Not everyone has to go to work with a briefcase. Whether you work in an office, in a retail store, in a restaurant or in a factory, a backpack could be perfect to help you effortlessly carry everything you need.

You will want a comfortable backpack that is large enough for your essential work equipment, but compact enough to allow you to use public transportation if this is how you commute.

These tips will teach you how to pack the best backpack for work:

1. Make a list of the things you need for work

Right before you start shopping around for your next work backpack, you should make a list of all the things you need to carry each day. You should gather them to have a better idea of how spacious your backpack should be.

If it’s too small, you will need an extra bag to be able to carry all your essentials. If it’s too big, you might end up packing it with some extra items you don’t really need.

The best work backpack for you should be spacious enough to carry your laptop or tablet, your important documents, your lunch, some extra clothes, and everything else you might need.

2. Pay attention to the backpack’s compartments

An important feature among all the best backpacks for work is the bag’s compartment. You want a spacious work backpack, but you probably don’t want one that has only one huge compartment. Multiple compartments and pockets will make it easier for you to keep your stuff well organized, and to not lose any small item.

Plus, if you carry gym clothes in your work backpack, you probably don’t want to keep them in the same compartment as your lunch. You also should avoid keeping your lunch in the same compartment as your important documents, to prevent any catastrophe.

3. See if the backpack can accommodate your computer

Your work backpack should feature a padded laptop sleeve to keep your precious computer safe while you commute. It should be able to hold all of your cables, chargers, and other electronics.

In fact, many models of backpacks have holes for headphones. Some even feature a built-in charger as well as USB connections, so you can easily charge your devices while you commute, or while you work.

If your electronics are part of your daily life, make sure you choose a work backpack that can accommodate them.

4. Consider the materials the backpack is made from

You don’t have to purchase the most expensive work backpack you find on the market. However, you should purchase one made from strong and durable materials. Polyester fabrics are a good example of materials that should stand the test of time.

Your backpack should be sturdy and durable, but it should also be lightweight and comfortable to wear.

If you walk or bike to work, or if you simply live in an area where it often rains, you should seek a backpack made from waterproof materials that will keep your belongings safe.

5. Decide if you need anti-theft features

A backpack with anti-theft features could be useful, especially if you keep your laptop in it. These features can include strong combination locks, hidden zippers, or hidden RFID-protected pockets.

Some bags are even reinforced with a wire mesh to prevent thieves from being able to cut them open.

If you know your backpack will never leave your side and you’re not too worried about thieves, you should at least make sure you purchase a bag with strong zippers that won’t break after only a few weeks of use.

6. Look for sturdy backpack straps

One of the most important things you should look for is comfort. Even if you’re not going to walk around with your work backpack on for hours, you should make sure wearing it will not make your back or your shoulders hurt.

Padded straps will help you be more comfortable, but they should also be sturdy and adjustable to ensure a perfect fit.

Some backpack straps feature hidden pockets, or can be tucked away if you want to transform your backpack into a briefcase with a top grab handle. This can be convenient, but comfort should really be your top priority.

7. Choose a backpack you like

Finally, be sure to choose a work backpack you like. Even if you find a comfortable and spacious work backpack that has all the features you’re looking for, you won’t be happy to wear it if you don’t like the way it looks.

Fortunately, with so many models available, you should be able to find one that meets your needs and has a style you really love.

It’s even possible to pick custom backpacks with a design you like, so you can commute with a bag that reflects your interests and your personality.

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