A backpack, but for the office (and kind-of cheap)
August 22, 2018 7:21 PM   Subscribe

Do you like bags? Do you love giving bag advice? I realized today that I’ve saved ads for this backpack four separate times on Instagram. But I don’t want to pay $200 for a bag! So maybe you can help. My budget is lower than previous asks - $50 or less.

What I like about this bag:
- the square-ish shape, with top handles for carrying
- the zipper flap that folds open for easy wallet/pen access
- the leather straps - that is a nice profesh look to me
- not too hipster/trendy, not too athletic

So, do you know of anything that could fit that’s more in the $50 or under range? Black on black preferred.

Thanks, bag-hounds! (Is that a term?)
posted by fleecy socks to Shopping (15 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Have you checked out Timbuk2? They are buy-it-for-life quality, and probably have something with the aesthetic and functional properties you want.

The list prices will be in the $50+ range, but they frequently have closeout sales. And if you live near a store, there will be in-store discounts on some nice stuff. I have a messenger bag and a backpack from them. The messenger is 10+ years old, and the backpack is 5+ years old. I've used both for work and travel.
posted by hammurderer at 7:52 PM on August 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

Maybe something from Herschel like this?
posted by pinochiette at 7:53 PM on August 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Maybe something like this or this?
posted by btfreek at 8:32 PM on August 22, 2018

I've had a bag very similar to this in my cart for quite some time, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. Saw some raves on Twitter about them, though.
No leather straps, but you can see in the 'similar items' below that there are tons of options out there.
posted by PaulaSchultz at 8:34 PM on August 22, 2018

That Breton bag, in blue, is on eBay right now bidding at $48.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:07 PM on August 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

Other Amazon options.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:17 PM on August 22, 2018

For an inexpensive bag with interesting designs, check out KAKA bags.
posted by bendy at 11:07 PM on August 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Everlane comes in close to your budget.
posted by katie at 4:15 AM on August 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

FWIW, this Wenger backpack is my favorite backpack and darn close to your price (currently $55). I have bought 3: one about 10 years ago, one 3 years ago, and another as a gift.
posted by forthright at 4:48 AM on August 23, 2018

You can set up an alert on eBay for a black one if that's what you prefer. I did that for a backpack I loved last year, and got it for 40% of the full price, and it looked brand new.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 5:06 AM on August 23, 2018

Something I didn't realize when I was entering the office-backpack craze was how nice it is to have some padding on the backpack. Then, I bought 3-4 backpacks on amazon to see which had the thickest padding. I ended up with this one, which while not as #aesthetic, is VERY well padded.
posted by bbqturtle at 5:56 AM on August 23, 2018

ebags.com has a lot of options under "business backpack."

Here are a few I think have a nice look and kind of evoke the one you like for under $50:
Tocano Loop
Buggati Ryan

Or at least under $100:
Solo Executive
Samsonite Kombi
posted by Kriesa at 7:23 AM on August 23, 2018

I have an Anello backpack that may meet your criteria - no leather straps however.
posted by Lescha at 8:23 AM on August 23, 2018

I had a Timbuk2 Ace daypack that checks a lot of your boxes, though no leather straps. One thing I like about it is that it converts between a comfortable backpack and a messenger bag for days when you may need a bit more formality. It has nice big pockets that open along the top and along one side, and it stands on its side when put down as well.
posted by switchsonic at 10:32 AM on August 23, 2018

I carry Chrome stuff because I like the design and the heirloom quality. Usually an investment. Not cheap, but I monitor the sales page. And they have a 25% student discount if that helps.
posted by cross_impact at 10:39 AM on August 23, 2018

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