The Great Debate: Backpack vs Briefcase


It’s a debate that rivals the historical Lincoln-Douglas matchups of 1858. It’s a polarizing topic where there simply is no room for middle ground. It’s the great backpack vs briefcase debate. Here we will explore the pros and cons of each platform and allow you to come to your own conclusions.

The Backpack


It’s functional, vertical, distributes the weight of its contents on your back, and has pockets galore. Today there are numerous options available for stylish backpacks, a phrase which would have elicited laughs from corporate execs everywhere circa 1990. Many companies have begun to streamline their backpacks in favor of a sleek, polished look (see right).


That said, with the unbeatable functionality you inevitably make sacrifices. First are style points. While backpacks can be cool, they scream ‘you’re still in school’-- on par with undergrads everywhere. When they are overpacked you tend to stick out like a sore thumb (see left). In addition, due to the dual straps, your dress wear can be damaged over time. Lastly, those summer time commutes can get rather sweaty.


The Briefcase

Do you like to look like you work on Wall Street even though you’re in Cincinnati? Do you take pride in wearing a suit to the office everyday? Then the briefcase is for you. It screams that you’re all business and no play. Because quite simply, you can’t fit your workout gear or, well, anything outside of your office needs into a briefcase..



What the briefcase affords in style and sleekness, it sacrifices in functionality. You’ll always have one hand tethered to it. If you go with the shoulder strap, you’ll be weighed down on one side. Plus, the thing will bounce against your leg as you walk--not ideal for long commutes. Lastly, if you’re a fresh-faced associate you may put your noviceness on blast to the world:


At the end of the day, there is an answer both parties can agree on: don’t get a roller backpack.


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