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The Best Briefcases

Last updated on March 15, 2024

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Briefcases

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Best All-Purpose Pick

tomtoc Travel Messenger Laptop Briefcase

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Travel Messenger Laptop Briefcase

In addition to a laptop pocket, you'll also get a slot perfect for a tablet up to 11 inches. Both the bottom and sides contain extra padding to keep delicate electronics safe. You'll get two front pockets, a large and organized main compartment, and a shoulder strap, too.

Overall Take

Protective Laptop SlotThis briefcase includes a protective laptop slot designed to safeguard laptops measuring up to 15.6 inches.

 Runner Up

Lorell Expandable Attaché Vinyl Briefcase


Expandable Attaché Vinyl Briefcase

This vinyl attaché case features a sturdy exterior, plus a full organizer and file pocket. It can expand up to a full inch, offering a full five inches of space when you need it. It has two combination locks built in to ensure nobody can open it but you.

Overall Take

Roomy Attaché BriefcaseThis briefcase features the traditional attaché style but offers plenty of room for all of your belongings.

 We Also Like

Samsonite Classic Multi Gusset Toploader Briefcase


Classic Multi Gusset Toploader Briefcase

This durable briefcase is made from 1680 denier ballistic nylon with wrapped handles for extra comfort. It has zippered front pockets, a perfect-fit laptop system, an attachable shoulder strap and a slip-through handle sleeve for carry-on ease.

Overall Take

Durable MaterialThis briefcase is made from 1680 denier ballistic nylon, ensuring it will hold up no matter how long you use it.

 Strong Contender

Solo New York Grand Central Combination Lock Attaché Briefcase

Solo New York

Grand Central Combination Lock Attaché Briefcase

This stylish attaché case includes a roomy main compartment with an interior organizer section. The file pocket has a velcro closure and dual combination locks to keep everything secure. Four metal feet on the bottom allow for extra stability and protection.

Overall Take

Classic Attaché DesignIf you like the look and feel of a classic, hard-sided, attaché-style briefcase, this is the piece for you.

Buying Guide

A briefcase is a great way to transport your belongings while allowing you to look professional and put together. Even if you’re taking your items on vacation, a briefcase can provide a way to keep sensitive electronics like laptops and tablets safe from damage.

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But there are multiple types of briefcases. If you’re merely interested in transporting your laptop and you don’t mind a more casual option, there are backpacks that are geared specifically toward laptop transport. But you can also buy a laptop bag. The best thing about both of these options is that they typically come with a padded compartment for that extra protection you need.

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When many professionals think about briefcases, the classic attaché style probably comes to mind. These are simple cases, square in design, a hard shell on all sides. But today’s attaché cases build in a little extra room to squeeze in all your items. They’ll also have compartments for storing your smaller belongings.

Messenger bags are typically thought of as a less formal option than an attaché, but there are some that will fit in perfectly in any boardroom. They may be handcrafted using the finest leather and top-quality hardware, for example. The best thing about messenger bags is that they’re flexible and can easily accommodate various items without bulk.

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Basically, these days you have all kinds of options for taking your work-related items with you wherever you want to go.

What to Look For

  • Briefcases will have a combination of at least one large compartment and multiple pockets. Think about what you’ll be storing in your briefcase and make sure you buy one that will make it easy to separate everything.
  • Although interior pockets are great for holding items you need for meetings, exterior pockets let you easily grab things without opening the briefcase. This is where you could store your keys, business cards, extra pens and even your cell phone.
  • If you’ll be using your briefcase for storing your laptop, check the measurements. Most will only accommodate laptops up to a certain size.
  • Some briefcases have a smaller padded compartment perfect for storing smaller electronics like tablets.
  • Laptops and tablets come with cables. To keep things more organized, look for a briefcase that gives you a place to store all those long wires in a convenient way.
  • Some briefcases, particularly those in the attaché style, have combination locks to keep your internal belongings secure. However, you may prefer your briefcase to simply have Velcro or zippers on the pockets to keep items inside yet within easy reach.
  • Some briefcases will require you to carry them by the handle. But a shoulder strap or cross-body carry strap can come in handy, especially if you’re lugging your briefcase through the airport.

More to Explore

The history of the briefcase starts with something that more closely resembles a satchel than an attaché case. The first instance of one of these satchels is believed to be from the 1st through 3rd centuries, when Romans carried an 18” x 20” satchel called a loculus.

But the briefcase as we know it today got its start in the mid-1800s, when a company called Borrow and Gale produced something called the “Red Briefcase,” which let British bureaucrats carry official documents around every year on Budget Day. That brown leather item caught the attention of the rest of the world, and the rest is history.

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