it on his body.
Men looking to invest in an excellent business backpack should look to pay upwards of $200 on their bag – that way, you can pretty much guarantee superior quality and comfort.
Ultimately, the price of these more expensive business backpacks depends on:
- Material – Strength and technical qualities like waterproofing.
- Capacity – If a bag holds a lot, it can cost a lot.
- Weight – the lighter, the better. Thin and robust materials cost more to produce and design.
- Frame Design – Does the bag have an internal frame that will help support its contents? If so, how strong is that frame?
- Accessories Attachment – Top-end backpacks will have dedicated pockets and clamps for holding your belongings.
Overall, the business backpack for men is the cheaper style of formal bag – costing anywhere between $30 and $350 for a basic fashion bag.
However, let's not be fooled into thinking a cheaper price point means lower quality or less luxury. A man can get a luxury-looking backpack that has more functionality and versatility than a briefcase – all for a fraction of the price.
For the modern businessman, this means you can look stylish and professional without spending a premium on an outdated briefcase
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#2. Business Backpack Construction
Traditionally, backpacks would fall into one of four categories:
- Frameless – a backpack with no supporting frame.
- External frame – a backpack with external frame support.
- Internal frame – a backpack with internal frame support.
- Bodypack – worn on the chest.
Backpacks aren't a cheap fashion accessory anymore. Even top-end designers like Louis Vuitton sell backpacks – after all, the super-rich need a convenient way to carry their stuff around all day too!
Examples of functional business backpacks include those specifically designed with padding to hold camera gear or expensive musical instruments.
Luxury vs. Functional Material
A luxury business backpack is often made from high-quality leather. In short, this means two things:
- Your bag will have a very professional aesthetic suited to office environments.
- Your bag will last a long time as leather is durable.
However, as we all know – leather bags for men come at a price.
In general, leather backpacks tend to cost more than nylon or canvas backpacks.
Manufacturers intentionally design their products with higher-end materials to add value to their products. Top-end business backpacks also typically leverage great quality metal buckles and clasps or even lockable mechanisms, which provide better security for the bag's contents.
If you're in the market for a slightly cheaper business backpack, look for one made of synthetic materials. Modern-day science has meant that synthetic fabrics are now as strong (if not stronger!) than luxurious leather.
A company can use many different synthetic materials to manufacture bags for men, but typically most manufacturers will use one of the following.
- Nylon – made from a broad range of plastics reformed into solid fibers.
- Polyester – plastic-based and weather-proof.
- Polypropylene – it's less common to see business backpacks made of Polypropylene. However, some manufacturers consider it their material of choice.
- Canvas – the most traditional fabric option for backpack manufacturers to use. Modern canvas is made from different fibers – resulting in a heavy and hard-wearing material.
#3. Backpacks and Briefcases (Why Backpacks Are Better!)
Backpacks Are Comfortable And Versatile
Appearance and function are a big deal in knowing how appropriate bags for men are for different situations.
When we think of a business backpack for men, we typically imagine a bag that is more professional-looking in its aesthetic.
The new business-style backpack typically features a solid design made of high-end fabrics. Businessmen tend to carry this form of backpack to maintain a professional appearance suited to their work environment while also benefitting from the versatility of this style of bag.
We live in a time where laptops, tablets, cables, and electronic gear dominate the office space. Oftentimes a man has to carry this to and from work every day – a briefcase just isn't cut out for that kind of cumbersome commute.
When it comes down to it, backpacks offer superior support and protection and allow a man to comfortably carry his work gear without straining his body.
In fact, in recent years, the business backpack has come to replace many different styles of bags traditionally worn by the business class of man.
Briefcases Don't Distribute Weight Equally
Although a briefcase might look professional, when you carry a briefcase in your hand or over one shoulder, the added load can change your walking posture and damage your back.
Ultimately, the level of discomfort will result from how your bag handles the weight held within it.
In 2008, the University of Illinois found that carrying a briefcase shifted the wearer's center of gravity. The study concluded that:
Briefcases have a big effect on a wearer’s center of gravity. The largest effect on balance will be had if the wearer is carrying roughly 20% of their body weight in their briefcase.University Of Illinois, 2008
The unfortunate thing about a shoulder strap is that it will almost certainly begin to feel uncomfortable when the strap digs into your shoulder over a long period.
In today's article, we covered:
- Why Wear A Business Backpack To Work?
- Business Backpack Construction
- Backpacks and Briefcases (Why Backpacks Are Better!)
Want to discover more top tips about dressing for work? Click here to learn how to wear dress sneakers without looking too casual.
Click below to watch the video – The ONLY Bag Worth Buying For A Professional Man: