Im looking for a decent rucksack/backpack for work to safely transport my laptop and cables plus the ability to take sufficient clothing for a day or two.
I've seen the business-types but they are too formal. I'd prefer something semi-casual.
Budget sub 100squids.
I'm very happy with my Osprey Nebula
34 litres might not be big enough, but it has tons of pockets, comfy back system, and comes in black, so looks fairly smart, RRP £90, but can be had for cheaper.
I bought it to replace a TNF Borealis, which I also recommend, but I prefer the slightly larger size of the Osprey.
I've an earlier version of this https://www.thenorthface.co.uk/shop/en-gb/tnf-gb/base-camp-fuse-box-backpack-3kvr?variationId=KX7 which has lasted me well, everything fits in it neatly and I've been able to fit 3 days worth of clothes and work gadgets in without a fuss for work trips abroad.
I wanted something that wasn't too outdoorsy for work but at the same time wasn't too corporate/suit and tie.
Remember working abroad!?!
Until I retired I used a 22 L Simond sac from Decathlon for work - fine for up to maybe 3 days, unless I needed outdoor as well as 'business' clothes. Now I'm retired its still in use as my usual day sac
If the look is good for you, one of these in black or navy is ace. Lots of pouches/compartments inside, they stop everything sinking to the bottom of the pack like a sack of spuds.
There are various ways to get discounts in UK on these.
I have an Osprey Quasar (28 litres), and have used it for laptop, cables, couple of folders, plus clothes etc for one nighters. I like it a lot. In fact, I've acquired a second one as work offered to pay for one, but am still using the first one. To be honest, the second has had a few minor changes to save money (eg single instead of double zip on the big pocket, no compression straps) so isn't quite as good. That extra few litres capacity in the Nebula would be worth having, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Osprey as a brand.
A bit over budget, but a Fjallraven Greenland.
I use a similar model, no longer made, with a leather base and straps for exactly the same purpose, its held up very well over the years and still looks respectable.
I have the “large” version of this. Supposedly 30l, I’d say quite a bit smaller. I use it for work, it’s great for that, but I think I would struggle with packing a change of clothes in addition to a large laptop and the various other bits and piece that you tend to carry.
is something like this you are after?
DMM do something a big bigger but with a different look.
I have an Arcteryx Blade...20l version. Can take laptop plus other bits and pieces for an overnight stay. There is a bigger version if you need it.
I paid £100 ish but I see the rrp is now quite a bit more. Very hard wearing and a bit different from the usual business luggage.
> DMM Shorthaul, exactly what you need and is designed to fit a laptop https://dmmwales.com/professional-products/bags/short-haul
I was tempted by this but the cost and size swung it for the Osprey.
I use the Osprey Centauri which was quite a bargain at £40ish from Go Outdoors. Quite simple and unfussy, which I rather like.
Not sure that Go Outdoors still stock them, but it's here at £50 https://www.ryman.co.uk/osprey-centauri-22-litre-backpack-with-laptop-sleeve-black-1?istCompanyId=724692e0-2f99-4874-9565-6fc82074fe86&istFeedId=62fcf5e7-7380-40af-a2f8-d6441f27c300&istItemId=ilqxwwwqq&istBid=tztx&gclid=CjwKCAjwo4mIBhBsEiwAKgzXOKEWlwrhXTh8rf_jeIfQ3mPrmfwmEcCUZgRt4hpRE0l2A8JVQ4KwbRoCH_sQAvD_BwE
Although it doesn't have the exact dimensions you can get a bit of a feel of it from the vid here youtube.com/watch?v=umfUr-VJ5_o&
I actually don't have it, I've got the flight, which I use as my crag/rope/weekend away bag, and the smaller old pack (the one above the shorthaul in the vid) which I use as a laptop/gym/day to day bag, but I really like DMM's bags so wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.
The flight is a great pack, but like they mention in the video it's a big bulky bag so is a bit much for day to day use!
Not much use to you, more a nod to Pod rucksacks and simple, robust designs. I've been using the same 25l Pod Teardrop for 18 years for work. It's black, even blacker where I've stained it with ink, but is not even starting to wear out. It has one pocket and one main compartment and that's it. I put a 15" laptop in it, in a padded cover, and sometimes it is handy to just take that cover and leave the rucksack at home.
If I were buying one now, I'd get one of those Fjallravens described above. For my wife though, I've just bought a 24l Osprey Sirrus, for day walks. It has all sorts of compartments and pockets and she will love it.