8 Best Padfolios | March 2017

We spent 24 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Even in today's gadget-obsessed world, sometimes it's easier to take notes the old-fashioned way, with a pen and paper. Any of these padfolios will give you easy access to a notepad, while also storing your pens, thumb drives, phones and more. Skip to the best padfolio on Amazon.
8 Best Padfolios | March 2017

Overall Rank: 3
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 4
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 8
Best Inexpensive
The Alpine Swiss Pad Case offers organization for all of your business papers, and comes with a touch of class, too. Horizontal pockets allow you to store documents for that meeting, while smaller pockets are good for business cards.
The Saddleback Leather Notepad will help keep you organized and on task. It is made from simple, but handsome, brown leather enhanced with copper accents. This padfolio is perfect for anyone on the move, thanks to its small size.
The Cutter & Buck Padfolio is made of high quality, soft, smooth leather that will only look better with wear and age. The striped interior features pockets for USB drives, pen slots, and more. One writing pad comes included.
The Saddleback Notepad Holder is a handcrafted padfolio that's made to last, a quality you'll appreciate given its lofty price tag. With two dividers and plenty of pockets, all your letter-sized papers will stay organized.
  • proud american brand
  • features no breakable parts
  • accommodates european a4-sized paper
Brand Saddleback Leather Co.
Model pending
Weight pending
The Royce Leather Binder is the perfect accessory for the person who still likes taking notes on paper, but also has plenty of gadgets. It has several pockets and compartments perfect for storing phones, a tablet, and thumb drives.
  • gussetted file pocket
  • works with a 3 ring binder insert
  • three pen pockets
Brand Royce Leather
Model 305-5TAN
Weight 3 pounds
The Organizer Color Portfolio is perfect for the student or professional who wants a splash of color added to their day. This leather padfolio comes in eight bright colors, so you'll surely find a shade that speaks to you.
  • pocket for an extra spiral notebook
  • magnetic closure for security
  • not much variation in pocket sizes
Brand Leatherology
Model pending
Weight pending
Use the Rawlings Padfolio to safely transport all your important papers. This binder features super durable leather crafted by the famous leather baseball mitt company. That makes it a great gift for the professional ball fan.
  • four business card pockets
  • works only with legal pads, not binders
  • large interior pocket
Brand Rawlings
Weight 1.4 pounds
The Royce Executive Padfolio is a sleek and modern portfolio made of quality cowhide. It's specifically designed to work with left- or right-handed people, and its features make it like having a mobile desk available at all times.
  • hidden wallet compartment
  • secure pocket made for a phone
  • available in black and brown
Brand Royce Leather
Model 56898
Weight 2.1 pounds

An Ultimate Organizing Tool

Padfolios are pretty simple little devices when you break them down. Essentially, they're like a cross between binders and wallets, designed to hold a great deal of your personal documents while providing necessary business tools at your fingertips.

Most padfolios are leather bound, for the waterproofing that leather provides, as well as the professional look that will compliment business attire better than a nylon or another petroleum based material.

The "pad" part of the padfolio refers specifically to the notepad around which the unit is designed, though most of the time somebody unzips one of these things it's hard to predict whether there's a paper pad or an electronic device hiding in there.

I still don't entirely feel comfortable taking notes with electronic devices. Even with all that could go wrong on paper–you could lose it, soak it, burn it, toss it (this is starting to sound like a Daft Punk song)–there's still something more permanent to me about writing information down than typing it in. Maybe I was born just a little bit too early. For what it's worth, I didn't get a cell phone until I was 17, and all it had was calls, text, and a brick breaker game.

Which isn't to say that a padfolio can't appeal to those rapscallion youths. A lot of these padfolios also have compartments for phones and tablets. And, according to a study by the Advertising Specialty Institute, millennials love desk accessories!

Your Padfolio And You

If I was a betting man (which I am, for the record), I'd wager a good amount that you're not necessarily going to pick your padfolio based on its superiority in content. The amount of things it can hold, the number of compartments, etc. don't hold much sway over the most important consideration: How does it look on you?

I mentioned this earlier, but it's important to consider your padfolio investment as a fashion accessory, otherwise you'll never want to leave the house with it.

Setting aside the fact that the porcelain china doll of a model in that image may or may not have had that padfolio Photoshopped into her hand, it's undeniable that its burgundy color wonderfully electrifies the light blue of her dress. Just imagine how that same burgundy shade could tame a wilder canary yellow ensemble, and you'll begin to see the potential diversity of this accessory.

So, keep the features in mind. If you've got a tablet you want to take with you, make sure it'll fit. If you want a soft leather that's going to last, make sure it's quality hide. But don't forget to listen to your gut on this one. You know your style; let it shine.

How The Padfolio Can Fight Child Labor, Sort Of

In 1826, Godillot of Paris made a carpet bag with a hinged frame of iron. This was the first sealed luggage of its time, and it is the predecessor to the briefcase as we know it today, and that, in turn lead to the advent of the padfolio.

Before that, most traveling required some kind of trunks made either of wood or of metal. The good thing about trunks, of course, is that it's harder for baggage porters to tell if there are people stowed away inside. Bony stowaways tend to poke out a bit through your standard cloth bags.

Over time, the carpet bag was sized down considerably, and later, as electronic correspondence entered the modern business world, the need to carry enough material to fill an entire briefcase was diminished.

It almost feels like a loss, though, to think that kids aren't going to get to play at being adults by manipulating a briefcase that's clearly too big for them, and try to amble out the door with it on their way to "work." That was one of my favorite games as a kid, and it's adorable to behold.

Some of the larger padfolios might offer a similar experience, but the electronic devices within are more or less targeted at children already, so the juxtaposition loses its power. It's almost too easy, and possibly too expensive, for kids to handle and use them.

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Last updated: 03/29/2017 | Authorship Information