Briefcase vs Suitcase – Our TOP 5! For most people, it’s easy enough to pick correctly in the briefcase vs suitcase options depending on the situation. If you bring stuff to the workplace, then you use the briefcase. If you bring clothes to a vacation spot or move to another home, you pack your suitcase with your clothes. Choosing between suitcase vs. briefcase is just that simple. This post, its photos and table include links to products on other websites. If you purchase something through these links we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. CLICK To Our FULL Product Reviews Briefcase vs. Suitcase: Comparison Points If you want to dive deeper into these types of bags, let’s take a look at how a briefcase may be different from a suitcase. Name and Origin The briefcase gets its name from its original function, which is for lawyers to bring briefs to court. “Briefs”, in this caserefer to court papers. Lawyers carried paper to courts, which even now remains part of the legal requirements. On the other hand, the suitcase wasn’t originally for lawyers, as the “suit” in the name doesn’t refer to the complaint or petition they file at court. Instead, it refers to the piece of clothing. The bag was meant to transport suits, and they were first used by tailors in England. Uses The modern uses for briefcases and suitcases remain similar to their original functions. Today, you use your briefcase to move around not just papers, but other items you may need for work. This time, you probably will need space for your laptop, along with the usual accessories like earbuds, laptop mice, and portable charger. You can also include pens and a notebook, and maybe even your eyeglasses case and your EDC knife. Suitcases are still mainly for clothes, whether you’re moving or vacationing. They’re basically travel bags tough enough for long trips. Openings You generally need some bit of security for both briefcases and suitcases. That means having a lock of some sort, though a combination lock is the standard option. However, you want a more secure lock for your suitcase, especially for air travel. That’s because the suitcase may be pout of your sight at some point, so you may want a lock that’s approved by the TSA. Size and Shape Both suitcases and briefcases have the same basic rectangular block shape, which they retain whether they’re filled or empty. But suitcases are generally bigger, since they’re meant to carry lots of clothes and other stuff. Interior Organization The interior organization for the suitcase is generally simpler. You have lots of space for clothes, maybe a compartment for shoes, and smaller pockets for smaller items. The interior of the briefcase is a bit more sophisticated, since you have different office items to bring along. You need pockets for your laptop, notepads, business cards, pens, and maybe even a laptop mouse. Toughness Briefcases are generally tough, especially with hardcase models. But suitcases have to be a lot tougher. That’s especially true for bigger suitcases that luggage handlers may just throw around haphazardly. Your suitcase better be able to handle such abuse. Transport and Movement Usually, you have only a simple handle on a briefcase. If it feels comfy to hold and won’t easily break, you have no complaints. But it’s a lot more complicated with a suitcase. Generally, you’ll want a telescoping handle along with wheels to let you pull the suitcase. Items You Want to Carry in a Briefcase (But You May Forget to Bring) Sure, you will want your laptop and work documents inside the briefcase. You’ll also want your accessories for your laptop and smartphone, like your earbuds, laptop mouse, and portable chargers. But you may not realize that it will make your work life easier if you bring the following items with you when you carry around your briefcase: Breath freshenerAlcohol wipesThumb driveEDC knife for opening parcels Items You Should Not Pack in Your Suitcase The general rule with packing is that you cut down the clothes you’re planning to bring along on a vacation, and then double the cash you’re bringing. You really should also leave these items at home: Shampoos and conditionersHair dryerPaper guidebooksExpensive jewelryTravel ironOver-the-counter drugs If you’re a guy, you just need a pair of walking shoes along with a pair of dressy shoes. Ladies should bring 3 pairs of shoes: ballet flats (or flip-flops), running shoes, and a pair of heels. Briefcase vs. Suitcase: Top 5 Reviews Sure, it’s easy enough to know which bag to get between the briefcase vs. suitcase faceoff depending on the situation. In the matter of the briefcase vs. suitcase choice, you’ll probably end up using both types of bags at some point in your life. So, you may as well get both types so you’re ready. Pick the Right One But which briefcase should you get? Which suitcase should you buy? You’ve got hundreds (or more likely thousands) of bag options to pick from. The good news is that we’ve made a list of terrific selections. So you can find an excellent option regardless of which bag you need between briefcase vs. suitcase. 1. RoadProSPC-931R 17.5″ x 4″ x 13″ Silver Aluminum Briefcase, Medium “No-Nonsense Nuclear Football Briefcase” Our Rating: 4.5 Buy From Amazon This is a really cool briefcase option, though some people might joke about having the launch codes to initiate a nuclear strike. That’s because it looks like the “nuclear” football you see in movies, which the presidential military aid holds (maybe even secured with handcuffs to the wrist). But this aspect just emphasizes the “seriousness” of the briefcase, even if its overtly serious nature leads to a bit of fun ribbing. On the Outside The case is made with aluminum, and it shows all throughout the interior. You do have some black accents on the handle and on the edges of the briefcase. But these black accents just underscore the tough metal used for the briefcase. It looks really tough, though because it’s made with aluminum, at least it’s not heavy. Hard Plastic Handle The handle looks metal, but it’s actually hard plastic. In years past, the handle has been frustratingly fragile and easy to break, but fortunately RoadPro listened to customer feedback and now this component is much tougher. The case doesn’t have any feet though, so you may not want to set this down on a dirty street surface. Locks You have the usual 2 combination locks here, and it’s easy enough to set the combination to your preference. Combination locks offer more security for the items inside, but they’re easy enough for you to open. On the Inside The briefcase opens somewhere in the middle, so each compartment side (the lid and the bottom) offer about 2 inches of depth. The interior is line as well. The bottom compartment offers a clear space without any partitions, so you’re free to arrange your items there in whatever manner you want. Lid Compartment The lid compartment, though, has sections to let you organize your other paraphernalia. There are 2 sleeves, so you can use one for your laptop and the other one for documents or folders. There’s a zippered picket on the left at the bottom, along with a small slot pocket on its side. Then you have 2 slots for pens, then a buttoned pocket that can fit in maybe your laptop mouse and earbuds too. What We LikeTough metal hardcaseNot too heavy2 combination locksAmple space insideSleeves, slots, and pockets for various stuffThe handle is tougher nowNot So GoodNo feet on the bottomJokes about nuclear launch codesProne to damage 2. Solo New York Grand Central Attaché Case, Black “Serious, Stylish, and Simple” Our Rating: 4.5 Buy From Amazon Now this one doesn’t lead to jokes about nuclear launch codes at all. With its all-black color and leather exterior on a hard case frame, it immediately tells people that it is (and you, by extension) are there to work. It’s both stylish and serious, so it fits lawyers and bankers as well as more creative types. In fact, it’s great for creatives as it lends a nice serious aspect to their look, to balance their usual casual attire. The Solo New York brand started to design their travel briefcases with the spirit of New York City in mind. Thus came the New York Grand Central model name. Dimensions and Exterior Features The briefcase measures 17.5 inches long and 12.5 inches high, and it’s 4 inches thick. You have 4 somewhat short metal feet at the bottom. So you’re able to rest this on a grimy street surface without worrying about dirtying the bottom section of the briefcase. With its hardcase design, you get the same shape even if it’s mostly empty inside. You also have the standard dual combination locks to secure the contents of your briefcase. Interior Space Open the briefcase, and it’s very neat and simple on the inside as well. It opens near the edge, so that you have a nice, deep space on the bottom compartment for your books, folders, and papers. The lid section isn’t wide, but then you also have a large sleeve where you can put your laptop. There’s a convenient pocket for a notepad on the left-bottom side, with a smaller pocket in front where you can put your business cards. Then you have 2 slots for your pens. On the right there’s another pocket sized to fit in your smartphone, your laptop mouse, and maybe your earbuds as well. What We LikeSleek, stylish, and seriousLeather exterior for style and water resistanceDeep bottom compartmentVarious pockets and sections for other stuffReliable combination locks4 metal feet underneathNot So GoodDoesn’t expand muchNo padding for electronic devicesLatch can break easily 3. Amazon Basics Hardside Carry-On Spinner Suitcase “Great for Weekend Getaways” Our Rating: 4.5 Buy From Amazon Now we come to the suitcases, as eventually we can all travel more freely. We like the 21-inch suitcase, which is good enough for a weekend away, but you can go with the 26-inch or even 30-inch versions. We also prefer the simple black color, though other color options are Navy Blue, Blue (lighter and brighter than Navy Blue), and Orange. Material The protective hard shell is quite tough, and it also comes with a scratch-resistant finish. It’s made of extra-thick ABS, meaning it’s a bit thicker than what you usually find in other similar suitcases. That also means this suitcase is tougher and more durable, in case some baggage handlers try to just throw it around. But it can also expand by 15%, incase you pack a bit too much. As long as you’re able to close the zippers, you’re good to go. These zippers are very strong and solid. Dimensions and Specs The 21-inch suitcase offers an interior space of 13.3 by 9.6 by 18.5 inches. On the outside, it measures 14.9 inches wide, 10 inches thick, and 21.6 inches tall. That is when you also include the wheels in your measurements (to make sure it fits in your car trunk). Easy Movement The handle can also extend an extra 20 inches, so you’re able to pull it. It’s not as if the suitcase itself is too heavy, since it only weighs 7.34 pounds. You even have 4 double-spinner wheels which roll smoothly in all directions. Interior Space You have enough room here inside, as the interior capacity is 39 liters. The interior is fully lined, and you have a divider as well. The interior organizer on the lid side is made with 150-denier polyester, while you also get 3 pockets with zippers for your smaller items. What We Like3 size options4 color optionsSpinner wheels allow for greater maneuverabilityTelescoping handle lets you pull the suitcaseNeat interiorsNot So GoodNo convenient locking option on the suitcaseSomewhat flimsyDoesn’t have a lock 4. Coolife Luggage 3 Piece Set Suitcase “Great Set for Vacationing Couples” Our Rating: 4.5 Buy From Amazon Okay, this 3-piece set is great for a couple going on an extended vacation, or maybe even a family with a single kid. Buying 3 suitcases as a set offers a very nice deal too, as it’s much less expensive than buying each one individually. We like the blue color, with the alternate options yellow, white, and dark green. The blue just looks cooler, plus it doesn’t seem to get dirty too quickly unlike the other colors. 3 Sizes Here are the exterior dimensions of each one: 20-inch. 15.5 inches wide, 9.25 inches thick, and 22.5 inches tall (measurement includes the wheels but not the handle), weighs 6.3 pounds24-inch. 18.25 inches wide, 10.25 inches thick, and 26.5 inches tall, weighs 7.9 pounds28-inch. 20.75 inches wide, 11.75 inches thick, and 30.25 inches tall, weighs 10 pounds The interior capacity of each: 20-inch. 38 liters, or clothes for 1 to 4 days24-inch. 60 liters, or clothes for 4 to 7 days28-inch. 93 liters, or clothes for 7 to 9 days The Construction Each suitcase is made with 100% ABS, and the hard-shell case is impact-resistant. The corners are reinforced by molded corner guards to deflect and absorb impact as well. You have the interior mesh zip pocket on the inside as well, along with the usual compression straps to keep your clothes in place. This even comes with a TSA-approved lock for security. Easy to Move This features a telescoping handle, and it even comes with a push-button lock so you can adjust the handle to the precise height you want. You also get the multi-directional spinner wheels, which can go 360-degrees and rolls silently. What We Like3 suitcases of different sizesLots of room inside the casesLess expensive as a setLocking telescoping handleSilent multidirectional wheelsTSA-approved lockNot So GoodToo much for a single personA bit expensiveSome difficulty opening the locks at first 5. Amazon Basics Oxford Luggage Suitcase with TSA Lock “Terrific for Solo Trips” Our Rating: 4.5 Buy From Amazon If you’re a single person needing to travel for a while, a 3-piece set of suitcases is too much. But this option works fine, as it is large and roomy and comes with lots of nifty features. Exterior If you add the wheels in your measurements, then the suitcase is 20.4 inches wide, 12.6 inches thick, and 30.1 inches tall. You have double zippers for the closure system, along with the TSA lock for security. The hard-shelled build is quite durable, but it can expand 15% if it has to. It also comes with a scratch-resistant finish, to maintain the nice monochromatic look. We love the dramatic red color this time (easy to see among a sea of suitcases), but you can also go with black, blue, or green instead. Interior On the inside, you have space measuring 19.2 inches wide, 11.4 inches thick, and 26.7 inches. That totals an interior capacity of 97 liters. The fully-lined interior is very roomy, and you have several pockets with zippers for smaller items. Easy to Move Around This features the usual telescoping handle, but now you also have the short handles on the side. That means you can move the suitcase around to turn it any which way, when you’re sitting down. It’s not a problem since the suitcase itself only weighs 10.76 pounds. That also means lifting this to your car trunk shouldn’t be an issue. It also helps that you have 4 double-spinner wheels, which spins a lot more freely than the single-wheel system. What We LikeLooks greatVery tough and durableTSA-approved lockLots of room and zippered pocketsMoves very freelyHas side handlesNot So GoodShiny color seems to show off dirt and dustNo instructions for setting the lockNot scratch-proof Briefcase vs Suitcase: Conclusion In the matter between briefcase vs. suitcase, it can be argued that there’s a good chance that lots of people don’t need them right now. It’s true that more people are working at home right now, so there may not be a lot of use for your new briefcase. It’s also true that most people aren’t packing suitcases for vacations either. Yet, it’s also true (though fingers crossed) that pandemics may come, but they may also go away. That means a return to blessed normalcy, where people get out of the house to go to work and leave for holidays. Pick the Right One That means you’ll need that briefcase and that suitcase, eventually. In fact, prices may be quite low right now, so you’re doing yourself a favor by buying them now, since you know you’ll need them later anyway. In the matter of the briefcase vs suitcase faceoff, you’re a winner if you get a good one of both types today.