EletiofeThe Best Laptop Totes for Work and Weekends

The Best Laptop Totes for Work and Weekends

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Now more than ever, people work hybrid jobs that take them from home to the office to the corner coffee shop. Even if you work from home permanently, you’ll occasionally need to go out into the world and bring your junk with you. A backpack will do the trick, but some of us want bags that look as nice as our outfits. That’s where a good work tote or purse comes in.

Whatever your needs or style, we have an option you should like. These totes aren’t the thin, pocketless bags we all seem to accumulate. We tried bags that make organization easy and can stand up to the elements and the normal amount of wear and tear that life brings.

If you prefer a backpack or a messenger bag, we have guides for those too, as well as a roundup of all our favorite types of bags made from recycled materials.

Updated June 2022: We’ve added Cuyana’s Recycled Oversized Sling, a briefcase option from Stuart & Lau, and a few honorable mentions.

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  • Photograph: Moment

    The Best Traditional Tote

    Moment MTW Tote

    Moment’s Tote is WIRED writer Jaina Grey’s favorite. She says it distributes weight like magic, no matter how much junk is shoved inside, so it won’t give you shoulder pain as you go about your day.

    This bag has pockets within pockets, next to pockets. Your 16-inch laptop, Kindle, water bottles (yes, plural), and cables all have a place. And because it comes from a photography brand, it’s made to protect all your expensive gear with padding, weatherproof recycled nylon, and a full-zip closure. It also holds Moment’s camera insert for even more organization and protection.

  • Photograph: Bellroy

    A Runner-Up Tote

    Bellroy Tokyo Tote

    The Bellroy Tokyo Tote is a solid runner-up to Moment’s. There are pockets all the way around the perimeter of the inside to help you stay as organized as can be. On one side, a soft sleeve cradles a 13-inch laptop, on the other, two 5-inch pockets can hold a phone, wallet, cables, or a small notebook. Larger “pop” pockets on either end can extend to hold a water bottle, umbrella, or shoes and then push back against the bag when you don’t need them. I was even able to fit a tall water bottle with a straw, though I needed to do a little finagling to get the zipper over it. 

    The water-resistant Tokyo Tote is made of recycled plastic bottles, and its straps have a nice rubbery grip to keep it on your shoulders.

  • Photograph: Cuyana

    The Best Purse

    Cuyana System Tote

    A nice bag is an investment you can make instead of accumulating a bunch of cheapies. The Cuyana System Tote is beautiful, with a design that should outlast trends. It gets its name for the add-ons that work as an efficient system for your needs, taking you from work to dinner to weekends away. But you have to pay a premium for those, even the laptop sleeve ($98). The organizational insert ($98) has a pocket for your laptop and water bottle. However, the bag itself isn’t padded. It also snaps closed in the middle, but there isn’t a zipper.

    Purses sometimes suffer at the point where the strap meets the rest of the bag—the more you stuff into it, the more weight those straps hold, and flimsy threads can unravel. With this bag, the straps are integrated into the leather. There is, of course, stitching elsewhere, but I threw this bag around while it was filled to the brim and it held up.

    ★ More accessories: You can add a flap bag ($128) that works as a clutch when that’s all you need, or as an inner compartment to hold essentials. An adjustable strap ($58) makes the clutch or the entire purse a cross-body bag. We recommend getting the laptop sleeve first and the others later if you need them.

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