Topo Designs Mountain Briefcase, Black $149+
The search for my perfect ‘work bag’ was a long one. I tried it all, but nothing worked, until I found out about the Designs Mountain Briefcase. This bag looks and performs great when I’m wearing a suit for work, and it rises to the challenges when I take it for a romp in the woods.
The bag is small and slim (11″h x 16″w x 4.5″d) but really well designed so it carries what you need and carries it well. It comes with a strap for a messenger bag type carry, but the main feature is the two shoulder straps tucked away in their own pocket. Pull them out and attach them, and now you have a small backpack for when you got to be nimble and handsfree. A tough Cordura outside will protect your stuff, and the bright yellow interior (with laptop sleeve and pockets) will keep everything neat and accessible. Spring for the sternum strap ($12 extra) and you’ll be able to carry the load a bit easier.
Pros: Versatile, work to weekend with the same bag, tough, great design, Made in the USA.
Cons: Becuase of the extra lash tabs and tough design, its easy to pack more weight than the bag was intended to carry. Keep your load focused and get the sternum strap and everything will be great.
Where to wear: The woods, office, weekend away. On your back, in your hand, or across your shoulder.