September 03, 2021

There will come the point in every man’s life where he has to make the difficult decision of whether to bring a backpack or a briefcase at work. As minor as it may sound, it’s actually a pretty divisive issue that has a lot of people turning against each other!

While both backpacks and briefcases have served a lot of people over the years with their functionality and design, there are just so many factors that need to be considered to tell which is better than the other. Let’s explore some of those factors and try to settle this debate.

Space and Volume

When it comes to usage of interior space, both carrying cases perform well in that department. It just comes down to how the layout of the interior space looks and its overall design.


Most traditional briefcases carry a single space for carrying your things with the occasional small pocket in the front. However, there are now more modern designs that feature several pockets, slots, and even an expandable storage feature, like our Essex expandable briefcase!


On the other hand, it’s always been the backpack’s strong suit to have more pockets and slots built in its design. They feature a more cavernous interior space than most briefcases since backpacks are designed to carry more items. More modern working backpacks even come with a laptop compartment inside to protect your precious hardware, very much like our Launch backpack. You can put a lot more things in it without conforming to the slim interior space that briefcases are known for.

Easy Access

Briefcases feature magnetic clasps, zippers, buckles, or any other variation of fasteners. When carrying a well-designed briefcase, you just set it down on a table and pull out exactly what you need with just a flick of a simple fastener. All of your items are organized neatly in the same orientation because of the slimness of their pockets and slots. Just look at our Moore briefcase, with its two front-zippered pockets with organizer sections. There’s practically no room to juggle things around!


Meanwhile, a backpack is an entirely different story. Zippers are the main feature of a backpack. While it may share some of the clasps and fasteners often seen in briefcases, the backpack’s main method of access has always been the zipper! Since there’s more space to go around, there’s almost no orientation for your things, as they’re usually just piled in there together. You often have to dig to find what you want!

Formality and Style

The briefcase might lose the battle in practicality because of its limited storage space, but it’s unmatched in terms of formality and style. Briefcases are just plain classic and professional no matter where you bring them. If you’re in it to make a statement, then a classy briefcase paired with a well-tailored suit is your ultimate combination.


Before, backpacks were seen as for more casual outings—but it has now evolved and become more executive in recent years. In fact, modern backpack designs can look just as professional as briefcases. Our A/D backpack is an excellent example, with its streamlined and ergonomic design. It’s no longer accurate to say that backpacks belong to school children only!

The Bottom Line- Getting the Job Done

Both briefcases and backpacks were designed to serve the same purpose—to carry your things. Backpacks offer bigger storage, but the ease of use and accessibility can be a problem sometimes. Briefcases, on the other hand, provide easy access, but they can be quite a hassle since you only have one free hand at a time! It all comes down to whether you want to invest in pure practicality or partial practicality with added finesse and aesthetics.



Solo NY is a purveyor of versatile quality backpacks, briefcases, and tote bags designed for the modern man and woman. Our collection of carrying cases has modern, clean designs inspired by the hustle and bustle of NYC. Visit our store page to browse our collection today!

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