Today I'm going to tell you why I ditched my work purse [permanently] for a work backpack.
Yes, a work backpack.
While this is a bit different than my typical professional productivity post, this choice has made a big impact on my life both in the day-to-day and for big events like conferences.
So let's get started.
Back in the day we didn't lug our laptops everywhere. You may even have a tablet and a laptop (and maybe a work laptop?) all in your purse. On your shoulder. So we didn't have as much stuff (theoretically) and we didn't have a heavy laptop taking up precious purse real estate.
Even with purse organizers for all of our stuff, it's hard to find what you're looking for in a big tote bag full of stuff. That's why there are so many social media posts for "What's in your bag?" where people empty out and take a picture of what's in their purse.
I spent a lot of time online reading reviews on professional looking backpacks - did they wear out easy? Did they fit everything? And compared these factors to the cost.
I decided to try out a budget alternative - rather than dropping $100 of my graduate school stipend on a backpack with mostly positive but some negative reviews. I figured if it fell apart at the seams, I could just buy another one and still spend less.
Separate zip laptop pocket: there's an easy access laptop sleeve on the back of the backpack - separate from the main compartment. Most of the time, my laptop is all I'm getting out of my backpack, so instead of having to unzip the main compartment and manage all of that mess, I can just unzip this one part. This separate pocket lies along your back and a thief literally cannot access it while you're wearing it.
Expandable side pockets: Some of the other backpacks don't have any side pockets, and some don't expand much. My Contigo water bottle ($12) and my Yeti travel mug ($30) are like permanent appendages and leaving them behind was not an option.
Slim profile: One of the most important aspects I was looking for was a backpack that would stay slim. No matter how much I shoved in there, I didn't want it to start bulging out like that college kid headed to the library during finals week. I can fit a good amount in this backpack but it definitely forces me to reconsider what I pack.
Extra storage pockets: in the middle compartment there are zip pockets, card pockets, and pen pockets to organize your ID cards, pens, and other misc items.
If you're curious about the portable charger aspect that these backpacks advertise heavily on, it means there is a small pocket at the top of the main compartment where you can slip in a portable charger. The backpack comes with a connector cord that runs through a little spot on the side. While you're walking around or sitting in class, you can easily charge your phone without having to juggle both the phone and the charger.
If you check out my winner backpack, you'll see some very similar ones, too. Believe me - I looked at them! In addition to not having the features above, it's notable that some of them are easily expandable to function as a day bag or gym bag. You can fit 1-2 days of clothing in the easiest carry-on bag in the world, or fit your workout clothes in with your laptop on your dash to work. These alternatives would be a great choice if you workout before or after work!
Products mentioned in this post
Have you dealt with pain from a heavy shoulder bag or backpack?
How have you migrated from school to work to gym to play?
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you purchase them through my link I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
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