Six Grown-Up Trapper Keepers for the 21st Century
A simple briefcase is a hard sell these days.
As our work lives get ever more infused with technology, a one-pocket bag that hold a pile of papers and a pen is no longer enough for most of us. As the young freelance and entrepreneurial class relies increasingly on shared workspaces such as WeWork, a compact, portable workstation is becoming essential. You want something with lots of smaller compartments that can keep your tablet, business cards, charging cords, and notebooks organized and compact: Enter the modern portfolio case. Think of it as the grown-up version of your middle school Trapper Keeper (without the technicolor Lamborghini Countach on the front, of course). Just like slinging on a stylish backpack, there's the right hint of school-boy nostalgia while making it clear to everyone that you're all grown up.
Travelteq A4 Portfolio
When it's all zipped up, Travelteq's A4 Portfolio looks like a traditional document case. Your grandfather would be proud. But open it up, and there's space inside for a small laptop or a large notepad, a tablet, a pen, and all the other cards and documents you need to tote around. It's not roomy inside but should hold enough for moving around the office or heading to a client meeting. Plus, when you've got to run, one zip and you're good to go. $273
DSPTCH Macbook Case
For something a little more low key, reach for San Francisco-based DSPTCH's basic Macbook Case. There are different sizes to hold everything from the 11" Macbook Air to the 15" Macbook Pro (or similarly size laptops, of course), and all of them include elastic straps and pockets to keep your chargers, cables, and other accessories right where you need them. It's purely utilitarian in the best way possible. $60
This Is Ground Mod Laptop 2
The creators describe the Mod Laptop 2 as a "mobile office," and they're not kidding at all. In a single pouch you can stash a laptop, tablet, chargers, cables, pens and pencils, a pair of glasses, your wallet, and even—dare I say it—papers. This can easily replace a briefcase and is ideal for a long-haul flight when you want something to tuck under the seat without ruining your legroom. If you want to use it like a traditional messenger bag, just clip on the detachable strap and throw it over your shoulder. $399
WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie Kansai
This is WANT doing what it does best—taking a classic and stripping it down to its most basic and elegant form. The Kansai 13's snake-skin-textured leather exterior has dark blue accents and lining with a slim handle on top for toting it around. This is by no means a carry-all, but if you just need your 13" laptop, a few papers, and a business card to slide across the table, everyone in the room will be looking at this bag from the moment you walk in the room. $595
Cartier Louis Cartier Portfolio
Even the Kansai's too big for you? Look no further. The Louis Cartier portfolio is for the minimalist who doesn't want to carry a single thing she's not going to need. Smooth black leather gives way to a rich burgundy cloth lining with enough space for an iPad, some pens, and your other necessities. An outside pocket gives you quick access to your most important documents, while the hidden snap keeps the overall profile slim. $1,480
Hard Graft Grab Laptop Folio
Traditional straps and subtle colors are for squares, right? Hard Graft's aptly named Grab laptop folio lets you hold it with a simple hand-strap bolted to the leather back, which is in turn stitched to the plush felt body. There aren't a million tiny pockets, but the Grab still gives you enough room to fit daily essentials alongside your laptop, and you can be sure that no one else in office is going to be carrying gear the same way as you. £149 (approximately $233)
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