The 10 Best Padfolios

Updated May 18, 2017 by Melissa Harr

10 Best Padfolios
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 36 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, phone, and more. We’ve included a range of models, from stylish yet budget-friendly to those that let the world know you’ve got some extra cash to drop on accessories. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best padfolio on Amazon.

10. Mymazn Writing Portfolio

The Mymazn Writing Portfolio is clipboard meets padfolio, providing you with storage pockets, a pen holder, and a paper-gripping clip in an elegant faux-leather package. Fold the front cover back completely for a sturdy writing surface.
  • 3-month money-back guarantee
  • affordably priced
  • clip rivets are a little weak
Brand Mymazn
Model Mymazn-Padfolio
Weight 15.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Wundermax Pprofessional

You won’t have to worry about losing anything with the Wundermax Pprofessional, since it’s got both interior zippered pockets and an exterior zipper to prevent any loose items from falling out. Because the legal pad is flippable, it's appropriate for righties and lefties.
  • able to hold a tablet
  • document slot on outside
  • feels somewhat bulky and heavy
Brand Wundermax
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Alpine Swiss Business

The Alpine Swiss Business offers organization for all of your important papers and is detailed with the company’s logo for a touch of class, too. Horizontal pockets allow you to store documents for that meeting, while smaller pockets are good for business cards.
  • buttery soft feel
  • works fine for left-handed people
  • zipper could be sturdier
Brand Alpine Swiss
Model By Alpine Swiss
Weight pending
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. Leatherology Organizer

Available in more than 10 shades, the Leatherology Organizer is perfect for the student or professional who wants a splash of color added to their day. Its large, zippered compartment will accommodate a tablet or some papers, making it handy, as well.
  • slightly pebbled texture
  • magnetic closure for security
  • not much variation in pocket sizes
Brand Leatherology
Model LWS67648B13280
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

6. Rawlings Heart of the Hide

Use the Rawlings Heart of the Hide to transport your crucial documents in style. Featuring long-lasting baseball leather, it makes a great gift for pro ball fans and lovers of quality office gear alike, who can watch it take on its own unique look as it is broken in.
  • four business card slots
  • excellent conversation piece
  • accepts only legal-sized pads
Brand Rawlings
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

5. Case-it Executive Zippered

With the versatile Case-it Executive Zippered, you can not only use a writing pad but also add loose-leaf paper with the removable three-ring binder insert. After you pack everything up in its generous compartments, you can get going easily thanks to its carrying handle.
  • cover won't warp or buckle
  • includes two pen slots
  • room for a calculator
Brand Case-It
Model PAD-40
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Stylio Folder

The synthetic leather body of the Stylio Folder offers many advantages. For one thing, it’s water-resistant, and for another, it’s animal-friendly. College students and job seekers will also appreciate its entry-level pricing.
  • gray accent stitching
  • includes free job hunting guides
  • may have a slight plastic-y smell
Brand Stylio
Model SL-PF-101-PB
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Saddleback Leather Notepad Holder

The Saddleback Leather Notepad Holder will help keep you efficient and on task. It’s made from simple, but handsome, full-grain hide that’s enhanced with copper accents. Thanks to its small size, it’s perfect for anyone who’s always on the move.
  • backed by stunning 100-year warranty
  • thick and protective exterior
  • finished with marine-grade thread
Brand Saddleback Leather Co.
Model NH-SM-CH
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Royce Leather Writing Pad

Solid stitching and a slim, business-like profile make the Royce Leather Writing Pad a strong choice for image-conscious professionals. This model uses a mid-grade leather, which means you’ll get respectable quality without a painful price tag.
  • plenty of color choices
  • convenient id window
  • low-profile pen holder
Brand Royce Leather
Model 749-BLACK-SH
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Cutter & Buck Legacy Zippered

The Cutter & Buck Legacy Zippered provides a high-quality, soft, smooth exterior 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.
  • ships in attractive box
  • well-crafted and long-lasting
  • holds an ample amount of stuff
Brand Cutter & Buck
Model 9830-10
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

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 when 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.

Imagine a fashion spread. 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 on May 18, 2017 by Melissa Harr

Melissa is a writer, editor, and EFL educator from the U.S. She's worked in the field since earning her B.A. in 2012, during which time she's judged fiction contests, taught English in Asia, and authored e-courses about arts and crafts. In her free time, she likes to make stuff out of sticks and string.

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