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The Best Work Bags Have These Must-Have Features

A man walking on a sidewalk with a work bag in hand.
muse studio/Shutterstock.com

Your work bag is more than just an accessory; it’s a trusted companion that carries your essentials and helps you stay organized throughout the day. Whether you’re heading to the office, a client meeting, or working remotely, a well-designed work bag can make a significant difference.

There are some essential features that all the best work bags should have no matter who you are or where you work. From built-in chargers to comfortable straps, these features ensure your work tote bag serves you efficiently and supports your way of life. If you’ve been on the hunt for a new one, there are a few things to look for.

Dedicated Laptop Compartment

Voyageur Just in Case Packable Nylon Travel Backpack

A laptop compartment is a non-negotiable feature for all the best work bags. Whether you’re looking for women’s or men’s work bags, you need a protective space for your computer.

This keeps your laptop safe and secure, preventing it from bumping into other items and potential damage.

The TUMI Voyageur Just In Case Backpack offers a spacious laptop compartment that can comfortably accommodate a small laptop. Its thoughtful, lightweight design keeps your tech protected while providing easy access and making travel easy.

Voyageur Just in Case Packable Nylon Travel Backpack

This travel backpack will help you travel light while fitting your essentials.

Ample Storage Space and Pockets

The MOSISO Messenger Bag on Amazon

Your work bag should offer ample storage space to hold everything you need for the day, including notebooks, documents, chargers, and more.

The MOSISO Laptop Shoulder Messenger Bag is equipped with multiple pockets and compartments, ensuring you have enough space to organize your essentials. It even features a dedicated space for your computer, phone, and more.

MOSISO Laptop Shoulder Messenger Bag

With a comfortable shoulder strap and plenty of pockets, this makes for a great work bag.

Comfortable Straps or Handles

The North Face Surge Backpack
The North Face

Carrying your work bag should be comfortable, especially if you have a busy day ahead. Look for comfortable straps or handles that distribute weight evenly. It shouldn’t be painful or pinch your shoulders, even if you carry it for extended periods. Sometimes a work backpack is best for comfort.

The North Face Surge Backpack features Flex Vent technology with padded shoulder straps and a padded mesh back panel, ensuring comfort even during long commutes. Fill this backpack with all your workday essentials, including your water bottle, laptop, and charger.

THE NORTH FACE Surge Commuter Laptop Backpack

If you have a long commute, you need a comfortable bag for the trip.

Built-In Charger

TANTO Laptop Tote Bag for Women

In today’s tech-driven world, staying connected and fully charged is essential. A work tote bag with a built-in charger or a dedicated power bank pocket ensures your devices are always ready.

The Tanto Laptop Tote Bag for Women comes with a built-in USB charging port, allowing you to charge your devices on the go without searching for outlets. It’s also weather resistant so you don’t have to worry about rainy days or coffee spills damaging your work essentials.

Laptop Tote Bag for Women

This work tote bag will keep your phone charged all day long.

Water Bottle Pocket

Simple Modern Tote Bag for Women in green.
Simple Modern

Hydration is key to productivity. A water bottle pocket keeps your beverage easily accessible since you can stay refreshed throughout the day without worrying about spills or not having your hands free to carry your bottle.

The Simple Modern Tote Bag for Women has a helpful hidden pocket perfect for your favorite water bottle. Whether you’re on the hunt for women’s or men’s work bags, or you want a quality weekend bag, make sure you have space to keep your water bottle.

Simple Modern Tote Bag for Women

This streamlined work bag has plenty of pockets, including one for your favorite water bottle.

RFID Protection

SeaBlue Laptop Tote Bag for Women

Protecting your personal and financial information is crucial. Look for a work bag with radio-frequency identification (RFID) protection to safeguard your cards and passport from unauthorized scanning.

The Laptop Tote Bag for Women by AM SeaBlue is multifunctional, but it works best as a work bag. It comes with a USB charging port, a comfortable shoulder strap, plenty of storage, and RFID protection. Choose from the two different floral patterns and get ready to seize your work day.

Laptop Tote Bag for Women RFID Work Handbag Duffel

Stay chic and protected with this patterned RFID bag.

Key Clip or Key Storage

Zoyscty Messenger Bag for Men

Fumbling for your keys can be frustrating. Losing your keys is even more frustrating. A work bag with a key clip dedicated key storage ensures your keys are easily accessible when you need them.

The Zoyscty Messenger Bag for Men will help you keep track of your keys thanks to the designated key sachet. The wear-resistant and waterproof material will also keep all your work essentials safe while you move through your busy life.

Messenger Work Bag for Men with Key Bag

Keep things classy with this waxed canvas bag.

Weather Resistance

LOVEVOOK Laptop Bag for Women

Protection from the elements is essential, especially if you commute in varying weather conditions. A weather-resistant work bag keeps your belongings safe and dry.

The LOVEVOOK Laptop Bag for Women comes in multiple colors so you can choose your favorite, and it’s also waterproof to keep your belongings safe. Take advantage of the separate pockets to keep your belongings organized.

LOVEVOOK Waterproof Laptop Bag for Women

Waterproof work bags bring peace of mind and ensure the safety of your valuable work equipment.

Interior Organization

EMPSIGN Laptop Case Briefcase

Efficient organization is key to finding what you need quickly. A work bag with well-thought-out interior and exterior pockets makes your life easier. Think about all the things you plan to hold in your bag and make sure you choose the best work bags that have room for your items.

The EMPSIGN Laptop Case Briefcase is one of the most efficient men’s work bags. Utilize the many compartments and pockets to keep your belongings protected and organized.

EMPSIGN Laptop Case Briefcase

With a large capacity and plenty of organization, this men's work bag will make your workday easier.


The Zip-Top Medium Transport Leather Tote by Madewell.

Your work bag should be built to last. Look for high-quality materials and craftsmanship to ensure they withstand the daily wear and tear of your professional life. Ideally, the best work bags last for life.

The Zip-Top Medium Transport Leather Tote by Madewell is designed to hold up. Enjoy the luxurious leather material and durable zipper. Plus, it’s a stylish addition to any work outfit.

The Zip-Top Medium Transport Leather Tote

This leather work tote will hold up against a lot of wear and tear.

The best work bags come equipped with a combination of essential features that enhance functionality, organization, and style. Whether you opt for a backpack, messenger bag, or a work tote bag, prioritize these features to ensure your work bag meets your daily work needs.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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