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Which rolling briefcases are best?

Today’s business people work from offices, airports, train stations, home and everywhere in between. They need to carry laptops, phones, chargers, computer peripherals, reports, presentations, documents and basic office supplies. The best rolling briefcase is without a doubt your mini-office on wheels. 

If you are looking for a rolling briefcase that is the largest carry-on approved by the TSA, try the Alpine Swiss Laptop Briefcase. It is hard-sided, built to last, spacious and secure.

What to know before you buy a rolling briefcase

What is a rolling briefcase?

Rolling briefcases are closely related to rollaboard luggage with a few important differences to keep in mind. 

Rollaboard luggage has two full-size compartments that face each other and a zipper that goes all the way around the bag so it opens completely and lies flat horizontally. 

Rolling briefcases are made to be used in an upright position. Rolling briefcases have more compartments and more ways to secure them. They have specially padded sections to keep your laptop cushioned in the center of the bag. Each compartment on a rolling briefcase has its own zipper to keep the contents separately organized for safety and securely. 

Soft sides or hard sides? 

Soft-side rolling briefcases are made of one of several grades of woven fabrics. Better and more expensive soft side rolling briefcases are made of ballistic grade or ripstop nylon.

Hard-side rolling briefcases may be made of leather, leatherette or plastic. Each forms an outer shell that protects the contents. The rigidity of hard side rolling briefcases varies considerably.

To learn even more about rolling briefcases, take a look at the full rolling briefcase buying guide from

What to look for in a quality rolling briefcase

People who travel a lot know to look for a rolling briefcase that takes care of business while making room for personal items and a change of clothes.


Rolling briefcases use compartments to keep things organized. 

Computer devices: The compartment that interests most business travelers is the one where they store their electronics. People who carry thousands of dollars of electronic devices need to keep them protected while moving from place to place. This means a well-padded area located in the middle of the briefcase with compartments on both sides providing additional cushioning.

Files: People who organize things with folders like having several vertical slots to hold things like hard copies of files, reports and presentations. The compartments should be full width and open like accordion files for easy reference.

Office supplies: Well-organized people have writing instruments for making notes and marking up documents, so they want a separate space for pens, pencils and highlighters. They might want to bring along a few paper clips or index cards, too.

Personal items: People who spend a lot of time traveling like to have a separate compartment for personal hygiene items and maybe another shirt. These they want to be kept separate from their business items in a compartment of their own.

Reading materials: Some people who travel a lot like to use their time reading magazines, business books or novels. They appreciate a separate outside compartment that is easily accessible when the rest of their briefcase is closed.

How much you can expect to spend on a rolling briefcase

Basic rolling briefcases will cost somewhere between $40-$80. From $80-$100 you will find better materials and more storage. Over $100 you will find rolling briefcases with the best construction and the best wheels. 

Rolling briefcase FAQ

Why would I want a rolling briefcase instead of a backpack?

A. Backpacks are designed for you to carry the load while rolling briefcases carry the load for you. Rolling briefcases are easier to get things in and out of because you don’t have to shrug out of shoulder straps. Rolling briefcases have a more professional look and don’t wrinkle your clothes where the straps bunch up. Backpacks are a better choice for rough terrain.

Are all rolling briefcases FAA approved for carrying aboard? 

A. No, because not all rolling briefcases are made for flying. Briefcases designed for flyers will have labels that say they meet all FAA regulations.

What’s the best rolling briefcase to buy?

Top rolling briefcase  

Alpine Swiss Laptop Briefcase

Alpine Swiss Laptop Briefcase

What you need to know: At 19 by 14 by 9 inches, this leatherette bag is the largest carry-on approved by the TSA.

What you’ll love: The hard-sided frame is built to last, with all components riveted. 

This wheeled mobile office is spacious, secure and organized, with pockets, slots, latches and locks. The front pocket expands 2 inches and has a button latch. This rolling briefcase easily carries A4 and legal-size documents and has smooth-rolling inline skate wheels. 

What you should consider: Customer reviews say wheels may stick in some circumstances.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top rolling briefcase for the money

Solo New York Bryant Rolling Bag

Solo New York Bryant Rolling Bag

What you need to know: Take your office with you wherever you go with this stylish polyester rolling bag with New York City vibes.

What you’ll love: This 6 pound, 17 by 14 by 9-inch rolling briefcase has more than just fully padded space for a 17-inch laptop. It has a divided file compartment for reports and presentations, a full-size zip-down organizer section and a zippered front pocket. The telescoping handle hides under a zippered flap when you carry this briefcase by its padded handle.

What you should consider: There have been some reports of flat spots developing on the rubber wheels after extended use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Samsonite Xenon 3.0 Mobile Office

Samsonite Xenon 3.0 Mobile Office

What you need to know: This classic bag has room for a 15-inch laptop and much more.

What you’ll love: Every zippered compartment opens from both sides. This 7 pound, 17.5 by 15 by 8.7-inch rolling briefcase has separate compartments for personal belongings as well your work items. The interior is fully lined and the laptop compartment has a padded honeycomb frame and space for computer accessories. The padded telescoping handle locks when fully recessed and when fully extended. The inline skate wheels reduce shock and absorb vibrations. 

What you should consider: This rolling briefcase has a bit oversized wheels.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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