A person stands as a train passes by, wearing a Jansport backpack.

Best Work Backpacks for Every Type of Worker (And What to Pack)

Melissa Badamo Dec 15, 2023

Which type of worker are you? Whether you work from home, commute to a big city, or anywhere in between, you’re going to want a backpack that’s stylish, practical, and, of course, corporate appropriate. 

To help you find exactly what you’re looking for, here’s a lineup of the best backpacks for every type of worker, as well as tips on what to pack for maximum productivity, so you never get caught without your charging cable again.


What Are Your Backpack Work Needs?

There are many factors to consider when choosing a work backpack—such as space, functionality, and style. For example, does it need to look professional enough to bring into a corporate office? 


For Office or Hybrid Work

If so, try a backpack like the Pro Pack System. It’s a modular set that includes the Pro Pack Backpack and the attachable Pro Crossbody. Sleek and modern, the Pro Pack System features a textured diamond weave fabric design and comes in three classic colors—black, navy, and curry.

As for space, the Pro Pack has a roomy main compartment, two side water bottle pockets, a lined laptop compartment with water resistant zippers, and a large padded top loft pocket with a glasses sleeve and organization panel. The best part about this set is that you can wear the two bags together or separately, depending on how much storage you need. Pragmatic and stylish, what’s not to love?


 For Remote Work

If you work remotely, you may lean towards a more casual backpack to bring to a café, bookstore, library, or another productive environment. Mixing up your work environment can boost productivity, especially during that “afternoon slump” when our energy levels naturally dip.

A simple yet durable backpack like the Double Break or the Right Pack Premium will definitely do the job. They each have a spacious main compartment, several front pockets to stay ultra-organized, and a 15-inch laptop compartment to keep your laptop protected on the go.


Best Backpacks For Every Kind of Work

Best Backpacks for Techies

If you work in tech, you’re going to want a comfortable, reliable bag with padded insides to protect your precious devices and accessories. Luckily, the new Liminal Series features three premium backpacks perfect for techies: the Inbound Pack, Journey Pack, and the Landings Pack. All three backpacks have a roomy main compartment, dual side water bottle pockets, sturdy shoulder straps, a pillow panel, a padded grabber, and a gear loft, while the Journey and Landings backpacks have a dedicated, 15-inch laptop lounge lined with an internal tricot sleeve.

Like the Pro Pack System, the Liminal Series prioritizes professionalism. All three backpacks come in basic office-appropriate solid colors—black, deep juniper, and misty rose. With both sophistication and practicality, this is backpack collection you’ll want to be seen in.


Backpacks for Commuters

Whether you travel into a big city or a local office for work, there’s no shortage of backpacks to fit your commuting needs. If your commute includes hopping on a train or bus, you’ll want a roomy bag to carry all the work necessities like your laptop, notepads, water bottle, and so on. On the flip side, you’ll also want something you can easily hold in your lap or slide under your seat on a crowded bus or train—especially during rush hour. 

That’s why you can’t go wrong with the Lodo Pack. It has a roomy main compartment and a dedicated 15-inch padded laptop pocket, so your device stays protected if your bag gets bumped on a tight bus or train. Plus, its heavy duty, 1680 denier polyester base can withstand the toughest of commutes. Not to mention it’s available in six classy colors so you always look professional in and out of the office.

The Lodo Pack also has padded adjustable shoulder straps and a padded back panel for ultimate support, so you can stay nice and comfy as you’re waiting for your train or bus.


Top Backpacks for Outdoor Work

From camp counselors to environmental workers, if you perform your job outdoors rather than inside a traditional office, you’ll absolutely love the Eco Mesh Pack.

Made from 100% recycled main body materials, this clear mesh backpack features a laptop sleeve, a front zippered pocket, and dual side water bottle pockets. Don’t let its mesh design fool you; with a solid 600 denier polyester base, padded pack panel, and thick yet comfortable shoulder straps, this backpack is tougher than it looks.

Working outside is a great way to get some vitamin D, but we recommend packing sunscreen in the front zippered pocket and reapplying every two hours to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays.

The Eco Mesh Pack is available in several earthy designs to keep you stylish and in touch with nature, such as purple petals, paste lilac, and loden frost. The best part is, you can even bring it to outdoor activities after work, like beach trips or outdoor picnics. This versatile pack is for both work and play.


Best Work Backpacks for Travel by Bike

If you live within biking distance of your office and prefer to take the sustainable route, you’ll want a bag that will stay secure on your back, such as the Odyssey Backpack.

Like the Lodo Pack, you don’t have to worry about straps digging into your shoulders while biking to the office. The Odyssey comes equipped with perforated AirCore™ shoulder straps, and a padded air mesh back panel for breathability, making it perfect for the double task of exercising and commuting. It has more than just enhanced shoulder straps, though—it’s also got adjustable chest straps, side compression straps, and a tuck-away hip belt to distribute the load.


Backpacks for Work and Gym

If you plan on hitting the gym after work (or better yet, if there’s a gym in your office building), you’ll want a 2-in-1 bag to carry both your work and work-out necessities.

That’s why we recommend the Agave Backpack, the ultimate backpack for both work and fitness. It features a 15 inch padded sleeve for your work laptop, two main compartments, and double mesh water bottle pockets to hydrate after your workout sesh. Should you need it, the Agave also has supportable straps—including an adjustable chest strap, sternum strap, and side compression straps. This way, your bag can stay secure on your fitness journey.

If you don’t need to bring a laptop to work and won’t mind being without a dedicated laptop sleeve, the Superbreak Plus AM is another great option for gym rats. A special edition of the classic Superbreak Plus, this bag is treated with Protx2W, a smell-busting agent that fights odor-causing bacteria, so it’s perfect for storing your gym clothes post-workout.


Adaptive Backpacks for Work

If you need an adaptive work bag, look no further—the Central Adaptive Backpack makes transporting all your essentials a breeze. Easy to access and grab what you need from it, this backpack features tuck away shoulder straps, hassle-free adjustment loops, adjustable backrest loops, and anchor straps on the bottom to fit securely on mobility devices.


What to Pack in Your Work Backpack

Tech Essentials

Now that you’ve chosen the best backpack for your work needs, what should you actually pack?

Even if you don’t work in tech or a corporate office, and you’re more of a self-employed worker (think: freelancing or starting your own business), it’s a safe bet that you’ll still need a trustworthy laptop bag to accompany you on all your ventures.

Therefore, you’ll also need to pack the basic necessities like a mouse, charger, flash drive, and headphones or earbuds for some tunes or online meetings that definitely could’ve just been an email. Blue light glasses, to eliminate eye strain and protect your eyes from the blue light emitting from your computer screen are another great, underrated tech essential. 



When you’re choosing a work backpack, you’ll also need to prepare for the best part of the day: lunch. It’s easy to forget to eat when you’re busy, but the Carryout lunch bag has an insulated compartment so you don’t have to worry about your food going bad when you’re working long hours.


Water Bottles

It’s also important to stay hydrated at work, especially if you work outdoors. While there’s no shortage of backpacks with side water bottle pockets, the Kitsack is a great accessory for keeping your H20 in one place—especially if you have a reusable water bottle that’s on the larger side. This way, you can have your emotional support water bottle on you at all times without having to wear your backpack. It also has a small mesh side pocket to store grab-and-go accessories like a pen or hand sanitizer.


Everyday Essentials Kit

While you can surely store smaller work accessories in your backpack’s external gear loft, we’ve got you hooked up with an accessory pouch to make your work life even easier. Featuring twin compartments, you can store your pens, pencils, hand sanitizer, even makeup and other small items on one side, and tech accessories like your flash drive and charger on the other.


No matter which type of work you do, it’s important to choose the right work backpack that fits your individual needs. Whether you work from home, take the bus into a city office, or work with computers, one thing’s for sure—staying organized and packing wisely will help you prepare for the grind while making the work commute that much more manageable.