Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Products
Reload this Page >

the "backpack for business" dilemma

the "backpack for business" dilemma

Old Sep 1, 17, 2:37 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Brussels
Programs: M&M SEN, IHG Plat, Herts PC, Marriott Silver
Posts: 7
the "backpack for business" dilemma

Hey guys,

I travel on a weekly basis within Europa and most of my out of office meetings are with physicians and all suited up.

I have been going back and forth from using a Tumi backpack and a Tumi laptop bag. Although I love using a backpack (easy to throw in those noise-cancellation headphones etc and just easier to travel with), I keep struggling with the "unprofessional' stigma of the backpack.

I know there are fans for both options but I just wanted to see if any of you ever had negative comments from customers about rocking a backup in a business meeting.

Thanks for the feedback
SpinMod81 is offline  
Old Sep 1, 17, 4:19 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: New York
Posts: 96
Others may disagree, but personally, I do not carry a backpack to formal business meetings. For leisure travel, I prefer a backpack as my carry-on, but for business situations, my first choice is a black Red Oxx Air Boss. When two-bagging, I will use a backpack or duffle, plus a smaller "personal item" bag for a laptop, electronics, etc.
Skywalker505 is offline  
Old Sep 1, 17, 5:56 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: gggrrrovvveee (ORD)
Programs: UA silver, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,027
This thread is a little older (last comment in late 2014), but still relevant.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...-faux-pas.html

The fact is that there are varying opinions. I wear a backpack to business meetings and haven't had any comments suggesting that it was unprofessional or uncouth. Others are "traditionalists" and feel that backpacks, regardless of the style, are best left on the hiking trail or school campus.

Of course, the best compromise might be a bag with multiple modes of carrying:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...ck-straps.html

Something that can be converted from backpack to briefcase with handle or strap carrying.
gobluetwo is offline  
Old Sep 1, 17, 6:37 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: YYZ
Posts: 1,392
Question

Originally Posted by Skywalker505 View Post
Others may disagree, but personally, I do not carry a backpack to formal business meetings. For leisure travel, I prefer a backpack as my carry-on, but for business situations, my first choice is a black Red Oxx Air Boss. When two-bagging, I will use a backpack or duffle, plus a smaller "personal item" bag for a laptop, electronics, etc.
Out of curiosity, why do you feel the Air Boss is more appropriate for formal meetings than a backpack? The Air Boss does not strike me as a very formal piece of luggage.
blue2002 is offline  
Old Sep 2, 17, 3:03 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: HEL
Programs: lots of shiny metal cards
Posts: 8,679
Just leave the backpack at the receptionist and waltz into the conference room with your laptop bag only.

(IMO if you are all suited up, carrying a backpack is on the same level as wearing trainers with the suit.)
WilcoRoger is offline  
Old Sep 2, 17, 3:23 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Oregon
Programs: Nothing spectacular
Posts: 34
Leave the backpack to the students and hikers. While I wish backpacks were acceptable with formal attire, they certainly aren't yet, and I doubt any of us will be the ones to make them acceptable. Maybe when Warren Buffett starts wearing a backpack then we can too
theflyingguyblog is offline  
Old Sep 2, 17, 4:23 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: New York
Posts: 96
Originally Posted by blue2002 View Post
Out of curiosity, why do you feel the Air Boss is more appropriate for formal meetings than a backpack? The Air Boss does not strike me as a very formal piece of luggage.
Any bag is more appropriate than a backpack in a business setting.
Skywalker505 is offline  
Old Sep 5, 17, 12:39 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: 42.1% in PDX , 49.9% in PVG & 8% in the air somewhere
Programs: Marriott Ambassador Elite, UA 1K, AS MVP GLD 75K
Posts: 782
Without known the stakes at appearing different, go with the norm and follow the rules. None of us here will be giving feedback or influencing your pay or business.

That is coming from a guy who is a wild goose. I've told people judge me based on my performance not my looks or stlye. But even recently I had to bow to management norms and now wear slacks and a dress shirt to work, more befitting my level of management, LOL.
chipmaster is offline  
Old Sep 5, 17, 9:24 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 61
If I could find a backpack that looked tidy when worn with a suit or sport coat, I'd use it, unfortunately, I haven't found one that doesn't ruin the line and cause wrinkles when worn. I carry a Timbuk2 Ram as my business case and I remove and stow the shoulder strap and carry it in my hand when in formal client meetings.

Also, since I don't use a wheeled carry-on, I find that a backpack really makes walking awkward with my luggage. I normally use an Ebags Motherlode convertible for my main bag and find that my briefcase provides a counterbalance when walking using either shoulder straps or handles. Also, when I have to walk a long distance (a rare event, thankfully), I put the Motherlode on my back and attach my briefcase to the rings on Motherlode's backpack straps (balancing fore and aft).

Given the more casual business environment, backpacks should be given serious consideration for those folks that operate in those environs but not everyone is lucky enough to be able to cast off corporate atire.
Airport Runner is offline  
Old Sep 5, 17, 8:58 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Montgomery County, PA
Programs: US Airways DM- Silver
Posts: 20
I feel that it's all about the environment that you'll be working in, as well as the field. My wife is an accountant and a backpack would never be acceptable to her environs. In my little patch of IT, a backpack is completely acceptable for just about everything except meeting with a CEO. (Although, I have met a couple Fortune 50 CEO's and they didn't seem too terribly concerned that I had a nice backpack vs a leather bag.Then again, I'm the customer!)
RobCH likes this.
golasalle is offline  
Old Sep 5, 17, 11:09 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 31,942
Originally Posted by golasalle View Post
I feel that it's all about the environment that you'll be working in, as well as the field. My wife is an accountant and a backpack would never be acceptable to her environs. In my little patch of IT, a backpack is completely acceptable for just about everything except meeting with a CEO. (Although, I have met a couple Fortune 50 CEO's and they didn't seem too terribly concerned that I had a nice backpack vs a leather bag.Then again, I'm the customer!)
Yeah, that's one thing nice about being a techie--it's pretty much accepted that we dress practical rather than fancy.

I've attended multiple trade shows in pretty casual garb and it's only a slight handicap. They obviously prefer the guys in the suits--not that I'm being dismissed as not a real customer, but that the guys in the suits are higher in the pecking order and thus represent bigger sales. There's also the issue that flashy presentations with little substance work much better on suits than techs.
golasalle likes this.
Loren Pechtel is offline  
Old Sep 6, 17, 11:25 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: DL Silver, AS MVP, UA Silver, HHonors Diamond, Marriott Plat, SPG Plat, National Exec Elite
Posts: 3,878
I agree that a backpack worn over a suit jacket or sport coat is a jarring sight. I see it all the time in my industry (commercial aviation) but it still doesn't come across as the most professional approach to me. That said, I've come around to the fact that backpacks are just more convenient for moving through airports, especially when pulling a golf travel case behind.

I've just recently moved to an eBags Professional Slim backpack. The backpack straps can be tucked away completely out of sight and there is a horizontal carry handle. When put in this configuration, the only indication it's not any other laptop bag is the slight taper in thickness from one end to the other. I wish there was a tuck-away single carry strap, but the instances where I'd need to carry it horizontally are usually only from the car into the customer's office and back out, so I can live without it. It also has a rolling back handle pass through, so I can keep it off my shoulders/jacket (wrinkles) most of the time but have fully padded shoulder straps when they're needed (i.e. pulling a golf bag case through the airport).
IsleOfMan is offline  
Old Sep 8, 17, 2:48 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 17,459
Originally Posted by SpinMod81 View Post
Hey guys,

I travel on a weekly basis within Europa and most of my out of office meetings are with physicians and all suited up.

I have been going back and forth from using a Tumi backpack and a Tumi laptop bag. Although I love using a backpack (easy to throw in those noise-cancellation headphones etc and just easier to travel with), I keep struggling with the "unprofessional' stigma of the backpack.

I know there are fans for both options but I just wanted to see if any of you ever had negative comments from customers about rocking a backup in a business meeting.

Thanks for the feedback
Another opinion here. I think if you carry a leather backpack and make sure your suit and shoes are high quality and conservative, you'll be fine. But carry the backpack into the meeting by its top handle rather than wearing it as you would in the airport.
MaxBuck is offline  
Old Sep 8, 17, 3:05 pm
  #14  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 44,610
I never carry anything into a meeting which I do not need for the meeting. No backpack, brief case, or other. That is what coat closets are for.

I also don't believe that a clean -- doesn't have to be leather -- business backpack is absolutely fine in a formal business setting where you are wearing a suit & tie. Banks, lawyers, accountants and so on.
Often1 is offline  
Old Sep 10, 17, 11:12 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Executive Club, Qatar Airways Privilege, Clan LoganAir
Posts: 110
Yes, backpacks still raise an eyebrow in some types of meeting, sadly. But as more people cycle or run into work that is changing IMO. If it matters to you or your clients, go for a double-zip briefcase/bag with shoulder strap and a laptop cell that provides the extra room you need for your stuff. Personally I'm not convinced by a backpack unless there's some serious distance to be covered on foot while carrying or lugging another bag. In normal stop-start air travel mode, it always seems to be on my back when I need to access something quickly, or I'm slinging it as a shoulder bag which rather defeats the point.
RobCH is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: