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19 best work bags for women in 2024


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3x3 grid of different work bagsWhether you’re looking for a casual workhorse bag or a stylish leather number that will get you compliments at the office, we have the best options.

Senreve, Freja, KAAI, Bandolier, Quince

A good work bag will make your life easier and more organized when you’re mobile, especially stylish ones that make you feel confident just by carrying them. We asked our team members at Insider to share their selections for the best work bags for women and explain what they love about them. And if you need a fresh outfit to pair with your work bag, read our guide to the best work clothes for women

You’ll find a few Dagne Dover bags on this list, and that’s because they’ve truly mastered the art of crafting the best work bags for women. For example, one of our top picks is the Dagne Dover Allyn Leather Tote for its intentional organization system with multiple compartments inside an incredibly sleek shape, making it a fashionable and functional option for whatever you need during your workday. 

See below for a quick peek at our top five picks. Plus, read on for in-depth reviews on why we love these bags. 

Our top 5 picks for the best work bags for women

Best leather overall: Dagne Dover Allyn Leather ToteDane Dover Allyn Tote Original Image

Samantha Crozier/Insider

The Allyn Leather Tote has the best internal organization features we’ve found in a work tote, with its laptop sleeve in 13-inch and 16-inch, snap-in water bottle insert, as well as smaller pockets for your phone or a notepad. And thank goodness for its mini compartments, otherwise we’d never find that tiny, elusive lip balm. The straps are also the perfect length and width for comfortably carrying over your shoulder.

“One of the best parts about this bag is how wide it opens, so you won’t have to go blindly digging for anything. But despite how much it holds, the bag has a manageable silhouette that isn’t bulky at all, even on my five-foot-two frame,” says Samantha Crozier, style editor, Insider Reviews.

Read our full review of the Dagne Dover Allyn Leather Tote to find out more about why this bag got the hard-earned top spot. 

 

Best luxury: Kaai Pyramid Bagside by side of bag and interior

Samantha Crozier, KAAI

This stylish work bag comes in ten colors that all function as chic neutrals. It’s made from 100% scratch-proof, UV-resistant Italian leather that won’t get discolored or wilt in the rain. As for the inside, it can fit laptops up to 15.6 inches and has a slew of other helpful pockets. There’s a place for your pens, charger cables, notebook, makeup pouch, and whatever else you need to tote around.

Plus, it comes in two other sizes — the Midi Pyramid (12 colors) and the Mini Pyramid (11 colors). I have the Mini Pyramid and I’m obsessed with the luxurious suede lining and the little metal feet that help keep the bottom of your bag from touching the subway floor when commuting. And I love the two outer pockets, which are super helpful for slipping your phone into for easy access. This one is a little bit of a splurge, but you’re paying for the highest quality. 

Best vegan overall: Freja Palomaside by side of image of bag and image of interior

Samantha Crozier, Freja

I got Freja’s  Paloma Tote in Latte after seeing the vegan leather brand all over Instagram. I absolutely love gold hardware, and workbags with a simple but unique style, so I’m partial to the aesthetics of this stunning bag. 

This bag can hold a ton due to its roomy shape. I’ve put my laptop, a book, a water bottle, a jacket, a charger, and all my small essentials in it with absolutely no issues. Honestly, it could probably also fit lunch, a makeup bag, and a whole ‘nother laptop if necessary. The center compartment fits a laptop as big as 16 inches, which makes it one of the wider choices on this list. 

The straps are also thick enough that they won’t dig painfully into your shoulders if you’re seriously schlepping. Plus, the Paloma Tote also has many smaller compartments— zippered and unzippered — for essentials. Also, I love the gold-brown suede lining that feels luxurious and expensive.

One thing that might be a concern is that the middle zippered compartment doesn’t fully close. The bag is designed so that there are gaps at either end, which gives it that pretty silhouette. However, this means that this isn’t a great choice to double as a carry-on since putting it under the seat may lead to items slipping out. However, the brand does pitch this gap as a chic water bottle slot, allowing you to access it without going digging.

Read our full Freja review to see our other favorite picks from the brand. 

 

Best for carrying a laptop: Bandolier Tote BagA side by side of the Bandolier Carryall Tote Bag shown from the front and the interior.

Samantha Crozier/Insider

The Bandolier tote is made of high-quality pebbled leather that feels luxurious to the touch. Inside, you’ll find a zippered pocket, a few open compartments, and even a special pouch designed for storing your sunglasses. There’s also a padded compartment with a snap button closure that will fit a 15-inch laptop. 

And since carrying a laptop can be a struggle if you’re toting it around all day, the Bandolier bag comes with reinforced straps. “My favorite part about this tote is the straps. The extra bit of leather reinforcement makes it so much more comfortable on my shoulder when I’m carrying it around — plus it can carry a lot, so I need the extra support,” says Samantha Crozier, Style & Beauty Editor. 

Best budget: Quince Italian Leather Triple Compartment Toteside by side image of an original picture of a work bag for women next to an interior shot

Samantha Crozier, Quince

This bag from Quince is a great deal at under $150 for an Italian leather tote that’s big enough to carry a laptop. Similar bags cost twice as much. Plus, this one also comes with bells and whistles like a dust bag that is usually only included in more expensive purchases 

It’s a great tote that will check all your boxes if you’re looking for a basic work bag. It even has little metal feet, which I love as a feature but many work bags lack. 

If there’s one criticism I have of this bag, it’s the lack of pockets with zippers. The zippered compartment in the center is only big enough for a 13-inch laptop and maybe a slim paperback, so you can’t fit a ton in it if you’re already toting around a computer. Other than that, there are three open pockets in the interior that are big enough for a cell phone.

The Italian Leather Tote is also not lined, which doesn’t make too much of a difference when you’re using it, but the interior is not as luxurious as most of the bags on this list. For the price, though, it’s a great deal.

See our full review of Quince to check out our team’s favorite pieces we’ve tested. 

Best structured tote: Dagne Dover Signature ToteDagne Dover bag side by sideThe tote fits everything — and then more.

Sally Kaplan

Available in two sizes, Dagne Dover’s Signature Tote is what structured bag dreams are made of. The saffiano-style vegan leather looks just like real leather, and it’s just as durable, too.

“Some of Dagne Dover’s most popular features incorporated into the bags — like the water bottle holder, padded laptop compartment, and key leash that makes your keys easier to find  — are also some of my favorites.” says Sally Kaplan, executive editor, Insider Reviews.

After testing the larger version of this bag, our recommendation is to stick to the medium size unless you need to carry a large backpack or need to haul around a lot of stuff. Besides the useful interior organization features like a laptop sleeve and water bottle insert, the best part of this bag is the shape and size of the handle, which makes it easy to carry over the shoulder even when you’re wearing a bulky coat.

See our full review of the Dagne Dover Signature Tote here. 

Best minimalist: Everlane New Day Market ToteSide by side of Everlane New Day Market Tote in brandy.

Insider

This version of Everlane’s New Day Market Tote has everything we’ve raved about in the original, only this time with an eco-conscious update. Its flexible vegan leather is virtually indistinguishable from genuine leather and has far less of an impact on the environment. We’re talking specifically about its Bio-Alloy™ exterior, a leather alternative derived from plant-based proteins. The process of creating the tote out of its Italian-crafted material requires 83% less water compared to its previous leather version.  and find out why it’s one of the best work bags for women in 2023.

Do note, though, that that interior doesn’t have many pockets or compartments, which might make this not ideal for everyone. However, this might be perfect for some people — like those that take bulkier equipment than a laptop to work (would be great for audio equipment, toting crafting supplies, etc.) It also makes the perfect shopping tote.   

Read our full review of the original Everlane New Day Market Tote here.

Best splurge: Senreve Maestra Bagsenreve side by side

Sally Kaplan/Insider

Brace yourself to be approached by inquiring minds wanting to know where your bag is from. The Maestra is a convertible tote that began trending on the basis of just how adaptable its structure is. You can easily change between a shoulder bag, a top handle bag, and a backpack. The city traveler will especially notice it’s one of the best work bags for women who use public transport. 

“It can be swapped while walking without missing a beat, which is essential when the subway door is about to close on you but there’s only room for your body and not the large backpack attached to it,” says Sally Kaplan, executive editor, Insider Reviews. 

At its current price, the Maestra is definitely up there. Though should you be looking to invest in a daily-use work bag, its timeless silhouette has the stamina to last through years of trend cycles.

Check out our full review on Senreve’s Maestra Bag here.

Best for customization: Cuyana System ToteModel holding a sandy grey Cuyana System Tote with a messenger strap attached.

Cuyana

Cuyana lets you create your own ideal work bag via the System tote’s variety of customizable options. After landing on your favorite color and size, you can also choose from Cuyana’s selection of add-ons, including a snap-in laptop sleeve, detachable interior flap bag, zipper pouch, shoulder strap (wide or narrow) and the organizing insert. Considering the detail of the System’s features, the exterior is by contrast very minimalistic. Its simplicity makes it easy to style, should you be on the lookout for a work bag that is cohesive with your workplace wardrobe.

Best convertible: Caraa Studio ToteA model wears a Caraa Studio Tote bag in black on their back while wearing a green outfit.

Caraa

Another clear winner for one of the best work bags for women is Caraa’s dual-purpose Studio Tote. “Convertible bags are lifesavers for anyone who commutes on a subway, and this tote from Caraa is the best we’ve tested,” says Sally Kaplan, Executive Editor Reviews. 

While the nylon version we originally reviewed is no longer available, its new Italian leather counterpart has the same appeal. This tote has dedicated pockets for your laptop, water bottle, phone, even a hidden side compartment for shoes. And of course, the best part is the removable straps perfect for converting your tote into a backpack and vice versa. 

Check out our full review for the nylon Studio Tote here. Plus, check out our article on thebest convertible tote backpacks for more convertible options. 

Best work bag that looks like a purse: Radley London Baylis Road 2.0A Radley London tote bag in the color Dark Oak.

Radley London

If you work in an office that requires you to dress up, chances are you won’t be carrying a canvas tote or a nylon backpack. This open-top tote is made from a faux-croc leather material that looks incredibly chic. Instead of a rectangular silhouette, the bag has a purse-like look with winged sides. Though it’s big enough to fit essentials like a laptop and a water bottle, its also fashion-forward enough that it doesn’t look like a typical office bag.

“This would be the perfect bag to carry when you’re wearing a power suit. It looks super expensive and the shiny gold hardware is a great touch,” says Samantha Crozier, Style & Beauty Editor. See our picks for the best suits for women to come up with a full outfit. 

Best for organization: L.L. Bean Stonington Daily Carry ToteA model wears a L.L. Bean Stonington Daily Carry Tote on their shoulder in the color dark khaki.

L.L. Bean

This “cute, very utilitarian” (Michael Nolledo, former Executive Editor for Insider Reviews) work bag is distinguished by the Maine backwoods aesthetic of L.L. Bean. If your criteria for the best work bag for women is pure functionality, then this is the bag for you. It has it all— five interior pockets and three exterior pockets, designated to hold a laptop, a 40-ounce Hydro Flask, and an extra pair of shoes or umbrella. The Stonington’s rugged cotton canvas is weather resistant and the bag features two sets of handles for hand-carrying or over-the-shoulder transport.

Best for work-to-gym: Caraa StratusA model wearing a black Caraa Stratus backpack on her back while wearing a green outfit.

Caraa

Caraa is an up-and-coming indie brand that makes thoughtful considerations in its designs. The Stratus backpack is no exception, with its mesh netting interior compartments and removable pouch. Its exterior features clever details, such as with an inconspicuous pocket placed strategically on the flat back panel, and its exterior is constructed with a weatherproof cloudlike nylon.

“Starting with the material, you’ll find that it’s incredibly lightweight (we’re talking nearly unnoticeable), like a handful of feathers,” says Insider Reviews Executive Editor Sally Kaplan. What’s more, are vents at the bottom that air out any damp workout clothes, so the inside always stays fresh.  

Check out our full review of the Carra Stratus backpack to find out why it’s one of the best work bags for women.

Best backpack: Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene BackpackA full black Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack, open to show assorted items organized inside.

Dagne Dover

Again, Dagne Dover dominates the work bag category with its equally amazing backpacks. Its roomy main pocket fits everything you need for the office and comes with a travel bag for shoes if you need to make a quick change from your streetwear to workwear. It’s cushy exterior makes light work for the average commuter.

“The thick and cushioned neoprene straps make it so comfortable to carry,” according to deputy editor Lauren Savoie. “If you’re not someone who carries a lot, you may want to opt for the medium size, but I think the large size is particularly versatile, especially if you’re someone who travels a lot for work or pleasure.” It also comes in a size small, in observation of the range of commuters’ travel needs. 

Read more in our full Dagne Dover Dakota backpack review.

Best backpack for work travel: Lo & Sons Rowledge Nylon BackpackA person in heels carries a Lo & Sons Rowledge Nylon Backpack as they walk down the street.

Lo & Sons

Lo & Sons is another brand we feature often at Insider — not just because they make some of the best work bags for women — but also because they create superior travel essentials.  The Rowledge made our guide to the best Lo & Sons bags, and it’s the ideal companion for commuters that need a work bag as capable of adapting to their environment as they are. “The conversion was so easy that I didn’t even realize I walked onto the train with a backpack and exited with a handbag,” says Francesca Rea, former Story Production Manager. 

Check out our full review of the Lo & Sons Rowledge backpack here.

Best for a slim profile: Bellroy Tokyo Tote (Second Edition)A model wears a Bellroy Tokyo Tote (Second Edition) on their shoulder while standing outside a building.

Bellroy

If you hate carrying bulky bags and want something that will stay close to your side, you’ll be especially pleased with this tote from Bellroy. It has exceptional interior organization, with a spot for your laptop, water bottle, wallet, notebooks, and any other essentials you carry. It’s flexible enough to shove in a whole change of clothes for the gym, but the light padding in the walls of the bag keeps it structured enough to avoid becoming bulky even when packed.

Best for daily carry: Bellroy Classic Backpack (Premium Edition)A person walking down a street while wearing a black Bellroy Classic Backpack Premium Edition.

Bellroy

Aussie-based brand Bellroy stepped up their Classic Backpack with their new Premium version. It boasts the same comfort and features as the original with multiple tech sleeves and microfiber lined compartments for delicate items, such as glasses. The new leather panels are an attractive contrast to the weather resistant exterior. Its pockets are easy-access and sealed with stylish leather accents. 

Best for carrying a lot: Dagne Dover Pacific ToteA Dagne Dover Pacific Tote in pink zebra print.

Dagne Dover

Dagne Dover’s Pacific Tote is best suited for more casual workplaces because it’s made from canvas, but if you opt for the black bag you can probably get away with carrying it to nicer offices, too. The bag holds an unbelievable amount of stuff on both the inside and outside of the bag. It has a pocket for your laptop and a huge interior cavity with organizational features that make it easy to fit your lunch, a change of clothes, a water bottle, and more. But what really sets the bag apart is the four external pockets that are big enough to hold a book in each one, plus a small card pocket for discreet external storage. This bag can also work overtime for trips to the beach or even a small trip to the grocery store. Overall, it’s one of the best work bags for women — but it will serve you for more than just heavy-carry days at work.

Best fashion bag: Von Holzhausen The Large ShopperA person sitting on a couch beside the Von Holzhausen The Large Shopper tote bag.

Von Holzhausen

This bag comes to us from Siobhan Murphy, a former lead at Twitter, when we asked for a stylish work bag recommendation. Murphy was drawn to designer Vicki Von Volzhausen’s mission to reinvent leather for the fashion industry. “The bag is made with a high-quality sustainable leather alternative that looks beautiful and chic IRL, and is super easy to clean (a perk of the vegan leather alternative that I was happily surprised by),” says Murphy. This shopper-size bag comes at a substantial cost, but also with a lifetime warranty. The cinching closure especially sets this apart as a fashion statement amid average workplace attire.

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