If you’re carrying around a backpack that looks like something your kid brother would carry.

You know the one.

The ratty hunter green Jansport bag that has cheap nylon shoulder straps and a shoddy zipper.  You, dear friend, are in need of some serious fashion advice. 

It’s time you stopped purchasing your satchels and  business backpacks from the big-box discount store and start thinking about updating your business accessories!

If you want to be respected in a particular industry, you have to look the part.  You aren’t going to do that with accessories that look like you stole from a middle schooler.

Instead, you are going to want to look put together, stylish, and someone who commands respect! Or at the very least someone who doesn’t look like they just came from taking class pictures. 

One accessory that can help you achieve that is a professional looking bag.

What Is a Business Backpack?

You may be thinking to yourself that a backpack or carry-on bag is fine, but a professional backpack isn’t just your regular book-bag.

It’s going to be far more sophisticated and made of high-quality, refined materials like premium leather or waxed canvas.

You won’t find any bungee cords, cheap plastic closures, or unreliable zippers. Instead, you’ll find quality hardware, an elegant style, and plenty of space for your important documents, electronics, and even a change of clothing.

All traits of the timelessly sophisticated Tumi backpack or Nomatic travel pack- of Kickstarter fame. 

The Nomatic Travel Bag When choosing a backpack for business, you will want to look for:
A bag that does not have unnecessary hardware or designs (a nice monogram, however, is fine). You want the bag to be practical, functional, professional and stylish.

  • Always opt for leather or weather-proof materials.
  • Stick with dark colors like black, charcoal grey, dark brown, tan, or even navy blue. You may go for a dark colored canvas with a lighter color leather, but you aren’t necessarily trying to make a loud statement.
  • If you are traveling with other luggage, your messenger bag doesn’t have to match, but it shouldn’t stand out either.
  • If you are traveling for business, you may want to find a satchel that is large enough for your laptop and other essentials, but also an extra change of clothing.

Essential Items Every Professional Should Have In Their Bag

What you want to keep in your bag will depend on what kind of business you are a part of.

For example, if you’re a member of a new startup company that specializes in quirky and memorable greeting cards, you may want to keep some samples of your best work on hand. Maybe if you’re on the editorial team of a big name fashion magazine, you may want to keep some of the most popular issues for reference.

However, here are 10 essential items every stylish professional should have in their bag:

  • iPad or an Ultrabook. While you’re on the morning commute or waiting for your next meeting to begin, you can whip this out and check emails, work on presentations, go over notes, and so much more. Of course, if you have all your ducks in a row, you can use them to play a game to pass the time.
  • Fully Charged Portable Charger. There is nothing worse than using up all the juice in any of your devices batteries right before a big meeting. A well-stocked backpack always has an extra charger (or two!). Oh, and while it may take up space, you may want to keep extra connector cords for each device (if they don’t use the same kind of port) to actually be able to charge said devices.
  • Pocket Journal and Pen. How many times have you had an amazing idea that would take your project to the next level, but didn’t have anything to jot it down on? Or what about when you’re brainstorming over lunch and pencil something on the back of a napkin, only to throw it away after your lunch break is over? A pocket journal is a great way to keep those ideas all in one place – and not in the waste bin!
  • Business Cards. You never know who you may meet when you’re making your way around the world. That person you had a conversation at the coffee stand may be the link to your big break! It would be a shame to miss out on it all because you didn’t have a business card on hand, wouldn’t it?
  • USB Flash Drive(s). With important documents, you never want to rely on the cloud storage! We like to have a USB flash drive on hand so we can keep all important documentation, presentations, reports, and the like on hand and at the ready.
  • Energizing Snacks. Being a successful, responsible adult is hard work and you’re going to need all the energy you can get! We like keeping a couple of our favorite protein bars or a bag of nuts in our bags when we need a little pick me up on those days where you can’t make it to lunch.
  • Tech Kit. If you’re an entrepreneur who works with the customer or if you’re a software developer, a tech kit is going to be a life saver! These kits should include adapters, USB hubs and a few extendable Ethernet cables. These kits help you connect to any outdated video systems without a problem.
  • Umbrella. Despite what the weatherman may predict, Mother Nature can change her mind in an instant and open the sky for a downpour. An umbrella is a lifesaver when you’re walking to the office or an important meeting and you happen to get caught in the rain.
  • Small Medical Kit. Hey, you never know when an accident will happen. You could get a paper cut opening mail or you could get a headache listening to those particularly boring meetings. The medical kit should include a variety of things such as over-the-counter medications (Tylenol, allergy medication, vitamins, etc.), Band-Aids, medical tape, tweezers, and the like.
  • Mints or Gum. Coffee runs in our blood, but that doesn’t mean we have to deal with coffee breath. Always keep a tin of mints or minty gum in your bag, this way your breath will always be fresh.

In the business world, you always have to be prepared. Your business backpack is going to be your best friend on this journey because it is going to keep everything you need within reach – especially when you travel or even if you are visiting another office.

Leave us a comment below and tell us what do you have to have in your bag for work?