The 10 Best Zipper Binders

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This wiki has been updated 31 times since it was first published in July of 2015. Keep everything you need for school or work tidy and close at hand with a zipper binder. Super convenient to use, our selections for this category can carry just about anything, including pens, calculators, tablets, phones and, of course, lots of paper. They are a must-have for staying organized as a student or a professional, and come in a range of colors and designs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Five Star Durable

2. Mead 1.5-Inch

3. Five Star Xpanz

Editor's Notes

February 25, 2021:

It looked like all of our choices for this category were still holding strong as smart options for the category, so this round of updates ended up being a relatively painless one, and our rankings continued forward with the same roster they arrived with. It looks like the last editor for this page did a decent job of balancing junior-high-ready options with bright colors and tough textiles – like the Five Star Durable and Mead 1.5-Inch – against a few classier options aimed at mature professionals – like the Samsill Vintage Hardback and Chris-Wang A6 – so we saw no need to swap out any of our existing choices.

Now that you’ve gotten a binder sorted out, to keep your current projects in order, don’t stop there. Check out our lists of pen organizers and desk organizers to see some potential solutions to help you tidy up your office.

November 30, 2019:

When you choose a zipper binder, it's important to consider what you'll be filling it with and where you'll be taking it. For instance, if you work as, say, a lawyer, you might gravitate toward one of the faux leather options in the list, as they have a more mature look than some of the others and are just as helpful when it comes to organization. If you have tons of small loose items, go for an option with mesh interior pockets, which allow you to see the items you're looking for so you don't have to root around in your bag. If a zippered binder is a bit too middle-school for you, consider a padfolio instead.

The AmazonBasics 3-Inch and all three of the Case-It brand models in this list have handles that make transportation easy. The Case-it Universal has a laptop compartment, so you may be able to use this model in place of a backpack or briefcase.

The Mead Pro Platinum and Samsill Classic Collection have been removed due to complaints about layout issues and fragile zippers. By contrast, the Easy Gear Faux Leather and AmazonBasics 3-Inch have been added to the list, the former chosen for its elegant appearance and the latter for its heavy-duty design.

4. Case-It Mighty Zip

5. Samsill Vintage Hardback

6. AmazonBasics 3-Inch

7. Case-it Universal

8. Chris-Wang A6

9. Case-It King Sized

10. Easy Gear Faux Leather

A Few Words On Proper Organization

Fortunately, there is a zippered binder out there that will suit almost any professional or student -- and there are some that might even suffice for both.

An oft repeated maxim goes that "Proper organization is the key to success." Indeed this can be as true when referring to the plans for a military campaign as it can be to discussing a multinational company's organizational structure, or when talking about something as basic as the plans for a school's fundraising event or even simply your own system for keeping your files and paperwork managed.

The more readily you can locate and retrieve a given document, disc, business or note card, the more quickly you can get your work done. Keeping a well organized filing cabinet and a desk (and office or study area at large) is a key step to keeping yourself working or learning efficiently. It's also important that you create ways to keep yourself organized when on the go.

Whether you are a student who is simply looking for a good way to keep your notes from various courses separated and organized or you are a working professional who needs to be able to access and work on important proposals or presentations during your business travel, a zippered binder is a great tool to enlist in your efforts.

Zippered binders create your very own space for storing and sorting paperwork, they can hold the various pens, pencils, and highlighters your work or studies might call for, and many have extra perks like builtin calculators and storage pockets specifically designed for iPads (or other tablet computers). A zippered binder also creates a personal mobile workspace, offering enough stiffness and support to serve as a compact writing or reading table you can use anywhere, whether you are at a coffee shop, on a plane or train, or seated at a desk or table.

Choosing the right zippered binder depends on your daily activities at work or school, your common commute methods or travels, and how you like to store and arrange the various materials you use every day. Fortunately, there is a zippered binder out there that will suit almost any professional or student -- and there are some that might even suffice for both.

The Zipper Binder For The Student

Many of the most popular zippered binders on the market come in bright, playful colors and have soft fabric exteriors that might make them less than suitable for use in a professional setting, but which makes them a great choice for students who want to take a relaxed attitude toward life, yet who still value organization of their notes, handouts, tests, and other documents.

Almost all zippered binders feature a sturdy three ring binder system built into them, and they can hold any piece of hole punched eight by eleven inch paper with ease.

Almost all zippered binders feature a sturdy three ring binder system built into them, and they can hold any piece of hole punched eight by eleven inch paper with ease. The generous capacity of most zippered binders means you can plan to keep multiple files and paper in your binder at all times, which makes for easy reference of these important documents -- think of a copy of the Periodic Table in the binder of a chemistry student, the multiplication tables for a math learner, or a calendar clipped into the binder of anyone who likes to plan ahead, for example.

Most zippered binders also have slots that can accommodate full sized sheets of paper and which are perfect for holding onto those documents that you don't need to carry around for as long -- think of a test or quiz that has been returned following grading or a handout or brochure that will only be relevant for a few days, for example. A student can designate various pockets and sections within his or her zippered binder for differing types of materials, thus leading to easier, faster organization.

A zippered binder with storage pockets can also serve as a compact stand in for a purse or messenger bag, carrying sundry items like lip balm, keys, cash, and credit cards, meaning a student needs to tote around fewer items throughout the course of the day. This is especially useful for the college or graduate student who commutes to and from class via train, bus, or another means of public transportation.

The Zipper Binder For Professional Use

When a professional hears the term "zipper binder" he or she may first think of the Trapper Keeper they used all those years ago in school. In fact, what should come to mind is an efficiently designed slim briefcase. A zipper binder is a great tool that belongs in the hands of any worker who ever has to bring his or her files and documents from home to work or on the road during a business trip.

In fact, what should come to mind is an efficiently designed slim briefcase.

The three-ring binder system inside a zipper binder makes it nearly impossible for files to become disorganized once they have been hole punched and placed in the binder. Most zipper binders also have ample space for storing loose documents prior to their insertion (or to their disposal or remittance). And when you consider the added benefits of easy access to thing like a calculator, slots for business or credit cards, and even dedicated pockets for iPads, you'll realize that these units are far from relegated to student use.

Many zipper binders come in professional colors and designs, with sleek leather (or faux leather) exteriors and snappy handles that turn them into a fashion accessory that looks as smart as it functions. Simply put, if your work ever necessitates travels or always means a commute with files and papers in tow, your work merits a zippered binder.

Will Rhoda
Last updated by Will Rhoda

After deciding that the pen was mightier than the pliers, Canadian electrical contractor William Rhoda abandoned his career and headed back to college, where he majored in marketing and advertising and won a scholarship along the way to earning a diploma in creative communications. His past career landed him a depth of knowledge in tools and hardware, while his current career schooled him in audio, video and camera equipment. During his leisure time, he’s learned lots about outdoor gear, and years of tiresome backyard maintenance have taught him all about pools and hot tubs. His recreational pursuits include rest, relaxation and revolutionary action, and his roommate’s a hairless cat.

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