The Science of Durability: What Makes a Truly Durable Briefcase?

The Science of Durability: What Makes a Truly Durable Briefcase?

From puddle drops to spilled lattes – you need a bag that can take a beating. How can you find the most long-lasting, durable briefcase?

How long a briefcase lasts is not so much a question of how it's used but, rather, how it’s made. A well-made briefcase should withstand the wear and tear of an on-the-go professional life. Beyond that, a durable briefcase must stand up to the elements, protecting electronics, documents, and other valuables from rain and shine. 

What are the makings of a truly durable briefcase? Let’s put a scientific lens on common briefcase materials and designs and how they rate when it comes to durability. First, let’s zoom in on different briefcase materials.


Durable Briefcases: Factors to Consider

When searching for a truly durable briefcase, there are several factors that can significantly impact its longevity and resilience. By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed decision and invest in a briefcase that will withstand the test of time.

1. Drop Protection: 

A durable briefcase should provide effective drop protection to safeguard your belongings from accidental falls or impacts. Look for features like padded compartments or shock-absorbing materials that minimize the risk of damage to fragile items such as laptops or electronics.

Briefcase Drop Protection

2. Water Resistance: 

Protecting your belongings from water damage is crucial, especially in unpredictable weather conditions or situations where spills can occur. Look for a briefcase with water-resistant or waterproof materials and features such as sealed zippers or a built-in rain cover to keep your items dry and safe.

Briefcase Water Protection

3. Scratch Protection: 

A durable briefcase should be resistant to scratches and scuffs, ensuring it maintains its appearance and remains free from visible wear and tear. Look for materials that have scratch-resistant properties or additional protective coatings to keep your briefcase looking pristine over time.

Scratch Protection Briefcase

4. Wear Protection: 

Choose a briefcase that is designed to withstand regular use without showing signs of wear. Look for materials and construction techniques that offer excellent durability, ensuring that the briefcase retains its shape, color, and overall integrity even with frequent use.

Packing Briefcase Wear

5. Construction Quality: 

The overall construction quality of a briefcase is crucial for its durability. Look for sturdy stitching, reinforced corners, propper padding, and robust hardware such as zippers and buckles. A well-constructed briefcase will better withstand everyday wear and tear, ensuring it remains functional and intact.

Briefcase Construction


By carefully evaluating these factors, you can choose a durable briefcase that meets your specific needs and withstands the rigors of your professional life.

Common Briefcase Materials – Durable or Not?

After considering the key factors that contribute to the durability of a briefcase, it's crucial to examine the different materials commonly used in their construction. Just like with performance suits, briefcase materials are not created equally when it comes to durability. so, let's take a closer look at these materials and how they rate when it comes to drop protection, water protection, scratch protection, and wear protection over time.

  • Leather Briefcases — Leather may be timeless from a style perspective, but it definitely has a time limit when it comes to durability. This non-vegan material scratches easily, shouldn’t be exposed to water, doesn’t clean well, absorbs stains, and is difficult to properly care for on a busy professional schedule.
  • Vinyl Briefcases — Vinyl bags are relatively resistant to wear and tear for a short time, but they can crack or peel over time, depending on the quality of the vinyl used. However, vinyl is easy to clean, low cost, and waterproof. Still, some don’t like the plastic look and feel. 
  • Cloth or Canvas Briefcases — Some briefcase owners prefer the more casual fabric look and feel offered by cloth or canvas briefcases. The durability of a cloth or canvas bag depends on the exact material from which its made. For example, waxed canvas is water resistant and can be cleaned and rewaxed if stained. However, most bag owners don’t like the idea of spending time regularly rewaxing their bags, and canvas is certainly not scratch or drop resistant.
  • Ballistic Nylon Briefcases — Hand down the most modern and ultra-durable briefcase material is ballistic nylon. Initially made for military applications, this material can take a beating and still look as good as new even a decade down the road.

“Ballistic nylon is a material that was developed in the 1940s specifically for protection and abrasion resistance,” explains About Mechanics.

This briefcase material has strong shock absorption, stress tolerance, and water resistance. That means you won’t have to worry about your new laptop, folder with important docs for tomorrow’s presentation, or glasses getting damaged in the event of a drop or spill. 

Durable Briefcase Corner


Common Briefcase Styles – Durable or Not?

True, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to briefcase style. Some prefer the classic ‘90s dad’ attaché case (hey, we’re not knocking it…the 90s are back in, right?). Still, others opt for the hipster messenger bag look—meanwhile, some spring for pure practicality with a rolling briefcase. Let’s take a look at how these styles and more stand up to the test of time and use.

Here are some of the most common briefcase styles:

1. Attaché Briefcases

As mentioned, the attaché briefcases are classic but have some key drawbacks. For one, attaché cases don’t typically have a shoulder strap, making them difficult to carry and more likely to be dropped in cases where you need both hands. Additionally, these hard-shell cases don’t have much give, so they can easily get scratched trying to shove them into tighter spaces, like overhead airplane bins or underneath the subway seat. 

2. Portfolio & Padfolio Briefcases

Like the traditional attaché style, portfolio and padfolio briefcases sometimes lack a shoulder strap. Portfolio and padfolio cases are usually very portable and handy but don’t have the dimensions to accommodate more than a notebook, cards, pens, and a tablet. These styles, especially the smaller padfolio, typically can’t carry larger electronics and other personal effects.

3. Messenger Bag Briefcases

Messenger bags are stylish and versatile, but oftentimes they don’t have any stabilizing feet to keep them off the ground. As a result, regular contact with the ground can make messenger bags exhibit premature signs of wear. Plus, the closing mechanisms, like buckles and velcro, are prone to fail.

4. Rolling Briefcases

Rolling briefcases are practical, especially if you find yourself in the airport often. Still, the wheels and retractable handles are usually the first thing to go. Additionally, the rolling hardware can add weight to the bag.

Of course, no briefcase lasts forever. Still, is there a briefcase that allows you to benefit from the advantages of the above styles and leave behind the features that make them less durable? Yes. Meet the xBriefcase.

Market Disrupting Durable Ballistic Nylon Briefcases

Here at xSuit, we noticed a need in the professional fashion industry for a briefcase that is stylish and functional yet super durable. We decided to fill that need by designing the ultimate, modern – and, yes – extremely durable briefcase. 

Our ballistic nylon briefcases are sturdy, easy to clean, scuff and scratch-resistant, water-resistant, and so much more. These bags are flush with features and have 19 smart pockets, an AirTag holder, a detachable key ring, and a laptop sleeve. 

These briefcases even come with a dust bag to keep them protected and presentable when not in use. They also have a hidden luggage sleeve that easily slides onto the retractable handle of rolling luggage. The bag is complete with drop protection, a comfortable padded strap, and a lifetime warranty. This market-disrupting briefcase should be on everyone’s radar. Plus, it’s completely giftable. 

Our xBriefcase combines the durable, practical, and stylish elements of the briefcase styles mentioned above, making it the ideal choice for you or a special someone. 

The xBriefcase is here — check it out.