Messenger Bag: The Best Messenger Bags for Men & Women

Messenger Bag Leather
Messenger Bag Leather

Messenger bags are often composed of a tough fabric, such as canvas or leather. They also include a crossbody strap that is meant to be worn against the lower back and can be simply rotated around to allow access to the contents.

They are often broader than they are tall, allowing for a greater range of motion during daily tasks than a regular backpack.

Keeping this in mind, messenger bags have grown in favour among business executives, students, and travellers alike (and are unlikely to fade very soon).

One of its most popular designs is the Timbuk2 messenger bag, which boasts durability, adaptability, and general comfort.

What is a Messenger Bag?

A messenger bag is a type of bag that is often constructed of cotton.

It is slung over one shoulder and has a strap over the chest that rests the bag on the lower back.

While messenger-bags are occasionally used by couriers, they have also become an urban fashion symbol. Carryalls are certain forms of messenger bags.

Best Messenger Bag

Waterfield Designs Executive Messenger

Even before I started writing about messenger-bags, I’d had my fair share of them. But Waterfield Designs’ Executive Messenger is by far the greatest messenger bag I’ve ever used.

Even when empty, messenger backpacks are frequently rather large. The leather Executive Messenger solves this issue by being both thin and flexible.

There’s just enough interior structure to keep my electronics secure, but enough flexibility that it will start to mould to your body after a few usage.

It also features plenty of inside pockets and pouches for storing little items like lip balm and charging cords. The internal lining has a bright orange colour, which aids visibility.

It’s a very attractive bag (very dark academic and scholar-chic), and it’s made to last, with a leather covering that has worn well so far. They’re manufactured to order, and the attention to detail truly shows. The seams are solid and durable, and the pockets and front clasp appear to be intended to endure a lifetime.

For 9-to-5 Commuters

Chrome Mini Metro

Watertight and Chrome’s Mini Metro messenger bag is a classic that is also made to endure a lifetime. This is a real messenger bag created with the life of a bike messenger in mind, from its trademark seatbelt-buckle strap to its double-clasp fastening mechanism.

You fill it up and swing it across your back, safely storing all of your belongings. The waterproof coating and lining are also of high quality.

For years, I carried one of them through storms and snow. Every time, it was completely laden with a MacBook and a variety of notebooks, and everything stayed dry. The Metro is also an excellent alternative if you want more storage space, as it will transport everything you need to and from the office.

Best Camera Bag

Peak Design Everyday Sling 10L

The Everyday Sling is available in a variety of sizes, but my favourite is the 10-liter model.

This bag accommodates a 13-inch MacBook Pro, a charger, and a slew of other supplies and has lots of compartments for organising.

Even when fully laden, the Everyday Sling has a small profile that allows you to keep it close to your body.

The strap is composed of a seatbelt-like material that slides smoothly over garments and does not clump up on your shoulder like other straps. This was my go-to bag during CES 2020, and it came in handy.

It’s large enough to hold cosmetics, my 11-inch iPad Pro, a power bank, and a slew of other other items.

And it’s easy to carry, whether thrown over the shoulder or cinched up like a backpack.

Extra Durable

Carhartt Crossbody Snap

Carhartt is known for its tough clothing and accessories, and the Crossbody Snap is no exception.

The water-resistant polyester fabric is thick and durable, and the seams and pockets appear to be able to withstand just about everything you throw at them.

I’m usually on the search for a tiny bag that can hold an iPad and a few other essentials, and the Crossbody Snap has just become my favourite.

It’s just tall enough to fit an 11-inch iPad Pro, but it suits the tiny iPad Mini better. It also goes well with almost any outfit.

Best Small Shoulder Bag

Fjallraven Greenland Pocket

The Greenland Pocket is a soft and lightweight daily bag.

It’s large enough to hold a Nintendo Switch, a notepad, and a range of daily necessities.

The cotton and polyester shell is water-resistant enough to withstand heavy Portland rain, and it’s really soft—so soft, in fact, that I wonder if I carry it about simply to pet it.

It’s also a fashionable alternative that goes with both cold and lighter spring and summer ensembles.

Overall, this is one of my favourite tiny shoulder bags of all time.

For Everyday Elegance

Lo & Sons Pearl Crossbody

The Pearl crossbody is a beautiful, elegant shoulder bag with two zippered compartments, a centre compartment, and plenty of interior organisation.

On most days, it’s the one I grab on my way out the door. It’s not too huge, but it’s big enough to hold an 11-inch iPad Pro in the middle pocket. It also looks beautiful. It looks good with most business casual or casual-casual clothes without being too flashy.

I particularly appreciate that the pockets are accessible from the top and are not blocked by a flap. That way, I can just reach down and get my lip balms or a cold pebble to place in there.

The internal arrangement is ideal for storing cards, keys, and electronics, keeping everything separate but visible. The price is high, although it has previously dropped below $200.

For Makers

Savage Industries EDC Two

I liked Savage Industries’ EDC One bag, but it was too huge and cumbersome for me. The EDC Two then appeared.

This is essentially a smaller version of the original, making it considerably more comfortable to carry for extended periods of time (even when full to the brim with farmer’s market food).

The top lifts up like an old-fashioned doctor’s bag, showing the whole contents, eliminating the need to hunt around for items.

The interior of the bag’s black version features a stunning high-vis orange, making it simple to detect any little objects that may otherwise get lost in the shuffle.

Its large size and robust, utilitarian design make it an excellent choice for manufacturers or anybody in need of a hybrid toolbox and shoulder bag.

For Artists

Waterfield Designs Muzetto

I was dubious when I first saw this bag.

I’ve always had mixed views regarding messengers who are vertically oriented.

When I walk, they have a horrible propensity of hitting up against my hip or being really difficult to cinch closer to my body.

Waterfield’s Muzetto crossbody has the same robust construction as its larger brother, but it has fewer interior compartments and the leather doesn’t have as much give, making cramming it with bulky goods, such as full-sized headphones, difficult.

If you walk around with it open, the large weighted front flap secures flawlessly (and softly) with a magnetic latch, and it folds over the back and lays firmly on your body.

That’s something I never imagined I’d want to do, yet reaching down to get a camera, a notebook, or my phone seems like an assistant is offering me what I need.

Because it’s vertical, there’s less chance of your belongings spilling out into the pavement if you crouch down to take a shot.

It’s the ideal bag for an afternoon at the museum, with plenty of room for a notebook and pencils and whisper-quiet magnetic closures. Nobody likes to unwrap velcro amid a museum’s solemn silence.

Best Extra-Large Messenger

Mission Workshop Khyte

The Khyte by Mission Workshop is a new spin on the classic messenger bag. The Khyte is built to be completely waterproof and is intended for hard use.

The inside compartments are intuitive and spacious; every time I thought I couldn’t fit anything else into it, I discovered more storage and pockets.

This bag resembles a hiking backpack. It can hold almost anything while being completely dry. There’s a lot of elegance to go along with the content.

The outer closures are magnetic and snap firmly and effortlessly into place, and it utilises Mission Workshop’s Arkiv system, so you can always add extra pockets and pouches.

The Khyte is not a bag for throwing a tablet inside and carrying to a café. It’s the sort you carry when you’re riding to work in the rain.

For Traveling Light

Rothco Vintage Canvas Messenger

This messenger bag is as plain as they come, made of simple, modest canvas and featuring only three compartments and a zipped pouch.

It’s cheap and lightweight, and it’ll last you a long time.

I’ve owned it since 2006, and while the colour has faded slightly, it’s still in good condition with no holes or tears.

Even though I have a collection of more costly bags, I frequently reach for this one since it is unstructured and thin and light while carrying a modest load.

However, it is not a good choice if you require something water-resistant because the canvas absorbs water like a sponge.

For Stylish Travelers

Billingham Hadley Pro 2020

Billingham backpacks are well-known among photographers.

These sleek and sophisticated shoulder bags are well-known for their long-lasting sturdiness, subtle elegance, and lifetime guarantees.

They’re not only for cameras, though—they’re also great everyday bags if you want a luxury bag at a premium price.

The Hadley 2020, in example, is an ideal midsize backpack that can easily carry a 15-inch laptop as well as other items. It has two front pockets and a water-resistant shell to keep out the elements.

For Hands-Free Carry

Bellroy Sling 7L

The Bellroy Sling 7L is the first hands-free sling I’ve completely adored. It’s large enough to carry some things (keys, masks, hand sanitizer, phone, wallet, and sunglasses) and, thanks to its sleek and flat profile, it doesn’t seem cumbersome no matter how much you stuff inside.

It stays close to your body and easily swings around to the front, making it an excellent choice for everyday usage in a world of social distance.

It’s tiny enough to be unobtrusive yet large enough to hold everything you need.

The Best Messenger Bags for Men on Amazon

Best-rated: Newhey Mens Messenger-Bag

Best-rated (less expensive): Osoce Men’s Cross Body Shoulder Bag with Adjustable Strap

Best messenger bag for school: Sechunk Vintage Military Leather Canvas Laptop Bag

Best messenger bag for work: Kenneth Cole Reaction Risky Business Messenger Full

Best (less expensive) messenger bag for work: Taygeer Water Resistant Messenger Shoulder Bag

Best convertible: Crocod Convertible Laptop Backpack

Best messenger bag for laptops: Komal’s Passion Leather Rustic Vintage Leather Messenger Bag

Best (less expensive) messenger bag for laptops: Tomtoc Travel Messenger Bag with Protective Laptop Compartment

Best compact messenger bag: Plambag Canvas Messenger Bag Small Travel School Crossbody Bag

Best everyday messenger bag: Gootium Canvas Small Vintage Shoulder Bag

Best durable: Carhartt Legacy Brief Deluxe

Best vintage-looking messenger bag for men: NEWHEY Waterproof Vintage Genuine Leather Waxed Canvas Mens Messenger Bag

Canvas Messenger Bag

Discover the best canvas messenger bag

  • Canvas Frayed Style Messenger Bags
  • Vintage Canvas Messenger Bag
  • Vintage Canvas Shoulder Bag
  • Canvas Messenger Bag
  • Canvas Messenger Bag for 14″ Laptop
  • Canvas Shoulder Bag
  • Canvas Leather Messenger Laptop Bag
The Best Leather Messenger Bags
  • Haskell Leather Briefcase
  • Belgrave Doc Case
  • Crossbody Flapover Messenger Bag
  • Nino Briefolio Leather Bag
  • Leather Briefcase
  • Leather Messenger Bag
  • Leather Flap-Over Messenger-Bag
  • Laptop Messenger Bag
  • Canfield Messenger Bag
Best Messenger Bags for Women
  1. Travelon Anti-Theft Crossbody Messenger-Bag
  2. TIMBUK2 Messenger Bag Medium
  3. Nomatic Travel Black Messenger-Bag
  4. Herschel Grade Messenger-Bag
  5. J Crew Messenger Bag
  6. Away F.A.R. Laptop Messenger-Bags
  7. Kenneth Cole Faux Leather Messenger-Bag for Women
  8. CoolBELL Convertible Messenger-Bag Backpack
  9. Fossil Camilla Convertible Backpack Messenger Bag
  10. ECOSUSI Women’s Bow Convertible Backpack
  11. ECOSUSI Women’s Convertible Vegan Messenger Bags 
  12. Travelon Anti-Theft Small Messenger-Bag for Women
  13. Fossil Kinley Messenger Bag Purse
  14. AmHoo Crossbody Canvas Messenger Bags
  15. Vera Bradley Cotton Triple Zip Mini Messenger Bag
Messengers vs Shoulder Bags

So you’ve probably heard the phrases “messenger bag” and “shoulder bag” used interchangeably.

However, they are not the same thing.

Messenger bags are linked with more active use (think bicycle messenger-bags), but shoulder bags work well in more formal contexts.

Messengers are more likely to include features like stabiliser straps (again, to assist in load stability during active use).

In general, messengers will wrap more tightly around the body (a stiff construction isn’t ideal if you’re banging the pedals on a bike ride or attempting to move quickly in outdoor conditions).

That doesn’t mean you couldn’t utilise messenger bags in less demanding situations or discover shoulder bags that can handle a little adventure now and again.

So, with all of that in mind, what is a decent messenger bag brand? We understand that sorting through various bag alternatives may be time-consuming.

So we’re taking on the burden by grouping together some of the greatest messenger bags and shoulder bags for a variety of purposes and places. But, hey, it’s worth mentioning that the majority of the bags listed below span categories. They are not only tailored to specific requirements, but they are also adaptable. Win!


Can guys wear messenger bags?

Yes! Messenger bags are unquestionably for men.

If you consider messenger bags to be a very attractive backpack, you’ll see that they’re merely a handy unisex item.

How can I tell if my LV messenger bag is real?

Authentic Louis Vuitton bags always have a stamp beneath that says “Louis Vuitton” and “made in France” (or another nation if produced overseas).

If your bag lacks this marking, it is most likely a forgery.

Look for a stamp that has been pressed directly into the leather of your bag.

What size is a Gucci messenger bag?

5″ x H9″x D2″.

What are crossbody messenger bags good for?

Furthermore, crossbody purses are useful since they can contain anything from your phone and wallet to lip balm, keys, and other travel items without weighing you down, owing to the crossbody strap that distributes weight equally across your shoulder, chest, and back.

What are small messenger bags called?

While messenger bags are occasionally used by couriers, they have also become an urban fashion symbol.

Carryalls are certain forms of messenger bags.

A smaller form is commonly referred to as a sling bag.

Is messenger bag good for school?

This bag is popular among individuals on the go, such as students and bikers, because it is simple to throw over the shoulder and allows easy access to the contents.

Messenger bags are best utilised for transporting light to medium weight items since inadequate weight distribution can cause pain.

What is the difference between backpack and messenger bag?

Backpacks are meant to be worn on your back, with two straps over your shoulders. Messenger bags, on the other hand, feature a single strap that can be draped over one shoulder, making it easier to retrieve your goods from the side.


Messenger bags are ideal for travel because of its spacious inside for storage, over-the-shoulder strap for simple carrying, and long-lasting fabric.

“Being organised while travelling is a game changer, and having the correct luggage will make it that much simpler,” Miranda explains.

They can be quite adaptable and comfortable, with many carrying options and well-designed space.


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