They're chic enough to go everywhere you do—and sturdy enough to carry everything you need.

By Rebecca Carhart
Updated June 12, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Dagne Dover The Dakota Backpack

Whether you have a long commute to the office or not, having a great work bag to carry your stuff is so important. The perfect work bag should be sophisticated, comfortable, and spacious enough to hold all your essentials. While backpacks can definitely hold more stuff than a shoulder or tote bag, if you carry the wrong one you're going to feel like an awkward middle schooler again.

Thankfully there are a slew of great backpacks in stores now that are specially designed for adults—you know, the chic kind that you can carry with you wherever you go, including the office. To help you cut through the clutter, we turned to real reviews from customers to find out which work backpacks are equal parts functional and fashionable. Not only do these beloved carryalls have thousands of glowing customer reviews between them, but they also have near-perfect ratings to boot.

What’s more, they are super practical, too, with enough space to carry everything you need, including laptops, gym clothes, and an extra pair of shoes for your commute. From sleek leather backpacks to roomy laptop backpacks, these are the best work backpacks for women according to customers.

These are the best backpacks for work:

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Dagne Dover The Dakota Backpack

1 Best Overall: Dagne Dover The Dakota Backpack

This streamlined backpack from Dagne Dover is made from a super durable neoprene material that is built to last for years to come. It features padded straps that are incredibly comfortable on your shoulders, plus a two-way zip closure that will keep your belongings safe and secure while you’re on the move. The spacious carryall also has dedicated spots for your laptop, travel mug, phone, and more, so you’ll stay nice and organized—no more digging around to find your keys after a long day of work. “LOVE this backpack. I purchased the rose bag, and it looks amazing. The size is great for work...will fit some files, a water bottle and a laptop,” raved one customer.

To buy: $175;

PINCIL Backpack

2 Best Lightweight Option: PINCIL Backpack

This adorable backpack from PINCIL is lightweight, waterproof, and pickpocket-proof, making it a great option to use on long commutes. Although it only weighs 1.5 pounds, it’s still roomy—and since the bag opens from the back, you have to take it off to access its contents, which adds an extra layer of security. Along with adjustable straps, the backpack also boasts a spacious main compartment and plenty of pockets to store your smaller items. More than 2,000 customers have given it an impressive 4.7-star rating, with many calling it the “best backpack ever.”

To buy: $26;

Calpak Kaya Faux Leather Backpack

3 Best for Business Travelers: Calpak Kaya Faux Leather Backpack

If you have to travel a lot for work, this cute Calpak backpack is a great personal item to pack for a flight. Its exterior sleeve on the back can conveniently be slipped over the handles of your suitcase, and it also boasts a scratch-resistant material that will stay in pristine shape no matter how banged up it gets in transit. In addition to the bag’s style and durability, it comes in seven incredibly pretty colors that will match everything else in your wardrobe. One customer raved, “This bag is great for a personal carry on bag! It’s fashionable and cute but also super functional for travel. Plenty of room for a tablet, wallet and cosmetic bag. I will be using this a lot!”

To buy: $75;

Everlane The Modern Snap Backpack

4 Best Everyday Option: Everlane The Modern Snap Backpack

Looking for a chic, versatile rucksack that you can use every day? Consider this simple backpack from Everlane. The carryall is big enough to store a 15-inch laptop along with all your other daily essentials, and it is made with water-resistant cotton that is super soft and cozy. Even though it’s not as structured as some of the other work backpacks on this list, it looks just as put together. More than 880 customers have given the backpack a 4.39-star rating, with one saying, “I bought this backpack for work, and I have received so many compliments on it! I only use it to carry a laptop and a few other small things, but it is very comfortable on your back. It is stylish and minimalistic, and I love the black leather accents.”

To buy: $68;

Coach Campus Backpack

5 Best Designer Option: Coach Campus Backpack

It doesn’t get more luxe than a stylish designer bag like this sleek Coach backpack. The coated canvas bag has the brand’s signature logo printed all over it, so you are sure to stand out in even the most fashionable of crowds. Its roomy interior is big enough to hold a tablet, umbrella, notebook, and so much more. One happy customer said the bag is “timeless,” explaining, “The size fits all my daily needs and even more when I use it to travel. The leather keeps it shape but it soft to the touch. I can place my phone in the front zipper for easy access, small items like my key fob in the side pockets. The straps are perfect pebble leather, not too thin and not to thick, they rest comfortably.”

To buy: $295;

6 Best Option With Fun Prints: Vera Bradley Iconic Campus Backpack

In the market for a stylish backpack that comes in a variety of different pretty prints? Consider this Vera Bradley option. The quilted carryall features padded shoulder straps, multiple compartments and pockets, and a flat bottom that won’t fall over. Plus, there are 22 different prints and colors to choose from so you are sure to find an option that suits your style. “Love that this bag is lightweight, has tons of organization, and IS NOT BORING! And I can also machine wash. Winner,” said one customer.

To buy: $115;

Kenneth Cole Reaction Chevron Quilted Computer Backpack

7 Best for Large Laptops: Kenneth Cole Reaction Chevron Quilted Computer Backpack

If you need to tote around your laptop for work, consider a specially designed laptop backpack like this Kenneth Cole Reaction option. Along with a padded compartment that holds 15-inch laptops, the bag also boasts comfortable, adjustable shoulder straps and a trolley strap that will fit over the handles of your rolling suitcase. “I love this backpack! I saw someone with it at work and I decided that I wanted one too,” said one customer. “It is very classy looking. I can take it to work without it looking too casual. This backpack helps me keep my stuff so much more organized than my old one. I have never been so excited to own a backpack until now! That's how much I love it.”

To buy: $85 (was $160),

KROSER Backpack with USB Port

8 Best Charging Option: KROSER Backpack with USB Port

You’ll never have to deal with a dying phone again thanks to this handy backpack from KROSER. This sleek backpack, which can also be carried as a shoulder bag, features a built-in USB port for charging devices on the go. The high-tech bag also boasts a spacious interior and a padded back panel that makes it incredibly comfortable to wear. “I ordered this bag for work. I need something that can hold my laptop and all my stuff. My laptop fits perfectly. It looks exactly how it is advertised. The USB port to charge your phone is a nice bonus,” said one shopper.

To buy: $34;

Herschel Supply Co X-Small Dawson Backpack

9 Best Compact Option: Herschel Supply Co X-Small Dawson Backpack

This cute backpack by Herschel is super lightweight, compact, and fully functional. The leather finishes on this luxe laptop backpack give it a mature feel, while the fold-over closure will keep your belongings safe and secure. It also boasts a super cute striped lining and plenty of pockets to help keep things organized. The carryall has a 4.5-star review on Nordstrom, with one shopper calling it the “perfect little backpack.”

To buy: $65;

Knomo Beauchamp Business Backpack

10 Best Organizing Option: Knomo Beauchamp Business Backpack

If you struggle to keep the contents of your bag organized, consider this backpack from Knomo. The chic carryall was specially designed for business women and features a pocket or compartment for just about everything you’d need to carry, including a laptop, umbrella, and change of shoes. One of our very own Real Simple editors has carried this backpack to work every day for the past four years and says, “It still looks good as new.”

To buy: $179;

Le Donne Leather Ladies Tech Friendly Backpack

11 Best Leather Option: Le Donne Leather Ladies Tech Friendly Backpack

Nothing says you’re ready for business like a sleek leather bag, which is why we like this Le Donne Leather Backpack so much. Along with a padded compartment for electronics, the cute carryall also boasts an exterior cell phone holder for easy access and comfy adjustable straps. One reviewer wrote, “Love this stylish leather backpack. It has two large interior zippered compartments, one with a padded sleeve and big enough to hold an iPad, as well as smaller zippered compartments perfect for holding car keys, or hotel keys. This is the perfect size for travel when you're walking around a big city and want the convenience of a backpack but something smaller and more stylish than a traditional backpack. I can easily fit in it a compact umbrella, iPad, guidebook, wallet, and a few personal care items.”

To buy: $140 (was $215);

Mancro Laptop Backpack

12 Best Option for Meetings: Mancro Laptop Backpack

This backpack from Mancro was practically made for toting around all your meeting essentials thanks to its dedicated pockets for your laptop, computer mouse, pens, notebooks, files, and more. Besides keeping your work essentials super organized, the backpack is also made from a super durable water-resistant material and even comes with a lock to keep your belongings safe. Almost 6,000 Amazon customers love it so much they have given the cute bag a 4.4-star rating, with many calling it “the best backpack I’ve ever owned.”

To buy: $29;