The backpack is the most versatile of the items on this list and depending on your lifestyle, it could be a smart business-casual accessory, a daily go-anywhere bag for trips to the coffee shop, grocery store or gym or a piece of luggage.
While you can technically use a backpack for everything, you don’t want to because if you’re traveling for an extended period of time, that may not be enough space for your belongs and it can get heavy, which can negatively affect your back or shoulders. And if you need to wear suits for work, even a well-designed leather backpack looks unprofessional and will ruin the shoulders of a suit while wearing it.
You can find virtually any level of design and price for backpacks these days, so much so that they’re officially a staple bag now. There is one caveat, if you need to wear suits for work, no matter how classy the backpack is, there are still better options for you that won’t ruin the shoulders of your suit jackets.
Budget Options: here and here
For trips away, whether on a plane or via a car or train, when you need to carry more stuff with you, nothing beats rolling luggage.
We didn’t have one of these for a while and as soon as we got one it quickly dawned on us that this was superior to using non-roller luggage. It’s too convenient not having to lug around your luggage on your back or by carrying it by the handles when this bag can be gliding effortlessly next to you.
The Carry-on by Carl Friedrik is our favorite for a number of reasons:
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- Lifetime warranty
- Personalization options – monogramming and colored leather detailing and handles.
- Durable Polycarbonate shell
- Rigid aluminium frame with TSA approved side locks
- Smooth and silent gliding Japanese wheels
- Option for integrated power bank
- Available in: Cognac, Black, Chocolate
Briefcase w/ Shoulder Strap
If you prefer more of a classic piece with versatility or just can’t see yourself wearing a backpack, then look no further than a briefcase with a detachable shoulder strap.
The shoulder strap provides versatility (as long as you’re not wearing a suit jacket). Technically, you can call this a messenger bag, but where messenger bags tend to be less structured and sporty-looking, the briefcase is a little more rigid and sophisticated. You can get a messenger bag, but we’d prefer a backpack in 99% of scenarios when a messenger would be appropriate because it just looks better and frankly, is more comfortable to use.
Weekender or Duffel Bag
These are great for short trips or if you’re a light packer. While we’re big fans of the classic styling, admittedly, they’re not as nice to use as a piece of roller luggage if you pack it to the gills. These come in all shapes, sizes and materials and are very sophisticated looking.
Dopp or Toiletry Kit
The final bag or piece of luggage you need is a Dopp kit for all your toiletries and grooming essentials. These are great for gym trips or for any sort of travel. They keep your stuff organized, are sophisticated-looking and are just a joy to use.
This is our absolute favorite one by a longshot.