Is it time to swap your briefcase for a backpack? backpacks are comfortable, functional, durable — and these days, even fashionable. Marimba's Kim Polese, AOL's Bob Pittman, and Apple founder Steve Jobs all carry the same model, the LapPak from Respect Inc. of San Francisco. An easy-to-open flap offers access to business cards, pens, files, discs. The LapPak also has a wrist rest that lets you log onto your laptop without removing it from the bag.
It's hard to imagine a more rugged backpack than the Computer Daypack by Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS). The bag, made of durable ripstop polyester, has a padded laptop compartment with slots for discs and CDs, a main compartment with a padded drawstring bag, and a separate space for papers and files.
The LapPak and the Daypack declare your independence from corporate convention. If you like the functionality of a backpack, but still need the credibility of a briefcase, try the Kensington SaddleBag. It can be carried on your back, in your hand, or on your shoulder. It has fast-access pockets for plane tickets, PDAs, and phones, plus a padded computer compartment big enough for a laptop and peripherals.
The LapPak, $98. Contact Respect at www.respectus.com or 888-527-7251. The Computer Daypack, $65. Contact EMS at www.emsonline.com or 888-463-6367. The SaddleBag, $139.99. Contact Kensington at www.kensington.com or 800-535-4242.