Whether you work from home or commute to coffee shops and public parks to log in and get your work done, having a way to carry your books, work files, and office supplies is more important than ever. There’s no doubt that you’ll want to protect a laptop, mouse, and other fragile technology. But you can also look smart at the same time. Here are three things to think about when homing in on a briefcase-style.

Top Pick

This sack has a padded sleeve for a computer that’s secured by both zippers and magnetic snaps. NEWHEY

Briefcase styles have changed dramatically. There are still solid traditional choices of hard-sided bags crafted in leather or aluminum, and there’s a growing option of messenger-styled bags in handsome leather and high-tech synthetic materials. Look around to match your work vibe and your style with a briefcase, messenger bag, or shoulder satchel.

Great Value

Rubber corner guards prevent scratches when you lay this product flat. Bory

No matter how handsome the briefcase, it’s doomed to fail if it won’t keep your contents well protected and organized. Some buyers will prefer a cleaner interior without a lot of pockets and pouches, while others will appreciate a multitude of organizing options. If you tend to carry lots of extra items like pens, notepads, extra files, and even a collapsible umbrella, you’ll want to choose a briefcase with both interior and exterior pockets.

Also Consider

You can secure the contents inside this product with a pair of combination locks. Bory

Many high-impact briefcases come with a layer of what some call “DIY foam.” These cushioning panels feature pre-cut grids of foam that allow you to remove small foam pieces to craft custom sizes of insets that fit your laptop computer, camera, or other fragile items perfectly for maximum protection.