The guys at Mission Workshop have made a name for themselves making function-focused bags that are built to take a beating. The Mission Workshop Drift laptop tote is a recent addition to their line-up: a tech-focused, hardworking, multi-purpose tote, that’s a quality addition to their growing stable.
Who It Suits
With its tech-focused organization and large main compartment, this is a great option for someone who wants one bag that can handle work, play, and travel.
Ideal for overnight business trips or a quick weekend away, this is a great multi-purpose tote that will serve you for many years.
Who It Doesn’t
At 28 liters, this is a pretty large tote for someone looking for a “laptop bag”. While it does have great tech organization, its bulk may not be right for the average commuter.
This bag is built to last. But its large size and boxiness, in conjunction with the single, unpadded shoulder strap means it isn’t ideal to be carrying around for hours. At $235, it also won’t suit those looking for a budget-friendly bag.
My first thought when I got this bag was that it was extremely boxy. The heavy-duty fabrics, exposed binding, and reinforced base add a lot of structure. This means that while boxy, it’s also very stable. The moment you set the bag down next to your desk is when it really shines. Empty or full, the structure and stable base keep it standing upright. This gives easy access to every pocket without having to hold the bag up yourself. Even with the rest of the bag empty, sliding a computer into the laptop sleeve won’t tip it over, which not many bags can manage. When it comes to access and loading your gear, this bag is pretty amazing.
The overall construction seems simple at first glance. But the Drift offers quite a bit of tech organization cleverly integrated into the front and back walls. This leaves most of the bag’s 28L free for the main compartment. The laptop sleeve and smaller pockets are all accessible from the exterior, making it easy to get to your stuff. The back panel hides the laptop sleeve, accessible by a coated zipper on the top of the bag. While only lightly padded, the pocket suspends the laptop up off the bottom. So you don’t have to worry about it coming into contact with the ground.
The other coated zipper on the top of the bag opens the large main compartment. This is really what allows the Drift to transition into different roles. It could be for taking your lunch and gym clothes with you to work. It could be for toiletries and clothes for an overnight trip. If you take out your tech, it could be for a trip to the beach or used as a small duffel bag for a camping trip.
The Drift features high-tenacity HT500 fabric, metal hardware, exposed binding, and coated zippers which give it Mission Workshop’s iconic look. This is a bag that will last you for ages and it is also available in MultiCam Black Camo Cordura. While it doesn’t have taped seams, the weatherproof fabric and coated zippers provide reassurance in bad weather. The toughness of this bag combined with the tech organization makes it feel as if they’ve combined a heavy-duty duffel and a laptop bag.
The Mission Workshop Drift is a big bag at 28L, making it larger than the average laptop or commuter bag. It has three options for carry: grab handles, a removable shoulder strap, and using the luggage handle pass-through.
Because it is such a large tote, it isn’t ideal for someone who has to actually carry it for long periods of time. The shoulder strap is a better option for extended carry, but it still feels heavy even after just a couple of minutes of wearing it. A padded, messenger-style shoulder strap would have made this much more wearable. As is, I see it as a great option for those driving to work who need to bring extra gear. That’s how I used it every day for about two months. I would carry it from the house to the car, and then from the car into my workshop. When we get back to traveling, this would be a great option to pair with wheeled luggage for those things you need easy access to.
The Drift earns the Mission Workshop badge: it is a heavy-duty, well-made bag, built in the United States. Its tough, functional aesthetic is clean and understated, so it fits in at the office or anywhere else you might want to take it. It’s got both great capacity and well-thought-out tech access. Although this isn’t a bag meant for all-day carry, if you’re looking for a tech-focused hauler, this might be the one for you.
This article was written by new contributor, Aaron Puglisi, professional designer and maker behind Denier Lab, an experimental carry design space on Instagram.