April 9, 2012  ·  mail  ·  style

Mailbag: Traveling light

Steve asks: "I'm a sales and account rep for a tech company and need some help. When I travel to business meetings and larger partner events, I need to be able to carry around my iPad (to do app demos), cellphone, and 20 or so business cards, while still being able to talk, drink, and eat. How do I find a bag that can be worn with a suit, is smaller than a briefcase, easy to carry around, but doesn't fall into the category of a man-purse?" Answer: Flap messenger bags were basically designed for guys like you, Steve. Your utilitarian needs are non-negotiable—you need your hands free; you need frequent, easy access to the bag's contents; and you need to not cut off circulation to your shoulder. Referring to our handy guide, since we're not scoring big points on size or carrying method we'll compensate with a wide aspect ratio, a dark masculine colour, and an overall appearance that could not in any way be mistaken for unisex.

Clockwise from left: Boconi [$248]. Jack Spade [$375]. Hugo Boss [$375]. Budget pick, not shown: Kenneth Cole [$168].

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