The Rolling Briefcase – A Leader’s Most Important Tool?
Not since Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) and his coworkers marveled at the color, font and texture of one another’s business cards in 2000’s American Psycho has a business tool garnered as much admiration and created as much jealousy as the rolling briefcases being dragged through America today.
Whether tooling through the airport or navigating their office hallways with their pull-behind laptop luggage, American business leaders have begun to make both coworkers and strangers take notice.
While there are still those who choose to lug a laptop case by the straps, the editors of AskTheManager.com are convinced these bag-draggers and over-the-shoulder-computer-holders secretly suffer from briefcase envy when they spy us with our new Victorinox, Kensington or Wenger.
As with any fad or fashion, the market has become littered with both good and bad rolling briefcases. We did our homework, checked out the bags available at the mall luggage stores and office supply outlets, and we’ve decided that pound-for-pound and dollar-for-dollar, these are the 5 Best Rolling Briefcases money can buy:
- Victorinox Werks Traveler 2.0 Expandable Wheeled Computer Briefcase
The King of Rolling Briefcases, show up to work with this Victorinox and you’d have Patrick Bateman plotting your death. This one stores up to a 15″ laptop, and comes with two mesh pockets for storing computer peripherals along with lots of other cool and useful pockets and compartments. While the front compartment expands 2.5″, the rear compartment features a file divider which unzips to lie flat when not in use. Comes with a nifty zip-away water bottle pocket. Fully expanded, this great case is monster of storage at 16.5″ x 15.5″ x 11.5″. Retails for around $290.
- SwissGear by Wenger Black Rolling Briefcase
This great SwissGear by Wenger lists for over $270, but generally can be had for under $100. We found this one on Amazon for $85 with free shipping. Wenger makes a very durable bag; in fact one of our editors has pulled his through airports for more than three years and over 300 flights – and it still works and looks great. Wenger, for those of you who don’t know, is considered the “Genuine” provider of Swiss Army Knives and Victorinox is considered the “Original” provider of these. Long story short, both are great brands and both have been around for more than 110 years. In fact, Victorinox purchased Wenger in 2005, but decided to keep and market both brands. You cannot go wrong with either, though Victorinox is a bit more durable and certainly more respected in the water cooler discussions.
- Kensington 62348 Contour Roller Carrying Case
Kensington is one of the original providers of protective laptop cases and unlike the other top maker (Targus), they’ve done a terrific job of taking what they learned with the old sling-style cases and converted them into great rolling briefcases. This case is huge (19” x 17” x 9.5”) and is great for the road warrior who takes most of their office with them when they travel. As for bags with list prices under $100, this one is the best. We found it on Amazon for $65 with free shipping.
- Samsonite Business One Mobile Office
Not many wheeled laptop bags can handle a 17” laptop, but this great Samsonite can do this and still provide plenty of room for virtually everything else you need for the short or long trip. A durable bag from a great maker of durable luggage – it won’t turn heads like a Victorinox, but it’s well worth the money. We found it on Amazon with free shipping for under $120 ($200 list).
- Patriot from SwissGear by Wenger
A very deep and rugged rolling briefcase, the Patriot is probably the most common of the great bags that you’ll see in airports today. Because of its depth (11”) and the removable laptop tote (included at no charge) this is the most versatile bag available. You’ll never have to pack a second bag for that overnight trip, since you can fit a change of clothes and your toiletries in the rear compartment. A great buy at its $129 list price; though you can find it for under $90 (like we did at Amazon).