The Affordable Briefcase: Knomo Tokyo – Primer Approved

If you read magazines or browse men's style sites you get the impression that a decent briefcase has to cost the same amount as a suit. We found one that looks great, is built tough, and comes at a decent price.

The need for a briefcase sneaks up on every man. A guy may never even think about needing (or wanting) a briefcase, and then one morning – as he gets ready for an interview, his first day at a new job, grad school, or other professional endeavor – he realizes he has nothing to carry his gear and paperwork in except for that bag from college.

And he's also surprised how much stuff he has that he needs to carry. Laptop, a manual or two, iPad for the commute, the stack of documents from HR, sunglasses, pens, gum for the post-Garlic bread lunch meeting, and the list goes on and on and on.

Unfortunately what most men also discover is that there isn't a great selection of briefcases that are modern, classy, AND in a post-college price range. The low end of the price spectrum is full of messenger bags that either look like you're hauling the laptop case that Best Buy threw in, or you're a San Francisco bike messenger.  On the other end are some awesome briefcases like Saddleback Leather or Filson, and are worth buying when, you know, you can spend a few hundred dollars on a briefcase.

Fear not, gents. I've found a briefcase that looks great, will last, and is decently priced. It's from an English company called Knomo (Knowledge & Mobility) that has designed a beautiful case, with modern touches like the cool blue interior and padded wall to keep your tech safe.

The Tokyo Briefcase is constructed out of treated canvas making it waterproof from all your spilled coffee, wet floors, or whatever else life throws your way. It has strong leather handles and built to last.

I've been carrying it for over a month on a daily basis. It not only has shown its durability (its got a 2 year warranty), its organization options have consistently impressed me.

  • 2 outside zipper pockets on each side, with one having pen slots and 3 big open pockets
  • An outside open slide pocket for stashing small things that need quick access
  • Inside is a padded divider
  • an internal zipper pocket
  • 3 stretchy pockets to stuff your phone, headphones, card case, Magic Mouse, etc.
  • 2 pen slots on each end

My problem with most messengers is they not only lack structure, the only way to carry them is with the over the shoulder strap. The nice thing about the Knomo briefcase is that it has its normal briefcase handles, but also comes with an over the shoulder strap you can haul along if you've got a distance to hike or need your hands free.

A person holding a bag and walking on a sidewalk

Knomo also has a cool perk to registering your bag. Each bag has a tag sewn in the inside with a unique serial number and Knomo contact info. If a samaritan finds your bag and contacts Knomo, they'll get it back to you.

The Tokyo as shown in my photos goes for $134 on Amazon. But, they offer a brown and black version that's on sale right now for only $90. Check out more info on Knomo's site.

Inside of a blue briefcase

Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.